My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: July 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

T-Mobile SideKick’s rides the Bobsled Lazarus Effect - Logan's Run

The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of Death.

Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, III, 1

The Microsoft Kin and the T-Mobile SideKick are inextricably intertwined. This is as the Microsoft Kin is a descendant of the T-Mobile SideKick, probably the first phone to feature a Cloud Based service.

The phone, made by Danger, was a revolution which was killed by Data Server failure in 2008. This in much the same way that the failure of Amazon’s Data Center as stated in the articleAmazon failure takes down sites across the Internet”, published Friday April 22, 2011 9:26 am ET by PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo News and the article “Amazon restoring AWS, but slowly for some”, published April 22, 2011 12:12 PM PDT by Stephen Shankland, CNET News - Deep Tech is resulting in the company, better known for books, taking a serious hit in terms of the reliability of its service and commitment to the five 9’s i.e. 99.999% uptime.

This, Dear Reader, was long before Google Chrome OS, the Cloud based OS on Google soon-to-be-launched NC (Networking Computer) based smartbooks as stated in the article Google offers a peek at its Chrome Laptop. Hint: It's an NC”, published Tuesday December 7, 2010AD 9:50 pm ET by Robert McMillan, Yahoo News.

Aptly called Cr-48, the name being the sum of protons and neutrons in the element Chromium (Cr), it is made by Acer and Samsung for the Laptop Hardware and Intel for the Processor as stated in the article “Google's Chromes updates: Browser, Web Store and Notebook OS will redefine ‘Cloud Computing’”, published December 7, 2010AD, 1:02pm PST by Sam Diaz, Between the Lines, ZDNet

Google Chrome OS and the associated Cr-48 smartbooks as stated in my blog article entitled “Google Chrome OS and Open Source - Star Wars, a New Hope” is fodder for an article on Cloud Computing.

So back to Microsoft and Danger!

Microsoft purchased the company in 2009AD and attempted to resurrect the SideKick as the Microsoft Kin 1 and Kin 2 in April of 2010AD as stated in the article “Microsoft's Kin: What it is - and isn't”, published April 12, 2010AD 12:44 PM PDT by Ina Fried, CNET News - Beyond Binary.

By June 2010AD it had died again as stated in the article “Microsoft pulls the plug on Kin”, published June 30, 2010AD 1:57 PM PDT by Ina Fried, CNET News - Beyond Binary, only to later be revived as chronicled by my Geezam Blog article entitled “Comeback Kids: Design is Everything” and confirmed by the article “Microsoft Kin phones are revived - sort of - by Verizon”, published Thursday November 18, 2011 11:51 am ET by Ben Patterson, Yahoo News.

Prices for the Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two, now with its hardware that was built by Sharp stripped of its onerous Kin Studio and reduced to mere feature phones, are as follows:

Classic textbook case of the Lazarus Effect, the premise behind the series that I started with my Geezam Blog article entitled “Microsoft Kin, Sony Dash Chrome OS and Google Nexus One - The Comeback Kids”!

So I am rather please to report that the original T-Mobile SideKick has also been revived and rather successfully too, only this time using Google Android as stated in the article “Review: SideKick 4G is a Teenage Dream”, published April 18, 2011, 10:13am PT by Kevin C. Tofel, GigaOM.

Interestingly too, it is now a touch screen deal, so heads up folks, as I rattle off the specs.

The new T-Mobile SideKick sports a 1GHz Samsung CPU and is powered by Google Android 2.2.1 aka Froyo, a disappointment, as I expected that with Google Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread on the Google Nexus S as stated in the article Google mobile head says Nexus One too ambitious”, published Tuesday December 7, 2010AD 12:20 am ET by RACHEL METZ, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo News, it would have followed the standard Google had set.

It 5.6 ounce smartphone with dimensions 4.97″ x 2.42″ x 0.59″ sports a 3.5” touch screen with a resolution of 800×480 pixels and 350MB or internal Memory. Not anything to write home about but it manages to save itself from another early death again by supporting MicroSD Cards of up to 32GB in size.


The usual motley crue of smartphone standards communication protocols, that being Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.1n) and Bluetooth rounds off the specs, with GPS and accelerometer pushing this device firmly into the smartphone category

Its 3 Megapixel VGA (Video Graphics Array) camera leaves much to be desired, but its ok for basic point and shoot. The inclusion of a front facing camera is a nice added touch, however, as since it’s packing that much speed from Telecom Provider T-Mobile 4G Network Video Calling!

