My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: May 2010

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CLARO and its 3G Data Services - Inform people when they exceed their Overage

{11:1} A false balance [is] abomination to the LORD: but a just weight [is] his delight.

Proverbs 11 vs 1

One of my pet peeves with Telecoms Providers is that they have a habit of overcharging people and not telling them when it happens or before it happens so that they can brace for the charges or even cut back to make the impact less harsh. This is because in some cases, it can cause a heart attack and other emotional trauma as was the case with a man who was billed US18000 by Verizon for calls he did not make as shown in the video CNET Buzz Report, aired Thursday May 13 2010, by Brian Cooley, CNET News (CBS) (https://www.youtube.com/cnettv).

This is especially true of Postpaid services in the past here in Jamaica, which C&W gave a bad name, before the Liberalization of the Telecommunications sector via the historic Telecommunications Act of 2000 freeing us from the clutches of their overzealous price gouging as it related to charging for crazy inter-parish calling at higher rates (as if we were Americans living in different States), their petty per-minute billing and their incredibly ridiculous and overpriced ICAS calling system, all of which Telecom Provider Digicel exposed as being the actions of a monopoly.

To this day, Telecom Provider LIME, the reincarnation of C&W, a necessity as the company repositions itself as a Landline, Internet, Mobile and Entertainment company (“Entertainment” referring to their soon to be launched LIME TV) is making the same errors. Granted, it has improved somewhat with the sending of SMS (Short Messaging Service) advising when you bill has arrived and even giving you a code by which you can pay your postpaid bill at any PayMaster or BillExpress, but Telecom Provider LIME still does not alert you when you have exceeded your UltraPak (Postpaid) minutes (On –Net, Cross Network or International) or SMS (On –Net, Cross Network or International).

Telecom Provider LIME has also made strides in terms of Customer Care with it MyLIME Customer Portal as stated in the article “LIME launches MYLIME Customer Portal” published Monday, 08 March 2010 by TechJamaica.com (https://www.techjamaica.com), but their 100 Service Customer Care still needs a more human touch (or maybe a better salaries for the grumpy Customer Care Agents?) and although they have made topping up more convenient with the introduction of Debit and Credit Card Self Top Up as written in the article “Text to top Up - A Caribbean first from LIME”, published Wednesday, 03 March 2010  by TechJamaica.com (https://www.techjamaica.com). It is not the first in the Caribbean, as Telecom Provider Digicel had long ago introduced a Swipe and Go Prepaid Card system, eliminating the need for having a debit card altogether by mimicking a service, which ironically already exists in C&W Plc “home world” – The United Kingdom.

The introduction of more Blackberrys, such as the Blackberry Curve 8900 as stated in the article “LIME launches the Blackberry Curve 8900 Smartphones with Free Service Offer, published February 10 2010 by Blackberry Cool (http://www.blackberycool.com) and the Blackberry Bold as stated in the article “LIME introduces the Blackberry Storm to Customers in Jamaica”, published Friday, 17 April 2009 by TechJamaica (https://www.techjamaica.com) still has not helped their fortunes. Telecom Provider Digicel also introduced the same Blackberrys, such as the Blackberry Curve 8900 and the Blackberry Bold at the same time as stated in the article “Digicel introduces the New Blackberry curve 8900 smartphone in the Caribbean”, published Monday, 09 February 2009 by TechJamaica.com (https://www.techjamaica.com), but with better Customer Care services.

So far, the only thing Telecom Provider LIME has done that is genuinely unique is the introduction of paperless billing, which is part of a globally conscious trending towards companies appearing to be environmental conscious as stated in the article “Why all the requests for paperless billing lately?”, published September 24, 2009 8:16 AM PDT by Candace Lombardi CNET News - Green Tech, (http://www.cnet.com). Apparently Telecom Provider LIME can learn a bit from Telecom Provider Digicel in the Customer Care side of Mobile Telecommunications. Telecom Provider LIME is in effect, being punished for its usage of its “false balances” in the past with Customers and Subscribers.

Telecom Provider LIME, however, despite it failings in the Voice Services arena, seems set to repeat the same mistakes again in the Data Services Arena. Telecom Provider LIME, in it’s newly launched 3G offerings, which has capped wireless offerings, like it Postpaid offerings, does not alert the user when they have exceeded the overage during the subscription period, which is usually thirty (30) days, but instead reverts to charging you for the exceeded megabytes over the overage. To be fair, a call to a 100 LIME Operator revealed that their one (1) day, seven (7) day and thirty (30) day services are uncapped and competitively priced to capture more of the data market from Telecom Provider CLARO.

From a pricing point of view, their overage policy is going to be a serious problem for Telecom Provider LIME, for as soon as they launch island wide, people will be complaining about abnormally high billing from Telecom Provider LIME. This is also interesting from a Network point of view, as Telecom Provider CLARO currently has NO uncapped data offerings as the time of publication of this article and as far as I am concerned, are very lucky that Telecom Provider LIME has not launched island wide as yet, otherwise their Data Services churn rate would be incredible. However, in hindsight it is also a very strange decision from Telecom Provider LIME to have unlimited uncapped 3G, as Customers and Subscribers, on getting wind of the uncapped Prepaid nature of their much faster 3G, like UWI students hearing about free food, will begin using it for unlimited downloading, VoIP video Calling, thereby clogging the Network and resulting in the degradation of their best effort 3G service experience.

This is similar to what is being  experienced by Telecom Provider AT&T iPhone Customers as well as Telecom Provider Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile Customers as stated in the article “Wireless Operators accelerate upgrade plans”, published January 26, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Marguerite Reardon CNET News - Signal Strength, (http://www.cnet.com). Even Telecom Provider AT&T is attempting to curb the excessive data appetite of smart phone users, such as the Apple iPhone, who consume 40% of the Telecoms Providers Bandwidth despite being only 3% of Telecom Provider AT&T Mobile Subscriber Base as stated in the article “AT&T considers incentives to curb heavy data usage” published December 9, 2009 3:08 PM PST by Marguerite Reardon CNET News - Signal Strength, (http://www.cnet.com).

Even Telecom Provider AT&T is playing coy with the introduction of the Apple iPad 3G and the Apple iPad 3G + Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) exclusively on their Network, with CEO Randall Stephenson downplaying subscriptions uptake suspecting that most people will not want to have an additional Data Plan, as stated in the article “AT&T CEO sandbags iPad 3G subscriptions” published March 3, 2010 12:30 PM PST by Erica Ogg CNET News - Circuit Breaker, (http:/www.cnet.com) and later in the month of March 2010, even meting with Apple Engineers with regards to the design of the Apple iPhone and how to optimize it to be as efficient in its bandwidth usage as the Blackberry as stated in the article  Report: AT&T schooled Apple on iPhone issues” published March 30, 2010 10:44 PM PDT by Steven Musil, CNET News – Wireless, (http:/www.cnet.com).

