Inside Job

Posted on July 22, 2015

Three UK’s Director of Network and Strategy wants business and venue owners to help plug holes in indoor connectivity. But availability of Wi-Fi is not the problem for mobile operators; what they need is a means of interacting with a hugely fragmented resource and the ability to manage the user’s experience as they do on the mobile network.

Are mobile operators cutting the mustard?

Posted on July 16, 2015

Today, millions of smartphone users on post-paid tariffs pay for a bundle of mobile data every month, some of which they don’t consume. At the end of the billing cycle the unused allowance, like mustard on a plate, is simply wiped away.

Adaptability is power: Battery life and Wi-Fi

Posted on July 10, 2015

Wi-Fi radios come in for a lot of stick in terms of smartphone battery life — not without good reason. If a Wi-Fi radio is on all day it will act as its nature dictates; constantly seeking opportunities to connect, and sucking up the battery as it does so. Sometimes nature needs a little help — and, as always, adaptability is the key.

Why Wait Five Long Years for 2020 Vision?

Posted on June 8, 2015

SK Telecom has identified five areas in which 5G must deliver marked improvements over the current smartphone connectivity experience. But operators need to act now to improve that experience, and Connectivity First represents the opportunity to introduce some of the ideas behind 5G today.

The Drive for Connectivity

Posted on May 1, 2015

The notion of “being mobile” now has more to do with connectivity than cars, and there are signs that this digital freedom is having an impact on the traditional longing to drive the open road.

First Words: The New Language of Wireless Marketing

Posted on April 16, 2015

Control language and you can maintain order. This observation was made by George Orwell in his cautionary novel 1984 — a year in which, as it happened in reality, the first sale of a handheld mobile phone to a US consumer was made. The corollary to this theory (and Big Brother’s great fear) is that, if you free language, you will create an environment in which change becomes inevitable. More than 30 years since that first Motorola DynaTAC was snapped up for almost $4,000 (closer to $10,000 in today’s money) Orwell’s insight is being neatly illustrated in the US mobile market. The language being used to speak to the end user is evolving thanks to a challenge being mounted against incumbent operators by a wave of newcomers keen to change the conversation. Historically, incumbent mobile operators have relied heavily on the network in their messaging, in particular like-for-like network comparisons. By keeping the discussion centred on their networks they ensured users could only decide on their service provider by comparing the things that the operators wanted them to compare. It made sense in a world where the service and the network were one and the same. It remains a favoured…

Wi-Fi Calling for Change

Posted on April 13, 2015

By giving customers Wi-Fi calling capabilities mobile operators are showing they understand that a truly comprehensive wireless connectivity service can only be created through the integration of cellular and Wi-Fi access.

Welcome to Connectivity World Congress…?

Posted on March 5, 2015

Someone visiting this show for the first time, with no preconceived ideas, might well find themselves wondering why it’s still called “Mobile World Congress”. Such a variety of industries, applications and activities are on display here in Barcelona that the overarching theme is open to interpretation. MWC has had several identity changes as it has evolved over the years. Back in the 90’s it was known as GSM World Congress, reflecting a strict technology alignment. With the arrival of UMTS it became 3GSM World Congress in 2001. And six years later, as mobile operators worldwide signalled their intent to converge on a single cellular standard for 4G, it was given the name we still use. These changes follow a narrative of expansion and inclusivity. UMTS brought with it brand new operators with no 2G legacy, hence the subtle but important addition of that ‘3’. The end of a far more significant industry era was reflected in the next change, as the sometimes bitterly opposed GSM and CDMA camps laid down their arms on the common ground of LTE. With each new technology came more options and more operators. In 2015 it feels like the time is right for another change….

Connectivity First: An Operator Census

Posted on March 4, 2015

Mobile operators are not alone in providing wireless connectivity. And as end users’ connectivity options become more diverse, mobile operators must seek out new ways to keep themselves relevant. Mobile World Congress is where the mobile operator community convenes to search its soul. To collectively address the big existential questions: What are we? What are we going to be? In the good old days, when competition existed only within the community itself, imagination was the sole constraint on discussions. In 2015, a new reality has entered the building. You can answer those big questions in many ways. A mobile operator is at once a legally obligated licensee, engineering organization, retailer, distribution channel, billing engine, customer service operation, brand, wholesale dealer, and more. Many have wider aspirations, their sights set on advertising revenues or the Internet of Things. Ask a typical end user, though, and they’ll probably get right to the nub of it, telling you a mobile operator is a company they pay for wireless connectivity. So, how does the operator landscape look today? GSMA counts almost 800 mobile operator members, which shakes out at roughly one operator to every ten million people on the planet. It seems like a…