Jonathan Stark: End Users Adapting Tablets for Specific Business Needs
Verizon's Big Spectrum Deals Spark DOJ Antitrust Probe
Over the last month, the Dose has been keeping tabs on Verizon's purchases of Advanced Wireless Spectrum (AWS), including a $3.6-billion deal with "SpectrumCo" and a $315-million deal with Cox Communications. The fact that both deals were "pending government approval" didn't raise any major flags when the stories originally broke, but now it turns out that approval will not be as promptly forthcoming as initially assumed. The Justice Department has opened investigations into whether the deals concentrate too much control of the limited available spectrum into the hands of one company and whether the cooperation deals between Verizon and the cable companies constitute violations of antitrust law.
Qualcomm, Verizon, Zephyr Technology Partner on M-Health Monitoring
Patients with congestive heart failure in rural Arizona are receiving the latest innovation in mobile health technology: a Motorola Droid X, loaded with software to help monitor, record and report health issues to their doctors. The device will be able to take readings from a variety of medical equipment, such as wireless blood pressure cuffs and pulse oximeters, and report the data to doctors in hospitals. The project is aimed at helping patients without ready access to medical facilities get better care, while cutting down on unnecessary and costly physician visits.
Holiday M-Commerce: Big Days for Mobile Shopping
Not surprisingly, Black Friday shoppers turned to their mobile devices in record numbers last week. Cyber Monday also showed impressive increases in the amount of shopping done via mobile.
- eBay experienced a 250% increase in the number of sales via mobile on Black Friday, while PayPal reported a whopping six-fold increase in total volume, compared to Black Friday last year.
- Findings from the National Research Foundation concluded that almost 33% of smartphone users planned to do research and price comparison on their mobile devices on Black Friday, and 13.7% planned to make purchases using their smartphones.
- On Cyber Monday, 6.6% of all online sales were made via mobile, almost triple the percentage on the same day last year.
Comviva Launches E-Wallet Service in Somalia
Global mobile solutions firm Comviva has teamed up with Somalian telecom provider NationLink to bring its e-wallet service to under-banked and unbanked sections of the Somalian population. Comviva's mobile financial platform offers international inbound transfers, domestic transfers, utility bill payments, mobile ticketing service, and the ability to top up prepaid mobile time. The new service will allow Somalians unprecedented levels of convenience and security in their finances, and will open the door to many who have not previously had access to banking. This kind of innovation again demonstrates the power of mobile to revolutionize the way people across the globe accomplish everyday activities.
RIM to Offer Device Management for Android, iOS
BYOD has been a hot button topic for the Dose lately. RIM is now making a move to capitalize on its expertise in enterprise mobility management and mobile security with "BlackBerry Mobile Fusion," a multi-platform device management system targeted at enterprises. This service represents a significant step by RIM to stay current as enterprises are increasingly moving away from BlackBerry, and as the BYOD culture gains momentum.
Pushpins Mobile Coupon App Releases New Features
Pushpins, the popular app that helps users save on groceries, released Pushpins 2.0 today, and the new version came with a raft of new features. Pushpins 2.0 has many standard grocery app features, such as a shopping list function, but some new unique features include the ability to suggest related coupons to items already on a list, and rewards programs to help increase customer loyalty. Just another example of mobile's ability to change the way people think about everyday things.
European Providers Hunt For Alternatives as 'Unlimited' Data Declines
With the general consensus holding that unlimited data plans are ultimately unsustainable, and therefore obsolete, European providers are examining more innovating pricing schemes as a way to hold customer loyalty. Many operators are understanding that voice is no longer the driving force behind mobile and are increasingly separating data plans out, offering flexible, tiered plans that can be "bolted" on to separate voice plans. Check out this in-depth article from fiercewireless.
How Far Can Mobile Innovation Go? One Kenyan Farmer Stretches The Boundaries
Su Kahumbu, a Kenyan organic farmer, noticed particular challenges faced by many of her cow-herding neighbors, namely effective breeding and nutrition practices within their herds. She came up with a unique solution: the iCow mobile app, which sends specific and timely information to farmers to help maximize the efficiency of their herd management. Though 80% of Kenyans are farmers, Kenya is on the forefront of Africa's mobile revolution (a majority of Kenyans have cellphones), and s iCow proves, even in low-tech industries mobile has the potential to revolutionize the way people do business.
Disabled voters in Oregon will be experiencing something never before seen in the US today: an official election app. Oregon has spent over $75,000 developing software designed to make today's elections easier for voters who might otherwise have trouble with paper ballots. Volunteers turned out at community centers, parks, and nursing homes, bringing with them iPads loaded with the election app. This demonstrates just one more of the myriad ways that mobile technology is changing the way people think about everyday activities, as well as new activities unique to mobile.