Copyright Alert System: ISPs Join Effort to Curb Media Piracy

A group of Internet service providers including AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner, Verizon and Comcast have teamed together to join a coordinated effort to address the ongoing problem of subscribers illegally downloading entertainment media such as movies, TV shows and music. The ISPs are implementing an alerts system based on “six strikes” that carry tiered degrees of penalty for their subscribers who choose to illegally access media. Continue reading Copyright Alert System: ISPs Join Effort to Curb Media Piracy

Targeted TV Ad Model: Road to More Effective Advertising?

Computer-driven targeted TV advertising could allow advertisements to reach 18 percent more consumers than traditional television advertising, according to researchers at AT&T Labs. The study used viewing information from cable boxes to determine what demographics watch what shows, and at what times of day. The study then analyzed different advertising patterns for a car manufacturer and a retirement planning/investing firm. Continue reading Targeted TV Ad Model: Road to More Effective Advertising?

AT&T to Expand 4G LTE Network with Verizon Spectrum Deal

AT&T announced it will acquire licenses for Verizon’s 700MHz spectrum, which would allow AT&T to expand its 4G LTE coverage to 42 million people across 18 states in the U.S. The carrier will spend $1.9 billion to acquire the licenses from Verizon. AT&T will also provide licenses of its AWS spectrum to Verizon in markets including Los Angeles, Fresno and Portland in order for Verizon to further deploy its own network. Continue reading AT&T to Expand 4G LTE Network with Verizon Spectrum Deal

Apple iPhone Sales Strong, but Fewer Buying Newest Models

Even though Apple experienced a successful fourth quarter with its popular iPhone, “underneath the big numbers at the largest U.S. carriers are signs Apple Inc. faces a rapidly changing marketplace that could erode its dominance,” suggests the Wall Street Journal. It seems that customers are purchasing iPhones at a rapid rate, but aren’t buying newer, more expensive models with the same frequency. Continue reading Apple iPhone Sales Strong, but Fewer Buying Newest Models

CES 2013: Sony Mobile Dunks 5-Inch Xperia Z Android Phone

Since 2008, Sony has attempted to gain a foothold in the smartphone market, trying everything from a mobile gaming phone built on their PlayStation brand to enlisting James Bond to market the Xperia TL. The company’s latest offering in the flagship Xperia line, the Z, might not need 007’s help to take on Apple’s iPhone and make waves in the ever-growing sea of Android phones. Continue reading CES 2013: Sony Mobile Dunks 5-Inch Xperia Z Android Phone

CES 2013: Internet of Everything Starts in the Connected Home

The Home of the Future was a popular theme at World’s Fairs and theme parks. Such a home would include centralized and automated control of appliances, voice commands, picture phones, and the use of computer technology throughout the house. That Home of the Future concept was in evidence throughout CES with connected solutions from companies including Samsung, Technicolor, Qualcomm and AT&T. Continue reading CES 2013: Internet of Everything Starts in the Connected Home

CES 2013: The Cloud and Digital Disruption in Marketing

“Technology is a continuum. All the technology that you see in those halls will be in a landfill in 10 years,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, at the CES Brand Matters keynote. “We’re all in this industry because we love disruption.” He and a panel of chief marketing officers talked about how technology has changed marketing, noting the various challenges and opportunities as companies transition over to the cloud. Continue reading CES 2013: The Cloud and Digital Disruption in Marketing

Cisco Launches First Integrated Wireless IPTV Solution

  • Cisco recently launched a wireless IPTV service with AT&T U-verse that features new wireless receivers and wireless access points (WAPs).
  • “Consumers can now rely on wireless technology to deliver high-quality video services throughout the home without the need for cables or wires,” explains the press release. “TV content is sent from the Cisco wireless access point via in-home Wi-Fi to the Cisco wireless receiver next to the TV.”
  • Based on the 802.11n standard, the wireless solution can deliver SD and HD programming to multiple receivers with integrated Wi-Fi, provide interactive services and function as an HD DVR.
  • In addition to enabling consumers to view television anywhere they choose in the home, the “wireless TV solution offers service providers the means for faster service activations and consumer self-installation with easy-to-use Wi-Fi kits…The integrated Wi-Fi receiver also offers service providers the ability to monitor the device’s performance via the network, as the receiver comes equipped with remote diagnostics.”

Carriers May Help Close the Gap for Android Enterprise Adoption

  • While Android has so far trailed Apple in enterprise adoption, GigaOM reports that Motorola’s subsidiary 3LM, “has finally launched its security, management, and remote access platform for Android devices” that will enable:
  • “Device encryption of full memory and SD card data; selective encryption of corporate applications; remote wipe capabilities and whitelist/blacklist of applications; and control applications’ access to corporate resources.”
  • “Enhanced security and control of device, OS, and applications; remote installs of critical enterprise application; device tracking.”
  • “Secure remote access to enterprise resources and device health and status checking.”
  • The post also indicates that AT&T has announced “Toggle,” which allows Android users to separate professional and personal use by creating two different modes. This will help keep personal data private from IT managers.
  • Apple has made gains in the enterprise with iPad and iPhone integration, but this news suggests that “with better management tools that augment what already exists on Android, it may help boost Android’s acceptance in the enterprise…”

Why are Consumers Buying the iPhone 4S and not Waiting for Version 5?

