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ArriveHome Launches Real Estate App with REcolorado, Giving Home Shoppers the Fastest Way to See a Property for Sale

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. , Sept.andnbsp;ArriveHome LLC, a real estate technology company, and REcolorado, the provider of the top home search site and largest multiple listing service (MLS) in Colorado , today announced the launch of the new ArriveHome app for iOS and Android mobile devices. Additionally, the two companies announced a partnership that will give REcolorado’s 22,000 subscribers exclusive access to the app. Click here for more.

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Cornerstone Solutions Offers Virtual Server Management Solution to Integrate with Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate version 17.1

CHICAGO , Aug.andnbsp;Cornerstone Solutions (Cornerstone), an Authorized Sage Partner regarded among the Midwest’s top-tier, premier solutions providers to construction and real estate firms for over 30 years, announces the official launch of its Sapphire Prime Cloud Services, offering a powerful virtual server and cloud management solution specifically customized to support the advanced system requirements and features of Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate version 17.1, including the newly released Sage Mobile Projects management solution. Click here for more.

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Ericsson wins network upgrade deals with Vodafone and Real Future

Ericsson has won contracts with UK operator group Vodafone and Thailand's Real Future

Ericsson has won contracts with UK operator group Vodafone and Thailand’s Real Future

Operator group Vodafone has called on Swedish vendor Ericsson to help it carry out its Project Spring organic investment programme. The two firms have signed a five-year deal for the Swedish vendor to provide products and services to further enhance the Vodafone network quality as part of the £7bn project.

Ericsson will provide the group with its full RBS 6000 portfolio and its Antenna Integrated Radio (AIR) product. In addition, the vendor’s service professionals will take on the responsibility for planning, end-to-end network rollout, tuning and optimisation of Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and LTE networks.

“We have been a trusted partner of Vodafone for 30 years and we are delighted to continue and expand our relationship with this latest award under Project Spring,” said Hans Vestberg, president and CEO at Ericsson.

The vendor also announced a similar deal with Thai operator Real Future at Mobile World Congress. Ericsson will supply Real Future with its RBS 6000 family of radio base stations and services including project management, system integration, interoperability testing, network design and implementation, as well as competence development of personnel.

“This further strengthens our mobile broadband leadership as the first to launch 4G/LTE in Thailand,” said Vichaow Rakphongphairoj, MD and COO at Real Future’s parent firm True Corporation. “It means more exciting opportunities for businesses, as well as new services for subscribers.”

Grandstream IP Voice Solutions Certified with GENBAND Real Time Communications Portfolio

BOSTON andGrandstream, connecting the world since 2002 with award-winning SIP unified communication solutions, and GENBAND, a leading provider of real time communications software solutions, today jointly announced the certification of Grandstream’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions with GENBAND’s Application Server. This successful certification allows any service provider or enterprise using GENBAND’s Application Server (standalone or in combination with the C20 Session Controller) to deploy Grandstream’s award-winning VoIP telephony solutions. By combining Grandstream solutions with GENBAND’s state-of-the-art platform, service providers and enterprises are afforded a cost-effective VoIP solution that seamlessly integrates video, data and mobility capabilities. Click here for more.

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NEC develops radio sensing system to visualize use of radio spectrum in real time

NEC has announced the development of a radio sensing system that measures the usage of radio spectrum and visualizes its use in real time. Click here for more.

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Real time self service key to prepaid mobile broadband revenue increase

RTSS could be the key to driving mobile broadband usage among prepaid segments

RTSS could be the key to driving mobile broadband usage among prepaid segments

Real time self service (RTSS) is the key to encouraging consumers, especially those who prefer prepayment, to spend more on mobile data consumption, with operators in Western Europe missing potential annual incremental data revenues of €4bn, according to research released by Northstream and Chinese BSS vendor AsiaInfo-Linkage.

RTSS deployments have so far focused on opex reduction through attempts to cut customer use of call centres. While Northstream found that mobile operators in Western Europe could stand to save €540m annually with RTSS, the firm argued that the focus should be in revenue enhancement rather than cost management.