Obviously from the processor, the T-Mobile SideKick is based on hardware from the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone and supports Telecom Provider T-Mobile’s 4G Data Network, which is actually 30MBps capable HSDPA+ as stated in the article “ITU blesses U.S Data Networks as 4G”, published December 20, 2010AD 3:12 PM PST by Kent German, CNET News - Dialed In and my blog article entitled “CLARO, LIME and HSDPA+ - CEO Michelle English, The Maverick.

Its snappy slide out QWERTY keyboard has a dedicated keypad with keys assigned with emoticons and an assignable function key, makes this resurrected Cloud Phone great for SMS (Short Messaging Service) or texting smartphone reminiscent of the original SideKick from Danger.

Teenage Dream indeed!

Interestingly, the US$99 T-Mobile SideKick, which supports Group Texting out of the box, also has another interesting feature that hearkens back to its Danger days: Cloud Texting. This is a Telecom Provider T-Mobile Feature that allows you to send SMS from your mobile device and then pick up the conversation on the Internet, hence the term “Cloud”.

But it is its latest Partnership with Social Networking giant Facebook that makes this Lazarus Effect so exciting to write about. Telecom Provider T-Mobile is a long time supporter of all things Google Android, having carried the first Android phone, the HTC G1 as stated in the article “A former no-Name from Taiwan Builds a Global Brand”, published October 28, 2010AD, 11:20AM EST by Bruce Einhorn, TECHNOLOGY - BusinessWeek that brought fame and fortune for the no-name Taiwanese company.

Telecom Provider T-Mobile, soon to be gobbled whole by Telecom Provider AT&T as stated in my blog article entitled “AT&T buys T-Mobile - Prince of Persia in a Series of Unfortunate Events, is no stranger to innovation. With assistance from Bobsled, an app made by Vivox, a VoIP Platform within Facebook that allows Voice and Video Calling without phone numbers, just your name as stated in the article “Look out Skype! T-Mobile powers Facebook VoIP”, published April 19, 2011, 11:00am by Kevin C. Tofel, GigaOM.

Currently, Telecom Provider T-Mobile now offers the capability of calling friends via Bobsled on the T-Mobile SideKick, but eventually this app will spread to other phones.

This is a dream come true for many, especially technology writer Kevin C. Tofel of GigaOM, as like him, I too have thought it rather archaic to call someone by punching in phone numbers when one could simply use their name.

Facebook is quite ubiquitous and is effectively one’s identity online, so why not use your Facebook Profile name as a point of contact VoIP style? Truly this is not only a Lazarus Effect, but may also qualify for the title of Game changer.

This as if the Vivox-powered app were to be ported to other smartphones on other Networks, thus putting Social Networking competition on Google Voice, which thus far has managed to integrate itself into Voice Mail and International Calling on Telecom Provider T-Mobile phones “Sprint dials up Google Voice for all subscribers”, published March 21, 2011 5:00 AM PDT by Jessica Dolcourt, Dialed In - CNET News and in the article Google voice goes Mainstream with Sprint Integration”, published March 21, 2011, 5:00am PT By Kevin C. Tofel, GigaOM as a counterpoint to Telecom Provider AT&T’s acquisition of Telecom Provider T-Mobile.

The Telecom Provider T-Mobile SideKick is obviously revived, demonstrating Open source software to revive even old brands as opposed to just old hardware. But what of the fortunes of the Vivox powered-Bobsled app and Social Networking VoIP Calling on smartphones in world increasingly going SMS?

Stay tuned for a future follow-up on what is now effectively a Logan's Run (1976) of Cloud Texting…….

ATL Automotive to benefit from Low-Sulphur Diesel in 12 Months Time

And who are the greater criminals – those who sell the instruments of death, or those who buy and use them?

Robert E. Sherwood, Idiot’s Delight

The following stale news brought to you, dear reader, via this blog should bring a smile of satisfaction to the father and son duo of Gordon and Adam Stewart of Sandals Resorts International and ATL Automotive in Chairman and CEO capacity respectively.

