Archive | Mobile Broadband RSS feed for this section

Karma brings its community broadband experiment to LTE

7 Nov


Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 8.53.30 AM
SUMMARY:Karma is building a community of mobile broadband users who share their connections without sharing their data. It’s attracted 50,000 users so far, a number it hopes to boost as it moves to Sprint’s LTE network.

For that least year Karma has been growing its shared 4G service on Sprint’s WiMAX network, inviting people to connect to its network over Wi-Fi through other customers’ 4G hotspots. Next year, it plans to expand its reach to more cities – and perhaps make its customers’ connections a lot speedier – by linking to Sprint’s new LTE network.

Karma, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), has struck a wholesale deal with Sprint to start selling a 4G hotspot that taps its growing LTE network, according to CEO and co-founder Steven van Wel. The details of the device haven’t been worked out, van Wel said, but Karma is hoping it will connect to Sprint’s new Spark network, an amalgamation of Sprint’s three LTE systems that can support speeds over 50 Mbps.

Micha Benoliel Open Garden Sascha Meinrath New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute Steven van Wel Karma Mobilize 2013

(L to R:) Steven van Wel, CEO, Karma; Sascha Meinrath, VP and Director, New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute; Micha Benoliel, Co-Founder and CEO, Open Garden; Kevin Fitchard, GigaOM Mobilize 2013 (c) 2013 Pinar Ozger

Karma is trying to divorce the data plan from the device that connects to the network. As CEO and co-founder Steven van Wel said at Gigaom’s Mobilize conference, if you’re surrounded by Karma hotspots, you should be able to connect to any of them, not just your own. But while you may be sharing a stranger’s connection, you’re not sharing his data – everyone’s usage is deducted from their own accounts.

We’re not surrounded by Karma hotspots yet but the TechStars NYC graduate has managed to attract 50,000 paying customers to its network. Karma offers 100 MB for free when customers first connect, and it rewards hotspot owners 100 MB  whenever they share their connections with a new customer (it’s given away 10,000 GBs so far). It sells additional data for $17 a gigabyte — or $99 for 10 GBs — but that data never expires. It also sells a WiMAX hotspot online, but only 10,000 customers have actually purchased it. The rest are linking to Karma’s network without any hardware, piggybacking off other people’s Wi-Fi routers, van Wel said.

Karma is basically laying the groundwork for a shared bandwidth community (a concept we’ve explored extensively at Gigaom). Right now it doesn’t have so much a community as it does a collection of shared bandwidth tribes: friends and co-workers who spend a lot of time with another and therefore have easy access to each other’s hotspots. As Karma grows, though, the chance of encountering a Karma connection in the wild will increase, allowing it to build that community across major cities and eventually across the country, van Wel said.

Sprint’s LTE network will definitely help, van Wel said. Sprint’s WiMAX network currently only covers about a third of the country’s population, and by the time Karma starts selling its LTE hotspot this spring, Sprint should have much of its nationwide LTE rollout complete. Van Wel said Karma will continue selling its WiMAX device in the interim and will support those devices even after LTE goes live. For hotspot owners that want to upgrade to the network, it will offer discounted devices.


