Showing posts from November, 2011

Tablets are Not PCs, Google Finds

One of Google’s studies of tablet use over a two-week period, which had users recording every occasion that they used their tablet, shows that tablets really are not PCs, any more than smart phones are used in the same way that PCs are used.

Most consumers use their tablets for fun, entertainment and relaxation while they use their desktop computer or laptop for work, Google User Experience Researchers Jenny Gove and John Webb say. About 91 percent of the time that people spend on their tablet devices is for personal rather than work related activities.

And, as it turns out, when a consumer gets a tablet,  they quickly migrate many of their entertainment activities from laptops and smart phones to this new device.

The most frequent tablet activities are checking email, playing games and social networking. The study also found that people are doing more activities in shorter bursts on weekdays (social networking, email) while engaging in longer usage sessions on weekends (watching videos…

Enterprises Going Mobile Faster than Expected

Global enterprises are shifting to mobile-only communications more rapidly than expected, a new study sponsored by BroadSoft suggests. Notably, 25 percent  of enterprise IT decision makers believe desk phones will be replaced by mobile phones within two years, while 82 percent of enterprises have employees currently using mobile applications for communications and collaboration. Enterprises embrace mobile

The survey, conducted by Cohen Research Group, gathered insight from 200 U.S. and 200 UK IT decision makers (CXOs, VPs, Directors) at enterprises of all sizes.

Some 44 percent of enterprises surveyed have at least a quarter of their workforce operating solely using a mobile phone. Some 30 percent of enterprises support tablets as well. You might think the trend would be more pronounced at smaller enterprises, but the survey suggests the mobile substitution trend is most pronounced in the mid-market and enterprise segments of the market. This tends to be most true for organizations wit…

Small Business Social Media Channels

U.S. small businesses think Facebook is a useful and effective marketing tool, according to Constant Contact. About 83 percent of respondents say Facebook is "very" effective or "moderately" effective as a marketing tool. 

About 47 percent think Twitter is similarly useful. 

Will Brands Be Successful on Google

Australia National Broadband Network Faces Cost Overruns, Demand Issues

Capital investment for the National Broadband Network will top $50 billion, while slower-than-expected development of digital video content could put at risk the financial returns for the ultra-fast network, a confidential report states. 

The Australian government has been told by its own corporate advisers, Greenhill Caliburn, that costs will be dramatically higher than the $35.9 billion in capital costs the government has been claiming. 

Take rates also have been lower than many had expected. So far, 11 percent to 16 percent buy rates have been seen. Keep in mind that those buy rates reflect sales by all retail providers in each market, not the share held by any single contestant. Costs too high? The Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network has warned that NBN Co may be showing early signs of cost-blowouts and delays, with timeframe slippage and higher than expected operating expenditure recorded during the last six months. Retail pricing an issue?

In the committee's latest…

Google’s Six Minute History Of Search

Here's a six-minute video clip that describing Google's history as a search company, from its earliest days of Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s PageRank algorithm to its more recent feature launches, like Google Instant. 

The video features interviews from key members who have worked on Google Search, including Google Fellows Ben Gomes and Amit Singhal, and Google VP Marissa Mayer, who led Search for a decade before taking the helm of Google’s local products. Google’s Six Minute Recap Of The History Of Search

Rogers exploring potential of LTE

Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed says Long Term Evolution will allow Rogers to create over-the-top entertainment video services that resemble Netflix more than traditional cable TV, and be available both on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, as well as TVs equipped with Internet access, or Internet-connected game consoles.

The remarks appear to refer to ways video entertainment can become a revenue stream for Rogers in areas where it does not provide fixed network cable TV services, for example.

Rogers, which provides cable television services in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Ontario, says it won't provide cable TV services it offers to those customers, to connected tablets and televisions outside those areas.

At least in part, that would be necessary since content owners do not seem likely to allow such uses of their licensed video content. Rogers exploring potential of LTE

The Diffusion Group (TDG) predicts that by 2020 the consumption of Internet video — content stored a…

Cord Avoiders the Big Issue Now

About 200,000 fewer subscribers will buy entertainment video services in 2012, analysts at Credit Suisse predict. In large part, the modest contraction can be blamed on weak formation of new households and a growing number of new households that are avoiding subscription TV subscriptions altogether. More than "cord cutting," the abandonment of video services by customers that used to buy such services, the new weakness is among people who would otherwise have been starting their own households or becoming potential consumers for the first time.

The Credit Suisse analysts emphasized that they remain optimistic on cable and satellite sector businesses, but see the developing new problem as "cord-avoiders," households that are relying on video alternatives in an arguably new way. 

