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TMT Predictions 2015: The future in Technology, Media & Telecommunications

January 28, 2015 Comments off

TMT Predictions 2015: The future in Technology, Media & Telecommunications
Source: Deloitte

Technology – TMT Predictions 2015

  • The Internet of Things really is things, not people
  • Drones: high-profile and niche
  • 3D printing is a revolution: just not the revolution you think
  • Click and collect booms in Europe
  • Smartphone batteries: better but no breakthrough
  • Nanosats take off, but they don’t take over
  • The re-enterprization of IT

Media – TMT Predictions 2015

  • Short form video: a future, but not the future, of television
  • The ‘generation that won’t spend’ is spending a lot on media content
  • Print is alive and well–at least for books

Telecommunications – TMT Predictions 2015

  • One billion smartphone upgrades
  • The connectivity chasms deepen: the growing gap in broadband speeds
  • Contactless mobile payments (finally) gain momentum

The Decoupling Effect of Digital Disruptors

January 7, 2015 Comments off

The Decoupling Effect of Digital Disruptors (PDF)
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

While the Internet’s first wave of disruption was marked by the unbundling of digital content, the second wave, decoupling, promises to generate more casualties in an even broader array of industries. Digital start-ups are disrupting traditional businesses by inserting themselves at every juncture in the customer’s consumption chain. By decoupling-the act of separating activities that people are used to co-consuming-new digital businesses are disrupting retailing, telecom, and other industries. Decoupling allows consumers to benefit from the value created at a lower cost or effort compared to what is delivered by traditional businesses. For those companies, the only solutions are to either recouple activities or rebalance to create and capture value (i.e., revenues) from both activities separately. Here, digital technologies can be seen as an instrument that will both disrupt traditional business models and potentially preserve them.

Issue Brief: A “Backdoor” to Encryption for Government Surveillance

January 2, 2015 Comments off

Issue Brief: A “Backdoor” to Encryption for Government Surveillance
Source: Center for Democracy & Technology

Encrypting smartphones and other tech products will help protect against malicious hacking, identity theft, phone theft, and other crimes. However, a government mandate requiring companies to build a “backdoor” through encryption to facilitate surveillance would put consumers at grave risk and impose heavy costs on US businesses. The government can obtain information for investigations from other sources and may be able to compel an individual to decrypt information with a search warrant.

UK — Tecmark Survey Finds Average User Picks up their Smartphone 221 Times a Day!

November 20, 2014 Comments off

Tecmark Survey Finds Average User Picks up their Smartphone 221 Times a Day!
Source: Tecmark

Not only do we take to our phones to carry out more than 200 tasks a day, but we start early too! Our research found that the average user reaches for their phone before they’ve even gotten out of bed – checking the weather, picking up emails and seeing if we missed anything on our social channels before we even think about breakfast. And we’re on them late, with the average time at which we last check our phones in a day of 23:21. We amass 3 hours and 16 minutes of time on our phones over the course of the day in total.

Free registration required to download raw data, including gender and regional breakdowns.

Wireless Taxation in the United States 2014

November 19, 2014 Comments off

Wireless Taxation in the United States 2014
Source: Tax Foundation

Key Findings

  • Americans pay an average of 17.05 percent in combined federal, state, and local tax and fees on wireless service. This is comprised of a 5.82 percent federal rate and an average 11.23 percent state-local tax rate.
  • The five states with the highest state-local rates are: Washington State (18.6 percent), Nebraska (18.48 percent), New York (17.74 percent), Florida (16.55 percent), and Illinois (15.81 percent).
  • The five states with the lowest state-local rates are: Oregon (1.76 percent), Nevada (1.86 percent), Idaho (2.62 percent), Montana (6.00 percent), and West Virginia (6.15 percent).
  • Four cities—Chicago, Baltimore, Omaha, and New York City—have effective tax rates in excess of 25 percent of the customer bill.
  • The average rates of taxes and fees on wireless telephone services are more than two times higher than the average sales tax rates that apply to most other taxable goods and services.
  • Excessive taxes on wireless consumers disproportionately impacts poorer families.

The Cost of an Internet Access Tax

November 6, 2014 Comments off

The Cost of an Internet Access Tax
Source: American Action Forum

A ban on Internet access taxes has sailed through the House and is awaiting Senate action before the end of session. The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act is a permanent extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), which was passed in 1998 to prevent local and state governments from taxing consumers for Internet access or levying Internet-specific taxes. By our estimates, letting the Internet Tax Freedom Act sunset could cost consumers $14.7 billion a year in taxes if Internet access were subject to the countless taxes of wireless service. With businesses and families already feeling the brunt of the high taxes and a slow recovery, a new tax could hurt this dynamic part of the economy.

With a sunset of ITFA coming in mid-December, some have tried to rope this must-pass bill with the more contentious issue of Internet sales tax. However, taxation of Internet access should be judged on its own merits, separate from the broader issue of taxation on goods sold over the Internet.

Smartphone Data Encryption: A Renewed Boundary for Law Enforcement?, CRS Insights (October 17, 2014)

November 6, 2014 Comments off

Smartphone Data Encryption: A Renewed Boundary for Law Enforcement?, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Modern-day criminals constantly develop new techniques to facilitate their illicit activities. They have adapted to cross, circumvent, and exploit a number of boundaries—including geographic borders, law enforcement jurisdiction, turf, and cyberspace—which simultaneously present obstacles for the officials tasked with combatting these malicious actors.

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