“Our research shows that RTSS has a much larger potential impact on data revenue gain than on opex savings in both the pre- and post-paid customer bases, yet operators are still focussing on opex savings,” said Bengt Nordstrom, CEO of Northstream.

The firm focused in particular on the Italian and Swedish markets. In Italy operators could boost data revenues by €750m annually, Northstream said, by giving customers greater control over their consumption. The firm highlighted customer control of shared data plans as an example.

Operators need to drive greater return on their mobile broadband network investments, said Mohammed Sha, director of product marketing at AIL, and RTSS is the ideal way to enable customers to spend more on data. And while RTSS without parallel back end investment will not reap results, upgrading the back end without RTSS could be just as pointless, he suggested. “Investing in the back end without RTSS is like having great products in the store with no window displays. You’re making it really hard for customers to buy your service,” he said.

AIL’s longer term vision of RTSS is sophisticated and appealing, depicting users converting their unused SMS capacity into a top-up data allowance and gifting it to another customer, possibly paying a small conversion and/or transaction fee for the privelege. In another scenario a user could convert spare voice minutes into a time value for specific application usage, such as an hour of Facebook consumption.

Such capabilities could pave the way for mobile services as tradable P2P commodities, which is certainly an interesting idea. However, question marks hang over both operators’ ability and desire to fulfil these kind of advanced transactions.

More prosaic self service solutions will be essential for driving mobile broadband uptake, however, said Nordstrom. “If we look at operator businesses in Europe it will only be economically be feasible to serve the prepaid market with mobile broadband, which is very underserved today, through self service and provisioning. This is why it has started and taken off strongly in markets like Malaysia and India,” he said.

Another scenario, whereby application-specific network resource allocation is sold to end users by third parties—content providers that own film libraries for example, much like Amazon bundles the access costs of Kindles into its eBook retail prices—might also be on the horizon. AIL’s Sha hinted that the firm has a solution to enable this scenario in development.

He also said that the firm would be willing to strike deals with operators that saw them paying for RTSS deployments, and the necessary back end upgrades, with a share of incremental revenues. “This could definitely be on the table,” he said.

When ‘smart’ apps become smart for real

How can a smart application recognise and reason about a human’s purposeful activities in order to be able to coach in a purposeful way? Click here for more.

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CEO, Ustream Korea: “Content can be created and shared by all in real time”

Jimmy Kim, CEO, Ustream Korea & SVP, Korea Telecom, Korea

Jimmy Kim, CEO, Ustream Korea & SVP, Korea Telecom, Korea

Jimmy Kim, CEO, Ustream Korea & SVP, Korea Telecom, Korea is speaking on Day One of the LTE Asia conference taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about what makes Ustream unique, how he sees the impact LTE will have on its growth potential and what the benefits local operator partnerships will bring.

Tell me all about Ustream, and what makes it such a unique proposition?

Ustream is a global leading live platform service company. It originally focused on live broadcasting but has accumulated many relationships, references and gained experience of live services. However the most important thing is that Ustream encapsulates a full ecosystem taking in content provider, broadcast equipment, software companies and production teams worldwide. Live broadcasting is not easy one; it needs lots of proper equipment and software for each scenarios. We have developed a great relationship with many relevant companies regarding broadcasting infrastructure and the application of online live services.

The beauty of Ustream is that is a scalable and proprietary platform. Our engine efficiently ingests more video per minute than any competitors by a wide margin. The platform’s flexibility and global scale enables us to respond to market demand, while maintain the highest levels of reliability. We can support over two million concurrent viewers on a single broadcast stream. A total of 15 million broadcasters are using Ustream for their own live broadcasting every month to an audience 70 million viewers in over 190 countries. There are more than 10,000 channels broadcasting over Ustream at any time worldwide.

You have two local operators invested in Ustream. Why are these telco partnerships necessary, and what are the benefits for all parties?