This is going to be a very serious problem for Telecom Provider LIME in the future and Telecom Provider CLARO needs to avoid unlimited uncapped Data Plans, as they do not have the capacity that LIME has and the user backlash from Customers is definitely going to affect LIME’s image. Telecom Provider CLARO seems to be also making the same mistakes, as they are not alerting Customers when they exceed their allotted overage based on the plan that they have purchased, thus resulting in slow growth of the Postpaid Plan market.

A few Telecom Provider CLARO Customers whom I have spoken to prefer buying Telecom Provider CLARO cards and topping up with enough Credit to do what they wish to do on the Internet, having resigned themselves to the fact that apparently they have no means of knowing when they exceed their allotted overage megabytes on their Postpaid Plans and Telecom Provider CLARO has yet to put in place a system to alert them when they have exceeded their megabytes, as most Customers and Subscribers may notice the drop in speed to EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) but not be aware that it is an indication that the have exceeded their overage.

This SMS system would work much in the same way their CLARO’s Voice Calling Prepaid service allows Customers and Subscribers to know how many minutes and credit that you have used up in a call and thus give Customers and Subscribers an idea of how much credit they have left after each call, an annoying but considerate move on the part of Telecom Provider CLARO. Also nice is the SMS alerting you of a coming Double Day as well as when the twenty one (21) day expiry date for their Telecom Provider CLARO Credit has come around advising Customers and Subscribers to top up their phones. This service can be expanded to its Data Services, with which it currently has dominance in the Mobile Market, as Digicel’s Customer and Subscriber Care ad suggests is their strength.

An even better incentive on the part of Telecom Provider CLARO is that Telecom Provider Digicel is taking note of all of these problems being experienced and are thus tailoring their as-yet-to-be-launched ultra fast WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Network slated to launch at the end of the second quarter of 2010 as stated in the article “Digicel to offer mini laptops with 4G service next year”, published Friday September 4th 2009 by Lavern Clarke, The Daily Gleaner, (http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com), with ZTE Corp of China as their build out partner of their new WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Network as stated in the article “Digicel Signs ZTE as 4G Mobile WiMaX Internet partner”, published Sunday, September 27, 2009, The Jamaica Observer, (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com) to avoid the pitfall being experienced by its competition in the Mobile Wireless Broadband Market.

A Market still ripe for expansion, especially with the possibility of a “white spaces” auction after RJR Communications Group and CVM Communications Group go DSO (Digital Switch Over) as stated in the article “Slow road to Digital Switch-Over - Cable groups mum; FLOW ahead but Network coverage behind”, published: Saturday  August 15, 2009 by Mark Titus, The Jamaica Gleaner, (http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com) as is currently required in the United States of America, as there is a current shortage of wireless broadband capacity and most of the capacity the Broadcasters are underutilizing as stated in the article “Rethinking the wireless spectrum crisis” published May 25, 2010 4:00 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon CNET News - Signal Strength, (http://www.cnet.com).

Thus Telecom Provider CLARO would do well and steer clear of the problems that Telecom Provider LIME will definitely be experiencing in the future by simply implementing a SMS service which alerts users of their Telecom Provider CLARO modems when they have exceeded the overage on their Data Plans, as Customers and Subscribers may continue to use the service even when it has slowed down to EDGE assuming it to be a slow download or the Network being congested, or worse, that that is the normal download speed. This is the same common courtesy that already it extends to its Customers and Subscribers and which is standard in the EU and now, which am happy to say, on Verizon, which has finally decided to do the right thing and clear the man’s bill and implement this SMS alerting service, avoiding many a heart attack in the future.

There is no need to adopt an “all-you-can-eat” Data Services policy as the Telecom Providers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint are moving away from this model as Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg hinted s much, stating that the end is coming for this arrangement, with increase in pricing of Data Plans going forwards as shown in the video CNET Buzz Report, aired Thursday May 13 2010, by Brian Cooley, CNET News (CBS) (https://www.youtube.com/cnettv). The icing on the cake would be the inclusion of an automation of their Social Networking-esque Voice Service offering whereby which one can call two (2) Telecom Provider CLARO Customers for free, and text one (1) Telecom Provider CLARO Customer and Subscriber for free, with the option to have one (1) of your free call number be a USA, UK or Canada landline, via the same SMS, as the service is an obvious VoIP implementation as suggested in Telecom Provider CLARO television advertising.

Telecom Provider CLARO needs to implement an Automated Billing Platform, so that Customers and Subscribers can manage their Postpaid accounts in much the same way Telecom Provider LIME has now done for their UltraPak (Postpaid) Customers and Subscribers via their MyLIME Customer Portal as stated in the article “LIME launches MYLIME Customer Portal” published Monday, 08 March 2010 by TechJamaica.com (https://www.techjamaica.com), so that Customers and Subscribers can see live their billing in a paperless format online as well as make complaints and changes to their account, including disconnections without having to call 100 Customer Care. This would be a development for the future, as an Automated Billing Platform may even led to the elimination of the 100 Customer Care staff altogether in the future with the implementation of AI (Artificial Intelligence) based 100 Customer Care Platforms, for which research and development is ongoing.

This is especially relevant as MRSI (Mandatory Registration of Subscriber Information) as stated in the article “CLARO Backs Cell Phone Tracking Plan; Digicel, LIME in Wait-And-See Mode”, published Sunday May 16, 2010 by Mark Titus, The Sunday Gleaner, (http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com) and MNP (Mobile Number Portability) as stated in the article “OUR signals policy shift on portability - Says Jamaica running out of phone numbers”, published Friday November 20, 2009 by Mark Titus, The Friday Gleaner, (http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com) and the article as stated in the article “Paulwell calls for number portability” published, Wednesday April 21, 2010, Daraine Luton, The Daily Gleaner, (http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com) as being on the front burner for June 2010 as a means of breaking up the communications Networks developed by criminals using Unregistered Mobile Phones from the Telecoms Providers.

Also, advise Customers and Subscribers to download the Freeware program Networx (http://www.softperfect.com/) that allows Customers and Subscribers the ability to track their upload and downloads megabytes as well as other Freeware or Open Source Software Utilities that users can download to keep their computer’s safe both from hackers as well a from viruses, such as AVG Free Antivirus (https://www.avg.com), Avast Antivirus (https://www.avast.com), Advanced System Care (http://www.iobit.com/) and Spybot Search and Destroy (http://www.spybot.info/), which is a spyware removal tool.

