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Friday, September 23, 2011

Mobile Operators Are Set To Lose Voice Services To Mobile Platforms

With the tendency now being for services to move away from the traditional SIM card login services and move towards more mobile login authentication methods like the ones used on iPods when linking up to iTunes services.

What the future holds nobody can be one hundred percent certain of what the future will bring for mobile services but there is no doubt that customers are looking to improve the simplicity of connecting up with all the online services such as email, Facebook and Skype. The ultimate plan is to allow a customer to purchase a phone and as soon as you turn it on you would be able to log into your Google / Apple account; then you would have the phone ready to use for voice calling through Google Talk or Skype and instant access to email, Youtube or Facebook.

When you get home with your phone it will automatically connect up to any WiFi you have in your house and will connect to any of the available 3G networks, without a care which specific network it joins to; instead focusing on the problem of the best and cheapest service coverage; finding decent service hampers a lot of people’s usage and being able to log on to whichever service provides the highest level will solve a lot of issues.

Taking a look into the future sees the potential abolishment of phone numbers instead using the already heavily used Facebook profile and just dial directly to that instead of traditional methods. The change is almost inevitable and could start soon; all it would require is for one of the carriers to crack and provide bandwidth available to purchase by either Google, Microsoft or Apple and the floodgates will have opened and be unable to close again. As soon as one sells they will all have to; it is simply impossible for one carrier to stand alone against a giant company.

It may take a while for the transition to occur but eventually the mobile network will turn into one as all services begin to merge into one account offering the best service and also value for the customers and after all the customers drive the business in the direction that they want and need.

There is lots of money to be made when the change does begin to happen but it may well be a case of the company that jumps first either wins out, or faces the risk of being isolated out of the market. Nobody quite knows exactly when the change will happen, but all we do know is that it is coming.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cell Phone Tracking Proved Useful

Cell phone tracking have a big yes tick for one mother whose daughter was two hours late coming back from Miami. For a long time there has been back and forth between the positives and negatives of tracking cell phones with safety concerns pushing for it and worries about it being invasive to privacy holding it back. For one mother it turned out to be a huge positive after she worried about whereabouts of her daughter who was over two hours late coming back from Miami late on a mid-July night. The girl’s mother recalled that less than a week beforehand her daughter had signed up to a service at, which claimed to be able to quickly track down the location of the cell phone. After a few questions, the site’s owner Frank Rabbito said he had tracked the cell phone’s position to Alligator Alley. She was all okay and it turned out that she had just run out of gas. “There was no lights; it was dark and she was in a dead cell zone” said Rabbito. The girl was just in one of those unlucky flukes where everything that could go wrong did, but she was fine and with the help of LocateUrCell was tracked down, which meant no more worry for her mother.

The website ( was launched in mid-July by Frank Rabbito and he said that the goal of it was not to make money, which he made enough of from his last career, but to help find people when they are lost and vulnerable. The idea for the site originated for Rabbito when he was talking one night with his wife about public notifications for missing seniors. Rabbito instantly thought “there’s got to be a way to find these people” and then followed the discovery that 98 percent of people had a cell phone and it might be possible to combine that in some way with tracking them.

He started LocateUrCell with the help of a programmer, Dan Grable and they quickly set about coming over the obstacles like negotiating with the networks to gain access to them to gain the information required to track the phones. Most use GPS to track the devices to within a few feet, but with Verizon they use triangulation technology which is a little less precise. People can sign up online and then track their phones on the website. The best thing about the project is that it is aimed at not purely pushing a profit – 40% of the proceeds go to charities meaning not only is it helping find lost and vulnerable people but it also helps the wider community. It has already had success in finding not only people, but used as a tool for finding misplaced cell phones as Corena Salazar found when she lost her phone at her grocery store!

