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Q3 results don’t show any signs of slowdown October 28, 2008

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment

At the beginning of each year, I sit down and put down a forecast for data revenues for each major operator. So, far we have been hitting each of these numbers down to the first decimal. I was eager to see if we see signs of slowdown during Q3. From ATT and VZ numbers, there is no current indication of things holding back though we might not see the actual indication until Q4 or even Q1 results. A seasonally better Q4 might mask some of the issues in the market at least temporarily but Q1 might be more indicative of the under currents in the mobile industry. In anycase, I am holding judgement until we have all the results out for Q3.

Greetings from Vienna October 27, 2008

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Good Morning from the foggy and cloudy Vienna. Have been cleaning up my presentation on Mobile Advertising trying to balance between the introduction, the truths of the market today and promise of tomorrow. The audience is prominent operators from the EU so will address how operators play in this new ecosystem.

It is a fairly complex topic that requires time to delve into the intricacies. Thankfully, I have 90 minutes to opine.

On to Vienna October 23, 2008

Posted by chetan in : Mobile Advertising,Speaking Engagements,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , add a comment

Comverse is hosting a two day event in Vienna next week. Many of the European operators will be there so am really looking forward to it. My keynote presentation will cover key factors for making Mobile Advertising successful. Turkey has a unique business model for Mobile Advertising so looking forward to the Turkcell presentation and many others ..

Keynote Presentation: Introduction to Mobile Advertising

Chetan Sharma, author of Mobile Advertising: Supercharge Your Brand in the Exploding Wireless Market

There is plenty of buzz around mobile advertising. Despite the excitement, there are significant obstacles to overcome before the medium can be truly meaningful. How do you take the next step in transforming the buzz into real, long-term sustainable business? What’s unique about the mobile and what’s the best way to leverage its strength? What are the key success parameters? What have some of the leading success stories been? How do operators plan to exploit this new medium? Where is the industry headed and what’s the future of mobile advertising? We address these and other questions in this presentation. 

If any of the readers are also attending, would love to meet.

Signs of the time October 21, 2008

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CTIA started publicizing the April CTIA 5-6 months ahead of schedule, typically they start in Jan. Perhaps, sensing slowdown in economy is motivating them to start early.

Carnival #146 October 20, 2008

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over at London Calling – The Mobile Advertising Blog. Thanks Andrew for hosting and including my post. Thanks to Judy Breck of Golden Swamp (and Andrew) for the kind mention of the Wireless Broadband book. She picks up the theme of Education from Mark Anderson’s foreword for our book.

2nd Pacific NW conf on Mobile

Posted by chetan in : Mobile Advertising,Speaking Engagements,Worldwide Wireless Market , add a comment

The 2nd pacific NW conf on mobile was held in Seattle today. It had a good and focused audience including our friends from Vancouver who came down for the event. The event has grown well from last year (i gave the keynote address last year)

Tom Huseby, a well-known VC in the area gave the keynote and gave quite an upbeat assessment of the mobile industry in stark contrast to the death and gloom sentiment of Sequoia.

I participated on the Mobile Advertising panel moderated by Gary Roshak, former VP of Advertising at Yahoo! Other panelists included my co-author and friend Victor Melfi, SVP Voicebox, Ivan Braiker, CEO of HipCricket, Ken Wilner, CEO of Zumobi, and Barry Chu, GM of Advertising at Medio Systems. As always time is short to discuss the complexity of the mobile advertising opportunity but we covered quite a bit of ground. Tricia of Moconews did a good job of capturing the details.

On the infancy of mobile advertising: Chetan Sharma, president of Chetan Sharma Consulting, said mobile advertising this year will be a $700 to 800 million industry, and today, 20 percent of that goes to carriers. When compared to the other advertising mediums, such as TV, radio and print, mobile makes up a tiny percentage at .4 percent. Even in Japan, which can be considered the most advanced mobile advertising market, it’s about 1 percent. But with the uncertainty in the economy, advertisers will be reducing their budgets in radio and print, and focusing on the Internet and mobile. He said there’s two camps: some advertisers will stick with what they know, but others will make the determination that print and radio won’t work, and although mobile is new and more difficult to understand, they’ll be drawn to it by the promise of better ROIs. Last year mobile advertising revenues doubled, and it probably will again this year, with revenues estimated to hit $1.5 billion in the U.S.