Albeit FreeWare and Open Source endorsing software is not the preserve of a Telecom Provider, it nonetheless makes good sense (not to mention great PR) to do so, as it allows Customers and Subscribers to feel that their concerns are being addressed and that Telecoms Providers are concerned about their personal welfare enough to suggest to them ways by which the should protect their computers. Even better would be giving Customers and Subscribers copies of these software and step-by-step instructions on how to install this software. Telecom Provider CLARO’s failure to implement these simple UI (User Interface) tweaks and Telecom Provider CLARO will soon lose its dominance in the Data Services arena to Telecom Provider Digicel, long the king of Customer and Subscriber Care service delivery. Best of all, it will improve Customer and Subscriber satisfaction as Telecom Provider CLARO gradually improves its Customer and Subscriber Care Services, which would be the usage of a fair balance, a “delight” to Customers and Subscribers and to God or Thoth, the Egyptian God of Justice – making assumptions for their existence, of course.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CLARO and Data - Improvements for the Summer and Christmas of 2010



Blackberry continues to dominate the smart phone market, despite showing early signs of weakness fourth quarter profits being posted last year in 2009 as stated in the article “Is competition finally getting to RIM?”, published April 1, 2010 8:49 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength.

Indications by statisticians Crowd Science which indicated a higher defection rate for the BlackBerry than for the Apple iPhone as stated in the article “iPhone will continue to beckon BlackBerry owners”, published March 18, 2010 11:40 PM PDT by Brooke Crothers, CNET News Nanotech - The Circuits Blog. A topic I had explored at length as stated in my blog article “Is the Writing now on the wall for RIM Blackberry

However, despite this observation, Blackberry still holds the number one spot in terms of smart phone OS in the United States of America. Google Android OS gaining 5.2% increase in its subscriber percentage of the smart phone OS market within the period November 2009 to February 2010 as stated in the article “Google Android growth outpacing the industry” published April 5, 2010 2:36 PM PDT by Tom Krazit CNET News - Relevant Results, based on a study done by ComScore.

Thus Blackberry is holding it own by doing what it does best: email and messaging, and being the most efficient user of Telecoms Providers networks, a position which it has further cemented by giving away its Blackberry Enterprise Server software for free as stated in the article “RIM to give away server software”, published February 16, 2010 4:32 AM PST by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - 3GSM Blog.

Blackberry is not, however deaf to the Barbarians at the Gate, namely the Medes and the Persians in the form of Google Android and the Apple iPhone, thus it has been making improvements to its offerings since last year 2009. An attempt at Social Networking to augment its already excellent messaging services as stated in the article “Report: Rim to launch blackbery Social Network” published July 13, 2009 2:35 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon CNET News – Wireless. Recent upgrades to make its interface more Social media friendly with the potential launch of its new Blackberry 6.0 OS as stated in CNET Loaded, aired April 28 2010, CNET News, CBS Interactive.

I had thus suggested that as a means of making the Christmas of 2010 brighter, aside for support for the Apple iPad Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) and the Apple iPad 3G + Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n). One of the offers that Telecom Provider CLARO, Telecom Provider Digicel and Telecom Provider LIME could offer is a free Blackberry in exchange for any phone from the competition, or any high end phone purchase. The only catch being is that the user would have to purchase a thirty (30) day Data Plan for the Blackberry, with minimum three (3) months free Data Service from the Telecoms Provider.

This offer could be also be extended to the Netbooks, with free Netbooks in exchange for Netbooks from the competition or for laptop in good working condition and even free 3-D HDTV with a specially designed Receiver Box with a built in 3G-to-Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) router with a RJ-45 jack, hard drive and camera to facilitate Video Calling.

Such as Google TV, Google pet project as stated in the articles Google and partners seek TV foothold”, published April 17 2010, New York Times in the Video CNET Loaded, aired April 17 2010 by Natalie Del Conte, CNET TV (CBS). “Will Google unveil its 'Smart TV' platform this week?”, published Monday May 17, 10:58 am ET  by Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, New York Times, Yahoo News now all but confirmed as being called “Google TV”.

Thus, these giveaways would herald the continue expansion of Telecom Provider CLARO’s 3G Network and in fact, could be a major incentive for Telecom Provider CLARO to expand its now highly successful 3G Network to cover the entire island as well as increase its bandwidth, speed and latency issues.

This is a bid to more successfully compete with Telecom Provider LIME 3G and Telecom Provider Digicel’s upcoming WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) which is expected to have 60% coverage from day one as stated in the article “Digicel to offer mini laptops with 4G service next year”, published Friday September 4th 2009 by Lavern Clarke, The Daily Gleaner.

ZTE Corp of China is their build out partner of their new WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Network as stated in the article “Digicel signs ZTE as 4G Mobile WiMaX Internet Partner”, published Sunday, September 27, 2009, The Jamaica Observer.

Hence it is imperative that Telecom Provider CLARO have the 3G market locked in terms of smart phones, Mobile Internet and Video Calling ahead of the coming Data Wars this Summer of 2010.

Apple is a part of Telecom Provider mix, as nothing draws people to a Telecom Provider like an Apple Product, as Telecom Provider AT&T realizes. Despite Blackberry’s resulting in Apple’s slip to third place, CEO Steve Jobs has such confidence in the smart phone market that they are planning to launch another twenty four (24,000,000) million more Apple iPhones.

This as stated in the article “Report: Apple readying 24 million units of next iPhone”, published May 17, 2010 10:25 AM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker the sales of which could be helped along by the introduction of the Square App for small businesses in Jamaica.

This App is called Square (https://www.squareup.com) as stated in the article “Ideal for small businesses, Square iPhone App will change the way we shop”, Posted May 19, 2010 8:21am by Kathryn Swartz, Appolocious: Tech and is developed by Twitter co-founder and Chairman, Jack Dorsey as stated in the article “Twitter co-founder launches new venture: Square”, published May 16 2010, The Jamaica Herald, Washington (AFP).

I speak these superlatives of the Square App as it has far reaching implication as to how we conduct business transactions both on the Apple iPhone as well as on mid range phones such as the LG Neon, Xenon and Karma as described in the article " AT&T pushes quick-messaging phones", published March 24, 2010 6:10 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon CTIA 2010 - CNET News Reviews and possibly even low end phones such as the Motorola Quantico or even my personal favorite, the Nokia 1208, which is a basic “flashlight” phone – and an engineer’s best friend.

Basically, it is a free App with a free widget in the form of a card reader, much like the ones used to lock door entrances to secure locations e.g. ATMs that plugs into the audio input of your Apple iPhone or Google Android phone, as the Square Card reader is a miniaturized version of the one used on door locks and was always an analog device.

