TheTelecomBlog.com’s Top 6 Posts for August 2014

by Jeff Wiener on September 1, 2014

1. Navigating the Back-to-School Technology Craze

If you’re a parent or simply one who likes to watch TV you’ve no doubt noticed the commercials advertising back-to-school supplies; you know, the ones that have been playing since the day after school finished for the summer. In fact, parents often find themselves buried under a torrent of targeted tech advertising designed specifically to convince you that your children, regardless of their age, need the latest and greatest technology to learn; a sentiment your children will likely echo.

But technology wish lists aside, in this modern age of mobile devices—smartphones, tablets, netbooks, portable video game consoles and everything in between—what do your children really need as they prepare to return to school?

2. Sprint Drops T-Mobile Bid and Replaces Chief Executive Dan Hesse

After months of back and forth, and numerous statements claiming that it cannot compete without a merger with T-Mobile, Sprint has decided to abandon its acquisition bid for T-Mobile, according to the Wall Street Journal. The decision comes after Sprint faced mounting resistance from regulators who said such a merger would impede competition.

Its decision to go it alone also came with the surprise decision to replace CEO Dan Hesse, who leaves the company in pretty much exactly the same state he found it in: in a mess and in need of a turnaround. This new Sprint, however, remains optimistic about the future, the company’s new management team not wasting any time on its plan to get competitive on price. But it remains to be seen if such marketing tactics will be enough to revive the perennial third place finisher.
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CRTC “Very Disappointed” with Outcome of Charges for Paper Bills Meeting

by Istvan Fekete on August 29, 2014

The CRTC announced in July that it would look into the telecom companies practice of charging for paper bills. After holding the meeting with carriers, the CRTC has published a press release summarizing the outcome.

“We would like to thank the companies that participated at the meeting on paper bills. The discussion was frank and wide-ranging, and we appreciate that the participants were able to find common ground with respect to exemptions for some Canadians, including seniors, veterans, persons with disabilities and those without Internet access.

Although the regulator was happy to see the representatives of 11 companies: Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, Cogeco Cable, Eastlink, Globalive, MTS Allstream, QuÈbecor, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw Communications, and Telus, overall it was very disappointed that they were unable to reach a broader consensus that would have taken into account the concern of all Canadians.
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Apple Wearable Debut may Accompany new iPhone at September Event

by Matt Klassen on August 29, 2014

Earlier this week Apple sent out invitations for an official release event slated for Sept. 9th. The company provided no details, save for its usual mysterious tagline, one that this year read, “Wish we could say more.” While undoubtedly this event will serve as the company’s annual refresh of its iPhone brand, with speculation that Apple will release two differently sized iPhone models this year, there are rumours that Apple will use this opportunity to finally unveil its entry into the wearable technology market…that is if it’s ready yet.

In a recent interview Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who is still an outspoken voice regarding Apple products, let his opinion about Apple’s rumoured forthcoming smartwatch be known, noting that while he has confidence his former company can do to the wearable market what it did to the smartphone market in 2007, that wearables present a greater challenge to the company.

But challenging or not, Woz thinks he has the recipe for Apple’s wearable success: make it more than a go-between, increase its functionality, and make it bigger (but only a little). Truly if Apple was to release a smartwatch this Fall, one that checks the boxes that Woz has deemed essential, there’s nothing to say that despite its late entry that it couldn’t dominate the hearts and minds of the public, as it seems even after multiple generations of wearable products from Apple’s competitors that the market is still waiting for its first big thing. That said, given successive years of disappointing Apple products, I, for one, am not holding my breath.

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Telus Launches Cloud-Based MDM Solution for Small and Medium-Sized Canadian Businesses

by Istvan Fekete on August 28, 2014

As the BYOD (bring your own device) trend gets stronger, the demand for cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) solutions rises: business owners want to equip staff so they can work out of the office.

