Posts Tagged Verizon Communications

Time for Carriers to step up | Here comes fast apps | RealtyGo_blog

Fast App

Understanding the interplay between the wireline and wireless worlds is important as value shifts occur. You can’t have a blockbuster iPad2 launch without Wi-Fi. And 55% to 60% of the embedded home Wi-Fi base is coming through cable modems. Apple Inc.’s success eventually results in Comcast Corp.’s, Time Warner Cable Inc.’s, Verizon Communications Inc.’s FioS and even AT&T Inc.’s U-Verse’s success.

With the next generation of tablet and phone devices (Apple’s iPad2 and the HTC Corp. Thunderbolt, for example) comes the front facing camera. We wrote about this with the column “The iPhone without a contract” last Labor Day. Sprint Nextel Corp.’s HTC Evo 4G launched last year with a front-facing camera using the WiMAX network and QiK (now owned by Skype) as the pre-installed app. New hardware begets new software. And this new software is high BPS (bandwidth per second). The higher the BPS, the faster the app.

The next $100 billion of value in the telecommunications industry (inclusive of software) is going to be created by the fast app ecosystem. Combine secure cloud computing with gigabit Ethernet backhaul and dual-core processors and you have the makings of an entirely new industry. It’s not that Groupon brought millions of us daily deals – it’s that they now bring them to us in 1080p (or whatever form factor your device can support). I can now see next year’s holiday blockbuster toys in action at Amazon.com (or through their app), not still photos. And video communication, including a revamped Pandora + YouTube, is now connected to my television. Why do I have a V-Tech cordless phone (and a $40 per month bill)? Why do I have a premium digital video tier?

It’s an exciting world to dream about, and developments are coming very quickly, thanks to companies like Apple and Google Inc. The highest returns can only occur, however, when you expand the market from portable (Wi-Fi) to mobile devices. In car. On train. On bus. If you are moving, you need mobility, not portability. And mobility requires bandwidth that moves with you.

This is where the wireless carriers come in. They hold the keys to mobile fast apps. As much as the developer community wants to circumvent or ignore relationships with the wireless carriers, they cannot achieve a high common denominator (“fastest app”) without the ability to achieve consistent bandwidth speeds and consistently low latency. Said another way, those applications developers that invest in the network interfaces and carrier relationships will create differentiation (and value) faster than those who dumb performance down to the lowest levels. When technology moves quickly, value is created from those companies who can expand with the market, who can achieve the highest and best result instead of the lowest and least. The bandwidth disparity created by 2G/3G/4G and Wi-Fi networks operating simultaneously is too great.

The only way Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA Inc. (combined or separate) can grow 10 to 20 million net adds in the next three years is to partner with the fast applications developers. Multi-player Angry Birds in 3D with optional voice chat does not happen without network integration – the connections are real-time, not “push” and servers need to be very close to the network. Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA may need more growth than 10 to 20 million net adds over the next 3 years to remain relevant. Dropped calls be damned – what about dropped apps?

So we have a willing development community, at least two willing carriers (on top of Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility who will definitely not take this lying down), and capital waiting to earn disproportionate returns. Where do we get started? Three ideas:

1. Multi-player Angry Birds in 3D with optional voice chat takes applications to a new level. Maybe an “all green” AB on March 17?

2. Facebook (or their replacement) could reinvent video communications singlehandedly (and take advertising to a new level).

3. Cloud-based communications directories with caller identificaton (app free version includes a mini-advertisement delivered on every incoming call).

One of the biggest reasons for any directory is discovery. In the old days of White Pages, we discovered a street address and a phone number associated with a name. With the advent of fast apps, I may want to know if you have FaceTime and if you are available for a quick chat, even if you are not in my contact list. Where’s the FaceTime (or Skype or Fring or ooVoo or YouTube or Facebook) listing on my BlackBerry? It doesn’t exist. Then how do I discover that you have FaceTime (meaning an Apple device that has a front facing camera on a participating carrier that has optimized FaceTime for their 4G network)? We need a better discovery engine to make FaceTime or their competitor a more relevant communications application.

