Ziwen Liu’s course blog for the MCDM

Presentation link
March 8, 2010, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Mobile Technology&Communication

A link to the presentation on Mobile Communication&Technologies:


Indians do not favor the mobile net?!
February 25, 2010, 4:19 pm
Filed under: assignement, digital economic, Mobile Technology&Communication

In the mobile communication class I take in this quarter, we often talk about those cool and powerful mobile applications we have today. However, all these enthusiasm are based on these important hypothesis that we love mobile technology, we always ask for more from our mobile phones and most importantly, we are able and love to pay for expensive handsets and services fee.
However, this is aparently not the case in India.
“India’s state-owned BSNL, which the government allowed to launch 3G a year ago, now offer services in 300 cities, has just 700,000 customers, and has cut tarrifs at least twice.”, says Mehul Srivastava, the senior journalist in Business Week.
This is really bad for the operator considering that they had spent billions of dollars to bid on 3G spectrum and to build the nation wide network.
what even worse is that Indians not only do not appreciate 3G services, they simply don’t like the idea of “mobile net”. According to the Internet&Mobile Association of India, Of Indian’s 530 million-plus mobile subscribers, only 2 million regularly use the mobile Net, mostly to download pictures of cricket players and Bollywood stars.

Mobile data back-up-the missing opportunity?
February 22, 2010, 4:27 pm
Filed under: Mobile Technology&Communication

Losing data in your cell phone is a painful experience for most of us because we all know that it is difficult and takes long time to retrieve the lost data. But it might as well be an opportunity for mobile operators, retailers and manufacturers.
There has been an independent research conducted by CelleBrite, which provides mobile phone synchronization and management systems, suggesting that mobile operators, retailers and manufacturers are missing an important opportunity to increase revenues by failing to effectively market a mobile data back-up solution to users at the point of sale.
According to the research, only 18% of users who participated in the research(1000participants) back up their mobile data, in spite of the fact that 47% of them have already lost a mobile phone. Research also revealed that 47% of users were unaware of services offered by network operators in store to back-up and synchronize mobile data, and 48% of those expressed willingness to pay somewhere between £5 and £20 extra and wait up to 10 minutes to receive such a service.
Another significant finding was that only 16% of users change handsets more than once a year. 25% of respondents admitted that the difficulty in transferring mobile data dissuades them from upgrading to a new phone. The survey also revealed that 27% of users would change handsets more regularly if they could transfer their mobile content onto the new phone at the point of sale.
The 47% of them who have lost their phones admitted that recompiling the lost contacts and mobile data such as photos, music, text messages and videos can take up to six months and 24% admit that they never manage to fully recapture the lost data.

Data gridlock?
February 15, 2010, 6:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ten years ago(perhaps five years ago?), mobile phone is only good for making voice calls and sending messages. Nowadays, the use of mobile phone is changing dramatically as it has became a more and more integrated platform, and more and more end-users largely consider their mobile devices not only as communication tools but also entertaining and business tools. One consequence of this change is that we have witnessed more and more content being consumed in mobile phone and lots of mobile applications which requires fast bandwidth being developed.
However, this might create real problems for end-users as well as network operators. Openwave CEO Ken Denman mentioned in his latest post(http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.co.uk/) that “as mobile video consumption continues to rise and new devices such as the iPad become more widely available, consumers will continue to demand more and more from their mobile devices. However, many network providers won’t have the physical infrastructure to keep pace. And If this issue is not addressed soon, consumers will suffer as services grind to a halt.”.
Also, this problem might be bigger than we thought because it has been proved that data gridlock can not be addressed simply by adding capacity to the network, as Ken Denman mentioned that “operators are facing the prospect of seeing their traffic grow faster than the rate at which they can add capacity.”.
One solution I can think of here is to fasten the development pace of L-TE, which is inherently faster than 3G network, and has much bigger network capacity. However, the challenge here is that will operators and government or FCC be able to reach an agreement in time before the problem of data gridlock is getting out of control? And also, standard change means huge investments and potentially the sunset of 3G era. Will network operators be willing to take the chance for the sake of consumers and users?

Voice SMS-innovative SMS service in Uganda
February 7, 2010, 5:41 pm
Filed under: Mobile Technology&Communication

I just read an intereting article today in http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.co.uk/. It says, “Ugandan mobile operator MTN says it has seen impressive take-up of its recently-launched Voice SMS service, and has ordered an upgrade to triple the capacity of the Voice SMS system.”
Voice message is really innovative to me because I thought it has disrupted the way we think of SMS communication. Also, the benefit of this service is pretty obvious, “It enables subscribers to communicate faster, with greater ease, and convey emotions as compared to limitations of text messages.”, as said in the article. Also, I expect this service will be especially popular in emerging markets given the fact that illiteracy rate is generally high there and this voice MSM service will free illiteracy people from typing. However, there are two questions I believe we should think of before getting too opstimistic: firstly, is the service expensive compared to normal SMS services? secondly, is the service reliable when we think of accuracy? But in either way, voice SMS is a start of changing the way we think of SMS communication.

4G in China?
February 1, 2010, 9:36 pm
Filed under: Mobile Technology&Communication

China had released its first 3G license in January 2009, however, “this is just a beginning”, according to an insider from China Mobile. An exciting news came out recently that China Mobile will deploy its first TD-LTE trial network in Shanghai in 6/2010 and will bring it into trial operation during the 2010 World Expo. This is really a bad news for cable company in China because the well recognized definition for 4G is those services which can reach a downlink rate of 100 megabytes per second, which is a lot faster than cable company can offer(1/2/4/8 megabite per second). So, as a bystander, I am really curious about how those cable companies in China will respond to this news? Will they lower their price for their internet services? or will they develop new technologies which can deliver faster and better internet experience? But either way, this is a positive signal for mobile operators, because they will be expected to see another strong growth of value-added services they provide.(mobile tv, internet and etc.)

What about Gphone?
January 24, 2010, 3:20 pm
Filed under: Mobile Technology&Communication

In China, a lot of buzz are going these days regarding to Google’s recent anouncement of shutting down their business in China. I checked out some Mobile bbs today, and saw a lot of fans of Google who already have a Gphone or plan to buy one complain that “if Google is outta here, what should we do? Are we still having access to abundant of Google apps? If not, our phone will suddently become a crap.”. I see their reaction reasonable, even though Google recently added that they are just planning to shut down Google.cn, and some business will not be affected such as Gmail and Gphone. However, I believe that Google should be giving an answer better than that. The position Google taking in China is far more than just Gphone and Gmail. What about those strong apps that we get used to everyday, such as Google Earth, Google talk, Google search and etc.? What about other smartphone based on Android system, such as OMS and Ophone? So I see Google’s decision has already affected or disappointed millions of their Chinese fans and this number is expected to continue to grow if they do not offer a more satisfactory response shortly.