Happy Thanksgiving Everyone November 26, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment
To the readers in the US, a very happy thanksgiving and kickoff to the holiday seasons. Lots to be thankful for - not being in the auto or financial industry is one for sure but also for my great colleagues, friends, clients, and readers in the industry both here and abroad. Thank You. Best wishes and Be Safe.
COM #151 over at Golden Swamp November 24, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment
Judy Breck has been the curator of the Carnival of Mobilists for several months. She hosts the Carnival this week and selects our post on the Oulu event - Tomorrow’s Wireless Future as the best post of the week. Many thanks Judy for the honor and for nurturing COM.
The final post of Carnival #151’s gaze into the future of mobile is by Chetan Sharma from his blog AORTA: Always On Real-Time Access. The post, Recap of “Tomorrow’s Wireless Future”, is Chetan’s report of the ideas that came from a panel he recently chaired on Oulu, Finland where 7 of the world’s most knowledgeable wireless experts participated. Chetan gets my nod as winner of Best Post of the Week
Seeking your participation November 23, 2008Posted by chetan in : 3G, 4G, AORTA, US Wireless Market, Worldwide Wireless Market , add a comment
Last year we did our end of the year predictions for 2008. We will get to how we did in an another post later this week, but, wanted to take this opportunity to request input for the questions for this year. What’s on your mind? What questions would you like to get answered for 2009? What trends do you see? Which companies are you most interested? Which products?
Let your imagination and help us out.
For your help, we will add your name to the drawing where you can win a signed copy of one of our three books released this year.
For reference, last year’s questions were:
1. Will Google introduce a Google Branded Phone in 2008?
2. Will Google play to win in the 700MHz Spectrum Auction?
3. Will Microsoft launch its own mobile phone?
4. Will Mobile Payments get traction in North America and Western Europe?
5. Will WiMAX regroup from its setbacks?
6. Will Helio survive 2008?
7. Will Verizon truly open-up its garden for third-party visitations?
8. Will 2008 be the inflection year for Mobile Advertising?
9. Will Femto-Cells gain any significant momentum in 2008?
10. Will Nokia be able to extract iPhone-style rev-share from carriers in 2008?
11. Will Palm survive 2008?
12. Will iPhone truly open up?
13. Will there be more unsubsidized devices introduced in the US market in 2008?
14. Will Mobile TV move the needle in 2008?
15. Will Android make a dent in handset shipments in 2008?
Feedback and suggestions most welcome. Thanks very much in advance.Privacy , add a comment
That security and privacy is a people problem. As Scott McNealy says, “Privacy is a myth, get over it.” In my editorial piece for the newsletter (Luminosity) that I started in the fateful month of Sept 2001, I wrote
The amount of security needed is directly proportional to the value of the information that needs to be protected. For example, under normal circumstances the value of a user ID and password list is high and should be protected at all costs, while items such as news releases or executive bios are not as critical as damage risks in the event of security breach are small (Figure 2.) $100 to the janitor (to wipe some confidential papers and passwords stuck on computers) is still cheaper than breaking complex algorithms and codes, yet people worry more about how many bits are being used for encryption rather than examining their policies and procedures or employing effective monitoring. Your security is only as strong as your weakest link. If you believe that authentication and encryption are enough, your e-security will e-vaporate at some point.
It is still true and will be for the foreseeable future. If a President-elect’s private information is not safe, what are the ordinary citizens to do ..
Recap of "Tomorrow’s Wireless Future" November 20, 2008Posted by chetan in : 3G, 4G, AORTA, Carriers, Enterprise Mobility, European Wireless Market, Indian Wireless Market, International Trade, Japan Wireless Market, Location Based Services, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Applications, Mobile Content, Mobile Ecosystem, Mobile Entertainment, Smart Phones, Speaking Engagements, US Wireless Market, WiMax, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , 5 comments
Tomorrow’s Wireless Future
One of the reasons I love what I do is that I get a chance to work with really smart people around the world on some cutting-edge projects. Additionally, I get the opportunity to interview some of the brightest minds in the industry. This year has been particularly rewarding. I probably did close to 25 events which were a mix of keynote addresses, panel moderation, panel participation, university lectures, and other speeches. Add in the 20+ client project visits and it all translates into more than a trip every other week to the SeaTac airport. My suitcase has been permanently positioned at the doorstep in my house.
