Category Archives: New Business Model

Are you ready for “the next big thing”?

BLOGGER: JEFF BARAK Afraid of somehow losing your beloved pet dog? Not to worry – that’ll soon become a thing of the past. The tracking devices that fleet managers use for their trucks and cars are on their way to becoming embedded in household pets (or to be more precise, in their collars) as new connected devices bring on a huge wave of change in the wireless industry. Speaking at TM Forum’s Management World Americas, AT&T’s David Haight firmly believes emerging devices are going to be “the next big thing.” With mobile penetration already at between 98 and 100 percent […]  More >>

Timing is everything (but isn’t it always?)

BLOGGER: JEFF BARAK Imagine receiving a bill for $18,000 dollars. That’s what happened to one retiree in Dover, Mass, after a promotional no-limit data plan expired without warning. It’s just one of many stories about subscribers suffering from bill shock, which have damaged service provider reputations. However, the new landmark agreement between US carriers and the Federal Communications Commission means that mobile subscribers nearing their monthly limit for voice, text or data services will now receive an alert when they are in danger of being charged extra . This will be an important step forward in maintaining a positive customer […]  More >>

Viewers, stay tuned for the prepaid episode

BLOGGER: JEFF BARAK  In the past, television was seen as recession proof. People would cut back on entertainment outside the home, but would continue taking their TV package as they hunkered down to see out the downturn.  That’s why it’s surprising that the news on the Pay TV front in North America isn’t better than it is. According to Bloomberg, the six largest publicly-traded U.S. cable and satellite TV providers combined lost about 580,000 customers in the second quarter, the biggest such decline in history.  As Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in New York noted: “Rising prices […]  More >>

Is Netflix Dreaming?

BLOGGER: ERIC DANIS  While some analysts are praising Netflix for aggressively outbidding HBO for the rights to DreamWorks Animation movies, others are already saying that Netflix executives must be dreaming if they think the new deal is going to provide significant damage control after the company alienated its customer base so spectacularly. For one thing, the deal only takes effect in 2013, and customers who are still upset about the recent price hikes probably won’t get too excited about change that is more than a year away. Greg Sandoval from Cnet News offers a cynical (but probably accurate) viewpoint that […]  More >>

What service providers could learn from the rise and fall of Borders

BLOGGER: ERIC M. DANIS Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to another brand. But while Borders might be gone, it shouldn’t be forgotten because I think service providers can learn some important lessons from Borders’ demise: Don’t miss the connected world revolution…  “Borders was investing in physical real estate at the same time that shoppers were flocking to the Internet,” writes Rick Newman in U.S. News & World Report. A comparison with Barnes & Noble is instructive. While Borders outsourced its online arm to Amazon for the better part of a decade (more on that below), Barnes & Noble long […]  More >>

Knocking on an open door

BLOGGER: JEFF BARAK As a child, a few minutes after leaving the house with my mother, she’d often send me back down the street to check that she’d locked the front door. Other people worry about whether they’ve locked their car – one friend recently called me from the airport saying she couldn’t remember if she’d locked her car or not before getting into the taxi and making her way to the airport for a long vacation. Owners of most 2011 General Motors models in the United States no longer have to worry about this. According to a recent New […]  More >>

Will jammed freeways clog information highways?

BLOGGER: ERIC M. DANIS Los Angeles is known for more than just movies – the traffic jams are infamous. Perhaps that’s why Los Angelenos are so dreading next weekend’s (July 15-17) partial shutdown of the 405 Freeway, which has been dubbed “Car-mageddon.” But perhaps it’s the mobile network providers who should really be concerned.   Here’s why: the local ABC news affiliate in LA has decided to help commuters deal with the crisis by teaming up with crowd-sourced traffic application Waze, so it can provide accurate, real-time information to its viewers. Waze tracks the movements of all of its users (and apparently there are 180,000 […]  More >>

Thoughts from The Cable Show: Where’s the lifetime value?

BLOGGER: DAVID JACOBS I was a little surprised by what was left off the packed agenda at The Cable Show, which took place in Chicago last week. As expected, there was a lot of talk around TV Anywhere, the impact of OTT video services from the likes of Netflix and Apple, and how the cable industry can maintain its lead through continuous innovation. At the opening session, Jeff Bewkes, Chairman & CEO of Time Warner, commented: “Put the TV on the Internet“.  He wasn’t suggesting that content should be free – he was saying we should keep the existing business […]  More >>

Why the world looks different to Generation Y

BLOGGER: JEFF BARAK Success in the future isn’t just about the technology, according to futurist Dr. Graeme Codrington, from TomorrowToday, in his guest keynote speech at the Amdocs InTouch Business Forum 2011 in Miami – it’s about understanding people better. And this is the way that service providers will be able to fully monetize the opportunity of connecting them. Comparing Generation Y, (a.k.a. the Millienials), born from around 1985 onwards, to the Baby Boomer generation now entering their 50s and 60s, Codrington argued that service providers need to market their products differently to this younger generation, not because of their […]  More >>

When is an ad not an ad?

