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Read all about it! What publishing can learn from digital transformations in telecoms (and vice-versa)

Sometimes it’s useful to take a look outside the telecoms world at what’s happening in other verticals and pick up an insight (or three) about how other industries are handling similar situations, like dealing with disruption or how to develop an effective digital transformation strategy. Take publishing, for example….  More >>
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Is the price of your privacy a new flashlight app?

Remember the dodo bird? No surprise there if you don’t — it disappeared a long time ago. Unfortunately, our privacy looks like it’s heading in the same direction as our now legendary feathered friend. It doesn’t seem to matter that everybody agrees how extremely important privacy is — we’re still happily giving it up in exchange for a navigation/social/search, or even a flashlight app.  More >>
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Why innovation isn’t just about a really great idea

Let’s be clear: innovation isn’t a one-off Eureka moment. Archimedes had spent a lifetime as a scientist before his insight that the volume of water he displaced in his bath must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged, while Newton didn’t really discover gravity because an apple fell on his head. Instead, innovation is a process – one which takes time, focus and effort. In our industry, I would describe innovation as “the process of creation of new value in anticipation of future demand”, and this, inevitably, means change. When you look at […]  More >>
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Dad, can I have a car subscription for my 16th birthday?

My youngest daughter (who is 12) is never shy when it comes to letting us know what she wants for her birthday. And I wouldn’t be surprised if by the time she hits 16, she’ll be asking – neither for a car nor driving lessons – but for a subscription to a car service.  By 2021, as car sharing and autonomous cars become common, will our kids even need to spend money on driving lessons or own a car? In recently published research, Morgan Stanley analyzes the significance of Daimler joining forces with Uber, noting that both companies are stretching their vision […]  More >>
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Why mobile financial service providers can’t afford to ignore loyalty programs

Forgotten your ATM card? Don’t panic – just use your phone to withdraw cash instead. It’s all about having the choice, explains Jonathan Velline, Wells Fargo’s head of A.T.M. and branch banking to the New York Times. “If you’ve lost your card or left home without your wallet, chances are you still have your smartphone in your hand.” Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America are planning to introduce cardless options to all their ATM machines by the end of the year, but steaming ahead of them is JPMorgan Chase, which has more ATMs in the United States — 18,000 […]  More >>
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Pay attention at the back-end

Although content is expected to be the main focus of next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings taking a much-anticipated Monday evening keynote spot, service providers are actually paying very close attention to their back-end systems. In the first Mobile World Live industry survey of around 1,000 key decision makers from across the mobile ecosystem, a clear majority (66 percent) believe that the emergence of network functions virtualization (NFV) and the advent of 5G technology, will require mobile operators to completely replace legacy back office BSS, OSS or IT systems. As the survey’s authors note, […]  More >>
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Want to maximize the success of your digital transformation? Make the CIO your digital educator

If you’re an average Japanese farmer, chances are that you’re 66 years old and there are a lot fewer of you around than there used to be. With the number of workers in farming and forestry workers dwindling significantly in recent years, several IT players in Japan, (Fujitsu being an example), are considering storing farmers’ agricultural knowledge in the cloud so that their expertise can be passed on to the next generation, using computers as their digital educators. Whether computers can ever properly substitute for human coaching/mentoring (or robots replace a human workforce for that matter) remains an open question. […]  More >>
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My daughters’ daughters won’t have to learn to drive – but will they even need to work?

Anyone seen that Mashable video at the end of last year showing how the Tesla autopilot predicted – and then avoided – a sudden crash two vehicles ahead on a Dutch highway? It’s pretty extreme footage and any driver will be left wondering how, without the help of the artificial intelligence (AI) embedded in the car, they would have known when to start breaking. So 2016 has almost ended up where Total Recall left off in 1990, when Arnold Schwarzenegger had to deal with Johnny Cab, a self-driving taxi robot (although, ironically Arnie ends up taking over the driving himself). […]  More >>
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Digital killed the radio star