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Heck, Adam Stewart, who is also CEO of Sandals Resorts International since 2006 as stated in Gordon “Dutch” Stewart own newspaper, The Jamaica Observer in an article entitled “'Butch' Stewart names 25 year-old son CEO of Sandals Resorts”, published Sunday, November 12, 2006 by Desmond Allen, The Jamaica Observer also has his own blog, Talk To Adam Stewart! Flashy stuff!

But on to the News!

This as they have apparently scored a coupe in Automotive Sector in terms of a promise made by the former Minister of Industry and Commerce, Senator Karl Samuda to have the Sulphur content in Diesel Fuel lowered from 5000ppm to between 10ppm to 15ppm as stated in the article “CLEANER DIESEL - Oil Refinery Boss Says Upgraded Fuel In Next 12 Months”, published Sunday July 31, 2011,by Brian Bonitto, Special Assignment Editor, The Jamaica Gleaner.

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This promise had been made in November 2011AD some seven (7) months prior as stated in the article “Government moving to improve motor fuel quality - Samuda”, published Sunday, November 28, 2010, by MARK CUMMINGS, The Jamaica Observer.

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Now with this new announcement by PetroJam Managing Director, Winston Watson, under the new Minister of Industry and Commerce, Senator Dr. Christopher Tufton made the announcement at the weekly Rotary Club Meeting held on Wednesday July 27 2011AD, makes this a reality, quote: “We're looking to develop a Low-Sulphur fuel into the market in the next 12 months or so. For the last several years, we have been working with the government on a refinery upgrade programme that will allow us to introduce the fuel to Jamaica.”

Simply put, this announcement means that those Low-Sulphur Vehicles that ATL Automotive CEO Adam Stewart had an inkling to import can now be put into their plans – now, as (12) months from now is the July in the Summer of 2012AD, just in time for London Olympics 2012 in July 27th 2012AD!

To quote the ATL Automotive CEO Adam Stewart back then in November 2011AD in the article “Government moving to improve motor fuel quality - Samuda”, published Sunday, November 28, 2010, by MARK CUMMINGS, The Jamaica Observer: “Clean fuel is the beginning (to protect the environment), getting access to the latest technology is (also) the beginning, but without bringing the duties down so that people in Jamaica can afford these cars under an environmental initiative, the problem will get worse”.

Curiously the father, Sandals Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart, at the time was more blunt in his Government of Jamaica directed comments, quote: “It is good to know that the Government recognizes the problem with the fuel. When it comes to the fuel, it is penny-wise and pound foolish because we are buying fuel that is going to destroy the engines and it really costs just a little more to buy the proper fuel.”

This time around, it was President of the JGRA (Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association) Trevor Heaven who had blunts words to say, criticizing this time how PetroJam proposed to achieve this transition to Low-Sulphur Fuel, quote: “They (the government) should take the bull by the horn and do it in one shot. It would be a total waste of time to have to install different tanks and pumps for this low-sulphur fuel.”

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Despite these arguments, Diesel is still a Fossil Fuel. It still pollutes the environment despite the fact that it will have less Sulphur. The focus should be on reducing all Import Duty to 0% in exchange for New Vehicle Importers importing Flex-Fuel and All-Electric Vehicles. Not only that, the Government of Jamaica should encourage FDI (Foreign Direct Investors) and Local Investors to get licenses to enter and develop the Bio-Fuel Industry.

This in a bid to wean Jamaica off our dependence on Imported Fossil Fuels long term as stated in my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and Diesel Sulphur Content - Casino Royale”.

Low-Sulphur Diesel makes ATL Automotive CEO Adam Stewart more money from selling Diesel-powered European Vehicles, quote: “This is not about money. This is not about debt, it is about the environment. Clean fuel is the beginning [of the process].You cannot go to Europe and buy [Vehicles with] the latest technology. They would not operate efficiently in Jamaica”.

Vehicles such as:

  1. Audi
  2. Volkswagen
  3. Honda
  4. Jaguar
  5. Range Rover
  6. Land Rover
President of the JUCDA (Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association) Lynvalle Hamilton also greeted the coming of the Low-Sulphur diesel with elation, quote: “I know a number of members [of JUCDA] who have imported Vehicles and the diesel fuel currently available has damaged their engines. Cleaner diesel fuel would, therefore, allow the used-car dealers to import a wider range of Vehicles and that would be beneficial to our industry.”

But a glimmer of hope and hence the reason for this blog post, is the fact that the new Minister of Industry and Commerce, Senator Dr. Christopher Tufton, is sticking to the previous Ministry guidelines set in place as it relates to the age limit of imported Vehicles. This means that only Vehicles that are less than five (5) years old can be imported.

This reduces the problem of vehicle dumping in Jamaica, a Developing World country, by more Developed World countries like the US, the EU and Japan, the Far East being where most of our Auto Imports originate. It also has the double whammie effect of forcing the New Vehicle Importers in Jamaica to import more fuel efficient Vehicles.

Like All-Electric Vehicles such as the 2011 Nissan Leaf and the 2011 Chevy Volt, which the Japanese are set to start throwing our way come 2015AD as stated in my blog article entitled “All-Electric Vehicles and Jamaica - Downfall”!

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My blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and Range Extender Technology - Jamaica to Rhaatid” rounds off why Flex-Fuel, All-Electric Vehicles and specifically Range Extender Technology Vehicles with a lowered or 0% Import Duty will boost the sales of these brand new less-than-five-year-old Vehicles. Once we get some DJ’s and Media Personalities like Former Miss Universe 2010 Yendi Phillips to drive one.

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The 2011 Chevy Volt is a more likely fit for Jamaica, being as it is uses Range Extender Technology as I have opined in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Lithium-Ion Batteries and Electric Vehicles – Alternatives as 2012 Supply Crunch Nears” and my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and Jamaican Policies on Vehicle Importation - Gattaca”.

Already it has begun, with research at the University of The West Indies, Cave Hill Campus signaling that Bio-Fuel Research may be gearing for a major announcement soon of a Bio-Fuel License arrangement for FDI’s and Local Investors as stated in the article “UWI gets funding for biofuel research”, published Wednesday, July 13, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

That and the fact that All-Electric Vehicles, which are now all the rage in the US of A, will be the next big thing in Jamaica, not Diesel Vehicles, as demand for such fuel-inefficient Vehicles does not really exist, merely being a temporary salve for the JGRA desire to sell Fossil Fuels as stated in my blog article entitled “All-Electric Vehicles and Jamaica - Downfall”.

Not to mention the impending shortage of Spare Parts for Used Vehicles, which should already be forcing many JUCDA members to consider going into selling New Vehicles as stated in the article Spare Parts shortage hits used-car Trade”, published Friday October 22 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

Even LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) as stated in my blog article entitled “LPG and the Challenger Transport Co Ltd - A Cheaper Fuel” or Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles in a Hydrogen Economy is preferable to an increased dependence on Fossil Fuels in Jamaica as stated in my blog article entitled “Alternative Energy and Diesel Sulphur Content - Casino Royale”.

Hopefully with considerations for the above coming flood of All-Electric Vehicles and Flex-fuel Vehicles, ATL Automotive CEO Adam Stewart has it in mind to import All-Electric Vehicles and Flex-fuel Vehicles.

This as the charging of these Vehicles would force JPS Co (Jamaica Public Service Company) to have upgrade their Distribution Networks as was the case in the US of A as stated in the article “Utilities thrilled and worried about electric cars”, published November Tuesday 23 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

Not only that ATL Automotive can generate revenue in terms of the servicing of Lithium-Ion Batteries and the installation of Solar powered All-Electric Vehicle recharging Stations as stated in the article “Honda debuts Solar-powered charging station”, posted December 22, 2010 by Jamaipanese.

This as there is an impending Lithium Supply Crunch in 2012AD which will affect the All-Electric Vehicle Market as chronicled in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Chinese Crisis in Rare Earth Metals – Afghanistan is Silicon Valley’s Savior” and my blog article entitled  “Lithium-Ion vs Hydrogen Fuel Cell - The Living Daylights”.

A necessary switch from Fossil Fuels like Diesel to Bio-Fuels are part of Jamaica’s essential Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) by Peak Oil in 2015AD!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Telecom Providers get their own Regulator - GOJ says Telecoms For Your Eyes Only

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety: other women cloy
The appetites they feed; but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies

Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, II, 2

In my last blog article entitled “FLOW goes 3D HDTV as Netflix cometh - XFinity follow-on indicates Streaming's Deep ImpactI mentioned that Triple Play Provider FLOW was going 3D HDTV as well as launching a slew of products by the First Quarter of 2012AD. This announcement coincides with Triple Play Provider FLOW’s Fifth Anniversary of operating in Jamaica since 2006AD.

