Thursday, January 3, 2013

Understanding the Full Scope of the BYOD Opportunity for Carriers

by Ray Greenan, Global Marketing Director, Symantec Communications Service Providers

Over the past couple of years mobility has become one of the most important business and IT strategy topics, and the focus on it is only going to increase in 2013. It has also become increasingly difficult to have a discussion on business mobility without it including the bring your own device, or BYOD trend.

In fact, recent research by analyst firm Ovum indicates that by 2017, there will be 443,939,000 BYOD mobile connections worldwide. This number is impressive on its own, but is even more striking when it is compared to Ovum’s estimate that there will be 532,778,000 corporate-liable mobile connections worldwide by 2017 as well. Thus, in just five years from now there will be nearly as many employee-liable devices moving in and out of corporate networks as there will be corporate-liable devices.

At first glance, the concept of BYOD is quite simple: Allow employees to supply their own devices, thereby increasing employee satisfaction and hopefully reducing capital – and perhaps even operational – expenditures. Generally, and especially for the purposes of this article, the “device” in BYOD refers to mobile devices, particularly carrier network-connected connected smartphones and tablets.

However, for all its potential benefits BYOD also creates security and management challenges. After all, at the end of the day, BYOD involves IT relinquishing at least some control over the devices connecting to corporate networks, resources and data. As always, there is some risk when relinquishing any such control.

Because of this, impressions of BYOD range from company to company, with some embracing it wholeheartedly, some remaining cautiously optimistic and some still approaching the topic with outright reproach. That said, there is also a common belief among nearly all of these organizations: BYOD in some form or another is largely inevitable.

Nonetheless, companies realize that BYOD within their organizations is going to happen whether they promote it or not, thus many are coming to the conclusion that they can at least make it on their terms. This involves efficient enabling of employee-liable devices, establishing strong policies for their acceptable use and utilizing technology to enforce those policies and secure mobile devices against a myriad of threats, from loss or theft to malware.

When all of this is taken into account, there are many companies that simply either cannot or do not want to assume this burden. Some of these are enterprise-class organizations that are finding it more financially viable to outsource the management of their mobile infrastructure, while many others are small- to medium-sized companies who do not have the resources. After all, SMBs often already have their hands full with managing the demands of their traditional IT infrastructure and endpoints. Add mobility and BYOD to the mix and often overtaxed IT staffs become spread even thinner.

This is all excellent news for the wireless telecommunications industry. Why? Because herein lies a tremendous opportunity for carriers who have developed a trusted network to step into the role of managed service provider for companies such as those described here. And while some are already doing this to a degree, there is much more opportunity than first meets the eye. In fact, there are five specific areas of business mobility carriers should seek to address on behalf of their customers. 

These include:

App and Data Protection
Business data must be protected at all times. This is a primary objective of any IT organization, and the reason that most IT technologies exist in the first place.  Mobile apps are the primary method to access, view, store and transmit that data, so both apps and data must have controls and protection appropriate to the company and industry.

User and App Access
At all times, the people, the apps and the devices that are connecting to, and accessing, business assets must be identified and validated as authorized business participants. Identity is the first and most important component to any IT strategy, especially where mobility is involved because device and cloud access is not inherently as strict.

Device Management
Devices that access business assets and connect to company networks must be managed and secured according to applicable company policies and industry regulations. Every company should establish appropriate mobile policies, and those should be applied to all managed devices.

Threat Protection
With the incredible growth of mobile devices, they are rapidly becoming a key target for cyber criminals. Protecting devices and the apps and data on them is paramount to secure business data. Good threat protection should protect from external attacks, rogue apps, unsafe browsing and theft.

Secure File Sharing
Although mobile access, storage and sharing of files is not a challenge unique to mobile, the fact that a mobile device is typically one of multiple devices a user may have, the cloud is the obvious and simple solution for distributing and synchronizing information across devices. Businesses should have full administrative control over distribution and access to business documents on any network, and especially in the cloud.