BLOGGER: NAOMI WEISER I tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to mobile ads, which is to basically ignore them almost automatically. But according to a recent Google-commissioned survey, I’m apparently an anomaly – the report states that most users do actually pay attention to and engage with mobile advertising, with 82% of smartphone users noticing mobile ads. And apparently 42% of those who notice mobile ads click on the ad, 27% contact the business, 35% visit the website and 49% eventually make a purchase. But mobile advertisers just might get me in the end, because Kiip’s completely new approach to in-game […]  More >>

The amazing metamorphosis of Amazon

BLOGGER: NAOMI WEISER Hats off to Amazon again for adopting yet another new innovative business model with this week’s launch of the Amazon Cloud Player and Cloud Driver software and services – and in doing so, it has managed to beat Apple and Google to the punch by being the first to launch online music storage services.  Like Apple, Amazon already sells music online, but now, instead of buying and downloading songs onto your computer, you’ll be able to store your music collection “in the cloud” and access  it from any computer or Android device (understandably, don’t expect to access […]  More >>

Put a cap on it

BLOGGER: JEFF BARAK We’re already getting used to data caps on our mobile Internet usage, so AT&T’s decision to put a cap on data usage for its DSL and U-verse broadband services should not come as too much of a surprise. In fact, Comcast capped its broadband service way back in 2008. As in the case of the mobile Internet, the reason behind AT&T’s new decision is the disproportionate Internet usage of the bandwidth hogs. According to AT&T, less than two percent of its subscribers (who use up to 20 percent of the bandwidth!) will actually be affected by the […]  More >>

Value-based pricing relieves the tablet data headache

BLOGGER: GUY HILTON Mobile World Congress saw its fair share of launch announcements in the tablet area and now with the imminent iPad 2 launch on Wednesday, the tablet revolution is truly on its way. Rather than talk about the various new features of each and every one of these tablets, I want to focus on one aspect that’s common to all of them: they are data-intensive machines. And as more and more tablets become available, the question of pricing plans for tablets will arise again. I think it’s safe to say there’s a consensus that flat-rate, all-you-can-eat plans aren’t […]  More >>

And the award for “Best Oscar-Night Coverage” this year goes to…

BLOGGER: JEFF BARAK OK, so there isn’t actually an Oscar like that, but neither is Oscar-night coverage a “winner take all” competition between television and the Internet. This year’s Oscar coverage showed how the traditional television model can happily co-exist, and even embrace what previously had been seen as the disruptive factor of online viewing. First of all, the Internet has (perhaps counter-intuitively) boosted viewing figures for television’s marquee events such as the Oscars or American fooball’s Super Bowl. With the rise of social media, more and more people are watching the Super Bowl and other similar events live on […]  More >>

Connectivity isn’t enough – where’s the VALUE?

BLOGGER: YOAV SNIR  Is mobile communications now all about the connected world? Well, if you attended last week’s Mobile World Congress, you would think so. There were certainly enough connected devices around, with almost every original equipment manufacturer – from phone manufacturers to consumer electronic giants – apparently about to launch a tablet. Everyone else seemed to be offering a connected “something”…[feel free to insert an appropriate noun here: car, home, camera TV, heart monitor, UPS packages, etc ].”   So there’s a definite buzz. But although both the machine-to-machine (M2M) and consumer electronics markets are still in their infancy, […]  More >>

Carrier billing? It’s a win-win-win situation

BLOGGER: JEFF BARAK AT&T’s decision to join T-Mobile and offer carrier billing in the US for Android Market (Google’s app store) should come as no surprise. As Michal Harris noted in a blog here late last year, the service providers’ market has fragmented, with over-the-top players, niche app vendors and expanding retailers muscling in on what was previously the carriers’ exclusive terrain. Carrier billing, which in the case of Android Market will now allow Android app purchasers to pay for their apps from their monthly AT&T bill, allows AT&T to utilize its core billing capabilities and get back into a […]  More >>

The best things in life are (probably not) free

BLOGGER: RAFI KRETCHMER  Google’s announcement that every Chrome OS netbook will ship with free data access from Verizon does not mean consumers can look forward to downloading huge amounts of data for free once the netbooks hit US stores in the first half of next year. Under its partnership with Verizon, every Chrome OS netbook will ship with a cellular modem, for both WiFi and 3G networks, and subscribers will get 100MB of free data every month for two years. And there’s the catch: 100MB of data a month will possibly stretch to checking your email every day but not […]  More >>