[AI] Speech by Alfred Mockett

Subramani L lsubramani at deccanherald.co.in
Fri Aug 10 03:36:34 EDT 2007


I attended to this speech by Mr Alfred Mockett, former executive at the
mobile phone division of BT. I thought this speech summerised exactly
what technology means to all of us. Though nothing disability-specific,
I thought this speech highlights some of the emerging technology trends
and that way, is useful to the tech-observers among us. Sorry for having
posted such a large speech, but it's useful and so thought it fine. Here
it goes:

Speech by Alfred Mockett:

Broadband means many things to many people. In the US the total length
of broadband business is being controlled by cable operators, with DSL
coming second; in Europe the latter is the leading technology. Whereas
in South East Asia, broadband remains the primary access technology.
Telecom operators around the world are broadband enabling their phones,
for the customers to access the Internet anytime, anywhere.

No matter where you live, the trend is clear: high-speed Internet access
is the way to go and it is changing the way people work. Last year, the
total number of broadband use grew by 30 per cent; the total of 280
million broadband users. It is going to grow at that pace and in 2010,
we are going to have 400 million broadband users around the world. 

Now, to put things into perspective, let's take the example of Google.
The Internet service provider receives a billion information request
every day and that volume accounts for just one percent of the total
Internet traffic. And in the UK a milestone event happened this year
-for the first time, watching television, as the most popular form of
leisure activity, was surpassed by Internet surfing. Whether this is
progress or not is a matter of opinion, but there is a great impact of
broadband both at home and in businesses.

The countries with the most broadband users are, obviously, the US, UK
and Japan. But, if you look at the rapidly growing areas that would tell
a different story. You have Greece, Romania, Ukraine, and, yes, India.
India, I am told, is growing at the rate of 20 per cent per month. That
may mean a small user base -perhaps two million-but the price is
attractive -six bugs compared to 20 or 25 bugs elsewhere. China is the
second in the countries with most number of broadband users with 52
million and is growing at 90 percent per year. With this kind of growth,
it will surpass the US as the country with maximum number of broadbabnd
users this year. But, even with that kind of growth rate, China is still
a potential market, as the penetration rate is just 3.4 percent of the

While the broadband is going through this phenomenal growth, it is also
going through a massive transformation. Telecom operator have to resort
to business that are completely different from traditional telephony
business such as video-on-demand and VOIP services. In Europe, a project
to transfer even the telephony services into broadband and replace the
existing PSDN services is in its near completion. Last year, BT (British
Telecom) had announced that a million of its customers are making phone
calls using VOIP services. In the US six million homes switched from
traditional phone services to cable-based telephone services- that again
is another the firsts for the industry.

Even the traditional print and broadcast services have changed their
business models -some of the leading TV channels in the US have tied up
with Microsoft to give access to their web programmes. The telecom
companies all have recognised need for different services -the tripple
play is not enough and so they are getting into quad play. A survey in
2006 by research firm IDC revealed that 44 percent of customers
preferred using mobile phones to make calls than the landlines -in the
survey's 50 year history, mobile phone has overtaken landline services
for the first time.

All the major telecom players are either setting up their wireless
divisions or trying to buy back the ones they had sold off years ago or
spending money to get back into the wireless business. There are some
real monstors in the US like AT&T; BT, France Telecom, Deutsch telecom
-all have their wireless business along with the traditional landline

In the US all the cabel companies are answering the call to the wireless
demand -Fox cabel has started its own wireless division, while Time
Warner Cable is planning to introduce wireless in all its divisions. And
here in India, BSNL has tied up with Microsoft to offer its
applications. In the past, it was enough to have a foothold in one of
these services, but today nothing shorter than quadplay is enough to
sustain the business. 

These progresses are of course the tip of the iceberg, for the real end
goalis actually to provide a comprehensive package of services and
contents which the customer will be able to access anytime, anywhere, no
matter what device he has at that moment -mobile phone, PDA or even the
gaming consort. This is the way the industry is converging today. 

Moving content across the network seamlessly has been talked about for
ages now. Of course, this is turning out to be a reality in recent
times. But the sheer complexity of it all is keeping it more a vision
than a reality. Hardware venders and bodies like the Wi-Fi alliance and
the Fixed-Mobile Convergence Alliance are now working to making this
vision a reality. 

The interesting thing in this convergence is the investment operators
are making to migrate to next generation technology. Last year, the
number of Fiber opticusers grew by 54 per cent; the number of Internet
users through fiber optics was 30 million. Though it is comparatively
smaller than the traditional DSL and twist-pair cabel, demand is likely
to grow along with the need for higher bandwidth to access the content.
For example, the new digital TV services require a bandwidth of 3MBPS
and High-Definition TV or HDTV may require anything north of 8MBPS,
which is tough to achieve with twisted-pair.

A recent Wallstreet Journal article suggested that the amount of HD
video that would flood utube users is enough to double the Internet
traffic -just one company, with one application still in its infancy,
look at the effect it can have on the market.  WIMAX is another
technology that is particularly applicable in countries like India. The
technology has its origins in 2001, when it was defined as the wireless
technology that is designed to address the last-mile connectivity issue
and an alternative to DSL. In fact, it is proving to be much more than
that. Today, it is running head-to-head with 3G all UMTA and CDMA 2000

WIMAX has several applications -it can connect hotspots, it can connect
various networks to give comprehensive connectivity. It has its
application in point to point high speed data, it can leapfrog to
provide local access in countries like India, where the last mile
connectivity is continued to be an issue because of the remoteness of
certain regions and the difficulty in connecting 650,000 villages. It
can be the de-centralised, deployment friendly way of providing internet
access to the rural population.

