Mobile Breakfast Series is a quarterly event that brings together thought leaders and visionaries from the global mobile industry to interact and share ideas, insights, and best practices with the entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, and others who are passionate about mobile. The next event is on March 10th, 2010 with keynote from Rob Glaser, CEO and Chairman, RealNetworks Registration.

Notes from the 2nd event - GigaOM, Moconews, AORTA

Sponsors: Motricity, Openwave, and Clearwire

State of the (Mobile) Broadband Nation - a benchmarking study

We live in an information society that is driven by a knowledge economy. A nation’s competitiveness is directly dependent on its information infrastructure, which includes access to and availability of broadband at a low price. Availability of broadband decreases the digital divide and allows consumers access at a much faster rate, changes user behavior, and has a positive impact on the local, regional, and national economies.

Broadband networks reduce the disadvantages of low population densities in rural areas. New applications such as telemedicine, e-government, public safety, e-commerce, small business assistance, and entertainment can be launched and adopted. As a result, new jobs are created and often new or offshoot industries are created as well. The economic benefits of broadband can also be attributed to indirect factors, including increased commerce, reduction in commute times, increased consumption of entertainment, and savings in health care as a result of sophisticated telemedicine. In the United States, several studies have been released that detail the prevailing economic benefits of broadband deployment.[1],[2]

Broadband availability becomes ever more important in the global society in which the end-points of any solution can be anywhere. In an interconnected world, for example, healthcare delivery will be much more decentralized and distributed. The local clinic might be responsible for monitoring a patient's vital signs but the analysis and prognosis might come from a physician thousands of miles away. One might be lying down on a bed in Kuala Lumpur but the surgeon doing the surgery might be in Stockholm on video conference with experts from Cambridge and Chennai.

Given the importance of broadband in fostering the US competitiveness and the economic well-being, the FCC is required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to submit a National Broadband Plan to Congress that looks at the broadband policy by Feb 2010. The key initiatives and principles adopted by the FCC will not only impact the US market but will also have wider ecosystem repercussions. In its interim findings, one of the seven gaps that FCC identified is Consumer Information Gap.[3]

To understand the state of the US mobile broadband market, we undertook a benchmarking study with the help of our colleagues at Root Wireless who have developed an innovative approach to collect mobile performance data. Root provided us with copious amounts of data from the urban routes in seven big markets for all four major US carriers. Other benchmarking studies have typically focused only on the data cards[4] and have used limited data samples (though some have covered more cities). This study used over 4.7 million data points for analyzing the mobile broadband performance in the US. Since smartphones are the most important and the fastest growing segment of the US mobile industry, for our analysis, we primarily focused on the smartphones as very little analysis has been done and scant performance metrics have been reported on such devices.

Our goal was to benchmark the state of the US mobile broadband market with respect to the signal quality, realistic mobile broadband speeds, and 3G availability. This paper presents the findings from the study.

Download Paper (1MB)

[1] Examples of such studies: Robert Crandall and Charles Jackson, ‘‘The $500 Billion Opportunity: The Potential Economic Benefit of Widespread Diffusion of Broadband Internet Access 2001,’’ ‘‘Broadband Bringing Home the Bits,’’ National Academy Press, 2002. In addition, there have been several local and regional studies looking at the impact of broadband to their economies such as ‘‘George Ford and Thomas Koutsky, Broadband and Economic Development: A Municipal Case Study from Florida,’’ 2005.

[2] For more discussion on the subject, please see Chapter 2, Fotheringham, Sharma, Wireless Broadband: Conflict and Convergence, IEEE Press/John Wiley & Sons, Nov 2008


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Recent Publications/Media Interviews/Mentions


Telephony Online

Open to alternatives

Breaking down the walled garden


Could the Droid Be the Device That Finally Dethrones the iPhone?

Moconews Full speed ahead as US carriers invest billions, is it too much?
Reuters Les opérateurs télécoms forcés de s'allier pour suivre le rythme

Mobile advertising measurements still lack standardization


Defining Mobile Broadband

Solutions for the Broadband World

MobileMarketer Mobile CPM measurement standards are essential

Bandwidth hogs - iPhone and other smartphones

WSJ Big Phone Companies Are Unlikely US Antitrust Target
Xconomy A Yotta Insights on Making Money in Mobile
Gestion Del compromiso a la compra (in Spanish)
NY Times Customers angered as iPhones overload AT&T
Boston Globe Surreptitious success
RCR Wireless

The RCR Ecosystem - An Overview

Wireless Week Tough Times Call for Superior Customer Care
Mercury News Your phone, your life: New apps change how you use mobile devices
CNN Money US Wireless Data Revenues on the Brink
MIT Technology Review The New Faces of Android

New Metrics for Mobile Ad Networks

How the iPhone is driving a wireless bandwidth boom

Don't Neglect the Network, The Ultraband Panel


The Wireless Data Boom Will Cost the Carriers

AT&T's Designs for the Wireless Market

The iPhone's Wary New Rivals

Wireless Industry: Engaged in Double Counting?

Advertising Age Mobile Video Gets Ready for the Masses

Smartphone War Heats Up, Google Phones Still MIA

Concept Phones go on Display at Wireless Trade Show

The Next Netbook Trend: Cellphone-Like Contract Deals

CNN Money The iPhone and the Ensuing Wireless Broadband Boom
Washington Post

Is the Rush to Develop iPhone Apps Creating A Bubble?

Data Revenue Growth Nearly Offsets Plunge in Voice Revenues

Mercury News FCC probes Apple's rejection of Google Voice for iPhone

Mobile Advertising: Supercharge your brand in the exploding wireless market (John Wiley & Sons)

Wireless Broadband: Conflict and Convergence (IEEE Press/John Wiley)

Enterprise Mobility: Applications, Technologies and Strategies (IOS Press)

Survey Mobile Industry Predictions Survey
Whitepaper Inside the USPTO: A guide to the patenting process
Whitepaper What is your Patent Portfolio Quotient (PPQ)?

Missed an article? All articles can be found here.


 Upcoming Events

Notes from recent events PARC, CTIA, NAB, TiE, Mobilebeat, GigaOM, Mobile Breakfast Series I, II
Jan 27 Canada-e-Connect, Montreal
March 10 Mobile Breakfast Series, Seattle. Rob Glaser. Register
March 22-25 CTIA, Las Vegas
April ForumOxford Future Technologies, Oxford, London
May 11-14 Future in Review, LA
May 25-27 Open Mobile Summit, London
June Mobile Breakfast Series, Seattle

In addition, Chetan will be doing some private briefings to carriers, content providers and enterprise solution providers

 Upcoming Research

Jan 2009 Year End Report and Predictions for 2010
Feb Q4 2009 and 2009 US Wireless Data Market Update
March Global Wireless Data Market Update 2009

Missed an update? All research notes can be found here.

© Chetan Sharma Consulting 2001-2009. All Rights Reserved.
Chetan Sharma Consulting is a consulting and advisory firm helping companies in the mobile and voice communications sector. Our expertise is in developing innovation-driven product, business, and IP strategy. We've helped companies like NTT DoCoMo, China Mobile, Samsung, KDDI, Motorola, Alcatel-Lucent, Sony, Virgin Mobile, KTF, Sprint Nextel, Reuters, Disney, Qualcomm, Motricity, Reliance, BEA, HP, Merrill Lynch, Cincinnati Bell, Bain, SAP, Vulcan, American Express, and many others. What can we do for you?


If you have questions or suggestions or feedback on this subject or on the wireless & mobile industry at large, please contact us at - we look forward to hearing from you.

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