But an even bigger announcement was made during Triple Play Provider FLOW’s Fifth Anniversary celebrations (where exactly?) by the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding. He announced plans to have a separate Regulatory Body for Jamaican Telecoms Providers, removing it from under the ambit of the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) as stated in the article “OUR to spin off telecoms division- Big 2 backs plan for single regulator”, published Sunday July 24 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The operations of Triple Play Provider FLOW mainly fall under the Broadcasting Commission, being as they have an All-Island Cable License. After five (5) years of operating in Jamaica, Triple Play Provider FLOW still has to ask for an extension for its islandwide build-out plan to the year 2015AD as stated in the article Flow Ja needs five more years to complete triple-play network”, published Sunday March 20, 2011, Mark Titus, Business Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Triple Play Provider FLOW Telecoms arm is Voice Telephony and Data Services, both Residential and Business offered under their Commercial and Wholesale arms, FLOW Jamaica and  Columbus Communications. Effectively, Triple Play Provider FLOW is really a Digital cable company, powered by the DOCSIS 2.0 (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) protocol that offers Telecom Services as a VAS (Value Added Service).

Pure Telecom Providers, such as Wireless Voice and Data Providers in the form of Telecoms Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel, the Big two (2) Telecoms Providers in the local Telecom Landscape, fall under the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation). But the new Telecommunications Act and Regulator are very necessary.

To quote the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding: “Even though it is a statute of relative vintage, we found that it had already become obsolete and in fact was impeding many of the new areas of competition that did not exist at the time when the legislative work was being done”.

This upgrading of the Telecommunications Act of 2000 was no surprise, as noted by Telecom Provider LIME, quote: “The current framework has in several ways not met the needs of the changing dynamic of the Industry, including the regulation of the company which has become dominant, and the removal of regulation of LIME in the markets in which we are no longer dominant”.

But it was the announcement of the Telecoms Regulator, specific to the Telecoms Providers ONLY, that may have caught members attending the Triple Play Provider FLOW’s Fifth Anniversary Dinner by surprise, like a splash of cold water across their face of a sleeping man.

The words of Regulatory and Legal Manager at Digicel, Richard Fraser should be made into a tagline, quote: “We haven’t been approached, but we would be broadly supportive since preserving competition in the Telecom Market is important. The Water and Power Markets in Jamaica are by their nature very different”

This comment indicates how in the dark the Telecoms Providers were as to the Government of Jamaica sudden announcement, as not only were they not consulted. But by his response, Regulatory and Legal Manager at Digicel, Richard Fraser expressed concern with the perception the Government of Jamaica may have with regards to their acquisition of Telecom Provider CLARO and its effect on Telecoms competition in Jamaica

This is in much the same way it is with our neighbours to the North, the US of A, which has the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), in effect upgrading the current Telecommunications Act of 2000 in this the Second Decade of the 21st Century to include (hopefully!):

  1. Telecoms Technicians and Telecoms Engineer Certification specific to Telecoms i.e. incorporating elements of IT
  2. Data and Voice Service standards e.g. ISO9001 Certification and guarantees of 99.999% uptime and availability
  3. Data Center standards
  4. Anti-competitive behaviour as it relates to IPTV Services
  5. Voice and Telecoms services such as Broadband as a Right and Privilege for All Jamaicans (going out on a very shaky limb here!)
  6. Copyright Protection and stronger Anti-piracy Legislation to enforce protection for Intellectual Property
  7. Legislation against trespassing on the Works of a Telecom Provider, inclusive of Modems
Apparently, it does bite that rival Telecom Provider Digicel has achieved 25% of Broadband Market share in less than nine (9) months as stated in my blog article entitled “Digicel and WiMax 4G Mobile - Back to the Future as NetFlix Expands”! Beaten in Voice Services and now apparently in Data Services as well in less than nine (9) months!

The recent announcement by Triple Play Provider FLOW of its launch of four (4) separate Services, namely 3D HDTV, 300Mbps Broadband Internet, TV-Anywhere Concept and Cloud-Based Video Services as stated in my blog article entitled “FLOW goes 3D HDTV as Netflix cometh - XFinity follow-on indicates Streaming's Deep Impactmeans that the Telecom Providers need to have this modern Regulatory Platform.

