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Showing posts from August, 2010

iAd Campaign Disappoints

From August 19 through August 25 Cross Forward ran a campaign on the "iAd for Developers" platform for its Audiobooks Premium app. The results were disappointing,the company says.
For all the promise of selling your apps directly within an advertisement, it appears that so far this is not a viable way to drive traffic and create an economically sustainable promotion, the company says.
For $1,251.75, the campaign generated a total of 84 downloads, thus a Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) of ~$15. For a $0.99 app, those economics just can’t work out.
iAd for Developers | Cross Forward Consulting

Be Mobile, Or Dust

Is Amazon Getting Ready to launch a Video Service?

Amazon might be getting ready to expand its video offerings, according to a report released this afternoon by The Wall Street Journal.
The subscription video service that would operate similarly to its current services, which can be watched on the Web or a variety of video devices.
According to The Journal, Amazon has approached a number of media companies to try to get them to sign onto the plan.

Digg Users Don't Like Latest Version

Less than a week after Digg released version 4 of its social news-sharing site, fans have rebelled, flooding Digg with links from a rival sharing site, staging a 'Quit Digg Day,' and prophesying a major drop-off in traffic if the site doesn't return to its roots.
Has Digg Dug its Own Grave?

$1.54 Billion U.S. Mobile Content Revenues in 2010; $3.5 Billion in 2014

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Mobile content revenues will reach $1.54 billion in the United States this year, according to a new report from eMarketer. 

Analysts at eMarketer estimate combined revenues from three principal streams—subscriptions (streaming music and mobile TV services); direct and pay-per-view downloads (full music tracks, games and TV/movie/event programming); and advertising-supported (games, music services and video)—will more than double from 2010 to reach $3.53 billion in 2014.

Gaming is by far the leader in terms of usage and revenues: The number of U.S. mobile gamers is expected to reach 64 million in 2010, driving revenues of $849 million.

Meanwhile the number of US consumers who watch mobile video or television on their mobile devices is expected to reach 23 million this year and draw revenues of $719 million. By 2014, however, mobile video revenues are expected to reach $1.3 billion.

Verizon Business Introduces Hybrid Cloud Computing Solution

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Verizon Business and VMware have launched a new enterprise-class hybrid cloud solution that will enable enterprises to move their applications to the cloud more quickly without compromising security or performance.

The hybrid solution allows enterprise managers to use all their existing VMware tools "in the cloud," just as if they were interacting with the local data centers. All existing firewall and other security measures usable in a local data center also are available when using the cloud computing service as well.

That eases operational chores, maintains security, and also allows managers to gradually test and use cloud computing services without a "flash cut" to the new paradigm. Most enterprise information technology managers are being asked to test cloud computing, but every manager also is responsible for ensuring that current operations are not endangered or disrupted.

The new hybrid capability allows VMware customers to use cloud computing for some task…

Customer Service, iPhone, Combat Churn for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint Nextel

Credit good customer service for Verizon's traditionally low churn, customer appetite for the iPhone for AT&T's performance, and improved customer service for Sprint Nextel's better performance of late.

Mobile Churn Issues: the Youth Element

Churn is a big problem for mobile and all other service providers because younger users simply are less loyal than older users.

Older Adults: Social Media Use Doubles

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While social media use has grown dramatically across all age groups, older users have been especially enthusiastic over the past year about embracing new networking tools. Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22 percent in April 2009 to 42 percent in May 2010.

Between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88 percent--from 25 percent to 47 percent.

During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100 percent--from 13 percent to 26 percent.
By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by 13 percent—from 76 percent to 86 percent.

Older Adults and Social Media | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project

Verizon Encourages Mobile Substitution, in Some Markets

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You might it a bit jarring to see Verizon encouraging customers to replace their landline phone service with mobile service. But there's a good explanation. Verizon operates landline networks in only part of the country. It operates wireless networks nationwide.

So Verizon actually gains if it can convince a landline voice customer outside its wired network service area to switch to the Verizon wireless service. Sprint and T-Mobile USA have an even-easier position. Since neither firm owns any fixed access network assets, both firms likewise can encourage wireless substitution without risking any cannibalization of existing revenues or customer base.

link

Marketing Spending to Rise

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Chief marketing officers surveyed recently by Professor Christine Moorman at Duke's Fuqua School of Business reported that on average their budgets would increase 9.2 percent, a much larger increase than any of the other surveys done in the past two years. Spending on social media also is rising, as you might well expect.

New CMO Survey Reports Marketing Spending to Rise


Borders Drops Prices Of Kobo And Aluratek Devices

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Borders is cutting the prices of its leading e-book reading devices, the Kobo and Aluratek to $129 and $99.99 respectively. The Kobo was previously priced at $149.99 and the Aluratek was priced at $119.99.