Square allows you to conduct Debit or Credit card transactions without having to rent a POS device from your bank. Square uses only your Apple iPhone or Google Android Phone, the Square widget and the Square App, both of which (widget and App) are free on the Apple Apps Store or Google Android MarketPlace as the makers of Square mainly make their money from Credit card and Debit card transactions charges, which ranges from 2.75% for transactions done with the Debit or Credit card physically swiped with Square widget or 15% without it being present.

Users sign up at the Square website using the sign-up process as described in the YouTube posting “Welcome to Square” and they receive the widget and can begin making transactions right away. Square would be the perfect platform to push the sale of the Apple iPhone, the Apple iPhone 3GS and the Apple iPhone 4G as suggested in my blog article “CLARO and Square - The App of the Year 2010 and CLARO's Savior”. Simple.

Apple has even debut their one-of-a-kind e-Reader, the Apple iPad on Saturday 3rd April 2010 as reported by CNET Loaded, aired Saturday April 5th 2010 by Natalie Del Conte, CNET News, the new e-Reader challenger to the dominance of the Amazon Kindle launched in 2008, which has only recently made a 3G GSM compatible model.

Already, it has been a success, by looking at the statistics coming out of the Apple iPad launch as tabulated by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster as stated in the article “iPad 3G sales estimated at 300,000 for launch weekend”, published May 3, 2010 4:13 AM PDT by John Paczkowski, CNET News – AllThingsD.

Which suggest that the Apple iPad Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) despite selling more units than its cousin the Apple iPad 3G + Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n), the overall sales of the device not only exceeded three hundred thousand (300,000) for the weekend ending Sunday May 3rd 2010, but according to the analyst, he is now revising the sales target for the device, which he expected to sell nearly 1.3 million units by June 2010, as it looks to be a bit of an underestimate.

No kidding, boss. Turns out that his comments are spot on and are confirmed by another CNET reporter, who stated in the article “Apple sells 1 million iPads”, published May 3, 2010 6:16 AM PDT by Jim Dalrymple, CNET News – Apple that it took twenty eight (28) days since the debut of the device on the weekend of Saturday April 3rd and Sunday April 4th 2010 for the device to hit the one million (1,000,000) mark.

A device that Natalie Del Conte, a CNET Reporter, was able to “touch with these hands” two (2) days before it official launch as stated in the Video by Natali Del Conte in CNET Loaded, aired Friday April 1st 2010, by Natalie del Conte, CNET News (CBS) and confirmed by Tom Merritt, sitting in for Molly Wood on the CNET Buzz Report, aired Friday April 1st 2010, by Tom Merritt, CNET News, CBS Interactive.

Even leaving Telecom Provider CLARO Sales Executives Nadine Palmer-Collins and Saneisha Green mouth agape and clueless based on photographs in The Social, published Friday May 14 2010, The Friday Gleaner, p. D5. Telecom Provider CLARO + Apple iPhone + Apple iPad = Customer Satisfaction!

Thus in my mind it is already a done deal, albeit Telecom Provider CLARO now has to confirm whether they plan to support this device, specifically the Apple iPad 3G + Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) versions, as the Apple iPad Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) version obviously will not need Telecom Provider CLARO support. But as Telecom Provider CLARO is the retailer for Apple in Jamaica, there is the possibility that they can support the device by simply selling 3G-to-Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) routers or Mi-Fi.

As I had said in previous article on my blog Telecom Provider CLARO needs to decide real fast to support this device either by reselling it for Apple or selling the 3G-to-Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) routers. The apple iPad and other e-Reader devices would mostly be used by Church people [Seventh Day Adventists] and students of Local Universities, as they are the only potential market of people who actually read books and are looking for a touch screen portable computer. It is aimed squarely at Amazon’s Kindle and the Netbook, Apple CEO Steve Jobs intention with this device, the Apple iPad, that is proving to be more than just an e-Reader device. It is proving to be a game changer.

Social Networking on their iCLARO Email Platform would also be a means of driving more content to their Telecom Provider CLARO homepage (https://www.claro.com.jm). Social Networking would not only create a unique experience to its rival Telecom Provider Digicel which has a Social Networking page of Facebook and Twitter with over 100,000 users, as stated in the articleDigicel gains 100,000 Facebook fans in under 100 days”, published Wednesday, 17 March 2010 by TechJamaica.com.

Which I would christen (as it is a Mexican company) iCLARO Siesta; A Facebook Page is already being done by Telecom Provider CLARO, but Telecom Provider CLARO needs to come with something more unique and a revamp and rebranding of the iCLARO Email Platform is just the thing.

 iCLARO Siesta would also be an excellent platform for Telecom Provider CLARO to launch its Web TV service similar to YouTube and built in support for Video Calling. which is also another source of revenue from advertising especially as the research note by Morgan Stanley intern Matthew Robson, aged fifteen (15) years old, which he wrote in 2009, entitled  How Teenagers Consume Media: the report that shook the City”, printed by the Guardian Newspaper, Monday 13 July 2009 10.23 BST, The Guardian.

The rollout of 4G Worldwide as stated in the article “On call: Welcome to 4G”, published March 9, 2010 11:01 AM PST by Kent German CNET News – Dialed In, (http://www.cnet.com) indicates a preference among young people towards increased interactivity in how young people consume media content.

A fact further borne out by the push by cable companies in the United states of America to become more web-like as stated in the article “Cable TV: Pushing to Become More Web-like”, published April 16, 2009, 5:00PM EST  By Tom Lowry, BusinessWeek – Strategies.

It would have features similar to Google Buzz, which is a crossbreed between Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare, the catalyst for geo-location as stated in the article “Social Media's New Mantra: Location, Location, Location - Fast-growing Network FourSquare luring potential buyers”, published  May 6, 2010, 5:00PM EST By Diane Brady  BusinessWeek - TECHNOLOGY with advertising support provided by Telecom Provider CLARO affiliate partners interested in booking advertising space on iCLARO Siesta.

iCLARO Siesta however, would included from day one have geo-location, thus allowing iCLARO Siesta to completely subsist from advertising revenue derived from adopting features similar to the Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network:


Already predictions are forecasting usage patterns similar to those of people in the United States of America using regular wired broadband. This would be a good move as well for the Big Three Telecoms Providers Digicel, Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider CLARO as the expected surge in usage from customers for its all Data services that mimics wired broadband usage.

Even to the point of replacing traditional wired broadband, once the performance and the price is right as stated in the article "Can 4G wireless take on traditional broadband?", published March 22, 2010 4:00 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - CTIA 2010. Early indications that Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) will be big is somewhat evident from recent rumors in May Pen, Clarendon of a Cable Operator that has plans to roll out Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) in May Pen to be used for a fee.

