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Newsletter - November 9th, 2005
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more about Viodi's Local Content Workshop
Wireless ISP Highlights
by Alan J Weissberger,
1. Mobile Market Takeaways:
- 2B people worldwide use cell phones with
over 775M handsets sold each year
- Global market size is huge: $500B total
market revenues in 2005
- 657 wireless carriers worldwide
- High speed data/video/audio downloads
and streaming are the growth areas
- EVDO from Verizon and SPRINT is being
used in PDAs, notebook PCs, and cell phones
- VoIP over WiFI, via dual mode phones,
is a promising technology going forward
Clearwire, SPRINT, and Tower Stream
are planning WiMAX based fixed broadband wireless networks
in the US starting in 2006. Mobile version of WiMAX (IEEE
82.16e) has promise as both a competitor to 3G data technologies, e.g.
EDVO, and as a 3G overlay in areas where the 3G telco does not have coverage.
WiMAX equipment vendors will have difficulty making money,
due to competition from many players and low costs due to standardized
components. Margin compression will be especially severe on component
manufacturers, who are led by Intel.
3. Municipal WiFi Networks are a reality- even if they
are offered as loss leaders by the vendors.
At least 716 Municipal WiFi projects have
been announced in the US. While Philadelphia is the most prominent, city
of SF is attracting a lot of attention due to the Google bid.
4. Wireless carriers face uncertainties regarding integration
of services and leveraging the spectrum that they own. They have been
consolidating to realize economies of scale and reduce competition, e.g.
Nextel-SPRINT, Cingular-AT&T Wireless, etc.
5. Wireless carrier market trends: carrier consolidation
is just about completed and as a result profit margins are expected to
increase along with a rise in ARPU (Average Revenue Per Unit). However,
total new subscribers added are slowing.
6. SPRINT is currently the leader in wireless mobile data. They
are collecting an average of $7 per month for data/video/audio services
from each cell phone subscriber. SPRINT offers video streaming, video
clips, and satellite radios on their cell phones. They are now also selling
EDVO cards and a nationwide broadband data service (mostly for notebook
PCs), thereby competing with Verizon.
7. Wireless carriers will partner with cable companies
(now providing cable TV, Internet, and cable telephony/VoIP) to offer
quadruple play services. Sprint, T Mobile and Motient are looking for
MSOs to partner with. So wireless voice/data will be added to the existing
triple play cable bundle. RBOCs like SBC, Bell South (Cingular), as well
as Verizon, can already offer quadruple play services on their own.
8. VoIP could be a “leverage point” in 2006
with cable companies moving first, and telcos to follow. If VoIP does
spread from a residential market to an enterprise market and critical
mass is established, then dual mode phones (VoIP over WiFi for inside
the enterprise + CDMA/GSM/other cell phone technology for outside the
building) will become important.
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