This as even President and CEO of Triple Play Provider FLOW, Michelle “Dallas” English, points out that the ICT Sector is poised for Growth while in the same breath mentioning the above four (4) new products as stated in the article “Positive outlook for ICT growth in Jamaica - Flow”, published Sunday July 24 2011, The Jamaica Observer. This will now be possible as the Government of Jamaica has said that the new Telecoms Regulator is For Your Eyes Only (1981).

Stay tuned for more as this story develops! 

FLOW goes 3D HDTV as Netflix cometh - XFinity follow-on indicates Streaming's Deep Impact

I’ll make the glorious by my pen
And famous by my sword.

Marquis of Montrose, My Dear and Only Love

Looks like the effect of Netflix on the Telecommunications environment as predicted in my last article entitled “Digicel and WiMax 4G Mobile - Back to the Future as NetFlix Expands” is not restricted to just Telecom Provider Digicel and their Caribbean 4G ambitions alone. This as Triple Play Provider FLOW has the most to lose with the coming of Netflix to the Caribbean on this their Fifth Anniversary as stated in the article “VIDEO: Flow celebrates fifth anniversary in Jamaica: Part I”, published Thursday July 21st 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

This as Triple Play Provider FLOW has now decided to go into the realm of 3D-HDTV channel packages as stated in the article “Flow Ja to launch four new products”, published Sunday July 24 2011, The Jamaica Gleaner, ostensibly in anticipation of the coming London Olympics 2012 in July 27th 2012AD, which is now exactly one (1) year away.

This 3D is great for viewing sporting events and is part of a slew of four (4) new product offerings from the Triple Play Provider FLOW expected to debut in the Fourth Quarter of 2012AD, namely:

  1. 300Mbps Broadband Internet speeds
  2. 3D HDTV Cable TV packages made possible by this speed increase
  3. A TV-Anywhere Concept, allowing Customers to watch Triple Play Provider FLOW on any device similar to Triple Play Provider Comcast XFinity 1GBps product as stated in my blog article entitled “ComCast and 1Gbps Project Xfinity - Starship Troopers in Cable's Battle Los Angeles
  4. Cloud-Based Video Services, similar to those soon to be offered by Telecom Provider Digicel as suggested in my blog article entitled “Digicel Cloud Backup Service and future Cloud-Based Services - V.S Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas” and my Geezam blog article entitled “Digicel’s Cloud Backup Services – A deep Analysis”. 
Triple Play Provider FLOW going 3D HDTV comes as no surprise to me, as I had previously predicted they would have to go 3D HDTV as a similar problem had beset the Movie Theatre Business, albeit due to DVD and Blu-Ray Piracy in as stated in my blog article entitledPalace Amusement and the 3D Movies - Lady Gaga's 3D Mui Mui and Dolche & Gabbana”. 

This as Triple Play Provider FLOW’s launch of HDTV Cable bundles as stated in the article “More HD channels form FLOW”, published Sunday, April 10, 2011, The Jamaica Observer was obviously having no effect  four (4) months on.

The evidence?

Triple Play Provider FLOW since as early as June 2011AD have been continuously advertising their Cable Packages on Television Jamaica and CVM TV, as apparently everyone is now aware of the coming of Netflix as stated in my blog article entitled “Netflix coming to Latin America - Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer”.

Triple Play Provider FLOW Cable packages would be rendered useless, being as Triple Play Provider FLOW’s uses a Latin American feed, which is usually several weeks or even months behind that of its North American counterparty in terms of program content.

Netflix would literally come and collect, being as Netflix’s US$7.99 thirty (30) day unlimited subscription model is expected to grace Latin America and the Caribbean in the Fourth Quarter of 2011AD with their IPTV licensed presence courtesy of the Broadcasting Commission as stated in my blog article entitled “Netflix coming to Latin America - Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer”.

If this proves to be true, it would render Triple Play Provider FLOW susceptible to the phenomenon of cord-cutting as evidence in the article “Survey of viewers shows extent of TV time shifting”, published Tuesday August 17 2010, 6:53 am ET By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer, Yahoo New and as my blog article entitled “FLOW, IPTV and the coming of Net2Vu - Johnny Mnemonic” suggests.

