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Judy Reed Smith
What a year we experienced in 2012. Mergers, new wireless network builds, new smartphones driving even more data use, the US economy clawing slowly upward (except when jitters over Europe sink the market), more patent suits over innovation ownership and unquenched thirsts for Ethernet connections. 2013 won’t be easy, but our outlook calls for continued shots of opportunity.
Seismic shifts are reshaping the stateside wireless space for 2013. Following the 2011 regulatory complications that caused AT&T to withdraw its bid for T-Mobile, the pattern of the still-expanding stateside mobile data market is pulling companies into position to deliver competition to the two US giants AT&T and Verizon.
With a number of submarine cable projects such as the Emerald Express Trans-Atlantic Cable System by Emerald Atlantis not progressing as anticipated in 2012, it has been a challenging year for the capacity segment of the market.
This summer saw the collapse of the Pacific Fibre subsea cable project. The proposed 13,000km link between New Zealand and Australia to California, US, decided to cease operations after failing to raise the required NZ$400 million funding.
The painful emergence of 4G services in the UK has been well reported. But Europe’s most competitive mobile market has, in other respects, just enjoyed a remarkable year – albeit one that hints at challenges that lie around the corner.
There’s a new submarine cable being planned across the Atlantic. Unlike the typical transatlantic cable, it won’t land in the US, but in Brazil. In fact it’s a Brazilian company building it.
Memo to Westerners doing business in Asia: shut up. “If you can’t remember when to bow, how to give a business card or how to give a toast, or what colour paper to wrap gifts in,“ says David Iwinski Jr., managing director of Blue Water Growth and 24-year veteran of East-West negotiation, “I have one word of advice: listen.”
It’s not every day that one operator cuts off 680,000 customers at one time, but in Kenya, that’s what Safaricom did. With 19.1 million subscribers, many of whom use the M-PESA money transfer system, being cut off means losing more than a dialtone.
An increasingly broad constituency of supra-national bodies, national regulators and governments are now engaged in the net neutrality debate, often with different views on which course of action to take.
More and more carriers are using the terms ‘partner’, ‘partnering’ and ‘partnership’ to describe virtually every relationship they have with other organisations.
Over the past three years, sub-Saharan Africa has seen significant progress in the deployment of new submarine cables, both on the west and east coasts of the continent. From three cables (SAT-2 and the SAT-3/SAFE cable system), there are now eight major cables, with more likely to come.
It’s that time of the year again when market watchers cast their predictions for the next 12 months ahead.
The buzz around big data is growing bigger by the day. Carriers have found themselves confronted with a never-ending stream of market reports and conferences on the subject. There’s even a big data summit on its way.
My book, ‘Tubes: A journey to the centre of the internet’ is the account of my exploration of the physical infrastructure of the internet.
As of September, a favoured few Kansas City residents will be offered one gigabit per second broadband speeds at reasonably affordable prices.
Which major European operator is likely to lead investments for securing emerging market presence in 2013?
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