LocationFree TV by Sony - headaches for broadcasters

You just purchased the rights for say, the UEFA Champions League for the whole United Kingdom. Unfortunately, thanks to such remote TV concepts as Sony's LocationFree TV, you cannot make sure every viewer in Spain uses your channel.
And don't you "It's-OK-for-me" me ; it's not as if the viewer watches your anyway free program along with your so profitable ads : this roamer actually enjoys the service he paid for in his home country, seamlessly and furthermore, YOUlessly.
You may not know it but parts of your revenue may already be literally streaming away from you, and the beauty of it is there's not much you can do (unless Big Medias Inc manage to rule Internet 2.0).
There is an international loophole similar to the one cellcos suffered with termination charges a long while ago. You want to keep an eye on the lunatics locking a few rights for the Tuvalu or Bermuda audiences.


T Login for HSDPA, EV-DO, WiBro and YouNameIt

SK Telecom having a knack for new brands and new technos, customers must be struggling to keep the pace with the operator's launching machine.
T Login isn't Deutsche Telekom's latest Business Unit but a key to all SKT wireless data accesses (3G EV-DO, HSDPA, WiBro... or why not TD-SCDMA tomorrow* ?) for all devices (laptops, PMPs, digital cameras, car navigators...).
And which common denominator connectivity do you think they picked up before embedded solutions - T Login inside - are available ? Neither Bluetooth nor a vulgar 802.1x wannabe, but Korea's ultimate entry point : the USB.
Yet another proof of SKT's priorities, the first T Login modems will start with HSDPA and add WiBro on time for Xmas and at full throttle 3 months later**. Thanks to KRW 190,000 subsidies, retail prices are slashed to KRW 50,000 or about $ 50, which reflects the importance of this new entry point. SKT decided to boost the buzz by recruiting 30 "quality reviewers" on the web besides the usual pilot testers. Service rates range from KRW 29,900 per month for 2GB (+ KRW 184 per additional MB) to KRW 45,000 for 3GB (+ KRW 123). To be compared to, say, a basic fee of KRW 33,000 for Hanaro Telecom's unlimited Fiber LAN access for cyber apartments.
Overall market is estimated at 2 million people, with the usual suspects mobile office workers and road warriors among core targets, but also students because the group intends to embed its major entertainment brands MelOn, cyworld & Co. too - hell, they even offer dodoris as prelaunch incentives ! In a country where PC cards failed, HSDPA does stand a chance and SKT can leverage on security advantages as well as roaming perspectives for business users.

* since the techno is about to enter
Korea (see "TD-SCDMA in Korea" - 20060901)

** No S-DMB in sight and anyway TU media didn't communicate much after the launch of free T-DMB services while KTF claimed 164,000 customers end of May.


GSM rules in the Americas

It was only a matter of time with the TDMA migration but GSM eventually reached the 50% mark in the Americas before the end of Q2 2006 (51%, up from 38% one year earlier).
The situation remains better in Latin America and the Caribbean (63%) than in North America, where CDMA gained 2.8M subs compared to 3.8M for GSM and 505k for iDEN last quarter : considering
TDMA lost 1.6M, this means the CDMA family still outscored the GSM-TDMA squad 51% to 45% in net adds. Spectrum hassles keep preventing W-CDMA from entering the Kingdom of Qualcomm, where Sprint just launched the Novatel Wireless S720 Sprint Mobile Broadband Card ; not much of a name but an EV-DO Revision A device nonetheless.
The CDG is rejoicing but during the last five years, the CDMA roadmap has shrunk to a Data Only thing. I guess Doc Jacobs is working on a disruptive Voice over DO evolution... Reversal of fortune ?

And oh - Happy birthday to GSM (15 years), cdmaOne (10 years) and CDMA2000 (5 years).


TD-SCDMA in Korea

A few years ago, Korea felt proud to be, along with Japan, the only Asian country without any Chinese minority. That became a handicap after 1992 and the Chinese boom, so Incheon and Busan built from scratch actuals Chinatowns within their city limits in order to lure their precious neighbors.
These days, from a technological point of view, Seoul tends to play Beijing over Washington : the Government makes Microsoft and Qualcomm suffer and doesn't hesitate to risk its own jewels (CDMA2000 lead, KTX bullet trains) in order to please the Empire. The result can look weird : Seoul invested a lot to destroy an ugly overpass and restore the Cheonggyecheon, urban planners are wondering how they will get rid of existing overway / subway lines (ie Nowon - Sanggye)... but the city decided nonetheless to build an overway Maglev line in Gangnam only because it could help the country get juicy contracts in China.
So no one should be surprised when Korea's leading cellco announces test TD-SCDMA base stations in Seoul for next year. SK Telecom just signed a MOU with China's NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) to jointly develop 3G, 4G and beyond the Chinese way, along with all their Korea, Inc partners (hardware, software, middleware, content...). Qualcomm is going to love this.

PS / Quizz : "The Host" (Gaemul), Bong Joon-ho's last flick, is breaking all the local box office records... can you tell which radiation will create the next 802.1x pound Han river monster : cdma, cdma2000, EV-DO, W-CDMA, HSDPA, WiFi, WiBro, TD-SCDMA, all of the above, none of the above ?

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