Articles by Mark Lowenstein
There is tremendous innovation going on, in many sectors of mobile, and in other areas of the digital ecosystem. But most of this I would categorize as "small i" innovation, not "big i" innovation. As far as something game-changing, I think we're in a bit of a "harvesting," or "pause" period.
Regulators blocked the AT&T/T-Mobile acquisition and have signaled their distaste for a possible Sprint takeover of T-Mobile. Yet, it appears that Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable has a reasonable chance of being approved. Why is that?
With CES out of the way, it is now time to turn to the serious business of 2014. Since we all like to start the year with resolutions, goals, and objectives, here's my 2014 "To Do" for some of the wireless industry's key players.
Well, it looks like 2016 has arrived a little early. We have all known that a Sprint-TMO combination was a distinct possibility at some point, but believed, given the acquisition, and re-capitalization deals involving both companies just this year, that things would play out for awhile. But Sprint's thinking is that if a merger is a distinct inevitability, perhaps better to do it now. I think this makes some sense, and might be better long-term for the wireless industry and consumers.
It's mid-November, which means the beginning of "prediction season" for the analyst community. I'd like to kick things off with a bit of a twist.
How often does this happen to you: Your phone is displaying five bars of 4G or four bars of Wi-Fi, but the data speeds are very slow. This "disconnect" between what a user thinks they should be experiencing and what they are actually experiencing is occurring with increasing frequency. There is any number of explanations in a given situation, but is often due to capacity constraints on the network.
Wearables are the gadget world's equivalent of frozen yogurt shops: they're popping up all over. Signs of an accelerated hype cycle: analyst reports with hockey stick forecasts, conferences seemingly every other week, and a media frenzy over the next mass market digital gadgets… glasses and watches(!)
We are in a new, market segmentation mode for smartphones: devices for different price points, and screen size choices to meet form factor preferences.
Five years ago, the dividing lines were clear. There was your Wi-Fi world, drafting off a home or office broadband connection; and your mobile world, for most other scenarios. But W-iFi is becoming a much larger part of the overall connectivity framework, driven by the spread of portable devices, the thirst for nearly persistent broadband connectivity, the relative high cost (to provide and consume) mobile data, and the limited capacity of cellular networks.
Among the wave of M&A that has swept the wireless industry in recent years, I believe Dish-Sprint offers the most intriguing possibilities for innovative service and business models. The combination of assets could help re-define what broadband and video delivery services look like, over the next five years.