How to get consumers to buy into wearable technology. (Smart sock, anyone?)

Anyone else noticing a trend? Over the past few weeks, it seems like everyone is talking about wearables (and that includes service providers). “Brave companies are jumping in to test and deploy wearables” admired Maribel Lopez on AT&T’s Network Exchange blog. O2 added to the conversation with Alyson Edmunds noting that companies were “searching for the one killer business benefit that will bring wearables” into work. And if you don’t know anything about wearables, help is at hand thanks to Telstra and their “Wearables 101- tips”, along with their new Wearables Wednesday feature. This month’s International CES consumer electronics and consumer show has […]  More >>
Eyal felstaine presenting

The “neat and orderly” $11 billion world of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)

“NFV is the new tsunami transforming the communications industry,” Amdocs’ Dr. Eyal Felstaine told industry experts and researchers as he opened yesterday’s conference on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) at Amdocs, held in partnership with the Technion, Israel’s leading institute of technology. And with carrier spending on NFV and software-defined networking (SDN) predicted at reaching over $11 billion in 2018, “tsunami” does seem like an appropriate description. For those unfamiliar with NFV, networks rely on hardware servers (boxes) placed near customer locations, which allow those customers to receive specific services. The boxes are complicated to install, expensive to replace, and slow down […]  More >>

Why 1.7 billion people won’t be using Apple’s mobile payments service

“In the first 72 hours, we’d gone over the 1 million mark on activations of cards” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, describing the initial enthusiastic response of Apple customers to its recently launched mobile payment service. And if you’re the proud US-located owner of an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, the latest iPads, (or a future owner of an Apple Watch), you too can use “Apple Pay” to make one-touch payments at retailers with near field communication (NFC) technology-enabled terminals, using credit or debit cards linked to your Apple account. So will Apple yet again manage to revolutionize the way […]  More >>

How can service providers get a fair deal out of the Internet of Things?

The other day, I came across a great blog post by Telesperience Chief Strategist Teresa Cottam in which she questioned the ability of the communications industry to “show her the money” from the emerging Internet of Things. She feels there’s no clear commercial model right now for the Internet of Things and that this, combined with a complex ecosystem of partners, make it unclear as to who, in the future, will pay whom, and for what: “Without a fair deal for communication service providers, they won’t have the money to invest in networks that can shoulder the ever-increasing data that we’re […]  More >>
And for my next question...

How much do you know about your data privacy? A holiday quiz for you….

Looking for something to keep the conversation flowing over a long Christmas lunch as your fellow guests whip out their smartphones to constantly check their messages and post selfies? Get them to try out this five-minute “How much do you know about the web and digital technology” quiz compiled by the Pew Research Internet Project.  And while it might be a little geeky for Christmas Day, it’s fun and gives you the chance to see how much you know compared to over 1,000 adult American Internet users. Pew’s analysis of the results [spoiler alert!] finds that while most Internet users […]  More >>
christmas shopping

Why Cyber Monday would be even better if it was a multichannel experience

Are you and your credit cards ready for Black Friday tomorrow, and Cyber Monday next week? You can bet that the online retail king Amazon will be: after all, last year, in the UK alone, Amazon took 4.1m in sales on 2 December, beating the previous record of 4m set 76 hours earlier on ‘Black Friday’. And this year, IMRG is predicting record revenues for UK web retailers: Internet spending on Friday could hit £555.5m – that’s over £385,000 a minute – but on Monday, spending is predicted to reach a staggering £649.6million. So with e-commerce now firmly established as an […]  More >>

The trend that Facebook didn’t spot – but service providers did.

Maybe it’s an age thing, but I’ve never felt comfortable sharing my work life on my Facebook page alongside photos of myself drinking beer in exotic locations. So I, for one, hope that the news reports about Facebook launching a new site, “Facebook at work” are true. According to the Financial Times’ Hannah Kuchler: “The new site will look very much like Facebook – with a newsfeed and groups – but will allow users to keep their personal profile with its holiday photos, political rants and silly videos separate from their work identity.” Somewhat belatedly, Facebook has finally come to […]  More >>
Jonah Pransky's augmented reality session on unlocking the potential of customer usage data

Why we should think smaller than Big Data… (Live from the Telco Big Data Summit, Barcelona)

Just when you’re getting used to “big data”, meet “small data”. While it might be a relatively new name for some of you, the ability to significantly personalize big data is a long-term objective shared by a majority of service providers. In order to make big data ‘small’ and extract value from it, the key role, explained Jovanka Adzic from Telecom Italia’s Strategy & Innovation, is data analytics and what you want to do with the business. Speaking at the Telco Big Data Summit in Barcelona, Adzic reiterated that “it’s all about the value”: “In my opinion integrating analytical and transactional systems […]  More >>
Infonetics Directing Analyst Shira Levine running the discussion on regulation

Who can be trusted with your data? (Live from the Telco Big Data Summit, Barcelona

