Feature Article

December 22, 2012

Mobility TechZone Week in Review

First things first this week, seeing as it is the last few days before Christmas, make sure to check out our new Apps on Tap column, which unearths great apps to download and give a spin. This week delivers exactly what you need to know if you happen to be traveling this holiday season. One last note about security on the holiday season: Did you know that research shows that mobile security threats overall have grown 350 percent since 2010? To help consumers protect their mobile devices this holiday season, the Federal Communications Commission is stepping in with a new tool called the Smartphone Security Checker. It's free.

As we head into the end of the year, it's time to begin looking ahead to 2013. What are some of the key mobile trends we can expect to materialize in the New Year? And given the various trends, will mobility prove to be as hot in 2013 as it was in 2012? On the wireless telecom side, we can expect that mobile data will underpin growth, however that growth will be uneven and spread out in interesting ways.

One thing we know for sure is that a huge number of LTE-enabled phones will be sold during the holidays, and in fact throughout all of next year. LTE is quickly becoming a high demand issue. Are the carriers going to be able to deliver on consumer demand for lots of bandwidth and lots of speed? This week the FCC at least made sure that AT&T would have a better chance to do so than it previously had. Verizon Wireless, which currently owns the largest LTE network in North America, also continues to expand its coverage. And with Softbank's dollars now in hand, Sprint is also looking to rev up its LTE capabilities in 2013.

This week Research in Motion (RIM) yet again managed to keep itself in the news. First of all, the company did what we knew it had to do -- man up and admit that it needed to figure out how to come to an agreement with Nokia on licensing fees it has to pay Nokia due to a clear cut Nokia court victory. Well, the good news is that RIM finally did manage to do so. It had no choice, and though the deal cost was undisclosed we'll probably be able to figure out what Nokia got during its next earnings call.

That earnings call, which will be for Q4 2013 and reported probably in February 2013, will be quite the call. That's when we can expect to begin to see if RIM's January 2013 launch of its new smartphones and Blackberry 10 will show any promise. Meanwhile, this week RIM held its quarterly earnings call for its fiscal Q3 2013. Did the company nose dive off the financial cliff or did it survive?

Finally this week, RIM also announced that it is now in full pre-release testing with over 120 large scale companies who will begin to scope out BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10, and a limited number of the new smartphones. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins noted on the earnings call that every company is showing "remarkable" enthusiasm. That's good to hear; it is the enterprise that is going to make or break RIM.

Speaking of make or break, what is likely to happen to Google's Motorola Mobility? This week Google found a buyer for Moto's set top business, which will return about $2.35 billion to Google's coffers. That still pegs the rest of Motorola that remains in Google's hands at about $10.15 billion or so. Will Moto survive inside of Google as a smartphone maker or will it simply melt away, leaving behind only its patent portfolio?

We'll wrap up by wishing all of our Mobility TechZone readers an enormously happy and fun filled Christmas week!

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