On types of mobile advertising: Sharma said 50 percent of mobile advertising is coming from SMS, which is more like mobile marketing than it is mobile advertising. After SMS, 25 percent comes to display and 10 percent to mobile search. The remainder is going to mobile TV, audio and couponing in US, “and that will stay the same for the next 4 to 5 years.”

Minor clarification, I think for the next 4-5 years, the channels of SMS/Display/Search will continue to dominate amongst all the channels available. Their internal share will of course change each year.

David Adams, Brian Esler, and David Rice did a good job of putting the conference together and they are already planning the 2009 event. Thanks Zumobi for sponsoring the event and helping the local community. Seattle – the epicenter of mobile in Americas should do host such events more and often.

Next, I am starting to prepare for my keynote in Vienna next week. I have the luxury of 90 minutes to go deep into the subject.

It’s here … October 17, 2008

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Anish 084

Mobile Northwest Conference on Monday

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If you live in Seattle, Portland, or Vancouver, there is no excuse for not attending the second annual Mobile Northwest Conference being held in Seattle on Monday. Pretty good line of speakers – http://www.mobilenorthwest.org/schedule.html

I will be participating on the Mobile Advertising Panel

10:50 – 11:30 am PANEL: Mobile Advertising


Looking forward to meeting with friends and colleagues and to the panel discussion. Kudos to David Adams, Brian Esler, and David Rice for putting this thing together.

3G Americas Analyst Summit in Dallas October 15, 2008

Posted by chetan in : 3G,4G,AORTA,ARPU,US Wireless Market,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , 3 comments

Yesterday, I was invited to attend the 3G Americas Analyst Summit in Dallas hosted by 3G Americas. The discussions were around LTE, future applications and services, infrastructure requirements, femtocell, and so on and so forth. Who’s who of the industry were present to take on questions from the analysts. Though I am not your typical analyst (who publishes paid reports), my consulting work requires me to stay ahead of the curve a few years out, so the interaction with the industry participants was useful.

T-Mobile, ATT, America Movil, Rogers, and C&W laid out plans for 2011 LTE introduction with trials starting in 2009. Spectrum could be an issue for TMO which might use 1900 as a backup. WiMax seen as a niche if at all relevant technology for mobile access, its role might get relegated for backhaul and fixed access.

I think given the current economic climate, we might see the investment plans being delayed. Of course, with one city launch, some folks can claim LTE launch but pervasive availability will be pushed to 2013 and beyond. I think operators will try to milk HSPA technologies for as long as they can.

Had interesting conversations regarding T-Mobile upcoming open apps models. It has the potential to be really disruptive. Essentially, it shifts the onus on the developer, time to market shrinks drastically, developer can pick and choose the devices they want to support, they will get daily feeds on how they are doing with sales and customer complaints, bad apples are thrown out or charged fee per violation, better performers can exceed 70% rev share. Played a bit with Google phone and while aesthetically it is nowhere close to an iPhone, functionally, it has some attractive functionality – search button, multiple apps running in the background, multiple idle screens, browser, keypad, etc are a plus. The initial response has been quite positive (though the reported 1.5M number is not accurate).

Successful implementation of this model will force other operators to change their  application strategy. Another fact was pretty clear. This business of “unlimited” data in its current incarnation is not sustainable. You have to be careful what you wish for. Mobile data usage is “here” thanks to smartphones and consumer awakening of what’s possible but I think the networks are not ready for a huge onslaught of data usage – esp. the kind of things we are used on the Internet like browsing, streaming, uploading, etc. – in large quantities. At some point, there will be enough users on a cell-tower that will start damaging the user experience. The incremental revenue doesn’t totally justify the investment required to support such a surge. So, what gives … we are likely to see more tiered data pricing and less emphasis on “unlimited” data.

Overall, the meetings helped validate some of the concepts and business models percolating in my head. You will see more of that come out in my posts in days ahead.

My thanks to Chris and Vicki for inviting me to the meeting (btw, if you haven’t been to the Gaylord Texan resort in Dallas, i would recommend it, it is like a self-sustaining city in itself – just like Texas – massive)

COM #145 October 13, 2008

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Carnival is over at mjelly. Thanks.

IEEE ComSoc’s Book of the Month is ..

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none other than our own Wireless Broadband Book. Many thanks to IEEE Communications Society for giving us the honor. They are also offering 25% discount (best available thus far) on the book.

INQ coming to a store near you October 10, 2008

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Just when you thought, we are done with the introduction of cutting-edge devices, at least for the year, Hutchinson is coming out with a very interesting device. I met Frank Meehan at the GigaOM conference last month where he was on my “carrier” panel. He is very smart and articulate, one of the guys behind the X-Series launch in UK (with 3). He is also the new subsidiary INQ chief.