For over 80 years, people have been tuning in to FM radio for the tunes that get them through their day. But this week marks the beginning of the end of FM. The government of Norway has announced they were beginning the shutdown of broadcast FM radio throughout the country, a process which will be complete by the end of 2017. They won’t be shutting down broadcast radio, just moving it to Digital Audio Broadcasting – or DAB – which offers more channels, better audio quality and cost savings for broadcasters which can be invested in more content development. The […]  More >>
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Want to earn US$1.6B after only 5 years? Just go virtualize your video-delivery network

Calling all parents, does this sound familiar? Our five-year-old is quite happy to watch her favourite shows on any device – except for on a TV. I’ve even taught her how to stream content from the iPad to the TV in an effort to persuade her about the comfort and benefits of watching on a big screen, but nothing works. (“It’s more fun to watch it like this!”) And it’s not just her…  More >>
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How did you do your Christmas shopping?

Don’t tell the kids but even Santa probably uses the Internet for some help with all that shopping and deliveries. My guess is that most of you bought some, perhaps even all of your Christmas gifts online. If so, did you manage to keep all your presents a surprise from the intended recipient? Well done if you did, because as the Wall Street Journal’s Laura Stevens discovers, your browsing history or the ads that follow you around on the Internet can unfortunately sometimes give away the surprise you have in store. Buying her husband a present on the family Amazon […]  More >>
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Fed up of going on blind dates? (Well, so are service-provider customers)

“I think these two are off to a bad start” observed the Alabama Police Chief Deputy. (That’s an understatement.) Luckily for those of us looking for love, most blind dates don’t end up in a police chase, but if you’ve ever been on one, you know how awkward they can be.   More >>
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Why OTT could be Pay-TV’s new best friend

In the battle against over-the-top (OTT) video services, AT&T recently unveiled its new “rules-free” TV streaming service for cord cutters. Described by AT&T Entertainment Group CEO Group John Stankey, as “TV your way,” DirecTV Now is targeted towards subscribers who aren’t entirely ready to rely only on Netflix, YouTube, or whatever is free on the web. This new service enables subscribers to watch shows from the major networks, (although the ability to live stream NBC, ABC, and Fox is limited to select markets). Not only priced significantly lower than traditional cable TV packages, AT&T subscribers can stream to their smartphones […]  More >>
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Why I’m not going to argue with Tom Cruise

“OK, Alexa – how long did it take to create you?” We’ll save Amazon’s helpful voice-activated personal assistant the trouble of answering – according to CCS Insight’s Chief of Research Ben Wood, it took Amazon a mere 1,500 engineers working on Alexa for four years before Alexa’s launch. That’s a pretty big commitment but fortunately for Amazon, the result so far is a positive one, judging by early adopters’ feedback, and 3 million units sold in the first year.  More >>
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The Third Network – Live from MEF 16 in Baltimore

The digital economy requires “Third Network services,” said Nan Chen, president of MEF, in the opening session of MEF16 here in Baltimore. Or, as Comcast’s Chad Haggerty put it, in today’s on-demand era, “we need to think differently about connectivity services and embrace software to gain speed, agility and reliability.” But what is the “Third Network”? According to an MEF white paper announced today, the Third Network is an industry vision for the evolution and transformation of network connectivity services and the networks used to deliver them. In this vision, the Third Network combines the on-demand agility and ubiquity of […]  More >>
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John Legend’s mobile etiquette guide – Live from CTIA in Las Vegas

Ever wonder how musicians feel at a concert when you have your mobile phone outstretched over your head, videoing the performance? Ten-time Grammy winning musician John Legend admits to a love-hate relationship with the mobile experience at concerts. On the one hand, he told the audience on the last day of the CTIA Super Mobility Show 2016 here in Las Vegas, it’s a powerful marketing tool, encouraging people to buy tickets for future performances, which is where the money is these days for musicians. But if you’re sat in the audience, as he was recently at a Mariah Carey show […]  More >>
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The future demands 5G – Live from CTIA in Las Vegas

It might not be here yet, but there was no escaping 5G at the second day of the CTIA Super Mobility Show 2016 here in Las Vegas. Just as the new technology took center stage yesterday, 5G continued to dominate the discussion during the morning’s keynote sessions. Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri put it the most bluntly, declaring that “4G is great but the future requires 5G.” Suri argued that while 4G essentially does what 2G and 3G could do but better, 5G will be a radical game changer. By harnessing the new technology, we will be able to […]  More >>