Archive for the ‘Mobile’ 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.

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. 

Mobile Broadband Finally Gets a Logo.

September 30, 2008

 The GSM Association has coordinated 3 Group, Asus, Dell, ECS, Ericsson, Gemalto, Lenovo, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, Telefónica Europe, Telecom Italia, TeliaSonera, T-Mobile, Toshiba and Vodafone among others to create the “Mobile Broadband service mark.” It’s a logo designed to let consumers know the item they’re using/seeing on the shelf in a store is a ready-to-run mobile internet device. 

The GSMA said the Mobile Broadband service mark (right), incorporates HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), HSPA Evolved and LTE (Long Term Evolution). Laptops with the new mark will support speeds of at least 3.6Mbps. The technical specification states that 3.6Mbps is required, and that 7.2Mbps is recommended, but the mark will always look the same.

The GSM Association plans to spend more than $1 billion promoting a Mobile Broadband service mark to signify that their gear is GSM compatibile, delivering “a compelling alternative to Wi-Fi.”

Apple and Intel are not joining this party. Apple’s iPhone includes Wi-Fi while Intel is a leading proponent of both WiMax and Wi-Fi, often considered competitors to cellular wireless services.

Pocket-lint: Mobile Broadband get a logo.

U.S. mobile data market grows 40 percent in Q2.

August 12, 2008


  The U.S. wireless data market grew 40 percent in the second quarter compared to year-ago totals, generating $8.2 billion in data revenues, according to a new report issued by advisory firm Chetan Sharma Consulting. Mobile data has now yielded $15.7 billion in the first six months of 2008, a 38 percent increase over the first half of 2007 and on pace to reach $34 billion for the year.
Some Q2 highlights:

  • Overall ARPU among U.S. operators increased by $0.46, with average voice ARPU declining by $0.05 while average data ARPU grew by $0.50.
  • Verizon Wireless leads in data ARPU with $12.58 (or 24.4 percent of total revenues), followed by Sprint at $12 (or 21.4 percent), AT&T at $11.59 (or 22.9 percent) and T-Mobile USA at $8.60 (or 17 percent).
  • Verizon generated an industry-record $2.6 billion in data revenues, followed by AT&T at $2.5 billion. Both operators are on target to exceed $10 billion in annual data revenues, and together they account for 62 percent of the U.S. market’s total data services revenues.
  • Non-messaging services account for 50 percent to 60 percent of U.S. operator data revenues.
  • Venture investment in mobile is on the decline–during the first half of the year, private wireless firms announced $1.8B in 173 financings, compared to $2.7 billion in 209 financings over the first six months of 2007.
Source: Chetan Sharma Consulting.