The Register Columnists

Wireless Watch

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
Apple patent

Sorry, Qualcomm, Apple – your patents don't scare us

Analysis Patent royalties make up a higher proportion of cellular device costs than in most other markets, so the IPR game has been a hard-fought and sometimes vicious one. At the start of 2015, various developments suggest that the playground bullies of the past will lose a lot of their power. Qualcomm is on the defensive in China, …
Wireless Watch, 20 Jan 2015
"Image from the glassbrain project, neuroscapelab.com, UCSF

'Open' SIMs, brain chips and Google's Nest: What to expect in wireless in 2015

Analysis In mobile and wireless technologies, history will see 2014 as a year in which most of the dramas were about M&A rather than breakthrough technologies (although at least the industry was starting to move on from patent wars). However, it will also be seen as a year when the groundwork was laid for many trends that will shape the …
Wireless Watch, 06 Jan 2015
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

Whew, US cellcos... Better find a new revenue stream, QUICK

Analysis The wave of operator consolidation across the Americas and Europe is driven by the urgent need to cut costs and achieve economies of scale. With average revenue per user (ARPU) falling, even for supposedly premium LTE and fiber services, and with huge infrastructure upgrades still ahead, carriers need to find drastic cost …
Wireless Watch, 05 Jan 2015
Dom Joly

If 4G isn’t working, why stick to the same approach for 5G?

Analysis The start of 2015 is sure to bring an even greater intensity of interest in what "5G" might be. After all, some operators are saying they will start commercial deployments in 2020, and a five-year time-scale is short enough to induce panic attacks. LTE has set a strong precedent here. The specifications that became LTE were …
Wireless Watch, 17 Dec 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Mobile giants: 4G is so yesterday. Better IT can kickstart revenue growth

Just as operators struggle to make direct profit improvements from LTE, so the vendors have long given up on 4G upgrades being the solution to all their problems. LTE is the most significant factor in driving revenue growth for the big five infrastructure suppliers, for sure, but the margins and differentiation in the equipment …
Wireless Watch, 07 Nov 2014
Proposed new HQ for Apple, credit Cupertino Council

How iPad’s soft SIM lets Apple pit carriers AGAINST each other

Analysis The SIM card is the most potent instrument of control in the mobile carrier’s hands, controlling the relationship with the customer and giving it unmatched information about how its users behave. The humble SIM has enabled mobile operators to assert control over important areas which were not initially in their kingdom, such as …
Wireless Watch, 27 Oct 2014
Fixed toy octopus

ARM spreads tentacles up and down the stack

Signs of slowdown in mobile device growth have driven ARM to expand aggressively into new areas for its processor IP – from servers to home equipment to the internet of things (IoT). Its IoT strategy has been evolving over a couple of years, but in the past few weeks, the scale and ambition of that strategy has become clear. …
Wireless Watch, 06 Oct 2014

Internet of Stuff: Chip rivals try to stop Cortex-M7 from flexing ARM’s muscle

The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing an estimated five times more quickly than the overall embedded processing market, so it's no wonder chip suppliers are flocking to fit out connected cars, home gateways, wearables and streetlights as quickly as they can. However, the sector is so new that there is considerable uncertainty …
Wireless Watch, 29 Sep 2014
Generic mast

Alcatel-Lucent techie: Race for ‘5G’ technologies is 'ridiculous'

Vendors are generally delighted to raise their profile by pretending to have "5G" systems just around the corner, but it was a CTO from Alcatel-Lucent who threw a welcome bucket of cold water over the 5G hype at last week’s CTIA Super Mobility Week conference in Las Vegas. Michael Peeters, the company’s wireless CTO, told the …
Wireless Watch, 25 Sep 2014
Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

Larger iPad could target big biz, save Apple from low-end scrum

Analysis As has been increasingly the case with smartphones, the tablet market is shifting away from an Apple/Samsung head-to-head, and becoming a free-for-all. While the two major suppliers still lead the sector, their sales declined in the second quarter, even though overall shipments were up. Apple may look to address the challenge in …
Wireless Watch, 29 Aug 2014
Eve in the Garden of Eden talking to a rather angry God on Snapchat

So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL

Opinion It’s that time of year again, when Apple’s annual iPhone launch is looming and the mobile chattersphere becomes entirely dominated again by one handset maker. In 2007 and 2008, that was completely justified. Since then, there have been progressively fewer reasons to define the whole smartphone sector by Apple. New models have …
Wireless Watch, 25 Aug 2014
Huawei P1

European networks giants have adjusted to life with Huawei at last

Analysis The wireless infrastructure vendors were uncharacteristically upbeat in their second quarter results announcements. The impact of Huawei and ZTE has overshadowed them for so long that it seemed like a permanent fixture, but to a great extent, the western suppliers, and their shareholders, have now adjusted to the reality of …
Wireless Watch, 04 Aug 2014
The Register breaking news

