Telecom Industry Needs to Change Data Sales Philosophy, Rogers CEO Says

by Istvan Fekete on September 19, 2014

How can a wireless player increase the data spending of its customers? Rogers CEO Guy Laurence has a (new?) strategy: the telecom industry needs to change the way it markets its data services and stop scaring subscribers into buying more data. Instead, the carriers should focus on why it is worth the price.

The CEO used an analogy between buying gasoline for a car, and data for a smartphone. And from his perspective, the auto industry is doing a much better job.

“We need to change the philosophy of how we sell data so it’s as easy as buying petrol,” Guy Laurence, who has been president and chief executive of Toronto-based Rogers since December, told a CIBC conference in Montreal. “Instead of having a little yellow light on the dashboard, we send out messages going ‘Oh, my God! You’re nearly at your limit!” Laurence said Wednesday.

“If you want to go out to the lake or the mountain or something. . . what you spend on petrol isn’t the big issue at the end of the day. That’s where we need to get to.”
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Steve Jobs Opposed Children using iPads (at least his children)

by Matt Klassen on September 19, 2014

I’m sure many of us picture the lives of the technocratic elite as being filled with the gadgets we crave; touchscreens on every wall and iPads around every corner, but as New York Times journalist Nick Bilton explains, such is often not the case. In fact, the at-home reality for those who have imagined and created our favourite mobile devices is often rather plain, an unadorned existence largely devoid of the very products they hock to the masses on a regular basis.

It was a discovery Bilton first made during a 2010 interview with Apple visionary Steve Jobs, an offhand comment about the technological reality of the Jobs’ family that revealed volumes about the parenting choices of those who create the products we love, and about the impact of those products on our kids.  “So, your kids must love the iPad?” [Bilton] asked Mr. Jobs during a 2010 interview, just as the company’s first tablet was just hitting store shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he replied. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

But why would the creator of some of the world’s favourite mobile gadgets be hesitant to offer those devices to his kids, particularly in the world where many parents are perfectly content to let their kids bask endlessly in the glow of tablets, smartphones, and computers? The answer, because no one knows the dangers of technology and children better than those who make the devices we love, meaning perhaps we should take heed not to what the technocratic elite say about our favourite mobile gadgets, but to what they actually do with them.

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Ottawa’s Determination to Establish Fourth Wireless Player Costs Investors Billions

by Istvan Fekete on September 18, 2014

The Harper government’s determination to impose the establishment of a fourth wireless player in the country may bear fruit thanks to Quebecor and Anthony Lacavera’s Wind Mobile. The recent moves from these small wireless players seem to point in the “right direction” from the government’s perspective, but Ottawa’s wireless policy still continues to generate a trail of speculation and confusion, and its immediate visible result is billions of dollars in investor losses, Terence Corcoran highlights.

We don’t have to look too far: just a couple of days back Anthony Lacavera’s Globalive Capital acquired VimpelCom’s stake in Wind Mobile for $285 million. The price paid for the shares was $135 million (part of the $285 million deal). However, to push Wind Mobile to its current phase, the Russian telecom giant needed to invest more than $1.5 billion. The loss incurred by VimpelCom was roughly $1.5 billion.

Another great example is Mobilicity. The wireless startup was launched in 2010 with high hopes but is currently under bankruptcy protection. Losses: roughly $500 million. Mobilicity’s shareholders filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government for breach of promise and are seeking $1.2 billion in damages. That’s roughly $2 billion in losses for investors, as a direct result of Ottawa’s push for a fourth wireless player and its current rules limiting the growth of small carriers.
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FCC Considers the Future Course of Net Neutrality

by Matt Klassen on September 18, 2014

Now that the Federal Communications Commission’s public comment period regarding Net Neutrality standards has come to close the often pointless bureaucratic entity is now left with a decision regarding what direction to take its Open Internet initiative.

In fact, rumours abound that based on public feedback the FCC is actually considering a reversal in its previous decision about treating wireless networks differently than wired networks.

“One of the constant themes on the record is how consumers increasingly rely on mobile broadband as an important pathway to access the Internet,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. “The basic issue that is raised is whether the old assumptions upon which the 2010 rules were based match new realities.”