Customers with Internet enabled TV’s or IPTV set top boxes such as the Boxee Box, the Roku Box or the Apple iTV in North America can easily get Triple Play Provider FLOW High Speed Broadband Internet ONLY instead of those expensive Cable packages they hardly watch. Such customers would just stream and watch the latest programming on Netflix as stated in my blog article entitled “Netflix & the Death of Blu-Ray - Rise of the Machines meets Chicken Run”.

This has been Netflix’s intention for some time as stated in the article “Netflix expects video Streaming to drown out DVD Discs'”, published Wednesday, November 24, 2010, The Jamaica Observer as evident from their raising of the price of mail delivered DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s: encourage people to stream, as the distribution of DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s and licensing of programming is expensive, with streaming yielding significant savings in terms of Netflix’s operations long term.

The statistics presented in my blog article entitled “Netflix & the Death of Blu-Ray - Rise of the Machines meets Chicken Run” paints a stark picture for North America:

  1. As of the end of the Fourth Quarter of 2009AD, 84% of the US market is Cable TV and Triple Play Provider’s
  2. As of the end of the Fourth Quarter of 2009AD, Netflix had two million four hundred thousand (2,400,000) paying customers
  3. Netflix added another six million four hundred thousand (6,400,000) subscribers by the Fourth Quarter of 2010AD
  4. Netflix is now the 3rd Largest Cable Provider in the market with eighteen million three hundred thousand (18,300,000) subscribers
  5. Triple Play Provider Comcast and Satellite TV Provider DirecTV are 1st and 2nd respectively

Triple Play Provider Comcast in the USA, who can already smell their own blood in the water, has launched a 1Gbps Broadband Internet Service named XFinity as stated in my blog article entitled “ComCast and 1Gbps Project Xfinity - Starship Troopers in Cable's Battle Los Angeles”, very impressive speeds for a Cable Provider, given the fact their service is delivered over Copper Coaxial Cables.

Thus Triple Play Provider FLOW impromptu announcement of these four (4) services, ostensibly by the First Quarter of 2012 is basically a follow-on, West Indies Cricket style, of the precautionary Fourth Quarter of 2011AD launch of XFinity by Triple Play Provider Comcast.

Truly, this may be the first sign of the Deep Impact (1998) of Streaming and the first unconfirmed signs of cord cutting in Jamaica, Triple Play Provider FLOW  ELE (Extinction Level Event)!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Digicel and WiMax 4G Mobile - Back to the Future as NetFlix Expands

I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.

Albert Einstein, Interview December 1930

In August 2010AD, approximately nine (9) months ago, Telecom Provider Digicel launched their Broadband 4G Mobile Service based on WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d, e), a launch in anticipation of which I wrote a speculative article on Wednesday May 12th 2010AD entitled “Digicel and the up and coming WiMax launch - blowing in the wind”.

Back then in 2010AD, I had suspected Telecom Provider Digicel EDGE Modem Dongle was a precursor to the coming of their WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d, e) Network as stated in my follow up article on Friday June 11th 2010AD entitled “Digicel EDGE Modem - Report on the testrun for Digicel Broadband”.

A brief History and expectation article followed on Wednesday June 29th 2010, confirming the launch month as being August 2010 as stated in my blog article entitled “Digicel and WiMaX - Great Expectations Part 1”. My blog article entitled “Digicel and WiMax - Mars Attack” followed up with more details

The much touted superfast Broadband Network was met with much expectation by many with 10MBps downloading and streaming. Telecom Provider Digicel has now hit a milestone, with 25% of the Wireless Broadband Market achieved in less than nine (9) months as stated in the article “Digicel captures 25 per cent of the Ja broadband market in less than a year”, published Friday, July 15, 2011 BY AL EDWARDS, The Jamaica Observer.

Looks like I was right on the money about the EDGE Modem Dongle being a test run for 4G Modem Dongles, as they did later go on to launch with a combination of CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) and Modem Dongles!

Digicel's Director of 4G Broadband James McElvanna spoke of their market success, quote: “We are seeing that Jamaicans are very data hungry. Our statistics are showing that Jamaicans are downloading on average 12 gigabytes a month. Now when you compare that with Clearwire who are one of the largest mobile wireless operators in the US, their subscribers are downloading about 7 gigabytes per month. You can therefore see there is an appetite for broadband in this country and that is why we will continue to see the growth.”

