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Recent Opinion Pieces




Mark's opinions are featured in his own Lens on Wireless newsletter, Fierce Wireless, Tech.Pinions, and are also occasionally syndicated to Re/Code.

fiercewireless
December 2016:
2017: A Year of Change for the Wireless Industry

Developments in 2016 laid the foundation for what I believe will be a year of change and innovation in 2017. If there is one over-arching theme, it's that there will be a lot of action on new types of networks. Read the Column...

December 2016:
Memo to President-Elect Trump: Networks Are a Critical Part of Our Infrastructure

President-elect Trump says he wants to spend upwards of one trillion dollars "rebuilding our nation's infrastructure". I urge him to consider that connectivity is as important for business and national competitiveness in the 21st century as improving our roads, bridges, airports, and the energy grid. Read the column...

December 2016:
The Emergence of Purpose-Built IoT Networks

The IoT market became real during 2016. LPWANs were launched in several cities by Ingenu, Sigfox, and the LoRa-based Senet. In 2017, cellular operators will launch IoT networks of their own, in the LTE band. Read more...

Lens
November 2016:
The Wireless Industry is Changing Before Our Eyes

There are moments in time where one can sense important shifts going on in an industry. I think now is one of those times in wireless. Read The Full Column...

November 2016:
The Election's Impact on Tech Regulation

The Obama presidency and the FCC, under Chairman Tom Wheeler, have been among the more activist and ambitious in recent memory. What now? Read the Column...

October 2016:
Takeaways from AT&T Analyst Meeting

Although Wall Street might be unexcited about big telco stock prospects in the near term, I came away with a fairly positive impression of AT&T's long-term direction. Read more...

September 2016:
Are Cable’s Wireless Ambitions Viable?

Does cable have a chance in an already competitive and somewhat saturated wireless market? I see some important hurdles and am a little less optimistic than some others.Read more...

fiercewireless
September 2016:
What Should Samsung Do Now?

How damaged is Samsung's reputation, and what can the company do to repair the damage? Read more...

fiercewireless
September 2016:
LeWho? The Most Ambitious Company You've Never Heard Of.

This 'leading global internet company' plans to take on Tesla, Amazon, Netflix, and Apple, Google, in autonomous vehicles, cloud services, digital content, mobile phones, TVs, virtual reality, and e-commerce. WHO ARE THEY?

September 2016:
Takeaways from Super Mobility Week.

There was substantive focus and important developments in areas such as the IoT, 5G, and technologies power networks, devices and apps we enjoy every day. Read more...

August 2016:
Has consumer tech forgotten the baby boomers?

Read more...

fiercewireless
August 2016:
T-Mobile One – A new reality, not net neutrality

Read more

August 2016:
My love-hate relationship with Medium

Read more...

July 2016:
5G Reality Check

With last week's announcements, the U.S. is in a leadership position on 5G. But 5G will be very, very different than the previous 'Gs'. Read more...

fiercewireless
July 2016:
Verizon-Yahoo Deal: Now What?

Read more

July 2016:
3.5 GHz Spectrum: An Opportunity To Lead in Wireless Innovation

CBRS is exciting because it makes available a substantial amount of spectrum without the need for expensive auctions and not tied to a particular operator. Read more...

fiercewireless
June 2016:
Lowenstein's Key Themes for 2H 2016

We believe the following areas will influence the market over the rest of the year: spectrum/auctions, video, messaging platforms, content deals, and cable's role in wireless. Read the column...

June 2016:
Network Neutrality: Wireless should Be Looked at Through a Different Lens

Much ink has been spilled on both sides of this debate but I’d like to weigh in on the wireless angle. Read the full column...

June 2016:
What a Real Wireless Loyalty Program Might Look Like

The wireless industry has never had a successful loyalty program. I would argue the current offerings are largely rewards programs and giveaways, not loyalty programs. What might a real loyalty program look like? Read more...

May 2016:
Time for Google to Have Consumer-Facing Customer Service

If Google wants to play more seriously in the consumer realm, which was one of the key messages from Google I/O, the company needs a better consumer-facing customer service infrastructure.   Read more

fiercewireless
May 2016:
What Should Cellular, Broadband, and Pay TV Service Cost?

Are cellular, pay TV, and broadband are overpriced. Take a look at the cost of providing some of these services, plot them against demand and usage patterns, and consider some of the unique aspects of the North America market and geography, a different picture emerges... Read More

May 2016:
The Biggest Ripoffs and Best Bargains in Consumer Tech

Here's my admittedly subjective list of the biggest rip-offs and best bargains in consumer technology--from the consumer's perspective. Read more...

April 2016:
How Many Wireless Competitors Should There Be?

Regulators want a healthy level of competition in the wireless business. But at a certain point, this is not working out economically. Read more...

