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Best Wishes for the remainder of 2006 November 26, 2006

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This will be my last posting for a while as I head out on vacation. No computers, No cell phones. Let see how the experiment works out. Will touch base back again late Dec. Until then, have a super holiday season.

Best wishes,

Chetan

Mark Anderson’s Blog November 22, 2006

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Some of you might not know the genesis of the term AORTA - the title of this blog. It was coined by Mark Anderson in the nineties to represent a vision of “Always On Real-Time Access” much earlier than it became fashionable to say “anywhere, anytime” computing, even before “pervasive computing” came to limelight and IBM promoted at the turn of the century. In my prior life, I ran a “Pervasive Computing” practice that worked closely with IBM. I loved the acronym and it became the name of my first newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So years later when i started the blog earlier this year, i went with the familiar name. The point of all this is that, my thinking and work has been influenced by Mark’s work and his thoughts and visions (I also have his interview in my last book on Wireless Data Services) over many years. Recently, he started a blog which I would recommend to put on your reading list.

 

3G - US and Worldwide trends

Posted by chetan in : 3G, AORTA, ARPU, Carriers, European Wireless Market, General, Indian Wireless Market, Intellectual Property, Japan Wireless Market, Mobile Ecosystem, US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

Am posting the two graphs (click for full image) that were part of the two columns at GigaOM

First one was with my column on 3G status of EV-DO and WCDMA in the US

Second one was with Om’s column on Status of Global 3G

There were some misunderstandings about 3G. First of all, the first column related only to the 3G status of the two technologies in the US. The figure (1) represents the percent penetration of the subscribers for the two technologies. There is no doubt that EV-DO will dominate WCDMA in the US for the next few years because of late start from both Cingular and T-Mobile. It takes time to assimilate subs on a new technology and while things will accelerate, EV-DO will stay a step ahead till both start reaching saturation. Plus it is simple math - Verizon + Sprint Nextel + Alltel > Cingular + T-Mobile.

From a world wide perspective, we did some analysis on the market last year and the forecasts are holding true. While there was skepticism in the industry, we noted in the paper that the conditions for inflection are ripe, and we should expect the growth factors to firm up in 06 and acceleration to start in 07, and that’s exactly the trend thus far. US is already past 10M (from almost zero), Japan is past 50% 3G subs, Korea is approaching 50%, Europe is following the US trend (on an average, Italy is ahead of the rest). Once China and India start picking up things in 2008, we will see worldwide acceleration.

We will revisit 3G status early next year.

If you need cleaner versions of the images for your use, please let me know and I will send them to you.

GigaOM Guest Column November 21, 2006

Posted by chetan in : 3G, AORTA, General, US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

In case you didn’t catch it, please check out my guest column at GigaOM

Carnival of Mobilists #54 November 20, 2006

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is being hosted by Judy Breck at Golden Swamp. Thanks Judy. Check it out. Clearly, the news of the week was 3’s turn-about and flat-rate all-u-can-chew data offering.

PanIIT in Mumbai

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Pan IIT meeting is being held in Mumbai from 23rd-25th Dec. More details at paniit2006.org. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, President of India and Dr. Manmohan Singh, PM of India are going to be delivering addresses to the delegates. It is one of the best conferences discussing a wide variety of issues confronting our societies. I have been involved in Pan IIT movement for the past couple of years and have met some incredible people. Next year, Pan IIT returns to California in July 2007. Hope to see you there.

Market changers November 16, 2006

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There were two interesting announcements in the last 24 hours that have much wider implications. First, Operator 3 announced flat-rate pricing for data services on its 3G network, probably the first carrier to do that anywhere in the world. The concept is not new, Willcom in Japan has been doing the same on their PHS network but it is a very small player. 3 while being small has much more resources and its feet in many more countries, so the implications for competition are serious. Pricing remains to be seen and of course the execution but their head is in the right place .. This will have a spill over impact on the US market, when not if ..

Hutchison Whampoa Limited today announced the global launch of the X-Series from 3. The X-Series from 3 marks the beginning of the internet via mobile broadband, and heralds a new way of doing business for mobile network operators. It will extend several of the core applications and uses of the broadband internet to the mobile handset, with a new pricing model. The X-Series from 3 will be supported by the leading internet companies, cutting-edge handsets from the world’s leading mobile manufacturers and premium customer service.

