- Gaining a lot of momentum. I just updated my private litle database, a Google spreadsheet that you can also access on the right (under 'Fiber Ring').
- Of note: OEN (Houston) closes its network, SureWest may buy the assets.
- DT is checking out EDS. Will DT be the big new consolidator? DT is also interested in 3's European assets.
- Google is weighing Skype.
- TI is looking to exit France, Iliad is interested.
- Several operators are mysteriously selling international mobile assets, or are putting them at an arm's length: PT and its Africa Holdings, Telmex and its Telmex Internacional, Telekom Malaysia and its TM International. Vodafone is interested in the latter, as well as in Vodacom. And Tele2 is still busy buying and selling things.
Cool new products:
- Everex is launching a Google-friendly PC, the Green gPC, with Google apps pre-loaded or given easy access to. I suppose that is an 'asset-light' entry into the PC-market.
- Amazon Kindle, Kindle Store and Whispernet. Many comments widely available. Connectivity is included - very much a Telco 2.0 strategy. A European launch will be hampered by lengthy negotiations with operators.
Cool new services:
- Celtel in Africa is launching 'One Network', essentially a roaming deal turning 12 networks into one. Calling at local rates, automatic activation, no sign-up or fee.
- Cox is stretching its network towards 1 Gbps bandwidth.
- BT is negotiating e-health business opportunities in Qatar and neighbouring states. I think e-health is a multi-billion opportunity, where many participants meet. That will allow operators like BT to become the center of an ecosystem.
- Jajah is launching an opt-in service where advertisements replace ring-back tones. They say it takes an average 12 seconds before people answer a call. I suppose they will not allow competitors into the advertising network.
Ever new SMS-based apps:
- Zain launched automatic translations (Arabic/English).
- SpinVox enables voice-to-text conversion and has a deal with Skype: a voice message will be converted into an SMS. Also several operator deals (Alltel, Vodacom, Telstra a.o.).
- Kajeet, an MVNO on Sprint, launched 'Feeds': entertainment and information pushed to the user as an SMS, at 10 c/SMS.
- Mobile payments using SMS, e.g. Safaricom in Kenya and Base in Belgium. Proximus (Belgium) launched public transportation ticketing by SMS.
- KPN's 'flirting service' olllo uses SMS (priced at 55 cents!).