April 2016:
Verizon to Launch 5G Services Next Week [April Fools Column]

A fun April Fool's Column. A surprising number of people were 'fooled'! Read more...

fiercewireless
March 2016:
Where Are We in the Post-PC Era?

We are at an interesting moment in the "Post PC Era", a term the late Steve Jobs coined when he introduced the iPad in June, 2010. My view is that we're perhaps weaving in a bit of a different direction than Jobs envisioned. Read More

March 2016:
Options for Improved Coverage and Capacity Options Multiply

There is a wave of new technology and products hitting the market in earnest, promising to help address some common coverage and capacity challenges, for both cellular and Wi-Fi. Read more...

Lens
March 2016:
TLPS Demo..

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to observe TLPS in action. The result: the addition of Channel 14 resulted in a downlink capacity increase of 45% and an uplink capacity increase of 34%. Additionally, there were modest performance improvements in Channels 1, 6, and 11. Read More...

February 2016:
Why Amazon is More Impressive Than Apple These Days

Apple and Amazon are both impressive companies, doing impressive things, delivering great products and services and delighting their customers. But it makes sense to step back and consider what Amazon is accomplishing. Read more...

fiercewireless
February 2016:
What does the consumer want from 5G?

One element that I believe has been lacking in these early innings of 5G is a discussion of the consumer. What are they looking for in a next-generation wireless network? And how does this relate to fixed broadband, for which the vast majority of mobile subscribers still have a separate subscription? Read More

February 2016:
What is LTE-U and Should You Care?

What if wireless operators had the ability to add substantial capacity to their networks without having to pay billions of dollars for additional spectrum? And what if this also made your WiFi work better? An update on what the LTE-U roadmap looks like for 2016. Read more...

January 2016:
The ‘Three Rs’ of Next Generation Tech

Rights, Rules, and Regulations. Policy is going to have a huge influence on next generation tech. Read more...

fiercewireless
December 2015:
Mobile Industry Themes for 2016

It's that time of year again: my annual 'themes and predictions' column. Spectrum, network capacity and security will take center stage. There will be some breakout categories in IoT. And it will be somewhat of a 'pause' year in the consumer device and wearables category.Read more...

December 2015:
It's Time for DISH's Spectrum to be Put to Work

Poker-playing Charlie Ergen is clearly winning at the game of "spectrum hold 'em". But with the continued demand for data, network capacity is the principal currency in the wireless business. It it finally time for DISH's spectrum to be put to work? Read the full column...

Lens
December 2015:
Test of the T-Mobile CellSpot

I suggested to a friend/colleague who has poor T-Mobile coverage in his house try a CellSpot. Here's his experience...

fiercewireless
November 2015:
2016 Is a Pivotal Year for Sprint and a Stress Test for T-Mobile

We are in the midst of the most aggressive fourth quarter/holiday season customer grab that I can remember. So what happens when the dust settles? I think 2016 is shaping up as a pivotal year for Sprint, and as a stress test for T-Mobile. And, I predict that a year from now, there will be a substantial change in the industry's current structure. Read more...

Lens
November 2015:
Lowenstein's Take on T-Mobile 'Un-Carrier X'

T-Mobile makes a powerful series of announcements. Doubling data on all plans as a way of increasing ARPU. And the Binge On move is again industry altering. Read my analysis here...

November 2015:
Smart City: Time for the 'Live Demo'

The time might be right, however, to take the smart city concept to the next level: an actual, working, and continually evolving smart city, where all the disparate, siloed elements of today’s smart city initiatives are brought together into a more holistic approach. Read the full column...

Lens
November 2015:
Indoor Small Cells: New Business Model Needed

Lowenstein argues that the indoor small cell market will only take off when there are neutral host solutions, and when there's a better business model for businesses to have 'skin in the game'. Read more...

November 2015:
Wi-Fi and Cellular Need to Get Along Better

The Wi-First concept has been around for a few years. The idea is that Wi-Fi can be leveraged to offer a less expensive wireless service. It also benefits the operators, since traffic can be offloaded from the cellular network. But in my view, cellular and Wi-Fi need to get along a lot better in order for these services to become more viable. Read my full column here

October 2015:
The Upcoming Spectrum Auctions Could Disappoint

On March 29, 2016, the FCC is scheduled to kick off the 600 MHz spectrum auction. Many analysts believe this auction will be another bonanza. I have a contrarian view. I don’t believe the auction will be a dud, but it could well disappoint. Read my full column in Tech.pinions.

October 2015:
Could Apple Do More For Families?