As strong operators in each of their local market KT and Softbank wanted to add value to provide customers with a better experience. For them it’s a step toward offering a complete package of network pipes and services. In addition, the local telcos finally get an opportunity to become a global platform for content/media partnerships. By offering a global window for local content players, they demonstrate that local telcos can be global operators. Lastly, strong network infrastructure, healthy capital investment and additional in-house services such as KT’s CDN business enhance Ustream’s overall capability and business environment.

What changes are you seeing in usage as broadband becomes more widely deployed?

Everything is easily shared. Everybody can be connected with anyone. It means that content can be created and shared by all in real time and it will change the world. Nobody can control this trend. Internet video usage per month in 2012 was 12,000 petabytes and according to Cisco research data this will increase to 33 thousands petabytes in 2015. The world will become more open and as broadband becomes widespread people will be able to watch what they couldn’t before, and at high quality.

The LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

How important are LTE roll-outs for companies such as Ustream?

According to Informa data, LTE subscription numbers in 2012 were roughly 63 million and will surpass one billion by 2018. More LTE roll-outs mean higher quality and less buffering for Ustream and as a result the Ustream service will grow dramatically. Nowadays people want more on their smartphone and as we are based on on-line streaming technology I believe that the quality upgrade that LTE will bring will enable the Ustream business to grow faster. I hope many countries offer sophisticated LTE services so that the users will be able to enjoy live broadcasting better with high quality on their mobile devices.

As a leader of an innovative technology company what drives you on a day-to-day basis?

Live, new and exciting things! I encourage my team to enjoy “now”, not only because we are live streaming service provider, but also because the “present” is too precious not to appreciate every moment. That’s one of the reasons I closed a 10- year exclusive deal with the Korean Baseball Association for global broadcasting and business rights. You can enjoy live baseball games via Ustream while you have loads of fun.

What’s your favourite mobile technology or gadget out at the moment and why?

I used to love Blackberry phones before the iPhone/Galaxy era. But now services and apps are more important than the devices themselves. As of today, I use a Samsung laptop and a monitor for my desk – iPad and iPhone 5 on the go.

What are you most looking forward to at the LTE Asia conference?

I am looking forward to meeting with the different stakeholders in our value chain and sharing insights and experiences from different markets and I’m excited to hear challenging questions from the audience.

The learning curve is over as Latin America gets real about MVNOs

Regional players have come to a consensus that MVNOs can bring significant benefits

After years of discussions about the potential of the MVNO business model for Latin America, it appears that regional players have come to a consensus that MVNOs can bring significant benefits to mobile operators. This was possibly the main message for the 200 delegates gathered in Sao Paulo in May for the third annual MVNOs Industry Summit. The main evidence that something is moving, and that we are finally evolving from the theory to the practice of MVNOs, is that for the first time since its inception in 2010 the event hosted several case-study presentations from regional MVNOs: Porto Seguro in Brazil, Virgin Mobile in Chile, UFF and ETB in Colombia, and FullMovil in Costa Rica.

In Brazil, the MVNO market is following a different path from what we are seeing in other Latin American countries. But that is no surprise and applies not only to the telecoms industry. In Brazil, MVNO regulation came ex ante, before the market, to set a clear framework and encourage MNOs and nontelecoms players to buy into the MVNO model. A typical prepaid-dominated maturing market, with penetration close to 130 per cent, Brazil is also more competitive than other Latin American markets, with none of the four MNOs holding more than 30 per cent share. MNOs have been reluctant to experiment with MVNOs, and without regulation it is unlikely that new virtual operators would have emerged. Still, the Brazilian MNO attitude toward MVNOs ranges from active (TIM), to more cautious (Vivo and Claro), to pretty negative (Oi).

The fundamentals enabling MVNOs to prosper, however, are all there. From a socioeconomic standpoint, Diogo Barcellos Ferreira of the Communications Ministry pointed at Brazil’s economic boom, which is pushing out of poverty a large fraction of the population. This is not only reflected in the traffic explosion in the streets of Sao Paulo, where more families can now afford basic cars, but also in telecoms, where mobile users increasingly buy smartphones and require more different and personalized services. The government is also adding to the equation by planning to cut taxation on tablets and smartphones manufactured in the country. Such developments are leading to a larger variety of mobile user profiles, creating opportunities for MNOs to team up with a range of new players to better reach niche users.

