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The wedding of the century

It’s been a long dance between Sprint and T-Mobile, but it looks like fate has finally had her way. The two companies announced on Sunday that they will, after all, merge into one venture, with T-Mobile looking like it is firmly in control. That’s significant for a number of reasons, with the most important being that T-Mobile has re-imagined the mobile market, driving service innovation and growth, while Sprint has a terrible reputation for managing mergers (Nextel anyone?). Of course, this deal still needs to get the blessing of both the FCC and the DoJ; and consumer advocacy groups will likely be screaming from the rooftops about how this merger could drive consumer prices upwards due to less competition, leading to potential challenges.

Where Angels Fear To Tread

Last week, SpaceX received permission from the FCC to use spectrum to create a satellite-based broadband service known as Starlink. I can’t help but think that the timing of the deal was quite perfect – as SpaceX talked about superfast broadband from space, China’s old space station, the Tiangong-1, was hurtling out of control towards Earth, reminding us that this space stuff is not that easy, and doesn’t stay up there forever.

Fragmented Future of TV

Networks, providers, and consumers are touting their vision of TVs future and it’s not as straight forwards as the migration from broadcast to cable in the 80s. Traditional cable providers are investing in advanced set-top boxes that integrate apps such as Netflix, virtual MVPD user interfaces are seamlessly bridging the in-home and mobile experience, TV networks are going direct-to-consumer, and viewers are subscribing to unique combinations of services to fit their needs. I’m often asked “which distribution model will win,” a question beached in sound, but traditional, thinking...

Getting them hooked

I gave my daughter, Charlotte, her first phone when she was just five years old. It was hardly an appropriate age, but what’s the point of having kids if you cannot use them in the occasional social experiment.

Telecom and Tapas

It’s nearly time for Mobile World Congress, a show that provides a chance to catch up on the latest mobile solutions, as well as feast on the best tapas and sangria Barcelona has to offer (along with 100,000 of our closest colleagues). While it's still a phone show at its heart, MWC has expanded significantly in the past few years. Here are a few of the highlights we expect to see.

Beneath the surface

A few months ago, I started thinking about buying a compact camera. My friends thought I was crazy; after all, my smartphone has a pretty good camera. But I wanted advanced features such as the ability to change the speed and aperture, features that often belong on a DSLR, rather than a compact camera, and especially not on a smartphone camera. Except, of course, I’m wrong...mostly.

The Smartphone Wall

Huawei is a giant among most smartphone players with an impressive presence in most parts of the world. In the European market, the handset manufacturer’s latest phones are well promoted by the carriers, both in store and through advertising; and, as a result, the OEM is enjoying consumer acceptance that other smartphone makers should be quite envious of. So if there was one manufacturer poised the break the duopoly of Samsung and Apple, as most carriers would like, it is Huawei… except, of course, in the U.S.

Back To Basics

A few years ago a friend of mine was mugged in London. Two men waved knives at him and demanded his wallet, his smartphone... and then his other phone. This final demand threw him a little, as he only carried one phone, and it took a while (and a quick frisk) to convince the muggers that they would have to share a single smartphone. I’m sure they walked away muttering about their poor fortune as, apparently, the odds are quite high that someone wandering the streets of London will be toting a couple of devices.

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