Transcript of "Telecom Trend Tracker Newsletter 3.13.09"
March 13, 2009
Prepaid wireless carrier Boost Mobile has launched a new ad campaign that
rails against “abuses” suffered by mobile subscribers even as it moves
beyond its urban youth market to price-conscious consumers.
The campaign employs humor to reposition Boost as a carrier that has no
unpleasant surprises such as; activation fees, overage charges and voice
mail and roaming costs. The multichannel marketing push comes soon after
Boost launched its Monthly Unlimited plan for a flat $50.
“We want to position Boost as the solution to all those ills in the wireless
space,” said Caralene Robinson, Boost director of marketing.
Titled “Unwronged,” the campaign takes on Boost prepaid rivals MetroPCS
and Cricket with ads that highlight their shortcomings and the supposed
subsequent negative effect on consumers.
Now E.T. can check the weather before he calls home. The Verizon Phone Hub
brings widget applications to a standard landline telephone.
The touch screen home phone system connects to a broadband Internet
connection, which allows widget info like local restaurants, directions and movie
trailers to update in real-time.
The Hub also includes a contact and calendar app that auto updates directly to a
Verizon mobile handset when information is changed.
Porting the handy widgets found on a computer over to the phone is practical
technology at its finest. But, as many mobile smart phones are already hosting
the widget party, will consumers RSVP to an invite from the old-school landline?
Stay tuned. Currently,the Verizon Phone Hub costs $200 (including a $50 mail-in
rebate) plus $35/month.
The Japanese already use their cell phones to shop, exchange e-mail and watch digital
TV. Now comes another dimension to the ever-growing list of eye-catching mobile
features: the 3-D display.
The Hitachi Ltd.’s Wooo H001 cell phone, which went on sale last month in Japan for
50,000 yen ($510), has a tiny button that says “3-D” below the keyboard. Push it, and
the screen’s image will appear three-dimensional, seeming to protrude slightly from the
3.1-inch liquid crystal display.
Similar to how 3-D movies and TVs work, the technology takes advantage of how the
human mind understands depth and spacing. By sending a slightly different image to
each eye, the 3-D cell phone creates the illusion of 3-D, almost like a miniature
Source: AP News
Movidia, an Irish mobile chip startup, recently announced that it has developed a cheap processor which can perform
sophisticated video post-production work in hardware. Meaning that users may soon be able to edit their favorite videos
directly on their phone.
Movidia reports that several Japanese and Korean handset manufacturer firms are showing strong interest in the chip.
Zippi Networks, a social commerce network that operates under the belief that one
person’s trash is another person’s treasure, has unveiled Zippi Cash, a new m-
commerce app for the iPhone.
The first of the company’s planned series of mobile applications, Zippi Cash helps
users find out how much those items cluttering up the house are worth. Zippi searches
transactions on eBay and other sites to develop a mini appraisal based on similar items
sold; how quickly they sold; how many were listed in the past month; and high, low and
average selling prices.
If it looks like the item is worth selling, Zippi will hook the user up with a “Zipster,” one
of Zippi’s certified eBay sellers, who will handle the transaction. The percentage Zippi
charges depends on the amount of the sale.
Comcast recently announced that it expects to make its next-generation broadband
service available to more than 30 million subscribers by the end of the year. The
service’s main advantage over current broadband is speed.
The next-generation broadband allows for speeds of up to 50 Mbps downstream and 10
Mbps upstream. Comcast currently offers Data Over Cable Service Interface
Specification (DOCSIS) 3.0 to about 30% of its network. By the end of this year, that
figure is expected to increase to 65%. The fastest service will cost around $140 a
month, Comcast said.
Mobile phone maker Samsung and movie studio Paramount Digital
Entertainment are offering a 2G microSD card pre-loaded with the Mission
Impossible Trilogy with the purchase of a Samsung Delve from Alltel.
This is the first time that Samsung Mobile and Paramount Digital
Entertainment have worked together to bundle full-length feature films to
add promotional value to its mobile products, without creating a price impact
on its carrier partners or consumers. The microSD card is available with the
purchase of the Delve through April 16 from participating Alltel Wireless
retail stores and authorized dealers.
“The target demographic for this promotion is tech-savvy individuals,
between the ages of 20-45, who view their phone as a device for information
and entertainment,” said Terry Hunter, Samsung senior marketing manager.
“They have sophisticated demands on multimedia and entertainment
features, such as video, photo, music and gaming,” he said.
Skype recently announced a new service that will convert voice mails into SMS
messages or e-mails and send them to users’ mobile phones. Callers leave a message
on a Skype user’s voice mail, and the voice mail is converted to text (English, Spanish,
German, French) and then sent via SMS to the mobile phone designated by the Skype
The voice mails can also be sent as e-mails, instead. Skype charges $0.25 for each
voice mail converted to text and then the cost to send the SMS. The service is
available to Skype users worldwide.
In last month’s tracker we reported that Southwest Airlines had started an in-
flight WiFi test. This month, Alaska Airlines says that it has launched a customer
trial of its new satellite-based wireless Internet service.
Onboard Alaska Airlines’ specially equipped Boeing 737-700, the service will be
free at the start of the trial and will run for about 60 days. After a successful trial
period, the airline will determine the schedule for rolling out the commercial
availability of its wireless Internet service to its entire fleet of aircraft.
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