The Comunicano Daily for Thursday December 17, 2014

 
 
 
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Changes. Lots and lots of changes in mobile. T-Mobile rolls a stash of data. Doctors make video house calls. Sprint drops their sponsorship of Nascar. Those stories and more are all just below...So now onto the news..

 

 
 
 

T-Mobile Allows Subscribers to Hold on to Unused Mobile Data

 
  T-Mobile USA, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the United States, said on Tuesday that it would allow customers to roll their unused mobile Internet data into the next month's billing. Or, as John Legere, the company's chief executive, put it in a video broadcast: "What you don't use, you won't lose."  
 

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A Doc in Your Pocket: Doctor on Demand Gets Smarter

As you travel to your destination this holiday season, you may be bringing bags filled with presents - as well as runny noses, colds, flus, extra stress and high emotions. And there's a good chance that you'll see your primary-care doctor or psychologist before the year is out.
 
 

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T-Mobile US confirms 700MHz LTE network live in Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Minneapolis and Washington DC

TeleGeography's free daily email summary of the world's top telecom news stories.
 
 

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You may wonder why Sprint is giving almost 15 months of notice to NASCAR that it's dropping its title sponsorship. The reason is simple. It will take a long time to find a sponsor ready pony up the kind of money it takes to sponsor and support such a massive sponsorship every week during the NASCAR season...

 

 
 
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Sprint to Drop Nascar Partnership After 2016 Season

Sprint has decided not to extend its Nascar title sponsorship for the Sprint Cup Series, citing the need to focus on its core business. After the 2016 season, the telecommunications giant will allow the partnership to expire. Nascar has partnered with Sprint for years.
 
 

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In light of the Sony hack encrypted email is going to be the rage. Obviously, with Gmail and Google Apps so widely used, Google is sending a message that they're getting ready to offer that to their users.

 

 
 
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Google's alpha-stage email encryption plugin lands on GitHub

Google has updated its experimental End-to-End email encryption plugin for Chrome and moved the project to GitHub. The firm said in a Tuesday blog post that it had "always believed strongly that End-To-End must be an open source project." The alpha-stage, OpenPGP-based extension now includes the first contributions from Yahoo's chief security officer, Alex Stamos....
 
 

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NBC wants to make sure you can watch their content. Anywhere. But they've put a few catches to insure that their cable subscribers only see it--for now.

 

 
 
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NBC to roll out live streaming - but not so fast, cord cutters

Saturday Night Live isn't live streaming just yet. NBC has announced plans to begin live streaming its network shows, but cord cutters won't have access to the new service. The peacock network will start streaming to mobile and desktop devices on Tuesday, but viewers will need to provide a login tied to a cable subscription to gain access.
 
 

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Google Ventures is moving big time into healthcare. 

 

 
 
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Google Ventures Shifts Focus to Health Care

Google 's venture-capital arm is moving strongly into health care and life-sciences startups, mirroring shifts at the Internet giant. More than one-third of the money Google Ventures invested in 2014 went to health care and life-sciences companies, up from 9% each of the prior two years.
 
 

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While Marriott and Sheraton have already stated their no-key required, no check-in approaches, along comes Hilton with their own claims.

 

 
 
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Hilton's digital check-in and room selection rolled out worldwide

17 Dec 2014 | Get Free Access to Breaking Hospitality News Here [News, Information Technology] Hilton Worldwide has announced that its pioneering digital check-in and room selection technology is now live across more than 4,100 hotels spanning 11 brands worldwide. This includes more than 260 hotels across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
 
 

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Comunicano client PixiePath's CEO Bryan Field-Elliot was was interviewed on That Drone Show this morning. You can hear via YouTube just what PixiePath is all about.

 

 
 
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PixiePath CEO On Drone Fleet Management Platform

You can watch PixiePath CEO Bryan Field-Elliot talk all about Camera Drones, Quadcopters, Multirotors and more Video Podcasts at ThatDroneShow.com

 
 

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The next set of stories are all about drones. How they get used, where they can and can't and what may keep them from transforming business and privacy as we know it today.

 

 
 
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The Future of HealthTech - Ambulance Drones

In December 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos caused quite a stir with the announcement of his company's plans to offer 30-minute product deliveries via unmanned aerial vehicles (more commonly referred to as "drones"). Drones have been deployed by the U.S.
 
 

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Drone Shows L.A.'s Expo Line Route from a Bird's-Eye View (VIDEO)

L.A. has become a drone development center, in part because of Hollywood's desire for great aerial shots, and in part because of the tech explosion in Silicon Beach and Downtown L.A. A journalist can pick up a phone and find out if any of the city's hottest drone companies has...
 
 

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New York City's Drone Ban Would Be the Strictest in the Country

‚ÄčA New York City council member is introducing legislation that would ban drones in the city, according to draft legislation obtained by Motherboard. The bill would amend the city's existing administrative code on aviation to severely restrict drones within city limits, essentially banning them except under very specific circumstances.
 
