My latest book Open Mobile: Understanding the Impact of Open Mobile – Implications for Telecoms/Devices, Web, Social Networks, Media and Personal Privacy is now available as a free pdf download

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My latest book Open Mobile: Understanding the Impact of Open Mobile – Implications for Telecoms/Devices, Web, Social Networks, Media and Personal Privacy is now available as a free pdf download you can see more and download HERE

link http://openmobile.futuretext.com/

The ethos and vision of Open Mobile has been the foundation of my work for many years. But only now, since the launch of the iPhone and Android are we seeing that vision turn to reality. Today, there is no turning back. The rate of uptake of Open Mobile is now unstoppable.

In fact, too rapid to keep pace with through a book!

So, the idea is to make the soft copy of the book free and seek feedback. Currently, we don’t have a forum but soon we will.

The book is written from an NPOV perspective (i.e. neutral perspective) covering Telecoms, Web (Internet, Cloud), Social networking, Content, and Privacy. Inspite of the scope, already from the time of writing, we have updates to this book and hopefully we will capture more perspectives though this initiative.

See the site for more details and happy to get feedback/suggestions for inclusion in subsequent versions

LTE Forum 2010‏

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LTE forum 2010 is in April.

Some good comments about last years event;

Alan Hadden: “A superbly organised conference – focused agenda, top speakers, international audience – with real experiences, facts and news shared – simply the best LTE event this year!”

Claudio Adriani: “A first class event, very well organized and attended. Informative and stimulating with the benefit of an excellent opportunity for networking”

I spoke at this event last year and should be a good event this year as well although I am not able to speak at it due to a prior event

Pricewaterhouse Coopers wireless industry reports

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PricewaterhouseCoopers released two wireless industry reports: its annual North American Wireless Industry Survey, as well as its point-of-view report on Wireless Customer Profitability.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers 2009 North American Wireless Industry Survey is an annual publication that covers the financial and operational reporting policies and practices of wireless service providers. The 2009 survey comprises U.S. and Canadian companies and is conducted by PwC’s Entertainment, Media and Communications industry practice, which prepares the survey questions, solicits company participation, and compiles and analyzes the survey results. The survey period covers year-end 2008 as well as certain information as of June 30, 2009. Companies participate voluntarily, and individual survey results are kept confidential by PwC.

From their synopsis:

With US consumer mobile penetration near saturation, soaring retention costs, consumer price sensitivity and surging data traffic demands, PwC contends that mobile carriers must look beyond market share to advance their growth and profitability. The reports highlight the state of the wireless sector and provide insight on how carriers will need to find growth by making existing customers more profitable and less by finding new customers. Provided below is the press release.

The survey finds that the downturn in the economy triggered an increase in consumers moving towards prepaid plans. On average, use of prepaid minutes increased more than 147 percent in the past four years, from 270 minutes in 2006 to 667 minutes in 2009.

Change is in the Air finds that smart phone sales are increasing and represent significantly higher average revenues per user (ARPU). As of June 30, 2009, 21 percent of all mobile device sales were smart phones, and an average of 12 percent of overall subscribers use smart phones. The average revenue per user for smart phones is $74 compared with total postpaid average revenue of $54.

Despite the difficult economy, carriers are continuing to invest in the network and infrastructure to address increasing data demands and are beginning to migrate towards 4G technology. The survey cites on average, capital expenditures as a percentage of service revenues increased to 21.5 percent in the 2009 survey from 18 percent in the 2008 survey.

As carriers seek to reduce costs and exert an impact on environmental issues, electronic payments are becoming more significant. The survey reports that average percentage of postpaid subscribers receiving paper invoices decreased from 81 percent in the 2008 survey to 72 percent in the 2009 survey, and the average percentage of subscribers that received electronic invoices increased from 6 percent to 14 percent during the 2008 to 2009 survey period.

PwC’s analysis concludes that every customer from the premium smart phone user to the pre-pay consumer can contribute to profitability and growth. According to Point of View: Wireless Customer Profitability, mobile carriers will need to adopt a granular point-of-view to:

· Gain more clear insights across the customer base into who contributes to (and detracts from) profitability.