While some carriers have begun to step into the role of managed service provider in some of the areas above, none have addressed all five areas. They are not offering a holistic managed security and management experience. Carriers would do well to expand their services offerings and the mobile security and management market has matured to the point where effective, scalable solutions are available to help them do this. Doing so will not only benefit their customers, but their bottom lines as well.

About the Author

Ray Greenan, Global Marketing Director, Symantec Communications Service Providers, is responsible for strategy and implementation of Symantec marketing solutions designed to help Communication Service Providers transform their networks and businesses to deliver new applications and services to their customers in a secure and reliable way.

Prior to his current position, Greenan spent 14 years at IBM where he held multiple positions including Global Marketing Executive, Service Delivery Platforms which focused on IBM's Service Provider Delivery Environment, SPDE and Marketing Program Director for the IBM Green Data Center group which focused on Green Technology and Sustainability for the Utility market and its customers. He also held the position of Power Marketing Program Director responsible for strategy and execution of marketing programs for the Greater China Region for IBM¹s Power Architecture and
IBM's membership within

Greenan was awarded a Masters in Business Administration in Management Information Systems from Manhattan College, where he also received his Bachelor of Arts in English. He has also earned certification from NJIT for Sustainable Design and Green Technology.
About Symantec

Symantec protects the world's information, and is a global leader in security, backup and availability solutions. Our innovative products and services protect people and information in any environment - from the smallest mobile device, to the enterprise data center, to cloud-based systems. Our world-renowned expertise in protecting data, identities and interactions gives our customers confidence in a connected world. More information is available at or by connecting with Symantec at:

Mobidia: LTE Drives Significant Data Growth

LTE subscribers are consuming significantly more data than their 3G counterparts, according to a new study from Mobidia and Informa that analyzes the usage patterns of 100,000 Android LTE users in Korea, Japan, and the U.S.  Data for the study was captured in September 2012 from the major operators in each country.

Some key findings:

  • In all markets, LTE subscribers used significantly more mobile data than 3G subscribers. Specifically, in Korea and Japan, markets often used as leading indicators of mobile trends, Mobidia recorded increases of 132 percent and 67 percent,respectively.
  • At the same time, decreases in relative Wi-Fi usage in all markets were also noted and Korea registered an absolute decrease. While Wi-Fi usage is still very significant, the data points to a possible trend towards a decrease in reliance, suggesting an opportunity for LTE operators.
  • LTE operators’ strategy to reset pricing plans during the transition to 4G appears to be working. Mobidia’s data shows significant decreases in unlimited plans and increases in larger-sized, volume-limited plans. As an example, only seven percent of SKT LTE subscribers are using unlimited plans compared to 24 percent of SKT 3G subscribers. Additionally, the percentage of SKT subscribers on 2G or higher plans increased from only 10 percent of 3G subscribers to 62 percent of LTE subscribers.

Mobidia has posted a whiteper, “Understanding Today’s Smartphone Users,” on its website.

“Because Mobidia is able to provide data on cellular, Wi-Fi, and application usage across all major geographies and specific operators’ networks, we are in a unique position to provide insight into the latest smartphone usage trends – including the LTE trends identified in our latest whitepaper,” said Derek Sprat, president and CEO at Mobidia. “Based on our analysis of early LTE usage, it looks like operators have a strong opportunity to increase demand for mobile data while implementing stronger and more sustainable ways to monetize that data during the transition to 4G.”

Sony and InterDigital Form Convida Wireless -- an M2M Joint Venture

InterDigital and Sony Corporation of America have formed a joint venture -- Convida Wireless -- to focus on driving new research in M2M wireless communications and other connectivity areas.

Both InterDigital and Sony will contribute funding and resources for M2M research and platform development, which will be carried out by InterDigital Solutions. Stephens Capital Partners will be a minority investor in Convida Wireless. The agreement also includes a patent license from InterDigital for Sony's 3G and 4G products.

"Mobile is one of Sony's core businesses, and this joint venture will help us strengthen our foundation in this important area, focusing specifically on machine-to-machine wireless technologies. Given the pioneering efforts of InterDigital's engineers in this growing field, we can't think of a better partner," said Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Sony Corporation of America. "Moreover, in a market that is by its very nature collaborative, we expect Convida Wireless to be a platform for additional industry collaboration."