Telecom Provider CLARO now has to face facts as very thing that I had predicted is happening. It will take years to beat out entrenched incumbent Telecom Provider Digicel in the Voice Telecoms Market, which it has cemented, despite the quality of Telecom Provider CLARO’s Social Networking-esque tie ins as suggested in its latest barrage of advertisements.

Like the rich kid at high school who gives away free things, Telecom Provider Digicel has basically bought the Mobile market lock, stock and barrel, as evident from the support that they still attract, despite the low-cost offering from Telecom Provider CLARO, which is in desperate need of improving its network coverage by co-location with Telecom Provider LIME.

The race is towards the Promised Land and if Telecom Provider CLARO does the above, it would guarantee them a strong foothold on the portion of the Mobile Market that they already have dominance – the Data Telecoms Market – which is where Telecoms worldwide is headed anyway, based not on concrete evidence, but on trends and experimentation as noticed from the cacophony of noise that is the Tech World and the Internet.

Already, Telecom Provider LIME realizes this, as their advertising is geared towards improving their 3G Internet offerings and thus it would be wise for Telecom Provider CLARO to do likewise, before Telecom Provider LIME achieves island wide coverage and Telecom Provider Digicel launches.

On this basis alone, I would recommend that Telecom Provider CLARO go LTE (Long Term Evolution), which is the 4G upgrade to match Telecom Provider Digicel and distinguish themselves from Telecom Provider LIME. Maintain their prices, increased their coverage, speed, bandwidth and use fiber optic to improve latency which increases at higher speeds and do the above to increase their customer base to justify the much needed upgrade and expansion.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

CLARO and Square - the App of the Year 2010 and CLARO's Saviour


{1:3} And God said, Let there be light:  and there was light.
{1:4} And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 
{1:5} And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Genesis 1 vs 3 - 5

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is indeed the God in a well balanced Apps Universe that is the mainstay of his company’s profitability aside from the sale of Apple iPods, Apple iPod Touch, Apple iPod Nano, Apple iPhones, Apple iMacs and the device of the decade and definite game changer in how we consume media, the Apple iPad as stated in the article “Apple's Endless Expanding App Universe”, published Monday April 26, 2010 By Peter Burrows, BusinessWeek – FEATURES.

No wonder developers accept the strict Commandments of the God cum CEO Steve Jobs, especially with such healthy growth where developers keep 70% of the retail price derived from the sale of the Apps and 60% from the advertising revenue with iAd.

This despite developer contractual restrictions against the use of Adobe Flash or the porting of Apps that were originally coded in Adobe Flash, poking fun at public figures and (my favorite) an effective ban on pornography as opposed to nude pictures, which are considered “art” , thus allowing Sports Illustrated and PlayBoy Apps to remain as stated in the video news report “CNET Buzz Report”, aired March 1 2010, by Molly Wood, CNET News.

All is well within the closed well defined universe of the Apple Apps Store, it is no wonder that many developers stick with Apple as opposed to the Google Android Platform, despite the predicted surge in adoption as stated in the article “Analysts predict bold growth for Google Android” published January 25, 2010 2:18 PM PST by Marguerite Reardon CNET News - Signal Strength.

This was later confirmed by a study done by ComScore that showed that Google had posted a 5.2% increase in its subscriber percentage of the smart phone OS market within the period November 2009 to February 2010 as stated in the article “Google Android growth outpacing the industry” published April 5, 2010 2:36 PM PDT by Tom Krazit, CNET News - Relevant Results.

Google Android  seemingly on its way to beating out Apple and Microsoft for the number two (2) spot in terms of smart phones OS and phones running the Google Android OS, which it has now done as now confirmed by statistics by NPD as stated in “CNET Buzz Report”, aired May 13 2010 by Brian Cooley, CNET News

In fact, the well defined environment set by Apple in having a consistent OS and device specs and a well designed and built device stands in stark contrast to the apparently disorganized Google Android camp, which is running on so many phones from Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and HTC, which started it all, that it is beginning to suffer from a commonly know problem associated with Open Source called “splintering” or “code fragmentation”

This results from complications due to slightly different versions of Android being out in the wild on so many different dimensioned devices, making it difficult for  developers to make Google Apps that can function on multiple platforms without making major design change as stated in the article “Report: Android fragmentation could harm growth” published April 8, 2010 8:50 AM PDT  by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News -Signal Strength.

But an App has come along that in my humble opinion is a “shoe in” for the award of App of the Year, even though half of the year has yet to have gone. This App is called Square as stated in the article “Ideal for Small Businesses, Square iPhone App will change the way we shop”, Posted May 19, 2010 8:21am by Kathryn Swartz, Appolocious: Tech

It was developed by Twitter co-founder and Chairman, Jack Dorsey as stated in the article “Twitter co-founder launches new venture: Square”, published May 16 2010, Physorg.

I speak these superlatives of the Square App as it has far reaching implication as to how we conduct Business transactions both on the Apple iPhone as well as on mid range phones such as the LG Neon, Xenon and Karma as described in the article “AT&T pushes quick-messaging phones”, published March 24, 2010 6:10 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon CTIA 2010 - CNET News

Even low end phones such as the Motorola Quantico or even my personal favorite, the Nokia 1208, which is a basic “flashlight” phone – and an engineer’s best friend, can possibly be made to use Square.

Basically, it is a free App with a free widget in the form of a card reader, much like the ones used to lock door entrances to secure locations e.g. ATMs that plugs into the audio input of your Apple iPhone or Google Android phone, as the Square Card reader is a miniaturized version of the one used on door locks and was always an analog device. Square allows you to conduct Debit or Credit card transactions without having to rent a POS device from your bank.

Square uses only your Apple iPhone or Google Android Phone, the Square widget and the Square App, both of which (widget and App) are free on the Apple Apps Store or Google Android MarketPlace as the makers of Square mainly make their money from Credit card and Debit card transactions charges

Charges range from 2.75% for transactions done with the Debit or Credit card physically swiped with Square widget or 15% without it being present. Users sign up at the Square website, using the sign-up process as described in YouTube’s “Welcome to Square” video and they receive the widget and can begin making transactions right away. Simple.

Currently the service is only available in the United States of America, but as Apple iPhones is all over the World, having sold nearly fifty million (50,000,000) Apple iPhones since its debut in 2007 and having plans to sell another twenty four (24,000,000) million more as stated in the article “Report: Apple readying 24 million units of next iPhone”, published May 17, 2010 10:25 AM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker.