Borders also says Velocity Micro’s Android-based Cruz Reader R101 and Cruz Tablet T103 are now available for preorder on Borders.com for $199 and $299 respectively. Borders is currently offering 1.5 million titles through its e-book readers.

As E-Book Wars Heat Up, Borders Drops Prices Of Kobo And Aluratek Devices

Customer Service, iPhone, Combat Churn for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint Nextel

Credit good customer service for Verizon's traditionally low churn, customer appetite for the iPhone for AT&T's performance, and improved customer service for Sprint Nextel's better performance of late.

Is Mobile Search Marketing Finally Here?

Mobile search marketing expert Michael Martin says 2010 is the year when mobile takes off. Aside from a general caveat that anointing any year as the "Year of X" has generally been a contrary indicator, Martin does point out that conversion rates for mobile devices is at least four times higher for local searches, than from other types of browsers.

The reason is that with mobile devices, most people aren't really doing 'search' for research purposes, but doing 'finding' for something close that will meet an immediate need. That makes sense.

Is Mobile Search Marketing Finally Here?

iPads are Content Consumption Devices, Studies Find

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A survey by copywriting firm Cooper Murphy Webb found that iPad owners use them largely for entertainment purposes.

Almost a quarter of respondents said it had become their primary entertainment device, ahead of TV and trailing PCs by just nine percentage points.

To a large extent, iPads and possibly other tablets compete with e-book readers, gaming consoles, mobile phones and TVs more than other PC form factors.

The iPad was considered the top delivery method for newspapers and magazines, and its popularity for books was even greater. Some 41 percent of iPad owners preferred to read on the device, compared to 36 percent of respondents who liked hard copies better.
Also, iPads were the top gaming device for owners of the tablets, beating out consoles by two percentage points.
A study by Ball State University researchers suggests new iPad users deem it best for leisure activities, not content creation.


How iPad Usage is Shaping Up - eMarketer

Clearwire "Rover": Marketing is the Chief Innovation

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Clearwire's new "Rover" prepaid mobile broadband service is ultimately about marketing success, rather than any innovation in the physical or network realm.

Perhaps the most-significant aspect of the plan is not so much the "prepaid" angle but the attempt to create a new "lifestyle" brand aimed at the 18-to-24 demographic.

"Rover" will be available anywhere Clearwire offers service, but the distinctiveness of the service does not lie in its use of mobile Wi-Fi hotspots (other carriers already sell them), or even speed, as Clearwire already sells mobile broadband on a postpaid basis.

Prepaid availability is the bigger story, as well as the range of options offered. The $5 a day and $20 a week plans will tend to stand out in a market that basically relies on two postpaid or prepaid buckets, differentiated mostly by the price and the bandwidth caps each uses.

Some might argue the "4G" network is what makes it different, and there is s…

Clearwire Introduces "Rover" Prepaid Mobile Broadband Service

The service is aimed at the 18 to 24 age demographic and features "no-contract" service.

Do's and Don'ts for Search Campaigns

There are some basic rules for nearly all paid search and organic search campaigns, says Julie Batten, Vice President, Media Strategy atKlick Communications.
Do's and Don'ts for Your Search Campaigns

"Clicks" or "Branding"?

People disagree about the value of "clicks" as a measure of ad effectiveness.
Clicks were the great promise of online media. While traditional advertising could only be measured by sampling, surveys, and other guestimation methods, online advertising was sold as being completely accountable.
These days, there is robust debate about the value of clicks (responses) compared to more-traditional "branding" value. Both are values, ClickZ says.
Sometimes advertisers want to drive traffic; other times they want to build or reinforce brand reputation.

The Great Click Debate

Cisco May Be Making A Run For Skype

Cisco has made an offer to acquire Skype before they complete their IPO process, Techcrunch reports.
Cisco May Be Making A Run For Skype

Is "Social Consumption" a New Trend

You might call it a new "green awareness," a perhaps-permanent change in consumption patterns or something else, but there might be a new trend towards renting, or sharing, physical goods that are infrequently required.
ZipCar is one obvious example, and rental goods of all sorts have always been popular in some contexts. People rent hotel rooms, cars, heavy equipment and all sorts of other products they use infrequently, or situationally, rather than buying them.
What might be new is use of new social networks to arrange the transactions.

Ping - Renting Out Home Belongings Over the Internet - NYTimes.com

New Hurdles for FTTH Investment?

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Is the investment case for fiber to the home networks getting more challenging? Yes, says Rupert Wood, Analysys Mason principal analyst. A shift of revenue, attention and innovation to wireless networks is part of the reason. But the core business case for triple-play services also is becoming more challenging as well.

