Friday, May 20, 2011

3G and 4G applications will replace the web

This week, we were at Amdocs, a specialist in billing services for mobile operators, and we were able to obtain information about the future of mobile and probable developments. Let's start with an interesting development: the transition from a 'web' to a model applications and services. " Currently, the majority of services use the Internet connection directly to your smartphone and do not work if your package does not include access, they are dependent on network quality.

This is a problem in that the offers are not really unlimited: the uses are unlimited, but the flows are limited when a fixed amount of data initially is exceeded. This limit, called "caps" in the U.S., is troublesome in some applications, like streaming music. In the future, this simple but effective should not really change.

Three cases should arise, so some are already deployed. The first case is when services are held by the operator himself. Take the example of Deezer with Orange in France: the online streaming service is offered at a lower price to users of Orange - interesting point - the traffic-related service is not recognized by the operator.

Specifically, even if the caps is reached, Deezer continues to operate normally, which is not the case for example of Spotify. For Orange, the interest is obvious: it's a great marketing tool and the cost is still controlled, even if present, which explains the 5 € per month requested. The second case is when the costs are completely controlled by the application or service, as with the Amazon Kindle.

The e-book of the American firm is indeed comes with a 3G chip in some of its versions, and can download books directly to 3G. Interestingly, the 3G card is not charged to the customer, Amazon is that supports data transfers because the company has total control over costs: the only thing (or so) it is possible to do is buy a book.

In practice, the books include therefore the cost of transmission, which is then donated to the operators by Amazon and the transaction is transparent to the user. In fact, there is a defect in this type of billing: you have total control costs, which limits the possibilities. The last solution, which is not deployed yet but should eventually become interesting is a partnership between application vendors and operators.

The idea is simple: the user pays the publisher who will then arrange with the operator to obtain favorable terms as a higher bandwidth for certain services or lack of speed limits for the application itself if the caps are exceeded. The most obvious problem is cost control at the publisher, evidently because some services require more bandwidth than others.

Still, the deal is interesting because it allows for better control costs, which remains the underlying problem. For a fan of Twitter and instant messaging, an offer with a low flow is sufficient, while for those who listen to radio or music online, access to 3G + is required. Offer a "web" of basic inexpensive, with access to the EDGE network and caps low (typically 200 MB), coupled with an offer providing access to 3G + or 4G for some applications that transfer a lot of data or that require velocity at time t would make sense for both operators and users.

In practice, such offers are limited, as operators offer of "unlimited", but the evolution of networks is one way that will help promote offers like this, highlighting applications. A simple example is a media application: the website of a newspaper is often quite heavy and the data is loaded for each connection and each page change.

With an application, there is less data to transfer - it is limited to new information, the site structure is already in the device - and transfers can be concentrated by directly loading several articles. For the operator, the benefit is obvious: there is less data transferred and are transferred at once.

For the user, there are also benefits, with a more fluid, no waiting time between pages and loading is faster overall. The current problem is more related to the habits of users: operators are accustomed to the customers offers "unlimited" when the networks are not designed - and have not been thought - for this type of use.

Skip to offers more selective - and therefore de facto limited - will therefore be in pain, it is a fact. And - we'll talk about next week - do not be fooled: it's almost forced a passage for traders.

No comments:

Post a Comment