Square can also go worldwide. This apparent surge in Apple iPhone is posited on the launch of its new iPhone 4.0 OS which finally supports their unique take on multitasking, folders (finally), a the new Apple advertising platform called Apple iAd, a game social network called Game Center, similar to that of Microsoft Xbox 360.

 iBook, similar to the iBookStore App on the Apple iPad with a free complimentary book Winnie the Pooh (first thing Apple has ever given away for free!!) as hinted in the article “Will iPhone 4.0 derail Microsoft's phone plans?”, published April 9, 2010 10:24 AM PDT by Ina Fried, CNET News - Beyond Binary and confirmed in the video “CNET The AppleByte” aired April 8 2010 by Brian Senior Editor, CNET News.

As such, it is expected to be a hit, clawing back some of the lost smart phone market share from the disorganized Google Android camp, now embroiled and distracted by problems with Google StreetView as stated in the articles article “FTC asked to probe Street View privacy snafu”, published May 19, 2010 1:42 PM PDT by Declan McCullagh CNET News - Politics and Law, (http://news.cnet.com) and “Google's Brin on Wi-Fi spying: 'We screwed up'”, published May 19, 2010 3:07 PM PDT by Tom Krazit CNET News - Relevant Results – again.

Thus therein lays an opportunity for Telecom Provider CLARO, the brand name for AMX (America Movil) in Latin America and Jamaica (wherein I reside in the bushes!), to team up with Twitter co-founder and Chairman, Jack Dorsey to introduce this unique App to Jamaica, as the App and its associated Square Card Reader can revolutionize how Telecom Provider CLARO sells phone cards.

Currently, when buying a Telecom Provider CLARO Prepaid (Pay-as-Go) Cards, you have to pay cash to get the Prepaid (Pay-as-Go) Cards or use your debit card in an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) or Wireless and Fixed Landline POS (Point-of-Sale) at a Micro, Small, Medium and Large Business owner.

This as most Business owners e.g. vendors and Telecom Provider CLARO stores that retail phone cards for Telecom Provider CLARO only sell the phone cards as physical Prepaid (Pay-as-Go) Cards that the user still has to scratch in order to use.

As their return on purchase is so low on a card, it give little incentive for vendors to wish to have a Wireless and Fixed Landline POS (Point-of-Sale) devices, as rental alone to sell phone cards would make it pointless.

In a partnership involving Telecom Provider CLARO Jamaica, Square founder Jack Dorsey and local banks such as BNS (Bank of Nova Scotia), NCB (National Commercial Bank) and RBTT (Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago).

Telecom Provider CLARO can use the Square platform to make it possible to retail their Apple iPhone as a platform to encourage Micro, Small, Medium and Large Business owners to set up merchant accounts and thus be able to accept both Debit and Credit cards for transactions by renting a device at a fraction of the cost of a Wireless and Fixed Landline POS.

This would be by simply by approaching BNS (Bank of Nova Scotia), NCB (National Commercial Bank) and RBTT (Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago) and offering to rent the Apple iPhones from Telecom Provider CLARO and using the Square platform allow Micro, Small, Medium and Large Business owners with merchant accounts to use the device to conduct their transactions seamlessly on-the-fly, making mobile banking on-the-go both for consumers as well as for Micro, Small, Medium and Large Business owners a reality.

It would benefit Telecom Provider CLARO in that they would be able to sell more of the iconic Apple iPhones with Data Plans in bulk, this time as a Business tool replacement for the ageing Wireless and Fixed Landline POS devices via banks and in the process expand the Business interests of Mr. Jack Dorsey in terms of Square.

In the process, it would allow the banks BNS (Bank of Nova Scotia), NCB (National Commercial Bank) and RBTT (Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago) to create a unified platform around which to capture more of the Debit and Credit Retail Business by empowering Micro, Small, Medium and Large Business owners with merchant accounts to be able to accept Debit and Credit cards with a lower overhead than is currently is possible with the Wireless and Fixed Landline POS devices

This is a win-win situation for all involved in a nascent Debit and Credit Card Retail Business that is set to explode in Jamaica ever since the implementation and Success of the JDX (Jamaica Debt Exchange) and the lowered and stable interest rates that have resulted since, with opportunities for merchants involving export, for Square would be uniquely positioned to take advantage of as hinted in my article in my blog article  JDX - Progress since the start of the New Financial Year”.

But why stop there?

Why not encourage the creation of a Developer Community in Jamaica specifically tailored to building Apps for the Apple Apps Store with servers being set up to host developed websites and Apps in Jamaica,.

This is effectively a DataCenter that is set up much as a Mall has stores which are rented out to store-owners to host their API platforms or virtual storefronts in this virtual mall.

Telecoms Providers suggested the same idea at the recently concluded GSM Association of the Mobile World Congress in February 2010 in Barcelona as state in the article “Mobile operators embrace App store mania”, published February 17, 2010 12:32 PM PST by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - 3GSM blog?

Even better, Telecom Provider CLARO could also have Jack Dorsey’s Square team develop a version of his App that runs on Nokia’s Symbian and even mid-range and low end phones using a simple programming UI similar to what is currently employed to top-up phones with Credit as follows:

1.      Plug Square into the audio jack of a regular mobile phone.
2.      *177*<last 4 digits of card>*<cost of item>*<user enters PIN for Debit card># and SEND for Debit Cards and *177*<last 4 digits of card>*<cost of item ># and SEND for Credit Cards
3.      Swipe the card when the system sends you a text message prompt and a dial tone
4.      Then press *177*1# to say “YES” to complete the transaction or *177*2# to say “NO” to the transaction.
5.      Customer then asks the vendor to delete the stored PIN number, if any
6.      Square then sends back a SMS message confirming the transaction. Simple

This is somewhat similar to LIME Self Top Up, first of its kind in the Caribbean (albeit Digicel already had a similar card based top-up service in Jamaica) as stated in the article “Text to Top Up - A Caribbean first from LIME” published Wednesday, 03 March 2010 Written by TechJamaica

It is targeted at Debit and Credit Retail Business among Micro, Small, Medium and Large Business owners and regular customers alike, with added benefits for being member of Square. Even Bill Payment could be done via Square.

This branching into regular mobile phones, however, should be once Square has made a significant difference in the sale of Apple iPhones in Jamaica.

Thus ANY Mobile phone on the Telecom Provider CLARO Network would become a POS Terminal to transact Business, and thus usher in the coming of a Cashless Society via a simple partnership that would allow Banks, Telecom Provider CLARO and Twitter co-founder and Chairman, Jack Dorsey to advance their own personal agendas – and “Square up” – or at least “Square off” - against the competition by being able to bring POS transaction to virtually every Jamaica on ANY Telecom Provider CLARO phone. Telecom Provider CLARO, Square Up!! Call 621-1000 for details requesting this service!! Only from Telecom Provider CLARO!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MNP and MRSI - How it leads to Mobile Number Portability and Crime Eradication in Jamaica

You used to say that your heart was like an open book
You used to say live and let live
But in this ever changing world that we live in
Makes you give up and cry
So live and let die!............

