My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Apple iTV is No. 1 according to Strategy Analytics - Apple's Blue Crush on Netflix for TV-Anywhere

All this news about IPTV Streaming has got me all hopped up on the subject. So it comes as little surprise as the General Election draws nigh on Thursday December 29th 2011 as noted in the winding down of Campaign activities in the article “Last lap - JLP, PNP wrap up campaigning”, published Wednesday, December 28, 2011, The Jamaica Observer that IPTV is again on my mind.

The Intense Television Jamaica personality Pepita Little may have staged a fight to defect to a  higher paying job at LIME TV like Ragashanti as noted in the article “Ragashanti returns on Lime Mobile TV”, published July 14 2011, the Jamaica Star is part of the reason why my gaze is yet again cast at IPTV Streaming in Jamaica. The Telecom Providers are now ramping up the build-out of their Wireless and Wired Broadband Internet Services both in Jamaica and Caribbean-wide.

Wireless Broadband Services based on HSDPA+ Release 7 (High Speed Downlink Packet Access Plus) Network with speeds in the 10MBps best effort range and faster is thus on the cards for December 2012AD.

Thus, being young, she may be a part of Telecom Provider LIME’s soon-to-be launched IPTV Streaming Platform in partnership with Avail-TVN powered by Juniper Networks as prognosticated in my blog article entitled “LIME chooses Juniper Networks to rebroadcast Avail-TVN's Content - Pepita Little's Ghostbusters to capture Media Personalities” where she would make mucho dinero as the host of a show she would basically OWN.
Wouldn’t be strange for Telecom Provider LIME to bet so heavily on a young star or even on the concept of Jamaicans paying for Wireless broadband just to watch Cable TV anywhere, anytime on any device, basically a foreshadowing of the “TV Anywhere” concept! 

So it should come as no surprise that deceased Apple CEO Steve Job’s “Hobby”, the US$99 Apple iTV is now No. 1 dog in town in the nascent IPTV Streaming Set Top box race according to analyst Strategy Analytics in the article “Strategy Analytics: Apple TV now leads set-top boxes”, published December 13, 2011 By Geoff Duncan, DigitalTrends. The US$49 Roku Box occupies a close second place according to Strategy Analytics.

The rather reliable analyst's results paint an interesting picture of Apple’s oft neglected device which Strategy Analytics senior analyst Jia Wu quantifies by saying “Apple is leading this nascent market, which it still considers a ‘hobby’”.

The Statistics as usual tell their own story:

1.      The US market is now 12 (12,000,000) million units strong
2.      It is dominated mainly by Apple iTV, which has 33% of the market or four million (4,000,000) Apple iTV units
3.      8% of households have an Apple iTV, a mite bit better than the EU which has 7% adoption of IPTV
4.      30% percent of Apple TV owners rented movies or TV shows (Netflix!!?)

That last bit is telling of the power of movies and television services provided by Netflix, the main draw of the Apple iTV, which I also had high hopes for in my blog article entitled “Apple and the iTV - Back to the future”.

Apple’s iTunes service doesn’t feature heavily in the popularity and success of the of the Apple’s “hobby” Set top Box, but instead indicates the popularity of Netflix, which is set to come to Jamaica and the Caribbean as noted in my blog article entitled “LIME chooses Juniper Networks to rebroadcast Avail-TVN's Content - Pepita Little's Ghostbusters to capture Media Personalities”.

Indeed, Netflix may actually make Triple Play Provider FLOW Extinct, despite FLOW’s push towards the same concept of “TV-Anywhere” and even 3D HDTV as note in my geezam blog article entitled “FLOW goes 3D HDTV et al – Netflix to make FLOW Extinct”.

So an Apple Television Set as I had prognosticated in detail with all my wishes and dreams in BOTH my blog article entitled “Apple Television Set, a docking cradle for the Apple iTV - Super 8 A Gift for Christmas” and my Geezam blog article entitled “Web-enabled Television Sets Sales Rise – The Apple Television cometh” is very possible. 
Albeit in a size less than 40” seems a tad unlikely as postulated in the article “Rumor: Apple iTV on track for 2012 Q2-Q3 release”, published December 27, 2011 By Molly McHugh, DigitalTrends but possible as the Apple iMac, on which my concepts is based, is a 27” neo-retina display that can be a shell with a docking cradle for the obviously now popular Apple iTV.

Ultimately a good mix of the two (2) i.e. compelling specs that are intuitive and easy to use and content available anytime, anyplace and on any device, basically the “TV anywhere” concept as opined in the article Apple iTV: It’s about the experience, not content”, published , GigaOM and the article “Analyst: Device and content choice key to Apple iTV success”, published , GigaOM will make the supposedly soon-to-be-launched Apple Television Set a success in an otherwise already crowded Internet Television market.

