News in Short: The top five wireless trends, study shows less than 1% of torrents are legal

Posted by Knowlton Thomas

NIS

Globe on Technology offers "low-down" on future of Canada's telecom industry

The Globe and Mail's Globe on Technology, run by expert tech bloggers, suggests their top five trends for Canada's wireless world. I would agree with most of it. This is a trimmed (but still quoted) version.

1. Fragmentation of the market

Rogers, Bell, Telus and Wind have regional strengths. Rogers is really strong in Toronto and Ontario. Telus is stronger out west, especially in Alberta. Montreal-based Bell is up front in Quebec. And so on. With cable companies launching wireless service over the next couple of years only in their respective markets, many expect the industry to fragment further.

2. Wireless substitution

Traditional providers like Bell, Telus and Rogers have yet to slash wireless prices and introduce unlimited plans across the board for one very good reason: If they did, all of their home phone subscribers would cut the cord on their landline and go completely wireless. Think of all the revenue the Big Three would lose. So they haven’t done it. It’s that simple.

But things are changing. Market newcomers have no such qualms about pricing, since they have no landline customers. This is why their pricing is so low and why they’re offering unlimited voice plans that mimic the talk-‘til-you-drop attitude of the landline.

3. The decline of voice revenue

The amount of revenue carriers garner from voice minutes has been dropping, and fast. Voice is quickly becoming commoditized and worthless, especially as data use begins to soar. Carriers can no longer say, “Here’s a voice product. Now pay me a massive monthly bill for the privilege.” It doesn’t work that way any more.

For carriers with tons of wireless customers paying huge bills and watching a flood of new competitors offer $24 all-you-can-talk buffets, this is alarming. With Rogers launching Chatr, and with the rise of data services like texting and social media and e-mailing, the decline of revenue from voice services will only continue to intensify.

4. The data crunch

Wireless data consumption is booming. Newer, more powerful smart phones are gobbling up vast amounts of data on mobile networks. Consumers are loving it, and growing accustomed to streaming YouTube videos for friends at bars, growing frustrated when you can’t watch free, pirated TV in bed on your phone, etc.

Data brings in big revenues for carriers. Consumers love it. But it’s also a challenge to network operators: They need to become more efficient with how they transport and handle data, and need to offload some of the strain onto their wired networks (like getting you to use your iPad at home, on WiFi, for example.) If they don't, the gains from data won't replace the losses from voice.

5. Mobile broadband

In a country the size of Canada, it’s tough to expect that every household in the country will be hooked up to a wired network – which are almost always faster, more reliable, and have better quality than wireless networks. This has a variety of social, political and financial implications. The issue is complicated. But what’s clear is that mobile broadband is taking off.

The future is mobile!

BitTorrent found to be incredibly illegal

The University of Ballarat in Australia conducted a study which analyzed the percentage of legal content found on torrent giant BitTorrent. The result? After 1,000 random samples of files, a minuscule 0.3 percent of the files were confirmed to be 100% legal.

A similar report issued earlier this year elsewhere suggested a minimum of 99% of BitTorrent were illegal in some manner.

Ballarat's study also said that just four percent of torrents were responsible for a whopping 80 percent of the seed population. And 9 out of 10 of the most seeded files were Hollywood films (Lady Gaga's album, The Fame Monster was the exception).

Company:
Telus Corp.
Website:
http://www.telus.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Technology is a key enabler for TELUS and our customers, providing advantage and differentiation in the marketplace. By managing the life cycle of current technologies and the timely introduction of new technologies we deliver superior service value to our customers and long-term growth oriented investment performance to our shareholders. For investors, TELUS is succeeding in managing technology and capital... more

Company:
Bell Canada
Website:
http://www.bell.ca
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing the most comprehensive and innovative suite of communication services to residential and business customers in Canada. Operating under the Bell brand, the Company's services include Bell Home Phone local and long distance services, Bell Mobility and Solo Mobile wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell TV direct-to-home satellite and VDSL television,... more

Company:
Rogers Communications
Website:
http://www.rogers.com
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

We are a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are engaged in wireless voice and data communications services through Wireless, Canada's largest wireless provider and the operator of the country's only national Global System for Mobile Communications ("GSM") based network. Through Cable we are one of Canada's largest providers of cable television services as well as high-speed Internet access... more

Company:
Wind Mobile
Website:
http://www.windmobile.ca
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Simply put, we want to create the most unforgettably positive customer experience in Canada. How? By speaking with you, not at or over you. By making every site you visit, every store you set foot in and every call you have with us into a meaningful conversation to help build something better - together. We'll make it as easy as possible to be a customer. You'll have more control over your mobile experience than... more


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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and exploring weird side streets. more



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