4G Americas: Mobile Broadband Explosion

9 Sep


  • 1. Mobile Broadband Explosion The 3GPP Wireless Evolution August 2013
  • 2. Key Conclusions (1) • Mobile broadband – encompassing networks, devices, and applications – is becoming one of the most successful and fastest-growing industries of all time. • Computing itself is transitioning from a PC era to a mobile era. • Consumer and business applications have driven data demand until now, but machine-to-machine, also called Internet of Things, will generate progressively higher volumes of traffic in the future. • Cloud computing is an ever-larger factor in data demand, involving data synchronization, backup, cloud-based applications, and streaming. • The wireless industry is addressing exploding data demand through a combination of spectrally more efficient technology, denser deployments, small cells, HetNets, self-configuration, self-optimization, and offload. • Initial LTE deployments have been faster than any new wireless technology previously deployed. Mobile Broadband Explosion Rysavy Research, 2013 White Paper 2 Note: refer to the white paper for references and source information.
  • 3. • LTE has become the global cellular-technology platform of choice for both GSM-UMTS and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)/Evolved Data Optimized (EV-DO) operators. Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) operators are adopting LTE-Time Division Duplex (LTE- TDD). • The wireless technology roadmap now extends through IMT-Advanced, with LTE-Advanced defined to meet IMT-Advanced requirements. LTE-Advanced is capable of peak theoretical throughput rates that exceed 1 gigabit per second (Gbps). Operators began deploying LTE-Advanced in 2013. Key capabilities include carrier aggregation, more advanced smart antennas, and better HetNet support. • HSPA+ provides a strategic performance roadmap advantage for incumbent GSM-HSPA operators. Features such as multi-carrier operation, Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), and higher-order modulation offer operators numerous options for upgrading their networks, with many of these features (including multi-carrier, higher-order modulation) being available as network software upgrades. With all planned features implemented, HSPA+ peak rates will eventually reach a top theoretical speed of 336 Mbps on the downlink and 69 Mbps on the uplink. Mobile Broadband Explosion Rysavy Research, 2013 White Paper 3 Key Conclusions (2)


It comes down to subscribers either being willing to pay a fair price for the services provided or not

23 Dec

A new research by Stéphane Téral (pictured), principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics, Infonetics Research finds that “over-the-top voice revenue is shifting away from mobile operators .. SMS use is fading in places like Japan, the US, the Netherlands, and the UK in favor of free applications over mobile broadband that enable internet browsing, email and, more importantly, video .. Those services may be free to subscribers, but handling the traffic is not free to the network operators. Service providers are spending billions of dollars to upgrade their networks to handle the skyrocketing traffic; if they don’t, they face network outages and subscriber turnover. They’re all looking for cost savings and efficiencies. But it comes down to subscribers either being willing to pay a fair price for the services provided or not“.

  • Mobile service revenue is increasing year-over-year but the growth rate is decreasing and in some cases not keeping pace with network operator capital expenditures (capex)
  • Despite the rise of revenue from mobile data services, blended ARPU continues to fall or stay flat due to fierce competition, declining voice ARPU, and regulatory tariffs
  • Mobile broadband services are growing fastest, with global revenue on track to nearly double between 2012 and 2016.


Mobile Broadband: Busting the myth ofthe scissor effect

23 Dec

Global Mobile Broadband Technologies & Services 3G/LTE (2012-2016)

30 Oct

Industry Reports

Reort On  Mobile Broadband Technologies & Services

Here comes another run-of-the-mill Report…is probably you might be thinking when we talk of Mobile Broadband. Enough has been written about it over and over again and understandably, you might smirk at another Report on the same subject. But FourOrange Technologies has a different psychology altogether when it comes to research – Our Analysts, even though veterans in their field, never preen themselves on being ‘experts’; instead, they adopt a naive approach to every Research project, and ‘attempt’ to become ‘experts’. And that’s why when our sleuths are assigned any project, they dig right up till they obliterate the chances of anything being left out or overlooked regarding the subject. Mobile Broad Band Technologies 2012 – 2016 is another such attempt. 2010 was a disruptive year for the Telecom industry worldwide. This was probably the first time the industry realized t how mammoth…

View original post 661 more words

Everything Everywhere should price LTE for all postpaid mobile broadband users, not just the highest spending ones

18 Oct

Now is an exciting time for Everything Everywhere (EE) as the soon-to-launch LTE operator works out how it can best ensure a successful LTE launch and create a strong and sustainable position in the UK mobile market. At the moment the operator, the combined UK arms of France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, is finalising its LTE prices ahead of the Oct 30 announcement. It will be focused on how best to balance some important and related goals: increase revenues to make a return on 4G investments; add as many high value subscribers to the network as possible; and define its newly-launched brand (“EE”) while enhancing brand equity.

The operator has already laid the foundation for its LTE launch by offering some of the most popular high-end smartphones in the market that happen to be “4G ready”, and it has built out what is expected to be a high level of LTE coverage in sixteen large UK cities.