All of that suggests service providers will have to look outside the traditional end-user services area for sustainable growth. Many believe that will have to come in the form of services provided to business partners who can use network-provided information to support their own commerce and marketing efforts. Those partners might be application developers, content sites, ad networks, ad aggregators or other entities that can partner with service providers to add value to their existing business operations.

Current location, type of device, billing capabilities, payment systems, application programming interfaces and communication services, storage services, profile and…

Google plans pay-per-view films

Google’s YouTube video site is in negotiations with Hollywood’s leading movie studios to launch a global pay-per-view video service by the end of 2010, putting it head-to-head with Apple in the race to dominate the digital distribution of film and television content.

Google has been pitching to the studios on the international appeal of a streaming, on-demand movie service pegged to the world’s most popular search engine and YouTube, according to several people with knowledge of the situation.

Google will use its search technology and YouTube to direct viewers to the new service, which is likely to launch first in the US, with other countries added over time, the people added.
FT.com / Media - Google plans pay-per-view films

Foursquare is Biggest, in Times Square, At Least

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Foursquare might not be the biggest location-based service, but in Times Square, it has the biggest billboard. It's huge.

BlackBerry past its prime?

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It is hard to say with certainty how well Research in Motion will adapt to a world where direction seems to be set by Apple iPhone and Android devices.

It does seem that BlackBerry owners are less attached to their devices than they used to be. Only 42 percent of BlackBerry users say they want to stick with the brand when they buy a new phone, according to the Nielsen Company. For iPhone owners, the same figure is 89 percent, and for Android it’s 71 percent.

BlackBerry past its prime

What Every Exec Needs To Know About The Future of eCommerce Technology | Forrester Blogs

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Mobile e-commerce is going to happen in the cloud, or not at all, one might conclude from some Forrester Research findings.

On average, 8.85 different hosts were involved in delivering an e-ommerce transaction this year in the United States, and it was even slightly higher for German eCommerce transactions.
This year, nearly 20 percent of e-commerce transactions across more than 200 sites included at least one piece of content served by the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) solution. In other words, 20 percent of e-commerce transactions already rely on cloud services provided by Amazon alone.
And appetite for such solutions seems to be growing. About 54 percent of executives are interested in moving to e-commerce solutions based on software-as-a-service.

What Every Exec Needs To Know About The Future of eCommerce Technology | Forrester Blogs:

Why U.S. Mobile Operators Will Not Likely Replicate the Japanese Experience

In Japan, operators have taken control of the whole content, supply and delivery chain, making it easy for people to adapt and use mobile data without any complications, Ericsson Consumer Lab Head Henrik Palsson says.

'They have integrated services, supervised the network to see that everything works and tested applications and the interoperability among networks and operators. They have taken full responsibility for the whole chain, something few operators in other markets have done."
That isn't going to happen in the U.S. market, where the ecosystem is, and will remain, much more fragmented.

Ericsson: Tailoring to the mass market

Clearwire to Launch Prepaid Services

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Clearwire plans to launch a new prepaid service for users of its WiMAX fourth-generation (4G) network. The apparent effort likely will attempt to entice more-casual users to buy service before competing HSPA+ and Long Term Evolution networks launch and basically eradicate the bandwidth advantage Clearwire has had since 2008.

http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1442505/000095012310081459/v56755e8vk.htm

U.S. Telecom Industry Revenue Flat Through 2015

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If you run a publicly-traded company in the telecommunications industry, this revenue forecast by Atlantic-ACM will cause heartburn. 


Between 2009 and 2015, revenue will be flat, in fact declining a bit. 


If you run a public company, you are judged on revenue growth. That inescapable vice suggests just one thing: massive financial trouble ahead for industry players or significant shifts of market share that allow some companies to keep growing at the expense of others. 


Most companies will run hard just to stay in place. But it seems unlikely most companies can do that on a long-term basis. Public companies must grow, or get punished. Public companies that don't grow will be acquired. More than anything else, industry lack of real growth is going to lead to relatively-massive consolidation. 


To be sure, most companies are trying to find other new revenue streams that do not simply take existing market share from other competitors, but actually add new incremental revenue. In all likel…

Video Advertising: Will Pareto Distribution Hold?

Video advertising might be on the cusp of a major advance, at least for some ad networks and a few applications and sites, such as Hulu or YouTube.
What is not likely is that much of the revenue will be gained by smaller firms, if typical market dynamics hold. What one would have to expect is that 20 percent or fewer of the providers will get 80 percent of the video ad revenue.
That Pareto distribution, commonly thought of as the "80/20" rule, occurs normally in business and in many natural processes as well.
Not many markets, if any, ever escape a stable structure of that sort. Video advertising likely will fit into that pattern as well.

