Research Dives into BYOD, Mobility and Carrier Ethernet

Carl Weinschenk

Valuable studies and surveys are released every week. For the week of Jan. 28-Feb. 1, compelling research looked at mobility, bring your own device (BYOD) and the carrier Ethernet sector.

Baseline reported on a study by The Telework Exchange that examined the reactions of 300 federal employees to mobility in general and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in particular. The bottom line is that the respondents essentially work longer and more efficiently because of the explosion of mobile devices. At the same time, that security is seen as a growing challenge.

Certain laws of physics always apply. Nothing can move faster than light (though there was a bit of doubt about that for a few months last year). Another is that the more people do business from outside the office, the greater the dangers become. The good news is that the telecommunications and IT industries are experiencing a spate of innovation in Mobile Device Management (MDM) and related disciplines that, at the end of the day, may well minimize the incremental dangers of mobility. At that point, the gain versus loss ratio – the value of greater flexibility and longer work days versus the risk of lost data – will squarely be in favor of expanded mobility.

A study that trod more or less the same basic ground was released by Avanade. The firm, according to a report at InfoWorld, found that BYOD – a step child of mobility – poses security threats, difficulties in maintaining compatibility, and challenges for support staffs. The study, in a result that mirrors the findings of The Telework Exchange, found that great benefits in sales, customer acquisition, time to market and other benefits accrue from BYOD.


The unvarnished truth about BYOD is that the enterprise cannot say no. It will happen with or without the sign-off from IT and high-level executives. The key is to be proactive and deploy the technology and techniques that will minimize the risks. Many of these steps are technical. It is important to remember that employee training in the dos and don’ts of using personally owned devices for work is key.

Indeed, education is powerful. Keep in mind that at one point, using seat belts was a hit or miss affair: Some people did and some didn’t. Now it is rare to see somebody not buckling up. The same benefits of public education are evident in the reduction in smoking. The fact that we are using seat belts more and smoking less can’t be fully attributed to education: In many states, people are ticketed for not using belts and the price of cigarettes has increased dramatically. But public education clearly has helped. It will do the same for BYOD, if applied.

Vertical Systems Group released final business Ethernet results for 2012. The firm said that the retail market rose 24 percent during the year. The leaders in port share, in order, were AT&T, Verizon, tw telecom, CenturyLink, Cox, Level 3, XO and Time Warner Cable. The release classifies a number of other players in two lower tiers.

It is not surprising that carrier Ethernet gained during the year. The category has two great advantages over older approaches: The protocol is deeply related to the premise-based Ethernet used in local-area networks (LANs). This makes the overall networking structure highly efficient. Ethernet also is far more scalable than T1s and other legacy approaches. Subscribers can more closely match their purchases to their true needs.

The overriding story is familiar: Smartphones and tablets are multiplying at an awesome pace. Despite the fact that this certainly is not a surprise, it is important to continue to track just how quick the increase is. This week, ABI Research released some numbers: There will be 1.4 billion smartphones on earth this year. Fifty-seven percent will run on Android and 21 percent on Apple’s iOS. Throw in 268 million tablets – 62 percent on Android and 21 percent on iOS – and we have a massively connected planet.

The big story of the week, of course, was the release of BlackBerry 10. The new mobile operating system clearly is borne into a crowded environment. As most of the commentary over the past few days suggests, the challenge will be if the new entrant is good enough and different enough to carve out a niche. The jury will be out for a while.

Finally, IDC reported that tablet sales are surging. This Bloomberg report at BusinessWeek reports on numbers from the firm: During the fourth quarter, 52.5 million were sold globally. There also was a bit of a reordering: Samsung’s share rose to 15 percent from 7.3 percent during the year-ago quarter, while Apple’s slice of the pie shrunk from 52 percent to a still healthy 44 percent. The release details the progress made by other players and offered reasons for the shift.

Tablets, of course, are a bit behind smartphones. The category is old, but was reanimated by the launch of the iPad three years ago. The dynamics at the top seem to make sense: The category still is fresh enough to see significant shifts. Samsung is increasingly aggressive, hence the near doubling of its market share. Apple is on top – and the only place to go is down.



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