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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Various quick things

I'm hugely busy at the moment, but a couple of quick things:

Skype's reported acquisition is very interesting, and it will be interesting to see what evolved. I'd expect to see:
- either collaboration or competition with Google's Wave. I'm increasingly thinking that the 100-year notion of a phone call or session as the basic unit of telecoms "conversation" between people is nearing end-of-life (well, on 20 year view, anyway)
- perhaps a proprietary carrier-grade service for VoIP on LTE or HSPA+, avoiding the IMS / CSFB etc conundrum
- I've got to believe that $100bn of profitable SMS revenue worldwide is a very tempting target, especially given the success of local alternatives like MXit in South Africa
- maybe the MVNO / SIM approach being targetted by Truphone and others

I see that 3UK is launching Novatel's MiFi. EDIT: Apparently it's actually a Huawei device (see comments). I'd thought it was the Novatel, but in a custom plastic shell; I stand corrected.

The UK's leading political blogger Guido Fawkes agrees with me about the faddish nature of Twitter.

I'm also skeptical about Android - I've said before that it's massively over-hyped and according to Andy, it seems like AT&T agrees with me. He's also had another great post up recently about service vs. product.

Symbian's David Wood has a blog post evoking something I wrote about a year ago - femtocell-optimised handsets.

Lots of noise about netbooks supplied via mobile operators, perhaps subsidised - but I'm waiting to see the outcome, as I reckon the market opportunity has been overestimated. I'm hearing anecdotal evidence that customers recognise it's cheaper to get a separate retail netbook and data contract rather than a bundle.


Paul said...

Not Novatel, Huawei:

You need to check your references before publishing Dean

The MiFi® device is actually the Huawei E583X previously know as iMo (http://mytechnews.info/b/2009/06/huawei-wireless-broadband-modem-with-a-difference.html)

The Novatel device is MiFiTM which is sure to confuse at the point of sale.

Dean Bubley said...

Paul - thanks for the heads-up. I'd assumed that Novatel had done a custom plastic casing for 3.

To be honest, I don't think this device looks quite as good aesthetically: I've had plenty of "Ooh, what's that? It looks cute!" comments about the Novatel one. Strange to think about looks being a driver for modem sales, but there you go.

Paul said...

It does plug a gap in the market, and also allows the router to be placed in a good radio environment (e.g. on a windowsill) and then 'repeated' to the user over WiFi. This should offer much better data rate capability and so result in much happier users, particularly since the unit has full EUL capabilities, compared to the DCH offered by most 3 dongles.

Dean Bubley said...

Yes, these devices are definitely valuable. I tended to use it on the table next to the PC, but I can imagine that for home users, being able to put it by a window for better signal is an advantage.

I found the main benefits were faster/easier log-on using the PC's main WiFi connection mnanager, and the fact the device has its own battery, rather than draining the laptop's.