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First Rocky, and now unlimited mobile data plans are back?

If Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa can make such a successful comeback, maybe the time is also right to embrace the unlimited wireless data plan again. After switching over to tiered pricing five years ago, AT&T have just announced that they’re bringing back unlimited price plans, explaining that their subsequent infrastructure investments and improvements mean they are now less worried about the possibility of congested networks. (They still give themselves the option to slow data speeds at heavy network-congested times).  More >>
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Everyday innovation – how to avoid the institutionalisation trap…

Go back a few decades and you’ll find a world where “Japan” was synonymous with “Innovation” – from the Shinkansen bullet train launched in 1964, to the Walkman, launched in 1979 and discontinued in 2010 after shipping a mere 385 million units. Japan’s mix of ingenuity and necessity was truly a hallmark of the reconstruction years after WWII. But is it still being perpetuated today?  More >>
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New year, new smartphone?

While quite a few lucky recipients got to enjoy unwrapping a new Samsung Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6s on Christmas Day, I was surprised to find out that one-third of US adults still don’t have a smartphone, according to the latest Pew Research Center survey. According to Pew, the key reasons participants gave for not owning a smartphone are:   More >>
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Three or four operators? What’s the magic number for customer experience?

Look back at 2015, and it’s been a bumper year for telecom consolidation: according to IDC, over 90 M&A deals have been announced since January 2015. That’s an impressive number. Even more impressive is their value – together, they’re worth upwards of $190bn, more than three times the level reached in 2011 when the financial crisis of 2008 was a not-so distant memory and access to credit was a little tighter. But is there a limit to all this consolidation?  More >>
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Challenge the norms, and get from “ideas” to “cash” faster

Sometimes I like it when rules get broken. A highlight for me at this month’s Great Telco Debate hosted by Chris Lewis and Graham Wilde was Three’s Marsha Lenihan. A challenger in the UK mobile market, Three has adopted what some describe as a un-carrier strategy, similar to that of T-Mobile in the US. Marsha gave a striking example of how Three challenged the norm: for the last 2 years, Three customers have enjoyed free roaming when using their phone outside of the UK. This decision, she said, saved customers (but subsequently cost Three) £20 million. So why do it?   More >>
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The customer experience: One-night stand or long-term relationship?

Earlier this month, my wife and I celebrated a special milestone: we met for the first time exactly 8,000 days ago in London (I was cooking tarragon chicken and, yes, the rest is history). Counting the days feels like a strangely precise excuse for a random party, but it works for us: the 5,000th day since her sister got married is coming up; 6,000 days since the birth of our first daughter in June…the list goes on.  More >>
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Why LA’s basketball scene could turn out to be the “make or break” content of the Pay-TV world

“For the sports fan,” wrote Maury Brown in Forbes Business last September, “it may be you that are some of the very last to join the cord-cutting revolution.” Brown was alluding to the fact that sports is an area of programming that viewers want to watch live. And while it’s true that sporting events are beginning to stream live online, access to those streams generally requires a cable subscription which keeps sports fans loyal to their providers. But today, we’re about a year away from one of the more fascinating cord-cutting case studies in modern cable, and it’s taking place in Los Angeles.  More >>
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Tip your hat to the SMS – it’s now a “killer app”

The SMS is being described as a “killer app”? Seriously, who saw that coming? But as unexpected as that might be, the humble SMS – often regarded as an outdated technology and increasingly irrelevant in the age of Whatsapp, WeChat and Snapchat – has been demanding our respect back. Case in point? The 2016 United States presidential race.   More >>
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Avoiding communication by reaching for your cellphone

Have a think about it – does your phone help you to communicate more or (ironically) less? Hot on the heels of Ofcom’s recent report about how the smartphone is dramatically changing the way we behave and interact in the UK, Pew Research Center has just released “Americans’ Views on Mobile Etiquette”. So are we all really that addicted to communicating? Let’s find out…  More >>
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From selfies to mobile table manners, welcome to the smartphone society