A bold move for Apple this would be, from the small swimming pond of IPTV Streaming devices to the crowded market of high-end Television Sets bristling with features and already sporting Netflix support (get it!! Sport! The main reason for having Netflix!!). This folks is Apple’s Blue Crush (2002) on Netflix!

But back to Jamaica and the Caribbean at large as Barbados is also a part of this grand experiment by Telecom Provider LIME. IPTV Streaming is indeed a good gamble for Telecom Provider Apple after the spectacular success of LIME TV combined with the intoxicating powder keg of rumours swirling about of the impending coming of an Apple Television Set or “TV” as the Americans call it.

If the popularity of IPTV Streaming catches on in Jamaica as Wireless and Wired Internet expends, propelled by the very popular Intense “Chica” Pepita Little really going to Telecom Provider LIME, we may be witness to the birth of Jamaica’s and the Caribbean’s  first IPTV Streaming Star.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

LIME chooses Juniper Networks to rebroadcast Avail-TVN's Content - Pepita Little's Ghostbusters to capture Media Personalities

It looks like Telecom Provider LIME has finally chose a good Telecom Equipment Supplier to power their ultimate Free-to-Air television killer in the fore of their partnership with Avail-TVN as this plucky blogger reported in an earlier blog article entitled “LIME parent CWC partners with Avail-TVN to provide IPTV Streaming Service - War of The Worlds against Netflix”.

They have chosen Juniper Networks, as per the announcement in the article “LIME to roll out more TV services”, published Sunday December 18, 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner. What’s even more interesting, they may have already snagged a Media Personality in the form of Pepita Little of Television Jamaica’s Intense Fame to host local content on their show, assuming I am reading the symbolism in the staged article PEPITA NO LONGER ON INTENSE”, published Tuesday December 20 2011 by SHELDON WILLIAMS, Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Star correctly.
As I had pointed out in that article, Telecom Provider LIME actions are CWC (Cable and Wireless Corporate) have nothing to do with the small fish in the form of Television Jamaica and CVM TV. It has more to do with Netflix and Google TV, Fortune 500 companies already on their way to Jamaica to use our Fiber Optic gateways as a beachhead to make a bigger push into the heart of Latin America.

So Television Jamaica and CVM TV are going to be the first casualties of this war, and it’s not even directed at them, despite LIME TV curated service slant towards Free-to-Air broadcasters. They are the small fish shown in the blog article entitled “LIME parent CWC partners with Avail-TVN to provide IPTV Streaming Service - War of The Worlds against Netflix”!

Juniper Networks will provide the MGW compatible equiptment that will convert the content supplied by Avail-TVN to a format that can be transmitted over Telecom Provider LIME’s HSDPA+ Release 7 (High Speed Downlink Packet Access Plus) Network Upgrade slated to go live in December of 2012AD as stated in my blog article entitled LIME's US$80 million Caribbean HSDPA+ Release 7 Upgrade - Sonic the Hedgehog” heralds Telecom Provider LIME’s War of the Worlds (2005).

That is the “Media Flow Controller” referred to in the article, which does this conversion in Juniper Network’s equipment and assigns IP addresses to the video stream. This so that the UE (User Equipment) devices at each persons home that will use Telecom Provider LIME new HSDPA+ Release 7 (High Speed Downlink Packet Access Plus) Network as backhaul to provision this service can access the encrypted video feed and distinguish the channels and 42MBps capable Internet service.

Not much different from IPTV Streaming, making Juniper Networks, which has a background in launching IPTV Platforms the perfect Telecom Equiptment Provider to launch this product. Thus with a planned HSDPA+ Release 7 (High Speed Downlink Packet Access Plus) Network Upgrade, this product intended Fourth Quarter 2011AD debut is basically on schedule as per CWC's and LIME Jamaica Joint Press Release that reveals Jamaica and Barbados as the guinea pigs as, quote: “The service will launch commercially in Jamaica and Barbados in Q4, with expansion across the Caribbean to follow in 2012”.

Truly, CWC is deathly afraid of Google’s strategic purchase of Motorola Mobility and their push into the EU (European Union) as per my blog article entitled “Google TV making push into the EU – Motorola Mobility Purchase Die Another Day” and the coming dominance of Netflix in the IPTV Streaming as stated in my blog article entitled “Netflix coming to Latin America - Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer”.

So folks, expect an announcement on this in the coming few weeks as Telecom Provider LIME’s announcement of Juniper Networks as their point man puts Triple Play Provider FLOW as the next Big Fish on Telecom Provider LIME’s dinner platter in 2012AD.

By the way, where is Telecom Provider Digicel in the middle of all of this?