The directory needs to protect privacy. I need to be able to turn off applications from being used by some and make an entirely different set of applications available to others. The directory needs to be connected to individuals, not Exchange (which, as explained in the last paragraph, doesn’t have room for these listings anyway). Privacy is easiest with an independent source – friendly to but free from wireless carriers, handset manufacturers, and operating systems.

Finally, the directory needs to be free. Listed or unlisted, private, user-controlled and free. This is not to say that there aren’t charges for “end caps” (featured fast apps), or that larger corporate or association directories don’t pay some fees, or that we show a mini-message on every incoming call in exchange for a free app, but this is not the calling name data storage margins of the past. And, if it can bring in 10 to 20 million customers for Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA (together or separate), it’s worth the carrier effort.

Fast apps are the next $100 billion opportunity in the communications industry. A well executed fast apps strategy by T-Mobile USA and Sprint Nextel (combined or separate) can break the current duopoly (or Verizon Wireless can execute it on its own with LTE and cripple their competition). To make fast apps a reality, the discovery process needs to be radically simpler, privacy needs to be protected, and it needs to be free to the end user. We need an independent directory.

Here come the fast apps. Are you ready?

Jim Patterson is CEO and co-founder of Mobile Symmetry, a start-up created for carriers to solve the problems of an increasingly mobile-only society. Patterson was most recently President – Wholesale Services for Sprint and has a career that spans over eighteen years in telecom and technology. Patterson welcomes your commentsatjim@mobilesymmetry.com.

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Verizon’s wireless 911 service fails, FCC asks for answers – RealtyGo_blog

This is a bit scary…

Help! 911

Verizon Wireless failed to connect around 10,000 calls to 911 during the Jan. 26 snowstorm that blanketed Maryland, according to the FCC, and the agency has requested that the carrier provided a detailed account of what went wrong and what the carrier plans to do to fix it. Importantly, the FCC said it is worried the problem may not be limited to the area, and instead is “widespread across Verizon’s footprint.”

Verizon noted the issue involves the company’s wireline division, although the FCC said the problem specifically involved wireless callers.

“We have taken seriously the concerns about the outage that was triggered by the mass call event that occurred during the January 26th snowstorm. We have been addressing this issue directly with the counties involved, and will work cooperatively to address the FCC’s questions, as well,” said Verizon spokesman Harry Mitchell. “Our objective is to provide the best service to our customers, and we will continue to work with 911 centers and others to ensure that callers receive the level of service they deserve and expect when they call 911.”

James Barnett, chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, sent Verizon a letter Feb. 17 detailing the problem, which he said blocked 8,300 wireless calls to 911 in Montgomery County, Maryland, and 1,700 calls to 911 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, on Jan. 26. Barnett wrote that Verizon’s system stopped taking 911 calls during the snowstorm and did not alert the local 911 answering stations about the problem. He noted that 911 workers only discovered the problem after they received complaints from callers.

Barnett said the trouble was not due to an overload of the system or faulty equipment, and that similar troubles have occurred in the area a number of times before.

“We are particularly concerned that this problem may be widespread across Verizon’s footprint,” Barnett wrote. “We therefore request that Verizon investigate the extent of the problem across its network.”

Rule the Air

The FCC requested that Verizon respond to the issue by March 10.

For more:
– see this FCC document

via Verizon’s wireless 911 service fails, FCC asks for answers – RealtyGo_blog

Related Articles: by fiercewireless;
Pinpointing wireless 911 calls remains tricky
AT&T launches VoIP 911 solution for remote users
FCC extends VoIP 911 deadline
Lack of funds slows E-911

 

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| 02.17.11 | Motorola: Verizon’s LTE justifies Xoom’s $800 price tag | RealtyGo_blog

Xoom

BARCELONA, Spain–Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) CEO Sanjay Jha confirmed that its first tablet, the Android-powered Xoom, will retail for $800 when it goes on sale unsubsidized from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ). Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress trade show, Jha justified the price of the tablet, which is higher than a similar version of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, by saying that the Xoom’s eventual upgrade to LTE gives it a leg up on the competition.

