Monday, June 21, 2010

Affordable Androids Abound

Android devices are showing distinct signs of picking up speed, as evidenced by Orange's recent announcement it will launch a low-cost LG Android smartphone in Europe later this year.

Orange also reveals its new 'affordable smartphone strategy,' which includes Huawei, ZTE and Gigabyte devices, among others. Lowering smartphone costs will make services more accessible to a larger group of subscribers. So it appears it will be a win-win for Orange - top-notch phones on a strong operating system pulling in more subscribers.

Patrick Remy, Orange's vice president of devices, said: "At the beginning of 2010, 15% of Orange portfolio was smartphones. This will rise to 30% by the end of the year, and will be 50% by 2013."

That seems right in line with the smartphone growth analysts are predicting and other operators are reporting globally.

Why a femtocell is 'of no value'

I'm not sure I agree with everything Andy Abramson says in his recent blog post titled "Why a femtocell/microcell is of no value once Apple iOS comes out", but he's certainly spent some time thinking about the issues. Any anyone who gives props to Smart Wi-Fi (aka UMA) is on the right track for this blog.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Video Interview: Jeff Brown Comments on AT&T's Move to Tiered Data Pricing

Kineto Wireless CEO Jeff Brown took a few minutes to comment about AT&T's announcement yesterday that the company has created a new tiered data-pricing structure for subscribers. The move is making waves in the industry.

Jeff talks about the changing role of Wi-Fi to mobile operators, evidenced by this and last week's announcement that AT&T is launching a free public Wi-Fi trial in Times Square, New York.

He touches on how Smart Wi-Fi could be the next step for operators to maximize the use of Wi-Fi for network offload.

Jeff says he thinks we'll see more and more operators moving to Wi-Fi to give users a really good experience, whether they're on the 3G network or the Wi-Fi network, which should be transparent to the user.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Operators Rushing to Wi-Fi

Light Reading Mobile reporter Michelle Doneghan reported last week that Deutsche Telekom is the latest operator to announce it is using Wi-Fi to offload its 3G networks.

businesspeople_running.jpgOlivier Baujard, DT's CTO, keynoted the Open Mobile Summit in London last week and told the reporter, "the operator would like to offload 20 percent of its cellular data traffic in an outdoor environment onto WiFi hotspots, and that it is now offloading just "a few percents" of its traffic."

The article also references a Heavy Reading report published recently and authored by Gabriel Brown, "WiFi Offload for Mobile Operators," that talks about the many active Wi-Fi engagements mobile operators have undertaken as they've moved "from a position of hostile objection to passive acceptance, and now active engagement."

The next logical step will be for them to realize there are ways to get more from their Wi-Fi services and make the customer experience smarter and better. This will result in improved indoor coverage and battery performance, easier access to Internet and data services, churn reduction, competitive VoIP response where operators are still keeping subscriber minutes on Wi-Fi, and even greater increases in network capacity.

As someone who has been evangelizing Wi-Fi for years now, I say woo hoo! I thrill to the sound of mobile operators embracing the benefits of Wi-Fi. Now, let's see the leaders take it to the next logical level.