TheTelecomBlog.com’s Top 6 Posts for August 2012

by Jeff Wiener on September 4, 2012

1. Smartphones = Smart Students? Mobilicity Thinks So!

It’s that time of the year again when it’s impossible to miss those annoying back-to-school commercials. In the past, we here at TheTelecomblog have made an honest attempt of uncovering the various aspects of the use (rather overuse) of gadgets in schools and colleges, looking at both the positives and negatives of technology in the classroom.

It should come as no surprise then to hear that mobile upstart Mobilicity released new research findings pointing to the increasing role smartphones are playing in and out of the classroom. Dubbed the Mobile Student 2.0 Survey, the research commissioned by Mobilicity suggests that nearly two-thirds of students would use a mobile phone to conduct research anywhere. But don’t be fooled, there’s a huge downside to smartphones in classrooms as well.

2. Avoid Discounted iPhone 4S

As tempted as you might be by the aggressive iPhone 4S advertising campaigns splashed across the airwaves, the simple fact is: Stay Away from the iPhone 4S!! While it may seem obvious to some, it’s still well worth reminding the general public that the only reason Apple and its carrier partners are offering the iPhone 4S at such drastically reduced prices is that the next iteration of the iPhone is right around the corner.     

In fact, carriers on both sides of the border have kicked off aggressive marketing campaigns in this back-to-school season, slashing the purchase price of the iPhone 4S and bundling it with attractive rebate offers. But as tempted as you might be, don’t forget that in a few short weeks the iPhone 4S will be yesterday’s news.

3. VICTORY: Apple Slams Samsung, Wins $1 Billion Verdict

When the dust settled on the San Jose trial, the world’s most valuable company emerged victorious in the court battle between Apple and Samsung.

A jury decided on Friday that Samsung had effectively “ripped off” Apple’s patented technology. Samsung was ordered to pay $1.05 billion in the settlement, but the company is expected to appeal the ruling.

While this decision serves only as a penultimate stop along what will assuredly be a continued legal battle between these two mobile heavyweights, there’s no question that should the decision be upheld it’ll hurt Samsung considerably, given that Apple will now be pushing to have the infringing devices in question banned from the American market.

4. The Road Ahead For Mitel

The first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have one. In that sense, Mitel CEO Richard McBee got it right last year when he adopted the “one day at a time” mantra – a slow and steady approach to the task of righting Mitel’s ever-listing ship, a task made all the more difficult because Mitel’s struggles are not caused by one or two problems, but by a thousand little ones.

Throughout these struggles McBee has made it clear Mitel is “not for sale,” although market concerns were justified as Mitel yesterday announced that it would cut 200 full-time employees, and revise its quarterly earnings guidance more than $10 million lower.

5. Solving the Mobile Payment Conundrum by Committee

What came first, the chicken or the egg? While the answer to such a philosophical conundrum has polarized humanity for generations, the age-old paradox seems to have found its modern incarnation in the stalled mobile payment revolution, with the chicken and the egg cast in the respective roles of infrastructure and adoption.

With the North American mobile market lagging behind several of its global counterparts when it comes to mobile payment technology, it seems the problem here is one of who moves first? While the market waits for consumer adoption, and consumers wait for the market to create infrastructure, the former has decided to make a move…it formed a committee.

6. Controversial Verizon Spectrum Deal Approved

Following the failure of AT&T’s acquisition bid for T-Mobile there existed a brief window of opportunity for federal regulators to establish a nationwide spectrum framework, one that laid out how companies could acquire spectrum and how it should be employed…it didn’t happen.

Instead, one could almost feel that the next controversial spectrum deal that followed AT&T would likely get approved simply to help regulators save face, and it just so happens that that next proposal down the pipe was Verizon’s deal with a consortium of cable companies to purchase a large chunk of what I called ‘beachfront’ spectrum.

Much to the chagrin of public interest groups, the U.S. Department of Justice approved Verizon’s $3.6 billion bid for the additional spectrum last week, although it did so after adding numerous stipulations, provisos, and addendums to assuage anti-competition concerns.

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