Google: No iPhone 5 Map App Yet
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Google: No iPhone 5 Map App Yet
Don't expect to see a standalone map app from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iOS 6 mobile operating system anytime soon.A spokesman from Google told Light Reading Mobile last week that Google is open to doing maps for the new Apple operating system and iPhone 5. But Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters in Japan Tuesday that it hangs on whether Apple allows the app on the app store."We have not done anything yet," Reuters quotes Schmidt as saying."We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?" Schmidt reportedly continued. "What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call."Apple users and commentators have been complaining about the quality of the new, homegrown map app in Apple's iOS 6. Apple had been using Google Maps since 2007.Why this matters The map app -- not the phone's browser -- is increasingly becoming the search mechanism of choice for users searching for places in the local vicinity. Thus the map app becomes an important tool for user loyalty and ad revenue generation.
Verizon: Simplify the Home, Protect Fiber's Value
DALLAS -- FTTH Council Expo -- The fiber-to-the-home industry needs to collaboratively tackle the issue of growing complexity in the digital home, including in-home wireless, says Robert Mudge, president of consumer and mass business markets for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).The proliferation of wireless devices and of potential applications such as in-home healthcare will require a new approach to managing bandwidth inside the home that doesn't depend on frequent upgrades to networking devices and highly sophisticated network integration, Mudge said in his keynote address here today.Expecting consumers to figure it out on their own or to be willing to purchase new consumer premises equipment (CPE) every 12 to 18 months is a formula for failure, he said, and could even turn fancy fiber services into commodities on which others innovate."We need to collaborate as a group to help create a simple and seamless experience in the home," Mudge said. In a conversation after the presentation, he added that this could include routers or residential gateways that enable a consistent experience and stability for the home technology user over a period of years, not months."We need to keep understanding what kind of bandwidth will have to be distributed within the home and make sure we have routers to keep pace, and devices that can talk to each other," Mudge added. "We also need to decide as an industry what we can do, what's too much, and what are the cost implications."He said simplicity for the customer will be a major focus for Verizon going forward in order to not only continue driving the new applications that create demand for FTTH, but also retain customers and avoid becoming a commodity pipe.A failure to continue to deliver on integration of in-home devices and technologies into the broadband service will cause customers to "lose faith" in their service providers, Mudge said. Successfully solving the home bandwidth distribution and device integration issue will, conversely, open up new paths to greater revenue.And now the shameless plug: Both Robert Mudge and the digital home debate will be front and center next month at TelcoTV -- it's not to late to join us.
FTTH Quietly Grows 10% in North America
DALLAS -- IP Possibilities -- The North American market for fiber-connected homes has grown 10 percent in the past six months, a little-heralded increase mostly led by smaller telcos, the FTTH Council reported here Monday.The number of North American homes connected directly to fiber hit the 9 million mark, said Michael Render of RVA Consulting in his annual research report to this conference. Render believes the continued growth of the North American market for fiber is being generally underestimated since the dramatic days of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s FiOS push have come to an end, and he attributes that to several factors."People are not seeing the growth in connected homes in Mexico and Canada," Render says. Those countries, respectively, have 250,000 and 400,000 FTTH lines connected.Some observers also don't consider continued fiber take-up in the FiOS footprint that involves TV-only or voice-only customers for Verizon, as well as what he calls "stealth FTTH" deployment by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and others. AT&T is using fiber for greenfield buildouts but is not trumpeting those deployments as FTTH because it isn't marketing new higher-speed services on those fiber networks, according to Render.Finally, Render says, 855 of the other 1,000 providers of FTTH are small companies with less than 10,000 subscribers, and their deployments are flying under the radar.Of course, FTTH connections remain less than 10 percent of total broadband connections in the U.S., led by cable modems at almost 50 percent and DSL connections at just above 30 percent but declining.U.S. FTTH subscribers receive an average tested download speed of 22Mbit/s, according to RVA. Render sees a still small but significant audience of very high-speed consumers, including 516,500 households with 100Mbits/s downstream service and 803,461 households with 50Mbit/s service.The average take rate for FTTH deployment stands at 42 percent, with real estate developers having a much higher take rate than others.FTTH is still not a slam dunk with consumers, Render admits, as those companies with the higher take rates had stronger marketing campaigns, a strong local presence, good service features and, oh yeah, weaker competitors.RVA is seeing some market impact of the recent moves in Washington to reduce funding via the conversion of USF funding to Connect America, a move that has slashed reimbursements for some rural telco buildouts, Render admits. Those companies that had started deployments are continuing, for the most part, he maintains, but others that had not yet begun deployment are hesitating, as they are now uncertain of their business models going forward.
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