Is a partnership with Netflix their intended plan as per my musings my blog article entitled “Digicel and WiMax 4G Mobile - Back to the Future as NetFlix Expands”? Or is Telecom Provider Digicel more interested in going the Amazon Kindle Fire route and selling Samsung Galaxy Tablets as e-readers at slashed prices in partnership with local Newspaper companies as per my blog article entitled “Digicel, Samsung Galaxy Tablets and Newspapers - Tomorrow Never Dies and the Paper Man”.

After all, like Free-to-Air Broadcasters, Newspapers are on the menu as well as noted in my blog article entitled “Traditional News Media vs Broadband Telecoms - GigaOM's Avoiding ELE After Deep Impact”.

So folks, Let the migration of Media Personalities from Free-to-Air Broadcasters begin, starting with Pepita Little whose leaving Television Jamaica as per the staged article PEPITA NO LONGER ON INTENSE”, published Tuesday December 20 2011 by SHELDON WILLIAMS, Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Star  may really be a jumping of ship to Telecom Provider LIME.

Being young, she, like other soon to follow, may be attracted by the future higher salaries at Telecom Provider LIME soon-to-come-on-stream IPTV Streaming Service with content (Digital Audio and Video) from Avail-TVN and powered by Equiptment from Juniper Networks, Ghostbusters (1984) Style.

As for the fight? 

Possible with her Manager over the future of her show, which is not her own but was fast losing relevance in a world going IPTV Streaming and Social Networking, based on a forensic audit of her posts on her FB profile. More as this side story develops, as the murky world of Media Personalities just got interesting again.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Porteon to manufacture All-Electric Vehicles in St. Lucia - Strengthening CARICOM ties with Jamaican Skilled Labour

There will soon be an All-Electric Vehicle Maker in Jamaica, making my wished as per my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and All-Electric Vehicles - The Harder They Come, Jamaican Style” come to pass.

This as an Oregon-Based company, Porteon, has plans to set up a plant in Viewfort,  St. Lucia right here in the Caribbean to manufacture cars and trucks, all of which will be All-Electric Vehicles as per the article Electrifying Rides – Porteon plans 2012 Electric Car roll-out in Ja”, published Sunday December 4th 2011 by Mel Cooke, The Sunday Gleaner.

The company made its debut at the inaugural Wealth Auto Show at the National Stadium put on by ATL Automotive CEO Adam Stewart and Sandals Group CEO and Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart on Saturday November 26th 2011AD and Sunday November 27th 2011AD as faithfully recorded in the article “Strong New-Car Display at the Arena”, published Sunday December 4th 2011 by Mel Cooke, The Sunday Gleaner.

Please note: this was the same Wealth Auto show that had been promised as far back as November 11th 2011 as per the article “Wealth Auto Show opens soon”, published Friday, November 11, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

And as The Jamaica Observer reports it bosses own exploits, the organizers who contributed to the show were very much pleased about the turnout and the interest show in their inaugural show as noted in the article “Organisers happy with auto show”, published Friday, December 02, 2011 by Brian Bonitto Associate Editor — Entertainment and Auto, The Jamaica Observer, making this blogger anticipate yet another show next year in 2012AD.

If it sounds too good to be true, I have more shocking news. The vehicles will not be built in St. Lucia, but rather sent down disassembled and built into parts so as to make storage in a container easier. Thus their modus operandi becomes revealed; they are shipping the parts to be reconstructed in elsewhere, with Jamaica being one of their target markets for their All-Electric Vehicles.

Thus skilled Jamaicans will be getting work to reconstruct All-Electric Vehicles in Jamaica to the following specifications:

  • Top Speed: 75 km/h (47 mph)
  • Maximum range: 130 km to 160 km on a full charge
  • Charging Source: A 110VAC or 220VAC outlet
  • Body: Lightweight rust-proof Aluminum chassis and body
  • Braking: Four-wheel Disk Hydraulic Braking Systems
  • Drive: Electric Motors at each wheel, unknown specifications
  • Three (3) year warranty
  • Price: JA$1.4 million
Hopefully these are vehicles using the Range Extender Technology as suggested in my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and Range Extender Technology - Jamaica to Rhaatid” as being more suitable for Jamaica, being as it would help support the All Island Gasoline Retailers, who may have qualms about All-electric Vehicles becoming popular and eventually putting them out of business.

As the show itself was a partnership of car dealers with ATL it is not inconceivable that portion may be in already in partnership with ATL Automotive. This as ATL Automotive has plans to ship and market European make Diesel Vehicles to Jamaica in the next twelve (12) months in July 2012AD.