The Online Video Debate

Blockbuster Bankruptcy Coming

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Blockbuster has told major Hollywood studios that it’s preparing to file for bankruptcy next month despite several pushes to expand into online and kiosk services, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Blockbuster could file for bankruptcy as early as mid-September.

LA Times: Blockbuster preps for bankruptcy after Netflix, Redbox win

Targeted Display and Video Advertising Will Grow 60% in 2011

Online ad spending growth is being propped up by targeted display and streaming video advertising, says Borrell Associates. Both targeted display ad spending and streaming video ad spending will grow by around 60 percent in 2011. In turn, spending on less-targeted ads such as run-of-site display and national paid search is poised to fall.

"There really is unparalleled ability in the past year, year-and-a-half, to be able to deliver ads targeted to that one person as opposed to whom you think might be visiting a site," says Gordon Borrell, Borell Associates CEO.

"That's peeling off a lot of the growth from run-of-site banner ads," he says.

According to Borrell, targeted display advertising will hit $10.9 billion in total in 2011. Local targeted advertising will reach $2.3 billion, while national is expected to hit $8.6 billion, the company reported. And, while national targeted advertising will grow almost 50 percent, local targeted ads will grow at an even high…

African-Americans, Women and Southerners Talk and Text The Most

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According to Nielsen, African-Americans use the most voice minutes; on average more than 1,300 a month. Hispanics are the next most talkative group, chatting an average of 826 minutes a month. Even Asians/Pacific Islanders, with 692 average monthly minutes, talk more than Whites, who use roughly 647 voice minutes a month.

African-Americans and Hispanics also text the most. Hispanics send and receive around 767 SMS messages a month while African-Americans send and receive around 780 – significantly more than Asians/Pacific Islanders (384 texts a month) and Whites (566 texts a month). The voice and text results are compiled from one year (April 2009-March 2010) of mobile usage data gathered by the The Nielsen Company.

African-Americans, Women and Southerners Talk and Text The Most in the U.S.

One Million More U.S. TV Households

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Nielsen says the number of U.S. TV households will grow by one million for the coming season.

That doesn't seem to portend any shift to online media, does it?

Intuit Press Release - Intuit GoPayment and mophie marketplace Offer Complete Credit Card Solution for iPhone

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"The Complete Credit Card Solution" from Intuit and mophie is available for the iPhone 3G and 3GS for $179.95 at Apple retail stores and soon on Apple.com. It allows merchants and others to accept credit card payments directly on the iPhone.

It works exclusively with the Intuit GoPayment App, which is available for free from the App Store.
GoPayment, including the Intuit merchant account, offers competitive pricing at $12.95 a month, a 1.7 to 3.7 percent discount rate and $0.30 to $0.34 per transaction fee. There are no long-term contracts, cancellation, gateway or set-up fees, and one account can enable up to 50 users.

Intuit GoPayment and mophie marketplace Offer Complete Credit Card Solution for iPhone

SIP Trunking Wins Because of 6-Month Payback Rule

A six-month payback project is an easy sale because it can typically be done without expending any capital (perhaps by leasing capital gear) and it usually pays for itself by the end of the fiscal year, when one would otherwise have to explain being over budget.

In fact, a number of IT professionals tell me their company only invests in IT projects with paybacks of six months or less.
That makes SIP trunking an easier sell than most.

The Six-Month Rule

Is Social Media the Next Unified Communications Wave?

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Is it possible social media and social networking are the next wave of unified communications development? Some might argue it is, based on the fact that 73 percent of respondents to a recent Yankee Group survey say they use social media tools at work.

Click on image for a larger view.

While tools such as video conferencing, corporate chat and workplace forums are primarily used in the workplace, text messaging, blogs, consumer social networking and chat are important for both work and personal reasons.
Considering roughly 40 percent of respondents participate in blogs or use social networking for both work and personal use, companies might start looking at social media as a part of the UC mix.
Yankee Group :: Research Report

Google Adds Real-Time Search

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Google has added a special "real time" search application to its suite of search-related tools, giving "Google realtime" its own dedicated web page.




1 Million Gmail Calls in 24 Hours

Somebody likes calling from inside Gmail. Google's "Call Phone" apparently has been used to make one million calls in about the last 24 hours.

tweet from Google

Unified Communications Seems Less Important than Conferencing, Survey Suggests

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For almost a decade now, the industry has touted unified communications (UC) and VoIP as technologies that can help individuals collaborate, improve worker productivity and dramatically lower the total cost of corporate communications.