Earlier this week, I had the distinct honor of moderating a panel of some of the most eminent senior wireless research scientists and CEOs of wireless companies from Finland where we explored the future of the wireless landscape from user interface to reduction in carbon footprint to privacy and security issues and much more.
Also, had the privilege to do a Q&A session with Dr. Craig Barrett, Chairman of Intel Corporation after his keynote address. This note summarizes the topics discussed during the “Tomorrow’s Wireless World” event.
Many people might not be aware but the City of Oulu in the central part of Finland is a leading epicenter of wireless activities with many major industry players setting up shops for doing R&D work. In fact, it is quite likely that one of the companies out of Oulu has had an impact in some way on the mobile phone you have in your pocket (and we are not including Nokia).
The topic of our panel was “Your Wireless Future” – a broad topic that is always difficult to cover in 60 minutes or less. My illustrious panel included (from R to L):
· Prof. Juha Röning, Head of the Dept. Electrical and Information Engineering, Oulu University. A leading edge research center, many companies in Oulu have been spun out of this department
· Markus Asplund, VP, Sesca Technologies. A major services firm in the mobile industry
· Ari Pouttu, Director of Center of Wireless Communications, University of Oulu. A leading research center in doing work in access technologies.
· David Chartier, CEO, Codenomicon. A major player in the network security space. Their tools are used for hardening their products by companies such as Cisco, Apple, IBM, Nokia, and others.
· Craig O’Connell, Sr. Manager, Elektrobit. Working with pretty much all OEMs around the world
· Dr. Jussi Paakkari, VP, R&D ICT, VTT. Doing some cutting edge research in the area of network protocols, security, access, machine vision systems, and much more
· Purnima Kochikar, Director, Software and Services. Nokia. Well, you know Nokia
I started by asking the panelists about what in their view have been some of the defining trends over the last 12 months. Summary of answers – iPhone; android; move towards full mobile browser; browser will reduce fragmentation and more innovation will happen on this front; with the rise of smartphones, security and privacy have become an issue,
Some other salient points (read issues and opportunities) from the discussion:
· It is forecasted (by WWWRF) that in another 10 years, we will have 1000 radios per every subscriber. That would translate into few trillion nodes around us. The level of complexity and carbon footprint will be enormous. One has to figure out a way to address both.
· City of Oulu has first of a kind experiment with NFC where the technology has been embedded in day-to-day life from home, school, train station, restaurant, probably every object in the city. Pretty interesting experiment that will lead to interesting use cases and technology implementations.
· There are so many protocols being integrated into the device that hackers are targeting not only the data but the protocol weaknesses to gain access. IT finally starting to address smartphone issue in their networks.
· The role of Cognitive radio and SDRs will gain prominence as more access technologies get introduced.
· In a ubiquitous environment with finite spectrum, “sensing” technologies will have a great role in optimization. Sense and do the best for the consumer, the device, and the network. Hyper connectivity will become the norm.
· In addition to touch, gesture and face recognition will add to a better multimodal experience.
· Mobile payments is coming and going to make a big impact. We have to of course sort out the business models.
· 3Cs of mobile – convergence, context, and community (Nokia’s Mantra).
· The very business of R&D has changed significantly with corporations choosing to outsource R&D and the cycle of concept to market launch has shrunk from 6 years or more to 12-18 months.
· More innovation will come from integration of existing technologies rather than some big breakthrough.
· Demand for bandwidth will keep growing.
· Significant opportunities in medicine, enterprise, and other industry verticals.
· In developing countries, while consumers are willing to pay for expensive devices, they don’t have any appetite for expensive service plans.
Some discussion points from Craig’s speech and our Q&A session:
· World will go to free MIPS and free baud (computing and communications). What happens then?
· Moore’s law is good for another 15 years based on 5 generation of future chipsets that they have in the labs. And it will probably keep going after that.
· Awareness of context really important.
· Many types of devices will proliferate including MIDs, education devices, some designed specifically for special purpose (medical monitors) and geographies (emerging markets).