The future looks good for LocateUrCell with the initial aims to be to break even and then start distributing the proceeds to charities.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Need For New Ways To Manage Networks To Stop Tsunami Of Data Causing Havoc

With Nokia Siemens Network releasing a blog post called “Wake up Call: Industry collaboration needed to make beyond 4G networks carry 1000 times more traffic by 2020” it was seen as a call to arms to force fear and reality into the major operators as demand for mobile broadband services is set to massively outstrip the providers capabilities. The largest provider AT&T wireless is preparing itself for the barrage of demand, not only at the outer reaches of its network, but at the very heart where most of the demand will be as the world moves into the next generation with an all-IP upcoming service which will come complete with video services.

Coming straight from the middle of the AT&T Labs, Krish Prabhu said “Over the next five years, our traffic volumes tell us that when we launch LTE each one of our 11 regional cores will have a throughput of two to three terabits, and the national core will have a throughput at least 10 times that. … We are very involved in the solution to that problem. We’ve identified a layered approach to get us there even as we support the launch of our LTE network and get LTE to 90 to 95 percent of our end-users. That to me is the biggest challenge.”

This highlights just the magnitude of the problem facing provider as demand rockets to never before seen levels. The drastic rise in demand is mostly due to the transition from simple voice traffic to data; bringing not only an influx of extra transmissions but a requirement to change the way in which it is handled. Data traffic is often unpredictable and harder to anticipate where peaks will occur, which could lead to overflowing of the network. The providers are all working hard to see how apps act on the network and monitor their dataflow in particular as they search for a way to control the possible data rushes that may happen.

Instead of simply raising fear by the issue of the blog post, Nokia Siemens Network began to look at some potential ideas for maximizing every airwave to increase the abilities of the networks to transmit data across them, also going in the direction of looking at cognitive radios and self-optimizing networks, an idea that is at the front of many vendors suggestion as the networks become more complicated.

However the providers intend to deal with the growing situation, one thing is clear, the change is coming and it is coming fast, so they must work together to find a solution before the networks become overloaded with pressure.

Microsoft Face Lawsuit

The issue of how large corporations are collecting and handling are data was once again thrown under the microscope after it was revealed Microsoft is facing a lawsuit after it was allegedly tracking its Windows 7 Phone operating system even after they had opted out.

The claims are that users of the Windows 7 Smartphone software are unknowingly being tracked whenever they turn their camera application on their phone on. The lawsuit action, which was filed in the Seattle Federal court, raises claims that Microsoft are continuing to collect the data about the location of the phone even after its users have opted out of the service.

Microsoft had not yet released a statement but are said to be preparing a response to the legal actions. Once again the actions of technology giants such as Microsoft, Apple and Google are being questioned. Apple and Google were brought before US Congress to explain their data and privacy policies after it was discovered tracking software was present in their phones. On that occasion Google Android phones were found to be collecting data, but only after the users of the phone gave their explicit permission; something that Microsoft has reportedly been failing to undertake, instead collecting data even after users have opted out of the tracking.

The lawsuit follows a letter to congress by Microsoft claiming that any data taken from the phone was always taken after permission was taken from the users. If the claims are proven then Microsoft would have to respond to congress again on why false information was provided in previous discussions.

The claim was filed by Rebecca Cousineau, who says that Microsoft collects and transmits data including the coordinates of the phones location when the camera is turned on. Reportedly affected are phones such as the HTC 7 Mozart and the Samsung Omnia 7, which both carry the Windows Phone 7 software.

Earlier in the year in its representation to congress, Microsoft said that tracking its users’ location helped deliver a more useful and relevant experience to its users. It went on to say that “To provide these rich experiences, Microsoft collects limited information necessary to determine the approximate location of a device. Collection is always with the express consent of the user and the goal of our collection is never to track where a specific device has been or is going.” And followed up by saying all the data gathered was not sensitive information and only be used as a tool for the user to aid their experiences.

It is still to be seen exactly how Microsoft will respond to the action, and just how far they have been pushing the boundaries with regards to tracking their users.