#TBT: Mobile data use surges; Mobile advertising ramps up; Sprint, Clearwire tensions … this week in 2010

Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on those sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

Mobile data use surges

Whether or not carriers will admit it, one thing’s for sure in the overall scheme of things: mobile data is being used at a faster clip than they can increase capacity. Take Allot Communications Ltd.’s latest report, wherein it calculated mobile data bandwidth usage increased by 68% in the first half of this year. There’s no real surprises in the study, but there’s even more data to back up and highlight the trends that have defined the mobile industry for years now. Video is still the biggest consumer of mobile data at a rate of 35%. It’s also the largest growing application type with a 92% increase, thanks in large part to YouTube, which is fresh off a 123% jump. To get a sense of how quickly and widely social media is being adopted by users, there’s Twitter Inc., which grew its share of mobile data bandwidth overall by 310% and Facebook Inc. continued to take mobile by storm with a 200% leap. “The results of our latest MobileTrends Report reinforces that mobile broadband operators continue to face growing challenges as subscribers demand real-time content through an array of smartphones and Internet devices,” said Rami Hadar, president and CEO of Allot. … Read more

The rise of Apple in mobile advertising

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is losing momentum to Google Inc. (GOOG) on the operating system front, but for the time being it appears to be more than making up for it on the advertising front. The maker of all things iOS, including the recently launched iAd mobile advertising platform, is projected to end the year with 21% of the market, according to new estimates from IDC, which were provided to Businessweek.com. Keep in mind that iAd only launched a couple months ago and will effectively end the year with only six months on the clock.
Such a meteoric rise from a new entrant will always have a lasting effect on the incumbents. As such, IDC expects Google’s share of the market to drop to 21%, from 27% last year. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is projected to slide to 7% from 10%, despite its forthcoming Advertising Exchange for Mobile alongside its Windows Phone 7 operating system refresh. … Read more

Google’s mobile ads go hyperlocal

Google Inc. (GOOG) is rolling out a new hyperlocal advertising feature for mobile ads, according to a Google Mobile Ads blog post. By leveraging a user’s GPS coordinates, the new feature will serve ads for relevant nearby business and display distance information to let users know how close they are to a specific business. “This powerful ad feature delivers down to the block level information about your business at the right place and at the right time,” wrote Surojit Chatterjee, Google Mobile Ads product manager. The hyperlocal distance information will include a marker with the exact distance between the user and the business location. Users can only see the hyperlocal ads if they’ve opted in to share their location on Google.com. “This visual cue instantly helps customers who are on the go and close to a point of sale know that your business is nearby which can drive more traffic to your store and generate more revenue for your business,” Chatterjee added. … Read more

Sprint execs resign from Clearwire board

The increasingly uneasy relationship between Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) and Clearwire Corp. (CLWR), which Sprint Nextel owns a controlling interest in, appeared to get more uneasy today as Clearwire announced that Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse had resigned his position on Clearwire’s board of directors. Following Hesse out the door on the board was Keith Cowan, president of Sprint Nextel’s strategy and corporate initiatives, and Steve Elfman, president of Sprint Nextel’s network operations and wholesale services. Clearwire noted that it was informed by Sprint Nextel “that the decisions to resign were made out of an abundance of caution to address questions raised by Clearwire regarding new developments in antitrust law.” Clearwire’s board includes 13 members, seven of which Sprint Nextel has the right to appoint. The remaining three four members of the board appointed by Sprint Nextel are to remain, with the carrier reserving its right to appoint three new members at a later date. Sprint Nextel’s CFO Robert Burst, who himself is set to leave the carrier in the coming months, noted at a recent investor conference that there was some tension between Sprint Nextel and Clearwire over the retail direction of Clearwire’s Clear-branded service offering. … Read more

Everything old is new again: Net neutrality edition

Democratic efforts to give the Federal Communications Commission interim authority over net-neutrality issues failed to move forward in the last days of Congress. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said his bill failed to get enough support to get out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Waxman’s bill would have restored the FCC’s authority to prevent blocking of legal Internet content, applications and services; prevent broadband providers from discriminating against lawful Internet traffic, prevent wireless providers from blocking services and direct the FCC to issue transparency regulations. However, Waxman failed to get support from Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), who said there wasn’t sufficient time to address the matter and ensure the proposal would keep the Internet open without impacting innovation and job creation. “It is not appropriate to give the FCC authority to regulate the Internet,” Barton said. “If the Congress wants to prevent the FCC reclassifying Internet service under Title II, it should go ahead and do so without qualification.” … Read more

Hands-free voice prompts for your phone

Boston-based startup AdelaVoice is looking to tackle the increasing problem of distracted driving caused by cell phones with the launch of its StartTalking application. The company said the application allows users to compose, send and receive text messages using only their voice. The company, which is backed by Stage 1 Ventures, said StartTalking allows users to speak commands, dictate messages and listen to messages without having to touch a button on their device or look at the screen, which remains off when using the application. Users only have to speak their device’s pre-assigned name, which “wakes up” the handset and begin dictating their requests. The application works for both text messages and in creating and sending audio recordings to other smart phones. AdelaVoice’s CEO Chris Hassett noted that while the application is always ready for a user’s voice commands, it consumes around 4% of battery power per hour. The application is currently in open beta and works with smart phones running Google Inc.’s Android operating system of the 2.0 variety or later and is available through the Google Market. AdelaVoice said it was looking at expanding the availability of the application to other platforms as well as to so-called “feature phones” that do not run an open-sourced operating system. … Read more

Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.

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