· Global challenges are education, health, computing, and communication.
· In the developed world, wireless technology can help reduce the cost which is increasing at the rate of $200B/year and in the developing world, technology can help provide access to health care.
· Convenience and access trumps security concerns.
· Areas of opportunities – Telemedicine, education, economic development, governance, energy and environment.
· This is Craig’s 11th recession. Principle to tackle has been the same every time. You cannot save your way out of recession. You can only innovate out of a recession. Intel R&D budgets will remain the same.
· Innovation is key to surviving and competing in the global economy, now more so than ever.
· The fact that so much can be done in these tiny piece of electronics is just amazing and the drive to do better and more using technology keeps him going, keeps him inspired.
Craig is passionate about education and innovation and he serves on more global committees than he would care to admit. His work outside of Intel has been equally impactful.
It should be noted that the Matti Pennanen, Mayor of Oulu who also graced the event with his presence is a technologist at heart and understands the role of innovation in the growth and strengthening of their economy. How many tech-savvy Mayors do we have in other countries? I thought so. I have noticed similar trends in Korea, Ireland, and Israel. They all have something in common – great early education system and maniacal focus on innovation and desire to succeed. It was great chatting with Mayor Matti about technology trends and opportunities. In this global economy, politicians better become tech-savvy really fast or they won’t be serving their constituents well. Cities, states, and countries need to start thinking like startups and compete for every dollar.
My thanks to my friends Victor Vurpillat and Brenda Fox at Global Connexus and Pauliina Pikkujämsä at Oulu Innovation for inviting me to participate in the discussion.
Image Courtesy: Global Connexus
Q&A with Dr. Craig Barrett, Intel November 19, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment
I had a chance to do Q&A with Dr. Craig Barrett, Chairman, Intel yesterday. Was also moderating a panel discussion on “Your Wireless Future.” Will have a full report later in the week.
US Wireless Data Market Update - Q3 2008 November 16, 2008Posted by chetan in : 3G, 4G, AORTA, ARPU, BRIC, Carriers, Japan Wireless Market, Location Based Services, Microsoft Mobile, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Ecosystem, Mobile Usability, Speaking Engagements, US Wireless Market, WiMax, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far
Recession: Nice to meet you.
US_Wireless_Data_Market: I don’t know who you are but I won’t mind a bailout package.
The US wireless data market shrugged off the economic doldrums in Q3 2008 and grew 7.3% Q/Q and 37.5% from Q307 to reach $8.8B in data services revenues. The total for the year (for first 9 months) stands at $24.5B which is equal to the revenues generated in 2007 (full year). While the flailing economy has started to hit hard on the wireless data ecosystem esp. the infrastructure and handsets segments, consumers haven’t really pulled back on mobile data spending, just yet.
But will they? That is a $700B question. It is likely that more people will be willing to downgrade their Internet services, wireline usage, cable premium channels, restaurant eating frequency, energy consumption, vacation trips, and the gas mileage every week than reduce their wireless usage. But what about data services - broadly, they are divided into messaging, web and information access (includes data cards and subscriptions) and downloadables (games, ringtones, etc.). It is highly unlikely that people will change their messaging (which now accounts for approximately 40% of the revenues) habits overnight though we might see more subs going for package deals and family plans to save. We might also see growth in prepaid subscriptions in the US market. In fact, Q3 saw a jump in messaging volumes in the US by 38% and messaging revenues grew 6%.
Wireless WAN data card access is very useful for road warriors though some corporations might start limiting the number of employees using such services, we don’t think it will make substantial impact in most cases except for the fact that the layoffs in various sectors will start to ripple into the mobile sector and will start cutting into some of the enterprise mobile data revenues. The downloadables have already been in the declining mode for the last 9 quarters and we might see acceleration of that trend.