Apple has done a fair bit of work over the past couple of years to build share and stickiness in the family segment, with Family Sharing in iCloud and the family membership plan in Apple Music. But given the number of multi-device Apple households, Apple could be doing a lot more for families and groups. Read my inaugural column in Tech.pinions.

fiercewireless
October 2015:
The Most Consistent Wireless Network

Here's an idea for a new operator tagline: "The most consistent wireless network." OK, so I won't win a CLIO. But as banal and unlikely to be adopted as that adage sounds, it's going to be the most important measure of a user's wireless network experience going forward. Read more...

fiercewireless
September 2015:
More Spectrum is Available Than People Think

We have operated under the assumption for many years that spectrum is a scarce resource. But there are a number of developments that could radically change the spectrum framework for the second half of this decade, to the enormous benefit of users and the entire mobile ecosystem. Read more...

Lens
August 2015:
How is T-Mobile Pulling Off North America Roaming?

Read more...

Lens
August 2015:
My 'Summer Camp' Letter to Industry Players

Read more...

fiercewireless
July 2015:
What Should AT&T Do Now That it Owns DirecTV?

Expect aggressive retailing and innovative bundling. The most interesting area will be the content play. Read the full column...

fiercewireless
June 2015:
Is the Telecom Industry Upside Down?

As we approach the middle of the decade, Lowenstein argues that the telecom industry structure is upside down. We need consolidation in wireless, greater competition in broadband, DISH's spectrum to be put into play, and some bold hybrid fixed/mobile experiments a la Europe. Read more...

fiercewireless
May 2015:
What's next for Verizon?

In the wake of the AOL deal and consolidation in cable, what’s next for Verizon? Read the column here.

fiercewireless
March 2015:
How the Google MVNO Could be Really Interesting

On the one hand, Google wants to shake up the industry, and on the other hand, it doesn't want to bite the operator hands that partially feed it. Here are seven ways that I think Google could make its MVNO better. Read more...

fiercewireless
February 2015:
AWS-3 Auction Results Will Cause Strategic Shifts in Mobile

In his latest column, Lowenstein argues that the AWS-3 auction results will have far-reaching implications for the wireless industry. He predicts this will be a “year of deals and new types of partnerships”. Read more...

January 2015:
Day Without a Wallet

As an experiment, I decided to see how much I could do on a given day while leaving my wallet at home and relying solely on my smartphone as a typical commuter in the walking- and transportation-friendly city of Boston. Read this guest post I wrote for Verizon Wireless.

fiercewireless
January 2015:
Seven More Industries Mobile Could Help ‘Disrupt’

On the eve of CES and as we usher in 2015, I'd like look at some industry sectors where I think mobile could have a greater impact. Read more...

E-Book on Wi-Fi First:

You've all seen my numerous posts on both the pivotal role of Wi-Fi in the mobile revolution, and the frank appraisal of what needs to happen in order for Wi-Fi to be a viable substitute for or complement to cellular use for certain types of users and contexts. There's been a lot of progress on this of late. I've written a Foreword to a new book on Wi-Fi First by Alan Berrey, which can be downloaded here

fiercewireless
December 2014:
Grocery Shopping Is an Area Ripe for Mobile Innovation

Lowenstein contends that among our many daily experiences, the grocery shopping experience has been barely touched by the benefits of mobile technology. In this column, he lays out the state of the market and offers several suggestions for what grocery retailers can do. Read more...

fiercewireless
November 2014:
Wireless Windfall: Let’s Put That Money to Work

The AWS-3 auctions have raised more than $35 billion to date. Even after FirstNet and other earmarks have been fully funded, the government will have $25 billion plus that presently is slated to disappear into a Black Hole, AKA the Dept. of Treasury, toward the deficit. Lowenstein argues that there are some important and innovative ways those funds could be utilized. Read more...

fiercewireless
November 2014:
Lowenstein’s Comments on Apple Pay

With Apple Pay, Apple has created the user experience that will usher in broader acceptance of mobile payments. But there’s still lots of work to be done before you can leave your wallet at home. Read the Full Column

Lens
November 2014:
Lowenstein’s Views on Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE

This issue is devoted to my thoughts on three 'new' services that could change the landscape of how we use mobile: Apple Pay, Wi-Fi Calling, and Voice over LTE (VoLTE). Read the latest Lens

fiercewireless
September 2014:
Opportunities for the FCC To Fast-Track Broadband, Competition

There have been three broad themes to the FCC under Chairman Tom Wheeler, reinforced in his remarks at the recent CTIA trade show: more competition, more spectrum, and an open, non-discriminatory Internet. I believe there are some opportunities for the FCC to fast-track certain items that add more mobile broadband capacity and expand consumer choice. Read the Column

fiercewireless
August 2014:
Lowenstein’s Memo to New Sprint CEO: How to Turn Things Around

Sprint’s new CEO, Marcelo Claure, has a significant challenge ahead: Organic subscriber growth has plateaued; the industry is already highly competitive; Sprint's network continues to trail the competition; and T-Mobile has picked off some of the lower hanging fruit of good ideas and potential differentiators, as the industry underdog, over the past 18 months. And, no other country has four facilities-based wireless operators who are all viable and profitable. With that background, here are some thoughts for Sprint's new CEO.

