Telcos Consider Implementing (Pointless) Ad-Blocking across Mobile Networks

by Jeff Wiener on May 29, 2015

In a move akin to plugging a hole in a dam that has sprung a thousand leaks, there has been a growing discussion of late in the telecom industry regarding the possibility of telcos deploying ad-blocking capabilities across their respective networks, charging the likes of Google—whose entire revenue stream is linked to advertising—to unblock their advertising in some kind of revenue sharing agreement.

Now the notion that network operators could, or should, block advertising and charge companies for the privilege is really nothing new, it’s been part of a larger ongoing discussion across the industry for some time now, of how to transform operators from simply being the “dumb pipe” that everyone else’s data (and profits) are delivered on, to actually being a part of the process, monetizing the data networks deliver in a way that benefits those providing the networks themselves.

But as I mentioned, whatever efforts telcos might want to make in regards to blocking advertising and charging companies for the service, they’re about as effective as plugging one hole in dam that’s sprung a thousand leaks. As noted technology analyst Dean Bubley brilliantly writes, telcos often “take 4 years to spot a good idea, 4 years to implement it & another 4 years to realize they’re too late.” While such blocking efforts may stem some of the torrent of advertising, such thinking is already several years old, virtually irrelevant when talking about the myriad of mediums by which mobile advertising is delivered today.

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The Car is the “Ultimate Mobile Device,” Apple SVP Admits

by Matt Klassen on May 29, 2015

The still unsubstantiated rumours about Apple’s possible entrance in the automotive industry were given significant fuel this past week, as Apple Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams spoke publicly about the interest a mobile company like Apple could have in creating a connected car.

“The car is the ultimate mobile device, isn’t it?” Williams said at a technology conference last Wednesday. “We explore all kinds of categories. We’ll certainly continue to look at those, and evaluate where we can make a huge difference.”

Now granted this is a far cry from confirmation that anything is in the works regarding an Apple car, and Williams himself later explained that Car Play, his company’s car-connected app, was to date the extent of Apple’s connected car efforts, but speculation surrounding Apple’s development plans has been fuelled by less (much less) before, so it’s no surprise the world is once again anticipating Apple revolutionizing yet another industry in the near future.

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Wi-Fi Cellular Data to Account for the Majority of IP Traffic in 2019, Says Cisco

by Istvan Fekete on May 29, 2015

Annual Internet Protocol (IP) traffic is going to more than triple by 2019, according to the annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) forecast.

According to Cisco’s forecast, more than 14% of the total monthly IP traffic is going to come from cellular connections, up from 4% recorded in 2014. By 2019, the company says 53% of monthly IP traffic will come from Wi-Fi connections worldwide, up from 42% in 2014.

Looking forward, Cisco projects fixed-IP traffic to fall to 33% by 2019, down from 54% recorded in 2014, as cellular and Wi-Fi traffic goes up.
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“Smart” Credit Cards Offer Comfortable Bridge towards Mobile Payment

by Matt Klassen on May 28, 2015

The world simply isn’t ready for the mobile payment revolution, at least that’s what several financially oriented tech start-ups are clearly banking on. Instead of pursuing digital payment options like Google Wallet or Apply Pay, several technology companies are taking a more familiar route to push the evolution of financial transactions forward, transforming the classic credit card into a comprehensive payment solution.

This new generation of all-in-one payment cards, or “smart cards,” embrace the familiar credit card form factor, but instead of each card simply connecting to one credit or debit account, one single smart card can include all of the payment information for the various cards that routinely clutter our lives, offering practically the same simplicity of mobile payment in one dynamic card that requires little to no additional infrastructure or adoption from vendors or consumers.

So while the world stumbles and fumbles towards the impending mobile payment revolution, the new smart card now stands as the natural bridge to get us there, offering consumers the same medium as previous credit cards, but transforming what the card can do and the security it is able to offer.

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CRTC to Measure Canada’s Consumer Broadband Speeds

by Istvan Fekete on May 27, 2015

Canada has initiated a project to gauge the broadband speed customers experience at home. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is inviting Canadians to take an active part in a project that will measure the speed of their home broadband services.

Since this isn’t something CRTC would do on its own, it is collaborating with industry professionals such as SamKnows, a company specialized in measuring broadband services and, of course, major Internet service providers.

Those interested in volunteering for this project will help the regulator measure the actual speed customers get compared to the theoretical speeds Internet service providers advertise. The CRTC is in need of 6,200 volunteers, who will receive a device called the “Whitebox”.
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Smartphones are Not Equipped to Control our Lives

by Matt Klassen on May 27, 2015

With the growing interconnectedness of our digital existence the smartphone has become for many the thing we simply can’t live without. It’s a communications hub, an information centre, and the remote control of our lives; able to manage and operate everything from heating our homes to storing our financial information.

In fact, with its ever-expanding operability there will soon come a time when the smartphone will simply replace almost every gadget, device, or tool in our lives. As E-Commerce Times writer Jeff Kagan writes, “Today we don’t leave the house without our keys, our wallet and our smartphone, but tomorrow the phone is all we’ll have to remember.”

But there’s a problem with having smartphones hold the keys to the kingdom, they’re simply too delicate to live up to the responsibility. If we drop our wallet or our keys all we have to do is bend over and pick them up; drop our smartphone, however, and we have an instant—and not to mention expensive—crisis on our hand…and this is the device we have entrusted with all our most important information!? We must be insane.

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Dish Network Poised to Make a Big Splash in the Wireless Market

by Matt KlassenMay 26, 2015

For several years now Dish Network, the nation’s second largest satellite television provider, has been hoarding wireless spectrum resources, confounding and frustrating the wireless industry not only by stealing said spectrum away from established wireless companies, but by offering little to no concrete indication of what it plans to do with its stockpile as well. But [...]

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AT&T to Acquire More 700 MHz Spectrum from East Kentucky Network

by Istvan FeketeMay 26, 2015

AT&T’s hunger for spectrum is undamped. Although the spectrum auction has just ended and the carrier gained some premium licences in targeted areas, it has recently announced plans to acquire three lower 700 MHz C-block licences. According to two filings with the FCC, AT&T is ready to shell out a yet undisclosed amount to East Kentucky [...]

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Huawei Poised to Dominate IoT

by Matt KlassenMay 25, 2015

One of the most vilified Chinese companies in North America is quickly becoming a dominant player in the growing Internet of Things, as the world’s largest telecom hardware provider, Huawei, is leveraging its global market power to establish itself as the default choice for providing a unified IoT ecosystem, but in a surprising twist, not [...]

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BlackBerry to Lay Off Undisclosed Number of Employees from Device Business

by Istvan FeketeMay 25, 2015

BlackBerry has announced another wave of layoffs targeting employees in its device business, including those focused on development of software and applications, reports the Wall Street Journal. The announcement comes after the company had reportedly been on a hiring spree after the most definitive evidence that the company’s turnaround was on track was reported last [...]

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