Next question is - will the increase in the subscriber base nullify the loss in data subscriptions and the answer seems to be - likely yes. But, if the job loss rate increases substantially, more than it has been in Q3 and into Q4, we might, just might, start to see flattening of data revenues in Q109 and gradual decline over the course of the year. Despite the unprecedented bailout from the US Treasury to abort a long recession, we are likely to be in for a longer winter than most anticipate because current efforts don’t even start to address the fundamentals of the financial crisis. The basic industry structure is still flawed. Unless the new administration strikes at the root cause of this mess, wireless data segment won’t be completely immune to the wider economic crisis. We have already started to see infrastructure (operators are slowing down 3G/4G investment) and device segments (replacement cycles are getting longer) getting hit pretty hard.
Another factor at play is the growth in 3G and smartphone penetration in the US market, both of which have been responsible for increasing the usage and hence the revenues. At the end of Q308, 3G penetration was approximately 37% and the data penetration had reached 56%. Smartphone penetration has been inching up as well. In fact, all the service providers and OEMs have been targeting sub-$200 price point, which seems to be a good sweet spot for consumer adoption. The above two factors will also help negate any cancellations or downgrading of data plans.
However, we are likely to see price pressure on subscription plans and as a result, voice ARPU will continue its downward trend and data ARPU will become a more dominant factor of the overall ARPU mix by the end of 2009. The percentage contribution from data is likely to exceed 25% by the end of 2008 and 30% by the end of 2009.
Operators in Europe have already started to feel the pinch starting with Vodafone and Telefonica who experienced decline in revenues (due to the decline in MOU and price pressure) some of which is a function of the heavy prepaid penetration. But, it should be noted that for Vodafone, though overall service revenues declined 1.7%, data revenues grew 30%. As we have been saying for years, data-mindset is needed for strategy, infrastructure design and investment to stay competitive in the changing landscape. Better offer packaging and lower price plans will also help in reducing service churn. Operators will also look to reduce their opex to boost profits.
Coming back to the 2008 forecasts, we still think that the US wireless data market is likely to come close to hitting our original estimate of $34B for the year given the seasonality of Q4 which is likely to negate any decline experienced by the industry. So, it might not be until Q109 before we know where the various data sub-segment are trending. If consumer confidence starts to reverse its trend in early 2009, we are likely to see slower growth but the data revenues will continue to grow from the current levels. However, the lack of policies or correction will further downgrade consumer sentiment, then, we might start to see decline in the US wireless data market for the first time probably starting around late Q209.
Against this backdrop, the analysis of the Q308 US wireless data market is:
- The US Wireless data service revenues grew 7.3% Q/Q to $8.8B in Q208. Compared to Q307, the data service revenues grew 37.5%.
- Overall ARPU decreased by $0.04. Average voice ARPU declined by $0.94 while average data ARPU grew by $0.90 or 8% almost negating the drop in voice ARPU.
- Sprint led in data ARPU with $13.50 (or 24.11% of the revenues, followed by Verizon at $13.30 (or 25.49% of the revenues - first carrier to cross the 25% threshold),
Verizon led in data ARPU with $13.58 (or 26.03% of the revenues - first carrier to cross the 25% threshold) closely followed by Sprint at $13.50 (or 24.11%),AT&T at $12.29 (or 24.20%) and T-Mobile at $9 (or 18%).
- All the top four carriers experienced approximately 8% increase in data revenues compared to the Q208 levels. Verizon with $2.8B in data revenues led AT&T at $2.7B, Sprint at $1.6B and T-Mobile at $850M. Both AT&T and Verizon are on target to be two of the three operators to exceed $10B in data revenues for the year for the first time by (global) operators besides NTT DoCoMo (the two US carriers are already over 75% of the target). China Mobile is the other operator which is going to cross the $10B mark in 2008.
- AT&T and Verizon now account for 62% of the market data services revenues. Sprint had a second consecutive quarter of data revenue growth after falling behind its peers for the past couple of years.
- The average industry percentage contribution of data to service revenues exceeded 23%. A year ago, the percentage contribution stood at approximately 17.7%. US market is likely to exceed the 25% mark in Q408.
- The number of data subscribers has been on the rise with Verizon leading the way. At the end of Q308, Verizon had 74% of its subscribers using some form of data services. The messaging volumes in the US market now average over 105B messages/month or at the frequency of a message/sub every 2 hours. In comparison users in Philippines average routinely send on an average, a message every hour.