Pricing and marketing lessons from LTE markets

EE has the luxury of being able to look at how LTE operators in other markets have priced and positioned services to see what has worked and what hasn’t. Pricing strategies have so far fallen into two camps: charge a clear premium for LTE over 3G, or price LTE on a par with 3G. Although some operators, such as DoCoMo in Japan, are charging a slight premium over 3G, the “slight premium” approach is in a minority next to the “clear premium” and “no premium” approaches and is gradually but inexorably becoming “no premium” as LTE competition develops for these operators.

To date, 4G pricing and marketing strategies have been determined by the quality and coverage of LTE networks in the context of operators’ broader strategic objectives. Some operators, most notably in the Nordic markets, priced LTE at launch at a premium of as much as 50 per cent over their 3G tariffs. Early LTE marketing closely resembled early 3G marketing: targeted at tech-savvy early adopters by highlighting technical capabilities in isolation rather than the actual end-user experience. Despite being the first to see LTE networks, the technology has yet to gain as much traction in the Nordic markets as it has in markets where LTE was priced at little or no premium at launch.

Other operators, most notably in the US, launched LTE by charging the same amount for LTE access as they did 3G, with the only premium on the amount the LTE device would cost to buy over a 3G device. US operators aggressively marketed the technology and highlighted several core concepts in their messages, backed up by solid coverage and a good range of devices: LTE offers better quality of experience over 3G though faster speeds. The result of this approach: the US is by far the largest LTE market in the world.

Launching LTE and charging no premium for access over 3G by focussing on enhanced experience has seen operators sign up more LTE users than operators that have charged a significant premium. That’s not to say that the “no premium” operators haven’t been able to charge any premium for LTE. Operators have seen success in offering LTE access for the same price as 3G with small per month download allowances (e.g. 500MB or 1GB), and then offer larger per month GB (e.g. 2GB plus) allowances only on LTE. In this way, operators have been able to offer LTE to the whole valuable postpaid mobile broadband user base, and also charge a premium for users who want high per month download rates.

In terms of branding, operators are often unclear about if and how they can (re)-position in their markets when they have launched LTE. EE will want to make sure it hits the right note with this, especially as it has the luxury of both a blank sheet of paper in the UK public’s mind as well as the largest mobile user base in the UK thanks to its Orange/ T-Mobile legacy.

With the migration from 2G to 3G, operators were in a position to offer something wholly new: mobile broadband. With LTE, by contrast, the most successful LTE marketing campaigns have focused simply and clearly on how LTE offers a better and enhanced mobile broadband experience. Perhaps surprisingly, offering a better experience by offering faster mobile broadband speeds has chimed with consumers as much as offering more room and comfort in first class does for premium air passengers.

The danger to EE of charging a premium based on its 4G lead

Because of EE’s unique spectrum situation, it has a lead of at least six month over rivals with LTE.  It will be tempting to charge a premium over 3G price plans and get the most it can out of the highest spending mobile users in the UK, the so called “creaming” or “skimming” approach. But given that EE’s rivals will launch LTE in only around six months time, this would be a mistake. EE’s strong 3G rivals are sure to price LTE extremely competitively to sign-up a broad base of users when they launch. When this happens EE will still have the advantage of an optimised and more widespread network, but it will struggle to maintain a clear premium because of it.

Charging a high premium for LTE over 3G will mean that EE will miss out on signing up as many mid-to-high ARPU users of rival networks as it would if it didn’t charge a premium. This would result in a significant lost opportunity for EE to lock-in these valuable (let’s call them “low-end premium”) users to lengthy 24 month contracts.

If entry-level LTE is too expensive, many valuable UK consumers that don’t use lots of mobile data but still pay £30 ($48.30) or more on their monthly bills will switch-off from what EE is doing. EE can encourage lower-spending postpaid mobile broadband users to sign up for more expensive tariffs by offering higher device subsidies only on higher-priced (£40+)  price plans, thereby ensuring that it doesn’t sign up unprofitable low-spending postpaid users.

EE has a unique and one-off opportunity to position in the UK market by offering the best mobile broadband experience to a broad base of premium monthly mobile broadband subscribers. If it adopts this approach, EE will lay the foundations for a profitable and sustainable business by focusing on offering the best mobile broadband network to the most profitable users in any mobile market: postpaid mobile broadband users.