But why would the FCC ever think the realities of Internet usage in 2010 would be the same in 2014 or beyond? One needs only to walk down the street to see that a growing number of Internet users access the Web via a mobile device, and that Internet users need wireless networks properly regulated now more than ever. As evidence of just how far out of touch regulatory agencies often are, what we’re saying here is that the FCC needed a record 3 million respondents to tell them something they should have figured out by looking out the window: we needed wired internet regulation years ago, we need wireless regulation today.

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Wind Mobile Chairman and CEO Anthony Lacavera Speak About Company Plans

by Istvan Fekete on September 17, 2014

Starting yesterday, the Russian VimpelCom has officially ended its foray into the Canadian wireless market: it sold all its direct and indirect debt and equity interests in Wind Mobile to Globalive Capital, a firm owned by Anthony Lacavera.

While the transaction terms were being sealed, Globalive confirmed to the Financial Post that it had agreed to pay $285 million to take full ownership of Wind Mobile. Globalive was backed by a consortium of investors such as West Face Capital, Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LG Capital Investors, Serruya Private Equity, and Novus Wireless Communications.

“With stable, long-term ownership and secure financing, WIND Mobile is moving into an exciting new phase,” said Mr. Lacavera. “WIND Mobile is now poised to continue to bring True Mobile Freedom to Canadians for many years to come.”
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Apple Fans have Samsung to Thank for Bigger iPhones

by Matt Klassen on September 17, 2014

With rabid Apple fans clamouring over the company’s newly unveiled iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the reality is that those Apple fans have one company to thank for these long awaited changes, and it’s not their beloved Cupertino wunderkind, it’s that hated company from across the pond that does nothing but copy and mimic Apple’s brilliance: Samsung.

Now I would imagine that for some Apple fans that this news might be considered anathema, one of the greatest lies every perpetrated on the human race, as there seems to be a feeling within Apple fandom that the Cupertino Company answers to nobody, that perhaps the company can’t be—or doesn’t need to be—influenced by anyone else, and finds the inspiration for its brilliant products on high–God (or perhaps Donald Trump) being the only other being fit to weigh in on the company’s product decisions.

But as painful as the truth is, there’s no question in my mind that we would not have seen Apple depart from Steve Jobs’ “perfect” form factor had it not been for the ongoing—albeit confusing—popularity of Samsung’s over-sized Galaxy Note phablet series. So in delicious twist of irony Apple, having long accused Samsung of copying its products, now finds itself in an interesting position, the mimicker instead of the mimickee.

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Anthony Lacavera Said to Be Buying VimpelCom’s Stake in Wind Mobile for $300 Million

by Istvan FeketeSeptember 16, 2014

Wind Mobile’s Canadian founder is said to be buying out VimpelCom’s stake in the company, with plans to recapitalize the carrier. Anthony Lacavera is said to have the financial backing of several investors, sources familiar with the matter have told the Globe and Mail and the Wall Street Journal. The deal is expected to be [...]

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New Apple Products Present Greater Security Challenge

by Jeff WienerSeptember 16, 2014

For years Apple has offered email, messaging, and calendar services, but as the company’s must recent product event demonstrated last week, the Cupertino Company is morphing into something it wasn’t before: a serious data company. Mobile products aside, Apple unveiled a number of new services that have immediately vaulted the firm into another stratosphere when [...]

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Google Aims Android One at the “Next Five Billion”

by Matt KlassenSeptember 16, 2014

Google began this week by taking yet another important step towards world domination; it unveiled Android One, an unadorned version of its operating system aimed squarely at emerging markets. To that end, the official unveiling of Google’s Android One took place in the early hours of Monday morning, not in the company’s California headquarters, but [...]

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Rogers and Bell Force Customers into New Monthly Plans With New Hardware Upgrades

by Istvan FeketeSeptember 15, 2014

Two of the Canadian incumbent wireless players are forcing customers to upgrade to their Share Plans, or a valid Smart Picks or Voice & Data Lite plan, respectively. If you are planning to buy an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or maybe the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or the Galaxy Edge, and you don’t want [...]

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