All thanks to coming improvements in the Sulphur content in diesel fuel announced by then Minister of Industry and Commerce, Karl Samuda, just in time for the London Olympic Games as per my blog article entitled “ATL Automotive to benefit from Low-Sulphur Diesel in 12 Months Time - Bio-Fuels Resident Evil Apocalypse”.

So it does appear I was indeed wrong about ATL CEO Adam Stewart and his company’s intention to bring polluting Diesel Vehicles to Jamaica. This as if the Oregon-based Porteon trucks and vehicles are indeed partnered with ATL automotive, they will not only be environmentally friendly, but if the vehicles are of the Range Extender type and preferably Flex-Fuel, they will also benefit from the improved Sulphur content in the Diesel and Gasoline fuel.

Not only that, but it will generate a side industry for Engineers and Technicians for All-Electric Charging Stations and Solar Charging Stations as per the article “Honda debuts Solar-powered charging station”, posted December 22, 2010 by Jamaipanese installed in partnership with Gas Stations as well as, Inductive Vehicle Chargers to installed at people’s homes.

There will also be work to fix and replace the Lithium-Ion Batteries that these vehicles no doubt will use and also servicing the Electric Motors that live at each wheel and the Electric generator that kicks in whenever the charge in the Lithium-ion batteries dies down.

Kudos all around for ATL Automotive and CEO Adam Stewart, who unwittingly may be following my suggestion as per my blog article entitled “ATL Automotive to benefit from Low-Sulphur Diesel in 12 Months Time - Bio-Fuels Resident Evil Apocalypse”!!

This improvement (and the Porteon Al-Electric Vehicles) is coming in the July of 2012AD, the slated month of completion of the upgrade to the Petrojam refinery that will make 5 to 15 ppm (part per million) fuel a reality in Jamaica.

It may also herald the coming of local support and recognition for Marzouca’s Island Cruiser Vehicles, which albeit not an All-Electric Vehicle, demonstrates that Jamaicans do have the technical skills to manufacture motor vehicles for export  as noted in my blog article entitled “Jamaican Transport Sector and Excel Motors Limited -  Russian Roulette and Top Gear”.

Until then, Jamaicans can dream of driving vehicles that are as quiet as a tomb and possibly marketed by popular Radio DJ’s, Dancehall Artiste and Media Personalities, who can afford the JA$1.4 million price tag (right??!!) as surmised in my Geezam blog article entitled “Oregon-based Porteon to assemble All-Electric Vehicles in Jamaica – One By One”.

So stay tuned to this blog for more information on this exciting development of the coming of a FDI (Foreign Direct Investor) to manufacture All-Electric Vehicles in St. Lucia for assembly in Jamaica, a coupe for ATL Automotive!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fast Food Wi-Fi for LIME's ADSL Broadband when FTTH goes Mainstream - Mother's and KFC to Supersize Me with Wi-Fi

Ever since Telecom Provider LIME announced the coming of FTTH (Fiber to the Home) Test Launch as reported in On the Ground News and chronicled in Kelroy’s Geezam blog article entitled “LIME Jamaica rolls out 100 Mbps ‘Fibre to the Home’” where I first became aware of this dream of mine come to pass.

My blog article entitled “LIME goes FTTH like Verizon's FiOS - Free ADSL after FTTH Mass Adoption” explained why this was possible: Dead Zone Theory being realized as less Voice traffic meant that Telecoms Provider Fiber Optic Backhaul between Central Offices such as Pembroke/North and Carlton Exchange was now becoming empty of Voice Traffic from Landlines and Mobile (Cellular) Voice Calling.

This new FTTH service fills the void, using up the currently unused capacity in these Fiber Optic Backhaul and thus making it worthwhile to maintain them. But now a curious foible that was missed in both of the above articles struck me this morning as I was walking down to the Kingston and St. Andrew Library: What’s to become of ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Lime)?

Free Municipal Wi-Fi, as is the case in Barbados, thanks to their very forward thinking Government as noted in Kelroy’s Geezam blog article entitled article entitled “Barbados on the path to free island-wide Wi-Fi coverage” comes readily to mind.

But that is already in the cards, as the Government of Jamaica has already had plans in place to provide Free Broadband access with speeds up to 100MBps to three hundred (300) schools in Jamaica with assistance from Telecom Provider LIME, Triple Play Provider FLOW and the UAFCL (Universal Access Fund Company Limited) as noted in my blog article entitled “LIME, FLOW and the $JA543-million Internet plan - Ebony and Ivory”.

So it seems some commercially viable form of Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) is Telecom Provider LIME’s most likely push for their spare ADSL. This aside from promoting Broadband via the sale of Netbooks at cost price as is the case in the Telecom Provider LIME’s FlipTop Promotion as noted in my blog article entitled “LIME and the FlipTop Promotion – Saving Private Ryan to increase Internet Penetration in Jamaica”.