Next, Sprint-Microsoft announced their partnership on mobile search. Again it remains to be seen how it is executed. Does Sprint cede control or is it just another app on the deck with Google and Yahoo to come? What does this do the white-label players? Can they survive in this environment?

Microsoft and Sprint have formed a strategic alliance to develop and deliver a range of new services for Sprint’s business and consumer mobile customers, starting with the introduction of Windows Live Search on their cellphones to search location-based content from the Internet, but this is just the beginning.

Sprint and Microsoft will share the revenue from advertisements placed alongside Windows Live search results and the two companies will work together to introduce new mobile phones services in the future.

India’s mobile growth shattering records November 15, 2006

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US added 4.7M new subs in the last quarter, India added 6.71M subs in October up from 6.07M in September. We had predicted this upswing in net adds earlier this year in our report India’s Wireless Market: Model for the Next Phase of Global Wireless Expansion. China numbers are not in yet but looks like for the second straight month, India’s net-adds eclipsed that of China.

Wireless World Magazine

Posted by chetan in : General , 21 comments

As you might know that I have been involved with the Wireless World magazine out of Singapore for over 18 months. This magazine is truly one of THE best magazines in the industry, and I am not just saying that because I am a contributing analyst with the editorial board :-)

They are launching a digital version of the magazine which will suit foreign readers so as to avoid the shipment delays. The Editorial team is offering 6 months of free subscription to try things out. I would highly encourage you to try this out. If you are interested, drop me an email or leave a comment and I will get you on the list.

Korean IT Leaders Summit

Posted by chetan in : 3G, Devices, International Trade, Japan Wireless Market, Partnership, Speaking Engagements, US Wireless Market , add a comment

My love affair with Korea started last year when i was invited by the State Department to put together a Korean-US Trade Summit. I was honored to serve with several other dignitaries on the US advisory committee along with Co-chair Governor Gregoire. I had a chance to meet with several innovative companies at the event as well. Earlier this year, I was hired by the executive team at KTF, the number 2 carrier in Korea to do some strategy work. As a result, I spent sometime in Seoul and go to know more about the industry, the country, and the wonderful folks who are so digitally inclined that they rank #1 in ITU/UN’s Digital Opportunity Index (ahead of Japan and US which is #21). Their engagement with games is at a different spiritual level.

So, it was only fitting that my first sponsorship of an event was rolled out at the Korean IT Leaders Summit which was held in Seattle last week. Proudly displayed my company banner side-by-side with Microsoft. Several senior executives from the Korean companies like SK Telecom were present. It always amazes me that the gulf between the device quality between Korea/Japan and US. Though the gap is closing, we are still worlds apart. I have a top of the line EV-DO LG phone. Comparing it with some of the handsets i saw in delegates hand, there is no comparison. User experience is so much better on handsets in Korea/Japan that us consumers in the US are missing out. I will have more on the Korean market next year.

I will be finishing the year with a stop in Seoul later in December.

If you are looking to do business in Korea or Japan or vice-versa for a North American or European company, let me know.

Google Cellphones November 14, 2006

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Eric Schmidt told Reuters “Your mobile phone should be free. It just makes sense that subsidies should increase” as advertising rises on mobile phones. While a certain percentage of the phones/service will be free or heavily subsidized (and it is not a new idea by any means, 3 in UK is already experimenting with it and there are MVNOs that desire to be ad-subsidized) by advertising, any “mass-free-phones” is not going to happen anytime soon. It is still a services business over operator’s network which is run on a finite spectrum.

US Wireless Data Market: 3Q06 update November 13, 2006

Posted by chetan in : 3G, AORTA, ARPU, Carriers, Devices, Infrastructure, Japan Wireless Market, M&A, MVNO, Mergers and Acquisitions, Middleware, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Applications, Mobile Content, Mobile Ecosystem, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Search, Networks, Partnership, Smart Phones, Strategy, US Wireless Market, Worldwide Wireless Market , 2 comments

PPT Download (849 KB)

Web 3.0

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Had enough with Web 2.0?, well, Web 3.0 is introduced into the dialogue.

NYTimes story

Referred to as Web 3.0, the effort is in its infancy, and the very idea has given rise to skeptics who have called it an unobtainable vision. But the underlying technologies are rapidly gaining adherents, at big companies like I.B.M. and Google as well as small ones. Their projects often center on simple, practical uses, from producing vacation recommendations to predicting the next hit song.

