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India’s Internet Growth Fuels Net-Based Businesses

The number of Internet users in India has topped 100 million, fueling the growth of net-based businesses. Click here for more.


Brightcove Innovation Reshapes the Digital Video Experience for Businesses

Businesses are increasingly recognizing the ability of online video to help create authentic, meaningful relationships with their customers, prospects, partners and employees. The proven effectiveness of video in engaging these audiences is driving businesses to move video out of its current silos and treat it as a key element of every digital interaction. In its ongoing commitment to support this movement and deepen these digital relationships, Brightcove Inc. (NASDAQ: BCOV) today announced the availability of In-Page Experiences and Audience Profiles at its customer conference, PLAY. The combination of these capabilities empowers business users in every functional area to create and analyze the impact of dynamic, interactive and professional-quality video experiences. Click here for more.

Cellular News

UK, US businesses to double mobile project spend in next 18 months

UK and US businesses are embracing mobile at an unprecedented rate with a third of companies planning to launch four or more mobile projects in the next 12-18 months – but frustrations around the cost, complexity, management and timescale of those projects are growing, Click here for more.


Businesses Need to Shift Away from Protecting Devices and Focus on Securing Apps and Data

As organizations embrace the digital transformation of their business, they are increasingly facing new security concerns. Click here for more.

Cellular News

M2M services at a “tipping point” for businesses

Vodafone report shows 50 per cent of organisations will have adopted M2M by 2015

Vodafone report shows 50 per cent of organisations will have adopted M2M by 2015

Half of enterprises worldwide will have adopted M2M technology by 2015, according to Vodafone. Furthermore, although large organisations have so far led in deploying such technology, small organisations are set to surpass them in terms of adoption, the operator said.

At a roundtable event in London this week, the operator revealed the findings of a survey it conducted of 327 IT managers from small and large enterprises worldwide. It found that automotive firms and transport and logistics firms are leading the way in M2M, driven partly by legislation introduced that has made M2M services mandatory in their offerings.

However, it has not been plain sailing for such firms as Vodafone’s research revealed that the majority of automotive firms that have deployed M2M services have not been satisfied by the return on the investment they have seen.

Just over one third of smaller organisations surveyed said they are planning to launch M2M services in the next 12 months, compared with 18 per cent of large organisations. In two years time, Vodafone expects 69 per cent of small organisations to be using M2M services, compared with 58 per cent of large enterprises. According to the operator, the falling cost of M2M hardware is set to lead to a major acceleration in adoption. 12 per cent of small organisations surveyed said that they had already launched M2M services.

“Smaller companies will, for the first time, be able to reap the benefits of M2M,” said Erik Brenneis, director of M2M at Vodafone. He added that adoption in the Asia Pacific region will challenge the current established players in North America and Europe, claiming that M2M is at a tipping point for many industry sectors.

German Businesses are More Mobile, Security-Conscious and SaaS-Savvy Than Ever Before

Over 80% of German employers provide their workers with a phone for business and 65% of workers purchased their own phone. Click here for more.

Cellular News

4G Smartphone Usage Up 70% Among USA Small Businesses

When it comes to the use of wireless technologies for small businesses, it’s unanimous … well almost. According to an ATandT poll, which surveyed 1,000 small businesses nationwide, 98% of small businesses use some form of wireless technologies in their operations. Click here for more.


Director, Product Marketing, Etisalat: “FTTH is necessary for businesses and consumers”

Maen Haddad, Director/Product Marketing, Etisalat

Ahead of the Broadband MEA 2013 conference, taking place on the 19th-20th March 2013 at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, UAE, Dubai, UAE, we speak to Maen Haddad, Director/Product Marketing, Etisalat on the latest broadband developments in the region and his views on issues such as piracy and FTTH deployment.

What major developments have there been for the broadband industry in your region over the past year?

Etisalat has played a key role in Broadband growth in the UAE with the latest fibre optic technology being implemented across the country. This major initiative involved rolling out a fibre network throughout the UAE, providing customers with high-speed internet of up to 300Mbps.

As demand from consumers and businesses for broadband in the MENA region increases, the number of broadband lines is expected to increase exponentially. The UAE has reached a broadband penetration level that is on par with many advanced nations. This is a key indicator for national competitiveness and economic development.

Which would you choose? Investing in coverage or investing in increasing speeds to existing customers?

To be able to provide maximum value to its customer base, Etisalat has adopted a two-pronged approach where both coverage and speed are improved. Conducted in phases, the initial focus was on covering the UAE with a fibre network and later, offering variety of high speeds and bundled services that are designed to suit all customer needs.