Excerpt from the soundtrack of the James Bond movie Live and Let Die by Duran Duran

In the real world, Prime minister, Bruce Golding recently apologized as satirized in the article “No resignation, no apology”, published Monday May 7th 2010, Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter, the Daily Gleaner and gave orders to have the extradition treaty signed so as to have the matter of the extradition of Tivoli Gardens strongman Christopher “Dudus” Coke go before the Extradition courts – which will take years to go through, as our legal systems is already backed up with case not to mention the able defense that Tom Tavares-Finson, his legal council, will bring to bear in his client’s interest.

No big deal as this has happened before, for those who are old enough, or have a large archive of newspapers going back to the early 1970’s as I do, as that is what happened to his father, Lloyd Lester Coke, other wise known as “Jim Brown”, who eventually died downtown at the hands of one of his lieutenants (or so the story goes), his death sparking the unrest of the 1979.

That, for the young people among ye, WAS the darkest chapter in Jamaica’s history as it relates to politicians and criminal dons. Coincidentally, that is the year I was born………hmm.

The other watershed moment this week was the official pronouncement by Senator Dwight Nelson, Minister of National Security and Justice with regards to the implementation of the so-called Mandatory Registration of Subscriber Information (MRSI) after making his intentions known almost two (2) weeks prior as stated in the article “CLARO Backs Cell Phone Tracking Plan; Digicel, LIME in Wait-And-See Mode”, published Sunday May 16, 2010 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, the Sunday Gleaner.

Their was always an obvious link to criminals or “badmen” as laid out in my blog posting entitled “Mexico and MNP: A solution to crime in Mexico”, who use Unregistered Mobile Phones to organize crime as suggested in the Reuters report that as mentioned in the news report by CNET Loaded aired April 12 2010 by Natalie Del Conte, CNET News and confirmed by the article “Mexico may shut down 25.9 million Cell phones which haven't joined Registry”, published April 11, 2010 - 11:45pm by MacRonin, The Privacy Digest

The article “CLARO Backs Cell Phone Tracking Plan; Digicel, LIME in Wait-And-See Mode”, published Sunday May 16, 2010 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, the Sunday Gleaner offers little in the way of technical details, but CLARO’s quick approval without having even seen a draft copy (or have they? Tsk , tsk…) of the Senator Dwight Nelson, Minister of National Security and Justice plan as to how he plans to finance of implement the MRSI.

This looks like a PR (Public Relations) stunt as opposed to a case of CLARO having bargained or been clamoring for it, despite what was evident in the newspapers with regards to the positions of the Telecoms Providers in 2009.

In fact, the only vocal proponent of anything distantly resembling MRSI, which is a precursor to MNP (Mobile Number Portability) was LIME Jamaica Country Manager Geoff Houston, who gave the equivalent of a stirring Sermon on the Mount (woot!!, woot!!) in support of MNP as stated in the article “Mobile firms divided on number portability”, published Friday, 15 May 2009, the Daily Gleaner.

This despite being merely on the face of it a play for customers, as Telecom Provider Digicel, the dominant mobile phone provider since statistics declared it so in 2006 and never looked back dominated the mobile market after only five (5) years in Jamaica with 87% of the potential customer base, according to an Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) commissioned survey conducted by PSEARCH Associates Limited in 2006 as summarized and annotated quite neatly in the article “Most J'cans still not online”, published Saturday,  September 2 2006, the Daily Gleaner.

MNP would give LIME some chance to make up for lost ground due to their own ineptitude and disconnect from customers and lack of experimentation with new concepts, a fact which I know all too well, as I worked at C&W (now LIME) as a Network Maintenance Technician from 2001 to 2004 and submitted proposal after proposal which shriveled up and died on their desks – which I eventually gave away online and now publish on my blog, dusted off and modernized as the technology caught up with my sometimes outlandish experimental concepts.

The tactful, almost legal-esque responses of all three Telecoms Providers, especially as it relates to Privacy of Subscriber Information is however somewhat troubling, as it seems that they are still defending themselves from possible legal action from customers who may become disgruntled and be a bit litigious in their dealing with the Telecoms Providers if customers suspect a breach in their privacy.

This is similar to the debacle that faced FLOW and some of its supposedly “private” citizens when it recently published the numbers of their FLOW Landline customers in the LIME Directory as stated in the article “Privacy Breached - FLOW clients railing against Directory Listings”, published January 31st 2010, the Sunday Gleaner by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, the Daily Gleaner.

The fight for crime means that society would have to give up some of their Privacy Rights in order to enable the police to do their work. Sharing company resources, even in this highly competitive climate, blocking Illegitimate VOIP (Voice over IP) and the Registration of customers and subscribers Phone Numbers, Phone Instruments (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMEI and SIM Cards (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMSI using Government of Jamaica approved identification i.e. Voters ID, Drivers License, Passport, TRN, Birth Certificate.

This is for the purpose of providing them with VAS (Value Added Services) such as e.g. Election Voting, Personalized Targeted Advertising, Market Surveys, Geo-Location Services and Personal Tracking Services, Augmented Viewing Services, Phone Directory Services, etc. This should generate enough revenue to mop the beads of sweat from their [Telecom Provider’s] brows as it relates cost of implementation, databases and whatnot, trivialities in my eyes, as this is a golden opportunity for the Telecoms Providers to be seen in a positive light as it relates to fighting crime as opposed to be aiding and abetting crime by proxy.

The legality is easily argued in the Jamaica jurisdiction as in the United States of America it is legal and unlike a wiretap does not require a warrant as is currently the case in a similar jurisdiction, the United States of America where the Obama Administration has argued that warrantless tracking is permitted because Americans enjoy no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in their cell phones' [mobile devices] whereabouts and the U.S. Department of Justice lawyers argue that "a customer's Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals to the Government of the United States of America State Department its own records" i.e. mobile device placed and received calls as stated in the article "Feds push for tracking cell phones", published February 11, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Declan McCullagh, CNET News - Politics and Law, CNET

Despite the strange off guard comments expressed by CEO of Digicel, Mark Linehan, who on Monday 16th November 2009 stated that “As far as we are aware, the OUR has not indicated anything of the sort to us.

The issue of number portability is a complex one, which will, no doubt, involve extensive consultation with the industry and a detailed analysis of the associated costs and benefits to the sector as a whole." as published in the article “OUR signals policy shift on portability - Says Jamaica running out of phone numbers”, published Friday November 20, 2009 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, the Daily Gleaner, and now parallel views disclosed by Richard Fraser, Digicel Head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs who was quoted as saying “Digicel is, and has always been, obliged to keep subscriber information confidential.

