Traditional mobile voice not dead

The circuit switched mobile voice $500-billion per year business is under attack from over-the-top (OTT) providers but there are no indications that the traditional voice business is falling apart. In fact, the numbers show traditional mobile voice is still good business.

Smartphone and mobile broadband adoption combined with regulatory regimes that have forbidden mobile operators from blocking mobile VoIP (mVoIP) applications. You would expect the market to be primed for adoption of OTT services – Skype, dominates the worldwide mVoIP services market with 600m subcribers. But when did you last pay to use Skype – they offer their services for free, so there is little room for native VoIP-based services.

OTT numbers are also far from impressive: 91 million active users in 2011, up from 47 million in 2010, generating revenues of $1.2 billion. Poor when compared to more than 5.6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide delivering $460 billion worth of voice revenues.

The numbers explain why mobile operators never launched mVoIP services. Also PLMN (public land mobile network) services are engineered and optimized for voice. Consequently, there is no rush to offer voice over HSPA+ or LTE networks.

There is still plenty for mobile broadband revenue to do in order to catch up with voice. Even in places like Japan, where mobile broadband rose to more than 50 percent of total revenue in 2010, voice generates baseline profits. AT&T and Verizon Wireless, reported that in Q4 2011 mobile data (including both SMS and mobile broadband) made up only 41% and 41.5% percent of total mobile services revenue respectively.

Therefore, despite the overwhelming buzz around mobile broadband, mobile internet and 4G, a close look at the reality suggests that voice as we know it is here to stay – and it will take more than a mega Skype to kill it. Mobile operators are milking their GSM cows and ride their HSPA horses as long as they last.


MTN “BIS” – look through the hype

MTN is set to launch BlackBerry type Internet data bundles for a wide range of smartphones, starting from R25 per month.

The main difference however is that BlackBerry’s BIS essentially offers unlimited data, while MTN offer is priced for a certain data bundle.

So how is this different from current data bundles – well…..it isn’t. In fact, in all cases, the cost for data has increased!

MTN’s Smartphone Services will be targeted at entry-level smartphone users (this is no surprise as they are least likely to be aware of current data costs).

Current bundled options from MTN include their 2GB of data for R149 – around 7c/MB.

Smartphone Services available for purchase will include:

•Nokia Smartphone Pro Service (R49 per month) – 75MB fair use on Nokia Smartphones to access the Nokia Ovi ecosystem (Nokia Messaging, Chat, Navigation and Ovi store). Other internet usage will also deplete the fair use allowance.

•MTN Smartphone Pro Service (R49 per month) – 75MB fair use on any Smartphone for e-mail, Instant Messaging and Navigation. Other internet usage will also deplete the fair use allowance.

These 2 offers translate to 65c/MB!!

•MTN Social Networking Service (R29 per month) – 75MB fair use to access Facebook & MXit (m.facebook.com & m.mxit.com) on any Smartphone, any other social networks will be charged for.

•MTN Opera Mini Internet Service (R35 per month) – 75MB fair use on any Smartphone to access the internet using the MTN Branded Opera Mini browser. Customers need to ensure that they have the MTN Branded Opera Mini browser installed on their device.

These offers translate to 39c and 47c/MB respectively!

Once a user reaches the 75MB monthly usage limit on these data bundles, an overcharge will apply – probably at between R1 and R2 /MB (current out of bundle rates).

So before you leap away from your BlackBerry BIS service, look through the hype.

You’d be much better off simply buying a data bundle then going for these Smartphone Services. Now that’s smart.


Key themes for 2012 GSMA Mobile World Congress: Analyst Preview

With just four weeks to go before the big event, Mobile World Live interviewed a selection of experienced analysts – sourced from the judging panel of this year’s GSMA Global Mobile Awards. Here is what they think will be the hottest topics and themes in Barcelona, at the 2012 Mobile World Congress.

Ben Wood, Chief of Research, CCS Insight

“Thin is in!” back as a defining characteristic of mobile design (handsets, tablets, ultra books etc.).

Francisco Jeronimo, Research Manager, European Mobile Devices, IDC

“integration between the different screens……. smartphones with tablets and TVs ….”

Ken Johnstone, CEO & Founder, INQ Mobile

“debate around HTML5; how quickly it will get traction, how powerful it will be..”