InterDigital's current M2M technology has been integrated into the trial platforms of various market participants, including BUTLER, Intecs, Intel Corporation, Kontron, Mformation, Radisys, Sensinode, and others.

"We're honored to partner with Sony, a company that is synonymous with so many advances in consumer technology, and to contribute our expertise in core wireless research. InterDigital's research efforts in M2M are mature, and have from the start been focused on creating a standards-based framework to benefit all companies in the wireless space — operators, device makers and others. We believe that collaborating with Sony through Convida Wireless will bring those efforts to the next level," said William J. Merritt, President and CEO of InterDigital.

Wi-Fi Alliance Adds 60 GHz WiGig

The Wi-Fi Alliance will consolidate all of the activities and assets of the Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance under a merger agreement announced by the organizations.

The WiGig Alliance promotes short range, multi-gigabit capable wireless connectivity based on unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum. Early 60 GHz implementations based on the WiGig specifications are entering the market now and ABI Research forecasts that by 2016, annual shipments of devices with both Wi-Fi and WiGig technology will reach 1.8 billion.

The Wi-Fi Alliance and the WiGig Alliance have been collaborating for the past two years, during which time the WiGig Alliance developed the key specifications including MAC-PHY and Protocol Adaptation Layers (PALs) and Wi-Fi Alliance initiated work to develop an interoperability certification for 60 GHz products.

“This is an exciting technology, and has been an important highlight of our certification roadmap for some time, so we are delighted to take this step,” said Wi-Fi Alliance president and CEO Edgar Figueroa. “Combining the expertise of Wi-Fi Alliance and WiGig Alliance will deliver a terrific user experience with 60 GHz solutions, and will help ensure that a full range of interoperable WiGig solutions reaches the market as quickly as possible.”

“We set out four years ago with the simple goal of realizing a global wireless ecosystem of interoperable, high-performance devices that would operate seamlessly. In that time there have been many challenges to overcome but we have now created a market that simply did not previously exist. Consolidating activities with the Wi-Fi Alliance at this juncture will ensure WiGig’s mainstream success to the benefit of technology users everywhere,” said Dr Ali Sadri, President and Chairman of the WiGig Alliance.    

QTS Acquires Herakles Data Center in Sacramento

QTS (Quality Technology Services) has acquired the 92,000 square foot "Herakles" data center in Sacramento, California .  The Tier III facility  offers 52,600 square feet of raised floor space and 9.0 megawatts (MW) of power capacity,  Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal expands QTS' data center fotprint in California to three wholly owned and operated premium facilities.

Herakles is a great company, with first-class people and a high-quality customer base," said Chad Williams, chief executive officer – QTS. "The acquisition of this technologically advanced data center adds a strategically located asset to our portfolio. Located just 120 miles north of our Santa Clara, Calif., data center and less than 90 miles from San Francisco, this facility expands our Northern California presence and offers California-based and national customers in each facility regional disaster recovery options as well as colocation and cloud services."

Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Debuts at CES 2013

Corning will showcase two new products at CES 2013 in Las Vegas next week:

Corning Gorilla Glass 3, a new glass composition promising significant durability enhancements over the current generation. Gorilla Glass 2, which is used on a wide variety of consumer electronics including iPhones, is created using an ion exchange chemical process that compresses and strengthens the glass. Over 33 major brands are using Gorilla Glass and Corning estimates that over 1 billion devices have shipped.

New Optical Cables for device-to-device connectivity.

Full product details will be included in announcements planned for Monday, January 7.

Extreme Networks Cuts Guidance, Streamlines Operations

Citing longer than expected sales cycles, Extreme Networks cut financial guidance for its fiscal second quarter ended December 31, 2012.  Sales were below expectations in the U.S. and EMEA, although the company said sales in Latin America and AsiaPac were promising.

