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December 01, 2015

ITEM: Two of Asia-Pacific’s rising stars in the OTT video scene took the stage at Capacity Asia 2015 in Bangkok Tuesday – partly to showcase their exclusive content libraries, and partly to assure telcos that they are partners, not competitors.

Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of iflix Malaysia and chief operating officer of the iflix Group, spent a lot of time talking about iflix’s content strategy (namely, stockpiling as much exclusive, original and premium content as possible from the region as well as the US). But he also emphasized that partnerships with telcos is a key element of the... MORE

October 07, 2015

ITEM: Okay, it wasn’t exactly a rebuttal to anti-OTT statements, but Twitter’s Arvinder Gujral used his keynote speech at LTE Asia 2015 on Wednesday to make an energetic case for telcos to partner with OTT players – or at least with OTT players like Twitter.

Indeed, Gujral – Twitter’s APAC director for business development – sought to distance Twitter from other OTT players, and established his telco-friendly credentials by pointing out that (1) telco assets are “highly underappreciated” in the traditional OTT space, and (2) Gujral used to work for Aircel, “so I understand the pain... MORE

October 07, 2015

As the telecom industry plunges headlong into the era of digital services, one of the perennial questions facing mobile operators struggling to transform themselves into digital players is how they should respond to the OTT players who are driving that transformation.

The advice from Korea’s LG U+: shut ‘em out.

“Someone said earlier that the cloud generation will flourish soon,” Changkul Jo, VP of the technology development center of LG U+, said during a panel on new operator business models at LTE Asia Tuesday. “Maybe this is personal, but if the commercial P2P world... MORE

October 02, 2015

ITEM [via Bloomberg]: has notified its marketplace sellers that it will stop selling Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast. No new listings for either of them will be allowed, and posting of existing inventory will be removed on October 29.

The official reason: Apple and Google’s media streaming devices do not "interact well" with Amazon’s Prime Video.

Amazon will continue to sell Xbox, PlayStation and Roku devices because they support Prime Video. Amazon said in the email that it will stop selling incompatible media players “in order to avoid customer confusion.”... MORE

October 02, 2015

One of the interesting side effects about the Internet of Things is that telecoms journalists like me find ourselves writing about things we wouldn’t normally write about.

Like Volkswagens.

You’ve heard by now that Volkswagen has been caught cheating on emissions tests for its diesel cars, and now faces up to $18 billion in fines in the US, while investigations have been opened in other countries. Cheating on such tests isn’t new – what’s interesting is how they did it.

Volkswagen reportedly preprogrammed its cars’ computers with an algorithm that would allow them... MORE

September 16, 2015

Last Friday, Nokia Networks, Ericsson and Intel teamed up to promote Narrow-Band Long-Term Evolution (NB-LTE) technology as a wireless connectivity solution to facilitate growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) segment.

The announcement has set the stage for a showdown at this week’s 3GPP meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, at which various groups and firms will present submissions for future LTE releases, as well as 5G. That includes technologies that will allow LTE to support crucial requirements for the IoT such as long battery life and cheap modules.

NB-LTE is seen by some as a... MORE

September 16, 2015

ITEM: NPR has posted an interesting piece on the surge of mobile phone usage in Myanmar since 3G services were launched last year.

The subscriber figures are impressive of course – over 22 million and counting – but the more interesting angle is the impact that mobile is having on Burmese society at large.

Among other things:

Smartphones are no longer about social status, since just about every household has at least one. During last year’s severe floods, mobiles made it easier for aid workers to locate flood victims. The growth in smartphone use by farmers is... MORE

September 02, 2015

ITEM: A group of researchers at Telefonica Research in Barcelona say they’ve developed an algorithm that can basically help your smartphone know when your bored, and push you content to fix that.

According to Technology Review, the machine-learning algorithm works by analyzing your smartphone activity and including factors such as time of day, how intensely you use apps, and how long it’s been since you had a phone call or text message:

For their study, the Telefonica researchers first determined characteristics of boredom by using an Android app to ask study participants... MORE