Source:  October 16, 2012  Written by Paul Lambert

What Carriers Must Do to Accelerate Innovation-Summary of Telecom Council TC3, Part 3

8 Oct

This summary focuses on an Informa analyst presentation suggesting what carriers must do to innovate (or die).  Consider that wireless carriers  are more than ever in danger of being reduced to purveyors of “dumb pipes,” with little or no financial participation in the mobile network value chain. We also provide a link to innovation priorities from selected carriers, i.e. what they are looking for from suppliers and vendors (especially start-ups).

Informa Telecoms & Media on Telco’s Growth and Innovation Strategies:

Andy Castongua, Informa Principal Analyst covered four areas in his presentation:

  • State of telecom operators’ (i.e., telcos) business
  • Telecom Operators Next Big Bets
  • Relationship with Over the Top (OTT) vendors & content providers
  • Getting the most out of a relationship with telecom operators

It’s no surprise that operators must innovate to prevent them from a future as a dumb pipe provider.  To prevent that outcome, operators have pursued several strategies:

  • Venture Capital divisions as part of an overall strategy of partnering and offering new services.
  • Partnering with Silicon Valley firms- even overseas telcos have set up subsidiaries in SV to do that.
  • Setting up “digital initiatives” across several divisions or in dedicated units, e.g. AT&T’s Emerging Devices Unit

A key point is that telco innovation initiatives are being distributed across the entire network operator reporting structure.

With few exceptions, operators face a challenging mobile market. One caused by stagnation of mobile revenues (especially in Europe) coupled with the phenomenal growth of mobile data traffic which has placed capacity constraints (often bottlenecks) on their 3G/4G mobile networks. Mobile operators are testing a broad range of approaches and strategies to better engage consumers.  They are looking at “non-telecom” benefits to differentiate their core network services. Examples include free tickets to concerts and sporting events from O2, Orange and Vodafone.

Fixed and mobile broadband access revenues are growing at 20+ % per year, with mobile data as a percent of overall wireless service revenues growing even faster, e.g. VZW LTE revenues grew by over 100% (albeit from a very small base) in 2012 year -to- date. Mobile operators are maintaining revenue growth and reducingchurn by adding many low to mid range applications for mobile devices they are selling. Examples include LTE Video Store and Shared Whiteboard (the actual operators offering those apps was not specified).

Machine to Machine (M2M) communications is seen as a huge new growth area for telcos. In the M2M evolution, operators plan to move from dumb connectivity to smart services. The challenge is how to connect the 50B M2M devices (that are predicted in coming years by Ericsson and others) and convert that into a profit producing revenue stream for operators. Informa believes operators are in the very early stage of driving M2M demand and helping consumers understand the significance of the “Internet of Things.”

2015 was said to be the time frame for telco smart services, which might include: business analytics, reports and alerts, business intelligence, communications service management, security & performance management, demand-response (smart grid energy model), and professional services (consulting, systems integration, and software development).

Informa says M2M and Cloud have huge potential but have been way over-hyped. The firm predicts telco cloud revenues will be $5.7B in 2012, while M2M revenues will reach $4.6B.

The market research firm says that operators are moving away from the consumer market to focus on B2B and B2B2C markets.  They are slowing starting to look at industry verticals across their enterprise divisions. Carrier billing is gaining momentum according to Informa. But while a lot of innovation is occurring on top of the mobile network, carriers aren’t controlling it or making money from it.

Informa says that video is a major headache for mobile operators, mainly due to all the OTT players who are making money from exploiting the carrier’s network.  Although some money may be made from new VoD and digital locker services, most streaming video will continue to be consumed for free.  Piracy will also siphon away potential revenues, especially in emerging market countries.  The firm sees carrier video offerings becoming irrelevant as OTT players offer more video streaming apps for smart phones and tablets. A key question is how can operators generate revenue and make money from OTT players and 3rd parties? They really haven’t been very successful selling mobile video services to date. They also haven’t offered network prioritization or guaranteed QoS (which is available in 3GPP LTE standards, but is not yet in general use in deployed LTE networks).

Informa says that network operators are desperate to become more innovative and suggests three ways companies can partner with them to make it happen.

