Archive for the ‘iPhone’ category

Euro mobile carriers! Who are “They”, anyway? European Union checking again the bad guys as they are blocking VoIP.

November 14, 2008

  The executive branch of the European Union is investigating whether wireless carriers there are illegally blocking VoIP calls from being carried over their networks. You know you can’t use Skype-like applications over 3G using your iPhone? If the Commission gets its way, that practice would end, one would assume.

It’s like this: the European Commission doesn’t like it when companies screw you, the consumer, over. So since it suspects, apparently, that the wireless carriers are, in fact, screwing you, it’s launched the investigation. The Commission sent a questionnaire to several unknown wireless carriers asking them a whole host of questions about what “tools” they use to manage their network, including the restriction of VoIP.


And why are mobile carriers so fearful of the likes of Skype running on their network? They’re afraid that consumers will exclusively use VoIP instead of the regular voice network to make calls.



Some interesting figures from T-Mobile, in 3Q.

November 11, 2008

  T-Mobile USA had a very busy third quarter–the carrier expanded its 3G UMTS coverage and launched the G1, the first phone running on Google’s Android platform. The operator reported a net income of $442 million, down 16 percent from $526 million in the third quarter last year. Service revenue was $4.91 billion, up from $4.33 billion in the third quarter last year, and total revenue was $5.51 billion, up from $4.89 billion in the third quarter of 2007. Here is a rundown of other key metrics for the quarter:

Net adds: The carrier had 670,000 net subscriber additions in the quarter, up from 668,000 in the second quarter, but down from 857,000 in the third quarter of 2007. The company blamed the drop on contract churn.The company reported prepaid net additions of 377,000, up from 143,000 in the second quarter 2008 and 300,000 in the third quarter of 2007.

Churn: Contract churn was 2.4 percent for the quarter, up from 1.9 percent in the second quarter of 2008 and 2 percent in the third quarter of 2007. T-Mobile said that the anniversary of two-year contracts, along with competition from other incumbents was part of the reason for the increase.

 Blended ARPU was $52, down from $53 in the third quarter of last year. Contract, or postpaid ARPU was $55, down from $57 in the year-ago quarter. 

Data revenue: Data services revenue for the quarter was $850 million. Data accounted for 17.3 percent of blended ARPU, or $8.90 per customer, up from 15.4 percent of blended ARPU, or $8.10 per customer in the third quarter of 2007. 

Expanded coverage and G1 launch:
 During the quarter the carrier expanded its UMTS footprint and plans to have UMTS available in 120 cities by the end of November. The carrier also launched the G1, which it hopes will be a top rival to Apple’s iPhone 3G during the holiday shopping season. Kate Price, an analyst for Technology Business Research, said, “TBR believes the significant increase in T-Mobile USA’s postpaid churn in 3Q08 is due in part to competitive pressure from the 3G iPhone, which was launched on AT&T’s network in July. AT&T indicated it saw 1 million customers switch to AT&T due to the iPhone, and it appears many of those customers may have come from T-Mobile. Though T-Mobile launched the G1 device on its network in September, the company did not previously have a handset that was competitive with the iPhone.”

Source: T-Mobile.

How much power for WiMax?

November 11, 2008

How much transmit power do WiMAX nets need? Designers must find the optimal balance between high transmit power and low power consumption to ensure robust links, high data rates and good range for WiMAX services.
A typical WiMAX basestation transmits at power levels of approximately +43 dBm (20 W), and the mobile station typically transmits at +23 dBm (200 mW). There is a large difference between downlink power and uplink power. While a mobile can easily receive transmissions from a basestation, the mobile’s low transmit power makes it difficult for the basestation to hear it, Wireless Net DesignLine, explain.
One technique to address the link imbalance is adaptive modulation. In this case, the mobile transmits using a lower order modulation compared with the basestation. For example, the mobile could transmit QPSK or 16QAM signals, while the basestation transmits using 64QAM.

Another way to combat this mismatch is with a technique called subchannelization. In effect, each mobile concentrates its power over a subset of all available subchannels, and the other subcarriers are simultaneously made available to other users.

Networks are currently being deployed specifying that the minimum transmit power is +23 dBm. Each user who enters a network transmitting at powers greater than +23 dBm increases overall network efficiency. However, delivering higher transmit powers comes at a cost to power consumption.

The Mobile WiMAX network will cover 120-140 million people in the U.S. by year-end 2010. If those people are using Android devices, Google will indeed become a force in the market, although still behind Symbian,Windows Mobile and Apple’s iPhone.

Apple, Research In Motion and Google are duking it out for consumers’ smartphone dollars this fall. But Time Warner’s AOL has just landed a giant contract to push Google’s G1 phone for the next two days through AOL’sPlatform-A ad network. It has agreed to buy a billion impressions today and tomorrow, reports AdAge.

Practical Mobile WiMAX devices in small form factors may be a year off, say industry insiders. Intel Moorestown should enable practical battery life with integrated Wi-Fi/WiMAX chips.

LTE operators like femtocells because the cost of the broadband infrastructure can be shifted to end users. Part of the new Clearwire deal calls for 5 MHz of spectrum to be set aside solely for WiMax femtocells. Perhaps ‘free’ whitespace femtocells, in the tv band, will create new business models for end users and municipalities.

FCC telecom overhaul vote delayed.

November 4, 2008

 Under pressure from Congress and consumer groups, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin has canceled a vote tomorrow on a plan to overhaul intercarrier compensation and Universal Service Fund (USF) regulation.

Martin had proposed a “dramatic” update of inter-carrier compensation, along with a review of the way phone companies receive and can spend Universal Service Fund monies, but lawmakers and advocacy groups wanted to get a look at the details as to what would be proposed while giving affected parties the chance to comment. 

Reform details had been closely held, but reports said the rule changes would have resulted in the abolishment of the complex set of accounting “settlements” between larger carriers and rural phone companies, in exchange for a simplified rate policy that would have likely boosted rural phone line fees by a couple of dollars.

In addition, Universal Service Fund monies would have been used to compensate rural carriers for lost moneys, but USF funds would have to be specifically invested in broadband expansion.

If intercarrier compensation was reformed, large phone companies would stand to save the most money between lower fees and simplified accounting, while smaller rural carriers would lose out on a major source of revenue.

Last week, 100 members of Congress publicly petitioned the FCC to delay the vote while behind-the-scenes discussions took place between Capital Hill and the FCC commissioners.

FCC: FCC announces the removal of vote on wireline compensation.

Cellular modem sales could exceed $22 billion by 2013.

November 3, 2008

  Cellular modem sales could exceed $22 billion by 2013, according to a new report from ABI Research.

The firm noted Sprint Nextel Corp. recently lowered its mobile broadband prices for using cellphones as modems but left the price of using PC Cards and USB modems unchanged. But cellular modem sales will weather that threat, the firm said.

“Customers want mobile broadband experiences like those provided by their PCs, meaning they want the fastest devices,” said principal analyst Dan Shey. “Phones with at least 3G radios threaten cellular modem sales; however shipments of these modems will not exceed 30% of cellular handset shipments by 2011.”

The firm said industrialized countries will see deeper penetration of mobile broadband devices, but business customers will who prefer convenience could opt for PC Cards and USB modems in greater numbers.

Also, the growing penetration of embedded cellular connectivity on laptops and notebooks will reduce the need for external devices.

Source: ABI Research.

Cellular impacting landline penetration.

October 20, 2008

 Fear over landline losses has prompted analysts to reduce estimates for third-quarter profit from telecom companies. The shares of Verizon and AT&T have been under pressure since last they reported earnings in late July. AT&T has slid 20% and shares of Verizon are down 21% over the last three months.

According to Thomson Reuters, analysts have reduced estimates for earnings per share and revenue for both Verizon and AT&T over the fear of landline losses. In its last quarterly report, AT&T said total connections fell 8.1% from the year ago period, worse than many anticipated.

Verizon’s landline revenue has also fallen 1.8% from a year ago. Total landlines fell 8.5% in the second quarter from a year ago, with a large amount of that decline coming from the residential segment.

With wireless penetration above 80% in the U.S., there is a limited pool of new subscribers for AT&T and Verizon to compete for.

But how VoIP fits into these figures? Simply we don’t know because VoIP subscribers are using cable services, naked DSL, WiFi/WiMax networks, direct links and not a landline service. So its difficult to count the penetration of VoIP service at this time.

Cellular’s 25th Anniversary – Figures.

October 14, 2008

The CTIA Wireless Association is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first commercial cellular call in the United State this month.

The first commercial cellular call was placed on October 13, 1983 to the grandson of Alexander Graham Bell in Germany from the president of Ameritech Mobile Communications at a ceremony held outside of Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. It launched the nation’s first citywide commercial cellular system.

The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X had only 30 minutes of talk time, weighed nearly two pounds and cost some $3,995 (in 1983 dollars).
Martin Cooper (right), a former manager at Motorola, is considered the inventor of the first portable handset. The first call he made in April 1973 was to his rival, Joel Engel, Bell Labs head of research. 
Today there are now more than 262 million wireless subscribers in the United States – 83 percent of the total U.S. population – and 3.3 billion active cell phones worldwide, making it one of the fastest global dispersions of any technology in history.

By the end of 2007, one in six households (16 percent) was wireless-only. According to CTIA:

  •  In the first six months of 2008 (Jan. 1 – June 30) U.S. consumers talked on average a total of 187 billion minutes each month. That is more than 6 billion minutes each day, and amounts to nearly 13 hours (766 minutes) per customer each month.
  •  Text is the New Talk: More than 384 billion text messages were reported by carriers this year between Jan. 1 – June 30 versus 295 billion voice calls. Text messaging is doubling every year.
  • Subscriptions Soaring: The wireless industry saw almost 20 million new subscribers in just the last 12 month period (July 2007 – June 2008).
  •  Monthly Bill Decreasing: During the last 21 years, the average wireless subscriber’s local monthly bill has decreased by 50 percent, dropping from nearly $100 per month in 1987 to less than $49 in June 2008.
  •  Today, wireless service revenues reached $138.9 billion at the end of 2007.

China is by far the largest wireless market on the globe, with a subscriber base of 574.63 million by the end of March, 2008. India is now the second largest wireless market in the world, topping the 258 million total wireless subscribers in the United States this Spring.

  • India is the fastest-growing telecom market in the world thanks to India’s large population, low telephony penetration levels, and rise in consumer income.
  • China has 362 million landline phones [27 per 100 persons] and 565 million [42 per 100 persons] cellular phones (February 2008)
Informa forecasts subscriptions to UMTS/HSPA will number nearly half a billion worldwide by the end of 2009, and will pass the one billion mark in 2012. Currently some 88% use GSM standards while 11% use CDMA.
CTIA: The Wireless Association.