If you’re concerned about what’s happening to the massive amounts of data that you’re probably generating – especially in light of constant references to “data monetization” – you can relax. The repeated message throughout the Telco Big Data Summit was that you can trust your service provider when it comes to big data – and even more so in the face of new EU Data Protection regulation. The proposed regulation is due to come into effect in late 2014/early 2015 and is designed to unify and simplify data protection across 28 countries within the European Union (EU) and was a focal […]  More >>
Telefónica's Richard Benjamin at today's Telco Big Data summit

Why invest in big data analytics? We asked the service providers…(Live from the Telco Big Data Summit)

Want to hear an argument for introducing big data analytics into your operations? According to Stefan Brock, head of production architecture at Swisscom, “From the analytics we’ve done so far of previous patterns, we expect that 50% of the major incidents would have been visible and predictable beforehand and more than 80% of them could have been prevented”. Brock was talking to me during a break on the first day of the Telco Big Data Summit in Barcelona today, where I was curious to learn a little more about how (and why) some of the world’s largest service providers have been […]  More >>
desert island (2)

Why there’s hope for online streaming…

Last Sunday, I watched the Detroit Lions march down the field as they attempted to complete their comeback against the Atlanta Falcons. With four seconds left on the clock, they had lined up to kick a potential game-winning field goal, when I received a notification on my phone that the Lions had won. I was excited my team won, but the experience of watching the game was ruined by network latency. I’m not alone. This past summer found World Cup audiences stymied by similar experiences. Nicole Simon tweeted “closing all windows – live stream has 45 sec. delay to the […]  More >>
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Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica talk about orchestrating the future with NFV (live from SDN & OpenFlow World Congress)

“As service providers implement their new business and operational support systems (B/OSS) today, they also need to recognize they’re deploying the legacy systems of tomorrow,” noted Deutsche Telekom’s Michael Weber wryly when opening the final day of the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress here in Düsseldorf. And in so doing, Weber set the tone for the following discussion on how to future-proof the transition to Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), which Klaus Martiny of the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance described as being as radical a move as the earlier industry transition from analog to digital services. This move to […]  More >>
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Heavy Reading explains the economic value of NFV, (live from SDN & OpenFlow World Congress)

As far as Caroline Chappell, senior analyst at Heavy Reading is concerned, the economic value of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is clear. It lies in: “…the ability to provision a service, quickly and dynamically.” Setting up a service in today’s traditional hardware network environment, say a new firewall for an enterprise customer, takes a long time to integrate, get working, tested and distributed throughout the network. In a virtualized environment, the service provider can take a template of that service and drop it into the network with, as Chappell told me, “no need for truck rolls, retesting or re-integration.” There […]  More >>

NFV spells cultural change, says Ovum (live from SDN & OpenFlow World Congress)

Networks Functions Virtualization (NFV) “is more than a technological development; it’s about how a service provider changes its business and operations to take advantage of the technology,” said AT&T’s Steve Wright at the SND & OpenFlow World Congress here in Dusseldorf. Wright is not alone in seeing NFV (a new way to design, deploy and manage network services so they can run in a cloud software environment), as a cultural game-changer for service providers.  As David Krozier, principal analyst for telecoms network infrastructure at Ovum notes: “The move to software-centric networks has changed the culture of the industry. Technologists working […]  More >>
NFV is now two years' old and ready to change the industry

Happy 2nd birthday, NFV! (Live from SDN & OpenFlow World Congress)

You might not have known it, but today marks the second birthday of network functions virtualization (NFV). There were no cakes or candles, but the presenters at the SND & OpenFlow World Congress in Dusseldorf, Germany were all very upbeat about NFV’s future. Jai Menon, Dell’s chief research officer, talked of NFV as being “very transformative, it has the potential to change the industry,” Alcatel Lucent’s Cary Dym even heralded NFV as “a new world order,”  while AT&T Labs’ Margaret Chiosi said AT&T has “jumped in fully, we’re implementing now.” So what’s the excitement all about? For those still new […]  More >>
Are wearable watches a wake-up call for service providers?

Taking a bite of the Apple Watch

Will the Apple Watch, scheduled to appear early next year, provide the first big push service providers need to make wearables a vital part of their offerings? Analyst opinions are mixed. I spoke with Heavy Reading’s Sarah Wallace for insight as to how the Apple Watch could take off with consumers, thus creating an opportunity for service providers to provide bigger shared data plans. Sarah sees a few reasons for it doing well, at least initially.  More >>
video gamers

Will Amazon’s newest acquisition make Pay-TV providers a little Twitchy?

What would you prefer to watch: “The Sopranos,” “24,” “Breaking Bad,” or… how about other people playing a League of Legends video game? Amazon recently just bet $1.1 billion on the latter with its purchase of Twitch, a platform that hosts live video game events and is, according to the Wall Street Journal, the fourth-largest user of Internet bandwidth in the United States. And given that more people watched a League of Legends championship on different streaming services than the finales of all the above-mentioned TV shows combined, Amazon’s acquisition appears to have some logic behind it.   More >>