Lebanon backtracks on plan to tax voice calls made over the internet

Lebanon has decided to backtrack on a policy that would have resulted in a daily charge to users wanting to make voice calls over the internet.

The plan was to charge 20 cents per day for calls made over the web; including using services like WhatsApp and FaceTime Audio.

While it's a relatively small daily charge, Lebanon expected it to result in an extra $200 million per year for the cash-strapped government.

Lebanon recently declared an "economic emergency" and is currently in the process of...

By Ryan Daws, 18 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Connectivity, Government, Mobile, OTT Services, VoiP.

WhatsApp: ‘Advanced cyber actor’ installed spyware

OTT messaging giant WhatsApp has confirmed an ‘advanced cyber actor’ exploited a major vulnerability to install spyware on users’ devices.

With over 1.5 billion active users, WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app. This popularity makes WhatsApp a key target for both independent and state-sponsored hackers.

The attackers compromised devices by making fake calls to victims’ devices. Users did not even have to pick up the call for the malicious code to be...

By Ryan Daws, 14 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, Mobile, OTT Services, Security, Smartphones, Surveillance.

SK Broadband is having to double its capacity for Netflix

South Korean fixed broadband operator SK Broadband has said it’s having to double its network capacity to cope with Netflix demand.

In order to cope, the operator will boost its data transfer speed for high-speed networks to 100 Gbps from 50 Gbps. The operator plans to address complaints about Netflix streaming quality by doubling the size of its overseas network.

South Korea is renowned for its fast broadband speeds. Last year, SK Broadband rolled out 2.3 Gbps internet speeds and the nation regularly...

How GPS and the Internet of Things are enabling new tracking apps

The emerging new applications of the global positioning system (GPS) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are only limited by a savvy vendor's imagination. Exploring the full potential of these enabling technologies is resulting in significant new upside revenue opportunities.

According to the latest market study by Berg Insight, the market for consumer GPS pet trackers and services in Europe and North America is forecast to grow from € 60 million in 2017 to reach about € 340 million in 2022.

GPS tracking...

By David H. Deans, 16 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Innovation, IoT, OTT Services.

How blockchain is revolutionising telecom business support systems

Sponsored The business support system (BSS) remains the lifeblood of any communications provider. You can spend all you want on the network, but if you want to get that fast speed to a customer and make it useable, you cannot neglect the back office.

If you have an ageing BSS, your very survival could be at stake. These warnings have been concerning telecom operators for some time. Take a report

By James Bourne, 14 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Service, Operators, OTT Services.

How connected cars are driving mobile eCommerce applications

Automobiles are getting smarter and more connected to the world around them. The term 'Connected Cars' refer to devices installed in the vehicle which allow machine-to-machine (M2M) communication or machine-to-human interaction.

M2M is communication between two single machines with no human interaction. Regarding vehicle telematics, M2M technology enables data to be sent from the vehicle to another location and used for vehicle conditioning or to monitor driver behaviour.

Connected cars market...

By David H. Deans, 07 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, IoT, M2M, OTT Services.

Trump’s administration sues California over its net neutrality bill

The state of California is being sued following its decision to side with the majority of internet users and protect net neutrality.

Consumers are strongly in favour of net neutrality. In research conducted by Maryland University, 83 percent opposed repealing the rules – including 75 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Democrats, and 86 percent of independents.

The state of California acted to...

Skype’s classic interface avoids executioner’s block for now as Microsoft extends support

Skype’s classic interface has gotten a reprieve. Microsoft confirmed it would be extending support for Skype 7, or Skype Classic, “for some time” after feedback from users.

The original shutdown date for the current iteration of Skype was set at September 1, with Skype 8 originally being launched to Windows desktop last October.

Customers had expressed disappointment at new features, including the ‘all-in-one’ chat functionality based more on the Windows 10 design at the behest...

By James Bourne, 07 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, OTT Services.

The evolution of the mobile telecom service business model

Mobile communication service providers across the globe have been eager to uncover new sources of subscriber revenue as over-the-top (OTT) apps continue to disrupt their traditional business model offering voice calling and text messaging.

These operators are currently under pressure due to investment in emerging technologies, including 5G and M2M networks.

By David H. Deans, 25 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Mobile, Networks, Operators, OTT Services.

Enabling the benefits of network virtualisation through smart data

During the past decade, the telecoms landscape has changed dramatically. The emergence of OTT players has eroded service providers’ voice and messaging revenues, with reports suggesting that the widespread adoption of OTT messaging and VoIP services will drive losses of $386 billion for the telecoms industry between 2012-2018.

At the same time competitive mobile operators have moved to unlimited data...

By John English, 19 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content, Disruption, NFV, Operators, OTT Services, SDN.

Ofcom: Streaming app subscribers overtake broadcast TV

According to a report from UK telecoms regulator Ofcom, the number of streaming app subscribers has overtaken broadcast TV for the first time.

Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and NOW TV are becoming ever more attractive due to their growing libraries, exclusive content, on-demand access, and little-to-no adverts.

Indeed, the report notes access to original and exclusive content is the primary reason for signing up for on-demand services. An increasing number of respondents also claim they signed up as it...

By Ryan Daws, 18 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Broadcast, Entertainment, OTT Services.

Let’s get digital: Using new technologies to rival disruptive over the top players

The communications service provider (CSP) industry is experiencing significant challenges. Disruptive technologies have given way to an army of streaming service providers, such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple’s iTunes, as well as IoT smart home devices that sell directly to the customer, bypassing CSPs. Offering services that deliver simple and tailored experiences is now vital to remaining relevant and competitive.

The information and its analysis provided through technologies are the driving force...

By Chris Lawrence, 15 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Networks, OTT Services.

Amazon muscles in on BT and Sky for Premier League rights: What’s next for each company?

Let’s get one thing straight with regards to Amazon buying a package of Premier League rights: it is, for now, simply a foot in the door. Testing the waters, if you will.

When the major rights were announced in February – Sky and BT Sport securing the primary packages for £4.464 billion – there were two smaller rights packages yet to be resolved. Some believed the packages would be filled by Amazon as part of a testing process. Others were less sure. Whichever, where does this leave...

By James Bourne, 11 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Broadcast, Consumers, Content, OTT Services.

Editorial: A look at Gavin Patterson’s five-year tenure as BT CEO

The CEO of BT, Gavin Patterson, is stepping down after a five-year tenure in the post which has seen the business go through substantial changes.

During his time, Patterson handled the mobile industry-shaking £12.5bn acquisition of the UK’s biggest mobile operator, EE.

Patterson also oversaw the split of the Openreach fibre broadband network from BT into its own company and worked to modernise the company’s IPTV offerings as OTT players like Amazon Prime aim to replace traditional...

How AI will advance the mobile messaging app evolution

There has been a significant evolution in the variety of use cases for mobile Application to Person (A2P) messaging. Historically, A2P was used for alerts and as a billing mechanism and carrier for simple content and services, both for one-off downloads or actions (e.g. voting) and for recurring payments.

The latter use case has declined in the past 5 years, due to a combination of the transition to an app-based economy, largely driven by card billing and by regulatory action -- in markets such as the U.S....

By David H. Deans, 05 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, Machine Learning, Mobile, OTT Services.

ACSI: Streaming TV dominates telecoms industry satisfaction

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), consumers are far more satisfied with streaming TV over their other telecoms services.

ACSI argues video streaming often avoids the downsides of alternative telecoms services, including subscription TV.

Video Streaming

David VanAmburg, Managing Director at the ACSI, said:

“Streaming services don't have the hidden fees and six-month rates that subscription TV does, not to mention they're cheaper and simpler.

By Ryan Daws, 23 May 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Broadband, Consumers, Entertainment, Industry, IPTV, N America, Operators, OTT Services, Research.

Technology, media and telecom 2018 M&A deal update: Value goes up but deals go down

As more companies use technology innovation to improve their scale, automation and robotics continue to generate interest among investors. Mapping and software development have significant potential, particularly as most business leaders seek to digitize their commercial operations.

This trend will continue for some time. Consulting on the various types of new technology tools will also likely be an area to follow in the near future, according to the latest worldwide market study by

By David H. Deans, 08 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, China, Content, Entertainment, OTT Services.

Innovation on call? Why it's time for telcos to differentiate

With a fast-developing tech revolution forcing major changes on the telco industry, it’s a focus on customer experience that will determine whether or not the big incumbents can stay relevant.

A digital mindset runs deep in the telco industry, who have been at the forefront – or even the conduit for – many of the digital services that have reshaped our world. Ironically, many of these have in turn threatened or cannibalised incumbent telco revenue streams. ‘Over-the-top’ (OTT)...

By Justin Small, 01 March 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Innovation, Operators, OTT Services.

Assessing BT’s content strategy with OTT behemoths on the horizon

(c)iStock.com/claudiodivizia

MWC The recent tussle for the English Premier League football rights was shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Will this be the season where the purely-digital disrupters, the Amazons, the Facebooks et al, finally get a piece of the pie?

In a couple of words – not really. Sky and BT Sport again secured the main packages for £4.464 billion for matches from 2019 to 2022 – two smaller rights packages remain unresolved – with BT adding in a statement that it remained...

By James Bourne, 27 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content, Operators, OTT Services.

A new reality awaits: Are AR and VR the next big platforms in telecoms?

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have the potential to become the next big platforms after PC, web, and mobile. Isolated applications of AR and VR have been around for a while, but the technologies to unlock their potential have only recently become available. We expect AR and VR to fundamentally transform how consumers interact in the physical world and how enterprises run their operations. 

Augmented and virtual reality: Distinct but complementary technologies

In a nutshell, AR overlays...

By Gunish Chawla, Daniele Pe and Irish Manipis, 20 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Disruption, Networks, OTT Services.