  1. Create new revenue streams for services and applications.  Share revenues with the telco, e.g. Amazon Kindle 3G downloads.
  2. Enhance core services by slowing price erosion, improving customer loyalty and attracting new customers.
  3. Improve processes, network efficiency and retail distribution models.

Examples of companies that have successfully partnered with telcos include Ruckus Wireless, Blue Jeans Network, and Spotify.

As noted in earlier TC3 summaries, network operators have established a huge presence in the greater Silicon Valley area (including San Francisco) to work with companies located there.

Image Courtesy of Informa

The top five areas of telco VC focus are:

  1. Social networking, media and entertainment
  2. Advertising
  3. Cloud Services
  4. Mobile Apps
  5. M2M Communications

These are based on over 184 telco VC investments over the last 6 to 12 months. M2M was cited as being a particularly promising area, as it delivers excellent user experience without heavily taxing the network (M2M communications aren’t characterized by huge amounts of mobile data traffic).

Telcos were encouraged to partner or buy start-ups to get to market quicker with new services/applications, rather than design those by themselves. Network infrastructure, which takes a much longer time to test and deploy, was not encouraged (as we’ve repeatedly reported in many articles for Viodi View and elsewhere).

Informa thinks that Telco Digital Divisions or Departments, like Telefonica’s in London, are a very effective way to partner with start-up companies (or buy them) to offer innovative new services and applications.  In the TC3 part 2 summary, we said, “Telefonica has a venture office in Mt View that’s pursuing global partnerships with startups. The telco has reorganized the entire company to emphasize innovation.”

Some of the new services offered by carriers are OTT, like JaJah’s [1] long distance VoIP service running on Telefonica’s mobile data network, which also provides cellular voice services. This was cited as an example of “pre-emptive inclusion” by  TC3 chairman Derek Kerton.

[1]  JaJah was acquired by Telefonica in December 2009

Source: October 7, 2012 By Alan Weissberger (Disclaimer: We were originally going to highlight the WiFi Hotspot 2.0 Panel Session in this part 3 summary, but no comments or suggestions were received.  An assessment of this initiative to integrate WiFi hotspots with 3G/4G mobile networks, along with the associated standards from Wi-Fi Alliance (Hotspot 2.0 ) and the Wireless Broadband Alliance (Next Generation Hotspot) can be provided under a consulting contract. The consulting fee is negotiable.)

Size Doesn’t Matter. Controlling Big Data Through Cloud Security

29 Sep

There’s data. And then there’s BIG DATA. Many of us have been bombarded with the term in many frameworks. There are some professionals that chalk it up to marketing hype or meaningless buzzword. Personally, I prefer the way Gartner categorizes it. That it is more than size. It is a multi-dimensional model that includes complexity, variety, velocity and, yes, volume.

But the pressing issue with this definition of Big Data is how best to secure something so vast and multifaceted. If you recognize the old concept of a network perimeter is antiquated and dangerously narrow, there should be some concern as to corralling all this data and ensuring its transit and storage is protected. The latter issue speaks directly to compliance needs. Banks and other financial institutions, medical facilities, insurance, retailers and government entities are especially sensitive to the compliance requirements. However, if your business doesn’t fit into these verticals doesn’t mean you can’t directly benefit from cloud computing based security that creates the necessary context. And though your organization is dealing with an incredible mountain of data, you still must do what you can to ensure not only the proprietary intelligence behind your firewalls, but all the data trafficking in, around and through all various endpoints throughout the enterprise.

But again, size should not be the only consideration regarding Big Data. It is the means by which you analyze and apply various processes that allow you to make the best decisions possible about the ongoing security, accessibility and viability of all those many bits and bytes.

If you are looking at scale the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that “enterprises globally stored more than 7 exabytes of new data on disk drives in 2010, One exabyte of data is the equivalent of more than 4,000 times the information stored in the US Library of Congress. That’s a lot of data.

Storing is one thing, but analyzing and managing all the data into useful strategic and tactical outcomes now depends on the other elements of Big Data (complexity, variety, velocity). To do this successfully you have to have a means to put all of it into context. For instance, let’s say an account is accessed. It has the right user name/password credentialing and seeks to export some personal data or transfer funds, or change sensitive account settings. On its face you should allow this action. They have the right name and authentication. But when this is given greater context, there are dynamics from other silos of information that need to be factored. What is the device profile? URL reputation? Is the IP address consistent? When was last log in attempt? What time did this latest transaction occur? So, what seemed to be a reasonable transaction might shows patterns of anomalous behavior.

