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Taiwan Regulator Warns of Dangers of Excessive Competition in Mobile Market

Up to a point, competition is good for consumers, leading to better prices and greater value. But there is such a thing as “ruinous competition,” which drives prices below the point at which suppliers can sustain themselves or invest in new products and features that provide more value.
That is a problem in the Taiwan mobile market, says  National Communications Commission (NCC) spokesperson Wong Po-tsungj. The problem is price wars.
Chunghwa Telecom, for example, recently introduced a 4G service plan costing NT$499 monthly (about US$17 a month) for unlimited access to mobile Internet and unlimited phone calls between Chunghwa Telecom subscribers. That basic plan was matched by competitors.
“If telecoms simply want to boost their market shares and revenue by luring subscribers from competitors, rather than with innovative business models, it would not be positive for the development of 5G in the nation,” Wong said.
“What they are doing does not help to make the pie bigger,” said Wong. A…

Fixed Wireless Now Generates as Much Global Revenue as Business Voice, Unified Communications

As vital as business voice and unified communications capabilities might be, they do not drive huge service provider revenues, globally.
By some measures, the global market for all business voice and unified communications, including the value of business access to support voice and UC, is perhaps US $28 billion a year.
Of that $28 billion or so of revenue, perhaps $10 billion consists of internet and data access circuits, implying that the value of hosted voice, unified communications apps and phone systems is about $18 billion annually.
So compare that to just one other product, namely fixed wireless internet access, admittedly a niche.
The global fixed wireless access market will grow 30 percent in 2018 and will generate $18 billion in service revenue, according to ABI Research, boosted by new use of 5G platforms to supply fixed wireless.
The point is that the fixed wireless revenue segment already is about the same size revenue contributor as business voice and unified communicatio…

Verizon is Optimistic About 5G; Others are Skeptical. Both are Right

As always, public company perceptions of upside from new markets is conditioned by their own view of ability to capitalize on those new markets. In many regions and markets, heavy recent investments in 4G mean service providers have less appetite for another round of investment to support 5G, as you would expect.
In other regions, where profits in the 3G and 4G era have been tough, there is some caution about revenue and profit upside from 5G. In addition, specific contenders have their own business reasons for seeing potential or danger. In other words, skepticism about the size of the 5G market opportunity, as well as optimism, are specific to particular firms, in particular geographies, for reasons having to do as much with current business environment as anything else.
For U.S. service provider Verizon, a relatively-small fixed line footprint, and the ability to compete in new markets with mobile-based alternatives to fixed network service, are a clear upside.
“We continue to be v…

Connectivity Not Necessarily a "Commodity?"

Some statements properly need to be qualified and understood in context, even if our typical phrasing lacks that nuance. We might agree there are a few instances where "connectivity is not a commodity." But that characterization hinges on our understanding of the term, in context, in all its range of connotations.
When observers say that connections to the internet (business or consumer) are a commodity, that typically is phrased as access or connectivity being a “dumb pipe”
The other implied terms span a range: low value, low price, slow-growing, low profit margin, declining growth, saturated market or any other modifier that suggests the connectivity is old, stagnant, saturated, hard to differentiate, lacking growth opportunity, is not innovative,  or some similar notion.
So when a telecom executive implies that “connectivity is not a commodity,” that claim also has to be parsed. Stefano Gastaut, CEO of Vodafone IoT, does not believe that connectivity will be a commodity fo…

Reducing Carbon Footprint is Not Painless

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It is a really good thing that data centers and service providers data centers and communications service providers now are working to reduce their carbon footprints. 

Sometimes the magnitude of the changes is hard to assess, in personal terms, as those changes by firms are not directly experienced. 

This estimate by Business Insider suggests a typical U.S. resident produces 17 tons of carbon dioxide a year. Some of us would be happy it was only that much.
Other estimates peg typical carbon footprint at 20 tons per year, with an absolute minimum of perhaps 8.5 tons (no home, no car, mostly carbon embedded in food consumption). And I have seen estimates as high as 26 tons per year. Of course, it all depends on one’s assumptions.
I did some calculations of what it would take to get my own footprint cut nearly in half, using 26 tons are the baseline, in other words aiming for about 14 tons annually.
The assumptions include business travel on airplanes, one of the worst carbon impacts. A lo…

Why Amazon Meetings Ban Presentations; Why Memos Instead

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At 24:54 of this video, Amazon CEO explains why he bans use of slideware (PowerPoint and others) at meetings, and instead has meeting organizers prepare written briefing documents of no more than six pages.  

The first half hour of so of every meeting consists of attendees reading the memos, before actual discussion begins.
Some would say that is because “reading” is part of Amazon’s legacy as a bookseller.
Some of us might say the reason for such practices is that writing is related to thinking. clear thinking and clear writing tend to be directly related. In fact, some would argue writing is thinking. better writing requires better thinking.
In fact, some would argue that critical thinking also is correlated with writing. You might agree that teachers believe reading, writing and thinking are related.
There are business implications, if in fact thinking and writing are related. Business leaders these days often complain that their employees, or potential employees, have weak writing …

Maybe Legacy Voice Is Not a Bad Solution for Many Businesses

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Though I have to admit I do not follow the unified communications market anymore, one fact about the market that has puzzled me for two decades is why smaller businesses and organizations have not adopted at a far-higher rate.
I understand why the economics of switch and server ownership continue to make sense for larger enterprises. Any product sold as a subscription, by the unit, will tend to have tougher economics for buyers as the number of subscriptions purchased climbs, and when known “own your switch or server” alternatives exist.
Most of us can cite at least some reasons why an IP-based solution of any sort (premises switch or hosted service) has feature advantages over a legacy TDM (time division multiplex) phone system.
source: Edgewater Networks
An annual survey of small and mid-sized businesses conducted for Edgewater Networks of North American organizations seems to suggest that a majority of SMBs of all sizes still rely on TDM solutions for voice.
There is no methodology …