· Adopt targeted and scaled strategies to ‘go the extra mile’ for high-performing customers and to more carefully mitigate the costs of unprofitable customers.

· Develop customized tools that ensure every touch point-initial contract, handset subsidies, service and retention efforts-keep the bottom line of that unique customer in mind.

· Craft tiered pricing options based on the cost profiles of different customers (e.g. smart phone users v. less data-intensive customers).

The full report and the accompanying point-of-view are available HERE

Open source is anti-capitalism says confused International Intellectual Property Alliance – reminds me of pharma companies suing Nelson Mandela

Another bizarre headline this week .. Open source is anti-capitalism says confused International Intellectual Property Alliance

It turns out that the International Intellectual Property Alliance, an umbrella group for organisations including the MPAA and RIAA, has requested with the US Trade Representative to consider countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India for its “Special 301 watchlist” because they use open source software.

What’s Special 301? It’s a report that examines the “adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights” around the planet – effectively the list of countries that the US government considers enemies of capitalism. It often gets wheeled out as a form of trading pressure – often around pharmaceuticals and counterfeited goods – to try and force governments to change their behaviours.

Being capitalistic and an advocate of Open source but within the wider ecosystem, this article shows the stupidity of bodies who confuse many different things – ex RIAA etc are concerned with protecting content(like music) which is not the same as code .. ex – if I voluntarily decide to make code (or for that matter) content open sourced, this should be fine .. It is not anti-capitalistic

Such stupidity is on par with Phama companies suing Nelson Mandela and South Africa for rights to affordable medicine

In the end, it benefits no one ..

Google – Italy verdict: A sad day for privacy laws and the Net ..

A sad day for privacy laws and the Net .. The Google – Italy verdict is ridiculous

Richard Thomas, the UK’s former information commissioner and consultant to privacy law firm Hunton & Williams, “It is like prosecuting the post office for hate mail that is sent in the post,” he told BBC News. and I agree ..

This sets a bad precedent and also makes the position of other Web firms(and today, every firm is a Web firm) .. unclear.

It is bad for Italy and for doing business in Italy.

Bloom boxes .. very interesting development – one to watch


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Whitepaper: Mobile VoIP – Approaching the Tipping Point by Ajit Jaokar and Chetan Sharma

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I wrote the white paper Mobile VoIP – Approaching the Tipping Point alongwith Chetan Sharma.

Exec summary is:

Over the course of the last decade, mobile devices have become the most ubiquitous consumer electronic devices ever invented. Even in the poorest of the nations, mobile phones have evolved from being a luxury to an indispensible necessity. The paradigm of communication itself has undergone a significant transformation from just voice to multimode interaction. The trend is also discernable in the revenue numbers from the advanced mobile markets where voice revenue per user have been declining over the course of the last decade while most of the growth is coming from mobile data services. Mobile data services have evolved significantly from simple text messaging to multimode communication involving text, VoIP (voice over IP), video, and other forms of messaging and social networking interactions.

As we head into the next decade, the competitive landscape is going to change from year to year and sometimes even quarter to quarter. For major service providers, competition is no longer just from an operator who provides voice and data services but any company that captures the communication value chain. It is no longer sufficient to rely on voice revenues but providers need to think communications in a much more holistic form. Once the transport layer becomes all-IP in a given network, voice is nothing but another application that will work and interact with other applications in tandem often in real-time. The fear of cannibalization are unwarranted as our research shows that by offering consumers comprehensive services, the lifetime value of customers can be increased, churn can be reduced, and the overall value proposition of the operator increases tremendously.

The forces of technology, business models, consumer expectations, regulatory regimes, competition, and collaboration will help define the communication landscape of the next ten years. This paper will take a look at the evolution of the Internet, mobile broadband, and mobile communication and how consumer behavior and expectations have changed. Next, the emergence and the role of VoIP is discussed in further detail before we delve into the intricacies of communication economics to dispel some myths and layout the framework for how operators should approach the new communications world.

Given the embrace by major tier-one operators, we believe that mobile VoIP is on the verge of becoming an integral part of the communications framework. This acceptance represents a tipping point in the evolution of mobile VoIP. The ecosystem participants who embrace and collaborate to provide a holistic and comprehensive communication solutions stand to benefit the most.