Mobile operators mourn death of embedded 4G

Mobile operators are giddy at the prospect of doubling, tripling or quadrupling the number of devices connected to their networks over the coming years. Next generation portable devices such as tablets, laptops, cloudbooks and Ultrabooks are seen as candidates for 3G/4G integration that will help shore up the carrier position …
Wireless Watch, 25 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

US broadcasters team up to make Facebook for TV

Something big is cooking in portable TV in the US. It's possibly the equivalent of a Hulu (in that it is owned by content owners), but from a group of broadcasters who have already identified themselves as being behind the ATSC M/H Mobile DTV services: but this time the subject is both social TV and over the top (OTT) content. …
Wireless Watch, 22 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Dish Networks looks forward to 'seat at the table' in wireless

As LightSquared continues to battle for the right to deploy LTE in its mobile satellite spectrum, the other major holder of such frequencies, Dish Network, has remained enigmatic. However, on its third quarter earnings call, chairman Charlie Ergen enlarged somewhat on the firm's plans, saying it would use its proposed LTE- …
Wireless Watch, 11 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Mozilla and Baidu join battle for the new cloud OS

Comment The battle for the conventional “fat‟ mobile OS is won and lost. But the fight to control the user interface to the cloud is wide open, and with Apple and Microsoft on the back foot, a Linux-based winner looks logical. Google has pitched Chrome OS, Hewlett-Packard has webOS and Intel has MeeGo. Now enter Mozilla, and Chinese …
Wireless Watch, 30 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

Femtocells at tipping point: Don't want to become also-RANs

The femtocell industry gathered for its fourth annual world summit this week, and it was clear that significant progress had been made since the last London-based gathering. In June 2010, the tiny base stations had achieved wide acceptance as carrier controlled devices to improve indoor coverage and support offload. However, …
Wireless Watch, 26 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

US Senators pen Act to ban location-based stalking

Two US senators have filed a new Act called the Location Privacy Protection Act, which would require stricter controls and more transparency for all cellular companies that collect location data. The Bill, brought by Senator Al Franken and co-sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal would make it illegal to divulge location …
Wireless Watch, 19 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

iCloud: Big step for content management, but not for the cloud

The glaring feature of Apple's much-vaunted iCloud announcement? It doesn't have much to do with the cloud. At least, not in the usual Google sense of doing everything via the browser with no local storage or apps. In Apple's world, apps still need to reign supreme, or it risks falling well behind its more cloud-aware rivals, …
Wireless Watch, 12 Jun 2011
For Sale sign detail

AMD targets tablets and cloudbooks in Intel showdown

Computex Devices that combine the power of a notebook with features of a tablet were one of the themes of last week's gadget-fest, Computex 2011 in Taiwan. Intel is pushing its new "ultrabook" concept, and the stage is set for the mobile PC market to split into three emerging form factors: touchscreen tablets; a new wave of more …
Wireless Watch, 04 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

MeeGo and Mango promise mobile web delights

Earlier this year, Nokia derailed the MeeGo operating system project it shared with Intel by making Windows Phone 7 the heart of its strategy. This week, developer briefings have been held for both platforms, outlining their latest upgrades (MeeGo 1.2 and WP7 Mango) plus next generation plans. Both are laying claim to be the …
Wireless Watch, 29 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Microsoft adds RIM to its anti-Google axis

When Microsoft first burst on the mobile scene with the original Windows Mobile, its strategy was to work around the Symbian brigade by getting close to operators, via mainly white label phone-makers. Hence the rise and rise of HTC, on the back of huge market share in an OS that interested very few rivals, plus the special …
Wireless Watch, 08 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Behind Apple's record sales are signs of desperation

As we went to press with this story, Apple had just reported its first quarter results and Nokia was about to. For both arch-rivals, the quarter will not be indicative of longer term trends. For Apple, there has been disruption to its supply chain, while Nokia's future will be hard to judge until it launches its new WP7 devices …
Wireless Watch, 24 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Google's patents bid may prompt showdown with Microsoft

Google bid $900m for Nortel patents on Monday, as its defence against rising Android litigation. The search giant now needs to compete with Apple, Nokia and Microsoft in an aggressive intellectual property rights (IPR) power play. When Google emerged as the stalking horse bidder for Nortel's huge patents hoard, it indicated how …
Wireless Watch, 10 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Apple plays cloud catch-up

Apple may be untouchable in tablets and hard to beat for mobile user experience, but it will prove more vulnerable as the focus of innovation moves to the cloud. Cupertino's offering here is a mess, with a collection of non-harmonised services such as MobileMe. It will need to do a lot of work to fend off Google, as well as the …
Wireless Watch, 01 Apr 2011