The big news this week, as often is the case, involved Apple. The company’s introduction of the iPad 6 Plus is noteworthy for several reasons, including the fact that it gives the phablet category an important seal of approval.
The institutionalization of the phablet means that changes to the device landscape become “official.” Instead of big smartphones gradually melding into small tablets, a definitive and stable form factor has emerged. Phablets have played that role for a while, but a seal of approval from Apple is a significant validator.
In other interesting news and insight this week, we saw these highlights:
BlackBerry Buys BYOD Virtual Identity Firm Movirtu
Even in its darkest hours, BlackBerry was acknowledged as an enterprise-worthy and perhaps the most secure vendor of telecommunications gear. But even BlackBerry must continue to build upon its strengths, and it made a move in that direction this week by buying startup Movirtu.
The company, according to ZDNet, is based in London and addresses the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) sector. Movirtu makes “virtual identity” software that enables separate voice, data and messaging bills to be created for each identity. This can be done on iOS and Android devices as well as BlackBerries and doesn’t interfere with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).
The Next Step for VoLTE: Interoperability
The age of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is upon us. Rollout announcements are being made with increasing regularity. Lightreading’s Dan Jones reports from Super Mobility Week, formerly the CTIA show, that AT&T is working with several other carriers to facilitate “direct” VoLTE interoperability.
Jones reports that Dan Rinne, the carrier’s senior vice president of network and product planning, said that work is ongoing:
VoLTE will also require a raft of new interoperability work, because without SIP trunking agreements and other tweaks, you can’t make VoLTE calls to other operators’ networks right now. Rinne says that AT&T is doing “lab-to-lab tests” on VoLTE interoperation right now with several operators. She states that such interoperability will benefit the whole industry.
Wandera Gets Between Apps and Devices
The launch of the Mobile Data Gateway by Wandera addresses what the company positions as a frightening problem. According to the press release on the introduction, seven in 10 mobile devices are transmitting sensitive corporate data in the clear and one in five devices hosts apps that are vulnerable to local access attacks.
Wandera gets between the device and the problem:
The new Wandera Secure protects corporate mobile devices from threats by layering on-device security with real-time cloud scanning in the path of the data. It scans all data including apps and websites, and actively monitors each device for vulnerabilities, providing proactive security to stop threats before they reach devices and sensitive internal corporate resources.
The release cites woefully inadequate security from The Economist, Pizza Express and CNBC Pro as examples of the severity of the problem.
OTT to Almost Double by 2020
Digital TV Research predicts that over-the-top video services will be available to 706.5 million televisions in homes by 2020. That is almost double the reach of OTT today, which the company pegs at 374.4 million homes. The Global Online TV & Video Household Forecasts report says that Asia will grow the fastest, gaining 233 million OTT homes during the period of the study.
The fast growth will be in usage as well as homes covered:
By 2020, 47.6% of the world’s TV households will view online television and video, up from 15.4% in 2010, according to Digital TV Research. South Korea (79.8%) will have the highest proportion by country by 2020, with India (21.9%) at the other end of the scale.
Can Quantum Dot LCDs Sidetrack OLEDs?
And, finally, comes a story about getting the real picture. Television pictures are getting better. The next big step was expected to be organic light-emitting diode (OLED) ultra-high definition monitors.
Computerworld reports, however, that TCL, a Chinese firm that is the third-largest manufacturer of flat-screen televisions, said that it will ship a 55-inch quantum dot liquid crystal display (LCD) television. The set offers about the same quality as an OLED, but at one-third the price. It appears to be a win-win for manufacturers:
Quantum dot (QD) technology, a component added to existing LCD panels, allows manufacturers to offer the same full color spectrum touted by OLED, while maintaining their current manufacturing process.
IHS Research says that 14,000 OLED TVs will ship in the United States this year. That number is expected to reach 1.2 million in 2018. Those predictions presumably were made without factoring in the impact of LCD quantum dot technology, however.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Intenet 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.