MVNOs will operate in Brazil in a highly regulated environment under the two MVNO paradigms as defined by the regulator, Anatel, in 2010: The “authorized” MVNO (autorizada) and the “accredited” MVNO (credenciada). Under the authorized model, MVNOs effectively retain all obligations of traditional mobile operators with spectrum licenses. Tiago Galli, the managing director of Porto Seguro Telecom, an MVNO to be launched next July by an insurance company, described the authorized MVNO as “an MNO without an antenna.” The accredited MVNO, on the other hand, appears as a private contract between the accredited company and the traditional operator, whereby the latter retains all obligations. In this second model, the MVNO is allowed to represent the MNO but representation is not considered a telecommunications service.

It is no surprise that in a highly regulated market it is taking a long time for MVNOs to appear, and we have not yet seen the first commercial launch, while in non regulated markets, such as Mexico and Colombia, we are seeing a greater deal of activity. Porto Seguro has held a license for well over a year, but it is expected to launch operations only in 2H12.

What emerged from the debate at the MVNO Latam event is that in Brazil the authorized model is more likely to succeed because it allows MVNOs to maintain full control of their operations and more flexibility. Under the authorized model, however, MVNOs will inevitably need to invest more capex, because they will effectively become full mobile operators without their own spectrum. Given the complexities involved in launching a fully functioning accredited MVNO, mobile virtual network enablers (MVNEs) and, especially, mobile virtual network aggregators (MVNAs) are already playing, and will continue to play, a key role in the development of the MVNO market in Brazil. It is no surprise that two of the three MVNO licenses granted by Anatale are in the hands of MVNEs Datora and Sisteer.

The retailer MVNO: Good in theory, but in practice?

Porto Seguro Telecom will serve to increase the loyalty of the customers and brokers of the insurance company behind it. And customer loyalty is arguably the key benefit that the retailer MVNO can offer to the MNO. Retailers are well positioned to help MNOs increase loyalty and reduce churn by using their customer-loyalty experience to offer discount and loyalty cards and to offer leasing programs for mobile device purchases. In Latin America, retailers also continue to control the main distribution channel for devices and are key players in the value chain.

The success of the MVNO launched by supermarket chain Tesco in the UK was repeatedly mentioned at the event, but the big local players from the retail industry do not seem confident that they can replicate that model. Overall, retailers are typically focused on volume, have low EBITDA margins and are used to having strong negotiating and bargaining power with suppliers, and these factors can prove to be especially challenging in their negotiations with MNOs. Furthermore, retailers will naturally target the mass market, which for MNOs raises the risk of market-share cannibalization, especially in the prepaid-dominated Latin American markets.

Should a big retailer group – namely Casas Bahia and Pao de Acucar in Brazil, Exito in Colombia or Carrefour across Latin America – announce an MVNO venture, it would be a major boost for the nascent MVNO market. In Brazil the accredited MVNOs’ many obligations are not making things easy for retailers, given the long time-to-market between getting a license and launching operations. Even so, there was consensus that the retailer model does show strong potential, starting in the geographically larger countries, such as Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, where it is more challenging for MNOs to develop far-reaching retail networks.

Virgin presents a bold panregional strategy to address the high-growth youth segment

In the most anticipated presentation, Jeff Buckwalter of Virgin Mobile Latin America (VMLA) illustrated the company’s strategy to launch by 2015 the Virgin brand in eight Latin American markets: Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia. Virgin aims to become the leading MVNO in the region, also using Virgin Mobile as a mean to introduce other Virgin brands in other sectors. According to Buckwalter, market conditions in Latin America are just ripe for MVNO entry thanks to a positive mix of improved regulatory conditions, mobile market saturation limiting growth opportunity for MNOs, and intensified service-based competition, which opens up the opportunity to offer more and better data services. VMLA, which launched in Chile in April 2012, will focus on the segment it defines as the “sweet spot”: the “youth and youthful” people age 15-34. VMLA puts a special focus on providing superior customer service and on developing highly efficient operations, especially through strong partnerships with distributors.