However, despite the promise and hype, the majority of UC applications deployed today revolve around basic conferencing services and unified messaging.
UC applications such as presence and mobile integration remain low in both adoption and plans to adopt. Click on the image for a larger view.

Yankee Group :: Research Report

Google Adds Real-Time Search, With its Own Web Page

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Google has added a special "real time" search application to its suite of search-related tools, giving "Google realtime" its own dedicated web page.

When it firstintroduced our real-time search featureslast December, Google wanted to provide real-time content from a comprehensive set of sources, integrated right into your usual search results. Now you can access Google Realtime Search at its own address, www.google.com/realtime(the page is rolling out now and should be available soon. Use this link if you want to try out the new features right away).

Premises IP Telephony Issues About What You'd Expect

A survey of 475 ShoreTel prospective customers found key issues you might expect, including desires for simplicity, reliability, ease of use and management, reduced costs, and easier integration with business processes.

Nearly 81 percent of respondents expressed a desire to simplify their communications system yet only 47 percent, less than half, have actual goals in place to help them achieve this.

Of system capabilities most important to IT managers,  80 percent of respondents indicated ease of use for end users, 80 percent indicated reliability, and 76 percent indicated ease of management.

The survey also revealed that the highest ranked causes of complexity are “Integrating communications system with business processes,” “integrating new equipment with legacy systems,” and “the number of remote or mobile workers.”

The top three system qualities that are most important to end users include ease of use, reliability, and sound quality.

Among the issues seen as most challenging were m…

For Enterprise Non-Traditional Stakeholders, Online Networks Will Be Key

Large enterprises these days find they have lots of non-traditional stakeholders, apart from investors, employees and customers. The largest enterprises have to deal with non-governmental organizations, special interest groups, research groups, citizen groups, universities and charitable organizations, for example.

The direct risks for large enterprises are damage to company reputation as well as the costs of managing such relationships, loss of market share and sales revenue, according to a an Economist Intelligence Unit study.

The study found 78 percent of the respondents say interaction with special-interest groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or citizen groups is important to their business, while 33 percent say that online communities will be their most important category of "non-traditional stakeholder" in five years.

In part, the reason is that the non-traditional stakeholders will be using presence-enabled applications, converged fixed-mobile communications…

Apple's Enteprise Strategy? Target People

It’s possible Apple will become more enterprise-centric in the future, but not because Apple will spend much more effort than it now does to reach enterprise buyers.
Instead, Apple aims its products and people, not enterprises. If people want to use its products at work, Apple assumes they will.

Apple Doesn’t Target Markets. It Targets People

Social Media Affects SMB Purchasing

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A recent study by the SMB Group gathered data from 475 respondents working at companies with less than 1,000 employees.

The study found that social media sites have significant relevance when small or mid-sized business executives and personnel are weighing product or service purchases.

Click on image for a larger view. 
You might suspect younger users would rely on social media and the study suggests that is true. But the study also finds that users in all age ranges consider social media significant sources of information.
The differences are that older users are more likely to rely on advice from colleagues than younger users are. For users 34 or younger, colleagues and social media are about equally important.
For user 35 to 40 colleagues are slightly more important. For users older than 40 there still is a tendency to rely on advice form colleagues. But even in the worst case, social media is viewed as more important than advice from business advisors.
Study: Social Media Affects S…

Consumer study shows changing TV behavior

Internet-based TV is growing rapidly, with 50 percent of the consumers using it every week, says Ericsson.
The study shows that people are spending up to 35 percent of their leisure time watching TV and video content, and that consumers are becoming more aware of new technologies, which in turn are creating new patterns of media consumption.

At least once a week, 93 percent are still watching scheduled 'linear' broadcast TV, but the role of broadcast TV is changing owing to the introduction of new distribution channels.
More than 70 percent of consumers surveyed are streaming, downloading or watching recorded broadcast TV on a weekly basis, and 50 percent are using internet-based on-demand TV/video every week.
Data was collected in China, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and US.

Consumer study shows changing TV behavior - Ericsson

Many Enterprises Balking at Social Media?

A large majority of attendees polled as part of a recent webinar aren't integrating social media with their call center operations at the moment, and almost half say they have no intention of integrating social media and communications.
No Jitter | blog | Many Enterprises Balking at Social Media Integration?

94% of U.S. Workers Stay Connected to Work While on Vacation

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All but six percent of users polled by iPass say they stay connected, at least some of the time, to work, even when on vacation, a new survey by iPass has found.

Only 5.9 per cent of workers disconnect from the office while on leave, the study found. About 58 percent report they connect at least some days when on vacation. About 36 percent report they connect at least part of every day when they are on vacation.