A 32 GB version of the Xoom with Verizon’s EVDO data service will retail for $800. The 32 GB version of the iPad with AT&T Mobility’s no-contract (NYSE:T) HSPA+ service retails for $729. “We felt that our ability to deliver 50Mb/s would justify the $799 price point,” Jha said. “It is 32 GB with 3G and a free upgrade to 4G. Being competitive with iPad is important. We feel that from the hardware and capabilities we deliver we are at least competitive and in a number of ways better [than the iPad].” Verizon has said its LTE network delivers average real-world downlink performance of 5-12 Mbps.

The Xoom runs on Android 3.0, or “Honeycomb,” and boasts a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. It also features a 10.1-inch widescreen HD display. The device supports 1080p HD video and HDMI output to display content on larger HD screens. Additionally, the Xoom has a front-facing, 2-megapixel camera for video chats over Wi-Fi, EVDO or or LTE, as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera that captures video in 720p HD. The Xoom will be upgraded to LTE sometime in the second quarter.

Jha said that Samsung’s return rate and sell-through rate with the Android-powered GalaxyTab have been “concerning,” but said he was confident enough to launch the Xoom at the $800 price point. Importantly, Verizon has not yet revealed its LTE data plans for tablets or smartphones.

Jha also said that Motorola will release a Wi-Fi-only version of the Xoom. He would not be drawn on the exact price, but said it would be “meaningfully cheaper. The price is set by iPad at $599, and we will be right around there.” The 32GB Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad sells for $599.

In an apparent slip, Jha also seemed to divulge the existence of Google’s music service, which Google has never publicly acknowledged. Jha said that an ecosystem is composed of applications, developers and services. “Google’s mobile services–and that includes music services, video services…” Then, according to the Wall Street Journal, correcting himself, he said, “There will be music service, there will be video service.”

| 02.17.11 | Motorola: Verizon’s LTE justifies Xoom’s $800 price tag – RealtyGo_blog

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Sony Ericsson makes Xperia Play official with Super Bowl ad – RealtyGo

Sony Ericsson is no longer being coy about its intentions to launch a gaming-focused smartphone running Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. The company unveiled an advertisement for the Xperia Play, which has been dubbed the “PlayStation phone,” during last night’s Super Bowl.

In the minute-long ad, Sony Ericsson took the wraps off the phone, which it said will be formally announced Feb. 13.  The commercial shows Google’s Android robot being given fingers for gameplay. There also are images of the smartphone, which appears to have a slide-out controller panel.

The Xperia Play is expected to be the first smartphone that meets the standard’s of Sony’s PlayStation Certified license program for hardware manufacturers. That certification promises software development support and logo licensing to guarantee quality gameplay experiences across the Android device ecosystem.

Sony Ericsson has long hinted it will debut the Xperia Play and numerous leaked images and videos of the smartphone have flooded the web in recent months.

But Sony Ericsson was not the only wireless company taking advantage of the high-profile Super Bowl advertising time.  Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) touted its forthcoming launch of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4 with a slight dig at AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) in a commercial that highlights Verizon’s call quality with its “Can you hear me now?” spokesman. AT&T suffered numerous public relations setbacks due to iPhone users’ perception that the carrier had poor network quality in some areas. AT&T shot back with its own Super Bowl ad that highlighted its ability to make simultaneous voice calls and surf the web on the iPhone, which users cannot do on Verizon’s CDMA network.

Additionally, Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) took jab at Apple’s iPad with a teaser ad for its forthcoming Xoom tablet, which runs on version 3.0, or Honeycomb, of Android. The tablet, which will initially launch on Verizon’s EVDO network, will require a monthly rate plan, the ad noted: 1 GB of data for $20; 3GB for $35; 5 GB for $50 and 10 GB for $80. A Motorola spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

via Sony Ericsson makes Xperia Play official with Super Bowl ad – FierceWirelessRealtyGo blog.