That and the fact that Telecom Provider LIME is not known to do anything for free, not even unused SMS (Short Messaging Service), GPRS (Global Packet Radio System) and EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GPRS) to promote Regional Integration and adoption of Internet usage for those who can ill-afford the access as suggested in my blog article entitled “Telecom Provider LIME and M2M Services - Free SMS and EDGE for the Caribbean to Foster Regional Integration”.

With Fast-Food establishments and shopping malls being areas of large foot traffic with long standing and wait time for people. Telecom Provider LIME no doubt could use their statistical data from their mobile network to determine that they could deploy ADSL in Partnership with Malls and Fast Food Places to resell ADSL Broadband as Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n).

But as it would be in a fixed location with the qualities as described above, it would be best to call it according to where it is placed. To wit, Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) located in a Fast Food Place could be called Fast Food Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) placed in a Mall could be called Mall Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n).

It’s obvious they are facing coming competition from competition from Wayne Chen and Lee’s Family-owned Dekal Wireless and Nubian1 Tech Services Limited, the main  Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) competitors to both Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel.

This is the reason I had opined for both Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel launching their respective MiFi products that create a Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) to share you 3G and 4G WiMax (IEEE 802.16d) Wireless Broadband Access in my Geezam blog article entitled “Crouching LIME Huawei E586 Mi-Fi – Hidden Dekal Wireless Dragon”.

It may even imaginably be the same type of competition from Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) that prompted both Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel to attack this low hanging fruit in the Cayman Islands by launching their respective MiFi products as noted in Shonari’s Geezam blog article entitled “MiFi Hits Cayman thanks to Digicel and LIME”.

However, Telecom Provider LIME needs to do more than just play possum and admit defeat with their launch of MiFi as pointedly noted in Kelroy’s Geezam blog article entitled “LIME to offer Personal Mobile Internet Hot-spot – MiFi”. They need to take advantage of the coming demand for FTTH, sure as sure to come as rain and go Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n).

Telecom Provider LIME needs to use the disinterest in ADSL to resell ADSL not only as a two (2) year contract Data Plans with Netbooks aka the LIME FlipTop Promotion, but also to use it as Backhaul for Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n). This new re-launch of ADSL would target fast-traffic, long wait and dwell time areas such as Fast Food emporiums e.g. Mothers enterprises, KFC in the guise of Fast Food Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) and shopping malls and plazas in what could be appropriately named Mall Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n).

Same system like Dekal Wireless and Nubian1 Tech Services Limited, but thanks to the decreased interest in ADSL, at cut rate prices with more compelling features! A strong possibility therefore exists that the next time you go to a Mother’s Enterprises of KFC, when you are offered to Supersize your order, you may also get a side order or serving of Fast Food Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) that would go well with your Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n)capable Laptop, smartphone or Tablet (I’m an optimist!!).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Digicel and America Movil complete Telecoms Swap - Telecom Regulators to get their Pound of Flesh

Nine (9) months of suspense has finally ended. The swap that was initiated on Friday March 11th 2011AD between Digicel Group and America Movil that shook the Telecoms World like the Japanese Earthquake as stated in my blog article entitled “Digicel buys CLARO Jamaica - Jumanji Exchange is no Robbery” has final been resolved.

On that day there was an earthquake and Tsunami in Japan as faithfully recorded in my Geezam Blog article entitled Japan Nuclear Reactor Meltdown is the Asian Tiger Chernobyl and the article “Japan Nuclear Disaster - Implications for Jamaica and the Consumer Electronics World”. The day was also memorable for the launch of the A5 Dual-Core Apple iPad 2, also recorded in  my Geezam Blog article entitled “Apple iPad 2 - Dual-Core Easy Skankin'”.

Interesting coincidences indeed!!

For those of my faithful fans who love reading newspaper articles, this one is worth printing out and framing, as it is history in the making as per the article “Digicel acquires América Movil's operations in Jamaica and sells its operations in Honduras”, published Friday, December 02, 2011, The Jamaica Observer. So at long last it is over.......or are the problems for the Telecom Providers involved in the combination Debt and Equity swap just beginning to see their troubles multiply?

I say this as during the long nine (9) months of horse trading, lots of acrimonious words have been traded, ironically by Politicians and GOJ (Government of Jamaica) policymakers, making that which is a simple swap of assets that are not equally matched in value a complex affair. It also helps to prove that it is possible to do such a swap, thus disproving what I was told when I was a Network Maintenance Technician working at C&W (2001 to 2004).