There are two challenges -getting the spectrum from the government and
evolving a business model that ensures services reach the rural
hinterland. WIMAX should be able to achieve both. However, the
subscriber base I just 250,000 and equipment sales is just $ 400 million
-which means WIMAX is still in its infancy. While in the US cities like
San Jose, San Francisco and Philadelphia have partial WIMAX solutions,
Taipei is the only city in the world which is fully WIMAX enabled. I
hear from the government here that Bangalore could be the second WIMAXED

Investments in the convergence are quite staggering. In the next few
years, BT will be spending 10 billion pounds to lure its customers into
the next generation network technology. Telecom Italia say it will
invest eight to nine billion Euros in the next ten years. In the US the
AT&T is going to spend $ 750 million this year alone to accelerate its
fiber-based IP services.

Telecom operator in Korea is investing heavily to provide anytime,
anywhere, broadband access and even mobile operators are investing on 3G
and beyond to equip themselves for the transformation and are also
adding Wi-Fi capabilities to the phones. But, despite all this, the
success of broadband hinges on a very important point -delivering a
compelling customer experience. This means having services that value to
the customer and services that the customer can consume easily and
simply. The best example for that is technologies like Blackberry which
have made customers adictive.

The above mentioned qualities have actually transformed Blackberry from
a high-level business tool to a social phenomena. That social phenomena
has even lead to a popular medical condition, the Blackberry thumb, the
soring of the thumb due to excess usage of the device. As a result of
the phenomena, market for smartphones grew last year by 75 per cent and
the users' numbers went up to 280 million.

Similarly utube and My Space have created markets for online video
sharing and social networking that never existed a few years ago. Blogs
have created a new dimension and is used by teenagers and professional
journalists alike. The tipping-point in these cases happened when
someone created a tool that instantly appealed to the mainstream users.
Let's take another example of a service expected to take-off but
customers are yet to use it in a large scale: mobile videos. 

There are reasons for that, the screen of television at home are getting
larger and High-Definition videos are becoming quite possible and so,
customers don't see more back for their buck as far mobile video is
concerned -it isn't seem to be giving compelling user experience. These
are smaller , whereas customers can go home and surf around 500 channels
of high-quality. What is so compelling to pay for a limited content on a
small screen? So, I don't see a tipping-point here.

Another application in the piping for long is home network. The
technology is available to move images, music and other content between
different devices from room to room but the reality of making it all
work is proving to be very difficult. So, home technology appeals to the
savviest of technology users today. Up to half of the home networking
devices are returned to the venders with no faults to be found. Simply
put, they are too complex to install and activate and customers couldn't
handle it.

But that may change. In the consumer electronic show in Las Vegas Sony
announced that it is going to attach networking with the televisions and
customers can get the content by just pressing a button. When we talk
about technology, we can't under-estimate the importance of consumer
experience. For example, AT&T has said that its IPTV roll out isn't
going on as predicted -just last year they announced with much fan fair
that it would have 18 million IPTV users by the end of 2007. And a few
months ago, they quietly announced that it's going to be eight million.
This is due to a problem with the middleware. Not that it doesn't work,
only that it is just so clumsy.

The point to be remembered is that mainstream consumers are not
interested in technology for technology sake. Yet the continuing growth
of the broadband suggest that they are interested in what they can do
with the digital devices that can become part of their life. All that
they want is to access their music, photos, text messages and so on
wherever they are and with whatever devices they have. Unfortunately
delivering services through all those disparate sets of devices is
anything but easy today. The other problems is that these devices are
growing incredibly complex -cellphones of today have several features we
just don't use.

And using smartphones,service providers are realising that it is six
times more costly to maintain them than the traditional phones. Our
service providers say the explosion of Blackberry services is causing to
double the seats in their call centres every six months. That is the
bowlway of activities that comes with the complexities of smartphones.
Set Top Boxes and even gaming consuls are getting complex. This places a
huge demand on the consumers, who already have so many demands in their
personal lives. 

The emortional difference the device makes is the key to attracting
customers to technologies. In short, rather than providing similar
technology services, it is imparative for technology venders to add
crucial differentiators that can enhance customer experience and keep
him to the service. 

-----Original Message-----
From: accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in
[mailto:accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in] On Behalf Of Syed Imran
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2007 8:56 AM
To: accessindia at accessindia.org.in
Subject: Re: [AI] Nokia 5500

What is third generation phone?
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "sweety bhalla" <sweety.bhalla at ifciltd.com>
To: <accessindia at accessindia.org.in>
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2007 4:33 AM
Subject: [AI] Nokia 5500

> Hi all,
> Nokia 5500 sports, this mobile phone is listed on nuance's website and

> will work with talks.
> Me and one of my friends  willing to by this phone after getting
> towards it's very good features. Moreover, it's cost is just RS. 6800!
> its
> a third generation phone!
> A Month ago,  it's cost was around 13 K but now it is available on
> cheap price.
> There is a bit confusion about it's performance with talks. I have not

> found any user of this handset with talks so we can get the proper 
> information. As
> per the review, some of the sighted people are not satisfied with the 
> performance of Nokia 5500.
>  Its a Symbian 9.01 phone and has 64 MB internal memory and we can
> up to 1 GB memory card. There are many good features in this set but 
> question
> is that does it hang so oftenly? Sighted people are not happy with it,

> will this create any problem to us people too using with talks?
> Why the price has come down at this level?
> Please let me know whether should we go for Nokia 5500 or not if
anyone of 
> you is using the same mobile phone.  Thanks a lot in    anticipation.
> Regards
> (Sweety Bhalla)
> Assistant Manager
> Mobile # 9868300466, 9818132488
> E-Mail sweety.bhalla at ifciltd.com
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