Many new households are not signing up for cable or satellite, the analysts said. While there were 1.8 million households formed, according to U.S. Census estimates cited by the report, only …

Could Deutsche Telekom Buy Sprint-Nextel?

Though virtually all the acquisition and merger talk involving T-Mobile USA has involved some other entity buying the Deutsche Telekom unit, at least one observer speculates about whether T-Mobile USA could be a big acquirer.

The notion is that Deutsche Telekom could buy Sprint Nextel, for roughly one times that firm's annual revenue. Sprint’s marketcap is $7.2 billion. Its long-term debt is $16.3 billion against a cash position of only $3.7 billion. The total cost of an acquisition would be $30 billion if shareholders got some premium. That is nearly as much as Sprint’s annual revenue of $32 billion. Will Deutsche Telekom Buy Sprint-Nextel (S)? - 24/7 Wall St.Could DT Buy Sprint?

The $4 billion break-up fee if AT&T cannot get regulatory approval to buy T-Mobile USA would help. Some will question how much help that amount could provide. DT faces significant investment challenges related to the coming Long Term Evolution network that must be funded.

Some will challenge the notion…

Top 10 Cloud Predictions for 2012

The cloud computing market will face some bumps as it continues to grow, says Forrester Research analyst James Staten. In part, that is because greater reliance on cloud services will raise the risk of exposure to outages, for example.

But one of the subsidiary challenges for some parts of the enterprise and business computing ecosystem. In particular, cloud services might pose a direct challenge to channel partners who typically serve the smaller and mid-sized business segments. 

"The channel will face the music," says Staten. "Reselling isn’t good enough anymore."

"For years I and my analyst brethren have been telling the value-added reseller market that they need to move away from revenue dependence on the resell of goods and services," Staten says. "Many have listened and now garner more revenue from consulting and unique intellectual property.
Here's the fundamental problem, he argues: "the cloud doesn’t need you."

Cloud services are a…

67% of Indian E-Commerce is Mobile

About 67 percent of e-commerce in India happens in mobile and consumer appliances, says Rajan Anandan, managing director of Google India. 

Smartphone adoption is growing in the country at a rate of 56 percent year-over-year, with 21 million smartphones sold in India in 2011 so far. He said that the sector was expected to reach sales of 100 million units per year by 2015, a 476 percent growth in a span of four years. Mobile search queries highest from India at Google

AT&T Revising T-Mobile USA Bid?

AT&T is revising its proposal to buy T-Mobile USA, emphasizing asset sales that could reach 40 percent of T-Mobile USA assets. Presumably the plan would build on AT&T’s argument that the deal should be considered market by market, and involve asset divestitures in some local markets.

That might bolster the argument that some more regional players, such as MetroPCS Wireless and Leap Wireless, could become more-national challengers with the new assets.  AT&T proposes T-Mobile USA sales

The issue, some would note, is that the local divestiture has been a staple of mobile acquisitions in the recent past, and none of that activity appears to have slackened the growing concentration at the top of of the mobile market, as much competition might be argued to exist more broadly within the mobile market, or in the broader communications market.

In city after city, and in the country as a whole, Federal Communications Commission data show the wireless market has grown more highly conc…

Telcos Will Lead, App Providers Will Gain, in Mobile Payments

The existence of mobile wallet services operated by Google, PayPal and Isis raises an obvious question: which contestants will “win” the battle to become the dominant or leading wallet services? In principle, one might argue that over-the-top application providers, mobile service providers, clearinghouse networks such as Visa or MasterCard, banks or other payment specialists could emerge as the leading providers of such services.

Researchers at ABI Research say it is the likes of Google and Apple that ultimately will lead the market, though mobile service providers are highly likely to claim the most share initially.

While mobile service providers will havethe majority of NFC-based mobile wallet users early on, their market share will erode between 2012 and 2016 as Google and Apple assume greater share.

“By the end of 2012, Google will prove that Google Wallet is a hit with consumers,” says Mark Beccue, ABI Research senior analyst. “By 2014, we will see Google Wallets supported alongs…

What Next for T-Mobile USA?

AT&T easily will survive any failure of its bid to buy T-Mobile USA. T-Mobile USA, on the other hand, will continue to face strategic problems. A distant fourth in the U.S. mobile market, with no spectrum available to launch a fourth-generation network, T-Mobile USA either has to spend lots more money to try and catch up to AT&T and Verizon Wireless, or must exit the U.S. market. Few think its parent, Deutsche Telekom, has the appetite for investing.

That suggests T-Mobile USA will still be looking to sell, in the event of a failure of the AT&T bid to buy T-Mobile USA. One issue is the pool of potential buyers. But a significant strategic issue is the value of the asset in a mobile market where being "in the middle" is difficult.

AT&T and Verizon Wireless clearly lead the higher end of the market. Many other larger-regional providers lead the lower end of the market, especially the prepaid segment. That leaves firms such as Sprint and T-Mobile USA in an arguab…

Mobile Wallet: Consumers Are Hesitant, For Good Reason

A new survey by Compete suggests most consumers are not yet inclined to use mobile wallet services, despite apparent awareness of around two thirds of respondents. 

About two thirds of people who use debit cards and credit cards say they aren’t planning to start anytime soon. Just seven percent of banking consumers indicated that they would be very or extremely likely to start using their phone or tablet to make a bill payment. 

About five percent of banking consumers said they would be likely to start using their mobile device to make a deposit. Most also say they aren’t likely to start using their mobile device to make a point-of-sale purchase.

None of that should be surprising. Consumers need a clear value proposition, and it still isn't clear that has been established. Mobile Wallet: Consumers Are Hesitant Few wallet services have been able to fully develop the features they believe will clearly add significant value for consumers, and few retailers are able to support those feat…

40% Drop in SMS revenue by 2015

Industry executives surveyed by Telco 2.0 believe it is possible that over the top messaging services will displace about 40 percent of text messagin revenue by 2015, at least in Europe and the Middle East.

In part, that might be a function of generally higher costs in such markets. Costs for consumers in North America tend to be lower than in Europe, for example.

The main cause is competitive pressure from Facebook, Skype, Google and BBM. Mobile voice isn’t that far behind, with a 20 percent decline foreseen by surveyed executives. 40% drop in SMS revenue by 2015

Economic Eras are Rough During the Transition

Fundamental economic transitions always are times of social stress. The transition from agriculture to manufacturing was hugely disruptive. We might be in the midst of another great transformation from manufacturing to "information" as the basis of the economy. If history is any guide, the disruptions we are seeing are a byproduct.

The good news about information technology, according to Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, the authors of Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy is that it’s making America more innovative, productive and richer.

But the bad news, the two MIT professors add, is that this new wealth, innovation and productivity is being spread unequally, so that only a minority of Americans are reaping the benefits from it. The Internet Is Making Us Both Richer and More Unequal

Ofcom Describes Net Neutrality Policies

A new position paper by U.K. regulator Ofcom on network neutrality relies heavily on competition to maintain an open Internet access business, while at the same time generally allowing Internet service providers to use network management tools so long as they are transparent about such practices.

At the same time, Ofcom says it will watch for any signs that “best effort” Internet access, which does not allow any packet prioritization, does not coexist with any managed services ISPs may offer.

In fact, the Ofcom rules are less restrictive than current U.S. rules, which do not allow any packet prioritization on fixed networks, at all. What Ofcom does seem to warn against is forms of management that have the business result of favoring an ISP's own services, over competing services offered by other contestants.

Mobile and fixed network operators can meet new demand for high-speed Internet access either by investing in new capacity and partially by rationing existing capacity, in part…

AT&T Giving Up on T-Mobile USA Bid?

On November 23, 2011, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom withdrew their applications to combine spectrum owned by both companies, something that would be required if AT&T were to succeed in acquiring T-Mobile USA.

AT&T also says it will take a pretax accounting charge of $4 billion ($3 billion cash and $1 billion book value of spectrum) in the 4th quarter of 2011 to reflect the potential break up fees due Deutsche Telekom in the event the transaction does not receive regulatory approval.

AT&T says it still is pursuing the deal, but the taking of the charge and withdrawal of applications indicate, at the very least, that AT&T thinks prospects are dimming, if not a definitive recognition that the bid will fail.  AT&T Throwing in Towel on T-Mobile USA?

Given the fact that the accounting charge will be taken in advance of the time the Department of Justice antitrust hearing would occur, some will speculate that AT&T plans to withdraw its bid to buy T-Mobile USA before the …

50% Of E-commerce Site Visitors Are Logged In To Facebook

A new study shows 50 percent of visitors to e-commerce sites are currently logged in to Facebook. 50% Of Ecommerce Site Visitors Are Logged In To Facebook

"On average in October (2011), 50.8 percent of traffic was logged into Facebook while visiting our customers’ ecommerce sites.  Across all customers, this rate ranged from approximately 40 percent to 60 percent, SocialLabs says. Facebook visitors on e-commerce sites.

"While users on our clients’ sites are logged in to Facebook slightly less during the workday and slightly more during the evening, the percentage of logged in users is still very high during the workday," SocialLabs says. "For example, during the work week of October 17 to 21st, on average 51 percent of users on our e-commerce deployments were logged in to Facebook from 9AM to 7PM."
Using Facebook social plugins and Connect integrations, sites can leverage Facebook data to show visitors what friends bought or shared, what products relate to their…