Monthly Archives: December 2007

Telecom, Internet and Media in 2008

Robosapiens 2008 Robosapiens 2008 Robosapiens 2008

Technologies that will transform our lives in 2008

Telecom

Wimax. Asia will lead in 2008, where greenfield operators will deploy Wimax networks in Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Malaysia. Wimax has strong support for end-devices, with Intel and Taiwanese vendors among others, and the spectrum efficiency is superior to 3G. Incumbent wireless operators will still invest in 3G evolutions, as HSDPA, but will be pushed to more compelling end-user offers by competition from new Wimax players.
For many end-users, “broadband on the go” will be a reality in 2008.

IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). IMS enables rich services like Presence, Instant Messaging or intelligent call routing, under the Operator control. With IMS as the obvious choice for Wimax network, 2008 might see initial IMS commercial offerings. Open mobile handsets like iPhone and Android will accelerate the evolution to IMS for incumbent wireless, as these devices enable multimedia applications that Operators will prefer to control.

Android direct impact will be small in 2008, but the indirect impact in the industry is huge, setting the trend to open handsets, and anticipating the power of the innovations that Google can bring.

IPTV keeps steady subscriber growth worldwide, delivering features that are exclusive to IPTV: HDTV, Catch-up TV, TV communication services (SMS, Videoconference and voice) and Interactive TV applications, including Interactive Advertisement.

Mobile TV Broadcast trials will turn into commercial in Europe, following Italy and Finland. DVB-H and DVB-SH are the preferred technologies. Expect many technology trials in 2008. Mass market in 2009.

Internet and Media

Social Networks. New applications will come on top of existing platforms, with attention to Google OpenSocial as an enabler for these new apps. Special emphasis in how to monetize the knowledge provided by social interactions, and translate it into targeted advertisement.

Internet TV. 2007 was the year of Youtube. Content owners are quickly adapting and re-positioning. 2008 will see more content owners embracing YouTube and others as a channel.

Death of DRM for Music, as Amazon recent deal with Warner Music illustrates. Music industry transformation is unstoppable. They will find ways to survive.

Console fight is not over yet. Wii surprised us in 2007, but PS3 and Xbox360 have still more to say as new games fully use their technological powers.

Digital Home. Increasing demand for NAS (Network-Attached Storage) at home. On one side as a back-up for media libraries (pictures, music and videos), but also as an always-on low power server, with BitTorrent support, and a shared storage for the family members personal laptops. On the other had, the battle for the definitive set-top-box / Home Theater PC / Media Center/ Jukebox / Media Extender is far from settled. So far my take is a Mac Mini for HW and LinuxMCE for Software. But 2008 will bring more options and some light.

Linux and Open Source are winning on the Server, but Desktop not occupied yet. 2008 should be the year of the final attach to the desktop by Ubuntu and maybe other partners.

Global warming and others:

In general, the global climate concerns will translate into demand from conscious consumers for lower power consumption, as we already see in Servers moving into Blades and the appearance at home of low power NAS boxes, replacing the desktop PC as always-on home server.

But, wait a minute… what about Robots? Will 2008 bring any news beyond Roomba, Robosapiens and Aibo? Watch out.

iPhone applications for Starbucks. Where is the cake slice for Wireless Operators?

Forbes report that Apple is filing some patents that will enable innovative applications, such as ordering a Starbucks coffee from a mobile phone to bypass the customer line. Some months ago, Apple and Starbucks launched a Wifi Music Store, so that iPhone users could press a button when at Starbucks and download a song to enjoy their latte.


Starbucks in iPhone keynote, in January 2007

While these might not be killing apps – you need to queue anyway to collect your coffee-, it shows that Apple does not need the Wireless Operator to bring new apps over their networks. Apple only counts on Operators as mere IP pipes.

All this is transparent to us consumers, and even beneficial as the variety of mobile applications increases. Nonetheless it is a major threat for Wireless Operators as they lose control and revenue from Data Services.

Do not forget that the latest entrant in mobile phones, Google, is offering 10 m$ prize for 3rd-party developers that bring best apps on Android.

