The LTE market, over the past 20 years, has developed like the market for jumbo jets or nuclear power plants. Four major suppliers and one standard dominate the market because all customers have essentially the same requirement.
Along with market domination, the leading two smartphone ecosystems are extremely integrated into the day-to-day lives of the phone users. Through fast innovation and deployment of lifestyle-helping apps like Siri, Maps, Calendar, iCloud, Google Now!, HomeKit, and others, the phone OS players have built deep in-roads into helping us with our daily lives…and knowing more about us than any other company ever has.
Here in California, the term "squirrelly" means that your surfboard is unstable and makes quick and unpredictable turns at any time. We're seeing this in the Chinese mobile market now.
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, announced a programming deal that will send Sesame Street from its longtime publicly-subsidized home on PBS to the corporate Time Warner-owned home of Westeros on HBO. The move may have surprised viewers, but for those who know the volatile content market, shifting to the premium network is a shrewd strategy driven by the realities of the television market.
Over the past decade, investors, analysts and customers have fixated on Sprint's cellular network, particularly its struggles to accommodate the smartphone boom. But it's a mistake to overlook what Sprint is doing with Wi-Fi to improve coverage, expand its service portfolio, enhance its competitive position and minimize its postpaid churn, which is higher than those of its three largest rivals.
Last month, news broke that Google is working on an MVNO that will ride on the combined networks of Sprint and T-Mobile. This is big news, and many people discussed how this could be a low-cost service that uses the best available signal from the No. 3 and No. 4 carriers combined in order to get network quality close to matching the top two. This, in itself, is potentially disruptive, but Google is likely up to something more, and an MVNO may enable it to do something far more interesting.
When LTE was first conceived in the middle of the last decade, the focus was on providing a flat IP architecture optimized for broadband connectivity. This included placing the air interface protocol functions at the base station and using wide frequency bandwidth with multiple-antenna technology that OFDM technology enables in silicon at relatively low cost. It is an approach that reversed centralization of high-layer functions, such as scheduling, in 3G networks.
Untethered is better. We love our smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth headsets, wireless keyboards and mice, wireless speakers, and ever more gadgets that connect us to work, family, friends, entertainment, and emerging applications in areas such as health, education, and energy consumption. With 4G offering fantastic performance, many users are cutting the cord to their wired broadband connection, electing for one monthly broadband bill instead of two.
Despite reports that special access is somehow a secret monopoly, today's reality is that the business market served by special access services is robustly competitive--and many Americans (including businesses) have already abandoned it.
Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) explicitly targets the two biggest problems facing network operators: bringing costs in line with revenue growth expectations and improving service velocity. But it also has the potential to fundamentally change fixed network economics.