Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Smart Wi-Fi for Froyo

This week, Kineto announced availability of its Smart Wi-Fi Application (aka UMA) for Android 2.2 (aka Froyo).

The response was overwhelming. 

There was coverage all around TMonews, TelecomTV, even Facebook.

Personally I’ve received hundreds of emails from people asking about the App.  When will it be available, how can they get it.  Clearly there is pent up demand for Smart Wi-Fi on Android.  

Frankly, I think it was less about the actual announcement, and more related to the video we released showing the App in action (sort of… actually watching someone make a phone call is pretty dull… until you have no coverage).  

Don’t worry, as commercial details become available, we’ll keep you posted.  But for now, keep telling the world “I WANT MY UMA!”

Loyalty is a three letter acronym

Kevin Tofel wrote a piece for GigaOm today titled "With Today's Smartphones, Carrier Loyalty is Fleeting". He covers a survey by NSN which showed that smartphone owners are least likely to stick with their current  carrier.

That got me thinking... what things drive loyalty?

In the US, the iPhone has an outsized impact. It is a highly coveted device, exclusive to a single operator. In the article, Kevin offers his own insight, saying to generate loyalty, operators should strive to provide great coverage at a reasoable price. And if they can supplement their network with some desirable value-add service, all the better.

With that said, how about Smart Wi-Fi (aka UMA)?

In a Sept 13th post, Om Malik said the reason he sticks with T-Mobile is because of UMA technology on his  Blackberry Bold.

Wow. Here's a tech trendsetter who eschewed iOS and Android because of a feature on a phone provided by his carrier. Powerful.

But dig deeper, and read the comments posted to Om's article. You can immediately get a feel for the passion and emotion people have about UMA and T-Mobile:
- "UMA for us is a godsend."
- "I agree that [UMA] is a great differentiator…"
- "I rely on UMA to keep me connected…"
- "I love UMA on my Nokia phone…"

It goes on and on.

So mobile operators, the next time you're thinking "What can I do to increase loyalty?"  I would check out Smart Wi-Fi (aka UMA).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Guest Blogger: Jeff Brown, Kineto Wireless

Wi-Fi for Mobile TV

If there was one thing (aside from the great competition) that those of us in the mobile industry took away from the World Cup earlier this year, it was that consumers want their mobile TV. Unfortunately for operators, this is yet another burden on their already overworked networks. I can only imagine what's going on this week with the US Open final delayed until Monday.

Once again, it is so clear to me that Wi-Fi, more specifically, Smart Wi-Fi, is the ideal solution.

Ericsson reported in March 2010 that data traffic had overtaken voice traffic for the first time in the mobile industry's 25-year history. In June 2010, UK operators O2, Orange and Vodafone teamed up to test a TV broadcast service which would enable consumers to view television channels on their handsets. IMB, the selected broadcast medium, requires costly transmitters that must be added to base stations. Moreover, new handsets need to be developed that have integrated IMB chips. This is a costly and complex undertaking.

There is a better solution. With Smart Wi-Fi, all mobile services are securely delivered to the smartphone over the Wi-Fi connection. Operators achieve complete network offload, as all voice, data and internet traffic, and not just internet/web services, can be routed over wi-fi.

Read the article I wrote recently published in Mobile Marketing Magazine for more on this topic.

Can you blame people for not wanting to miss a minute of those compelling games? With Smart Wi-Fi, operators can give the people what they want, for a fraction of the price.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

T-Mobile remains quiet on Android/UMA

Yesterday Om Malik, a committed UMA enthusiast, wrote that T-Mobile has not made any direct statements about support for UMA on its burgeoning line of Android devices.

T-Mobile's true plans for UMA remain locked in Seattle, where hopefully we'll get some clarity in the coming months.

Meanwhile, read the comments posted to Om's article by other UMA fans. There is a LOT of pent up demand for UMA on Android. Or check out the new T-Mobile/UMA Facebook fan page created by T-Mobile customers hungry for UMA on Android.

It should be noted that Kineto, purveyor of UMA/GAN technology, announced availability of its "Smart Wi-Fi Application" for Android back in March 2010. Smart Wi-Fi is their UMA/GAN-based client.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

In US, 62% of Internet connected homes have Wi-Fi

A while back there was an EU study which showed that 50% of internet connected homes in the EU had Wi-Fi. I found that number very impressive.

Here's a newer study which shows Wi-Fi in a 'staggering' 62% of US internet connected homes (page 9).

For those interested in the US market, this is an informative report. It was sponsored by Arbitron, a company which tracks radio usage. Therefore there is quite a bit on how consumers listen to traditional radio along with internet radio. But it also looks at overall trends in the population with respect to social media and traditional mass communications mediums. Check out the bit about FM radios in cell phones.

However, one thing is clear, in developed markets (the US, EU,…), Wi-Fi is the preferred method for service delivery within the home.