Lens
July 2014:
Ten Everyday Tech Things That Could Be Better

How many times a day, when encountering various tech-related challenges/problems/annoyances, do you think to yourself, “why is this so hard”, or “why hasn’t someone solved this?” Instead of speculating about the “next big thing”, this Lens is devoted to pointing out some smaller issues that, more effectively addressed, would make things better for a lot of folks. So here’s my list of Ten Everyday Tech Things That Could Be Better.

fiercewireless
July 2014:
10 'Uncarrier' offerings I'd like to see…

T-Mobile cleverly coined the term "uncarrier" to market its maverick moves, changing the game in several aspects of mobile services. What are some other “Uncarrier” moves I’d like to see from mobile operators? Read the Column

fiercewireless
June 2014:
Wi-Fi First: What Still Needs to Happen

With the continued growth in demand for data and proliferation of private and public Wi-Fi hotspots, the idea of a 'Wi-Fi First' wireless service has become a favorite discussion topic. It is technically possible to offer a Wi-First service. However, I think there is a long way to go before Wi-First can be considered as a viable, mainstream alternative to a cellular plan. Read More

Lens
June 2014:
Five Reasons Why Sprint-TMO Would be Good for Competition

Regulators' main argument is that further consolidation in the wireless industry would be bad for competition. I believe the opposite. My view is that a combination of Sprint and T-Mobile would be better for competition in connectivity, and in the long run, better for consumers. Read More

fiercewireless
May 2014:
Government: We Need You

In sharp contrast to the rest of Washington, where little of substance is getting done, Tom Wheeler's FCC is actively engaged on many important fronts. And that's a good thing. This is a critical time in the communications and digital media industries. I'm not arguing for a spate of new regulations, but we do need the public sector to be proactively engaged and involved, in two respects. Read More

fiercewireless
March 2014:
And The Next Big Thing Is…?

Lowenstein argues that with respect to game-changing innovation, mobile is in a bit of a "harvesting", or "pause" period. Read More

Lens
March 2014:
Review: Comcast Cloud DVR Service

Cloud DVR is an important element of the evolution of TV Everywhere. Comcast has launched Cloud DVR in Boston. My conclusion: not yet ready for prime time. Read More

fiercewireless
February 2014:
Memo to FCC: If Comcast, then Sprint?

Lowenstein argues that if the FCC takes a serious look at the Comcast-TWC deal, then Sprint-TMO also merits consideration. Read More

Lens
February 2014:
Wireless Pricing Moves: The Broader Context

By now, you've read the news and some analysis of the Verizon "More Everything" announcement. I'd like to look at all the recent wireless pricing activity from a broader context. Let's get one thing straight: we are not in the middle of a "wireless price war" in the United States. Read More

fiercewireless
January 2014:
A 2014 "To Do List" for Key Wireless Players

It is now time to turn to the serious business of 2014. Since we all like to start the year with resolutions, goals, and objectives, here's my 2014 "To Do" for some of the wireless industry's key players. Read More

fiercewireless
December 2013:
Sprint + T-Mobile makes sense

Rumors have surfaced once again about a possible Sprint-TMO merger. Lowenstein acknowledges that regulators might not like the idea, but argues that a deal makes sense and might smooth the way for a maverick fourth player to emerge as a competitor. Read here

fiercewireless
November 2013:
Ten Problems Mobile Can Help Solve

Lowenstein believes we have entered an exciting new phase, where the unique combination of smartphone capabilities, plus their ubiquity and near constant presence, are enabling new categories of applications and services. Here's his take on some major new areas of value creation for mobile.Read here

fiercewireless
October 2013:
Thinking Beyond the Bars

How often does this happen to you: Your phone is displaying five bars of 4G or four bars of Wi-Fi, but the data speeds are very slow. In an era of crowd-sourced data and real-time information about so many things in our daily lives, it's time for a better real-time view of the quality of a mobile data connection. Read here

Lens
September 2013:
Part 2: Microsoft-Nokia Deal: Six Things Microsoft Needs to Do

My analysis of why Microsoft acquired Nokia and thoughts on six things Microsoft should do to become more relevant in mobile. Read More....

Lens
September 2013:
Part 1: Implications of the Verizon-Vodafone deal

My thoughts on the Verizon-Vodafone deal -- why now, its impact on the market, and what it means for the future of Verizon. Read More....

fiercewireless
August 2013:
Wearables: Hip or Hype?

