CTIA notes #2

Here are some notes / comments I picked up from CTIA that I had no other home for!

  • Haitian mobile operator Voila gave a moving account of the recent earthquake and the role that its network played in keeping the relief effort running efficiently. Despite extensive damage to towers, racks, batteries etc, they had restored 80% of the network within 48hrs. Lots of testimonies from relief workers about being Voila sending them ‘boxes’ of phones to stay connected. Voila also made calls / text free of charge to all subscribers so they could contact friends and family.
  • The US Haitian Earthquake SMS text relief campaign raised more money in 30 days than the combined total of all previous SMS fundraising campaigns before it.
  • Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint and probably one of the coolest, most laid-back CEOs in wireless (!) spent his keynote talking about the 4G opportunity. 3G has never been optimal for data he explained. It made the economics of voice better, but not data. 4G will change this by making a gigabyte much cheaper. Consumers will get more data for no increase in their current rate plans. He likened it to getting High-Def television for no extra charge.
  • LTE will be the winning 4G standard Hesse concluded. He also showed excitement about handsets coming to market with built-in mifi capabilities (ie: the handset as a wifi hotspot).
  • Rene Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telecom presented some figures that suggested ARPU (per SIM) was $14.6 in the US and $8.6 in Europe. However, he warned that these figures are skewed (especially for Europe) because of the sheer number of inactive SIMs issued by carriers as part of their marketing efforts. The market, he explained, is moving from being focused on ARPU to focussing on loyalty and profitability.
  • Mobile data traffic increases more than 100% every year
  • 8 million 3G smartphones expected on the T-Mobile US network by the end of 2010.
  • Data consumption for T-Mobile US (4Q 2009). Source Rene Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telecom.
    • 2G Handsets: 21mb p/month
    • 3G Handsets: 134mb p/month
    • 3G Smartphones: 364mb p/month
    • 3G Android Smartphones: 398mb p/month

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