Many experts suggest that the future of smartphones may be in developing economies, because countries with more developed economies are becoming saturated and the lack of thrilling new features is slowing the refresh rate.
Developing economies offer very different business environments. The focus is on mid- and low-cost devices. This context may explain why Apple is struggling in India. Strategy Analytics found that Apple shipped only 800,000 smartphones during the second quarter of 2016. That represents a significant fallout from second quarter of 2015, when 1.2 million phones shipped.
Android, which appears to be better suited for the Indian market, enjoyed a healthy quarter. Smartphone shipments with the operating system increased to 29.8 million from 23.2 million in the second quarter of 2015. Overall, the firm found that smartphone shipments were up from 25.8 million to 30.7 million, a gain of 19 percent, between the two quarters.
Wireless Big City Blues
It would seem that the highest profile cities in the country would have the best wireless service. But The Big Apple isn’t doing too well. Neither is The City of the Angels.
RootMetrics, in its listing of top 125 U.S. metropolitan areas for wireless coverage, put New York in 59th place and Los Angeles in 99th place. It should be noted, however, that two big cities did do well: Atlanta and Chicago finished ninth place and fifth place, respectively. No other top ten city finished in the top 10.
RootMetrics performed the tests on Android phones during the first half of the year. Quality was judged by the ability to place and maintain a call and a number of speed and reliability voice, data and texting factors.
U.S. Broadband Accelerating
The United States’ broadband speeds accelerated during the first half of the year, according to Speedtest.net. The company found that fixed broadband Internet speeds increased to more than 50 Megabits per second (Mbps) for the first time. It was not a trivial improvement: Speeds are 40 percent faster than they were during the year-ago period, according to the firm.
They aren’t fast enough, however, to change the United States’ international status:
Competition is a good thing, and while we’re seeing faster performance than ever before, the internet in the U.S. could certainly improve. The U.S. still lags from an international perspective, currently ranking 20th in fixed broadband and 42nd in mobile internet performance globally.
All Aboard LTE
Ericsson and Bombardier have tested ways to extend the use of LTE on trains. Ericsson says that 11 laboratory tests of communications-based train control (CBTC) were conducted. Examples of the tests are Wi-Fi for passengers, closed-circuit television and voice, platform and advertising services.
The release says that the CBTC tests achieved uplink and downlink latencies “far below the threshold of 100 milliseconds” and packet loss of almost zero. The ability to prioritize mission-critical services is built into the platform. LTE-based remote train control is mentioned in the release, but does not appear to be an immediate goal.
Planning for Robotics
Continuity Central notes the tie between robotics and business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR).
Genfour’s Robotic Workforce Research report found that 94 percent of respondents across the U.S. and UK “either embraced robots, or felt a robotic future would be inevitable.” The report also found that 49.2 percent of respondents project that between 10 percent and 30 percent of their workforce could immediately be automated.
Commentary from Continuity Central counsels business continuity managers to keep abreast of robotic initiatives in their organizations and to create plans to support processes that rely on robots. The story includes a link to an infographic detailing Genfour’s findings.
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 [email protected] and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.