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Verizon’s iPhone 4 pre-orders break sales record – RealtyGo blog

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) said it stopped taking pre-orders for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4 at 8:10 p.m. EST yesterday, and that the pre-order sales broke company sales records–an echo of the flood of traffic that greeted AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) when it took pre-orders for the device in June.

Verizon began taking pre-orders at 3 a.m. EST Thursday for existing customers. According to the carrier, within the first two hours Verizon sold more phones than any first day launch in its history. Verizon said online pre-orders will begin again Feb. 9 at 3:01 a.m. EST, and that its stores will open at 7 a.m. local time on Feb. 10 for the official launch. Apple stores also will open at 7 a.m. local time on Feb. 10; Best Buy will offer the CDMA iPhone then as well.

The launch was not without glitches. Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney told Reuters that the majority of the carrier’s customers were able to get their orders processed, but that some customers received error messages. She said Verizon is trying to sort through the issues.

Meanwhile, other carriers are working hard to blunt the impact of the Verizon iPhone. AT&T said Thursday it will throw its marketing muscle behind the Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) Atrix 4G. Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) will host a media event in New York City Monday to unveil an “industry first.” And T-Mobile is offering two free G2 smartphones when customers sign up for an unlimited, two-line family plan, which costs $179.99 per month. Additionally, the No. 4 carrier, which is kickstarting a company-wide turnaround plan, set up a special website to hype its smartphones and HSPA+ network, which it markets as 4G.

via Verizon’s iPhone 4 pre-orders break sales record – FierceWirelessRealtyGo Blog.

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OnStar teams with Verizon for wireless rear-view mirror – RealtyGo

OnStar teams with Verizon for wireless rear-view mirror – RealtyGo.co

OnStar announced a new retail effort that dramatically broadens the company’s addressable market. Instead of offering its service through a calling system built into General Motors vehicles, OnStar announced a rear-view mirror that provides many of the same services and can be installed into cars from other automotive manufacturers.

RelatyGo

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Speculations climb, will At&t loose its Exclusivity to the iPhone early this year..?

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Is it time to make room for other carriers and the ever so popular iPhone.  Speculations climb about At&t possibly having to share the spot light with the once exclusive iPhone! Now with Verizon chiming in and offering their version of the iPad..; is this a sign of what’s coming – for all carriers to cash in on the ever so poplar “Apple Gear”

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) currently has 7 million mobile broadband subscribers on usage-based data pricing plans, and the company considers its transition to the new pricing structure a success six months after its unveiled the changes, AT&T CFO Rick Lindner said.

Lindner said some first-time smartphone buyers selected the company’s $15 price point, which provides 200 MB of data per month, but that the “vast majority” of subscribers who have usage-based plans are on the high-tier 2 GB of data for $25 per month.

Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Lindner said the carrier’s elimination of unlimited data pricing plans has been a success for both customers and the company, and that AT&T has not seen a significant drop in average revenue per user as a result of the change. AT&T’s postpaid average revenue per subscriber was $62.84 in the third quarter, up from $62.63 in the second quarter and up from $61.61 in third quarter of 2009. The carrier counted 33.5 million postpaid integrated devices in its base of 92.8 million total connections at the end of the third quarter.

The new plans give AT&T greater flexibility as applications and services evolve, Lindner said. “It gives us a model where we can increase data usage and data revenues with that usage over time, and add additional tiers over time as warranted,” he said.

In the months following AT&T’s introduction of tiered pricing, both Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile USA have launched similar offerings.

Lindner also addressed continued speculation that AT&T will lose its exclusive right to carry Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone early next year. He said that even in the midst of all of the speculation, AT&T recorded record iPhone activations in the third quarter. He said the company will continue to diversify its smartphone lineup as well as evolve its wireless radio networks.

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