Krishna Baidya’s Random Musings

Archive for the ‘Global Trend’ Category

Gartner predicts that worldwide sales of smartphones will grow by 29 percent year-on-year to reach 180 million units in 2009, overtaking notebooks in total unit terms. The research firm adds that it expects smartphone sales revenue to reach US$191 million by 2012, higher than end user spending on mobile PCs, which is forecast to reach US$152 million by the same point. Currently smartphones account for 14 percent of overall mobile device sales, but Gartner expects by 2012 they will make up around 37 percent of global handset sales. However, it adds that the PC vendors’ cumulative share (Apple excluded) of the smartphone market has remained static at around 1 percent and is unlikely to rise above 2 percent during the next three years, highlighting the challenges faced by PC vendors looking to tap into smartphones.

“PC vendors will find it difficult to simply use existing supply chains and channels to expand their presence in the smartphone market,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. “The smartphone and notebook markets are governed by different rules when it comes to successfully marketing and selling products.” Gartner notes that PC vendors have traditionally introduced smartphones based on the Windows Mobile platform, which have mainly attracted business users. But it adds that PC vendors will face extreme challenges in having to adapt and base their smartphone offerings on a consumer-focused value proposition based on short life cycles, fashion design, hardware and software platform diversity.

Comviva, formerly known as Bharti Telesoft, has launched the virtual SIM and handset concept in Cameroon eight months ago, which is likely to increase mobile penetration like never before, helping people without the financial ability to afford a handset, to have mobile connections.

In the 21st century, mobile telephony is scripting a new chapter that underscores its billing as the economic change agent for under-privileged masses in Cameroon. A virtual mobile SIM works this way: a potential user approaches any mobile operator, registers for a SIM and is allotted a number. The user can top up that number by an affordable amount and receive or make calls from any phone. The user can also have all other facilities like SMS, content, weather updates or any other value-added service as in any regular mobile connection.

Once the virtual number is inserted into any handset, the user’s ‘personality’ resides in the gadget as in a dual SIM format, and the user can receive or make calls from that handset. Once a call gets ended, it depends on the users to delete the number residing in that handset, or retain it there if more calls are expected on that handset.

Sangeet Chowfla, Chief Strategy Officer of Comviva says, “The concept dramatically increases the affordability of a mobile connection for the economically underprivileged. For someone with a low disposable income, the cost of even a $50 handset can mean 180 days’ savings. The virtual SIM concept can cut that by a factor of six.”

This concept was introduced with an aim of catering financially marginalized population, but later on it has also appealed to unintended user groups, including businessmen who prefer to have a different SIM to use while speaking to a certain group of their contacts, and youngsters who prefer to have dual numbers to interact with different friends’ circles.

The virtual SIM is being considered as a boon for low-income families that cannot afford multiple handsets. Family members can top up their personal virtual numbers with payment upfront, feed their numbers into the common handset and receive and make calls from the same handset without having anyone else to bear the tariff for their personal usage.

Success in the Cameroon venture, where virtual SIM users are learnt to be making five million calls per month, has stirred Comviva to launch the facility in partnership with local operators in different markets, with East Africa, Bangladesh and India to be the early markets for launch.

Source: SI

  • Enters into sale agreements for Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet Businesses with Ciena for US$390 million in cash and 10 million shares of Ciena common stock
  • Agreements include the planned sale of substantially all assets within the Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet businesses globally
  • Sale of businesses is best path forward for the future of Nortel’s Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet customers and employees

Today is a significant day for Nortel Metro Ethernet Networks.  Nortel announced that it has entered into a “stalking horse” asset sale agreement with Ciena for its North American, Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) and Asian Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet businesses, and an asset sale agreement with Ciena for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) portion of its Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet businesses for a purchase price US$390 million in cash and 10 million shares of Ciena common stock.

You can find the news release on Nortel.com by clicking here.

These agreements include the planned sale of substantially all the assets of the Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet businesses globally.  If successfully completed, this transaction with Ciena:

  • Provides for the transition of substantially all of Nortel’s Optical and Carrier Ethernet customer contracts.
  • Includes substantially all of Nortel’s Optical and Carrier Ethernet product portfolio and related services business, including the OME 6500, OM 5000, CPL, and all other optical/Carrier Ethernet platforms, as well as our industry-leading 40G/100G technology.
  • Includes all patents and IP that are predominantly used in the Optical and Carrier Ethernet businesses.

This transaction will not include the Nortel Multiservice Switch (MSS and formerly called Passport) business. There are no changes to Nortel’s plans to develop the MSS platform and actively support our broad base of MSS customers globally. The MSS business remains a strong, profitable contributor to Nortel’s overall business.

We believe that today’s announcement provides a step towards clarity for our customers, and is the best path for Nortel to preserve the optical innovation and customer relationships that we’ve built as a leader in the optical industry over the last two decades.

This transaction is subject to a court-approved “Stalking Horse” process (or 363 Sale) that allows other qualified bidders to submit higher or otherwise better offers. We will endeavor to complete this transaction as expeditiously as possible. If Ciena emerges as the successful bidder, under the terms of Ciena’s “stalking horse” bid, we would target being in a position to close the sale in Q1 2010 provided all court, regulatory and other closing conditions have been met.

Source: Nortel’s Analyst Communication

Mobile advertising market is emerging as a huge growth area with the rise of web phones like the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Palm. According to the Kelsey Group, a market research firm, the mobile advertising market will balloon from $160 million in 2008 to $3.1 billion in 2013.

Of course, that is just an educated guess which will turn out wrong. But there is no doubt that mobile advertising will be much bigger in four years, perhaps even ten to 20 times bigger than it is today.

Where will all of that mobile ad money go to? Display ads are projected to go from 13 percent of the total to 18 percent, while SMS ads will decline as a percentage from 63 percent to 9 percent (see charts). So once again it looks like search is going to be the big winner. No wonder Google is so focused on mobile search as one of its major sources of growth.

US Mobile Advertising Revenue

Think about it. Display ads take up precious real estate on your phone screen and tend to just get in the way and be an annoyance. That’s whymost people don’t like them . But when you are doing a search on your phone, you are often looking for something nearby?a store, a restaurant, a dry cleaner. You are more open to ads, especially if they are relevant to your search. As reported by TechCrunch, the Kelsey Group also projects that mobile search will go from 24 percent of the total mobile ad market last year to 73 percent of the much larger pie in 2013, according to a recent research note put out by Citi Analyst Mark Mahaney. He said that Mobile search is particularly tuned for local search ads. “Given the nature of mobile devices, local queries on mobile should, over time, be greater than local queries on the desktop,” he added.

Indeed, the Kelsey Group predicts that local searches will rise from 28 percent of all mobile searches in 2008 to over 35 percent by 2013. And as a percentage of mobile search ad revenues, local search is already half so that it will be a $1.27 billion market opportunity in four years just for local mobile search.

Source: Silicon India, Washington Post

They thought this day would never come: Ladies and gentlemen, AT&T Inc. will now allow VoIP applications to run across its cellular network, not just Wi-Fi.

The carrier has blocked IP-based voice apps for the iPhone from running on 2G and 3G in the past, including Skype and, famously, Google Voice. Though AT&T never mentioned why, speculation as to the reason blockage includes, of course, a reluctance to lose voice call revenue, and network congestion concerns.

But it’s caught a lot of flak for those decisions, and as VoIP continues to become an embraced application in the industry in general, who is AT&T to blow against the wind, right? Competitively, Clearwire, several cablecos and even Verizon Wireless have said they won’t block third-party VoIP on their 4G or 3G networks, even if cellular voice remains the bread and butter revenue stream today.

Officially, the carrier said it made its decision because it already enables cellular VoIP on other devices, and, well, the sky hasn’t fallen. “iPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO for AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets, in a statement. “Today’s decision was made after evaluating our customers’ expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer.”

It’s good news for Vonage too, which this week launched an iPhone app for its voice service.

Regardless of the reason, AT&T is now cellular VoIP-friendly on the iPhone, saying it has taken the steps necessary to let Apple enable VoIP applications to run on AT&T’s wireless network. AT&T this afternoon informed Apple and the FCC of its decision.

Skype took a vindicated tone: “Since launching our iPhone application six months ago, consumers have downloaded and installed Skype on 10% of all iPhone and iPod touch devices sold,” said Josh Silverman, president of Skype, in a statement. “This clearly demonstrates that our customers are extremely interested in taking Skype conversations with them on the go on the iPhone.”

He added that while Skype is naturally happy about the turn of events, “the positive actions of one company are no substitute for a government policy that protects openness and benefits consumers and we look forward to further innovations that will enable even more mobile Skype calling.”

Source: VON newsletter

Came across the following story about “Courier” – Microsoft’s planned Tablet.

Some nifty features and all …. but will this be something of a game changing?  Read through and decide for yourself.

500x_courier4Mashable waxed poetic about Apple’s mythical Tablet recently (and even seen some more evidence to support it). But Microsoft, too, has a rather attractive looking tablet-like device in the speculative stages as well: the Courier.

Now, a leaked video of the Courier’s user interface sheds more light on some of the design aesthetic behind this still unconfirmed device that appears to be part tablet and part digital planner, with a dual-screen hinged design and pen and finger controls.

In the video, unearthed by Gizmodo, we see a very fluid interface where any item can be drag and dropped easily. The overarching metaphor is apparently dubbed the “infinite journal,” where items can be clipped and stored from the web, annotated and highlighted, moved around, and modified with a palette of drawing and design tools. An on-board camera handles bringing in visuals and documents from the physical world as well. Everything is searchable for later retrieval, with a Courier Pen handling text input duties. Of course the device overall is a touchscreen, and designed with finger control and gestures in mind as well.

Easy Publishing, But No Apps?

According to the video, publishing from your Infinite Journal is easy, with pages and sections exporting to Courier files, Powerpoint presentations, or PDFs. And according to Mary-Jo Foley, the device will run Windows 7 … but not be able to install Windows 7 applications. Say what? Yep — apparently that’s because someone up high thinks the first generation of Microsoft Tablets failed because the apps weren’t specific to the form factor. There could be some truth in there but still — we hope for Microsoft’s sake they come up with a better alternative app store than what they’ve done with the Zune HD to-date.

Check out the video below and let us know what you think: are you sweating this device? Which interests you more: the mythical Apple Tablet, or the mythical Microsoft Courier?

Source:

HSPA is the fastest adopted mobile technology of all time – GSMA

Global HSPA connections will pass the 150 million mark by the end of the summer, the GSM Association announced Wedneday. With more than 300 networks across 127 countries and approaching 1500 HSPA enabled devices readily available, HSPA has firmly established itself as the world’s dominant mobile broadband technology and the fastest adopted mobile technology of all time.

According to Wireless Intelligence AsiaPac accounts for almost 50 million live HSPA connections today and will have over 56 million by this September. EMEA HSPA connections will pass the 50 million mark any day and will have reached almost 60 million by the end of September. The US currently has almost 32 million HSPA connections with the number expected to rise to nearly 37 million by this September. The Americas will have just over four million connections by the end of September.

The growth of HSPA is set to continue, with 200 million connections expected by Q1 2010.

  • With the number of mobile operators in and vendors committed to the GSM family of technologies (HSPA, HSPA+ and LTE) the success of HSPA mobile broadband is attracting a lot of attention from outside the ‘traditional’ mobile industry, GSM Association says.

The Association finds that the consumer electronics, automotive, energy and utility industries are beginning to understand the possibilities of embedding mobile broadband into their products. At the same time governments around the world are making the right spectrum available to support mobile broadband services today and into the future, ensuring their economies benefit from the GDP growth associated with the technology.

Source: Mobile Monday