  • Launch day pre-orders for Apple’s iPhone 4S have already reached capacity, according to Verizon, AT&T and Apple. The only remaining model that is available for pre-sale is Sprint’s 32GB model.
  • In just 24 hours, the iPhone 4S pre-orders reportedly beat the one million mark, despite disappointment regarding no announcement yet for the iPhone 5.
  • According to Forbes, people aren’t waiting for the iPhone 5 for five reasons: 1) Users just want the latest technology now and aren’t going to wait; 2) “Many believe that the iPhone 4S really is the iPhone 5” and that Apple simply decided to misname it; 3) Sprint users can now join the iPhone club; 4) The 8 megapixel camera; and 5) “People really need a personal assistant” — while Siri may not be a “revolution,” many consumers are interested in the voice-recognition software.
  • The iPhone 4S will be available on Friday. The new model will be available to purchase in-store on October 14th, but limited supplies ensure that they will sell out as well. Apple itself has already referred to the upcoming launch as “the most successful iPhone launch we’ve ever had.”

Microsoft: Xbox Video Service Features Voice and Motion Controls

  • Microsoft is getting a boatload of new content for its Xbox video service intended to help it serve as a digital media hub. The company has struck deals with Comcast, Verizon, HBO and others.
  • Verizon and Comcast will be joining AT&T’s U-Verse to provide content, although while Verizon will include live video TV and video on demand, Comcast is testing the waters with its VOD library only. HBO Go streaming access will provide HBO original programming and movies from Warner Bros., Fox Searchlight and Universal Studios. Bravo, EPIX and Syfy are among the cable networks that will be available. Xbox’s international content will include the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and LOVEFiLM in the UK; Antena 3, RTVE and Telefonica in Spain; and Televisa in Mexico.
  • But how do you get to the movies, TV shows, games and music that you want? Microsoft hopes you will command your Xbox with voice control, motion control and a Windows smartphone.
  • “This is incremental stuff but it’s still interesting. A source who’s played with the new service says it’s genuinely cool. Just as important, given that Microsoft has sold some 50 million compatible machines, it has (potential) leverage to do some really interesting stuff,” reports All Things D. “This is where Google TV would like to be, and it’s why Google is out pitching content guys for a relaunch this fall.”

Justice Department Memo Tells Which Telecoms Store Data the Longest

  • “People who are upset that Facebook is storing all their information should be really concerned that their cell phone is tracking them everywhere they’ve been… The government has this information because it wants to engage in surveillance,” an ACLU staff attorney said.
  • A newly released Justice Department internal memo reveals the retention policies of Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint.
  • Verizon seems the most privacy-friendly, but is the only company that retains text message content. Messages are stored for 5 days; other companies don’t retain message content at all.
  • The retention of “cell-site data” (information of a phone’s movement history based on phone tower usage) varied the most among the four providers.
  • “Verizon keeps that data on a one-year rolling basis; T-Mobile for ‘a year or more;’ Sprint up to two years, and AT&T indefinitely, from July 2008,” reports Gizmodo.
  • Senator Patrick Leahy proposed to alter the Electronic Privacy Communications Act to “protect Americans from warrantless intrusions.”
  • To see your provider’s retention policy, check out the graphic featured in the Gizmodo post.

Insiders Say Sprint Will Offer Unlimited Data Plans for iPhone 5

  • Sprint Nextel will reportedly offer unlimited data service plans for the new iPhone 5, expected to debut next month. This would be attractive to big data users and mark a major difference from rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
  • Sprint has been struggling with its bigger rivals and hopes that adding the iPhone to its lineup will lure new customers. “It’s a competitive disadvantage if your two larger competitors have the iPhone and you don’t,” says Matthew Thornton, an analyst at Avian Securities. “Getting the iPhone closes that gap.”
  • Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, already offers unlimited voice and data for RIM’s BlackBerry and HTC’s Evo customers at $99.99/month.
  • According to Bloomberg: “Apple’s iPhone has proved to be a valuable recruitment tool for rivals: Of the 5.6 million smartphones AT&T sold in the second quarter, the device accounted for 3.6 million. A quarter of the subscribers who bought the iPhone were new to AT&T, the company said.”

Will $700 Prove too Steep a Price for 4G LTE Tablet?

  • The HTC Jetstream tablet (formerly named Puccini), will be available through AT&T beginning this Sunday.
  • Notable features include: a Snapdragon 1.5 GHz dual core processor, front-facing camera, 8-megapixel rear camera, and HTC scribe stylus pen.
  • The Jetstream runs Android 3.1 Honeycomb on a 10.1-inch screen and will be AT&T’s first tablet with real 4G LTE.
  • According to the company press release: “HTC Jetstream is AT&T’s first tablet to showcase the Android 3.1 OS. The brand new operating system was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screens. It improves on Android favorites with new interactive and resizeable widgets plus improved multi-tasking, browsing, notifications, and customization.”
  • However, the $700 price tag, “discounted” with a 2-year contract (and $35/month data plan), may prove off-putting to some consumers.

Justice Department Files Suit to Block T-Mobile Takeover

  • The Justice Department is blocking the proposed $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T, citing the move would result in less competition and higher prices. AT&T said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the suit.
  • The FCC is also reviewing the deal and has “serious concerns” about its impact on competition. The antitrust challenge comes five months after the deal between the second- and fourth-largest cellphone companies in the U.S. was announced.
  • “The lawsuit is the Obama administration’s boldest antitrust challenge to date and the latest evidence of its intention to reinvigorate enforcement after what it says was a lull during the previous administration,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
  • However, the Justice Department left open the possibility of concessions which could lead to a settlement.

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