- In terms of net-adds, Verizon continued to lead in Q308 with 2.1M net-adds (aided by an acquisition), again edging AT&T which had 2M net-adds for the quarter. Sprint continues to lose subscribers at an alarming rate, loosing another 1.3M in Q308.
- T-Mobile USA moved to number 9 in the top 10 rankings of global mobile operators by data revenues. For the quarter, Verizon and AT&T improved their rankings to #3 and #4 respectively at the expense of KDDI which dropped to #5. Sprint Nextel maintained its # 6 spot. AT&T and Verizon are in the select group of five global operators who are now generating $2B or more in data revenues/quarter (the other three are NTT DoCoMo, China Mobile, and KDDI).
- Non-messaging continues to grab 50-60% of the data revenues for the US carriers.
- The flat-rate pricing movement that was started by Willcom in Japan which moved to Europe started to take firm roots in the US market with industry wide flat-rate pricing plans that included data. Sprint has been the most aggressive with its “Simply Everything” plans that include data services. 30% of its $100 plan is assigned to data revenues (for accounting purposes). All the major carriers seem to be offering flat-fee access plans for most of the new smartphones being introduced in the market. Approximately 13% of the consumers have flat-rate data plans.
- As expected, the blockbuster acquisition of Alltel by Verizon got approved and the deal will close in the next few weeks making Verizon the top carrier in the US market with close to 85M subs by the end of year.
- Q3 also saw the launch of the fabled G-phone as G1 Google phone launched by T-Mobile in the US market and it is slowly making its way into Europe. While G1 is no iPhone, it introduced long-awaited features such as multiple processes, more open APIs, and others. Motorola is said to be planning to launch Android devices in 2009. The smartphone segment has clearly shaken up the market with Apple, Google, RIM, and Nokia being the main competitors. Microsoft keeps misreading the market and is heavily under leveraging its strength and experience.
- There are probably 18-20 sub-segments within mobile data services and consolidation looms. Who will be the last man standing post the nuclear winter? While the valuations are still high for rapid consolidation, we think that by Q209, the M&A scene is likely to heat up.
- Will Mobile Advertising be the rising star from the crisis or one of its victims? Clearly, there are a number of advertisers and brands that are scaling back on the experimental dollars thus shrinking the mobile ad spend. On the other hand there are some savvy brands who are pulling back from the traditional mediums like print which don’t really work and putting more money into digital including mobile. It will be interesting to see if operators use the opportunity to lay the foundations of a long-term mobile advertising strategy. Stay tuned for some of our thoughts on the subject.
- Venture money in the mobile sector experienced a rapid decline. Compared to Q307, venture financing declined by 88%, and the yearly totals are 35% lower than what they were a year ago. (Source: Rutberg)
- Nokia eclipsed 100M unit sale in Q308 for the sixth straight quarter. It sold over 111.7M handsets in the quarter, more than the next three players combined. Nokia’s global market share declined to 37%. Samsung surged to 52M handset sale. Apple surpassed RIM in smartphone sales. For the year, the industry looks to again eclipse the 1 billion handset mark for 2008 but the overall handset sales will decline in 2009 (though still easily exceeding 1B).
- The 3G penetration in the US went past 35% in Q308, with Verizon leading the pack with over 61% 3G subscriber penetration compared to the 30% 3G subscriber penetration at AT&T. T-Mobile is slowly expanding its 3G coverage. 3G subs have over $23 in data ARPU. The growth in 3G and smartphones is helping offset any downward pressure on the data revenues and overall ARPU.
- As we had mentioned back in July, Apple easily surpassed its 10M target in Q308 buoyed by its 100 country expansion plan. The broadband and appstore capabilities are quite attractive to consumers and it shows. VPN and direct access to Exchange is helping in getting many more users into the mix and making IT folks less apprehensive. The clearcut business model of 30/70 split is also attractive.
- T-Mobile also launched its own Appstore (and so did Google and RIM, even Microsoft) along the lines of Apple’s initiative with promises of greater control to the application developers.
