Tag: research

Carrier Wi-Fi on the Increase

wirelessmastThe Divination Department at Juniper Research has been chewing its laurel leaves and breathing in the vapours to give an oracle that predicts carriers will put more than four times the mobile data traffic onto Wi-Fi networks by 2019.

Mobile carriers will offload nearly 60 percent of mobile data traffic to Wi-Fi networks over the next four years.

Carriers in North America and Western Europe will be responsible for over 75 percent of the global mobile data being offloaded a spokes Juniper said.

The amount of smartphone and tablet data traffic on WiFi networks will increase to more than 115,000 petabytes by 2019, compared to under 30,000 petabytes this year, representing almost a four-fold increase.

Carrier Wi-Fi us has been increasing as many big mobile carriers and ISPs have deployed large numbers of Wi-Fi hotspots in cities using the existing infrastructure of their customers’ homes and businesses. This enables carriers to offload the saturated bandwidth on 3G and LTE networks.

Figures for 2013 put the total number of Wi-Fi hotspots owned by mobile operators worldwide at 6.5 million. That number is forecast to grow 62 percent by 2018 to 10.5 million.

The Juniper report thinks that small cells — femtocells, or low-power cellular base stations typically designed for use in a home or small business — will account for an increasing share of the data offloaded.

Juniper Research Chief augur Nitin Bhas said that with WiFi-integrated small cells, seamless data services can be extended to non-cellular devices as well, such as cameras and WiFi-only tablets, offering operators the opportunity to develop new revenue streams.

WiFi offloading currently offers a good solution to cellular data bottlenecks, but operators cannot rely solely on residential customers to carry the bulk of the data.

“Operators need to deploy [their] own WiFi zones in problematic areas or partner with WiFi hotspot operators and aggregators such as iPass and Boingo,” Bhas added.


Microsoft says it is still researching

2007_7young-frankensteinMicrosoft has not given up on research and development, despite closing its Silicon Valley lab.

Writing in his bog, Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Technology & Research said that the recent shuttering of the Silicon Valley lab really hurt.

He said that no one at Microsoft felt good about the fact that a significant number of friends and colleagues were laid off.

“These people contributed to the success of Microsoft over many years. As one can readily imagine, the decisions made about how the cuts were implemented within MSR were extremely complicated and personally painful,” Shum said.

There had been some concern in the wider technology community that Microsoft would walk away from the huge amounts of research work it has done. However, Shum said that the closures did not mean that Vole had given up on inventing stuff.

“Microsoft Research still stands strong at 1000+ persons in labs worldwide, making it one of the largest research institutions of its kind in the world, either industrial or academic, “he said.

“Microsoft Research continues to be one of the very few organisations in industry that does true academic style open research. We will continue to collaborate with the academic research community not only in moving forward the state of the art in computing but also in developing computing talent around the world,” he added.

IBM invests in big chip breakthrough

ibm-officeIBM, which has remodelled itself as a business services outfit, has surprised everyone by wanting to be a big player in the chip market again.

Biggish Blue said it will invest $3 billion over the next five years in chip research and development. It wants to find a breakthrough that can help revive its slumping hardware unit.

The plan was announced a week before its second quarter earnings, which, if they are anything like last quarter, will be dire for hardware.

Last quarter sales in its hardware sector plunged 23 percent from a year earlier and the company posted its lowest quarterly revenue in five years.

IBM thinks it can find ways to scale and shrink silicon chips to make them more efficient. The money will be spent researching new materials to use in making chips, such as carbon nanotubes, which are more stable than silicon, are also heat resistant, and can provide faster connections.

Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group said that the announcement was a message to investors is that IBM was committed to chips and thinks great innovation possible.

The investment is equal to half of all IBM’s research and development last year.

Oddly the company is preparing to divest its chip manufacturing business to focus on intellectual property so any developments will be in the nature of being fabless chipmaker. IBM was rumoured to be close to a deal with chipmaker Globalfoundries.

US mums move to m-commerce

mumUS mums looking for an easy way to shop have become some of the broadest adopters of m-commerce, research by Alliance Data Retail Services has found.

However, mums in the UK have disagreed, citing security and fiddly smartphones as prevention for taking up this shopping method.

According to the credit card program provider more mums than ever are using m-commerce to help to be able to shop more efficiently in order to be able to keep up with their busy lives. It pointed out that mums who want to shop and not drop will frequently do so over m-commerce as opposed to having to drive to a store to make a purchase.

Among the respondents, 29 percent of mums said that the primary reason that they chose their smartphones for shopping was due to the speed and ease of the process.