Maen Haddad, Director/Product Marketing, Etisalat is speaking in the Customer Experience Improvement Strategy stream at the Broadband MEA conference, taking place on the 19th-20th March 2013 at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, UAE, Dubai, UAE. Click here to find out more about the event

To what extent does wifi offload come into your thinking?

As mobile broadband adoption increases rapidly, demand for data traffic has also simultaneously gone up. Therefore, wifi offload is a solution for the industry today not only for data offload but also for voice and messaging, offering a wider opportunity for the usage of wifi within our service portfolio.

Wifi services today are a value-add in our broadband product portfolio. This enables customers to connect to the Internet anywhere and at anytime. Customers choose to use the wifi instead of 3G due to different price structures.

Are curated, operator-managed OTT/IPTV services the best way of reducing piracy?

OTT and IPTV demand will trigger increasing pressure on broadband access to providers to increase delivery speeds and the permissible download volume. Content providers and distributors will have to make major decisions about how consumers will access content to reduce piracy.

In the best case scenario, content providers enjoy greater audience aggregation opportunities, while consumers benefit from more flexible and possibly more diversified access.

Piracy rates can come down when consumers perceive that they can benefit from new options, including the ability to select and pay for specific content rather than having to pay for tiered service containing plenty of undesired content.

Telecom operators in the region face credible threats to core revenue streams and piracy is indeed one growing threat. They have responded by reducing availability of “free” content and enhancing availability of content to paying subscribers. Some incumbents also have resorted to strategies including caps on monthly downloads and new service tiers based on download volume.

OTT and IPTV alone, however, cannot successfully compete and defeat piracy unless more aggressive enforcement tactics are carried out, e.g., suspension and termination of end user subscriptions and blocking access to specific sites.

Is FTTH really necessary for businesses and consumers and what are the stumbling blocks to rolling it out?

FTTH is necessary and very important for businesses and consumers in the UAE, especially since the country ranks the highest in terms of internet penetration in the region. At the same time, the stumbling blocks to FTTH blocks have been:

  • The customer’s availability and willingness to install Optical Network Terminal (ONT) in his/her home.
  • Putting fibre in the relevant areas where it is needed.
  • The ability to monetise from an early stage.

Are there enough services out there to drive adoption of faster speeds and is it up to the operators to get involved?

Yes there are enough services, and there are always more bandwidth-hungry services in the pipeline. Operators have a critical role to get involved. Etisalat is a regional player and based in a country with a high subscriber base so it clearly understands that there is limited opportunity for growth of revenue by only adding new subscribers. The focus is now expected to shift to other areas such as higher mobile data services adoption and value-added services. Mobile data services adoption will be driven by the availability of compatible mobile devices, affordable data plans and the rapidly rising mobile internet user.

Today a high number of ecommerce transactions taking place in the UAE are through mobile devices. With an increasing penetration of OTT-delivered services and multiscreen access to TV and other video, marketing innovation to drive revenues through these growing use models is the winning strategy.

Etisalat has taken a lead in investing in futuristic technologies especially LTE, to meet these increasing demands in the market. With this investment, Etisalat has also continuously launched a great value added services meeting the requirements of consumers as well as enterprises.

Where does fixed wireless come into your planning and if so what technologies will you be using?

Currently Etisalat is using WiMax and is trialling LTE for triple-play services. Due to the portability of the WiMax technology, it has seen high adoption among enterprises in the region. It can be quickly deployed to remote locations. In terms of costs it cuts down investments on the network, when compared to GSM and 3G, enhancing speeds and operability at greater distances.

The commercial offering of Etisalat’s LTE service began in December 2011 with the launch of LTE USB modems that enabled customers to access LTE (4G) super-speeds of up to 150Mbps. To date, Etisalat has integrated hundreds of base stations with complete mobility to the 3G network, covering 80 per cent of the populated area of UAE. In 2012, Etisalat successfully tested the world’s highest 4G LTE speeds of 300 Mbps.

Do you see customer resistance to bandwidth caps, line throttling and traffic management?

Currently Etisalat doesn’t have bandwidth caps on fixed services and at the same time have a fair-usage policy to ensure high quality of service to all customers.

What are the biggest challenges you expect to be facing over the next 12 months?

With the upcoming Bitstream project, we expect the competition to increase leading us to bring to market solutions satisfying the needs and requirements of customers. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion