Tech / Telecom news — 6 Mar 2017


American mobile carriers extending the “unlimited wars” to prepaid, with recent moves by T-Mobile’s MetroPCS, AT&T’s Cricket and Sprint’s Boost brands. In most cases, it is expected that data compression techniques will be used for video traffic, but e.g. Verizon is not using compression in its unlimited postpaid plans… (Story)


In the US, people already spend more time using mobile apps than watching TV. New statistics show users spending up to 5h / day on mobile devices, a +20% increase yoy, with apps growing even more, as browsers usage time falls (now just 8% of total). At least part of this growth would be at the expense of TV audiences (Story)

And even more traditional video content, already shifting (at least partially) to Netflix or Amazon, could migrate from legacy TV networks to apps, running either on mobile devices or on big screen TV sets. E.g. Facebook (which recently launched a TV app) is looking for TV-like programming in several “traditional” genres (Story)

Internet of Things

GE and Siemens competing to become the “de facto standard” platform for industrial IoT, trying to leverage their (deep) presence in industrial processes today, as leading machinery suppliers. Sensors and the cloud are the two key enablers to achieve improvements. This is expected to be a $150bn business in 3 years (Story)


Not only Verizon, but also AT&T keeps testing high speed wireless broadband, with trials under way in 2 US cities. CTO J Donovan positions this as part of a more general effort with 5 different new access technologies (G.Fast, 5G, FTTP, Wireless Local Loop and AirGig -using power lines), looking for “the best economics” (Story)


After one year, Amazon is closing the “Cable store”, a site where they had started selling Comcast’s (and more recently also Frontier’s) broadband services. Horrible customer reviews (“If I could give it zero stars I would”) could be behind the decision, e.g. with complaints that Amazon was failing to inform users of data caps (Story)

On the other hand, Amazon is positioning Alexa as a tool for companies to improve their customer service, and is rumoured to be developing a specific software package (“Lily”) to address customers’s calls / messages. It will include AWS APIs for third party apps to incorporate Alexa, and integration with Salesforce’s CRM (Story)


Virtual Assistants

Android Virtual Assistants proliferating, just as Google starts to extend its own from the Pixel to other devices. E.g. Lenovo’s Motorola will pre-install Alexa, not believing in “supremacy” of any assistant. Also, Line Messenger is releasing “Clova”, and even operators like DT have their own ( “Tinka”, a customer service bot) (Story)

Meanwhile, Amazon is preparing Alexa to enable users to make phone calls from Alexa-powered devices, and to include intercom capabilities (communicating with other Alexa devices at the opposite end) as well. The fact seems to be that people like Alexa but are not using it so much, and this could be an engaging application (Story)


Comcast apparently accepting that there’s a major shift under way for audiences behaviour, starting by young people that spend more and more time with mobile apps like Snapchat. So their content powerhouse, NBC Universal, has just invested $500m in the recent Snap’s IPO, looking to move where the young audience is… (Story)