Will wearables continue along their current trajectory--distinct, standalone products aimed at particular market segments--or become the breakout gadget or concept that has broad market appeal, either as a new product category (like the smartphone or tablet), or function as an important companion to the existing products in our digital lives? Read more...

fiercewireless
July 2013:
Smartphone ennui -- and what to do about it

Smartphone sales growth in developed economies is leveling off. It's getting harder to make a truly breakout device. What are some possible ways to reinvigorate the smartphone market? Read my latest opinion column in Fierce Wireless.

Lens
July 2013:
Lowenstein's Take on T-Mobile's New Plans

T-Mobile made several announcements this week to further its "un-carrier strategy": extending family plans to non-credit subscribers, and offering Jump, an innovative plan for those who want to switch their phones more often. Read More....

Lens
June 2013:
What's Next for Sprint and DISH?

Among the wave of M&A that has swept the wireless industry in recent years, I believe Dish-Sprint offers the most intriguing possibilities for innovative service and business models. The combination of assets could help redefine what broadband and video delivery services look like, over the next five years. Read More....

fiercewireless
June 2013:
WiFi Will Be a Bigger Part of Mobile Future.

WiFi is becoming a much larger part of the overall connectivity framework. Continued improvement in WiFi capabilities (speed, range, etc.) and the expansion of indoor and outdoor hotspots mean greater intermingling of cellular and WiFi networks. Broadband companies, such as cablecos, might take greater “connectivity” share. For wireless operators, WiFi is a "frenemy". Read More....

Lens
June 2013:
My Experience with Aereo

As many of you know, I do a lot of work in the area of disruptive technologies and business models. So I thought I'd share a few thoughts on my experience with Aereo, a new service that allows subscribers to view live broadcast television, over the Internet, on their TV or any mobile device, using a remote antenna, without subscribing to cable. Read More....

fiercewireless
May 2013:
A Humorous Look at The Upcoming CTIA Show.

Known for his periodic "tele-comedy" columns, Mark takes a humorous look at the upcoming CTIA Show in Las Vegas. Read More....

Lens
May 2013:
The Emergence of BYOP

BYOD is a big buzzword in wireless. But I think the term is a bit of a misnomer. What we're really seeing is the emergence of the "Bring Your Own Plan (BYOP)" era in wireless. The catalyst, really, is the steady migration to a structure where voice and text are unlimited, and subscribers pay for a bucket of GB. Data is the new currency. Read More....

fiercewireless
April 2013:
Dish-Sprint Could User in New Broadband, Content Era

Among the wave of M&A that has swept the wireless industry in recent years, I believe Dish-Sprint offers the most intriguing possibilities for innovative service and business models. The combination of assets could help redefine what broadband and video delivery services look like, over the next five years. Read More....

fiercewireless
March 2013:
Mobile Payments: E-ZPass vs. Parking Meters.

It is mid-2013, and we are nowhere near where we thought we would be with mobile payments in North America. There's huge velocity in the area, but mobile payments have impacted relatively few consumers' lives to this point. To explain why mobile payments haven't taken off, I'd like to use the analogy of E-ZPass vs. parking meters. Read More....

fiercewireless
March 2013:
Will Wireless Compete with Broadband?

A top strategic question is whether mobile could possibly compete with fixed broadband. My views on this have evolved over the past six months -- the technology roadmap, strategic considerations, and public policy are pointing to the increased viability of mobile being a broadband alternative. Read More....

fiercewireless
January 2013:
Rethinking Business Models for Mobile and Content

The theme of my 2013 "predictions" piece was that this is going to be a year of "disruption" across many elements of the value chain. I'd like to delve a little deeper into a discussion of business models and pricing, where I think we will see both disruption to prevailing structures, and experimentation around new forms of monetization. I see this happening in many sectors of the mobile space: operator pricing, video over mobile, "content everywhere," and applications. Read More....

Lens
January 2012:
TV Will Be Complemented, Not Disrupted

There are many who predict that TV is the next industry to be "disrupted". Certainly there has been a proliferation of over-the-top solutions, expansion of content to mobile devices, and attempts to modernize the user interface. And of course there is ongoing speculation with regards to Apple's next move. But I believe a wholesale disruption to the current framework is unlikely. Read more.

fiercewireless
December 2012:
Lowenstein's Thoughts on 2013: A "Year of Disruption"

In 2012, it became clear that mobile has become a central component of the digital economy. For 2013, I believe there will be some important changes in the mobile industry value chain and prevailing business model, and in some adjacent industries where mobile plays a strong role. Hence, the theme of my annual predictions piece: 2013: Year of Disruption.

fiercewireless
November 2012:
Time to Talk About the 'Post-Smartphone' Era

Steve Jobs, in promoting the iPad, famously coined the term "post-PC." With the success of tablets, and at least modest cannibalization of PC sales, there has been a vigorous discussion of what the next era of "computing" will look like. Read more.

