1 april

What’s real (and what’s not) on April 1st…

April 1st is definitely one of those days when reading (and believing) industry news becomes just that little bit more challenging. Since Amdocs Voices definitely believes in sharing what’s going on in the industry, enjoy the following selection of today’s stories – and try to work out which (if any) isn’t an April Fool’s joke… A new Kickstarter campaign has already raised $50,000 out of the $100,000 needed to begin a full production run of The Foodini, a 3D-food printer, currently in prototype mode, capable of turning fresh ingredients into a meal without cooks having to get their hands dirty.  More >>
It's a delicate task to create made-to- measure personalized service that the individual will be comfortable with

How to stop personalization from getting “spooky”

The results aren’t in yet of Virgin Atlantic’s Google Glass trial, but being greeted at London Heathrow Airport by concierge staff who already know your travel plans before you even check in has certainly raised a few eyebrows among its Upper-Class passengers.  More >>
low res cup of coffee

Is 2014 the year your network becomes smarter than your phone?

I was in the middle of Manhattan enjoying a much-needed coffee when I realized that the reason that I hadn’t received any emails for a while was because my phone had actually been offline for at least an hour. But the reason that I hadn’t noticed it before was because the phone was showing me that I had full reception and was connected to Wi-Fi. Or was I…? In fact, what had actually happened was that my phone had automatically paired with my favorite coffee shop’s Wi-Fi and was waiting (in my pocket, I might add) for me to click […]  More >>
IBM CEO Virginia Rometty: “Data is the world’s new natural resource (Photo credit;Jeff Barak)

Live from MWC: The two main takeaways from Barcelona

As Mobile World Congress 2014 comes to a close today, two major themes stand out from the four days of discussion here in Barcelona: big data and the Internet of Things. As IBM’s chief executive officer Virginia Rometty put it last night in her keynote address: “Data is the world’s new natural resource” and will become a key competitive advantage for every industry. “I think we will look back at this time and see data as a resource that drove the 21st century,” she said. Rometty also cited two other trends as key shifts in the technology industry: cloud and what […]  More >>
jeff brush

Live from MWC: Putting a bright smile on things

In the main exhibitors’ hall at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, you could hardly escape bumping into a connected car, such was the plethora of sensor-laden vehicles on display. And while last year I was suitably impressed by GM’s LTE-enabled connected car, this year, my eye was surprisingly caught by a much more mundane device: the world’s first connected toothbrush.  More >>
Jinwoo So

Live from MWC: Why Cisco thinks the connected world isn’t just about being connected

In the era of the Internet of Things ‒ where every device that can be connected will be connected ‒ the key point, ironically, is not connectivity. According to Cisco CEO John Chambers, in a typically lively keynote address here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, if all operators do is provide connectivity, then there will be no economic payback. To succeed in what he described as “an era of huge market transition”, Chambers argued that service providers needed to move beyond just connectivity to providing the right information, at the right time, to the right device, so that consumers could make the right decision.   More >>
Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat explains how more people have phones than bank accounts at Mobile World Congress (Photo credit: Jeff Barak)

Live from MWC: Skipping a beat and heading straight into mobile money

Just as the mobile phone transformed the communications industry, it seems clear that mobile financial services are poised to transform the financial sector. Speaking on the second day of Mobile World Congress here in Barcelona, Michael Corbat, chief executive officer of US multinational financial services company Citigroup, made the point that while over three billion people have a mobile phone, only two billion people have a bank account.  More >>
Timotheus Höttges, the new Deutsche Telekom CEO, on stage on Day 2 of Mobile World Congress (Photo credit: Jeff Barak)

Live from MWC: The industry’s moral responsibility (according to Deutsche Telekom’s CEO)

“As an industry, we have a moral responsibility to ensure that people know what happens to their data,” said Timotheus Höttges, the new Deutsche Telekom CEO. Speaking on the second morning of Mobile World Congress 2014 here in Barcelona, Höttges pointed out that most customers failed to understand that “if an app is free, then you are not the customer, you are the product,” explaining that once the app has been downloaded, the app makers then sell on the customer’s personal data they gained during the download to advertisers or use this data themselves to sell other products.  More >>
Zuckerberg at MWC

Live from MWC: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reveals what’s next after WhatsApp

Mark Zuckerberg really wanted to talk about just one thing at his keynote session at Mobile World Congress this evening: Internet.org and his mission to make the Internet accessible to all. But what the audience in the packed auditorium really wanted to know was why the Facebook founder and chief executive had just shelled out $19 billion for WhatsApp.  More >>
SingTel’s Group CEO Chua Sock Koong  explains why she's optimistic on Day One of Mobile World Congress 2014:

Live from MWC: Why Telenor, SingTel and Vimpelcom CEOs are all talking about “sustainable business models”

