Feature Article

April 18, 2014

Mobility TechZone Week in Review

Mobile technology connects people and ideas from locations all over the world through a combination of cellular and Internet services. Of course, these technologies are rapidly advancing, as the infrastructure that supports them as well as the devices themselves become an increasingly important market within the industry. Businesses and consumers alike are using mobile devices for a broad variety of purposes, and as the tech behind them increases, so too do the applications. Just this week alone, several startling advances within the field prove that effect of mobile technology on the world is impossible to ignore.

In the airliner industry, several different airlines have implemented in-flight Internet techniques, usually using Wi-Fi technology since the signals do not interact with the cockpit's activities. These airlines usually seek out third-party Internet providers, and one of these popular companies by the name of GoGo is in the process of increasing Internet speeds up to 70 Mbps. Internet is typically broadcast to passenger planes through either Air-to-Ground technology that uses cellular towers and networks to beam Internet signals to the skies, or it is sent from satellites like the Ku-band orbiter. By implementing both techniques, the two technologies are able to complement one another and increase speeds from 50 Mbps all the way up to 70 Mbps – a 40 percent increase.

In other news, T-Mobile's latest move took the cellular industry by storm as they have decided to abolish overage charges for their customers. The effort is expected to both attract new customers as well as increase current customer satisfaction, as the company has determined that a majority of their customers deliberately buy usage plans that are larger than they actually need in order to avoid overage fees. These charges likely make up a profit margin approaching around 40 percent of the company's income, which means that T-Mobile is taking a large gamble. If the company can attract enough customers to make up for the loss of profit then it will have paid off, but if other carriers follow suit then the high-profitability days of mobile service may come to a close.

The popular web browser Firefox also has big news, as the browser is now available on iOS devices. Firefox for iOS (going by the name of VirtualBrowser App) is currently available from the iTunes App store, offering an alternative from Safari and other browsers that users might not prefer. “Anyone who has used an iPad knows it's limitations,” says CMO of Xform Computing David McClintock, “which include lack of support for not only Firefox but also Adobe Flash Player, Java applications, browser 'sync' and browser add-on/extensions. VirtualBrowser App delivers these capabilities for Firefox fans on their iOS devices.”

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