Olga Kharif of Businessweek did a story on the upcoming device which is bound to shake up things further. Frank alerted me this morning about the device and i must say, the initial impressions are pretty good, esp. with the price point. If there is a carrier in the western hemisphere who “gets” Internet, it is 3, so it will be really interesting to track progress on this one.

(Image source: Businessweek)

Tomorrow’s Wireless World featuring Craig Barrett

Posted by chetan in : 3G,4G,AORTA,Carriers,Speaking Engagements,Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

I am delighted to announce my participation in an upcoming event being organized in San Jose on 18th Nov. A high-level Finnish delegation of executives from the wireless industry is coming to US and I will be moderating a panel discussion on “Tomorrow’s Wireless World.” We will be going beyond the current deployments and trends and into something much beyond. The highlight of the event is of course to share the stage with the eminent Dr. Craig Barrett, Intel Chairman of the Board. Am deeply honored.

I gave a keynote address to the Finnish delegation 3-4 years ago and it was great fun, so, am really looking forward to this one.

There is limited seating and they are filling out fast, so, if you are interested, please register.

Details below:


Featuring Craig Barrett, Intel Chairman of the Board
Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose & Mayor Matti Pennanen of Oulu, Finland
invite you to:
“Tomorrow’s Wireless World ”
November 18th 2008 at the San Jose Hilton Hotel

Share ideas, debate issues and check the pulse of the market with leading wireless R&D experts that have resources to deliver the most advanced wireless technologies in the world.


Craig Barrett
Intel Chairman of the Board

Craig R. Barrett became Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation on May 18, 2005. He became Intel’s fourth President in May of 1997 and Chief Executive Officer in 1998. He was elected to Intel’s Board of Directors in 1992 and served as Chief Operating Officer from 1993 to 1997. Barrett began his tenure at Intel as a Technology Development manager in 1974. Prior to joining Intel, Dr. Barrett was an Associate Professor at Stanford University in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.


Panel Moderator
Chetan Sharma
Chetan is a recognized industry expert in strategy and implementation of wireless data and pervasive computing solutions. Executives from leading wireless companies around the world seek his accurate predictions, independent insights, and actionable recommendations. He has served as an advisor to senior executive management of several Fortune 100 companies in the wireless space. Some of his clients include NTT DoCoMo, China Mobile, Disney, KTF, Sony, Samsung, Virgin Mobile, Sprint Nextel, AT&T Wireless, Alcatel-Lucent, KDDI, Cincinnati Bell, Reuters, Qualcomm, Reliance Infocomm, SAP, Merrill Lynch, American Express, Infospace, BEA, and HP. Chetan is also author of 5 books on wireless.

Centre for Wireless Communications is a world-class telecommunications research institute focusing on three application areas: Broadband Wireless Access, Short-Range Communications, and Security and Defense.

Codenomicon enables wireless software developers to preemptively mitigate unknown and published threats in products and services prior to release or deployment – before systems are exposed, outages occur and zero-day attacks strike.

Elektrobit (EB) develops products, telecommunications solutions, testing solutions, and automated systems for the wireless industry.

Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia makes a wide range of mobile devices with services and software that enable people toexperience music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games, business mobility and more.

Oulu University is home to an international scientific community known for delivering high-quality research and education in disciplines that include both national and international wireless technologies.

Sesca Group’s Mobile Software business area offers smartphone software development services for Symbian, Java, Microsoft and Linux platforms.

VTT is Europe‘s leading applied research center creating new technology and science-based innovations with a strong emphasis on wireless technologies.



9:30    Registration

10:00  Welcome: Mayor Matti Pennanen, of Oulu Finland, and Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose

10:15  Panel: “Your Wireless Future”,Moderated by Chetan Sharma

11:15  Q and A

11:45  Buffet Lunch

12:15  Discover Oulu

1:00   Keynote: Craig Barrett – Intel Chairmanof the Board

2:00   Networking


Reserve the date now!

Reserve the date now! As a qualified recipient, you are eligible to receive a complimentary ticket that includes a buffet luncheon, please register at the following link https://www.acteva.com/go/suomi Enter promo code “FINN” for complementary ticket.

