Showing posts from March, 2015

Messaging Apps are Really Sticky

“Stickiness” long has been among the important features of any app or site. “Stickiness” means new users stick around and become regular or habitual users, while regular users become engaged users that do not churn out for another rival app or experience.
By those measures, messaging apps are highly sticky, meaning new users tend to become regular users, and regular users are engaged enough that they are “loyal.”
Retention rates of messaging apps outperform the average of all apps, according to Flurry.
In fact, messaging app retention is 1.9 times better than the average app after one month and 5.6 times better than the average app after one year. After 30 days, some 36 percent of people continue to use a new app, compared to 68 percent of people using a new messaging app.
After six months, just 18 percent of people who first used a new app continue to use it. By comparison, about 62 percent of people who started using a messaging app continue to do so.
After a year, just 11 percent of …

Verizon Dismisses Wi-Fi-Based Mobility. But Just Wait

It never is unusual when a major incumbent dismisses a new rival offering a lower-end product without all the features of the existing product. That happened when Skype and other VoIP products started appearing, or when instant messaging services arose.

Cable TV operator business communication services arguably were “not as good” as service supplied by the historic suppliers.
More than 45 years ago, MCI’s long distance service was not as good as AT&T’s service.
So it will come as no surprise that Verizon argues any Wi-Fi-only mobile service, or even a Wi-Fi with default to mobile service offered by cable operators might not “be as good” as Verizon’s arguably industry-leading service.
One present issue is the seamlessness of transitions between Wi-Fi networks and mobile networks. But it seems only a matter of time before that capability improves dramatically. Seamless use of any available network is, in fact, a design goal for coming fifth generation networks.
So it would not be sur…

India Mobile Prices are About to Rise

It is a truism that consumers (buyers) ultimately pay for all supplier costs of doing business. So it is that Indian mobile consumers are going to pay for all the spectrum recently purchased by the leading Indian mobile service providers.
That means retail prices are going to climb.
“We believe that telcos are likely to raise prices in response to high spectrum prices,” said Fitch Ratings. Also, “most telcos will report negative free cash flow in 2015 as they need to pay a quarter of the committed amount up front.”
At the same time, the spectrum acquisitions will put pressure on balance sheets and cash flow, limiting supplier ability to invest in networks and compete. That, in turn, means the Indian mobile market will consolidate from about 10 contestants to six in the wake of the recent spectrum auction, says Fitch Ratings.
India's spectrum auction raised US$17.7 billion, a sum that now will have to be raised or shifted from other uses, and will prove too heavy a burden for some co…

One Way or the Other, U.S. Cable TV Market Changes

Bright House Networks might be called a consolation prize for Charter Communications if the Comcast bid to buy Time Warner Cable is approved by regulators. As structured, a Charter offer to buy Brighthouse is contingent on regulator acceptance of the Comcast offer.
Charter had made a bid of its own to buy Time Warner Cable, but its offer was topped by Comcast’s own offer. The $10 billion offer for 2.5 million subscribers values Bright House at about $4,000 per subscriber, a valuation metric not used in the broader telecom business.

U.S. cable TV operator rankings will change, in almost any conceivable set of decisions and deals. Comcast, which became the largest U.S. cable TV operator when it acquired the assets of AT&T Broadband, was trailed by Time Warner Cable as the clear number two cable company, ranked by number of subscribers.

If Comcast is successful in gobbling up Time Warner Cable, Charter gets Bright House, creating a new number-two provider for the first time in decades.…

AT&T Launching Gigabit Service in Cupertino, Calif.

AT&T will launch its “GigaPower” 1-Gbps Internet access network in Cupertino, Calif. The symmetrical network is the first to be supplied by AT&T in California. AT&T also said it is considering other San Jose areas, including Campbell, Mountain View and San Jose, as candidate municipalities for the service, as well.
In April 2014, AT&T announced it was evaluating deployng GigaPower in as many as 100 communities.  AT&T already has deployed the service in neighborhoods in Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.
GigaPower networks also are being deployed in Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, N.C.; Houston and San Antonio, Texas;  Jacksonville and Miami, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn. and Overland Park, Kan.
CenturyLink, for its part, is building symmetrical gigabit service now to residential and business customers in select locations in 17 cities, serving residential and business customers in 11 cities, including Columbia, Mo., Denver, Jefferson City, Mo., L…

Google Fiber Files Paperwork to Support Operations in Colorado

Google Fiber has filed paperwork for Google Fiber to operate in Colorado, though Google Fiber says it has no immediate plans to construct a gigabit network in Denver. 