But here’s the larger issue—all these factors that play into determining true context (which I call situational awareness) may come from different sources and require a bit of juggling and cross-correlating. You have SIEM, Access Management, Log Management, and Identity Management. And they may all live on various servers in various places within the enterprise. So ensuring this process association is doable, but with so many layers and stacks, the results may take too long to take preventative measures. You know what they say about the horse having already left the barn.

By migrating security functions to the cloud (security-as-a-service) you still may run into these same issues unless you find a provider who can combine all the functionality and create the rules for cross-correlation that can normalize and sort through gargantuan amounts of data. A SIEM solution in the cloud is able to take raw data from a variety of sources, normalize it and create and manage the alerts, escalations and prevention protocols. Such a configuration takes the activity from Identity and access management silos, combines them with the silos of general traffic of web traffic, internal access, SaaS solutions and other business/consumer facing applications and generates a flexible and scalable intrusion detection matrix.

A fully-realized cloud-based SIEM deployment (which is much less expensive in the cloud, yet just as powerful as any on premise solution) can prevent an IP address in China from spoofing your customers account and create intelligence that deflects and notes if a Flame virus is being lobbed at your network. But a true cloud-based security partner worth their salt will also provide the raw data for post-capture analysis. This way you can analyze new traffic patterns, but more important create the baseline to make intelligent decisions for the long term security of your network or immediate recognitions of anomalous behavior. But all that raw data…that’s where the cloud gets you, right? You get penalized for having bigger and bigger data sets. Not if you have the right vendor. I personally know where you can get storage space for as little as $1 per gB per month. You can scale the amount and the type of data you wish to keep in the cloud. You control when it gets destroyed according to various compliance requirements. I also have some thoughts about vendors who provide the services, but require you to buy some appliance that you install and maintain on your network…but that’s a whole other blog.

The bottom line is Big Data can be managed given the right tools. And those tools do exist in the cloud and can be managed through the same. And when you have the right rules, passing though an integrated suite of security solutions you’ll begin to see that size doesn’t matter. What matters is creating a situational awareness that provides you a platform to make better decisions. And if that place is in the cloud…all the better.

Source: – By: Kevin Nikkhoo – Sep. 28, 2012

4G Americas Mobile Broadband Explosion August 20121

25 Sep

The 3GPP Wireless Evolution


FCC planning to auction off additional UHF spectrum to mobile carriers

11 Sep

Mobile broadband is on the rise, but with carriers trying to offer better and faster services, there is a resource that might go scarce soon: radio spectrum allocation. Most technologies today can support the network load through code-division, which lets data and voice packets share the same space, bandwidth permitting. However, as the need for “ubiquitous mobile Internet coverage” arises, the FCC feels the need to be proactive in allocating for these resources as demand grows.

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski says the move will encourage broadcasters to sell the unused spectrum that they own. As an alternative, broadcasting companies can can or move to alternative frequencies more adequate for broadcasting, such as VHF, which is not adequate for mobile telephony.

To ensure ongoing innovation in mobile broadband, we must pursue several strategies vigorously: freeing up more spectrum for both licensed use and for unlicensed services like Wi-Fi; driving faster speeds, greater capacity, and ubiquitous mobile Internet coverage.

The proposed rules on said auction have been circulated among FCC commissioners for discussion on September 28. While the effects of the said move will not likely be immediately felt by consumers, this will be beneficial in the long run.

“The auctions will yield innumerable benefits for American consumers to access wireless broadband and ensure that devices such as smartphones and tablets can continue to connect to those networks,” said Julie Kearney, vice president of the Consumer Electronics Association, the standards and trade organization that runs the annual Consumer Electronics Show every January.

Will a reallocation of the radio spectrum result in better services and faster mobile broadband speeds? That will be up to the mobile carriers and regulators. But as consumers, it’s up to us to be vigilant that we get reasonable service for what we pay.

Source:  by J. Angelo Racoma on Sep 10, 2012

%d bloggers like this: