Archive for September, 2009

Can mobile operators out-Skype Skype?

If you can’t beat Skype, you might as well join Skype–at least that’s what Kineto Wireless is proposing to mobile operators. The fixed mobile convergence (FMC) software developer today announced a VoIP client for smartphones that allows mobile operators to offer a cheap IP phone calls over WiFi. more

Grid Week: AT&T eyeing smart grid services

WASHINGTON, D.C. – AT&T (NYSE:T), like most telecom service providers, has gotten a foothold in the smart grid market by offering up its network to utilities seeking two-way communication with their customers. Today most deals stop at the network, but AT&T is realizing that the real market opportunity could come from providing services on top of the network to their utility customers. more

New Net Neutrality rules? Not so much

Today’s much-hyped speech by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski doesn’t really reveal much more about what the federal agency plans to do about Net Neutrality than was already known. As expected, Gehachowski said he wants to add two new principles to the FCC’s existing Four Principles of Internet governance, announced in 2005 as the FCC’s Internet Policy Statement. The two new principles would prohibit discrimination against legal traffic by either blocking it or degrading it, and would require Internet service providers to publicly disclose how they manage their traffic. The other big change Gehachowski is proposing is to extend Net Neutrality rules to wireless service providers as well, as they are getting into data services. more

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Grid Week: How physically diverse networks benefit the grid

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The need for physically diverse networks (PDNs) becomes painfully clear after natural disasters or an event like the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The planes that crashed into the World Trade Center took out most of the wireless communication networks, with the exception of a few. One of the remaining networks was run by Teligent, a predecessor to FiberTower Corporation (NASDAQ:FTWR), a backhaul aggregator that owns national spectrum, including two bands of wireless spectrum and a hybrid fiber network in 13 markets. FTWR was able to remain operational because it was running a PDN. The lessons learned on that day are particularly applicable in today’s rollout of smart grid initiatives in which redundancy is crucial, according to Joe Sandri, FTWR’s senior vice president of regulatory and government affairs. more

4G World: T-Mobile forges ahead with HSPA+

Though AT&T (NYSE:T) may be bypassing evolved high speed packet access (or HSPA+), T-Mobile (NYSE:DT) has no intention of skipping the newest evolutionary step in 3G. Delivering a keynote address at 4G World in Chicago today, senior vice president of engineering and operations Neville Ray reiterated T-Mobile’s plans to deploy HSPA+ in 2009 and 2010, as well as revealed that T-Mobile’s first HSPA+ networks are already up and running in Philadelphia.

Using higher-order modulation techniques embedded and new software, HSPA+ dramatically boosts the downlink capacity available over a 3G channel. Most HSPA networks in the US now support between 1.8 Mb/s and 3.6 Mb/s, though both T-Mobile and AT&T are in the process of upgrading those capacities to 7.2 Mb/s. HSPA+, however, would increase bandwidth to 21 Mb/s, six times faster than current networks speeds.

Can telco developer programs beat app stores?

While the iPhone app store has quickly stamped out 75,000 apps and stolen the lion’s share of attention, is the app store the right approach?

An interesting post over on the Telco 2.0 blog (run by U.K. consultancy STL Partners), which earlier this year made the bold claim that Litmus, the developer program for U.K. mobile operator O2, is “better than the Apple app store.” more

4G World: Cisco’s Nagesh urges adaptive personalization

Although all-you-can-eat packages tend to dominate wireless pricing today, operators are exploring ways to introduce creative pricing plans that draw on what consumers’ value and – most importantly – are willing to pay extra for. And with the growth of mobile data traffic, this may become necessary to make money on data. According to Cisco’s director of service provider marketing Kittur Nagesh, wireless operators need to build new business models around consumer’s favorite applications. more

Broadband stimulus projects won’t be blocked easily by incumbents

Incumbent service providers will have a hard time trying to block broadband stimulus projects in their territories. That’s according to Craig Settles, a consultant and founder of Successful.com, who also helps stimulus applicants apply for funding. more

4G World: Opera Mini 5 launches as consumers embrace mobile browsing

Of all the phone-owning consumers in the world, 31% are browsing one of the two million mobile Web domains in use today at least once a month, according to the Yankee Group. News, search and weather are the most popular destinations, but that is due in part to the fact that other mobile sties fail to deliver an optimal experience. The Yankee Group gave most mobile Web sites it studied a ranking of only 52 out of 100. more

FLO TV, Audiovox take mobile TV on the road

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) today announced the latest step in its consumer strategy – capturing the market for live mobile TV in vehicles. Building off a partnership it announced at January’s CES with automotive entertainment provider Audiovox (NASDAQ:VOXX), the companies said today they would begin distributing the multicast mobile TV service to more than 12,000 new car dealers across 85 markets. more

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