Andrew Lim, Publisher, Recombu.com

“will shift away from hardware….to operating systems and apps”

Nuno Goncalves Pedro, Managing Partner, Kii Capital

“who are going to be the content delivery winners of the world”

David MacQueen, Director, Wireless Media Strategies, Strategy Analytics

“social and location are still very, very big”

Paolo Pescatore, Director of Operator Strategy, Application & Content, CCS Insight

“role of apps has increased in prominence…with many more developers showcasing apps”

Steve Costello, Mobile Apps Briefing

“Nokia & Microsoft…..interesting to see how that relationship has played out”


BYOD: BES to manage Android & iOS devices

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend has not been overlooked by BlackBerry-maker RIM. RIM is moving to multi-platform mobile device management with its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion technology. The system can be used to manage smartphones and tablets running not only the BlackBerry OS but also Android and iOS.

RIM has acknowledged that there is a growing diversity of devices in enterprises due to employees demand to use their device of choice. This is an important move as RIM has a substantial corporate user base, with more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies provisioning BlackBerry devices. IT departments reluctance to extend support to multiple devices can now be addressed by using the same BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) technology they are familiar with.

BES Administrators can now manage multiple device types using a single web-based console. It provides asset and configuration management, security policy definition, remote lock and wipe, connectivity management and scalability.

IT departments now have the management capabilities to confidently oversee the use of both company-owned and employee-owned mobile devices within their organisations.

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will be available in March2012.


Need a pad, but not THAT pad?

SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB 10.1” R365 per monthx24 on MTN Broadband 2GB (2GB Data PM), features:

  • Android OS 3.1 Honeycomb
  • 10.1” Multi-touchscreen Display
  • HSPA & WiFi Connectivity
  • 32GB Onboard Memory

Why is this so good…..

The Galaxy tab is the iPads nemesis – equally good without being tied into the iTunes store and Apple ecosystem.

Also, looking at FNB’s current offer of a iPad2 for R200pm (excludes data), you have the same deal, effectively with 2GB of data for R165pm – 8c/MB!

email us at info@execmobile.co.za


Which mobile service would you pay a premium for?

Research commissioned by Amdocs indicates nearly 30% of European consumers would be willing to pay a premium for multi-device access to services, for better network service quality, and for an all-in-one data tariff.

Amdocs commissioned a consumer survey to ask which items consumers would be willing to pay a premium for.

The top three answers from the 1,355 European consumers surveyed were:

  1. 33% said they were willing to pay more than they already do to gain the ability to use all services and apps from any device, anywhere.
  2. 28% said they would pay more for better network quality: fewer disconnects, delays, higher download speeds
  3. 21% said they would pay a premium for a data bundle for all mobile connected devices. There was a desire for one, all-in, data tariff that includes a number of devices – rather than specific tariffs for the phone, dongle, iPad etc.

While 30% of Europeans would pay a premium for these services, we ensure South African’s roaming in Europe can pay 90% less!! Hong Kong, Australia and the USA are next!

With our tep pocket wifi rental, we offer you the ability to

  1. Use all services and apps from up to 5 connected devices, anywhere in 32 countries.
  2. Experience fewer delays & higher download speeds – roaming on the mobile data networks rather than in congested Wi-Fi hotspots
  3. Simple, convenient data plans when roaming, offering savings of 90%

tep = travel.everywhere.powered

We would welcome feedback on our data roaming service – please post your response here or via www.twitter.com/execmobile

Alternatively if you require further information, please visit our website at www.execmobile.co.za / Data Roaming


Use less data on your phone

Data usage on your phone can be decreased , thanks to new mobile tools that condense downloaded data. Onavo (onavo.com) a new Tel Aviv-based start-up, has an iPhone app that compresses users’ Web, e-mail and application data. The company states that customers can triple the data by using Onavo.

Opera, a Norwegian browser maker, offers free data compression for Internet surfing (but not downloads or videos) via a downloadable mobile Web browser called Opera Mini, which works on more than 3,000 phones, including Android, BlackBerry and iPhone models.

A simple way however exists to ensure you use the least amount of data when browsing – use the website optimised for mobile use (known as mobi sites). The most popular mobi sites in South Africa (as monitored by Nielsen) in May were:

  1. SuperSport Mobi – (supersport.mobi)
  2. 24.com Mobile – (24.mobi)
  3. IOL Mobile – (m.iol.co.za)
  4. Soccer-Laduma Mobile – (soccerladuma.mobi)
  5. The Grid – (thegrid.co.za)
  6. Junk Mail Mobile – (junkmail.mobi)
  7. Webmail Mobi – (m.webmail.co.za)
  8. Football365 – (f365-za.com)
  9. Job Mail Mobile – (jobmail.co.za/mobile)
  10. Times Mobile – (timeslive.mobi/)