Industry News: August 2015

By: Jesse Cryderman

China Leads in IoT

There are fewer acronyms in telecom today that are hotter than the Internet of Things (IoT). What region is innovating the fastest? The GSMA has published a new report in conjunction with Mobile World Congress Shanghai that positions China as the leader of the pack in the deployment of IoT technology. China is already the leading M2M market, with 74 million connections. 

The report, "How China is Scaling the Internet of Things," is available for free download here.

“Clearly, China’s size offers economies of scale unavailable to other countries, but it’s been the government’s focused strategy, emphasis on common specifications and cross-sector collaboration that has allowed the Internet of Things to scale, delivering positive benefits to businesses and consumer alike,” commented Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “Connectivity is boosting major industries such as logistics, manufacturing and energy in terms of increased efficiency, but it has also created a new consumer market in areas such as connected vehicles, home appliances and wearables, putting China at the forefront of IoT deployment.”

Comcast Launches $15 OTT Streaming Video Service

When millenials tune in to video, it's becoming less and less likely that they turn to traditional Pay-TV. A Time Magazine study last year found that just 44 percent of millenials view TV on a television, and that number is certainly decreasing. Over-the-top (OTT) streaming video services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime kicked off a trend in viewing habits and spending, and then major networks like HBO and ESPN jumped on board with their own direct-to-consumer streaming apps. This transformation of the viewing experience has shaken traditional Pay-TV to its core. So what do you do when your customers pay for broadband but "cut the cord?" If you are Comcast, you create your own OTT service.

Comcast announced Stream on its company blog this week, and it is certainly a leap in innovation from a cable service provider. Stream offers Xfinity broadband customers access to streaming video content from "about a dozen networks" as well as cloud DVR and video on demand for $15 a month. Without the full channel lineup, it's hard to know how valuable this offering is, since Comcast's lowest level of Pay-TV service isn't that much more expensive, and usually includes HBO for a year. Still, this is the first offering of its kind we've seen from a major MSO in the US. It will be interesting to learn how Comcast was able to cut deals with the content networks to make this service a reality without cannibalizing its traditional cable business.

Stream will launch in Boston first, followed by Chicago and then Seattle. Comcast says it plans to expand its footprint across its entire service map in 2016 following these beta launches. 

Hackers Nab 21.5 Million Social Security Numbers

Analysts and security professionals have warned for years that cyber crime is on the rise, and large-scale infiltrations are imminent. Many of the highest profile hacks in recent months have targeted payment systems at major retailers, like Target and Home Depot, or gaming networks, like the Sony PlayStation network. Today, the US Federal Government was the target, and hackers pulled a doozy.


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