Lens
November 2012:
Top Ten Takeaways from the Open Mobile Summit

My key takeaways from three days spent at the mobile internet focused event, the Open Mobile Summit, in San Francisco. I think we should be including, in this discussion, the "post-smartphone" era. Read more.

Lens
November 2012:
The State of Mobile Broadband

My post-4G World assessment of the "state of the network". Where are we in the deployment of true mobile broadband? Are there new technologies that will deliver significant improvements in performance and efficiency? What "smart pipe" strategies are being enabled by mobile broadband? Read more.

Lens
October 2012:
Sprint-Softbank Deal: My Take.

I think it's a positive for the industry and consumers. Read more.

fiercewireless
September 2012:
Things Operators Need to Fix

The wireless "experience" has improved across many metrics, but customer satisfaction ratings under-index compared to peer firms in the telecom and media sectors. Why? I'll boil it down to two words: unpleasant surprises. Operators must do something about excessive charges for overage and international roaming, and the creep of unnecessary fees. How? Read more.

Lens
September 2012:
Mobile Device Developments: The Broader Context.

Over the past month, all of the phone heavyweights have introduced great new devices. What's the broader context? Some key themes…

fiercewireless
August 2012:
The Next Wave of Smartphone Subscribers

We are starting to see some signs of saturation in the first wave of smartphone adoption. Getting the next 25 percent of smartphone subscribers is going to be a lot more challenging, and will involve different competitive dynamics. Read more.

fiercewireless
July 2012:
The First 'Mobile' Olympics: Lowenstein Gives it a Bronze

With the adoption of smartphones and tablets, availability of 4G networks, and a business model allowing for delivery of content to multiple screens, I'd argue this is the first true 'mobile' Olympics. With all that, however, I'd give it a bronze. Read more.

fiercewireless
June 2012:
Verizon's Share Everything: The Untold Story

Verizon's much anticipated shared data plan, Share Everything, is transformative in multiple ways, allowing for shared data among multiple devices and users in a group, and moving smartphone users toward unlimited voice and messaging. Verizon has taken a leadership position in addressing a market need, recognizing the natural evolution of the wireless industry. I believe there are three aspects to Verizon's strategy, and what it means for consumers, that have been under-explored. Read more.

fiercewireless
May 2012:
The 10 Most Important Questions in Wireless

We are at a unique moment in the wireless industry's trajectory. On the one hand, wireless is growing like gangbusters, globally, across a range of metrics. On the other hand, there are important segments of the industry that are not healthy. Here are ten questions that I believe will have significant bearing on the next phase of this industry. Read more.

fiercewireless
April 2012:
Is the mobile M&A binge crazy or justified?

A few weeks ago, Facebook acquired mobile photo sharing app Instagram for $1 billion. The same week, Shutterfly confirmed this week its acquisition of Kodak Gallery, an online photo storage and publishing division of Kodak, for $23.8 million--and the absence of any competing bids. Are we in a bubble or is something truly disruptive happening? Read more.

Lens
April 2012:
April Fools Lens: FCC Announces The Spectrum Games

Read Mark Lowenstein's annual April Fools' riff: Stunned by a recently released report by Cisco showing that wireless data traffic grew 92% in the past week, the FCC has decided to rush a significant swath of wireless spectrum to the wireless industry - through a unique auction process called The Spectrum Games. Read More

fiercewireless
March 2012:
Preventing a Wireless Mess in Washington

Wireless is among the most vibrant industries on the planet. It is an important source of innovation and employment growth. Unfortunately, Washington is increasingly getting in the way of the future growth of the wireless industry in the U.S. How to fix it? Read more.

Lens
March 2012:
Lowenstein On AT&T "Throttling" Controversy:
Right Move, But Greater Transparency Needed

AT&T is taking a major PR hit for terminating its all-you-can-eat data plan for smartphone users. AT&T made the right decision, but the company could have handled it better. This is the sort of situation that demands transparency. It is also part of a broader discussion regarding data consumption that Lowenstein believes will include fixed broadband as well. Read More

fiercewireless
February 2012:
Are we headed for a mobile talent gap?

Mobile will be one of the leading sources of employment growth and opportunity over the next ten years. But demand far outstrips supply in the technical fields. What should we be doing to ensure there's adequate supply of talent to meet demand? Read more.

fiercewireless
January 2012:
Monetization: The Next Phase of Enterprise Mobility

The enterprise mobility market is on fire. Much of the current activity revolves around B2E deployments and mobile policy/device management solutions. I believe a larger transformation is just around the corner: leading brands will harness mobile to develop entirely new revenue streams. Read more.

fiercewireless
December 2011:
2012: The Year Mobile and Content Will Merge.

