Analysts Foresees Bigger Growth in Canadian Telecoms than in US Peers

by Istvan Fekete on November 21, 2014

Although the Canadian telecom market is considered by some a mature one, Citi Research sees a bigger potential for growth than in their US peers, reports the Leader Post.

In a note sent to the Canadian newspaper, analyst Kevin Toomey initiated coverage of the sector with buy ratings on Telus and Bell, and ranked the biggest of all, Rogers, as neutral. In his forecast, he highlighted several factors that should drive better relative revenue growth through 2018.

What’s interesting is that Toomey foresees a compound annual revenue growth of 2% for Canadian carriers, versus less than 1% for US telecom companies. From his research it is evident that Canada offers a better industry structure, lower mobile device penetration, deep wireless spectrum holdings, less secular pressures on wireline, and favourable demographics due to a wealthier population growing at an above-average pace.
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Tizen Refocuses on Budget Smartphone Market

by Matt Klassen on November 21, 2014

The last two years have been a long, circuitous road for Samsung’s revolutionary Tizen mobile operating system, and we haven’t even seen a viable, competitive handset come to market yet. Once touted as a possible candidate as a third player in the high end global mobile market, a rival for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, it’s become clear that such waters may be too deep for Tizen, forcing the OS to undergo a major refocus.

In an admission that underscores just how competitive the high end smartphone sector is today, it seems the Tizen team has started to navigate a new path, away from the high end side of the market and towards the middle and budget ends of the spectrum, attempting to compete with Google’s Android One, as well as emerging Asian mobile companies like Xiaomi, aiming to bring a better, more feature rich product to these markets at a price that’s still affordable.

But given that Tizen has already undergone its first major rebranding before we’ve even seen it enter the market certainly does not bode well for the fledgling Samsung-backed project, as the operating system that was touted as a revolution in open source customization and Samsung’s saviour from Android is now aiming its sights considerably lower, towards a budget market that Samsung is quickly losing ground in as well.  [click to continue…]

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AWS-3 Spectrum Bids Surpass $16.4 Billion

by Istvan Fekete on November 20, 2014

After 15 rounds, the AWS-3 spectrum auction has netted $16.4 billion in bids, meaning that the most valuable spectrum licences have met the reserve price the FCC set ahead of the auction.

The most fierce competition continues to be around licences in the New York City metropolitan area, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Boston. While the identities of the bidders are confidential, analysts following the 15 rounds say the heaviest bidders are Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile, and finally Dish Network as a wildcard.

The cumulative price of $10 billion for the AWS-3 paired spectrum licences was reached during round 12, Jefferies analysts declared. The paired spectrum in the auction runs from 1755–1780 MHz for uplink operations and 2155–2180 MHz for downlink.

The AWS-3 auction consists of two sub-bands of spectrum:

- One of the sub-bands consists of one unpaired 5 MHz block (1695-1700 MHz) and one unpaired 10 MHz block (1700-1710 MHz), licensed in EA geographies.
The other sub-band consists of paired spectrum. It includes one 5×5 MHz block (1755-1760 and 2155-2160 MHz) licensed in Cellular Market Area (CMA) geographies.
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‘Miraculous’ Cleantech Changes Water into Fuel

by Matt Klassen on November 20, 2014

As the world awakens to the reality that fossil fuels won’t be able to sustain our current consumption rates for very long we’ve already seen a number of automakers delving into various cleantech options, whether its Tesla Motors’ innovative electric cars to Toyota’s new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, Mirai. But the reality is that such technology is years, perhaps decades away, from mass adoption, as there’s simply too much infrastructure and technology already in place that supports the use of fossil fuels.

It’s this languorous pace of change that has many looking for stopgap solutions, ones that could conceivably help relieve the burden on Mother Earth while still utilizing the current petroleum-centric infrastructure we have in place, and one German cleantech company may have found such a solution, creating synthetic fossil fuels.

Now granted it may not be on par with changing water into wine, but Dresden-based Sunfire, a renewable energy firm, has unveiled a machine that does something almost as miraculous: changing water into fuel.

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New Canadians Spend Twice as Much Time on Mobile than Native Residents

by Istvan Fekete on November 19, 2014

Canada is a very diverse, multicultural country. As of 2011, one in five Canadians were foreign born, the highest proportion of any G8 country. Also, it is estimated that 250,000 new immigrants come to Canada each year, raising the question of their digital acculturation in an era of digital revolution. Yahoo Canada decided to put an end to speculation and conducted a survey among new Canadians – those who have moved to the country within the past five years.

As the “Digital Acculturation” survey reveals, many (47%) of new Canadians find a balance between their cultural identity and the opportunities the country offers – the study looked into how they connect with brands.

When analyzing media habits, the Yahoo Canada survey found that new Canadians are spending twice as much time on their mobile devices than Canadian-born residents. As it turns out, traditional media channels aren’t effective enough at reaching new Canadians. They watch only 1.5 hours of TV per day, which compares to 2.5 hours for native Canadians, and listen only to only one hour of radio. By contrast native Canadians listen 2.1 hours per day.
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Nvidia Netflix-style Game Service Points to Future of Streaming Mobile Productivity Tools

by Matt Klassen on November 19, 2014

Although it was an announcement that likely appeals mostly to gamers, popular graphics processor manufacturer Nvidia’s Netflix-like streaming game service for its Shield mobile products may have altered the entire course of the mobile landscape, changing the way we use our mobile devices and what we use them for.

Last week Nvidia announced its GRID gaming service, designed to offer free streaming delivery of PC-level games for all users of its Shield tablets. Using about the same bandwidth as high quality HD streaming video, this new service will allow users to render a host of games that will rival what users currently experience with today’s game consoles or PCs.

But I’ll be honest here; none of this really interested me. Instead I was floored when I came across tech analyst Rob Enderle’s extrapolated vision for this announcement, seeing a future where ‘thin client computing’ finally becomes the norm and devices currently used for consumption will be changed radically into platforms focused on high productivity and creativity, all through this new streaming software model.

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Nokia Plans to Licence its Brand to Third-Party Device Manufacturers

by Istvan FeketeNovember 18, 2014

A lot has changed during the past 12 months since Microsoft took over Nokia. One of the most noteworthy changes is that the new owner is killing the Nokia brand, at least starting from the next-generation Lumia smartphones. To save the brand name, Nokia took a page from Polaroid: the manufacturer has plans to licence [...]

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FCC Bringing High-Speed Internet to Schools across the Country

by Matt KlassenNovember 18, 2014

As confirmation that the Federal Communications Commission does more than just anger broadband carriers with its controversial Net Neutrality restrictions, the often pointless bureaucratic entity is undertaking another worthy cause: connecting schools and libraries to better, faster Internet access. While all schools and libraries in the U.S. have basic Internet access, today’s online reality demands [...]

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Apple Pay Already Hugely Popular at Participating Retailers after Only Three Weeks

by Istvan FeketeNovember 17, 2014

Apple may have found the secret recipe for making a longtime dream of tech companies come true: people are ditching their wallets and paying for goods with their smartphone. This has happened in less than a month since the release of Apple Pay, the iPhone maker’s mobile payment platform. Apple Pay comes at a time [...]

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FCC Requests Info on AT&T’s Plans to “Pause” its Fiber Upgrade

by Matt KlassenNovember 17, 2014

Last week AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson voiced his intent to stall his company’s planned fiber broadband network upgrades because of President Obama’s disturbing course for Net Neutrality rules, noting that it was “prudent to pause” when the future of network management, regulations, and maybe even the Internet itself is standing in the balance. Such talk [...]

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