Most likely Digicel Honduras and Digicel El Salvador had a greater value than the incompletely built-out CLARO Jamaica asset, even if the insured employees were included in the valuation. Thus, the difference in cost may have been taken care of by giving Digicel Group preferential stock in and America Movil, stock and bonds possibly to the tune of US$250 million depending on who you believe. Preferential Stock and bonds that will be worth significantly more when the Stock Market open on Monday December 5th 2011AD

Even Telecom Provider LIME got in on the act, prodding the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) and the FTC (Fair Trading Commission) to began investigations as far back as March 2011AD in the article “LIME wants OUR, FTC to assess Digicel Claro Deal”, published Sunday, March 20, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

And in the midst of it., the two (2) Telecoms Providers in question Digicel Group and America Movil have been awfully quiet with very little details let slip, mainly via the media.

Even the above article quoted on this most historic of deals has very terse words from the two (2) Telecom Providers involved. First America Movil's words after filing with the SEC (Security Exchange Commission) in the US, quote: “In March 2011, we entered into an agreement with Digicel Group Limited to acquire 100% of Digicel's operations in Honduras and El Salvador selling to them in the process our operation in Jamaica. The completion of the transaction is subject to governmental and regulatory approvals. The competition authority in El Salvador has imposed conditions on the transaction, and we are evaluating our options and the timing of any possible closing.”

Similar words emanated from Digicel Group CEO Colm Delves, quote: “We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of Claro Jamaica. Our immediate focus now will be to get a fuller understanding of the business and in this regard we have deployed several teams who are collating appropriate information. We will keep the Claro customer base, employees, dealers and suppliers advised of our plans over the course of the next few weeks.”.

That's it.

No statements of fact, only sparse comments on the swap of Telecom Operations of CLARO Jamaica and Digicel El Salvador and Digicel Honduras. Effectively I am back to speculating about the future as per my blog article entitledDigicel finally acquires CLARO Jamaica with conditions – Carlos Slim’s Trojan Horsein which I speculated that the acquisition left Digicel Group having to build out CLARO Jamaica's unfinished GSM (Global Systems Mobile) Voice and upgrade it along with their Network to HSDPA+ Release 7.

Thus it remains to be seen what will be the eventual outcome. One thin is for sure though, whatever form Digicel takes post-swap with America Movil, their expenses are sure to double. An eventuality for which they are already taking precautions by going Green as per my blog article entitled “Digicel adds on Green Power to future Corporate Building - Petula Clarke's Downtown Global Warming Crisis”.

A necessary precaution, as the Media reports the respective Government in each country taking advantage of the swap to impose conditions on the sale to prevent the formation of a monopoly. Here in Jamaica, it is the requirement that Digicel Group build out CLARO Network to the specification as per their Bilateral Trade Agreement to cover 90% of the island with Wireless Voice and Data Service as noted in my blog article entitled “Digicel finally acquires CLARO Jamaica with conditions – Carlos Slim’s Trojan Horse”.

The fact that the GOJ is also going to be making a Telecom Regulator separate and apart form the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) and update the ageing Telecommunications Act of 2000 also means further regulatory pressure being applied to the Telecoms Providers.

This is in order ensure a fair provision of service in terms of Cross Network Calling Rates and VAS (Value Added Services) such as MNP (Mobile Number Portability) and prevent the formation of monopolies as per my Geezam Blog article entitled “New Telecom Act Coming for Jamaica - Providers surprised with their Own Regulator”.

As details are not forthcoming as to the specifics of the deal, one can thus work with the conclusions drawn in my blog article entitled “Digicel finally acquires CLARO Jamaica with conditions – Carlos Slim’s Trojan Horse”. More on this in a few weeks when the Telecom Providers decide to get the local Jamaican as well as Mexican Media as to the exact details of the transaction, sure to be of interest to Finance as well as Engineering people.

Sharp develops world's thinnest 12.1 Megapixel Camera - Apple iPhone 5 and Apple iPad 3 in Sharp's focus

Sharp is a little more famous in my mind as the makers of the hardware for Microsoft's attempt at a Social Networking smartphone, the Microsoft Kin 1 and Kin II as chronicled in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Microsoft Kin, one of the Comeback Kids - Design is Everything”. In the end Google Android resurrected the original Sidekick from Danger, a company which Microsoft had acquired as per my blog article entitled “T-Mobile SideKick’s rides the Bobsled Lazarus Effect - Logan's Run”.

The recent spat between Apple and Samsung over copyright infringement in both smartphone and Tablet designs, with Apple looking basically to destroy their one time armourer in these very lucrative markets as opined in my blog article entitled “Apple blocks Samsung Galaxy Tab in EU - Dancehall Hero's Revenge of the Sith” means that alliances are possibly shifting already, as Business is Business.

