Mobile Archives — Page 17 of 28


Facebook is leading app on smartphones

Posted on February 19, 2013  /  0 Comments

ComScore has published its tech predictions. It’s all about mobile. The mobile transition is happening astonishingly quickly. Last year, smartphone penetration crossed 50 percent for the first time, led by Android phones. People spend 63 percent of their time online on desktop computers and 37 percent on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, according to comScore.
In April 2012, LIRNEasia participated in a regional FAO workshop held in Bangkok. The workshop brought together representatives from the agriculture ministries/ departments of 10 countries in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam), FAO personnel as well as the private sector, including operators of Mobile Agricultural Information Services (MAIS). The official workshop proceedings are now available, with a chapter dedicated to LIRNEasia’s survey findings on the use of ICTs by the BOP. The report articulates the need for clear policies and the benefits of public-private partnerships in creating viable, sustainable and importantly reliable Mobile Agricultural Information Services (MAIS-s).

Meteor strike knocks out mobile networks

Posted on February 16, 2013  /  0 Comments

How exactly, is the question. In the case of a tsunami or a tidal surge we know what causes the damage. What were knocked out: power? towers? Was it caused by congestion?
Verizon has started to assess and issue “report cards” on mobile apps that its customers are likely to use, according to the NYT. Sounds like a noble effort on Verizon’s part, but why is the carrier reviewing apps in the first place? After all, Verizon would benefit from apps using excess data, because that would result in higher cellphone bills for customers. David Samberg, a Verizon spokesman, said that it behooved the company to inform customers on how apps affect their smartphones because an app that behaves badly can detract from the entire customer experience. And dissatisfied customers might complain to the carrier, not the app maker.
Just today, my friend Abu Saeed Khan was telling me this was something the mobile operators of Bangladesh could easily do. And here, the Economist carries a story about how the Dutch have done it. Each technique has its upsides and downsides. Radar and satellites can cover swathes of land, yet they lack detail. Gauges are much more accurate, but the price of that accuracy is spotty coverage.
Today I delivered the keynote at well attended workshop on how the Telecom Sector could contribute to Digital Bangladesh. It was organized by the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute. Attendees included the Ministers of Post and Telecom, ICT and Information. The Chair of BTRC and the Secretary of the Ministry of ICT, a key actor in Bangladesh’s e gov activities, spoke. The government envisions a Digital Bangladesh that makes the full potential of the Internet available to its people, but appears unclear about how they will be connected.
There is a trade off between operating networks that are able to keep operating in the face of disasters and keeping down costs. For example, a 24 hr battery will yield a more robust BTS than a 8 hour battery. But as the FCC initiated discussion revealed, 24 hr batteries impose additional costs on operators. Local rules in some cases do not allow enough space for 24 hr batteries. The issue is, no doubt, important.
What will happen when the payment problem is solved in places where mobile devices are the only option? Tablets in particular have significantly changed the way people shop. While in 2011, people spent more money making purchases from smartphones than from tablets, shopping on tablets surpassed phones last year: $13.9 billion was spent from tablets and $9.9 billion from phones.

What mobile means to search

Posted on January 8, 2013  /  1 Comments

We were early in talking about mobile being the principal vehicle for Internet access. The continuing discussion about the FTC terminating the investigation of Google has some detailed discussion on how search is being shaken up by mobile: Nowhere has technology changed as rapidly and consumer behavior as broadly. As people abandon desktop computers for mobile ones, existing tech companies’ business models are being upended and new companies are blooming. “Mobile is very much a moving target,” said Herbert Hovenkamp, a professor of antitrust law at the University of Iowa who has been a paid adviser to Google. “This is a market in which new competitors come in a week’s time.

What to do about unregistered SIMs?

Posted on January 7, 2013  /  7 Comments

We have consistently argued that human beings must be associated with, and be accountable for, SIMs. The imperatives of the Budget Telecom Network Model cause companies (or more, the thousands of resellers who actually interact with customers) to give away SIMs without too many controls. Therefore, one must be judicious in enforcing the rules. We have been pointing to Pakistan as a model. Kenya, it appears, is exemplary of what not to do.

ITRs get into roaming

Posted on December 16, 2012  /  0 Comments

Surprisingly detailed attention has been paid to international roaming by the delegates in Dubai. Even the phenomenon of inadvertently connecting to a foreign network in border areas has been covered. Though of course none of the provisions are mandatory. 38A 4.4 Member States shall foster measures to ensure that authorized operating agencies provide free-of-charge, transparent, up-to-date and accurate information to end users on international telecommunication services, including international roaming prices and the associated relevant conditions, in a timely manner.
The big unspent piles of cash in the Brazilian and Indian universal service funds are well known. Less well known are the under-performing funds in small countries. Nepal is one. Having the money extracted from mostly poor customers in one of the poorest countries in the world, an LDC, is particularly offensive: While he vowed to break the trend that prevailed so far, Jha also said he has already started groundwork to utilize Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) for expanding fiber optics network so that everyone could have access to broadband Internet service and none remain deprived from benefits of advancement in the field of telecommunications. According to the officials, NTA presently has Rs 5.
Mobile termination prices have always been low in South Asia. S Asia also has among the lowest retail prices for mobile in the world. Therefore, the substance of the policy brief that had formed the basis of a successful intervention by our sister organization RIA to the Parliamentary Committee on Communication has little relevance to this region. However, the exemplary use of comparative data and analyses of company annual reports in relation to media pronouncements in this policy brief is worth a look. Congratulations to RIA on a job well done.
It is not that South Asian telcos are not moving in this direction, but I have not seen as good a description of a comprehensive solution to the “pain point” of international data roaming from them. I invite them to submit links if such descriptions exist. Telecom New Zealand has announced that, as of December 21, 2012, customers will have a simplified global-roaming charge rate that will dramatically cut the costs for using data while overseas. The rates for post-paid customers start at NZ$6 per day for data if travellers are visiting Australia or Christmas Island, or NZ$10 per day for the US, UK, Canada, China, Macau, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia. For the rest of the world, the rate varies between NZ$2.
The gist of the NYT report is that some residents of coastal Oregon are unhappy about the discontinuance of tsunami warning sirens. But in these matters what one has to look at is the science. Supporters of the county’s decision, including some coastal hazard experts, say that the sirens, comforting as they may sound in their monthly tests, are so vague in their wailing message — declaring only a tsunami in approach, with no indication of size or timing — that they may be, in a strange way, dangerous to public safety. The last time the sirens wailed, after the March 2011 earthquake in Japan, for example, which triggered tsunami alerts around much of the Pacific Rim, emergency managers here expected the tsunami hitting this part of Oregon to be small, which it was. The only evacuations they ordered were for residents living within a half mile of the shoreline.
Both in our HazInfo project and in the work we did subsequently in the Maldives, we addressed the problems of first-responder communication. The report from the NYT highlights the progress that has been made since 9/11, but also the remaining gaps (identified and written about in the 1990s by our colleagues Peter Anderson and Gordon Gow). During Hurricane Sandy, New York police commanders could talk by radio with fire department supervisors across the city, to officials battling power failures in nearby counties and with authorities shutting down airports in New York and New Jersey. As routine as that sounds, it represented great strides in emergency communications. And it addressed one of the tragic problems of Sept.