20050520

Open Spheres, Personal Spheres, Shared Spheres and Safe Heavens

The fierce debate between Qualcomm's Dr Irwin Mark Jacobs and Forrester's George F. Colony at Seoul Digital Forum 2005 somehow seems reminiscent of the early 2000s war between Bill "Pervasive Computing" Gates and Jorna "Mobility Rules" Ollila.
Why oppose the PC vision to the mobile age mantra ? Broadband Korea proves the handset remains relevant in a VDSL home advertised on TV with the intel inside jingle. Instead of talking about "X-Internet" (for extended internet), Colony should consider dropping the obsolete "PC" term : the PC as we know it is as dead as the mobile phone, long life to the Hubs.
Let's forget hardware and consider the spheres we live in : the Open Spheres, the Shared Spheres, the Personal Spheres often blur and sometimes use the same device (ie the various users environments of a shared home hub), the mobility factor being yet another dimension. In this wild wall-less world, one of the key issue remains security. That's where your most personal device can actually become a key, the kind you never leave far away from you. But not a universal one either (the so-called universal remote control) : not that many people put their car keys on the same ring as their home keys and even fewer would hook both to their mobile phones.
Another spot (or maze of spots) you want to consider is what I would call your Safe Heaven, where you keep your valuables. It can be a portable vault and/or a few remote servers but it's somewhere on the map and you can't afford excluding it from your closest environment.
Even if you balk in front of the one-stop-logging perspective (and you do have a point there), this cloud of references is as consistent as your self, as unique as your fingerprints, your ultimate ID.
Please don't let anyone - and certainly no corporation - steal your DNA (Digital Networking Agility) nor even do any kind of research on it.



20050515

Dell VNO - Virtual Nosweat Operator

So Michael Dell just added his voice to HSDPA, the sign this standard's getting all the momentum needed to go to the top. But implementing 3G and beyond doesn't mean Dell will become a M-VNO.
Because Dell just can't become a M-VNO without ceasing being Dell. The Dell brand would be relevant and could make it but how far away from his know-how does Dell want to go ? Direct sales and DYI phones can work in a commoditized world but 3G+ is not likely to become a commodity before long. Customer service would be a hassle and the likes of Verizon would have to do the bulk of the job. And beyond a brand these folks usually seek partners with an added value in dealing with demanding customers.
So Dell will keep providing hardware with a minimal service and without considering true MVNOod. There's a noble task ahead yet : better efficiency, better productivity and smarter lifecycles for all handsets and future enabled devices.



20050504

Hardware behind, hard work ahead

The very day TU Media's satellite DMB service was launched, SK Telecom sold their handset manufacturing unit SK Teletech to Pantech & Curitel (P&C moves closer to the Samsung - LG duo but remains a relatively small player internationally). Whatever happens to Moneta ? Dongles can be found all over Korea and mobile banking / finance seems catching but SKT may end up joining the Sony - DoCoMo felica stream.
Anyway SKT confirm their switch from customer-techno-centric to customer-content-focused ambitions, and Hallyuwood should bring better differenciation and higher added value in the long term provided the MNO manages to lock a nice position there. Their market share is shrinking but still strong and this is certainly not the time when short term shareholder ROI should be put first.



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