- The growth in smartphone usage is also putting pressure on the networks which are not able to handle the load during peak times in certain cities thus forcing carriers to look for alternate strategies to satisfy the demand for broadband - metered billing, UMA, Femtocells, Hotspot buys, WiMAX, LTE, and others. We deal with the whole topic of Wireless Broadband in great detail in our recently released book “Wireless Broadband - Conflict and Convergence” (Co-authored with one of the leading entrepreneurs in the space - Vern Fotheringham, published by IEEE Press and John Wiley). We will have more to say on the subject in the coming days and months.
- After raising $14.5B from friends and family, Clearwire’s net-adds continued to drop in Q308. While the deal got approved, the economic climate is putting pressure on a comprehensive rollout strategy. Sprint did launch WiMAX in the Baltimore market with initial feedback from the sparse usage to be as advertised.
- In a sign of convergence battles to come, T-Mobile’s @Home and Sprint’s Femto cell initiatives started to take hold. Cable operators are also aggressively seeking triple-play by providing the wireless component of the service. Don’t be surprised by some acquisitions in 2009.
- China and India added approximately 52M subscriptions combined in Q308 with India edging out China. In Sept, India added more than 10M monthly subscriptions for the second time this year and its net-adds total for the first 9 months stands at 82M. By comparison China added 77M and US increased its tally by 11M.
- NTT DoCoMo continues to dominate the wireless data revenues rankings with almost $3.9B in data services revenue in Q308, thus exceeding the $10B mark in just 9 months. Almost 41% of its revenue now comes from data services. DoCoMo also crossed 86% in 3G penetration in Q308 and is expected to cross the 90% mark by early 2009.
- Most of the major carriers around the world have double digit percentage contribution to their overall ARPU from data services. Many operators are consistently exceeding 30% with DoCoMo and Softbank being over 40%.
We will be keeping a close eye on the trends in the wireless data sector in our blog and future research reports. The next US Wireless Data Market update and the Global Wireless Data Market update will be issued in March 2009. We will be doing an end of the year piece with forecasts and predictions for the coming year in Dec 2008.
Your feedback is always welcome.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays.
Disclaimer: Some of the companies mentioned in this note are our clients.
Laser: The Inventor, the Nobel Laureate, and the 30 year patent war November 13, 2008Posted by chetan in : IP, IP Strategy , 1 comment so far
Extensive travels over the past few weeks has afforded me the opportunity to catch-up on my reading. One of the books i recently finished was Laser: The Inventor, the Nobel Laureate, and the 30 year patent war by Nick Taylor. If you are an inventor or have anything to do with patents, or just want to understand the intricacies of the legal system, this book is highly recommended. I deal with patents and IP all the time so found the narrative especially engaging.
Nick Taylor has done a superb job of capturing the life and Gordon Gould, a young scientist who invented Laser but couldn’t quite get the credit for more than 30 years. He eventually prevailed towards the end of his life. His story is inspiring and just breathtakingly fascinating. It was so captivating that I didn’t want my flight to land until I had finished the book. The details captured by Nick are so fine that it makes you feel you have a front seat of the drama that unfolded over the course of three decades. It has a good ending as well. Good and honesty prevailed. I am surprised no one has made a movie out of his life.US Wireless Market , add a comment
In our research note in March, we noted
Networks are getting deployed and market is being seeded with some of the early handsets. In terms of 4G, there is a strong momentum behind LTE, UMB in its current incarnation is practically dead, and proponents of WiMAX are pushing the technology as a 4G candidate, though it is starting to lose its time advantage.
Earlier today, QCOM decided to abandon its efforts on UMB. Once VZ had decided to go with LTE, UMB had no future. This officially marks the end of the traditional CDMA evolution as well. While WiMAX is in the game, it faces an uphill task to compete on price and performance.
Ballmer on Android November 11, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 1 comment so far
At a recent Telstra Investor day conference (sunday), when asked about Android, Steve Ballmer said
“[Google] can hire smart guys, hire smart people, blah-de-blah-de-blah. … I don’t really understand their strategy, maybe somebody else does. … Turning up to an investor meeting saying, ‘We’ve just launched a mobile operating system with no revenue model, yay!’ — I wouldn’t do that. … I don’t get the business model.”
