How big is the mobile opportunity?
Another area where the modular approach is starting to have an impact is in the telephone service arena. Traditionally, telephone service was offered on a land line and was divided into local service, long distance, and extra features like caller ID, call forwarding, etc… The model was predicated on the concept of one device (the phone) receiving a package of services. The mobile phone business started having an impact by untying the phone lines from the wall, making the concept of localization a relatively moot point. Once localization was broken, the differentiation between local and long distance disappeared which left a division only between connectivity and extra features. Since most of the signals going over the air became digital, the cost of delivering extra services dropped to almost nothing, destroying the competitive value of such offerings. While mobile phone service made headway against traditional land lines, a new set of telephone offerings appeared on the Internet: Voice over IP. With VoIP, telephone just becomes a software issue, unbundling telephone from the concept of a telephone network and dropping the connectivity issue altogether. While mobile phones were tied to a particular phone network, VoIP phones are not tied to any network:…Read More
Today is a great day in the USA. Wireless Number Portability has arrived! I wrote about this last year and am glad that we have finally arrived to the point where number portability is now doable. So what is number portability? Well, effective today, you can change mobile phone provider without having to worry about changing your phone number. For example, if your phone number is (646) 555 1212, you can still keep the same number but choose between different mobile phone providers. An added extra is that you can also take your land-line phone number and port it to a mobile phone line. What’s the catch? Mobile phone operators sometimes work on different networks: GSM, CDMA, or TDMA. If you are switching between companies that are using different networks, you might have to change phone. If you are switching between GSM providers, all you may have to do is change your SIM card. If you are using a CDMA or TDMA provider, you might have to go to the store to get your phone reprogrammed with the new number. If you are still under contract with a provider, some penalty fees will be assessed. Make sure that you are…Read More
I was recently speaking at a conference called Escandinavia 2000, which covered the state of the Internet in Scandinavia. During that conference, I had a chance to speak to a number of people about the state of wireless in the Scandinavian countries. Here’s what I’ve learned and how it can help those of you who are working in the wireless space in the United States. The Hybrid World Lives! Many of you may remember the February 10th issue about Hybrid Computing. While talking with Birger Steen, CEO of Scandinavia Online, I discovered that the concept is not that far off the market. It is his contention that WAP-enabled phones are largely a pain in the back when it comes to interface. Having to key in every letter on the small phone keyboard is far from the easiest thing in the world. As a result, Scandinavia Online has developed a set of services that allows users of their portal jump on their site and configure their WAP view on the web. From his point of view, this is the best service he can offer now to wireless users. The point was reiterated by a few people around the conference that told…Read More