The company outlined a number of steps it is taking to streamline operations, including consolidating certain customer service operations into facilities in North Carolina, eliminating a number of management positions, reducing certain real estate, and adopting a single sales structure.  The restructuring plan is expected to result in approximately $7.0 million in reduced quarterly costs once the plan is fully implemented. The Company expects to record a charge of approximately $5.5 to $7.0 million in the fiscal quarter ended on December 31, 2012.

On a conference call, Extreme Networks said the restructuring impacts about 13% of its workforce, although some of the customer service jobs will be transferred to North Carolina.

Key items in the updated guidance:

Net Revenue is estimated to be approximately $75 to $77 million, versus the low end of previously provided guidance of $78 million primarily due to delays in customer expenditures in EMEA and the US.

Gross Margin (GAAP and Non-GAAP) for FQ2'12 is expected to be approximately 54% to 55%.
Operating Expenses (GAAP) are expected to be in a range of $45.5 million to $47.5 million, which is above the range of previously provided guidance primarily due to the restructuring charges of approximately $5.5 to $7.0 million.

Operating Expenses (Non-GAAP) are expected to be in a range of $38.1 to $38.6 million, which is below the range of previously provided guidance primarily due to lower than expected headcount costs as well as management actions to reduce expenses.

Net Income (GAAP) is expected to be a loss in a range of $4.5 to $7.0 million, which is below the range of previously provided guidance primarily due to lower than expected revenue and the restructuring charges.  Diluted EPS is expected to be a loss in a range of $0.04 to $0.07.

Net Income (Non-GAAP) is expected to be in a range of $2.5 to $3.0 million, which is below the low-end of the range of previously provided guidance primarily due to lower than expected revenue.  Diluted EPS is expected to be in a range of $0.02 to $0.03.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

SK Telecom Launches joyn.T Rich Communications

SK Telecom officially launched "joyn.T" -- an all-IP-based RCS (Rich Communication Suite) service under GSMA's 'joyn' brand.  The service  allows customers to use many different types of communication services, including Rich Call, Rich Messaging and Rich Phonebook, in an integrated manner regardless of network and device.

The SKTel service is supported via an app available for 22 different types of Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread) smartphone.  A joyn.T application for the Apple iOS is expected shortly.

SKTel said joyn.T will also add features based on the RCS standards, such as HD Voice (VoLTE), The carrier said  it will integrate all its future communications services into joyn.T.  It also looks forward to support joyn roaming with other carriers across the globe.

Wi Eui- Seok, Senior Vice President and Head of Product Planning Office of SK Telecom said, "SK Telecom is delighted to be presenting joyn.T, an integrated communication service designed to satisfy customers' needs and interests, thereby enriching their communication experience. Building on its innovative features like instant messaging-SMS link, we plan to add more features to shape Joyn.T into an attractive communication channel that can be enjoyed by customers irrespective of their carrier or device."

  • In December, SK Telecom reported a daily average of 60,000 new LTE enrollments, representing over 50 percent growth compared to the previous month.  LTE subscribers surpassed 7 million as of December 12, 2012, thereby achieving the end of year target for LTE subscribers.  The company's LTE footprint covers 99 percent of South Korea's population.  For comparison, it took SK Telecom two years and four months to acquire 7 million 3G WCDMA subscribers since commercializing the service in May 2006.
  • In August 2012, SK Telecom launched its HD VoLTE service.

T-Systems Aims for EUR 1 Billion in Cloud Revenue by 2015

Telekom’s subsidiary T-Systems aims to achieve annual revenue of roughly one billion euros, or one seventh of its total revenue, with its cloud business in 2015.  T-Systems had cloud revenue of about 400 million euros in 2012.

T-Systems cited a number of hosting and cloud service contracts signed in recent months, including deals with Shell, BP and the Presbyterian health care system in the United States, the Swiss group Georg Fische, Spain's SEAT, and British American Tobacco (BAT).

"The trend toward cloud solutions can be seen even today from major orders placed by corporations," said Telekom Board member and T-Systems CEO Reinhard Clemens.