To answer that demand, Telus yesterday launched its second mobile device management solution, called MDM Made Easy. To bring that solution to life, Canada’s #2 carrier teamed up with VMware Inc. and Vox Mobile, and the result is a “turn-key MDM” tool that “drastically simplifies the support and enhances the security of mobile devices for small and medium-sized Canadian businesses.

MDM Made Easy allows businesses to deploy an MDM solution quickly and easily without the need to invest in infrastructure, eliminating the costs for on-premises hardware. Also, it ships with pre-configured user profiles that simplify enrolling, configuring, and updating devices, freeing the company’s IT resources.
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Huawei Turns Its Back on Tizen

by Matt Klassen on August 28, 2014

Although the name Huawei means very little to the North American mobile consumer (thanks to American regulators), the Chinese telecommunications firm is poised to challenge the likes of Samsung and Apple for global mobile dominance. With that in mind, perhaps its no surprise that despite pressure from carriers to develop Tizen-powered smartphones Huawei is steadfastly denying that it has any interest in Samsung’s pet OS project, with Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group, explaining that his company has determined “Tizen has no chance to be successful.”

But try as he might to convince the world that Tizen has no future, one can almost see the puppet strings controlling Yu, evidenced by his laboured endorsement of Google and its Android operating system. “We have worries about Android being the only option, but we have no choice,” Yu told the Wall Street Journal. “We have a good collaboration with Google.”

I would guess, however, that Google is but one of many puppet masters attempting to control the Chinese telecom firm, as Huawei continues to face pressure from the Chinese government to embrace a home grown OS (rather than American Android or South Korean Tizen), as well as internal pressure to avoid embracing a direct competitor’s technology.

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Bell Increases LTE Network Speed by 45%, with Speeds as High as 150 Mpbs

by Istvan Fekete on August 27, 2014

Ahead of the highly anticipated iPhone 6 launch, which is said to incorporate a faster Qualcomm modem that supports a theoretical download speed of up to 150 Mbps, Bell has announced that it has bumped the 4G LTE network speed by up to 45%.

What this upgrade means is an increase from 75 Mpbs (expected average 12–25 Mpbs) to 110 Mpbs (14–36 Mpbs), with speeds as high as 150 Mpbs (expected average 18–40 Mbps) currently limited to unspecified locations.

“Bell is committed to bringing the world’s best wireless communications technologies to Canadians everywhere, and we’re proud to announce significantly faster mobile data speeds in more places.” said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility. “More than 4 in 5 Canadians can now access Bell’s 4G LTE service, and we’re growing coverage to over 98% of the population by the end of 2015 with our LTE rollouts to rural and remote locations across the country.”
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T-Mobile Responds to Sprint’s Increased Data Plans

by Matt KlassenAugust 27, 2014

When Sprint adjusted its family bundle plans to add more data at standard industry price points, America’s third largest wireless provider was hoping to differentiate it from the market, giving consumers reason to pause before making a decision about their carrier. It looks like any differentiation Sprint was able to establish, however, lasted about one [...]

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Smartphone “Kill Switch” Law now Official in California

by Istvan FeketeAugust 26, 2014

Since yesterday, California has been the first state in the US to require smartphone manufacturers to implement and enable antitheft security features by default in every smartphone sold in the state. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the so-called kill switch bill introduced by State Sen. Mark Leno and sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. [...]

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Apple’s iWatch Facing Critical Delays

by Matt KlassenAugust 26, 2014

Production issues are plaguing Apple’s latest creation, the rumoured iWatch smartwatch, financial analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported recently. Apple’s efforts to bring the so-called iWatch to market are presenting “a much higher level of difficulty for the company,” according to Kuo, who goes on to say that problems Apple is facing include component issues, system design, [...]

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Successful Companies Need a Mobile-First Strategy

by Jeff WienerAugust 26, 2014

Increasingly consumers are transitioning towards a mobile-first lifestyle, abandoning not only traditional tethers like the home phones, but more recently ones like the desktop computer as well. This shift has created a new kind of consumer, one with real time access to information, purchasing, and unimaginable amounts of data. But if consumers are becoming mobile-first, [...]

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