In the digital media universe, significant progress is being made on the "content everywhere" framework for television programming, movies, and other media. This is going to force some important economic, business model, and customer experience questions for mobile in 2012. Read more.

Lens
December 2011:
Lowenstein Predictions 2012

See Mark's list of annual provocative predictions: How will mobile and content merge? Will Apple be able to keep up the momentum? Is mobile payments overhyped? Read More

Lens
December 2011:
What's Next in Wake of AT&T Deal Collapse?

For the record, I was supportive of this deal. In the wake of its collapse, expect an intense period of deal activity. It's also time to be thinking about three fundamental issues: How many national 4G networks do we really need? Why are wireless operators so unhealthy at a time of general industry frothiness? And how do we convince regulators to look at wireless through a modified, less telecom-centric lens? Read More

fiercewireless
November 2011:
We Need More Data on Data.

Reading an operator's 10Q is like a step back in time. With all the growth in data, new metrics are needed to more effectively track this side of the business. Here are some suggestions..

fiercewireless
October 2011:
Time for Apple To Do Something With its Cash.

Pressure has been mounting on Apple to do something with its riches. Some thoughts on possible acquisitions, blockbuster moves, and even time to "give back". Read more.

fiercewireless
September 2011:
Is Mobile Ready for the Cloud?

Lowenstein posits that mobile might not be ready for the connectivity model needed for cloud services. Read More.

xconomy
September 2011:
Mobile Platform Wars: What's Next?

Lowenstein foresees an accelerated pace of developments and a re-shaping of the mobile device/platform ecosystem over the next 6-12 months. Read More.

fiercewireless
August 2011:
The Next Generation App Experience

Successful as the app framework has been, I am feeling that we are nearing "overload." Apps are tough to manage on and across devices, vary wildly in quality, and exist in very specific silos. Don't get me wrong--I love my apps the same as the next guy. But given the limitations of the existing framework, and other tools/capabilities becoming available, it's time to be thinking about an evolved, more semantic mobile content experience. Read More.

fiercewireless
July 2011:
Toward A Dynamic Connectivity Model

CNN announced recently it would make simulcasts available on the Web and to mobile devices. Question: do wireless operators want their subscribers streaming video over cellular networks to their devices? Answer: Probably not. What Should be the Answer: A More Dynamic Connectivity Model. Read More.

fiercewireless
June 2011:
M-Commerce: What Does the User Want?

Mobile Commerce is one of the next big things in wireless. But for all the innovation, politics, and deal-making among ecosystem players, has there been enough focus on what the consumer wants? Read Here for my thoughts on the issue.

fiercewireless
May 2011:
The Future of Voice.

When is the last time you thought about wireless voice? Well, despite all the focus on data, I think there will be some important changes to good, 'ol [not always] reliable voice services over the next year. Read More.

Lens
May 2011:
Start-Up Trends.

In May, I attended a start-up forum at the MIT Museum, where some 30 very early stage companies were doing demos. I came away with some broader observations about what this means for the market. Read more.

fiercewireless
April 2011:
FCC Needs to Rethink Wireless.

As the FCC starts scrutinizing the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile deal, I argue that it's time for the agency to start looking at wireless through a more consumer-oriented lens. Read More.

Lens
April 2011:
Apple to Acquire Sprint.

I got more than a few of you in this April Fools piece.Read more.

Lens
March 2011:
Lownstein's Take on AT&T/T-Mobile Acquisition.

Mark says it should go through and will go through. It comes down "less choice for more network".Read more.

fiercewireless
March 2011:
Sprint+T-Mobile+Clearwire: Short-Term Pain, Long-Term Gain?

On the eve of CTIA Wireless 2011, here's a prediction for CTIA 2012: the U.S. operator landscape will look very different. Read More.

Lens
February 2011:
It's Time for Apple to Ante Up...And I Have Just the Right Idea

Lowenstein calls for Apple and other industry leaders to lead a technical revolution in schools. Read more.

fiercewireless
January 2011:
How Will Carriers Differentiate in 2011?

With deltas on pricing, handset exclusivity, and network capability having narrowed, how will operataors differentiate going forward? Read More.

Lens
January 2011:
Lowenstein's analysis of Verizon iPhone.

An important day for U.S. wireless consumers. But sort of anti-climactic after all the hype. Read my analysis in this Lens post.

Lens
December 2010:
Holiday Wish List; Google webinar highlights, Initial LTE Impressions

Rather than the usual predictions column, here's a "holiday wish list" for the wireless industry. The Lens also features some highlights from the Webinar on Google's mobile strategy, and initial impressions of Verizon's LTE service. Read More

fiercewireless
November 2010:
Fearless M&A Predictions

With accelerated industry growth and strong corporate balance sheets, I believe we're going to see intensified M&A activity in the mobile space over the next year. For some of my top predictions, Read More.

fiercewireless
November 2010:
The wireless model is changing. Forever.