Nobody could have said it more eloquently.3G, AORTA, ARPU, Carriers, European Wireless Market, Indian Wireless Market, Location Based Services, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Applications, Speaking Engagements, US Wireless Market, Worldwide Wireless Market , add a comment
For the past 2 months, I have been on the road every week, from a day trip to San Francisco to distant but beautiful Vienna (and an extra day in Paris courtesy of Air France mess). Finally getting some break from the hectic travel schedule .
I was invited to give a keynote address in Vienna on Mobile Advertising - the current state of affairs and where it is heading. Over the course of this year, I must have given 20+ talks on the subject and every couple of months I find myself updating stats and case studies as things are changing so fast. Also, have been working several players in the ecosystem to help them with the strategy and positioning in the mobile advertising ecosystem. Working with agencies, brands, carriers, startups, platform providers, OEMs, and VCs gives me a complete 360 view of this evolving space.
My talk looked at the trends in Western Europe, Japan, and North America, compared what’s working and what’s not. Then I got into the key elements that make MA tick - Reach, Engagement, Targeting, Viral, and Transactions; discussed a bunch of case studies; and finally, put forth the expected trajectory for the next 3-4 years.
The event also had presentations (many of them operators) from all over - UK, Turkey, Albania, Ukraine, Belarus, Israel, Germany, and Indonesia. For me the most interesting one was by Evrim Dirik of Turkcell, Turkey. He discussed the ringback tone mobile advertising platform - Tonla Kazan. It is an ingenious use of a simple functionality of ringback to great effect. The effective CPM (or cost per listen - CPL as he put it) is $100. That should raise some eyebrows. Users get tremendous value, advertisers get stickiness, carrier gets revenue ($10K minimum per campaign), and everyone is happy. Turkcell has also done some innovative work in direct marketing and advertising and their revenues from this segment are reaching $38M. Not many operators around the world can claim that.
It was great to meet new colleagues and share ideas and war stories. Didn’t get much time to see around (and it was getting dark around 4:30pm) except a quick run to the Schonbrunn Palace (famous as Mozart’s training ground). A missed connection courtesy of Austrian Airlines and Air France provided the opportunity to spend an evening in Paris. If you are going to get stuck somewhere in Europe, Paris is a good choice. Hey! I even found free WiFi at the hotel (IBIS at the airport, elsewhere, it was a rip-off with $20+/day rates).
Back to the missed connection story - sometimes I feel that airlines compete for hiring the dumbest people around, these guys are so incompetent that it should be criminal. Charles De Gaulle - the Parisian airport is going through some construction, as such getting from one terminal to another - specially on across the pond flights can become a task. People flying on Air France to North America were missing connections left and right and these guys have to provide hotel and food. And then the industry complains about falling profits.
Anyway, barring the airline doldrums, quite a productive trip, learned some new things, got some new ideas, and made new friends.
Next week, I have a short one coming up - a 2 hr hop to San Jose to moderate a great panel of executives from the Finnish wireless industry on the topic of “Future of Wireless.” Really looking forward to it. Hope to see some of you down there.
Press Release for the Broadband book November 6, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 2 comments
November 6, 2008 – Seattle, WA - As the thirst for bandwidth continues to explode, the traditional service deployment landscape will be reshaped around the globe by new entrants, market forces, and regulatory challenges. In this environment, one thing is clear: ubiquitous wireless broadband internet will reach into every corner of global society.
Today, wireless and telecommunications industry leaders Vern Fotheringham and Chetan Sharma, announced the release of their new book, Wireless Broadband: Conflict and Convergence (November 2008, Wiley-IEEE Press, ISBN: 978-0-470-22762-6, US$85.00, 254 pages), explores the role of wireless technologies in delivering broadband services to users, as well as the regulatory and competitive inhibitors these networks face.
“Our inspiration for this project grew from a general frustration with a growing gap between supportable and factual information in the general telecommunications industry, and the wireless industry in particular,” said Vern Fotheringham, co-author of Wireless Broadband: Conflict and Convergence, and Managing Director, IP Broadband, Ltd. “This book attempts to counter the industry noise with technological, regulatory, and market realities facing the global growth and adoption of wireless broadband,” he said.
