File this entry under Convergence in the Home, subfile It's (Almost) About Time. Or file it under home convergence or telco to the home convergence or Android convergence.
Wherever you file it, pat yourself on your back---and the backs of your CTC colleagues because over a year ago CTC hosted a panel on the Open Handset Alliance and Android and we discussed some of what is now hot news. OK, before you fall off your chair in anticipation:
Android in Your Home
Posted by: James C. Roberts III in mobile on
Mar 26, 2009
Simulcast of TV shows to your mobile device? It's about to happen, by the end of this year, in fact. Call it a step forward for convergence. There are a few caveats, however.
Later this year, more than 60 US television stations will broadcast their programming to mobile devices. Those TV stations cover markets in more than twenty cities. Thus far, the cities announced include New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, DC and Philadelphia. As far as we can tell, the programming will not be stale re-runs (Hey, I liked Star Trek the first 3,000 times but now . . .) but will be the actual programming found on your living room TV.
The launch is the work of the members of the Open Mobile Video Coalition (www.omvc.org). Those members include commercial and public broadcast stations. OMVC also provides useful information for broadcasters trying to navigate true convergence.
Posted by: James C. Roberts III in telecom, mobile on
Mar 15, 2009
Media are full of stories touting the power of mobile devices. The smartphone is now the poster child for convergence: TV shows soon to come to your iPhone from local TV stations, maps of the nearest pizza places and the like. Well, not so fast.
Literally, 3G is not so fast---certainly not as fast as claimed. The 3G networks-not to mention the still-functioning 2G grid---do not work that well. An article in the Saturday edition of the New York Times points out that the systems function at well below advertised speeds. Data are delayed for long periods. One woman quoted said that she did not receive more than half of her text messages. And then there is the tricky matter of phone calls: The 3G systems keep dropping them. Has anyone recently cruised around Manhattan in a taxi and tried to maintain a signal? In Manhattan, self-proclaimed center of the Universe.
There are many reasons cited for the non-performance, but, basically, the systems are overloaded with the demands of new smartphones. It is a bit of a mess. And 4G, or LTE, recently touted at the Mobile World Congress, may simply add to this complexity. The carriers are investing many billions to upgrade their networks but it won't be fast enough-I mean soon enough. Besides, where will they get all that money? Credit markets have dried up. Well, they'll get it from us, in higher rates. (That's another story, though: In Europe, the EU is fed up with exorbitant mobile rates and is legislating caps.)
For my inaugural blog with the CTC I thought I'd explain my point of view, which is to mix pragmatic idealism with a positive sense of skepticism. And I will do what I can to toss in the international perspective, one frustratingly missing from so many technology discussions in the US.
Huh? What does this mean? Well, I love hearing all the enthusiastic pronouncements of three-screen convergence (which started in, oh, 1994) but I always love to start musing about all the , well, things that seem to act like magnets repelling each other.
Sooo, it is not that my skepticism will be negative, reactionary or contrarian, because I love some of the things either heading down the proverbial pike or already at my offramp (OK, OK, so I couldn't resist extending the metaphor)-like the Amazon Kindle or its soon-to-be competitor(s), among them Plastic Logic. I love the concept of the netbooks but my experience thus far with three of them (one from ASUS and two from Acer) has been less than stellar (read: want to throw them out the window). Still, $200-400 is not bad.
So, speaking of international and therefore travel, let's think about the (non) convergence of what we take on our business trips. I met a guy in the airport and we started to do an inventory of what he had to carry on his trip. It is worth repeating: