Mobile Carriers' Walled Garden Under Siege


This little beauty ties a 3G modem (this one is running on the Verizon network) to a WiFi router. Lots of people can share one mobile data connection, all at the same time. Netgear thinks they’re doing a favor for the mobile phone carriers. Oddly enough, they don’t have relationships with any yet.

The Consumer Electronics Association identified four major trends that will drive the consumer electronics in 2009. Two depend on the wireless data industry to make it happen: mobile devices that provide the same user experience as in-home or in-office gizmos, and devices with embedded Internet capability.… More

Live from CES Unveiled, pre-press day, Tuesday 6 January 2009

Last to first, real time tweets from Las Vegas…

  • Tethering is deciding battle between mobile carriers & CE industry. CE guys don’t get it, think it’s a tech problem. It’s the money!
  • Novatel Wireless hasn’t signed any carriers yet. Expects to Real Soon Now. If they do, it’s a significant market signal re tethering.
  • Novatel Wireless also into tethering. Selling gizmo combining mobile data card, embedded Linux, WiFi tethering. Serves 5 users at once.
  • Blaupunkt has Internet car radio.
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Live from Showstoppers Media Event at MacWorld 2009

Last to first, realtime tweets from Showstoppers event at MacWorld in San Francisco, 5 January 2009…

  • Advice to Truphone: go ahead, stick it to The Man!
  • Truphone guy sez he’s heard about something called hacking somewhere but doesn’t know what it means. Really..
  • I will try Truphone next week from New Zealand, if I can figure out how to load it on my hacked iphone.
  • Drobo showing usual data back up stuff, it’s good but expensive, now offering a Linux NAS.
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Recession Can't Hurt Consumer Electronics Retailers. They're Already Dead.

21st Century retailing will be governed by a new Iron Triangle:

  • Consumer information.
  • Volume selling.
  • Physical presence.

Online retailers have inexhaustible information and limitless volume. Consumers save time and money.

Big box retailers have as much volume, and a physical presence that allows consumers to touch and feel products however they choose, and have the instant gratification of an on-the-spot purchase. Customers stay in control.

Manufacturers can sit back and enjoy the ride, or they can build the value of their brands by combining their ultimate control of information with a physical and/or virtual presence that promotes a direct personal relationship with consumers.… More

Live from the Oulu wireless technology conference in San Jose

Real time Tweets from the Discover Oulu wireless technology conference in San Jose on 18 November 2008…

  • At Oulu wireless conference in San Jose, per Purnima Kochikar, Nokia biz dev: Indian mobile users buying 10 rupee (25 cent) prepay cards. Devices are status symbols in developing world, services aren’t. People will buy smartphone but not service, just to put the phone on a table at a meeting. 11:20 AM Nov 18th.
  • 1,000 radios per person in near term.
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Redefining municipal wireless

Municipal wireless was declared dead at the Wireless Communications Association’s recent symposium in San Jose, but the picture that emerged from three days of discussion, debate and presentations at the European Wireless and Digital Cities Congress in Barcelona this week was more comprehensive and nuanced. And optimistic.

The difference lies how you define municipal wireless. Older, more familiar models are certainly dead. No one expects a private company to invest in building a city-wide WiFi network to provide public Internet access, whether free or for a price.… More

The future of wireless internet service

Forget trying to build a wireless Internet business with any idea of serving people in their homes or businesses. In general, wireless technologies don’t work as well as the hard-wired options. Wireless Internet service will succeed where wireless technology holds an advantage.

Wireless broadband technology has three advantages over landlines:

  1. It is ubiquitous.
  2. It can be rapidly deployed for a far lower initial capital outlay.
  3. It excels at delivering the same bit stream to many people at the same time.
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A brief postmortem on the wireless Internet utility

Nearly all of the city-scale, mainly WiFi-based wireless ISPs of the past three years are dead. Some, like Philadelphia, lumber on as zombie ventures. A few small town systems will continue to operate as long as the social and political consensus supports the subsidy required. And there are a couple of big city projects that haven’t burned through their initial operating capital yet.

But the rest are dead. The disease that killed them was cash flow hemorrhage, brought on by virulent churn.… More

Skating through nuclear winter

The mood was grim, taken at face value, at the Wireless Communication Alliance’s annual Venture Capital panel, held in conjunction with the Wireless Communication Association’s symposium, in San Jose on Wednesday, 5 November 2008. VCs were saying things like “nuclear winter” and “survival is the new growth”. It sounded like they were concentrating on keeping their existing portfolio companies alive, rather than investing in new ventures. The two exit routes they rely on — acquisitions and IPOs— are largely blocked right now, so they’re marking time.… More

Live from the Wireless Communications Association International symposium

Best quote: “Survival is the new growth”. Tim Chang, Norwest Venture Partners.

Also from the Wednesday, 5 November 2008 sessions at the San Jose Fairmont…

  • Clearwire CEO Benjamin Wolff upbeat about market for mobile Internet access, compares it to mobile phone opportunity 20 years ago.
  • Alvarion VP Mohammad Shakouri saying Wimax is about mobile service to non-phone devices at a cost per bit that’s affordable for users and profitable for network operators. Says there are 400 WiMAX networks operating now in 130 countries, with 480 devices manufactured.
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