For better or worse, most U.S. workers appear to be working at least some of the time when on vacation.

The majority of respondents (53.6 percent) never truly disconnect from technology when on vacation.  For the 46.4 percent of mobile employees that do on occasion disconnect, their reasons were mostly situational, such as being in a location with poor connectivity.

Even while on vacation, 94 percent of mobile employees connect to the Internet, and the majority connect for work, pointing out the crucial role mobile devices now play in work life, the added productivity firms a…

Is there such a thing as too much mobile spectrum?

UK-based Colaego Consulting warns that a spectrum race might be dangerous for European mobile operators, though good for consumers. The reason?
New bidding for Long Term Evolution spectrum in the 2.6GHz and 700/800MHz bands will essentially be an "arms race" dictated more by competitive concerns than by actual end user demand for new services based on use of those airwaves.
European mobile operators are smart enough to remember an earlier, expensive race to acquire 3G spectrum, moves which nearly bankrupted a couple of carriers, and which proved difficult to convert into new revenues from new services.
Basically, Colaego Consulting warns that the same thing could happen again, leading to a situation where spectrum supply can outstrip capacity demands and lead to lower retail prices.
It seems unlikely any executives are unaware of that potential pitfall. As with fiber-to-customer investments, bandwidth demand looks to keep growing, so operators essentially do need to keep invest…

Blair Levin on Network Neutrality

Blair Levin talks about network neutrality.

Verizon on Network Neutrality Issues

Verizon executive Tom Tauke talks about the firm's views on network neutrality

Blair Levin on U.S. Broadband

Blair Levin wrote the Federal Communication Commission's "National Broadband Plan," so you can argue he knows a thing or two about both broadband and the policy and financial issues involved.

95% of Workers Remain Connected When Not at Work, iPass Finds

Only 5.9 per cent of workers disconnect from the office while on leave, and 40 per cent have tried in-flight Wi-Fi to keep them connected, a new survey by iPass has found.

The mobile device continues to be a tether creating an on-demand workforce. The majority of respondents (53.6 percent) never truly disconnect from technology. For the 46.4 percent of mobile employees that do on occasion disconnect, their reasons were mostly situational, such as being in a location with poor connectivity. 
Even while on vacation, 94 percent of mobile employees connect to the Internet, and the majority connect for work.
Mobile workers are used to carrying multiple mobile devices. Nearly 97 percent of mobile employees carry two or more mobile devices, and almost 50 percent carried three or more.
Mobile workers use their mobile devices to blend work and personal business. More than 90 percent of employees use their smartphone for both work and personal business. Even among users of consumer devices like the…

Call Landlines or Mobiles From Inside Gmail

The service initially is available in the United States. For at least the balance of the year, calls to U.S. and Canadian telephone numbers are free. International calls are billed at rates comparable to what Google Voice already offers.

Google Launches “Call phones in Gmail”

Google has launched a "Skype-like" calling capability from within Gmail. If you have a a Google Voice number and account, that number is what people will see as the "calling number." Others will use a generic number. Calls within the United States and Canada are free, and the service initially is available only in the United States. International calls are billed at rates identical to, or similar to, what Google Voice already offers.

Clearwire Says it Will Serve a "New Customer Segment"

Clearwire Corporation says it has plans to serve a new customer segment, and will tell us all what the new segment is on Aug. 30, 2010.

Some Tablets Are Blurring Line with Smartphones

Tablet manufacturers are experimenting with demand for devices with different form factors, especially size.

European Broadband Speeds Up 20%, Prices Down 8% between December 2009 and June 2010

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Following 18 months of relative stability during the recession, competition is once again driving a reduction in prices in the European fixed broadband market, Analysys Mason says. The average price paid for a fixed broadband service bundle (that is, a single-, double- or triple-play package) has declined by about five Euros between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010 to 40.7 EUR per month.

At the same time, access speeds continue to increase. Almost 20 percent of the tariffs tracked during the second quarter of 2010 offered downstream bandwidths of 30 Mbps or greater (although the proportion of subscribers that actually take these ultra-fast services is likely to be much lower than 20 percent).

There are several obvious implications. As we have come to expect, speeds keep increasing, while prices per megabit per second continue to fall. Given discussions about increasing U.S. broadband speeds, it is worth noting that where 30 Mbps service is available, at prices…

Google to improve YouTube mobile site for mobile marketing

Google is improving its YouTube service on mobile devices, which could provide a boost to brands planning a viral video campaign.

The site will be built on HTML5 standard and can be accessed via the phone's web browser, which will provide viewers with better quality videos to watch.