Enter Sharp and their recent innovation of a soon-to-be-commercially-available 12.1 Megapixel ultra slim camera designed specifically for smartphones and tablets as stated in the article “Sharp develops world's thinnest 12.1 MP CMOS camera”, published DECEMBER 1, 2011 by Molly McHugh, DigitalTrends. Note I said “soon-to-be-commercially-available”: this camera tech is already slated for tech implantation coming out in the first Quarter of 2012AD, with one hundred thousand (100,000) units planned for January 2012AD alone.

So this is no Science Show-and-Tell atypical of Japanese Tech companies people – this is a real ready-to-use product! The RJ63YC100, its official name according to Sharp's Press Release on their product has the following specs:

  • Dimensions of 11x11x5.47 millimeters
  • Packs image-stabilization
  • A backlit sensor
  • Standard AF (Auto-Focus)
  • Full 1080p HD video capture.
Thus a possibility exists that the Apple iPhone 5 and the Apple iPad 3 may be BOTH packing a 12Megapixel Rear facing camera from Sharp sometime in the near future, as Quad Core is now de riguer in the Tablet World thanks to the Asus Eee Transformer Prime, a gaming-ready Tablet which sports the Tegra 3 Quad Core processor, previously codenamed “Kal-el” as per my blog article entitled “Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime to debut on November 9 2011AD - Nvidia Kal-El invites Apple iPad to Game On”.

This as with the Amazon Kindle Fire now sporting pricing as an innovation as per the analysis in my Geezam blog article “Kindle Fire vs Nook Color & Apple iPad 2 - Despite the Specs the Price is Still Right”, Apple will be facing a very stiff battle, both Legal as well as design-wise in the still nascent Tablet Market to distinguish themselves for the competition.

Improved photography, especially for the Flickr-lovin' Apple aficionados as per their thumbs up for the Apple iPhone 4 as chronicled in the article “Apple iPhone 4 to become most used camera on Flickr”, By DigitalTrends is a quick low hanging fruit for Apple.

Apple can take advantage of this latest innovation from Sharp via a partnership with same, seeing as they may be in talks to develop the much fabled Apple Television set as per the article “Rumour:Apple taps Sharp to develope iTV”, by DigitalTrends.

Personally for me, an Apple iPhone 5 with the specs as laid out in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Apple iPhone 4S Post Mortem – Siri Voice Assistant and iMessage Rock” and my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone 4S is a hit and the Apple iPod may get an upgrade - Steve Jobs Opus Major” would be great.

Any smartphone or Tablet with a battery life of least one week on a full charge with continuous usage would result in many a person beating a path to Apple's door. This too is another low hanging fruit which Apple can use to distinguish itself from the crowd as per my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone 5 and its Design - Of Gods, Critics, Lemmings, Sheep and Men”.

Something for Apple to ponder as the London Olympics 2012AD slated for July 27th 2012AD looms large on the calendar.

Amazon Kindle Fire is now No. 2 behind the Apple iPad 2 - Deathrace to London Olympics 2012AD

The Apple iPad 2 finally has some real competition. This as the Amazon Kindle Fire, just now only launched September 28th 2011AD, a good two (2) months prior, is now ranging up behind the Apple iPad 2, just now visible in Apple CEO Tim Cook's rear-view mirror.

Six million (6,000,000) Amazon Kindle Fire-sides strong projected for the Fourth Quarter of 2011AD compared to fifteen million (15,000,000) for the Apple iPad 2 as per the analysis of DisplaySearch in the article “Amazon Kindle Fire shipments upped to 6 million in quarter”, published November 18, 2011 4:09 PM PST by Brooke Crothers, CNET News.

Interstingly, this is a conservative estimate on the part of the analyst Displaysearch: those numbers, which are mre projections, may increase further during the busy Christmas 2011AD shoping period for BOTH rivals.

The words of Rhoda Alexander, IHS senior manager of tablet and monitor research in the article Amazon Kindle Fire set to take second in 2011 tablet race, published DECEMBER 2, 2011 BY ANDREW COUTS, DigitalTrends are particularly encouraging fortelling of the Amazon Kindle Fire's potential, quote: “Nearly two years after Apple Inc. rolled out the iPad, a competitor has finally developed an alternative which looks like it might have enough of Apple's secret sauce to succeed”.

To put this in perspective, this makes the Amazon Tablet with is lacklustre specs when compared to the Apple iPad No. 2 oin the Tablet market after only two (2) months, as per the musings of Rob Enderle of DigitalTrends in his opinion piece entited The Goldilocks Tablet: Why Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire is 'just right', published DECEMBER 3, 2011 BY ROB ENDERLE, DigitalTrends.

