20080214

Social networking for social networks

With Yahoo!'s oneConnect, mobile users will enjoy one interface to synchronise all their social networking services (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace).

Except for the "contacts" part of the services.

What a shame. Imagine Steve Balmer wants to become your friend while you're on the go...

Talking about Stevie Nowonder : he's daring to buy Danger. So Microsoft's idea of innovation is to purchase a netco that used to be hype in the mid 90s and a small manufacturer that happened to make one hype device in the early 2000s ? Danger is my middle name, but I just use the initial : D as in "Dfence"... at least SonyEricsson is joining the Windows Mobile wagon.

Social networking again : Orange and T-Mobile will launch mobile TV in the UK using TDtv technology from NextWave Wireless (formerly known as IP Wireless). No spectrum hassles here, unlike with DVB-H. And as we recently saw*, Orange will soon be able to put satellite on the top of it.

Qualcomm is fuming : no one wants its MediaFLO, nor its UMB, nor its 4G (key CDMA players, including Verizon Wireless, are going for LTE).

Maybe Qualcomm should have tried social networking instead of asocial pervasive licensing.

* see "Orange has its rights, Orange has it right" (20080210)



20080210

Orange has its rights, Orange has it right

Two good points for Orange :

- a greater share of French soccer rights : beyond the mobile rights it already earned in the previous contest, VOD and saturday night games should prove great teasers for the other sides of its quad play offers. Orange Sports is likely to become a better known and respected brand.

- a strategical partnership with Samsung for satellite TV broadcasting (DTH, probably via Eutelsat's Hotbird, but not on a wire) : 1 to 1.5 million sets (PVR + HD tuner) are expected from the begining. UK, Poland and Spain could follow France.

If Canal+ secured its lion's share in both soccer rights and satellite accesses, Vivendi is definitely facing a much tougher challenger...

... and all three French MNOs are now enjoying a strong TV flavor to better face a potential new entrant on their core market (see "
3G license part III - France's fourth wedding or a funeral ?"- 20070309).





20080204

The WiBro Affair

A negative word about WiBro from SK Telecom's CEO ignited a PR frenzy in favor of Korea's "Mobile WIMAX" technology.

Recently endorsed as ITU-R IMT-2000, this member of the 802.16 family is alive and kicking in Seoul. While SKT focuses on HSPA and rolls out WiBro reluctantly, KT insists with the benediction of Korea Inc : the Government, the ETRI, and of course Posco, the mother company of POSDATA, a major promoter of WiBro who's seeking new markets and opening offices in Kuala Lumpur

KT claims 100,000 subs EOY 2007 with the ambition to reach 400,000 EOY 2008, and downloads to be 3 times faster than with HSPA (3 Mbps vs 1). It's WiBro service sounds almost cheap : a little bit under 20,000 wons, that's halfway between ADSL and FTTH.

But Korea Telecom will need to widen the range of devices available - up to now : 10 modems, 5 laptops and 3 handsets (PC Cards and PDAs are also on the market).

And KT needs to spend a lot on IPTV this year.

To add to the fun, competition is definitely getting fiercer in Korea : POSDATA is facing technology thieves within its own staff and 4 researcher have just been put in jail because they tried to steal WiBro secrets for the US.

Now that's a brilliant PR operation : you don't want to steal something you can't sell... Unless you're an art lover falling for rare antiques.



20080202

Your personal safe haven

I just answered a friend's question about convergence. Which led me back to a point I raised a couple of years ago*.

As the customer experience in a converging environment gains in seamlessness and fluidity, a sense of unease may be growing. Yes, as expected, the home and the office won back part of their central role. Yes, as expected, a main personal device allows you to switch seamlessly from a residential to a nomadic to a mobile mode. But at the same time, you are more and more led to grow what I call your "main ID" on distant servers.

Nowadays, social networks services get a major slice of that aggregate. It used to be your e-mail service provider, your homepage host or your blog dealer. It may be someone else tomorrow... and not necessarily that Microsoft-Yahoo! 800 pound gorilla (the latest Alien-Predator flick, or rather the latest 70s-90s revival).

But there as well, convergence is on the way. And the consumactor will be torn between the one-stop shopping need of a centralized management and the fear of leaving his most precious personality to one greedy corporation.

To me, beyond the access commodity, the core of the value shall lie at that level. And the best service providers will have to be as efficient, independent and trustable as top private bankers in charge of precious diversified portfolios (ie cultural rights, databanks, IDs...).


* see "
Open Spheres, Personal Spheres, Shared Spheres and Safe Heavens" (20050520)



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