Mobile Devices Approach Commodity Status

Carl Weinschenk
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Migrating from Android to iOS or iOS to Android

Some weeks, the top story is specific to the industry, e.g., new iPhone, a phone company merger or a similar high-profile event.

This is not one of those weeks. The biggest news this week in the telecommunications and IT industries is not in the industry itself. It is the mid-term election, which resulted in a new atmosphere under which the government runs, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ). This no doubt will impact the industry segments. How, precisely, only will become evident over time.

Now let’s discuss other news from this week.

KitKat on Top

ZDNet reports that KitKat, a.k.a. Android 4.4, has finally taken the top spot on the Android operating system usage list. KitKat, which debuted on October 31, 2013, on the Nexus 5, hit the 30.2 percent usage mark on the week-long period ending on November 3. Android 4.1 was next at 22.8 percent and Android 4.2 third at 20.8 percent—they are both referred to as Jelly Bean.


The cyclical parade will continue. The story says that older versions of Android still on the list will “remain significant” well into next year. At that point, Android 5.0 likely will pass up KitKat.

Organizations Establish New SDN OS

Light Reading reports that software-defined network (SDN) experts from Stanford University and the University of California Berkeley have introduced the SDN Open Network Operating System (ONOS).

The open source system, which will be available for download on December 5, is aimed at enabling agile service creation and scale deployment on any hardware, according to the story. It is viable for “white boxes” as well. The first iteration will aim at service providers. Later, versions will be made available for cloud providers, enterprise and mainstream deployments.

Founding members include AT&T, NTT, Ciena, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel and NEC. The system, according to Light Reading’s Mitch Wagner, sounds similar to OpenDaylight, an existing initiative.

Shiny, But Not as New as Before

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has an article pointing to what may be a shift in consumer thinking toward smartphones. The idea is that excitement is beginning to wane: Smartphones have been around for a while and big advances are less likely. The changes from one model to another may be more incremental and less exciting:

Call it the end of the beginning of the mobile revolution, an inevitable transition in which people start to give up on the grand (and expensive) experiment of tacking new gadgets onto their lives at regular intervals. We now know exactly where PCs are invaluable and where the usefulness of smartphones and tablets begins and ends. As a result, mobile prices are falling, and manufacturers are competing most fiercely at the bottom.

The bottom line is that mobile devices are transitioning from novelties to commodities, which is a major mobile development.

Smartphone

SDN and NFV Set for Aggressive Growth

SDNs and network functions virtualization (NFV) are big business, and Infonetics Research has released a report that suggests just how big. The firm expects the global service provider market for the two futuristic networking technologies to reach $11 billion by 2018.

The report, according to the company, identifies different sources for that market. For instance, it pegs new SDN and NFV software at 20 percent of the combined market and products that will replace existing products of a different type will be 12 percent.

We Are Not Alone

And, finally, comes a story with some pretty creepy overtones. An anonymous security reporter at Network World writes about a site that posts feeds from more than 73,000 security cameras and DVRs in 256 countries. The cameras are from Foxcam, Linksys, Panasonic and the DVRs are from AvTech and Hikvision. These are feeds from everywhere, including babies' bedrooms and other such sensitive places. The feeds can be hijacked because people are not changing the default usernames and passwords on the devices.

The details in the story on this security issue are scary:

There were lots of businesses, stores, malls, warehouses and parking lots, but I was horrified by the sheer number of baby cribs, bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens; all of those were within homes where people should be safest, but were awaiting some creeper to turn the ‘security surveillance footage’ meant for protection into an invasion of privacy.

The story says there are 40,746 pages of unsecured cameras just in the first 10 listed countries, including 11,046 in the U.S.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.



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