a week in wireless


Out with the old, in with the new

AWIW448

It was with watery eyed reminiscence that the Informer read through the announcement this week that Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA, is to step down September 1st. “After 12 years I feel very good that I am leaving the GSMA,” he said. Which is frank, at least.

Oh hang on… No, the  Informer’s mistake;  there’s more if you scroll down. “After 12 years I feel very good that I am leaving the GSMA in the best possible position to address the challenges and opportunities ahead,” was what he actually said. Conway went on to say he was very proud of the initiatives executed under his leadership. In particular, he picked out those closest to his heart – the nurturing of Mobile World Congress into the extraordinary and profitable yearly event it is today; and the Development Fund, which aims to connect people at the bottom of the economic pyramid. The Informer hadn’t even realised you could see the bottom of the economic pyramid from the top.

In the meantime, the GSMA will send out a search party to find a suitable replacement, and while there’s no word of where Conway’s going next, the Informer suspects he can afford the time to play a long round of golf somewhere nice.

On the subject of Rich and Green, Finnish giant Nokia may be gathering a search party at the moment too. Its own Rich Green, CTO of one year, has walked out for “personal reasons.” If the rumours are true, then his already indefinite leave of absence may be extended… er, indefinitely, to the point of resignation the Informer suspects, as Green’s nose is all out of joint over Nokia’s future strategy.

To be fair, Green, a veteran of Sun Microsystems and a mover and shaker in the Java world, was tapped to oversee Nokia’s overall tech strategy, reporting directly to Stephen Elop. But with the firm having recently outsourced development of the floundering Symbian operating system to consultancy and outsourcing firm Accenture along with some 3,000 employees, Green’s empire is not what it once was. More so when you consider that MeeGo, Nokia’s alternative software platform, has been sidelined in favour of Microsoft Windows Phone.

The Informer feels like he’s been writing “Nokia’s had a tough time of it lately” in a manner that stretches the meaning of the word ‘lately’ so much out of proportion that it hangs like a deflated balloon from the once sparkling chandelier hanging over the boardroom table.

At the beginning of June the firm revealed that its difficulties are such that announcing targets had become “inappropriate” and a 20-year veteran of the mobile industry told the Informer the other day that he’s contemplating the prospect that Nokia might not recover. He said it with a sense of disbelief, and not surprisingly. Who, until very recently, could have imagined a mobile industry without Nokia? But that is now starting to seem like a possibility. How long before it becomes not just possible, but plausible?

It’s often said that things have to get worse before they get better, so Nokia must be due for a karmic windfall any moment now.

But not too far away a financial windfall has been snatched away from Nokia’s infrastructure partnership before it even touched the ground as the handset vendor’s lurgy spreads into its partnerships. KKR and TPG pulled out of a deal to acquire a majority stake in the NSN JV, according to a report by the FT.

WTF? LOL.

In more acronym-laden news, the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) has completed what it says is the first ever voice over LTE (VoLTE) test on live LTE infrastructure at an event in Hawaii, supported by Ericsson, Huawei, Samsung, Intel and ST Ericsson. The demonstration included voice call establishment, connectivity to legacy services and supplementary services such as three-way conferencing. But as one wag commented: “Technically this is wonderful news. However…telling the guy on the street that 4G technology finally allows you to make VOICE CALLS – is likely to get us some curious stares.”

Someone who is comfortable under curious stares is Apple boss Steve Jobs, who took to the stage at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Fransico this week to reveal iCloud, which is designed to get content from all Apple devices, such as photos taken on an iPhone, automatically uploaded to the cloud and then pushed back down to other Apple devices such as an iPad, without any need for user interaction.

The former MobileMe services – Contacts, Calendar and Mail have been re-architected to work with iCloud, while all App Store and iBook store purchases will be distributed to all devices, up to a maximum of ten, not just the one the purchase was made on.

iCloud will also now sync changes made to any documents created using Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote office apps, and push them out to other devices, while iTunes in the Cloud will for the first time allow previously purchased iTunes music to be downloaded to all devices at no extra cost, as well as new music. Apple will be charging $24.99 for the privilege however, and as with Amazon and Google’s service it will only be available in the US at this stage. The iCloud beta is available immediately to developers and will go public with the release of iOS5 and Mac OS X Lion later this year.

From one man’s super hero to another and online giant eBay has agreed to acquire the 51 per cent stake in e-commerce powerhouse Magento that it does not already own. Ebay snapped up 49 per cent of Magento last year in a bid to increase its offerings to online merchants and to lead the mutant uprising. The core task force for this initiative will be built on an open commerce platform called “X.Commerce,” which the Informer assumes is lead by one Professor X.

Research released by eBay’s UK operation recently highlights the importance eBay attaches to m-commerce as part of its plan, claiming that the market could deliver a £4.5bn boost to Britain’s economy by 2016 and a further £13bn by 2021, if nurtured correctly. All eyes are now on the next battleground, which will see online giants like eBay and Google, face off against operators in the mobile wallet space, although the Informer’s heard that Magento has trouble taking credit card transactions because its mutant magnetic powers keep inadvertently wiping them.