Suddenly the strange little company that prides itself on being  EMC3 – Earth’s Most Customer Centric Company and bending over backwards with its near stellar customer service doesn't look lie such an ugly duckling anymore. This in a pond dominated mainly by tech-centric companies that sport Tablets with specs galore but no compelling reason to buy what are effectively over-sized touch screen slate computers.

Amazon CEO Jeff  Bezos is definitely not holding back any punches either. Amazon is taking a hit of nearly US$2.70 per Tablet with its price of US$199 just to break into the market against the Apple iPad, as per the analysis of IHS iSuppli as in the article  Amazon takes a slight loss on each Kindle Fire, study says”, published November 18, 2011 6:15 AM PST by Roger Cheng, CNET News.

A to Z just about begins to describe Amazon's strategy as they may even allow for Grocery shopping from the Amazon Kindle Fire, a concept replicable in Jamaica as opined in my blog article entitled “Amazon intros Grocery shopping via their Kindle Fire - Movado Duh Road from the Couch”.

So at US$199, the price is indeed right, an earlier conclusion of mine in my Geezam blog article entitledAmazon lights a Kindle Fire as a Gladiator worthy of the Apple iPad” and “Kindle Fire vs Nook Color and Apple iPad 2 – Despite the Specs the Price is Still Right".

That grocery shopping bit may have some credence on the ground as well. Analyst Parkes Associates in the article “Kindle Fire getting shoppers hotter than iPad?”, published November 22, 2011 5:08 PM PST By Eric Mack, CNET News suggest that the Amazon Kindle Fire has its support split along an age divide among two thousand (2000) households interviewed as follows:

  • Generation X [ages 28 to 45] age prefer the Amazon Kindle Fire  over the Apple iPad
  • Affluent buyers are mainly going after the Apple iPad (like really?)
  • 51% favored the Amazon Kindle Fire over the Apple iPad
  • 62% of shoppers are most likely to purchase the Apple iPad
  • 38% of shoppers are most likely to purchase the Amazon Kindle Fire, placing them firmly in the No. 2 spot

Analyst ChangeWave brings in the noise, BackStreet Boys style in the article After iPad, Kindle Fire most desired Tablet, study finds”, published November 21, 2011 5:38 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News , with similar very compelling statistics that suggest the same future turnaround trend in the Tablet market:

  • 62% of future shoppers plan to buy an Apple iPad
  • 22% of future shoppers plan to buy an Amazon Kindle Fire

So not only is the Christmas looking bright for fans of Amazon but you pets have something to look forward too as well. This as Couch Shopping for yourself or your pets thanks to Amazon's September 2010AD  US$550 million acquisition of Quidsi, owners of websites, and and the launch of efficient robot-operated appropriately named as per my blog article entitledAmazon's Social Network for Pets - Quidsi in the Flight of the Navigatoris very much possible via the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Amazon's Strategy of tailoring Google Android to suite their online Retail business instead of a generic regurgitation of the Android interface is working and is an admirable concept other Tablet makers can emulate. Specs is not all in a Tablet; it has to have some practical use other than just streaming movies, reading books and playing games.

Tablet makers partnering with Amazon's competing online retailers to offer deep discounts off their Tablets' prices in order to drive sales seems a great point of reference to start.

Especially in light of the misfortune now visited upon RIM, now losing sales on discounted and unsold RIM PlayBook Tablets as per the article “RIM loses half a billion dollars due to unsold and discountedPlayBooks”, published DECEMBER 2, 2011 BY JEFFREY VAN CAMP, DigitalTrends.

Motorola Xoom also fell prey to the same fate in early 2011AD with a dearth of advertising and marketing that was severely out of sync with the Engineering that went into making the product as note in my Geezam blog article entitled “Motorola Xoom - 101 on How to Beat the Apple iPad”.

So Google Android Tablet makers beware!

Curated tailored versions of Google Android married with a online shopping experience seems definitely to be a formula that both Apple and Amazon are using to their advantage. It makes the other Tablet makers appear to just be taking advantage of the furore over these otherwise successful Tablets to sell their own copycat versions with nothing to offer save for great specs and ports missing from the above famous competition.

Suddenly the London 2012 Olympics slate for a July 27th 2012AD show-stopping launch typical of the British seems like a mere sideshow to the looming face-off between Apple and Amazon. The coming of Christ, as Apple and Amazon appear to be, is now locked in a DeathRace to the finish, each with their own compelling online storefront experiences to entice costumers in a race to the Finish Line.

But what of reports of an Amazon smartphone as per the article “Will Amazon produce a Kindle phone?”, published  October 20, 2011 3:42 PM PDT by David Carnoy, CNET News? Another blog article is in the works as soon as definitive word surfaces of its existence.

In the mean time Apple and Amazon.....Live Long and Prosper.