Wireless Broadband Book – More Details October 7, 2008

Posted by chetan in : 3G,4G,AORTA,ARPU,BRIC,Carriers,Enterprise Mobility,European Wireless Market,Indian Wireless Market,Japan Wireless Market,Mobile Applications,Mobile Content,Mobile Ecosystem,Mobile Search,Speaking Engagements,US Wireless Market,Wireless Value Chain,Worldwide Wireless Market , add a comment



The Wireless Broadband Book is launching next week on 17th Oct. It will be in Wiley stores in a week and then early Nov, available at retailers around the world including amazon.com.

If you are interested, the best discount is available at Wiley.com. We are making it available to all our readers and colleagues. The code is WBR98 and it get you the book 20% cheaper (Amazon is 9% right now).

We also launched the book web site  – WirelessBroadbandBook.com. It has lot of details about the book including:


The telecommunications industry has evolved to a point in time when the wireless elements of the global network have eclipsed the legacy wired networks in terms of reach and adoption by the world’s population. There is now a growing tension between the original vision of the cellular network as simply a mobile extension of the traditional wired telephone network that is operated as a closed system under the unilateral control of the service provider and its role as a leading access platform for the global Internet. The powerfully established business and regulatory model of the legacy telephone network operators is now bumping up against the dramatic expansion of the global Internet into a broadband data system that can provide alternatives for virtually every legacy communications service. A historic conflict is evolving over how these two mammoth environments will converge and overlap. Will the well-established institutions that hold sway over the legacy telecommunications networks and service providers capture control of the Internet by leveraging their existing gatekeeper position for access and termination? Alternatively, will these well-established habits of operation yield to creative new forces and competitors who will grow and thrive by implementing new business models that make obsolete the business practices of the incumbents? This conflict is well under way, and its outcome will have tremendous influence on the future of the global economy, the evolution of human rights and freedom, and the daily lives of virtually all the world’s citizens.

The core theme of this book is an examination of contesting factors that have influenced and will continue to influence the deployment and adoption of the broadband Internet Protocol (IP) wireless infrastructure, its devices and its services, which will mark the next major steps in the evolution of wireless worldwide. The implementation of the ubiquitous wireless broadband Internet will reach into every corner of global society. Every segment of the wireless industry will ultimately have to view and plan for its future prospects from the perspective of how it will fit within the emerging IP ecosystem growing out of this major change of state for the entire telecommunications industry. We will consider the impact of new entrants and operators, versus new innovators and the current market leaders in each sector of the industry. We will also examine how the future technology road maps of the 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) and WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) standards promoters will conflict, compete, and ultimately converge. Our efforts will also seek to penetrate the noise and hype, both positive and negative, that presently cloud the perceptions of both industry insiders and the larger publics who will be impacted by this insidious and inevitable broadband evolution.

New broadband wireless deployments will find market share both among and beyond the current base of 3 billion subscribers, most of whom are on secondgeneration (2G) versions of the global system for mobile communications (GSM) systems. The installed base of GSM infrastructure is presently undergoing a slower than anticipated, but inevitable transition to third-generation (3G) platforms. This step along the trajectory to true broadband IP–centric fourth generation (4G) networks can be viewed as the transition from the narrowband 2G environment to the wideband 3G era, which will evolve into the true broadband future matching the vision of the 3GPP technology Long Term Evolution (LTE) for GSM systems, and the emergent Mobile WiMAX standards based on OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) technology. The emergence of OFDMA as the technology of choice for the next-generation mobile platforms is a by-product of the dramatic increases in microprocessor power over the past decade that finally enabled OFDMA technology to become practical for application in wireless platforms. These systems will come into existence under the sponsorship of existing cellular operators, and through major telecommunications and computing industry organizations that have to date been essentially left out of direct participation in the wireless industry. Included among these new contributors to the wireless broadband future are the cable television operators, Internet portal and search companies, computer and digital appliance manufacturers, software concerns, and content developers.

Much of the momentum driving mobile wireless broadband services is being created by the widespread adoption of wired broadband Internet services by a large portion of the population. The experience and convenience of broadband access have extended from their original presence in the workplace into approximately 60%of all U.S. households, primarily though digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable modem services.* We are now at the tilting point when it is both practical and logical to seek access to our broadband services and applications wherever we may be, regardless of whether we are at the office, at home, traveling to a remote destination, or mobile betwixt and between these locations. We will address the nature of network and service convergence and the interrelationships that exist between and among each of the broadband network service domains, including all types of wired and wireless networks.