VMLA has seen encouraging initial take-up in Chile, where it aims to attract 250,000 customers in the first year after launch. The Chile launch cleverly piggybacked off the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) and was supported by a launch campaign whose slogan was “Cambia el chip” (Get a new SIM). At the same time, VMLA used a number of irreverent TV commercials showing pigeons (the existing MNOs) defecating on the heads of statues (the mobile customers). Although the campaign caused the company some problems with the advertising-standards agency of a conservative country such as Chile, it achieved its main objective of creating a buzz around the new MVNO.

Even in Chile, arguably the most advanced mobile market in Latin America, it will take 10-15 years for MVNOs to obtain market shares comparable to those of second- or third-tier MNOs (5-10%). These are the market shares that some of the most successful MVNOs in mature markets have been able to achieve. VMLA is off to a good start in Chile, and it is set to start operations later in the year in Colombia, where it has an agreement with Telefonica, the same MNO it teams up with in Chile. However, VMLA has not yet announced an MNO in Brazil, and that is no surprise, considering the hurdles of Brazilian regulation.

Overall, the main challenge facing VMLA is the heterogeneity of the Latin American market. Although there is certainly a “youth and youthful” segment to address in each country, it is clear that the size of such a segment and the way it can be addressed will vary considerably between countries as different as Chile and Bolivia. Another specific challenge for Virgin arises from the political tensions between the UK, the home of Virgin, and Argentina. VMLA has already delayed its launch in Argentina, the third-largest market in its target list. In the current situation, obtaining a license for VMLA might be more difficult than originally planned

Beyond VMLA, the opportunity of addressing the youth segment through MVNOs was also discussed by MTV. The fact that a leading youth-oriented media company such as MTV was the main sponsor of an MVNO event in Latin America is significant. MTV came to Sao Paulo to position itself as a premium third-party content provider for potential MVNOs in the region. Recently, MTV launched a youth-oriented MVNO in Poland in partnership with T-Mobile, but unlike Virgin the company has no plans to do the same in Latin America, at least for the time being.

Chile and Colombia offer the best ground for MVNOs to prosper

When it comes to comparing the strength of the MVNO opportunity in different Latin American countries, it is Colombia, as much as Chile, that offers the most fertile ground. This was the main message from the presentations of Santiago Aldana, the CEO of UFF Movil, the most sizable MVNO in Latin America, and Sergio Gonzalez, vice president for strategic planning of the MVNO arm of Colombian fixed-line operator ETB.

Chile and Colombia feature a mix of macroeconomics and telecoms indicators that favor MVNOs. Chile is the only country besides Brazil to have formal MVNO regulation in place, while in Colombia MVNOs have been able to start operations without formal regulation, taking advantage of soft rules that allow telecoms services to be resold. In both countries, number portability has been an important ally to MVNOs as they seek to erode shares of MNOs.

At the same time, the positive macroeconomic environment, combining in both countries high growth with low inflation, is playing an important role in attracting investors. The fact that by end-2012 VMLA will have commercial operations only in Colombia and Chile shows that the two countries offer fertile ground to startups. Colombia is the Latin American country with most MVNO activity, and Informa forecasts the country to grow from six MVNOs now to more than 10 by 1H13. Alongside Virgin, Chile hosts only one other MVNO, but with 26 companies originally applying for an MVNO license, several new launches are expected in the next 12 months. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

Secure wireless key distribution verified within a real outdoor environment

The experiments can be considered as the first experimental verification of secure Wireless Key Distribution by observing random variations from the fluctuations of carrier phase of the received signal between two legitimate nodes with a common multipath channel placed into the moving cars within a real outdoor environment. Click here for more.

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