Mobile Archives — Page 11 of 28


Praise for regulators in US

Posted on February 27, 2014  /  2 Comments

They say mergers are coming in both India and Sri Lanka. I’d prefer clear guidelines rather than discretion, for reasons like this. A rash of consumer-friendliness has broken out across the mobile data industry. Over the last year, the four major carriers — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile — have cut prices and offered greater flexibility in how they sell their voice, text and broadband services. The industry could be on the verge of an all-out price war.

Wireless that works in a crowd

Posted on February 19, 2014  /  1 Comments

The unpredictability of what large numbers of people do with their wireless devices when in a crowd has caused problems ever since wireless became the preferred last mile solution. But there is a solution on the horizon? A recent demonstration in San Francisco showed off a technology that Steve Perlman, a serial entrepreneur and inventor who sold WebTV to Microsoft for more than $500 million in the late 1990s, contends will give mobile users far faster cellular network speeds, with fewer dropped phone calls and other annoyances, even in stadiums and other places where thousands of people use mobile phones at the same time, Nick Wingfield reports. In the demonstration, eight iPhones played different high-definition movies from Netflix at once, all receiving the video wirelessly. Rather than causing the local network to stumble under the strain of so much data jamming the airwaves at once, the video played on all the screens with nary a stutter.
Every few months (or longer, depending on whether I am in the country) I serve on judging panels for a televised debating competition run by a private TV channel. Today, the topic was one that we had actually done research on: “mobile phones have positive effects on the efficiency of daily life.” The proponents had done their home work and were citing Jensen’s Kerala study, Aker’s Niger research and so on. To beat back the opposition, they were citing the Danish cancer study and so on. They could have cited our work that directly dealt with the subject, but I was not going to hold it against them.
So it’s done. More smartphones were sold in 2013 than feature phones. Does this mean that smartphones outnumber feature phones on the world’s networks? No. But that too will happen.
The Pew Research Center does surveys within the US that contribute valuable information to US policy processes. In this news release, they also present worldwide data. Smartphone adoption, however, shows a different picture. More than half of Americans (55%) have a smartphone, 34% have a feature phone, and 9% have no phone. Elsewhere in the world, a smartphone is less common.
We know how much pent up demand there is in Myanmar for voice and data communication. The government has fast-tracked reforms to respond. World Bank and others, including LIRNEasia in our small way, are striving to help. Some tunnel-visioned do-gooders are trying to hold back informed reforms that will learn from the experiences of countries that have liberalized their markets before Myanmar, but we hope they will fail. Giving the people of Myanmar what most people take for granted poses significant challenges.
Since 2006, when the majority of the world’s population became city-dwellers (can’t use the original term “citizens” because it has now lost its connection to cities), there has been a great deal of interest in understanding these engines of economic growth. Here are some findings from Spain, in the process of being replicated in Asia. The results reveal some fascinating patterns in city structure. For a start, every city undergoes a kind of respiration in which people converge into the center and then withdraw on a daily basis, almost like breathing. And this happens in all cities.

Book on M Pesa launched

Posted on February 6, 2014  /  0 Comments

The story of M Pesa in the form of a book. Launched as a simple money transfer service, M-PESA has evolved to a full payment service which now includes payment services and the Lipa na M-PESA service which is targeted at SMEs. Since launch last year, Lipa na M-PESA has so far recruited 36, 749 merchants. “M-PESA has put Kenya and Africa at the forefront of ICT innovation and is a reference for many other countries that plan to implement a mobile money payment platform.M-PESA is indeed one of the ways that we have been able to fulfil our aspiration to Transform Lives,” said Safaricom’s GM of Financial Services, Betty Mwangi-Thuo.

Wireless power. The next new thing

Posted on February 3, 2014  /  0 Comments

I am frustrated by my dependence on electricity. It’s not that great to decide where one sits in an airport, not on the basis of the view but on the proximity to a plug point. We’ve been keeping an eye on developments on the power front for some time, and are happy that the momentum is finally picking up. “When wireless power is everywhere, battery life and charging rates will no longer be critical factors in mobile devices as our devices will always be charging,” Ms. Perry said.
We’ve been talking up the replacement of desktops (and then laptops) by mobile wireless devices for a long time. Here’s more proof that the future is as foretold: Lenovo ascended to the top tier of technology companies two years ago, surpassing Hewlett-Packard to become the world’s largest maker of personal computers. But with the PC market in steady decline, Lenovo had already been making drastic moves to ensure its future viability. “We’re already seeing the demise of the PC market,” said Shahid Khan, a managing partner at the Meridian Advisory Group. “This is foresight on their part.

Facebook makes the transition to mobile

Posted on January 30, 2014  /  0 Comments

The discussion on whether Facebook will succeed in making the transition to a mobile-dominated world happened on these pages as well. But now the numbers have come in. The transition is done. About 757 million people around the world used the social network on an average day last month, and three-quarters of them logged on using mobile devices. Facebook’s business has also been transformed.
It appears that the finalization of the rules that we commented on is the cause of the delay in issuing licenses to Telenor and Ooredoo. This is not really a bad thing. It is always better to have the rules embodied in generally applicable law and rules than in individual licenses (which would have been the alternative approach). “We are working on finalising five applicable rules for the Telecom Law by the end of January. We have already negotiated with foreign telecom operators about applying detailed rules and regulations of the law so they are able to start their businesses,” he said, adding that the five provisions have already been sent to the Attorney-General’s Office.
The deployment of 4G wireless as a complement to ADSL last mile by Sri Lanka Telecom suggests that the convergence process that was marked by having a single CEO for the fixed and mobile arms may be reaching its logical conclusion. Sri Lanka Telecom said it had expanded broadband service coverage by deploying fourth generation wireless technology to areas that are not served by its wired network. From January data volumes on all broadband packages had been increased. SLT provides broadband services through ADSL (assymetrical-digital-subscriber-lines), fibre to home and now through 4G LTE (fourth generation long term evolution) wireless technology. At Ruwanwella, in Sri Lanka’s Kegalle district the firm said it had given a gratis broadband connections to the public library and school which had demonstrated downlink speeds of 50 Megabits per second.
Why we do research is because we get surprised, sometimes. Here is a fascinating discussion on mobile use in public space in the Eastern US, comparing archival film from decades ago with current video of the same space. Many surprises, but this is the kicker. In fact, this was Hampton’s most surprising finding: Today there are just a lot more women in public, proportional to men. It’s not just on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.
An unconfirmed Reuters report indicates that the Myanmar government may have met its end of year deadline for issuing licenses to Telenor and Ooredoo. A senior Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) official said that operation licenses had been granted last week to Telenor and Ooredoo, the two international telecom giants selected through bidding mid last year, the Voice Daily reports. The two operators had earlier announced plans to invest about $15 billion and $ 2 billion respectively in the 15-year projects, it added.
Singer is synonymous with sewing machines. Like Xerox for photo copiers. And now Singer is selling more phones than sewing machines. And more smartphones than feature phones? Not quite yet.