Mobile users of YouTube will also be given enhanced social networking features which will make it easier to share video links on Twitter, Facebook and Google Buzz.

DMA: Google to improve YouTube mobile site for mobile marketing

Apple in talks on 99-cent TV show rentals

Apple Inc. is reportedly renewing efforts to get TV networks to offer their shows on iTunes for as little as 99 cents per show.

The report from Bloomberg, based on unnamed sources, comes as Apple is widely expected to be ready to announce a new product called iTV next month.
Apple in talks on 99-cent TV show rentals

66% of U.S. Broadband Customers Buy Services Running Between 3 Mbps to 25 Mbps

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Many have focused on those portions of a recent Federal Communications Commission report on the state of U.S. broadband that suggest 14 million to 24 million Americans cannot get broadband access at speeds of 4 Mbps or higher.

read the report here..

But the FCC also released another report with some perhaps-surprising color on broadband access.

read the report here

One interesting factoid is that 66 percent of U.S. consumers already are buying access services running at bandwidths between 3 Mbps and 25 Mbps, with 31 percent using services running between 6 Mbps and 10 Mbps.

Click on the image for a larger view.

About 16 percent already buy services running between 10 Mbps and 25 Mbps. About nine percent buy services running at rates between 3 Mbps and 6 Mbps.

Keep in mind that the study also includes mobile broadband connections that are highly valuable, but run slower than fixed connections. Those connections already represent 25 percent of total connections. Since most of those connec…

Shorter, Fewer Calls Shows Shift of Communications

According to Nielsen, the average number of mobile phone calls we make is dropping every year, after hitting a peak in 2007.
And our calls are getting shorter: In 2005 they averaged three minutes in length; now they’re almost half that.

We’re moving, in other words, toward a fascinating cultural transition: the death of the telephone call, says Wired magazine.
This shift is particularly stark among the young. Some college students I know go days without talking into their smartphones at all. I was recently hanging out with a twentysomething entrepreneur who fumbled around for 30 seconds trying to find the option that actually let him dial someone.

This generation doesn’t make phone calls, because everyone is in constant, lightweight contact in so many other ways: texting, chatting, and social-network messaging.
Clive Thompson on the Death of the Phone Call

Is U.S. Broadband Really "Deplorable"?

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Some observers, apparently without reading the actual detail of a recent Federal Communications Commission report on the state of U.S. broadband access, have deplored the woeful state of broadband in the United States.

But they miss the many nuggets buried in the report, or the subtlety and complexity of assessing where broadband now stands.

Some readers will miss a major definitional change made in the report, which redefines broadband as a downstream speed of 4 Mbps or more.
Click on the image for a larger view.

There is in one sense no particular reason to quarrel with any particular set of figures for the broadband threshold. Some figure of merit has to be used. But the FCC rather significantly redefined the standard from the old "200 kbps" figure of merit to 4 Mbps. That has the effect of dramatically expanding the ranks of users who today do not have broadband today, but did yesterday.

That makes comparisons over time more difficult. But the FCC has made other changes …

Nook Drives 21% Increase in Revenue for Barnes & Noble

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Barnes & Noble has reported a loss of $62.5 million for its first fiscal quarter ending July 31, compared to a profit of $12.3 million the year before, and despite a 21 percent increase in year-over-year revenue to $1.4 billion.

Sales at Barnes & Noble retail locations continued to decline (by 0.9 percent), while online sales jumped 42 percent to $145 million year-over-year, exceeding the company’s own expectations.

The company cited sales of its e-reading device, the Nook, as the driving force behind the increase in online revenue.

Nook Drives 21% Increase in Revenue for Barnes & Noble

Apple Loses 16% Mobile Web Market Share While Android Volume Increases 400%

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Android continues its surge in mobile Web browsing market share at the expense of Apple, who’s seen its share decrease by over 16 percent between the first and second quarters of 2010, according to mobile analytics firm Bango.

Apple showed the slowest quarterly volume growth of just 13 percent, while the volume of mobile web browsing from Android phones in the US grew by 400 percent for the same period.
On the device front, HTC and Sony Ericsson showed the largest volume growth of mobile web visits in the US with an increase of 162 percent and 148 percent respectively. This represented a growth in market share between quarters of 94 percent and 84 percent.

Apple Loses 16% Mobile Web Market Share While Android Volume Increases 400%

300 Million LTE Subscribers by 2015

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There will be 300 million Long Term Evolution subscribers by 2015, Juniper Research now forecasts.

