Welcome to ZenUnwired; a blog dedicated to tracking developments in technology and strategy, and to deciphering the impact of these developments on wired and wireless ISP's, device manufacturers, OS and application developers, and most importantly - you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekly Roundup - Week Ending April 17th 2010

Sorry I'm a couple of days late, but here are the top stories in the US and Indian wireless markets for the week ending April 17th 2010.


  • On the regulatory front this week, the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2010 finally made Caller ID spoofing a crime, and that includes VoIP. Finally you can breathe a sigh of relief that your number cant be used by others for purposes that range from benign – like crank calls - to nefarious – like identity theft – without legal repercussions.
  • Mobile DTV tests will begin on May 3 in Washington D.C., with 20 channels. Also, Sprint is also pushing its mobile TV service quite heavily these days. Will this finally whet consumers’ appetite enough for them to try watching TV via their mobile devices? I guess time will tell.

  • The FCC is reported to be pursuing its broadband agenda in spite of the legal setback last week.

Wireless Operators

Device Manufacturers
Since networks have become more-or-less ubiquitous, mobile devices have transformed into the great battleground in wireless - not only between device manufacturers but also between the carriers who manage to snag these uber-cool devices.  Here's a great little article from Gizmodo on the Apple vs. Google vs. Microsoft wars.

Mobile OS
Quantcast has released its study of the wireless web consumption by Mobile OS for March 2010. The iPhone is still the top dog, accounting for 61% of the share. The other notable news from this study is that on an absolute basis, the iPhone lost 2.2% of its share in March, whereas Android grew by 1.8%. Android's growth is even more striking in the quarterly numbers. For 1Q, the iPhone dropped by 4.3% and Android grew by 4.6%. It will be interesting to see how these numbers change this summer on the back of some high profile device launches like Verizon's Incredible, Sprint's EVO and the rumored fourth generation iPhone.

Here's a list of some other things that went on in the industry this week plus some opinions and some relevant research.


  • Let's start with some funny stuff. I seriously don't see the connection here but the UN is reporting that there are more Mobile Phones than Toilets in India. Maybe the UN wants to highlight the unsanitary conditions in India, bu their choice of mobile phones as a comparison metric is hilarious!
  • The latest mobile subscribers data (for the month of March 2010) from COAI is now available. That said, the data does not include any numbers from Reliance - apparently they haven't reported yet.
  • Rural Wireless: Accenture recently released their study on business models that can be employed for profitable rural expansion. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It is available for download here. Some additional challenges and opportunities of going rural have been identified by the Plugged.in team and these can be viewed here. Similarly, trak.in has identified rural handset needs here.
  • 3G Auctions: As of the end of last week, the 3G spectrum auction bids crossed the $1.3 Billion mark. Macquarie Group estimates that a pan-India license could now cost bidders as much as $2 Billion.  
  • In some troubling news for Indian operators, Light Reading's analysis of numbers released by TRAI points to the fact that mobile ARPU in India slid by 12.4% in 4Q 2009 to Rs.144 (US$3.26). Additionally, it is expected that these trends will continue sliding in 2010. Minutes of Usage (MOU) also slid in 4Q, and surprisingly CDMA MOU was faring better than GSM.

Wireless Operators


Well, thats it folks! More next week (hopefully, on time)