 

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Flying a drone in the UK: What you need to know

Drones of all shapes and sizes will be popular Christmas presents this year, but while some of the most dramatic videos are shot by flying over skyscrapers and famous landmarks, few pilots are aware of the laws preventing drone flying in built up areas.
 
 

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LTE-Advanced is a Sports Programming Opportunity on Steroids

The flying P has been the Flyers' primary logo...The flying P has been the Flyers' primary logo since the beginning. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LTE Advanced is something I'm starting to see rolling out as I travel. It's actually been here in Portugal for about a year though not really named LTE-A. The speeds are insane. Something like 150 megs on mobile. So what this means to me is how sports and entertainment will take on a whole new life on mobile devices.  As someone who grew up working around the growth of PRISM in Philadelphia, where it was one of the USA's first regional sports and entertainment networks to offer cable customers home games of the Philadelphia Flyers on cable, to be able to watch first run movies without leaving their homes before HBO carried them and to see other premium content, I can see the parallels so very clearly.

We'll start  to see sports packages on your mobile devices that make MLB's At Bat seem rudimentary. This is also going to be a massive opportunity for the PayPerView business and for out of market rights and viewing. For example, Real Madrid can sell their rights to specific operators in specific markets outside of Spain. Exclusively. For the operators, they can build on fan loyalty, or better yet, Real Madrid can become a globally operating MVNO, where the money they make on the content, easily covers the cost of voice, text and data

This would also be a boom to mobile operators who would rather be infrastructure providers and pipe suppliers, letting others take on the marketing of the services, which creates a massive opportunity for a company like ITSON, who wants to change how mobile subscribers pick, buy and consume their plans and services a massive opportunity. This is why net neutrality rapidly comes to the front line, but there will be so many different business plays by the operators possible, the question will become which model will work best where.

The IEEE's Spectrum has a nice take on what the technology means as it makes you realize what's ahead for us with mobile.


The App Store Onslaught

English: A black version of an emblem used by ... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you noticed at which the number of apps being updated in the Apple App Store has increased lately? Between new apps being launched along with updates and bug fixes for iOS 6 as well as to work more and better with the iPad Mini, the volume of updates since Thanksgiving has accelerated.

This is because of one reason. It's called the holiday break before CES. Taken seperately, there's no issue with Apple's super staff who manage app submissions and approvals from taking a well deserved holiday break, espeically for new apps going into the store. But with CES starting on January 5 (well AT&T's Developer Summit is then at the Palms) and as apps are the new products for many, getting into the App Store is equivilant to landing a slot in every Wal*Mart or being found on the shelves at Costco to a brand.

That's why you are seeing so many apps being pushed out now.

Miss the window that reportedly closes the week of December 17 and it likely will be when CES starts before new apps appear. 

 


It's An Apple, It's A Nokia, Yes It's SuperPhone

Move over Smartphone, a new sheriff is in town, and it's called the Superphone. At least thats the moniker being plastered about via GigaOm's founder Om Malik, who in an comprehensive overview is describing just what is going on in the smartphone/superphone market.

The comment which caught my eye is his closing comment about M&A activities where Om opined about a New York Times comment that:

If nothing else, the SuperPhones has created a demand for mobile apps, The New York Times says. Increased M&A of these mobile apps is up next, the Times says.

You see, as I wrote last month, the App Stores have become the equal to the super merchandisers, like WalMart, aggregating a diverse set of products. Right now the app stores take a slice of the pie (i.e. up to 30 percent I hear) from the companies that sell via the retail store front. In many ways this reminds me of the franchisee's contribution to the master franchiser who collects a piece of each sale, in exchange for the use of the name and other essential benefits. With the App Stores it includes an SDK, a set of API's, a common interface on devices and the Web, promotion to attract the users to the store, a payment mechanism which includes transaction procession and settlement, including how chargebacks and fraud are handled, etc.

By offering the "all in one place" operation the App Stores are both the destination and the commerce platform, thus enabling the growth, sale and adoption of so many new applications. This makes me wonder how soon before we see more activity from the largest writers and publishers of software, such as Oracle, Microsoft and Symantic, etc. who have very little, if anything really out there on the new Superphones/Smartphones to rave about.


Get A Life! I Mean, Get a Number In Second Life

Well it seems that just like in the gaming world, where Microsoft's X Box Live has been racking up voice minutes for years, has seen Second Life roll out voice services to a point where 15 million minutes were consumed last year, at a rate of 700,000 users per month signing up. That's faster than Vonage and may be faster than Skype at this point.

With the ability to call and be called from your first life universe, basically what Linden Labs (the creators of Second Life) are doing is seeking to become a second Skype. Depending on how "open" the Second Life Universe is, if there are such things as API's it won't be long before Skype has a "Second Life" calling capability, or would that be Third Life once the IPO and make it so Skype users can call Skype 2L users directly, without ins and outs of the pre-first life PSTN network.

All joking aside, what this is about is monitization and connecting. In Second Life people want to communicate and VoIP is a proven way, ala X Box Live to do that.