The facts tell a simple story: service providers need a sustainable business model if they are going to prosper. Indeed, if I had a billion dollars for every time a service provider chief executive mentioned the words “sustainable business model” on the first morning of Mobile World Congress 2014 here in Barcelona, I could probably have afforded to buy WhatsApp. Setting the scene, Jon Fredrick Baksaas, president and CEO of Telenor, pointed out that by 2020, operators will have invested $1.7 trillion – half the federal budget of the United States – in rolling out new networks and they needed […]  More >>

Live from MWC: The WhatsApp CEO and “our new Facebook friend”

“Last week, we got a new Facebook friend”, noted WhatsApp co-founder and chief executive officer Jan Koum laconically as he started his keynote address on the first morning of Mobile World Congress 2014 here in Barcelona. And while he might have just sold his company to Facebook for $19 billion, Koum insisted that nothing has changed: WhatsApp is going to remain laser-focused on connecting people. The next move for WhatsApp will be to add free voice-calling to its text-messaging app in the second quarter of the year, but the company will not be looking to diversify into any other services […]  More >>
ski race

Help! My Olympic coverage is on steroids

Quick. Somebody get me a drug testing kit. Thousands of hours of coverage? Red-button channels, apps, 4K, second screens and multiple devices? My Olympic coverage is on steroids. Looking back at my colleague Jeff Barak’s blog post from the 2012 Olympics, and the coverage seems positively quaint compared to what we have on tap for the next few weeks. A mere two years ago, Jeff wrote about the ability to watch highlights and clips on a mobile device. Compare that to this week’s Winter Games in Sochi where the Comcast-owned NBC will provide “unprecedented coverage” by broadcasting over 1,000 hours live […]  More >>
Sonae Retail's Frederico Santos (l) being interviewed by TM Forum's Tony Poulos

The new world of Big Data? Retailers have been dealing with it for years…

Hands up if you’re a regular shopper at a particular supermarket chain. If so, I’m guessing that you probably have a loyalty card. And if you’re a Portuguese shopper, that probability is very high indeed, because according to Frederico Santos, a director at Sonae Retail, more than 90% of its business is associated with its Continente loyalty card. With three million cards for 10 million people, Sonae Retail has access to a huge amount of personal data that they can leverage in order to generate customer-specific offers that fit their customers’ profiles and their needs. Think “Big Data” and we […]  More >>
Kerrigan demonstrating real-time customer offload  at the TM Forum summit

V is for Value

“The big data reference model had to be business-value driven” said Dr. Mick Kerrigan at the TMF Big Data in Focus Amsterdam summit yesterday, “otherwise how, and why, would communication service providers use it?” Kerrigan, Big Data Analytics Strategist at Amdocs, was referring to a critical industry TM Forum workgroup initiative that he co-chairs, which was set up over a year ago to demystify big data analytics for service providers once and for all. And after hearing so many different examples of use cases today from other speakers, I’d say Kerrigan is correct – there seems to be confusion surrounding […]  More >>
yuval Dvir Skype

Skype’s big data transformation: it’s all about the people

With 300M users, it definitely makes sense as to why Skype is so interested in big data analytics. “We just had enormous amounts of data and it felt like we weren’t using it to run our business” explained keynote speaker and Microsoft’s Global Head of Business Transformation Yuval Dvir about Skype’s big data transformation at TM Forum’s Big Data In Focus Amsterdam summit today. “We wanted to take the noise out and focus on what really mattered” (which, in Skype’s case, was to focus on growth). Describing big data as a “revolution”, a word that infers great disruption to the […]  More >>
wrestling 2

Who’s going over the top…rope?

The World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) latest announcement may have body-slammed the notion that the pay-TV industry/cable providers will be able to rely on their live sports entertainment programming indefinitely. Beginning in late February, professional wrestling fans will be able to subscribe to the WWE Network, described as “the first 24/7 network delivered directly to fans through over-the-top digital distribution.” For $9.99 per month (with a six-month commitment), subscribers will get access to all 12 WWE live pay-per-view events, reality shows, documentaries, “classic matches” and more than 1,500 hours of video on demand. The WWE has promised to continue offering pay-per-view […]  More >>

Why “splitting the bill” could take on a whole new meaning

At first glance, the only link between last week’s launch of AT&T’s new Sponsored Data service and its AT&T Drive connected car initiative seems to be the ability for passengers to watch a video streamed to the in-car entertainment system, without them having to pay for the cost of accessing this content from their mobile data plan. But when you take a look under the hood, there is actually a very similar revenue growth engine powering the two initiatives, and it has some interesting implications for both consumers and service providers alike. The Sponsored Data service is basically a 1-800/toll-free […]  More >>