Telecom Provider Digicel’s success has been partly due to the fact that despite the competition from Dekal Wireles, their offer of unlimited downloading has won over many customers. To quote Digicel CEO Mark Linehan: “The base is growing every day and it is being bolstered by both corporate and residential customers. In April Mona School of Business did a survey that put Digicel 4G at 22 per cent of the market. Three months on that has moved to 25 per cent. The more savvy the customer becomes with data, whether it be downloading movies or surfing YouTube, their appetite becomes stronger and we have to meet their requirements hence the expansion of the network”.

Their competition still remains to show itself as I had anticipated in flush of blog articles in August 2010AD criticizing their lack of handsets with WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d, e) and the fact that any handsets coming have Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) support, giving Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks Dekal Wireless a leg up in terms of prices and services:

  1. Digicel and Wimax 4G Mobile - the Great Australian Outback
  2. Digicel and WiMax 4G Mobile - The remains of the Day
  3. Digicel and WiMax 4G Mobile - The Three Musketeers
  4. Digicel and Wimax 4G Mobile - Gorillas in the Mist
  5. Digicel and WiMax 4G Mobile - The Phantom Menace
  6. Digicel and WiMax 4G Mobile - The Enemy of my Enemy is my friend 
These traffic increases are most likely heavy streaming and downloading, mainly of Digital Music and Video. Unlimited downloading may be used for mainly movies and burning CD’s and DVD’s, in effect suggesting Telecom Provider Digicel may be fostering Digital Music and Video piracy, despite their Customer Contract as stated in my blog article entitled “LTE vs WiMax 4G - Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors”.

Telecom Provider Digicel, like Telecom Provider LIME, also has plans to expand their 4G footprint with a launch of a HSDPA+ Release 7 Network into the wider Caribbean to catch US and EU tourists eager to visit yet stay connected as stated in my blog article entitled “Of ATC Strikes and Digicel 3G+ Upgrades - Pushing Tin in Eerie, Indiana” and the article “LIME and American Tourist Data Avalanche - The US$80 Million Dollar CannonBall Run”.

Their foray into Cloud Backup Services, expected to mature into other Cloud Based Services come this Fourth Quarter of 2011AD, is hotly being anticipated by a few SME’s willing to save on the cost of hosting their own Servers as suggested in my blog article entitled “Digicel Cloud Backup Service and future Cloud-Based Services - V.S Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas” and my Geezam blog article entitled “Digicel’s Cloud Backup Services – A deep Analysis”.

Netflix, a Cloud-based streaming service, is slated to set up shop in the Caribbean quite soon as my blog article entitled “Netflix coming to Latin America - Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer” suggests and may take advantage of Telecom Provider Digicel Cloud backup Services.

A cruel irony, as Netflix and Net2Vu may be using Telecom Provider Digicel and even Triple Play Provider FLOW’s Cloud-Based Service to run their business in the Caribbean to compete against them, especially Triple Play Provider FLOW Digital cable offerings as suggested in my blog article entitled “FLOW, IPTV and the coming of Net2Vu - Johnny Mnemonic” and “Netflix coming to Latin America - Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer”.

The average downloading figure of 17GB per month definitely set to get higher once Netflix streaming makes its presence felt in Latin American. This includes Jamaica, where the Broadcasting Commission has now begun issuing IPTV Licenses, effectively protection for IPTV streaming companies such as Netflix against:

  1. Throttling by the Wireless and Wired Broadband Services being provided by Jamaican Telecom Providers
  2. Protection of Copyright of Content Providers from other IPTV and Free-to-Air Radio and Television  services illegal streaming/rebroadcasting their content
  3. Illegitimate IPTV Streaming Services that are bound to spring up in the coming competitive environment

Other possible Cloud-Based Services include:

  1. Radio Station and Music Streaming as stated in my Geezam blog article entitled The Music Industry and the Cloud – Streaming Radio Nirvana
  2. MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) as stated in my Geezam blog article entitled “Console Gaming’s Downfall – Future is up in the Clouds” 
Thus it is hoped as Telecom Provider Digicel’s Market share increases, that the other Telecom Providers, namely Telecom Provider LIME and Triple Play Provider FLOW will provide their Broadband Platforms unhindered and unfettered access to these coming IPTV Services such as Netflix. This as the 4G expansion as chronicled in my Geezam blog article entitled “LIME, Digicel and FLOW – Leading the Global 4G Adoption Curve” continues, Back to the Future (1985) Style.