Ring! Ring! Hot News, 20th October 2008
Just when I thought I was out, they drag me back in: Siemens shows a concept phone using the "big touchscreen" iPhone design meme to include a large solar panel in the device. Nice; but hasn't Siemens given up making phones?
Ah, another week in the snakepit. No-one can get away from shiny gadgets. After last week's collective orgasm over the first Android device (if you missed - it's a bit like one of HTC's big ugly Windows devices from two years ago), here's the disappointment; Google may have taken powers to zap apps it doesn't like. We'll see how this develops, but it's desperately ironic that Google of all companies would re-implement both Apple's notorious iPhone NDA and Microsoft's remote forced reboots.
Microsoft, eh? There's concern about what will happen to their new ads'n'websites strategy in a recession; ad spending is famously an exaggerating indicator of the underlying economy. And even Google is facing a nasty antitrust problem., even if improved ad-buying products boosted their Q3 numbers. We told them but they wouldn't listen; a company whose main product is called "Office" has no business being a consumer media player.
However, it looks like the long-predicted push e-mail bust is on; maybe a Microsoft/Salesforce or RIM tie-up could still be a goer.
Back down at Layer Zero, Handelsblatt reports that Deutsche Telekom is at long last coming around to the structurally separated future. The troubled monstercarrier has declared a willingness to deploy high-speed infrastructure - fibre in the access network - to "as many areas of Germany as possible", and to cooperate with other networks in doing so, which implies sharing the wealth.
Apparently, talks have opened with Netcologne, Cologne's munifibre project, about the terms on which the two parties could share the use and costs of a fibre network there. The next step will be an approach to the regulators. Speaking of whom; there's a revision of US intercarrier termination coming. More detail at Telephony Online. Whilst we're there, check out this AT&T provisioning horror story; for an industry whose business model historically been based on huge billing databases, we're still not very good at it.
Ericsson is so proud of their results they released the numbers four days early; and who wouldn't be? On the other hand, the margin scissors between handsets and networks continue to bite; things are very different at Sony Ericsson.
Telco business models are under siege - even in New Zealand.
Uganda, meanwhile, becomes the world's mobile commerce hot spot; France Telecom enters the East African nation's GSM market, and probably will bring its mobile banking service as proved in Senegal and elsewhere with it. They face fierce competition from MTN, Celtel, and Safaricom; is this the first competitive test for MPESA?