When that battle comes, there’s one place that’s safe. At the bottom of the Informer’s weed infested garden is a concrete dugout from 1999, which was put in place by someone who apparently fell afoul of the Y2K scaremongering. It’s still chock full of canned Del Monte produce – the Informer is no fan of the tinned peach and hasn’t ventured down that part of the jungle for some time, but he was reminded of humanity’s fascination with ‘the end is nigh’ type proclamations this week.

American journalist Thomas Friedman wrote a New York Times article headlined “The Earth is full,” in which he posited that humanity is currently growing at a rate that is using up the Earth’s resources far faster than they can be sustainably replenished. Right now he reckons global growth is using about 1.5 Earths. And when you are surrounded by something so big that requires you to change everything about the way you think and see the world, then, Friedman says, denial is the natural response. And the longer we wait, the bigger the response required, eventually forcing us into a crisis-driven choice between wither allowing collapse to overtake us or develop a new sustainable economic model.

The Informer thinks we should leave it to the techies. Let the geek inherit the Earth. After all, Y2K came and went without incident and the exhaustion of another resource entirely – IPv4 addresses- is being dealt with pretty handily.

June 8th was World IPv6 Day, when some of the biggest names on the internet offered their content over version six, marking a global ‘test flight’ for the future architecture of the internet. The day’s success was measured by the number of internet users that don’t see any difference in how they went about their business as the likes of Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Akamai to name a few, dual stacked their websites for the test flight period. Then those that could access IPv6 content did so via the provider’s IPv6-enabled web server, while the common masses were restricted to the IPv4 we know and love.

The doom-mongers were out in force proclaiming that the end of the internet as we know it is on its way and unlike the failed predictions of US evangelical broadcaster Harold Camping, the apocalypse is a matter of when, not if.

So be careful not to get trapped in the dark net of IPv4, among the pick n’ mix of phishing sites, midget porn and unused Apple iPhone rumours, and remember, there’s no place like ::1/128.

Take care

The Informer

Out with the old, in with the new

It was with watery eyed reminiscence that the Informer read through the announcement this week that Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA, is to step down September 1st. “After 12 years I feel very good that I am leaving the GSMA,” he said, and for once, the Informer agrees.

Oh hang on, there’s more if you scroll down. “After 12 years I feel very good that I am leaving the GSMA in the best possible position to address the challenges and opportunities ahead,” was what he actually said. Never one to blow his own trumpet, Conway went on to say he was very proud of the initiatives contributed under his leadership – of which there are many, too many to list here. However the one’s Conway picks out are those close to his heart – the Development Fund, which aims to connect people at the bottom of the economic pyramid – clearly something Conway feels great empathy towards; and the nurturing of Mobile World Congress into the extraordinary yearly event it is today.

In the meantime, the GSMA will send out a search party to find a suitable replacement, and while there’s no word of where Conway’s going next, the Informer suspects he can afford the time to play a long round of golf somewhere nice.

On the subject of Rich and Green, Finnish giant Nokia may be gathering a search party at the moment too. Its own Rich Green, CTO of one year, has walked out for “personal reasons.” If the rumours are true, then his already indefinite leave of absence may be extended… er, indefinitely, to the point of resignation the Informer suspects, as Green’s nose is all out of joint over Nokia’s future strategy.

To be fair, Green, a veteran of Sun Microsystems and a big mover and shaker in the Java world, was tapped to oversee Nokia’s overall tech strategy, reporting directly to Stephen Elop. But with the firm having recently outsourced development of the floundering Symbian operating system to consultancy and outsourcing firm Accenture along with some 3,000 employees, Green’s empire is not what it once was. More so when you consider that MeeGo, Nokia’s alternative software platform, has been sidelined in favour of Microsoft Windows Phone.

The Informer feels like he’s been writing “Nokia’s had a tough time of it lately” in a manner that stretches the meaning of the word ‘lately’ so much out of proportion that it hangs like a deflated balloon from the once sparkling chandelier hanging over the boardroom table.

At the beginning of June the firm revealed that its difficulties are such that announcing targets had become “inappropriate” and a 20-year veteran of the mobile industry told the Informer the other day that he’s contemplating the prospect that Nokia might not recover. He said it with a sense of disbelief, and not surprisingly. Who, until very recently, could have imagined a mobile industry without Nokia? But that is now starting to seem like a possibility. How long before it becomes not just possible, but plausible?

It’s often said that things have to get worse before they get better, so Nokia must be due for a karmic windfall any moment now.

But not too far away a financial windfall has been snatched away from Nokia’s infrastructure partnership before it even touched the ground as the handset vendor’s lurgy spreads into its partnerships. KKR and TPG pulled out of a deal to acquire a majority stake in the NSN JV, according to a report by the FT.

WTF?

In more acronym-laden news, the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) has completed what it says is the first ever voice over LTE (VoLTE) test on live LTE infrastructure at an event in Hawaii, supported by Ericsson, Huawei, Samsung, Intel and ST Ericsson. The demonstration included voice call establishment, connectivity to legacy services and supplementary services such as three-way conferencing. But as one wag commented: “Technically this is wonderful news. However…telling the guy on the street that 4G technology finally allows you to make VOICE CALLS – is likely to get us some curious stares.”