But in the future, more powerful systems could act as personal advisers in areas as diverse as financial planning, with an intelligent system mapping out a retirement plan for a couple, for instance, or educational consulting, with the Web helping a high school student identify the right college.

The projects aimed at creating Web 3.0 all take advantage of increasingly powerful computers that can quickly and completely scour the Web.

“I call it the World Wide Database,” said Nova Spivack, the founder of a start-up firm whose technology detects relationships between nuggets of information by mining the World Wide Web. “We are going from a Web of connected documents to a Web of connected data.”

Semantic web is where the real-value of disconnected information pieces comes to life. I had talked about it in my first book back in 2000. It is extremely relevant for mobile and related applications.

Zune Launches

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Image

(Photo credit: Seattle Times)

BillG at the launch ceremony earlier today. The device looks awful, has a bigger screen than iPOD, extra wireless functionality, rest is copycat. overall a big yawner.

Motorola buying Good November 10, 2006

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Motorola said it has agreed to buy privately held Good Technology, a mobile computing software company, for an undisclosed amount. Motorola was under pressure to come up with an enterprise strategy after Nokia purchased Intellisync. They needed a way to compete with RIM (from the s/w point of view). With the number of middleware email players dropping faster than the temperature on the mountain top after sunset, Good seemed to be a good one to acquire. Will NTP go after deep pockets of Motorola? How about Visto, they are the last big one standing.

Fierce Favorites - A BIG THANK YOU November 7, 2006

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A BIG THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to all those who voted for us. I was humbled when we were nominated by someone in the industry, didn’t think we will be anywhere in top 20, especially with Industry veterans like GigaOM, Moconews, Engadget, O’Reilly, Mobhappy, Opengarden, and many others in the mix (a total of 70 blogs were nominated), so, it was a VERY pleasant surprise to be counted amongst the top 20. THANK YOU for your support and I will strive to keep you informed and continue the discussion.

Best wishes,

Chetan

NTP: Here we go again …

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This time the target is Palm. Haven’t looked at the details but NTP might have a harder time against Palm as their patents are in the process of getting invalidated. It remains to be seen what if any valid claims NTP is left with and if there is any infringement associated with the smaller subset. However, this will drain Palm’s resources which is already hurting from declining market share.

Cisco’s purchase of Orative

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Didn’t get a chance to write about this earlier. Pretty smart purchase to get them going in the Mobile Presence area. Orative has a compelling solution that will give Cisco and edge in their enterprise product portfolio. Have you noticed - Cisco does a fairly good job of buying and integrating companies without much fan-fare. Very companies are able to do that .. most end up in political, technical, and cultural disasters.

Good Pick, Cisco!

DoCoMo crosses 30M mark for FOMA

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DoCoMo has been trailblazing the 3G lifecycle .. From their press release

NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and its eight regional subsidiaries announced that the number of subscribers to DoCoMo’s 3G FOMA™ service surpassed the 30 million mark on November 4, 2006, approximately five years and one month since the service’s launch on October 1, 2001.

DoCoMo attributes the rapid subscriber growth to its wide variety of services and contents taking advantage of 3G’s high speed and high capability data transmission, an expanding line-up of 3G handsets, wider coverage area and improvements in call quality.

DoCoMo plans to increase the number of FOMA base stations by 1.5 times year on year by the end of the fiscal year ending March 2007. The company also aims to expand the coverage area for FOMA HIGH-SPEED (HSDPA) that provides significantly faster speed than the current W-CDMA based data transmission, and to develop new compatible handset models. The company will also strengthen its range of 3G handsets featuring DoCoMo’s Osaifu-Keitai™ e-wallet services, music functions and “One-segment” digital terrestrial broadcasting.

International Week

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Attended a reception for Mayor of Shenzhen, China ysday. He was accompanied by a business delegation from Longgang District. Very modern infrastructure looking for next round of investments. It is interesting that he was emphasizing protection of IP in his speech, also had a white paper. Chinese clearly know that IP is their Achilles heel. If they don’t act soon, their competitive advantage will be taken away by India who while having an imperfect system, have a much stronger prosecution initiative. Laws on books don’t do much unless they can be enforced. I will be doing a paper on IP in China sometime next year when I kick-off a series on Intellectual Property and Innovation.

On Thursday, we welcome a high-level delegation from Korean IT Community. Wireless industry will be well represented by KTF and others. More on this later in the week.