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July 31, 2015

ITEM: Analyst firm NSR has declared UltraHD video a serious growth market for both linear TV and OTT video. But while the former is in no real danger of being cannibalized by the latter, linear TV players can’t afford to wait too long to invest in UltraHD if they want to cash in on that growth.

NSR is projecting serious long-term growth for UltraHD pretty much everywhere on every platform. On DTH platforms, for example, NSR expects UltraHD linear content to consume around 70 transponders globally from over 315 UltraHD channels by 2024, which works out to an estimated additional $... MORE

July 29, 2015

When we talk about the Internet of Things, we think of TVs, watches, cars and smart meters. We don’t usually think of sniper rifles.

But connected sniper rifles already exist. A company called TrackingPoint has been selling them since 2011. The rifles (which run on Linux) come with a “self-aiming” system – essentially a smart scope that takes wind, temperature, and ammo weight into account. Select the target, enter the variables, pull the trigger and the rifle’s computer waits for just the right time to fire.

It also comes with a Wi-Fi connection, ostensibly so you can do... MORE

July 16, 2015

ITEM: As the mobile sector plunges headlong into the digital services era, the industry must take the lead on innovation and learn to collaborate with partners both inside and outside the industry, top mobile executives said Wednesday.

Kicking off the keynote sessions at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2015 on Wednesday, four operator chiefs outlined various visions for the future of their mobile networks. And while 5G inevitably came up a lot, a common thread for everyone was the need for the sector to embrace innovation culture and collaboration.

“If you want to be no. 1,... MORE

July 09, 2015

Microsoft’s announcement that it’s winding down its mobile phone hardware business – which translates to 7,800 pink slips and a $7.6 billion write-off – is probably one of the sadder moments not only in Microsoft’s history, but the history of mobile phones.

It’s bad enough that Microsoft – whose Windows OS once ruled the planet –utterly failed to translate its PC success into the mobile phone space. But it also gets to go down in history as the company that took one of the strongest pre-iPhone handset brands on Earth and basically killed it.

That’s not fair to Microsoft, I... MORE

July 05, 2015

ITEM: The US city of Chicago has imposed a 9% “cloud tax” on online databases and streaming entertainment services. Chicago residents are none too happy about it, and the broader implications could be messy.

According to The Verge, the tax is essentially an extension of two existing tax laws to the digital world – one for "electronically delivered amusements" and the other "nonpossessory computer leases":

Each one takes an existing tax law and extends it to levy an extra 9 percent tax on certain types of online services. The first ruling presumably covers streaming media... MORE

July 02, 2015

One of the trickier aspects of the Internet of Things is that many of those “things” will be connected wirelessly inside homes. That’s tricky because – as those of you who have already installed Wi-Fi in your home have no doubt already realized – it’s tough to stick an access point in a location that provides optimal coverage in every room.

That’s especially problematic if you want to stream video to your tablet in whatever room you happen to be in (and by some accounts, up to 80% of home Wi-Fi traffic is video). Repeaters only get you so far, and not every customer has the... MORE

June 24, 2015

As you may have read this week, the ITU announced that it’s officially outlined its vision and roadmap for the overall goals, processes and timeline for 5G development.

However, if you read through the actual statement, the ITU stopped short of specifying just exactly what 5G actually is, or how fast it should be. The only thing they really accomplished in San Diego, apart from establishing goals and a timeline, was they agreed on the official name: IMT-2020. And even that won’t be official until the ITU-R Radiocommunication Assembly, which meets in October, formally adopts it.... MORE

June 17, 2015

Back in the early to mid-1990s, a handful of companies were convinced that the key to connecting the unconnected was building a constellation of specially-designed low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites providing voice and/or internet connectivity to everyone on Earth.

Famously, all of them failed – a couple of them spectacularly, although they still survive today.

Twenty-something years later, LEOsats are back, with no less than three (3) projects greenlighted this year, all of them offering broadband access. And this time, we are assured, they’re going to get it right.

... MORE