Spectrum. Its one of the most important commodities of the digital age, the frequencies on which all wireless technology is built, and wireless carriers on both sides of the border simply can’t get enough of it.
While not a solution per se, in my mind it’s about time the world started viewing spectrum as a natural resource, finite and non-renewable (in that we simply can’t create more usable bandwidth). Then, as with other such natural resources, we need to start demanding that companies who use spectrum learn how to do so with increased efficiency and care instead of simply holding their hands out and like Oliver, begging the government, “Please sir, I want some more!”
Historically governments have shown a clear inability to fight decentralized opponents, evidenced most recently by America’s ineffectual War on Drugs, its haphazard approach to the War on Terror, or, in this case, its simply inability to stop the devastating cyber-attacks plaguing the world.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal Shawn Henry, the FBI’s top cyber cop, offered his own grim assessment of the situation, stating that “we’re not winning” the war against hackers and the current methods employed to fight cyber-crime are outdated and “unsustainable.” In his mind the current investigative and cyber-security measures simply don’t cut it, in large part because they view hackers as a static entity operating in a predictable way, while hackers have shown themselves to be supremely dynamic and adaptive.
Technology vendors must become device agnostic, making content seamlessly available across multiple device platforms—including smartphones, tablets, TVs, and PCs—if they hope to stay relevant and tap into the estimated $2.2 trillion dollars consumers will spend on content, devices, and services in 2012, according to a report issued this month from technology research firm Gartner.
The point is simple, with consumers increasingly demanding the “4S” experience, the “desire to store, synch, stream, and share their content regardless of device or platform seamlessly,” and with the integration of the personal cloud into the consumer technological ecosystem, “business leaders must meet consumers’ cloud expectations in order to win customers in 2012.”
When RIM’s ex joint CEOs – Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie resigned in January, I questioned whether the move was ‘too little, too late’ to save the appalling downfall of the Waterloo giant. That said, even if new top boss Thorsten Heins will eventually be able to reverse his company’s flagging fortunes, it would have been unfair to expect Heins to turn things around for the struggling RIM in two months.
So it really comes as little surprise that the Blackberry maker reported lower-than-expected revenues in its fourth quarter fiscal report, or that it warned of more struggles to come. The company also announced it was reviewing its “strategic opportunities,” including partnerships, joint ventures, licensing, and other money making avenues.
We’ve been talking about the upcoming spectrum auction and about foreign ownership restrictions in Canada’s troubled telecommunications sector for ages now, but Industry Minister Christian Paradis has finally done something about these issues.
On Wednesday, Paradis announced both limits on the spectrum auction, meaning the big firms – TELUS, Rogers, Bell – will be limited when it comes to how much of the “beachfront property” they can buy, and a lifting of foreign investment limits on smaller telecommunications firms. It’s a move that will probably not sit well with Canada’s telecommunications giants, but it should, if it has the desired effect, level the playing field of the nation’s unfortunate oligopoly.
While Apple has long stood atop the tablet market, the success of its iPad brand holding its competitors at bay, recently it looked like times were changing, with Apple’s closest competitors making rapid advances in tablet technology. So with competitors encroaching on Apple’s territory the big question at yesterday’s press conference was, will the company’s “New iPad” (literally as it was called in yesterday’s press conference. I will refer to it as the iPad 3) be enough to maintain its longstanding dominance?
But of course it will be enough, evidenced by the fact that Apple has already experienced record breaking sales of the new iPad, a fact that will undoubtedly keep competitors at bay for at least one more year.