The partnership between Verizon and Skype ushers in a new era for Mobile VOIP – and it is a new tipping point for the industry as a whole. Comments welcome

Link to download pdf is: Mobile VoIP – Approaching the Tipping Point by Ajit Jaokar and Chetan Sharma

Growvc launches with an innovative model for mobile startups ..

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I have been a big proponent of changing the funding model for mobile startup companies. (Lessons from Trutap: Part two – Do we need a Zopa like funding model for the Mobile data industry? )

So, I am truly pleased to see this! Growvc launches with an innovative model for mobile startups ..

Techcrunch has a great write up on GrowVC which I covers all I wanted to say …

Grow VC is a new community funding model for technology startups. Here’s how it works: Grow VC will pool 75 per cent of membership fees into a community fund that gets invested back into ‘promising startups’ which are members of the platform. The fund is managed by Grow VC but all the investment decisions are left to members who determine how to invest their portion of the fund into other startup companies that they feel have the most potential. The most successful decision makers get financially rewarded when the community fund begins earning a return on investment. So, if you promote the best companies you make moola.

Joining Grow VC, and the basic features such as building a person profile, are free. Premium features come with subscriptions ranging from $20 to $140 per month, depending on how much money the startup company is seeking or how much the investor is looking to invest. For unlimited service investments, the monthly subscription fee is $90 per month. The fund is aimed at startups that need $10,000 to $1 million USD.

Congratulations to Jouko and the GrowVC team in making this happen

GrowVC are one of the VC partners and will be speaking at the CTIA Las Vegas event I am chairing in March on Mobile Web and Apps – and I look forward to it!

Mobile world congress numbers are significantly up from last year and as an industry we are adding real value ..

Lots more insights coming from Mobile World Congress 2010 , but here is a thought ..

I have been thinking of policy due to my work in the World Economic Forum and European Union

On Monday morning, I read the International Herald Tribune headlines in my hotel lobby which said the investment banks have colluded with certain countries to hide debt

In contrast, for the rest of the day, this year’s MWC showed an INCREASE in numbers defying the general economic doom and gloom .. (50,000 estimated by Informa)

It shows that MWC2010 is already a success and that’s great to see ..

We, as an industry have real customers, are creating real value and continue to connect people globally, empower them and enrich them ..

Something politicians and policy makers should note ..

The event is already a success in my view .. If you are not here, you are missing something big .. as the industry matures, we see real value, profits, growth and innovation

On the eve of the Mobile world congress – a very insightful post – where did it all go wrong for Europe ..

On the eve of the Mobile world congress – a very insightful post from the Guardian – where did it all go wrong for Europe .

This is sad but tough ..

“Europe has become the ‘flyover states’ of the mobile industry,” says a ­senior European executive, referring to the disparaging term used to describe middle America by high-powered business travellers shuttling between California and New York. “All the service innovation is being done on the west coast of the US, and all the manufacturing and technical innovation is being done in the Far East. All we’re doing is selling other people’s products.”

Mark Newman says ..

“As soon as the mobile business opened itself up in such a way that internet technology could become available on mobile networks, that was the end,” according to Mark Newman, chief research officer at Informa Telecoms & Media. “Maybe Europe had a chance but it blew it, in my view, because there are too many sets of interests, each so obsessed with their own sphere of influence that they could not co-operate.

In other words .. Walled Gardens!

And more ..

“You had operators and device manufacturers never pulling in the same direction, and I cannot see any way in which Europe can regain the ascendancy. Essentially the future of communication services is that people want access to the cloud of services called the internet.”

The industry did see it coming. It tried several times to create a mobile internet that was not going to be beholden to the American giants. In the late 1990s, a pared-down wireless internet service called WAP was being pushed by several GSM operators. Customers, many of whom were used to dial-up internet access, were unconvinced and soon started summing up the service by replacing the “w” with “cr”.

I could not agree more that: Essentially the future of communication services is that people want access to the cloud of services called the internet.”

This means many names we take for granted will not be dominant anymore ..