Using a reader-friendly approach that minimizes industry jargon wherever possible, Wireless Broadband: Conflict and Convergence clearly explains the business, regulatory, and technology issues of the future market for wireless services, covering:
• Broadband and the information society
• Drivers of broadband consumption
• Global wireless market analysis
• Broadband IP core networks
• Convergence finally arrives
• Contention and conflict: regulatory, political, financial, and standards
“This is as comprehensive a book on Wireless Broadband as I have seen,” said Steve Elfman, President of Sprint/Nextel. ‘The authors of this book address the most important issues facing the players in the wireless ecosystem in great detail and provide a very thoughtful analysis,” he said.
The book was co-authored by two industry veterans and thought leaders, Vern Fotheringham and Chetan Sharma. Mr. Fotheringham, Managing Director of IP Broadband, Ltd., has been a catalyst for innovation and change in the competitive telecommunications field through direct entrepreneurial activities, as an advisor or influencer on many successful projects, a public policy and regulatory advocate for new telecommunications service rules and standards, and as an inventor and creator of new and innovative services.
Chetan Sharma, President, Chetan Sharma Consulting, is one of the leading strategists in the mobile industry. He has served as an advisor to senior executive management of several Fortune 100 companies in the wireless space. He is the author of five books on the subject of wireless technology and mobile advertising.
More information about the book can be found at www.wirelessbroadbandbook.com. In addition, the book can be purchased online through Amazon.com (www.amazon.com), Barnes & Noble (www.bn.com), and John Wiley (www.wiley.com).
About IP Broadband, Ltd.
IP Broadband Ltd. is developing converged IP services targeted on the Asian and North American markets for next generation access and application services.
About Chetan Sharma Consulting
Chetan Sharma Consulting is a consulting and advisory firm helping companies in the mobile and voice communications sector with expertise in developing innovation-driven product, marketing, and IP strategy. Clients include companies like NTT DoCoMo, KTF, Sprint Nextel, Reuters, Disney, Qualcomm, Infospace, Reliance, BEA, HP, Merrill Lynch, Cincinnati Bell, Bain, SAP, Vulcan, American Express, and many others.
For more information, press only, contact:
1 206 793 9400
The Broadband book is now available on all major online bookstores in US and Canada
Borders (coming Nov 10)
It will be available in Europe next week. Best discount is at Amazon (20%)
Look forward to your feedback
Beam me up Scottie (Wolfie) November 5, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , 2 comments
In a night of several firsts, CNN pulled off another one with hologram reporting
Is this the future of field reporting, client meetings?
I had first read about it when a colleague of mine Dr. Hugh Bradlow, CTO of Telstra in Australia had mentioned this in his blog.
It is amazing how quick the technologies are moving from labs to mainstream.US Wireless Market , add a comment
Obama’s landslide yesterday was both historic and deeply engaging. With a nation and the world at large desperate for something different, he tapped into the anxiety and delivered. I have felt that corporate world can learn from innovation in the political campaigns. While in the previous elections, laser targeting and segmentation to divide and conquer seemed to be play of the day, Obama’s strategy was built on 3Ms
Money - astonishing fundraising capability
Marketing - getting people involved through technology - social networking, cell phones, VoIP, and on and on
Message - grabbed the mantle of “change” and stuck with it till the end
Now, what can the wireless industry learn from this? more on 3Ms in the coming months.
Complimentary passes to "Tomorrow’s Wireless World" November 1, 2008Posted by chetan in : Speaking Engagements, Worldwide Wireless Market , add a comment
If you are going to be in bay area on Nov 18th, I have got a treat for you. As previously noted, I will be moderating a panel consisting of high-level delegation of executives from the Finnish wireless industry. The topic is “Your Wireless Future” and the participants include Centre of Wireless Communications, Codenomicon, Elektrobit, Nokia, Oulu University, Sesca Group, and VTT. Another key highlight of the event is the keynote address by Craig Barrett, Chairman of Intel Corporation.
Agenda is as follows
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 Chairman of the Board
I am happy to give away some complimentary passes to the event. First come, first served. Registration is at www.acteva.com/go/suomi and Use Promo Code “Sharma”
If you want to bring in your colleagues or friends, please feel free to pass on. It is going to be a great event and I look forward to seeing some of you there.