Will it be Google the one bringing Linux to the desktop?

Googlex o Goobuntu? Let’s think about it…

Google enters the Mobile Phones market by building an open Operating System (OS) for mobiles, built around Linux (Kernel 2.6).

Android main competitors, apart from Nokia, are iPhone and Windows Mobile. Both Apple and Microsoft come from computer OS to smartphones OS. What is a smartphone but a down-scale computer? Following Convergence trend in the IT/Telecom industry, we could foresee convergent OS across devices.

Nokia, established #1 in mobile phones, should be worried about new entrants such as Apple and Google, as convergence is unstoppable. In the long run I would bet on iPhone, Windows Mobile and Android to be market leaders as mobile operators move to IMS and all-IP networks, and need Open devices to install IMS software clients.

Once Google brings Linux to the mobile phone, wouldn’t be Google the one to bring Linux to the desktop too? Many would see with good eyes Google to “organize the information in the world” in what regards to Linux desktop distros. Linux is getting better for the desktop, but still not there. Imagine what a GLinux, Googlex or a Goobuntu distro could do to definitively drive Linux to the masses.

Eric, Larry, Sergei, please think about it.

Meantime some reports anticipate an Android debut in Barcelona 3GSM congress in february. I bet there will be a lot of Android handsets announcements in Barcelona, and very few prototypes. Unless phone vendors have been working hard in advance of the Android announcement, it is unlikely to see any Android phone before late next year.

Top 21 Biz Books worth an MBA

If you had to choose your favorite three books for each of nine MBA topics – Marketing High Tech, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Strategy, Management, General Marketing, Communications and Selling -, which ones would you pick?

Here is my selection for a basic business library.

Your comments and your favorites are welcome.

How will Music Industry survive Internet?

The Music Industry can not keep fighting to preserve their status quo. Internet, mp3 and iPods have changed the way we ingest music. DVD/CDs are doomed to disappear. The music and film industry will need to adapt to survive.

A wonderful extensive article has been published by Wired: David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars. This is the best informed article I have recently read on this topic.

This chart from the article shows the trend for the Music Industry both in size and in formats.

With the costs of recording, manufacturing and distribution going down to almost zero thanks to Internet and new technologies, the role of the music labels becomes very thin, and many will disappear. At the same time, live performances are not part of promotion any more, but a business in itself generating revenues for artists. Similar to the music model before the 20th century, where artist made money mainly with performances. Only that today there is merchandising, advertisement rights, and publishing royalties (for adding the song to an ad or a movie) to add to the money inflow of artists.

Internet help artists to have their works popular to a wider audience. Artists have only to adapt to the new business models. Labels will need some painful restructuring, just as other industries had before.

Merry Christmas

Xmas

When I started this blog one month ago, I could not imagine that 21.000 people would be reading it by year end, as it happened on 22 December. Thank you all for the support and for all your comments, specially on the Linux MCE debate.

Merry Christmas and enjoy your holidays! 

Jose Miguel

The new generations do not see a moral issue with file-sharing


An eye-opening article in New York Times about the generational divide on copyright morality, by David Pogue.

Compared to a few years back, the new generation of teenagers do not find any moral concern about copying and sharing copyrighted material, as the experiment from David Pogue shows.

I wondered whether my 8 months son, would buy from iTunes in the future or would download with BitTorrent and eMule. This article makes be believe that most likely the latter, but not entirely.

New generations would  be willing to pay for content, but only for the content they really love.

In the past, you had to buy the CD just to realize that only 2 or 3 songs were worth it . These times are gone, however painful it is for the music industry. The technology has changed the rules of the game, and digital content can be widely and inexpensively distributed.

I am sure all the teenagers in the article experiment, would have objected to people making money from the creations of others – i.e piracy. But what harm does a private copy do to an artist, except having his works known to more people? Why would an artist oppose to having their creations available for a biggest audience?

People would NOT buy most of the content they share/download today.

Good artist will always find the way to be compensated for their work.