Tech / Telecom news — 9 Jun 2017

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

The EU has just approved a new regulation allowing subscribers to “port” paid online services across borders and access the content when travelling to other EU countries, so there will not be geo-blocking anymore. Initially this targets paid online content, but free services (e.g. public broadcasters’ apps) may also participate (Story)

Internet of Things

AT&T believes the opportunity for carriers in the Internet of Things is much bigger than just connectivity, and they explicitly mentioned the connected car (including potential to sell navigation and entertainment services), wireless healthcare services, and agriculture solutions as key opportunities (Story)

Advertising

A Facebook study reveals there is a high correlation between TV viewers’ social networks activity and TV commercial breaks, with high peaks in Facebook usage while ads are shown on TV. This would point to a direct substitution of TV ads by online ones, with obvious implications on how brands should spend their money (Story)

Forecasts published this week by Cisco predict that video will represent 82% of all internet traffic in 2021 (vs. 73% today), driven by more video viewing and by higher quality (requiring more bandwidth). Live video expected to be the fastest growing segment, going from 3% of total internet video traffic to 13% (Story)

Cisco’s Complete Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast

Devices

Verizon has launched a white-label smartwatch, the Wear24, really not so aesthetically pleasant, and sold at $350 (so not cheap either, even if bundled with a 2-year contract, at $300). So press comments suggest they want to “extract money from their customers” by “tricking them into using crappy apps and crappy hardware” (Story)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Facebook has managed to drastically reduce training times (by a 29x factor) for deep learning algorithms, by distributing the task in larger “minibatches” across a greater number of GPUs. This of course requires relative large (typically up to 256) aggregations of GPUs, as only large players (or cloud providers) can have (Story)

Virtual Assistants

Amazon is launching tools enabling control of TV set top boxes from any Alexa-powered device, including the Amazon Echo, to change channels and navigate TV menus. Amazon could be looking to become a natural complement to PayTV providers, as this would immediately give them an enormous addressable market (Story)

Privacy

An underground network of employees from Apple suppliers in China, that extracted customers’ private data from the company’s data bases to sell it in the Chinese black market, has just been uncovered. It is yet unclear if this would affect Apple’s Chinese customers only. In any case, it could hurt Apple’s reputation (Story)

INVESTOR RELATIONS

Alibaba is managing to “overpromising and overdelivering”, and shares jumped up yesterday after the company gave a forecast of +49% revenue growth for the next year, driven by a thriving Chinese e-commerce market. As they actually beat their already aggressive forecast this year, they seem to have the credibility… (Story)

M&A DEALS

Yahoo’s shareholders just approved the $4.5bn acquisition by Verizon (at a $350m discount vs. initially announced deal price). And rumours are that Verizon will cut approx. 2,100 jobs (15% out of a combined workforce of 14,000) across both Yahoo and AOL businesses, to reduce duplications and simplify the organisation (Story)

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