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4G round up; YouTube commissions; NZ FTTH model for US? - Telco 2.0 News Review

(Ed. Join us at Digital Arabia in Dubai, 6-7 November, and Digital Asia in Singapore, 3-5 December. The agendas cover the Digital Economy, Digital Commerce and Digital Entertainment in each region, and there’s a great line up of top-notch stimulus speakers from Du, Mobily, Etisalat, Singtel, Globe, Qtel, Telecom Indonesia, Google, Amex, Unilever and others.)

The 4G is coming! UK mobile operators have agreed not to sue each other over the LTE situation, in exchange for OFCOM bringing the big spectrum auction forward to January. This, in its turn, is made possible by Arqiva, the TV world, and the government having made a special effort to clear the 800MHz band early, as The Register’s Bill Ray explains here.

As a result, EverythingEverywhere has named the day for the switch-on of its LTE network, and it’s the 30th October.

Now, EE went with Huawei for most of the kit and also for some outsourced engineering services. The U.S. Congress is having one of its periodic hissy fits about Chinese vendors, having discovered (again) that Ren Zhengfei is a former army officer and that Huawei has customers in the Chinese military.

Meanwhile, will Sprint try to muscle in on the T-Mobile USA acquisition of MetroPCS? Dealbook discusses the question and digs into the details of the deal. DTAG is risking someone trying to gazump, in exchange for setting up the transaction so as to pay much less tax. There’s a little more here, but it seems unlikely that it matters much that Sprint and MetroPCS both have CDMA networks - surely, any owner would be looking to build out LTE in the end.

Wanna be a telco? 53% of Maroc Telecom is up for sale as Vivendi tries to pay off its debts without losing its Brazilian operator GVT.

M2M application watch: AT&T helps track rental bikes. The 3G and 4G Wireless Blog attends a small cells meetup and sees a presentation on the theme of “How to Screw Up the World’s Largest Residential Small Cell Deployment”. It sounds fascinating (and the next meeting sounds pretty good too).

Dan Rayburn blogs a study suggesting that as much as 40% of traffic entering eyeball ISP networks is coming from the CDN sector. It includes this interesting chart (NB. AS’s are Autonomous Systems, i.e. identifiable networks in the Internet which are usually but not always an organisation):


The dark green band making up about the third biggest source of traffic, and the biggest single point-source, is Google. So what’s in those packets?

YouTube, of course, which this week revised its new strategy of commissioning its own video content for its channels. Last year, the Google offered a million dollars each to 100 video creators in exchange for original content that would be released on YouTube. Now, they’ve expanded the program to include another batch of creators, and launched it in the UK, France, and Germany.

The deal remains the same - the money is an interest-free advance, to be repaid from the ad revenues. Once the advance is earned out, the revenues are split between Google and the videographer. There has been criticism that Google hasn’t done enough to promote the channels, although they point out that 25 of them are doing more than a million views a week.

AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka interviews the Googler in charge, Robert Kyncl.

Does Nokia have the best maps? It turns out that owning the satnavs installed in huge fleets of lorries has its benefits - Nokia is using them to refine its maps and gather traffic information. Of course, they also have a fleet of mapping vehicles analogous to the Google cars, and the piece provides quite a lot of information about them - notably that they are using a LIDAR (like radar, but with lasers) turret to create 3-D imagery of the buildings around them.

Nokia also launched its new server-side compression and acceleration service, which claims to crunch down web pages by 75%. To begin with, it’s going to support the Nokia Asha phones, which makes sense as they’re most likely to be starved for bandwidth.

Here’s a deep-dive piece on BT and TalkTalk’s respective strategies with YouView, the finally-available UK smart TV platform. BT is offering it as a small upsell for their Vision IPTV customers, while TalkTalk is subsidising the boxes and pitching them at the entry level in a dash for market share. A special mention to Faultline Research for remembering the Homechoice story.

Facebook is offering users a new feature: pay $7 to promote your own posts, or to put it another way, pay to spam your friends. Perhaps they could include a sliding scale depending on the friend-count of the targets, so for $5 you could briefly pop up to the head of your mates’ timelines, for $80 you could bother the President of the United States, and for $150 you might even get Azealia Banks or someone.

Susan Crawford has an editorial in Wired advocating the New Zealand government’s model for FTTH deployment in the US, based on a report by old Telco 2.0 ally Benoit Felten’s consultancy.

He’s also got a report, funded by Google, out on Stockholm’s storied STOKAB muni-fibre project. It’s here, with the download on SSRN.

More details on FreedomPop, Niklas Zennstrom’s free ISP. It looks like it’s a data MVNO using Clearwire’s WiMAX network, and you’ll be expected to watch adverts and fill in questionnaires. Further, you’re going to be tied in to a 2 year contract, but any of the terms can be changed whenever the service comes out of beta.

3G & 4G Wireless Blog points us to ally Alan Quayle’s summary of the LTE Asia conference. It comes with a host of data points, and the somewhat depressing remark that “The SS7 guys have turned into the Diameter guys”. Here are the slides:

Meanwhile, RevK is at war with BT again.

Samsung told the market to expect a record third-quarter profit of £4.5bn, double last year’s numbers. Meanwhile, HTC reported that its numbers were worse than the ones they’d warned were worse than expected.

Horace looks at the role of the US smartphone market. Clearly, the beginning of major smartphone adoption in the US around 2007 transformed the vendor industry. But is the US a preview of the future, or an outlier? The answer will tell us whether RIM is going to live or die. On that theme, another new BlackBerry has been leaked.

HP, meanwhile, is hiring developers for WebOS and Enyo. The original blog post counts 53 engineering vacancies, split between the Sunnyvale HQ and their Shanghai R&D group. Perhaps a great opportunity - for people who can stand the risk that HP changes its mind again and sacks the entire division, of course.

Meanwhile, Horace is trying to forecast Apple’s share price, based on its investment in manufacturing. The result is a positively beautiful chart. The man has surpassed himself. Discussion is here, but just look at it.


How long before Foxconn workers realise Apple owns all the tooling?

Why don’t Android updates propagate faster? From our experience, it’s probably something to do with the near-certainty that an Android device old enough to need an update has run out of internal storage.

Oracle is appealing the Google/Oracle verdict. How to run a better Android on the Kindle Fire. Giving away Android phones with a magazine.

Here’s a fine example of usability hell - a graphic comparing four different Linux-based PBXen and their configuration screens. The pain is unbearable, and should be deeply embarrassing to everyone who wants Voice 2.0 to escape the status of a cult.

Asterisk guru Olle Johanson presents, on the problems with Voice 2.0 and the Internet, via Dan York.

He’s also started an effort to document all the stuff you need for actually working SIP, beyond the RFCs.

With the arrival of LTE in the UK, it looks like we’re going to have the joy of working out the kinks of LTE voice. Check out this chart, from LTE World Series Blog:


All clear so far? Here’s Martin Geddes’s latest as a unicorn-chaser.

Up in the cloud, TripAdvisor decided to do an experiment and trial serving the whole website from Amazon EC2. An interesting post on data centre switches from Broadcom.

And should we all be contributing to OpenStack?

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