  • In December 2012, T-Systems announced plans to simplify its organizational structure from four business areas to two: Sales and Delivery.  T-Systems said it is taking this approach to improve agility in helping its enterprise customers adapt for the cloud.
  • In October 2012, T-Systems began construction of Germany's largest data center -- a massive facility that will be built on a surface area the size of approximately 30 soccer fields (i.e., 150,000m2) in Biere, Saxony-Anhalt. The new facility, which will be the 90th data center operated by T-Systems , will be a twin of another data center already running in Magdeburg. The new construction in Biere will form a "TwinCore" -- in the event of any disruption, the twin facility can immediately take over.

Birch Acquires Covista Assets

Birch Communications, which provides managed communications and information technology services to SMBs in 38 states across the U.S., agreed to acquire select customer and network assets from Covista Communications.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Covista, which is currently traded under the symbol CVST.PK, is a facilities-based telecommunications service provider that serves business, wholesale and residential customers in 48 states.

"Covista's base of high-quality customers are primarily located in several southeastern, southwestern and northeastern states, and fit extremely well into the current Birch footprint.  In addition, Covista's Metaswitch-based facilities network, which has switching centers in Tennessee, New York City and Los Angeles, is complementary to our current service footprint while also adding some new markets," said Vincent M. Oddo, Birch President and CEO.  "This acquisition will strengthen the breadth and scope of the Birch IP-Network and will further enhance our hosted PBX, SIP trunking and wholesale service offerings."

Birch has acquired 17 companies since 2006.

Lightower and Sidera to Merge

Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based investment firm, announced plans to acquire both  Lightower Fiber Networks and Sidera Networks and merge the companies into a single telecom operator.  The two transactions are valued at over $2 billion. The companies named Rob Shanahan, Lightower’s current President and CEO, to be the CEO of the new company.

Lightower own and operates over 6,600 fiber route miles extending from New England, to eastern New York State, New Jersey, Long Island and New York City. The fiber footprint provides access to over 3,500 service locations. Investors in Lightower Fiber Networks include M/C Partners, Pamlico Capital and Ridgemont Equity Partners.

Sidera's fiber footprint spans more than 13,500 route miles and includes metro networks in Boston, Chicago, London, Long Island, New York City, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Washington D.C.  It has over 3,000 on-net locations.  Investors in Sidera Networks ABRY Partners and Spectrum Equity Investors.

"Lightower and Sidera together will offer customers an industry-leading, fiber-based network with a deeply experienced team supporting it,” stated Rob Shanahan, CEO of Lightower. “Both companies have a shared vision of network excellence, customized solutions and superior customer support. Once merged, we will offer customers more services, more routes and more access options with the same high levels of performance, diversity, reliability and support that our customers have come to expect from us.”

“This combination is highly complementary,” commented Mike Sicoli, CEO of Sidera. “The broad reach and scale of our combined network, the cumulative expertise of our dedicated employees and our shared passion for customer service and satisfaction will set the new company apart and deliver tangible benefits to our customers.”

CTIA Plans "Super Mobile" Consolidated Show in 2014

CTIA-The Wireless Association announced plans to consolidate its two mobile trade shows in the United States into a single "super" event in 2014.  The first CTIA super mobile show, CTIA 2014, will take place Sept. 9, 10 & 11 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

CTIA will continue to host CTIA 2013 and MobileCON 2013 separately while incorporating super show programs as a springboard to the changes in 2014. 

"The wireless industry is evolving rapidly and there is a need to have a show that centers on the entire global mobile ecosystem in a way that hasn't existed among the current shows, which is why CTIA 2014 will be unique. The mobile revolution is positively affecting nearly every industry, such as M2M, connected home, media and advertising, money and global consumer electronics, and CTIA 2014 will serve as a worthy platform to showcase those companies and individuals that are leading this charge and will be a valuable resource for anyone wanting to be a part of this innovative industry," said Rob Mesirow, CTIA Vice President and Show Director. "In addition, the timing of the 2014 show will deliver the perfect stage for companies to debut mobile consumer products and services for the annual holiday buying season."