Someone who is comfortable under curious stares, is Apple boss Steve Jobs, who took to the stage at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Fransico this week to reveal iCloud, which is designed to get content from all Apple devices, such as photos taken on an iPhone, automatically uploaded to the cloud and then pushed back down to other Apple devices such as an iPad, without any need for user interaction.

The former MobileMe services – Contacts, Calendar and Mail have been re-architected to work with iCloud, while all App Store and iBook store purchases will be distributed to all devices, up to a maximum of ten, not just the one the purchase was made on.

iCloud will also now sync changes made to any documents created using Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote office apps, and push them out to other devices, while iTunes in the Cloud will for the first time allow previously purchased iTunes music to be downloaded to all devices at no extra cost, as well as new music. Apple will be charging $24.99 for the privilege however, and as with Amazon and Google’s service it will only be available in the US at this stage. The iCloud beta is available immediately to developers and will go public with the release of iOS5 and Mac OS X Lion later this year.

From one man’s super hero to another and online giant eBay has agreed to acquire the 51 per cent stake in e-commerce powerhouse Magento that it does not already own. Ebay snapped up 49 per cent of Magento last year in a bid to increase its offerings to online merchants and to lead the mutant uprising. The core task force for this initiative will be built on an open commerce platform called “X.Commerce,” which the Informer assumes is lead by one Professor X.

Research released by eBay’s UK operation recently highlights the importance eBay attaches to m-commerce as part of its plan, claiming that the market could deliver a £4.5bn boost to Britain’s economy by 2016 and a further £13bn by 2021, if nurtured correctly. All eyes are now on the next battleground, which will see online giants like eBay and Google, face off against operators in the mobile wallet space, although the Informer’s heard that Magento has trouble taking credit card transactions because its mutant magnetic powers keep inadvertently wiping them.

When that battle comes, there’s one place that’s safe. At the bottom of the Informer’s weed infested garden is a concrete dug out from 1999, which was put in place by someone who apparently fell afoul of the Y2K scaremongering. It’s still chock full of canned Del Monte produce – the Informer is no fan of the tinned peach and hasn’t ventured down that part of the jungle for some time but he was reminded of humanity’s fascination with ‘the end is nigh’ type proclamations this week.

American journalist Thomas Friedman wrote a New York Times article headlined “The Earth is full,” in which he posited that humanity is currently growing at a rate that is using up the Earth’s resources far faster than they can be sustainably replenished. Right now he reckons global growth is using about 1.5 Earths. And when you are surrounded by something so big that requires you to change everything about the way you think and see the world, then, Friedman says, denial is the natural response. And the longer we wait, the bigger the response required, eventually forcing us into a crisis-driven choice between wither allowing collapse to overtake us or develop a new sustainable economic model.

The Informer thinks we should leave it to the techies. Let the geek inherit the Earth. After all, Y2K came and went without incident and the exhaustion of another resource entirely – IPv4 addresses- is being dealt with pretty handily.

June 8th was World IPv6 Day, when some of the biggest names on the internet offered their content over version six, marking a global ‘test flight’ for the future architecture of the internet. The day’s success was measured by the number of internet users that don’t see any difference in how they went about their business as the likes of Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Akamai to name a few, dual stacked their websites for the test flight period. Then those that could access IPv6 content did so via the provider’s IPv6-enabled web server, while the common masses were restricted to the IPv4 we know and love.

The doom-mongers were out in force proclaiming that the end of the internet as we know it is on its way and unlike the failed predictions of US evangelical broadcaster Harold Camping, the apocalypse is a matter of when, not if.

So be careful not to get trapped in the dark net of IPv4, among the pick n’ mix of phishing sites, midget porn and unused Apple iPhone rumours, and remember, there’s no place like ::1/128.

The Informer

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3 comments

  1. Franck M. 10/06/2011 @ 3:50 pm

    The Informer must have been in vacation this week. How can he miss THE news of the week? FT launched a new iPad/iPhone app which you install directly from your brower, bypassing the Apple App Store, and avoiding the 30% commission on paid content. This has lots of interesting implications, and so much food for thought and humor which I was expecting the Informer to jump on it…
    I did not test this app (does have an iPhone, poor of me) but can envision a revolution if the app does work fine. All other publishers will rush to do the same, and the walled garden that Apples has been defending zealously will explode. No need to block Flash any more… Coincidentally (really?), Apple announced some new/better conditions for publishers this week …

    Best Regards from Nice (we lost MWC and the Telemanagement Forum but still enjoy nice weather) from a AWIW fan.

  2. The Informer 13/06/2011 @ 1:27 pm

    On the contrary, the Informer read the FT story with great interest. You know, it’s something that’s often brought up at meetings here – should telecoms.com and MCI have its own iPad/Phone version of the magazine? But as the FT has shown, why make an app by someone else’s rules when you can make one by your own.
    In fact, why make an app at all? Everybody who can access an online app can access the website too. What happens to all these widgets and online apps when HTML5 becomes commonplace?

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