Disclosure of subscriber information is governed by the Telecommunications Act and Interception of Communications Act, whereby operators are only required to disclose information pursuant to a court order.

As far as we are aware, the proposed implementation of mandatory registration requirements would not change this obligation or process” as stated in the article “CLARO Backs Cell Phone Tracking Plan; Digicel, LIME in Wait-And-See Mode”, published Sunday May 16, 2010 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, the Sunday Gleaner.

MNP is a necessary reality, as according to OUR Director General Ahmad Zia Mian, MNP is now a necessity as Jamaica has used up all of the eight million (8,000,000) phone numbers that were assigned to our LATA (Local Access Transport Area), with only one million (1,000,000) being left.

Already the Dominican Republic recently went MNP in July 2009 and some thirty three (33) countries including the United States, Australia and Singapore have gone MNP since, with Singapore widely regarded to have first pioneered MNP in 1997, coincidentally the alleged year Liberalization of the Telecoms Sector by the then Senator Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Telecommunications – and the year I started going to UTECH to do Engineering.

MNP is even in Digicel’s “home world”, Ireland, which makes the comments of CEO of Digicel, Mark Linehan in the article appear even stranger. Thus Jamaica is technologically behind times, mainly due to the internal squabbling among Telecoms Providers, whose greed has blinded them to the other benefit of MNP aside from competitive advantage: crime eradication.

Thus acceding to this requirement plays into the hands of CLARO, hence the clever, cool, coy, collected comments by Marketing Manager of CLARO Jamaica, Joseph Oates, who was quoted as saying “We welcome the move and are committed to it. CLARO completely supports anything and everything that will assist in stemming or reducing crime”.

His comments on the mandatory Registration using the Universal Mexican Registration number (CURP) implementation which saw the cancellation of nearly twenty six million (26,000,000) mobile subscribers numbers confirms the story by Natalie Del Conte in the news report by CNET Loaded aired April 12 2010 by Natalie Del Conte, CNET News (CBS) (www.cnet.com) and confirmed by the article “Mexico may shut down 25.9 million Cell phones which haven't joined Registry”, published April 11, 2010 - 11:45pm by MacRonin, The Privacy Digest.

Oates is further quoted as saying, quote: “Claro's inclusion of this locally should not, therefore, prove difficult. We are patiently waiting on further information from the Government (and), once the Government indicates its course of action, we will determine how to proceed and what systems to implement.” Like I said, PR.

Of interest to me is the title of the article upon which this commentary is based. Is the reference to “tracking” about mobile phone tapping? This is possible by the way without access to the Telecoms Providers Switch Equipment based on research done by a German security expert Karsten Nohl.

The Internet expert indicated at a Hackers Convention Press Conference in German that he had decrypted the A5/1 codebook, which uses a 64-bit encryption key, as stated in the article  Q&A: Researchers Karsten Nohl on Mobile eavesdropping”, published January 1, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Elinor Mills, InSecurity Complex – CNET and further elucidated in my blog posting entitled “ScotiaBank, A51 Encryption GOJ Security on Telecom Providers GSM Networks”.

For the layperson, this means that conversations on Telecoms Providers networks that still use the A5/1 codebook are not only interceptable but decodable. It is thus being hoped that local Telecoms companies [read Digicel and LIME…CLARO has gone A5/3 from the get-go as far as I am aware] have upgraded to the more secure A5/3 codebook, which Dr. Karsten Kohl, who holds a PhD in computer engineering from the University of Virginia, has yet to decrypt…….at least for now.

Or maybe it is a reference to geo-location using GSM enabled devices as is obviously now possible in AT&T’s Network as stated in the article "AT&T connects everything to its network", published March 24, 2010 6:55 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CTIA 2010 - CNET

Not to mention the detailed proposed ideas for geo-location to fight crime using a novel single tower triangulation technique as per my blog article entitled “Mobile Triangulation without GPS - A solution to crime under out noses”.

Blackberries already have GPS modules, thus the single tower mobile Triangulation implementation cost could be offset via the introduction of a VAS (Value Added Service) in the form of a Mobile Social Network e.g. Brown Dawg for Digicel as detailed in my blog articles entitled “Brown Dawg, a Mobile Social Network based on Mobile phones” and Brown Dawg and Se'et Deh - Behavioural Targeted Marketing Ads”.

Even better, once Customers and Subscribers Phone Instrument is stolen, they should be able to report the theft via SMS from another registered mobile phone by using their Government of Jamaica approved identification i.e. Voters ID, Drivers License, Passport, TRN, Birth Certificate to identify themselves and thus be called by an operator working in the Telecoms Provider’s Customer Care Department.

Thereby the Customers and Subscribers stolen Phone Instruments (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems)  IMEI and SIM Cards (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMSI is blocked and unable to make or receive calls or any other form of communication on the Telecoms Provider’s Network effectively similar to SIM locking as stated in the article “SIM Lock”, WikiPedia.

This differs in that it is a lock specific to the Phone Instruments (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems)  IMEI and SIM Cards (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMSI and not the network as is the traditional view of SIM locking, for those who love to dalliance with technical trivialities and semantic obfuscation.

Thus it is my recommendation to ALL Telecom Providers to accede to the proposal of the good Senator Dwight Nelson, Minister of National Security and Justice as not only will it eventually lead to MNP and eradication of crime.

It would make the Telecoms Providers appear to be in support of the people of Jamaica and its plight in terms of its fight against crime as opposed to money grubbing FDI (Foreign Direct Investors) management who are only in Jamaica to make money and go back to their posh hotels with hired female companions, ignoring the obvious plight in Jamaica echoed in the guns barking in Tivoli Gardens outside their residence – and the solution that is in their very Equipment.

Best of all, now that the Manatt, Phelps and Phillips Affair is over and Christopher “Dudus” Coke will have his day in court, the Media, which has traditionally been anti-JLP bashing, can now turn our attentions to that which is most important that being Liberalization of the Energy Sector and MNP for Telecom Providers as stated in the article “'Follow my blueprint' - Paulwell pushed for breakup of JPS Monopoly”, published Friday April 30 2010, Mark Titus, Business Reporter, the Jamaica Gleaner.

This was echoed in the follow-up on his stirring statements in Parliament recently in which he made calls for both (Mobile Number Portability) and Liberalization of the Energy Sector as stated in the article “Paulwell calls for number portability”, published, Wednesday April 21, 2010, Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter, the Jamaica Gleaner.

Hopefully Senator Phillip Paulwell can also rustle up DSO (Digital Switch Over) for Broadcasters while he is at it and tie it in as conditionality on going MNP. The mentality of Live and Let Die (1973) cannot persist, as it is not always about money alone, as life is more precious than money…….