Friday, February 24, 2006
The pressure in the mobile space is on: from WiFi, WiMAX, picocells and VoIP, from international roaming.
MTA cuts haven't reached the end yet.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
The beautiful thing is how this makes buying a song easy and tempting. All it takes is bookmarking while listening, and docking the player when you get home. The download and purchase are done automatically, through a deal with Napster.
Tags: Music distribution
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Telecoms: M&A, new competition and new services.
Examples: Takeover speculation around KPN and eircom, consolidation in wireless. Many developments in FTTx, BPL, muniwifi and WiMAX, but also in VoIP, IPTV and TV-over-wireless.
Example: Yahoo! extends its DSL content to the wireless space, cooperating with AT&T and Cingular on AT&T Yahoo! Go Mobile.
Example: AOL wants to compete with News Corp's MySpace, which is cooperating with the Helio MVNO for mobile blogging.
This could be potentially interesting, especially for the pending cases against Google Book Search and Google Book Library.
Heise reports that the Open PLC European Research Alliance (OPERA) issued a white paper, defining BPL based on DS2 technology, up to 200 Mbps.
New competition in the physical layer is coming, from both cities (fiber, wifi, wimax) and utilities (fiber, bpl).
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Thanks to Dirk van der Woude for the full article text from the Straits Times:
NEW BROADBAND NETWORK
More Competition Among Telcos Likely
By Bryan Lee
A SPANKING new ultra-fast national broadband network may be sweet music to the ears of Internet users but it could sound the Last Post for the cosy duopoly enjoyed by SingTel and StarHub.
The new network is expected to supersede existing infrastructure owned by the two telcos and could change how they earn their keep.
While scant details are known about the new network
announced in last Friday's Budget, the industry is already abuzz with talk of
intensifying competition, new players coming in and lower margins.
Shares in both telcos saw a knee-jerk reaction yesterday: StarHub
fell nine cents to $1.95, while SingTel lost one cent to finish at $2.65.
'Any financial assistance provided by the Government may make it
easier for new players to enter this area,' said Credit Suisse analysts Lim Keng
Hock and Clarice Khoo.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told
Parliament during his Budget presentation that the network was basic
infrastructure needed for Singapore to be competitive.
private companies will be involved in the project over the next several years.
More details will be revealed by the Committee of Supply in Parliament next
Experts see Mr Lee's statement as a signal that fibre-optic
cables will be extended to every home in Singapore - a move that could cost as
much as US$1.2 billion (S$2 billion), said Frost & Sullivan analyst Foong
While Singapore has an islandwide fibre-optic network
owned by SingTel, links from that backbone infrastructure to homes are via
SingTel copper wires and StarHub cables.
These older generation
links, which are also used to transmit voice and pay TV services, will be made
obsolete by fibre-optics which boast much faster speeds, analysts said.
It certainly will not spell the end of SingTel and StarHub as
Internet service providers but they will not continue to enjoy the advantages
that come from owning these 'bottleneck' links. Would-be rivals have complained
about the pricing and inflexibility of leasing these lines.
we still don't know what SingTel's role will be in this new network, I'd be very
surprised if it is excluded entirely from this project,' said Mr David Kennedy,
a Melbourne-based senior analyst at telecoms consultancy Ovum.
Experts said the new network will probably incorporate existing
fibre-optic infrastructure and SingTel's widespread network will likely be part
StarHub will likely continue as a broadband provider by
leasing capacity from the new network.
Mr Paul Budde, who runs a
telecoms consultancy in Australia, said control of the network is unlikely to
fall solely in the hands of SingTel or StarHub.
He said regulators
must ensure the new network can be accessed by any telco and that preferential
treatment or pricing is not granted to any one company.
intervention is also necessary, he said, to ensure the network is rolled out to
SingTel and StarHub will also have to learn to compete
differently, focusing more on marketing and customer service, for instance.
They will also likely need to contend with new players or old
rivals like Pacific Internet, which had been curtailed by SingTel and StarHub's
dominance over infrastructure.
The down-conversion reduces a HD signal (1920x1080 lines) to a near-SD signal (960x540) in order to discourage piracy, but only if a digital flag (Image Constraint Token) is inserted into the file.
As many sets still use analog connections, this isn't contributing to HD adoption.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
- Shedding local lines, either voluntarily (Sprint, Trinsic) or not (BT, FT).
- Check out all the cellular developments (including yet another RIM/BlackBerry new competitor, this time no less than Vodafone).
- Also: regulatory measures related to termination, international roaming and SMS termination will send revenues down over an extended period.
- TeliaSonera and Telenor working on their portfolio abroad.
- Tunisie Telecom and Jordan Telecom: coming up in March.
- Skype is doing lots of stuff at the same time.
- WiFi, WiMAX, IPWireless, xMAx: all headed for a showdown later this year. Will News Corp make an offer for Clearwire?
- Cool New Product: the hybrid BPL solution from Motorola.
- Google winning market share and diversifying.
- Cool New Product: Prosper.com.
Of special interest: Time Warner v. News Corp v. 'old Viacom'. What to think of conglomerates? I believe scale matters less, as focus is needed when old businesses adapt to the digital age. Still, the Viacom break-up makes no sense to me; in pleading a Time Warner split, Lazard/Icahn/Wasserstein/Biondi want to keep TV and film together. However, distribution outlets need content (still king!). How do you leverage content optimally? In an entertainment conglomerate?