Bacteria rush in to gobble up oil plumes from Deepwater

Researchers have discovered a large contingent of silent partners in the Deepwater oil spill cleanup—bacteria. Two samples of a deep-sea oil plume show that a high number of microbes have populated the oily area and are hacking away at the hydrocarbon concentration.
The bacteria also seem to be using relatively little oxygen to metabolize parts of the oil, minimizing their own environmental impact.
One doesn't have to agree about how well the containment or clean-up efforts were handled to note that large, complex systems sometimes can heal themselves rather well, despite our human failures.

Bacteria rush in to gobble up oil plumes from Deepwater

$4B Cut in Verizon, AT&T Wireline Spending

Analyst Dan Burstein is a smart guy. He's taken a look at Verizon and AT&T capital spending and finds Verizon's wireline capital spending in the first six months of 2010 was $3.35 billion, down nearly $1billion from last year.

The numbers at AT&T are similar, he guesses. AT&T cut U-Verse spending by a third last year.
Dan says lots of carriers reduced capital investment in hopes the broadband stimulus funds could be used, instead of their own capital. That's undoubtedly true in many cases, but likely not for AT&T and Verizon, neither of which, as far as I can tell, applied for any funds.
Some of us might suggest other, entirely rational reasons for why that lower rate of investment might be happening.
A rational executive looking at where growth prospects are highest would logically conclude it lies in wireless, not wireline services. A rational investor might argue the returns are higher overseas than in the U.S. market.
A rational executive might conclude…

Global mobile data traffic nearly triples over last year

Ericsson's latest measurements show mobile data grew 10 times faster than voice over the last year.
Mobile broadband currently accounts for only 10 percent of total mobile subscriptions but a rapidly increasing majority of the traffic.
Ericsson's measurement of actual traffic in networks around the world show that global mobile data has nearly tripled in the last year, growing more than 10 times faster than voice.
Mobile data traffic continues to grow exponentially even after the historic cross over point in December 2009 when data first exceeded voice.

According to Ericsson statistics, global measured mobile data traffic stands at nearly 225,000 terabytes per month as of the second quarter of 2010.
Global mobile data traffic nearly triples in 1 year - Ericsson

US energy use is dropping and shifting to renewables

Analysts at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore Labs have run the numbers on the US energy use in 2009, and come up with similar results to those obtained when examining the country's carbon emissions: energy use is dropping at a pace that is faster than would be expected based on the slowing economy alone.
Even better, the growth in renewable energy, coupled with increased use of natural gas, is displacing significant amounts of coal.
It seems not to be fashionable at this moment to argue people and organizations will act, on their own, to "go green," "recycle" or take any other set of desirable actions we might think of.
Yet, that is what people and organizations do, in markets where people are free to deploy their own resources, and where incentives exist to encourage the desired behaviors.

US energy use is dropping and shifting to renewables

Voice Usage Relatively Stable in Most Age Cohorts, Except Those 34 and Younger

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Voice usage per person is roughly stable in most age categories 35 and above, data from Nielsen suggests, at between 400 minutes to 900 minutes a month.

But voice usage per month seems to be dropping in the 34 and younger cohorts, even though younger users tend to have the highest usage, with activity declining steadily in every older age cohort.

Intensity of Texting Grows Over Time

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The amount of texting people in just about every age category is increasing over time, as more messages originate and are responded to it that format, data from Nielsen suggests.

Voice Usage and Texting Trends Headed in Opposite Directions

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You can see where this is going. Younger users text more than they talk, and though today's users 25 and above still talk more than they text, the usage pattern is uniform: younger age cohorts text more than older age cohorts.

So as each age cohort advances, one might predict that texting behavior will grow over time. How much it grows is the only real question.

Users 18 or younger actually"talk" about as much as users 55 to 64. One suspects an awful lot of "voice" activity is of the coordination and collaboration sort, so that younger and mid-life workers might be in work groups that require more coordination than workers 55 to 64.

Samsung's First Tablet is Coming

It's Fine to Disagree with Google-Verizon Net Neutrality Agreement, But Disagree with the Actual Agreement

Many critics are wrongly deriding the Google-Verizon agreement on network neutrality as a "two-tiered Internet," which he called "dead wrong," says Tom Tauke, Verizon's executive vice president of public affairs.

Tauke pointed out the the deal explictly prevents Verizon from offering anything other than "best effort" Internet, with no packet prioritization, on its fixed network.

Internet access then would remain a simple best effort access, with no "better" tiers of service allowable on Verizon's part. If application providers decide that is something they want to do, all initiative rests with them.

On the other hand, one can imagine many useful managed services that would benefit from quality-of-service measures. Broadband, in other words, is more than simple Internet access. It also is the platform for "tele-work, health-care monitoring, smart grids, smart transportation" and other services, Tauke said.

Some will argue the ru…