The other day, while sitting in a café and watching the efforts of a family of five trying to squeeze everyone into a “selfie”, I offered to take the photo. No thanks, said the mother – we want to take a selfie. Make of that what you will, but people do love their selfies, with new Ofcom research reporting that people in the UK have taken an estimated 1.2 billion of them in the past year. And nearly a third (31%) of UK adults admit to taking a selfie, with one in 10 doing so at least once a week. […]  More >>
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It’s just “not cricket”. (Why a good customer experience wasn’t good enough)

On Sunday night, my home Internet connection disappeared. As it was almost midnight and I assumed the router just needed rebooting, I left it until the morning. However, after an unsuccessful reboot on Monday morning, I started to get worried. As an English expat living and working overseas, I rely heavily on my home Internet connection to connect me to the important things in life – and that includes live coverage of the cricket that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to access in my location. And right now that’s the long-awaited, crucial Ashes Test series between England and Australia that […]  More >>
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The Internet of Things isn’t just an idea – it’s an actual place

From sheep, contact lenses, and cars, to farming equipment and shipping containers, we’re now using sensors and signals to seemingly connect pretty much anything, and everything. But at this moment, as I rub shoulders with Internet of  Things pioneers from companies like American Airlines, Ford, Pebble, and Automate, the Internet of things is more than innovative idea or an object:it’s an actual, physical place. I’m talking about Levi’s Stadium, host to the 2015 IoT Influencer conference and the home of the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League (NFL). So what makes this stadium so special? Built to create a […]  More >>
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Comcast’s new streaming service battles the OTTs on more than one front

What caught my eye about the new Comcast TV streaming service wasn’t the channels on offer nor the $15 a month price for Comcast Internet subscribers – it was the pitch made by Comcast executive vice president Matt Strauss in promoting the new service. In a blog post on the Comcast corporate site, Strauss listed, as you would expect, all the benefits of Stream: “…live TV from about a dozen networks – including all the major broadcast nets and HBO – on laptops, tablets and phones in their home. It includes thousands of on-demand movies and shows to watch home […]  More >>
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Why street markets are where the customer experience started

One of the joys of Paris is the street market. Whichever neighbourhood of the French capital you live in, you’re likely to find one of these markets within a 15-minute walk. The last one I went to, rue Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement, is where Hemingway lived for a while. But as my wife and I shopped, something unusual kept on happening. The purchase of two chickens and a few sausages triggered the gift of a substantial pâté en croûte by the butcher. At the cheese stall, buying a Brillat-Savarin meant the crémière offered us in return a crottin de Chavignol, […]  More >>
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Is Wi-Fi the hidden asset in Charter’s bid for Time Warner Cable?

After months of getting used to saying “Comcast/Time Warner” only for the regulator to block the move, we’ve just had to learn a new combination — “Charter/Time Warner” — as Charter swept in to replace Comcast as a potential buyer for Time Warner. Why? What’s so attractive about Time Warner?   More >>
Globe CEO and President Ernest Cu and Chris Daniels, vice president of partnerships at Facebook 
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Globe CEO’s keynote advice:”Embrace the OTT players – they’re going to come for you anyway” (Live from the Amdocs Asia Pacific Business Forum 2015)

Globe CEO Ernest Cu has a very different attitude than other senior service provider executives to the rise of the over-the-top (OTT) players. “We embrace the OTT players,” Mr. Cu said in a keynote address at the Amdocs Asia Pacific Business Forum 2015 here in Singapore. “They’re going to come for you anyway, so you should use them to your advantage.”  More >>
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Singtel’s Consumer CEO tells a story from the field: Live from the Amdocs Asia Pacific Business Forum 2015

Yuen Kuan Moon, the Singtel Consumer CEO, has a story he likes to tell about one of Singtel’s field technicians. One day, Mr. Yuen told the Amdocs Asia Pacific Business Forum 2015 here in Singapore, this technician went to make a repair visit for an elderly woman’s cable service. After a while, the technician realized the problem wasn’t with the cable-TV service, but with the actual television set itself. Realizing that the woman didn’t really understand much about televisions, he went with her the next day, on his own time, not on the Singtel clock, to help her buy a […]  More >>