The filing only means Google Fiber could base equipment and employees in Colorado, some note.

CenturyLink might not be so sanguine, as that firm has ramped up gigabit Internet access offerings in a number of Colorado communities, including Denver.

"Bandwidth Doesn't Matter Much"

There are lots of reasons why Internet access headline speed and actual end user experience vary so widely, and why, for a typical user, higher speeds (capacity) do not translate into enhanced experience.
In fact, some would argue that more bandwidth doesn't matter much.  
The amount of resource sharing can be affected by headline speed, as when multiple users share a single access connection, either at work, home or a public hotspot.  
Ofcom, the U.K. communications regulator, has found that, for any single user, speeds below 5 Mbps do affect end user experience, on the local access link. Speeds above 10 Mbps, however, have negligible or no impact on end user experience.
The caveat is that experience can benefit if a single connection is widely shared.
On the other hand, one might well argue that latency is the bigger problem for most users, accessing most applications, most of the time. That means better latency performance is an important objective for ISPs and app providers.  

Mobile Traffic Gets Asymmetrical

Oddly enough, for networks designed for symmetrical traffic, Internet traffic now drives bandwidth demand on mobile networks, and that traffic is highly asymmetrical, one reason access to Wi-Fi and other non-traditional networks has become so important.
Telef√≥nica O2’s customers, as an example, are using 60 percent more data than they were 12 months ago, and 600 percent more than at the end of 2010, according to Real Wireless.
The uplink:downlink ratio, on a mobile network supporting 3G or 4G, is now about 1:7, and much of the downstream traffic is bandwidth-intensive video.
Eventually, most believe, new Internet of Things sensor traffic will add other types of load, namely demand for smaller messages of lower bandwidth, but requiring low power performance and high reliability.
LTE was not optimized for this type of usage, so Wi-Fi and other specialized connections will likely be important.
That is why spectrum sharing, and the move towards dynamic spectrum allocation, are cornerstones…

AT&T "Harvest" Strategy is Not New; DirecTV Buy Makes Sense

Some have questioned the wisdom of AT&T’s bid to acquire DirecTV, the argument being that the capital is better invested elsewhere, while the linear video business is declining.
AT&T thinks differently, and perhaps partly because of its historical legacy and business culture. Keep in mind that AT&T (the former SBC) grew primarily by acquisition, organic growth notwithstanding.
Also, AT&T contains many executives who remember vividly the former independent AT&T’s strategies related to a declining business (long distance calling). While attempting to create new replacement revenue streams, AT&T harvested its declining, but substantial long distance business.
That is what AT&T sees in linear video, a mature business that throws off enough cash flow to be interesting, as the legacy business slowly erodes. Yes, there are risks. If the business declines precipitously, the gambit will not play out so well.
But AT&T is betting it will see what it has seen in the p…

Sling TV will Cannibalize Dish Network Linear Video, says CEO Charlie Ergen

A recurring phrase used by Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen, when asked about his plans for monetizing Dish Network’s spectrum holdings, is that “we are not suicidal.” In other words, Dish Network does not intend to deploy or monetize those assets in ways that destroy shareholder value.

“Wireless is an oligopoly,” he noted recently. So that means “we see working with others, not AT&T or Verizon.” In other words, should Dish Network decide to create a retail or wholesale network, it is not likely to build its own facilities, but lease them.

“Optionality” is a concept Ergen has relied on it the past, as well. In other words, get spectrum and then see what can be done to monetize it. “Short term, we had to get the licenses,” Ergen said. “Then we need to get handset compatibility.”

“We will see where it goes from there,” he said. But Ergen also said he will wait to see what happens “with the two big mergers,” referring to Comcast’s bid to acquire Time Warner Cable, and AT&T’s effort …

25 Annoying Phrases to Avoid at Work

Here are 25 cliches or "annoying phrases" we all should try not to use. I suppose the phrases are annoying because they are almost value free throw aways. 
I've been working on avoiding "at the end of the day" for some months. But "touch base" and "ping me" are on my list.
At the end of the day Back to the drawing board Hit the ground running Get the ball rolling Low hanging fruit Thrown under the bus Think outside the box Let's touch base Get my manager's blessing It's on my radar Ping me I don't have the bandwidth No brainer Par for the course Bang for your buck Synergy Move the goal post Apples to apples Win-win Circle back around All hands on deck Take this offline Drill-down Elephant in the room On my plate

Johnson and Johnson, Google to Create Surgical Robotics System

Johnson and Johnson says Ethicon, a medical device company in the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, will work with Google to develop a surgical robotics platform.

Robotic-assisted surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that uses technology to give surgeons greater control, access and accuracy during the surgical procedure while benefitting patients by minimizing trauma and scarring, enabling accelerated post-surgical healing, Johnson and Johnson said.

Cable TV Unbundling Coming to Canada, in 2016

Cable TV channel unbundling--though not complete unbundling--is coming to the Canadian market. By the end of 2016, subscription TV customers in Canada will be able to buy many channels they want, one by one or in small packages, the Canadian Radio-Television and Communications Commission has ruled.
By the end of 2016, TV subscribers will have the option to add those networks to a “skinny” basic cable package that will cost no more than $25 a month. But consumers can buy a traditional bundle of channels if they choose.
Distributors must have the “skinny” basic service announced Thursday in place by March, 2016.
That tier must include all local and regional stations, public interest channels such as the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), education and community channels, plus provincial legislature networks.
If distributors wish, they can add national over-the-air stations such as CTV, City and Global, or U.S. networks ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and PBS. But they cannot raise the pric…

AT&T Boosting High Speed Access to 75 Mbps, Prelude to Gigabit

AT&T has boosted consumer Internet access speeds to 75 Mbps in parts of Houston ; Baton Rouge, La; Grand Rapids, Michigan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; and South Bend, Indiana.
Those speeds also are available in Augusta, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Fla.; Monterey and Sacramento, Calif.; and St. Louis, Mo.
Those efforts are part of AT&T’s broader effort to enhance speeds in markets across the country, including gigabit access networks in a number of metropolitan areas across the United States.
AT&T invested nearly $1.4 billion in Houston between 2012 through 2014, and about $1.5 billion in Los Angeles over the same period and $2 billion New Jersey, among investments across the United States.  
AT&T announced a major initiative in 2014 to expand the availability of U-verse with AT&T GigaPower in up to 25 markets nationwide, including Houston. The upgrades to 75…

Will History Repeat for Major New Satellite Constellations?

The assumption made by a number of would-be operators of brand-new satellite constellations designed to bring Internet access rapidly to users across the globe is that there is a sizable untapped market.
That is true today. How true the assumption might be in several years is the issue. That has been a market-opportunity killer in the past. An earlier generation of entrepreneurs argued new satellite constellations would supply huge unmet demand for mobile telephone use.
Instead, mobile operators moved dramatically to fill the demand before a couple of the ventures could launch, while Iridium, which did launch, went bankrupt.
That scenario is at least conceivable, once more.
Consider Thailand. Though details are yet unsettled, Thailand wants to launch a national high speed accessprogram to reach literally all villages in Thailand, and provide affordable Internet access for all,  within about 18 months.
If implemented, the initiative could affect the addressable market for new providers, as…

Global Average Internet Access Speeds Increase 20% in 4Q 2014

In the fourth quarter of 2014, the global average Internet connection speed increased 20 percent to 4.5 Mbps, while the global average peak connection speed increased 16 percent to 26.9 Mbps, according to Akamai.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea had the highest average overall connection speeds at 22.2 Mbps, while Indonesia had the lowest at 1.9 Mbps.
Hong Kong had the highest average overall Internet peak connection speed at 87.7 Mbps, while Indonesia had the lowest at 13.4 Mbps.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, average mobile connection speeds ranged from a high of 16 Mbps in the United Kingdom to a low of 1 Mbps in New Caledonia in the fourth quarter of 2014. China had an average mobile speed of four; Hong Kong about 5.7 Mbps. India had average mobile speeds about 1 Mbps.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, China had an average mobile Internet access speed of about 4 Mbps; Hong Kong about 5.7 Mbps. India had average mobile speeds about 1 Mbps, according to Akamai.
Sri Lanka and Malaysi…

In 2019, 79% of U.K. Households Will Buy a Bundle

By the end of 2019, 79 percent of U.K. households will be buying a bundle with two or more services such as telephone, high speed access, subscription video or mobile service,  from the same provider, according to CCS Insight.
That pattern would not be unusual. In the U.K. market, some 60 percent of U.K. consumers buy a bundle of some sort, the “typical” bundle is a dual-play bundle of fixed network voice and high speed access, according to Ofcom, the U.K. communications regulator.
In 2014, about 43 percent of U.K. consumers purchased triple-play bundles.