Category Archives: Mobile Technology

5G Networks To Be Rolled Out in 2020

The UK telecoms regulator has set a timetable for the launch of 5G services in Britain by 2020, with early trials set to take place as soon as next year.

The Ofcom announcement comes ahead of a spectrum auction due to take place this year that will free up the airwaves needed for faster 5G networks.

The technical standards for the new network technology are still being thrashed out but it is expected to bring faster and more reliable mobile broadband for consumers as well as supporting myriad connected devices — from street lights to driverless cars to heart monitors — that make up the “internet of things”.

Countries including South Korea and China are forging ahead with 5G launches that are expected in 2019. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, has said he wants the UK to be a world leader in 5G, while the EU has predicted the faster networks will provide an economic boost of €113bn by 2025.

However, some in the industry have questioned whether 5G has been overhyped and whether telecoms companies really have the incentive to spend billions of pounds on new network equipment.

EE, which was the first network to launch 4G, is keen to retain its pioneer position and be first to launch 5G, according to senior sources with knowledge of the situation.

The launch of 4G was delayed after some telecom companies sued the regulator over the spectrum auction process.

For the 5G sale, both Three and O2 want a “spectrum cap” that would limit the power of EE, now owned by BT, and Vodafone. EE already owns 45 per cent of the country’s spectrum and Vodafone has 28 per cent.

The 5G auction was postponed last year, as a result of Three’s attempt to take over O2, a deal that was ultimately blocked.

Two million android activations per day!!!

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Google occasionally reports data regarding Android. Very occasionally. The last time we had some data was in September 2012 when we learned that activations were running at 1.3 million per day and that a total of 500 million total activations had taken place.

As of today, being March 2013, the time between updates has reached five months. It’s the longest gap so far. Benedict Evans also notes that it’s been five months since the data regarding screen size stats has been updated on the Android developer site.

But we have to live with what we get and, in the absence of an update, the pattern of growth in Android, if sustained, looks like this:

It implies that 800 million Android activations have taken place to date and the rate is about 2 million per day. One billion activations could thus happen by June.

There is however another set of data regarding Android which is updated more frequently. The comScore mobiLens survey covers the US and provides updates on a monthly basis. That data shows that Android users in the US reached about 68 million as of the end of January. See the updated data below:

I included the install base and share of total users as reported. Combining the comScore data with Google’s activations gives the following picture of US as a percent of global Android (orange circles represent US base and blue circles the precent of total activations that the US might represent)[1].

The data implies about 9% of Android usage is in the US. The more startling thing is the difference in growth: it implies that with a US growth rate of only about 13.3k/day, global growth is 150 times faster than US growth. In other words, that 0.6% of new users are in the US and that 99.4% of Android growth is outside the US.

That’s an interesting story. But it’s even more interesting that this is not the case with the iPhone. The iPhone is growing considerably faster in the US than Android. One can see this more easily with a graph of the US mobile platform net user gain rate as shown below:

Looking at the the same contrast between global and US, from Apple’s financial reports, in the fourth quarter the global “activation rate” (i.e. sales rate) for iPhone was 525k/day (nearly one quarter of the extrapolated Android rate). The comScore data suggests the US gains are running at 106k/day. Therefore we can calculate that about 20% of iPhone growth is in the US and 80% is outside the US.

Even accounting for some potential error in the Android estimates, the contrast is quite stunning: 1% vs. 20% share of growth suggests something is very different about the US with respect to the two platforms.

My suspicion is that it has something to do with the fact that the US is one of the few (but largest) market where the iPhone is available as a “low end” offering. At a minimum price of $0 (with a contract) many consumers are finding the iPhone attractive relative to a $0 (with a contract) Android phone. This price parity (illusory as it may be) allows iPhone to grow even faster than Android in this particular market.

One wonders what would happen if such price parity were present globally.

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Notes:

Android activation data as reported by Google includes tablets but excludes many unofficial Android builds e.g. Amazon Kindle and many Chinese phones and tablets that don’t register with Google services. comScore data includes only primary devices used by consumers and excludes corporate purchases and devices whose primary users are younger than 13 years.

Concept by René Woo-Ram Lee – Bento

Bento is quite an exceptional and forward thinking concept by René Woo-Ram Lee. It’s quite a plausible scenario that most of use/own a tablet, a PC, external hard drives and a smartphone. Now combine the power of these to have fully customizable Bento Laptop! The Box accommodates all the gear to work as one whole unit or individually; as you see fit.

Features

  • Laptop with 15″ OLED screen
  • 11″ tablet and 4″ phone sit in shallow depressions
  • Solar powered lithium-ion battery
  • 1TB SSD drive

Designer: René Woo-Ram Lee

The Fujitsu branding is evident and rightly so, the concept is a part of the Fujitsu Design Award that is organized by Designboom.

 

New Soft Keyboard Input Method – Swype

 I have came across this demonstration video of new input method called Swype for soft keyboards. I must say it is amazing! You don’t need to touch each individual key on your keyboard to type the word, just swipe your stylus over the letters that word is made of and software figures out the word or gives you few alternatives!

This input method is developed by creator of original T9 software, which is installed on approximately 2.5 billion mobile phones Cliff Kushier.  Input method is fast, see video below:

 

 

 Via Modaco.