Others used m-commerce to search for promotions and vouchers as well as finding the cheapest branded products.

However, over in the UK, the uptake of this technology is less. In a quick survey of 60 mums, 70 percent said they wouldn’t choose this method of shopping.

One told ChannelEye: “The method doesn’t seem secure. If I’m at home then I’ll feel safer as I’ll be using my own wi-fi but if I’m out it’s a no go. Therefore I might as well just log on using my laptop, which has a bigger screen and is less fiddly.”

Brits fail to secure their mobile devices

ipad3Despite many of us treasuring our mobile devices, we’re not taking precautions to keep them, and their content safe, a study has found.

In its latest report Norton by Symantec Brits are now living various aspects of their work, social and online lives through their mobile devices, surfing online, downloading apps and making payments through them.

In fact we’re so attached to our mobiles that 40 percent of those queried admitted that they could never give up their mobile device, and close to a quarter of adults even indicated that it would be one of the top two personal items they would save if their house was on fire.

A large majority – 63 percent – of mobile users indicated they also stored and access sensitive information on their mobile devices. However, they don’t seem to be guarding this with their lives with almost a half admitting to not using a password to help protect their personal data.

Norton said that this could prove detrimental in the event of theft or loss, giving thieves “a treasure trove of personal information” stored on the device, which can potentially be accessed. This includes personal emails, which could pave a potential gateway to other sensitive information such as work correspondence and documents, passwords for other online accounts, and bank statements.

The study also reveals that losing a mobile device is common, costly and stressful for consumers.

Around one in four adults have had a mobile device lost or stolen, costing individuals an average of £73 for the replacement or temporary use of a mobile phone, and double the money to replace a tablet.

However, it’s not security that comes to their minds when they lose a mobile phone with 39 percent of those asked claiming they were most worried about incurring costly bills due to telephone calls.

And it seems our keenness to get online is also letting us down with over a third
admitting to not always downloading applications from trustworthy sources, and 28 percent claiming that they do not use secure payment methods when making purchases from their mobile device, leaving their sensitive information such as credit card details vulnerable.

According to the survey, seven percent of UK mobile users have already fallen victim to mobile cybercrime.

Most adults also admitted to using free or unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots, and half of them were concerned about the potential risks of using free or unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots, but yet still go ahead.

Just over a third said they used free public Wi-Fi spots to check their personal emails and 16 percent of respondents said they accessed their bank details online through free, unsecured Wi-Fi connections, exposing their sensitive financial details to mobile sniffers.

Smartphones drive trend for app-connected cars

beetle App-Connected vehicles could reach 20 percent of consumer cars in Western Europe and North America by 2017, research has suggested.

In its latest report into this sector, Juniper Research said the trend will be driven by new standards, stereos, head units and high smartphone ownership, which could fuel around 90 million connected cars within the next five years.

It added that the success of new standards such as MirrorLink will be instrumental in creating the foundations for the connected car ecosystem to flourish.

Although traditional embedded telematic services will go some way to pushing this trend, Juniper said that smartphone tethering and  in-vehicle Apps would be the key drivers, and have a knock on effect on the price of vehicle manufacturers’ own embedded telematics infotainment services.

“Sky-high smartphone ownership and a standardised approach to integrating apps into the vehicle head-unit mean that the barriers to making the connected car a reality have all but gone,” said the report’s author Anthony Cox.

However he pointed out that there would be negative factors holding back the growth and that was slow development of the new vehicle market in developed economies.

Companies must adopt BYOD policy

iPad-miniDespite the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture being praised by organisations, three quarters also believe that this new model poses an  increased security threat.

That’s according to research by Claranet, which surveyed  250 senior IT decision-makers in a range of businesses and public sector organisations.

It found that 72 percent of organisations currently have a mobile working service that enables employees to access corporate networks remotely, either on corporate-owned or personal devices.

However, significant security concerns persist, with 70 percent of organisations identifying worries over increased data loss, while 51 percent fear that mobile working leads to less control over how data is used. A further 50 percent believe it poses a greater risk of unauthorised access to IT systems.

The research also revealed a general failure to implement a formal BYOD strategy, with only 26 percent reporting that they had a specific  policy in place.

Just over a third of those queried also said they didn’t allow employees to use their personal devices to access corporate networks, and 10 percent said they actively seeked to discourage BYOD.

Claranet’s UK Managing Director, Michel Robert, said organisations urgently needed to formulate a mobile working strategy, whether they approved of BYOD or not.

He said this was because it was impossible to ignore the reality of technically savvy employees who rely on mobile devices for personal and business use.