There is a pending collision between the traditional telecommunications industry closed system approach to the market and the open platform environment of the Internet. As broadband wireless service delivery networks proliferate, the migration to expanded openness will accelerate. The traditional ‘‘walled garden’’ environments of the legacy wireless service providers are already breaking down, with pledges to remove existing carrier-defined constraints that only allow network access to user devices obtained from the underlying carrier coming from both Verizon and Mobile WiMAX proponents. How these deeply established traditions of the telecommunications industry are relaxed and eliminated in whole or in part and at what pace over time will mark the next era of the wireless industry.

Numerous contributing factors will impact the pace of the ubiquitous availability of wireless broadband services. These include: (1) the need to resolve a wide range of regulatory constraints and protectionist policies on literally a global basis; (2) the existence of enabling technology development for pending broadband wireless expansion in an increasingly complex intellectual property environment that requires equipment manufacturers to be sensitive to potential business risks, which are very difficult to quantify in advance of drawn-out contentious legal processes; (3) the need for substantial increases in the amount of radio spectrum allocated to existing and new service providers with sufficient contiguous bandwidth to support truly broadband services; and (4) the need for non-discriminatory standardization of networks and user equipment across commercial and political boundaries, which will likely take many years to resolve.

We will attempt to handicap the field contending to be the future winners and losers among the numerous competing factions participating in the broadband convergence movement. Included among the participants for next-generation network services leadership are the reconsolidated and expanded (wireless, Internet, video and long-distance-enabled) legacy telephone companies, called the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), non-ILEC cellular network operators (Cellcos), the multisystem operators (MSOs) in the cable industry, wireless internet service providers (WISPs) led by the new Mobile WiMAX system operators, the direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service providers, and the competitive local exchange carriers (CLEC).

Our direct experience over the past 20 years of the evolutionary march of progress towards a wireless broadband future has revealed many of the obstacles and obstructions that have emerged either as defensive acts of commission by established operators, or acts of omission on behalf of regulators and vendors, which have resulted in a seemingly never-ending series of chicken-or-egg phenomena. Inefficiencies impacting progress abound, including how wireless spectrum is allocated and licensed, how capital formation is organized and aligned with new network requirements, and how the numerous ‘‘standard’’ obstacles that mark the implementation of wireless infrastructure are overcome, such as site acquisition in a crowded market, local zoning obstacles including NIMBY (not in my back yard) issues, and the growing challenge of provisioning broadband backhaul and interconnection for cell sites with vastly increased capacity requirements compared with legacy voice cellular systems.

We are attempting to cover a very wide swath of the issues facing decision makers within the impacted sectors of the economy, with the intention of broadening their awareness of emerging competitive factors and potential opportunities that will decide their future success or failure. In addition, we hope to add worthy contributions to the policy making process to add additional insight and information to the impacted publics on every side of these often polarized issues.

We all share responsibility for the future we create as members of our respective professions and societies as well as members of the global community of nations. Our world is shrinking rapidly, and few technologies are contributing to this evolution of global interaction and interdependency as completely and cogently as broadband communications in all of its multivariate forms.

Chapter 1

Foreword by Mark Anderson, Founder and CEO of Strategic News Service, one of the biggest proponents of Wireless Broadband and the one coined the term AORTA from which this blog gets its name.


and much more.

We look forward to your feedback and carrying the conversation forward.

Thanks for your continued support.

Intel Seattle R&D Lab visit October 2, 2008

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment

Yesterday, i was invited by Intel’s R&D office in Seattle to visit their lab and look at the various projects they are working on. It was all good stuff from wireless power (yes, charging your laptop w/o the power cord) to robotic arm that can grab an apple with a delicate touch to some interesting idle screen apps on the phone. I don’t have time to do the summary today but over the course of next few days, will pen down some thoughts on the ones i found interesting and that you might see in a few months/years near you.

My thanks to Intel for giving us a peek into their R&D initiatives.

October Events October 1, 2008

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For the past four weeks, i have been pretty much on the road for events and client meetings. It is exhausting but fun. Oct doesn’t seem to be any different. Some really good events coming up

– Oct 13-14, heading to Dallas for an analyst meet on LTE/4G

– Oct 20, Seattle (thank goodness!, no travel for this one) is hosting the Pacific Northwest Conference. It will be a reunion of sorts for us – the co-authors of the Mobile Advertising Book. I will be moderating a panel on Mobile Advertising with Joe and Victor along with Ken from Zumobi. Really looking forward to it

– Oct 27-28, really looking forward to this one. I will be giving a keynote address to European operators and others in the ecosystem on Mobile Advertising in Vienna, Austria

Hope to see some of you around