Further points of interest:
- Some background reading on MTV.
- Check out the video news, especially MovieBeam, but all my favorites are there too: Akimbo, Sling, Brightcove, Blinkx (only Orb was not featured).
- Cool New Product: NewspaperDirect.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
· Disney: plans TV-show downloads at ABC.com with ads
· MovieBeam (Disney) relaunches in 29 cities, starts HD movie delivery, movies from 6 studios (not Sony), Linksys (Cisco) box $200 + $30 activation fee, $5 for new HD movie, $4 for new SD, $3 for older HD, $2 for older SD
· CBS: adds Showtime Networks content to iTunes videostore, 2 $/show
· Brightcove: order from New York Times: distribution of video content on NYT sites and affiliate sites
· Sling Media: Hercules Technology Growth Capital joined previously announced $46.6m funding; launches PAL version of Slingbox 06Q2; works on Mac version (previously announced)
· ATEME (video compression technology) attracts EUR4m funding from XAnge and Ventech
· Blinkx will develop player for ITN and includes ITN content in searchable database
· Sony sets wholesale price of Blu-ray DVDs at $23.45 for new films (aimed at 15-20% premium to traditional DVDs), $18 for catalog, first to be released early summer
· AT&T claims MPEG-4 patents, warns Apple, CyberLink, DivX, InterVideo, Sonic Solutions for unlicensed use
· NTL teams with BitTorrent and Cachelogic for trial of high-speed video delivery in UK
· Opera includes BitTorrent (search) into preview version Opera 9 browser
· IPWireless and MobiTV collaborate, combining unicast with multicast (TDtv), MobiTV will develop H.264 player, IPWireless expects commercial TDtv roll-outs mid 2007
· MobiTV teams with NBC for Winter Olympics content
· Verizon Wireless trials two-tier service (lower tariff for service with ads)
· Nokia plans pilot in Indonesia with Elang Mahkota Teknologi Group 06H2
· Philips launches solution (BGT215 chip) for DVB-H handsets
· Virgin plans launch ‘Virgin Mobile TV’ mid 2006 on DAB network from BT (with Microsoft)
· TIM plans launch June 2006
Thursday, February 09, 2006
So now the DoJ can demand data from whomever uses the technology in order to identify all sorts of would-be criminals, just the way they asked Google to come up with records.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Han Jie won the Tiger Award for this film.
Walter was on a panel discussion at a series of client meetings, staged by the Robeco Group, which sponsorod of the festival. Besides Walter, Robeco fund manager Sebastiaan de Bont was on the panel, as well as myself.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
It wil be built over a three year period, primarily for government workers (schools, etc), but citizens can also be hooked up. For the latter, the city seeks cooperation of housing corporations.
Therefore, a first step, but another one in a long string of announcements.
Here is the original Dutch:
Rotterdam, 1 februari 2006
College akkoord met aanleg van glasvezelhoofdstructuur
Het College van burgemeester en wethouders heeft een belangrijke stap gezet in de aanleg van glasvezel in Rotterdam. Met een akkoord voor de uitvoering van het plan van aanpak Realisatie Glazen Maas zal de gemeente, samen met partners, in drie jaar tijd een glasvezelhoofdstructuur ontwikkelen. Instellingen uit het onderwijs, de zorg, de creatieve sector en de gemeentelijke overheid krijgen toegang tot dit glasvezelnetwerk.
De glasvezelhoofdstructuur, die in 2008 gereed moet zijn, zal tevens geschikt zijn voor aansluiting van bewoners. De gemeente neemt de regie bij de totstandkoming en inrichting van het stedelijk netwerk dat via een Europese aanbesteding gerealiseerd zal worden.
Voor grootschalige aansluiting van bewoners op glasvezel is een samenwerkingsverband met bijvoorbeeld woningcorporaties onontbeerlijk. Daarom probeert de gemeente in de komende tijd woningcorporaties en marktpartijen te interesseren voor deelname in de aanleg van glasvezel. Bovendien wordt gekeken of de aanleg van glasvezel te combineren is met de aanleg van het netwerk dat huishoudens zal verwarmen met overtollige warmte van de industrie. Tot slot wil de gemeente dat drie nader te selecteren bedrijventerreinen in 2008 toegang hebben tot het glasvezelnetwerk.
Met het glasvezelnetwerk beoogt het College de regionale economie te stimuleren. Een goed toegankelijke, toekomstvaste communicatie-infrastructuur is voor Rotterdam even belangrijk is als een goede aansluiting van de stad via water, weg en spoor. Een glasvezelnetwerk blijkt een belangrijke vestigingsfactor te zijn voor jonge professionals, kennisintensieve bedrijven, havengerelateerde bedrijven en bedrijven in de medisch-technologische sector. Ook voor culturele instellingen is een hoogwaardig netwerk voor communicatie- en dataverkeer onontbeerlijk.
Eerder is Rotterdam gestart met de aanleg van glasvezel in de wijken Nesselande en Lloydkwartier. Via de glasvezelnetwerken in deze wijken kunnen de aangesloten bewoners en bedrijven inmiddels diensten als supersnel internet, telefonie, digitale televisie en dataopslag op afstand afnemen.
That makes this press release somewhat intriguing. KPN is ordering 'upgradeable copper telecom cables' from Prysmian. The 'copper core can be removed in situ allowing optical fibres to be blown into the remaining 'tube''. However, only 'new subscriber connections will be realised in this manner'.