My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: LIME and American Tourist Data Avalanche - The US$80 Million Dollar CannonBall Run

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LIME and American Tourist Data Avalanche - The US$80 Million Dollar CannonBall Run

If winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Shelley, Ode to the West Wind

The launch of the Apple iPhone 4 on Telecom Provider LIME is now hours away. Despite being tired at the end of the day, my anticipation level is very high, despite the lack of lines and possible disinterest from The Young and the Restless (TV Series 1973– ) [Professionals and Brown-skinned uptown People] crowd.

This as the phone Apple iPhone 4, whose design I suggested back in 2003AD during a Redundancy interview with Nurse Gunning at C&W in the Fall of 2003AD is finally coming to C&W Jamaica Ltd, now reincarnated as Telecom Provider LIME as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME and the Apple iPhone 4 - The Young and the Restless Gone in Sixty Seconds”.

Revenge is sweet indeed, as Jamaicans who are faithful to Telecom Provider LIME will finally be able to experience what a REAL smartphone is like. But is Telecom Provider LIME ready for the onslaught of Data, seeing as smartphone adoption will be spurred by the Apple iPhone 4 coming to Telecom Provider LIME 3G Network?

Much as what has happened to Telecom Provider Verizon when the Apple iPhone came to their Network as stated in my blog article entitled “Verizon and the Apple iPhone 4 - The Golden Fleece”?

Most likely Telecom Provider LIME can, as really and truly, they have no choice, based on coming changes in the Telecoms Industry in our closes partner, the US of A.

In fact, the mere fact that the exclusivity deal with America Movil and its sibling Telecom Provider CLARO was broken and reported with so little fanfare, indicates how swiftly the winds of change are sweeping over the Telecoms Industry.

So possibly in another two (2) years from now, smartphone adoption may hit 50% of owners of mobile phones in Jamaica come 2013AD.

With the Apple iPhone’ iOS and other handset makers such as Samsung and Motorola powered by Google Android occupying pole and second place positions in the market respectively as prognosticated in my blog article entitled “Apple + Android beat Nokia + RIM Globally - Regina Beaver's La Dolce Vita”.

Already, The Jamaica Observer is launching an app for its newspaper designed by Software Architects Limited as advertised in the article “Observer launches BlackBerry app”, published Monday, June 13, 2011, The Jamaica Observer, possibly due to a perceived shift in how people consume their news, which is no longer via the newspaper, but via Blackberrys – and other phones which I can safely call smartphones!

With the coming of these Data-hungry phones comes more Data Traffic. Hence the build-out by Telecom Provider LIME of their HSDPA+ Release 7 (High Speed Downlink Packet Access Plus) Network Caribbean wide as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME's US$80 million Caribbean HSDPA+ Release 7 Upgrade - Sonic the Hedgehog”.

This build-out would indicate that Telecom Provider LIME is anticipating more Data Traffic, and like our US counterparts, is not worried about any additional investment in Data Infrastructure being wasted, as asserted by Strategy Analytics in the article “Analyst tells operators to quit whining”, published June 9, 2011, 5:00am PT By Stacey Higginbotham, GigaOM.

In fact the plucky analyst goes on to state that the Telecom Provider can afford it, as at 50% of mobile phone used being smartphone owners, investment in infrastructure would be paid for from the revenue made from the ever increasing demand for streaming Data, quote: “New analysis from the Wireless Operator Strategies service of Strategy Analytics predicts that although the annual global investment required for mobile broadband Network infrastructure will grow from $22 billion in 2011 to $48 billion in 2014, the capex available for mobile Network investment will, in fact, be two to five times that level.”

This as the demand market for these Wireless Broadband Services is in the form of European and US Tourists traveling to the Caribbean. Either traveling with unlocked GSM phones, 3G Modem Dongles or with a portable attocell as pointed out in my blog article entitled “When in Roam (ing) carry a attocell - SnapDragon and The Tourist

Throw in the gradual adoption of smartphones as the economies of the Caribbean nations improve, and combined, it would also explain why even Telecom Provider Digicel is also pushing a HSDPA+ Release 7 and WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d, e) upgrade.

Telecom Provider Digicel announced this on Wednesday May 25th, 2011 on the heels of Telecom Provider LIME announcement on Tuesday May 17th 2011AD, World Telecommunications and Information Society Day.

