Feature Article

February 19, 2013

From iOS to Exploding LTE Services Revenue: A Busy Week in Mobility

Has everyone heard of the problems with iOS v6.1 that was released just last week? There are a number of issues having to do with Microsoft Exchange as well as a vulnerability that allows a hacker to get beyond a passcode protected device. Alas it isn't a pretty scenario. Apple has already released iOS v6.1.1 for iPhone 4 and 4S devices to fix several issues, but another patch will be on the way soon. How bad is it? Vodafone itself was telling users to avoid upgrading until further notice. That said, the further notice came rather quickly - apparently the issues that were causing connectivity problems on those phones with the newest iOS have been sorted out through the release of the previously noted iOS v6.1.1. Vodafone has now taken back its warning, saying it is now safe to do so without having to worry about any problems.

T-Mobile USA meanwhile, due to its acquisition of MetroPCS, a rapidly emerging LTE network build-out and the influence of a new CEO, is showing off a newly invigorated enthusiasm for the business to business (B2B) market. The company is now full speed ahead to own a substantial chunk of it, and thinks it is well positioned to pull it off. It's good to see T-Mobile stepping up its game on the B2B front. T-Mobile has also added to its business solution portfolio through the addition of hosted and on-premise MobileIron mobile device management (MDM) services. It's a good move for T-Mobile.

Perhaps T-Mobile can speak with Home Depot to support its latest mobile move. It turns out that just as BlackBerry is launching its new BlackBerry 10 and new touch device, the Z10, Home Depot has made the rather huge decision to completely ditch all 10,000 of its corporate supplied BlackBerry devices in favor of…wait for it…iPhones. The decision of course caused a substantial drop in BlackBerry share price.

And here is another interesting BlackBerry move - though it's one of those "not very smart moves to make" kind of moves - the company is making immediately available, ahead of the expected March launch of its Z10 in the U.S., a number of Z10s through Solavei Mobile Service, a comprehensive mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that utilizes T-Mobile's nationwide 4G network. For the astoundingly ridiculous unsubsidized cost of $999!

A recent study from EE, one of the biggest names in digital communications in the U.K., says that when it comes to 4G mobile services, it's not regular consumers who are getting in on the action first, but rather big business and similar large organizations. EE launched the first 4G network in the U.K. only recently, but just three months after its launch, had a variety of businesses either sign up for the service or enter the opening stages of launch. It has taken the UK a tremendously long time to get to 4G (LTE auctions are finally wrapping up).

It's a good thing the UK is finally catching up. Citrix recently published its ByteMobile Mobile Analytics Report for the first quarter of 2013, which aims to provide insight into subscriber wireless data usage behavior and other factors affecting the quality of experience for mobile data services. Guess what? Mobile video data continues to grow at an enormous pace and continues to drive demand for 4G and LTE services.

How big will LTE services be? Wireless carrier revenue from 4G /LTE will reach just over $75 billion in 2013. That is a hefty number of dollars, and strongly suggests that there is good reason for wireless carriers to move quickly to build out LTE networks. There is gold in those hills, so to speak. But that $75 billion is just the tip of the iceberg. By 2017, the wireless carriers will be looking at a $340 billion market - and that will only be approximately 31 percent of total wireless revenue. Huge upside will come to those that can deliver on LTE.




Edited by Brooke Neuman


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