CTIA Elects Officers for 2013

CTIA-The Wireless Association announced today its 2013 officers, who were elected by its 38-member board of directors, and who will serve a one-year term: Mary Dillon, President and CEO of U.S. Cellular, Chairperson; Dan Mead, President and CEO of Verizon Wireless, Vice Chairman; Angel Ruiz, President and CEO of Ericsson, Inc., Secretary; Bret Comolli, Chairman of Asurion, Treasurer; and Pat Riordan, President and CEO of Cellcom, Chairman Emeritus.

In addition, CTIA welcomes five new members to the 2013 Executive Committee: Ron Smith, President of Bluegrass Cellular, Inc. (Small Carrier); F.J. Pollak, President and CEO of Tracfone Wireless, Inc (Midsized Carrier); Dan Inbar, Senior Vice President & General Manager, OEM of SanDisk Corporation (Other Supplier); John Sims, President of Sybase 365 (Other Supplier); Jeff Gordon, President and CEO of Syniverse Technologies (Other Supplier).

"The wireless industry plays an important role in America's economic vitality and makes our personal and work lives better by improving how we interact from wireless technology in other sectors, such as healthcare, education, transportation and more. That's why the 'light regulatory touch' that has been in place for the industry since President Clinton's tenure is vital. By having these individuals provide their in-depth expertise and leadership to our executive committee, I am confident we will continue to be successful advocates for more critically-needed spectrum and for the 'light regulatory touch' so the U.S. remains the world's leader in wireless technology, services and products," said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA.

Jury Awards $1.169 Billion to Carnegie Mellon in Patent Case

A jury in Pittsburgh awarded $1.169 billion to Carnegie Mellon University in a patent infringement case against Marvell Semiconductor.

Carnegie Mellon University said case deals with fundamental technology for increasing the accuracy with which hard disk drive circuits read data from high speed magnetic disks.  Patents covered by the lawsuit were awarded to Jose Moura, a professor in the University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Aleksandar Kavcic, a former Ph.D. student of Moura who is now a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Hawaii.

For its part, Marvell asserts that the two CMU patents claiming a specific technique related to read channel detector technology is not practiced by any Marvell chips.  Furthermore, Marvell argues that "the theoretical methods described in these patents cannot practically be built in silicon even using the most advanced techniques available today, let alone with the technology available a decade ago."

Ericsson to Supply RBS 6000 Base Stations to Etisalat Egypt

Ericsson will supply Etisalat Egypt with its latest RBS 6000 radio base stations to upgrade the operator's mobile infrastructure. Ericsson has been a long term supplier to Etisalat Egypt. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Acacia Announces Patent Deals with NSN

Acacia Research Corporation announced the acquisition of certain 2G, 3G and 4G related patents from Nokia Siemens Networks.  The patents related to Wireless Infrastructure and User Equipment Technology.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Acacia also announced a separate licensing deal with NSN, along with separate settlement agreement with Siemens Industry covering a video analytics patent.

“Acacia is rapidly becoming the leader in technology licensing and we continue to grow
our base of future revenues by adding new patent portfolios,” commented Paul Ryan, Acacia

LG to Launch Google TV Models at CES

LG Electronics (LG) is preparing to launch seven new models in its Google TV lineup at the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas.

With Google TV, LG is aiming to redefine the user experience with a interface matched to its redesigned Magic Qwerty Remote, which combines a complete keyboard with the convenient benefits of the Magic Remote's point-and-click control. An updated Home Dashboard also adds to the user experience by offering convenient, streamlined access to premium video on-demand, such as HBO GO, content from YouTube and more apps.

"LG is committed to providing diverse home entertainment options that offer the most satisfying user experience and the latest LG Smart TVs with Google TV do just that," said Havis Kwon, President and CEO of the LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company. "They deliver a stellar user experience by merging the latest Google TV platform with LG's proven Smart TV technology. The result is a comprehensive system that is groundbreaking in its simplicity."

The GA6400 series will be available in 42-, 47-, 50-, 55- and 60-inch class screen sizes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Devicescape - What is curation?