This transition will mean a few fundamental changes in the way Telecom Provider LIME operates. For one, Telecom Provider LIME will have to put MORE emphasis on Data than Voice as the distinction between Voice and Data is gradually becoming meaningless as stated in the article “It’s Official: Voice Is Worthless”, published February 9, 2011, 2:28pm PT by Stacey Higginbotham, GigaOM.

Especially as Voice only needs 64Kbps as stated in the research paper by Network Equipment Maker Cisco entitled “Voice Over IP - Per Call Bandwidth Consumption” and makes very little money for Telecom Providers when compared to the ever increasing Data Usage. Thus VoLTE (Voice over Long Term Evolution) Networks may be a trend of the Future in the Caribbean as well!

Please note, this too I had long predicted this coming merger of Voice and Data in a theory back when I was a Network Maintenance Technician at C&W (2001 to 2004) aptly called the Dead Zone Theory – over which I was much castigated by Management of C&W, who, like ostriches, feared this future.

This was a Theory in which I predicted SMS (Short Messaging Service) traffic to eventually become more dominant on Telecom Providers in the not too distant future as stated in my blog article entitled “Telecom Providers and SMS - The Dead Zone”.

Effectively, SMS is Data Traffic, as it uses the Messaging Links in the GSM Network and rides atop the 2G Data Services, namely GPRS (Global Packet Radio System) and EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) Networks.

Voice Traffic would become less important, with the Voice Networks ending up being used for M2M (Machine-to-Machine) Traffic as the distinction between Voice and Data becomes meaningless.

This, ironically, is happening on Telecom Provider Verizon which rolled out their VoLTE in the first Quarter of 2011AD as stated in my blog article entitled “Verizon's LTE Network and VoLTE - The Dead Zone meets The Machine Stops”.

Here, too in Jamaica, Telecom Provider CLARO built a 3G Network, with a separate Voice and Data Network. But thanks to my ideas for the Marketing Push based on my research at UWI of the mobile phone usage habits of the University students, Mexicans soon discovered that Jamaicans really desired Data Services.

These ideas were given away in April 2009AD while speaking to a bunch of Shurpower Generator Engineers en route to fix Generators, specifically CLARO OMG and CLARO Universe and an explanation of my previous set of ideas as it relates to Free Calling and Tiered Data Services.

Telecom Provider CLARO’s Voice Network being relegated to merely Free Calling, as Telecom Provider AT&T has discovered as stated in the article “It’s Official: Voice Is Worthless”, published February 9, 2011, 2:28pm PT by Stacey Higginbotham, GigaOM.

Granted, this is in the US market and Jamaica has a lower Computer penetration of 25% and Daily Internet usage of 38% as stated in my Geezam blog article entitled “Jamaica’s Low Net Penetration – Broadband Internet A Universal Right”.

But the coming influx of tourists as the American Economy recovers and more of them opt for vacation in the Caribbean, armed with smartphones, Tablet and Laptops and a thirst for High Speed Wireless Broadband Internet makes these Network upgrades worthwhile.

Plus, the next two (2) years will see growth in the local Caribbean Market, as prognosticated in my blog article entitled “Apple + Android beat Nokia + RIM Globally - Regina Beaver's La Dolce Vita”.

Hopefully, too, Marketing and Engineering within Telecom Provider LIME, the traditionally immiscible oil-and-water combo that are necessary to gain traction in a market, can work a little better this time around. 

Telecom Provider LIME must make more use of statistics analysis of User and Traffic Data from Engineering to come up with better Marketing as it relates to the coming merging of Voice and Data Services as state in the article “In a data driven world, marketing and IT must come together”, published June 8, 2011, 3:04pm PT by Cortney Fielding, GigaOM.

Just ignore the fact that they [Marketing] wear G-string underwear and high-heels and Engineering are not as neatly dressed as you would wish and have a withering view of females and working together can help the Telecom Provider to realize increased profitability.

This as Alternative Energy to power the Electricity-hungry Telecom Provider Data Networks so as to achieve the five 9’s i.e. 99.999% uptime becomes a necessity as stated my blog article entitled “LIME's fortunes after Digicel-CLARO - Master and Commander Garfield Sinclair”.

For truly, Telecom Provider LIME US$80 million upgrade is a The Cannonball Run (1981) in the next eighteen (18) months, culminating in December of 2012AD, just in time for the Winter Tourist season! 

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