With the growth of the industry being propelled by data and connected devices, the wireless business model is undergoing fundamental change. Read More

fiercewireless
October 2010:
How Many Cellular Networks Are Necessary?

Is seven facilities-based operators necessary in a market with surging demand for data and constraints in spectrum and capacity? Lowenstein believes there will be consolidation in 2011. Read More

Lens
September 2010:
Thoughts on Nokia

Will Nokia become more competitive in smartphones? Will they recapture share in North America? My impressions after having spent time with their senior execs at Nokia World. Read More

fiercewireless
September 2010:
How Many Cellular Networks Are Necessary?

Is seven facilities-based operators necessary in a market with surging demand for data and constraints in spectrum and capacity? Lowenstein believes there will be consolidation in 2011. Read More

Lens
September 2010:
Impressions of Clearwire 4G

In September, Clearwire and Sprint launched 4G in Boston. My impressions so far? Read More

fiercewireless
August 2010:
Putting an Operator Stamp on Android

Lowenstein argues that despite its remarkable progress, something is missing with Android. Read More

Lens
August 2010:
Latest View on Femtocells

Femtocells, as they are currently being positioined, will disappoint market projections. But there is a larger concept that is more exciting.Read More

fiercewireless
June 2010:
An Open Letter FROM AT&T

Here's the letter think AT&T should have written to its customers acknowledging the problems and outlining the fix. Read More

fiercewireless
June 2010:
Usage Pricing: The Education Phase

How to avoid Bill Shock, Phase 2? Think about how to best educate customers and develop the right early warning tools. Read More

Lens
June 2010:
Usage-Based Pricing: Alternative Thoughts.

Lowenstein's take on AT&T's recent pricing move. Read More

fiercewireless
May 2010:
What's Next for the Enterprise?

Lowenstein argues that the mobile enterprise market is about to enter a new phase. Read More

fiercewireless
April 2010:
What's Wrong with Being The Pipe?

With the growth of smartphones and app stores, the familiar refrain "the operator is just a pipe" has intensified. This statement generally has a negative association, as if the Apples and Googles of the world are relegating the operators to irrelevance. I beg to differ. Read More

fiercewireless
March 2010:
What's Next for Blackberry?

Blackberry market share has held up remarkably well amidst intense smartphone competition. Is RIM's position vulnerable? What's next for Blackberry? Read More

Lens
March 2010:
Re-Thinking Data Pricing

The proliferation of connected devices and surging mobile data consumption are leading to a vigorous debate about how to evolve wireless pricing. I think the industry needs to be far more creative. Click here to see my five main suggestions. Read More

fiercewireless
February 2010:
The New World of the Wireless Operator

With a rapidly changing competitive landscape, what is the future role of the wireless operator? Read Lowenstein's provocative column. Read More

Lens
January 2010:
Special Lens: What the iPad Should Be

Lowenstein says the mostly negative reviews of the iPad don't see the bigger picture. Read More

fiercewireless
January 2010:
Who ya gonna call?

There's a huge dichotomy between the "wireless world" and the "internet world" when it comes to support. How is this going to be reconciled as we start connecting more advanced wireless internet devices, especially if they are not coming through the operator "channel"? Read More

Lens
January 2010:
Ten Themes for 2010

I think 2009 will be viewed as a "transition year" in wireless. The upcoming year promises disruption to the traditional balance of power. Read More

fiercewireless
December 2009:
Will 2010 be the year for Google?

Just think about the past two months. Launch of several iconic devices through operators. The Nexus One. The $750 million purchase of AdMob. See my December Fierce column for a look ahead to 2010. Read More

fiercewireless
November 2009:
Should spectrum be free?

More than $50 billion has been raised in spectrum auctions. Where has the money gone? With incredible demand for greater network capacity, is it time to be re-thinking our spectrum policy? Read More

Lens
October 2009:
Net Neutrality and Wireless Economics

As the network neutrality debate heats up, Lowenstein argues that the FCC is naive when it comes to understanding the unique economics of the wireless industry. Torrid data growth is going to lead to some major changes in the way we price content delivered over wireless networks. Read More

fiercewireless
October 2009:
Avoiding the 'AOL problem'

We are at a historic point in the wireless industry. Traffic growth is expected to exceed revenue growth for the forseeable future. Remember the early days of the Internet when AOL became known as America On Hold? Could the same happen in wireless? What can we do about it?Read More

Lens
September 2009:
Evolution of Device Based Self-Service

Operators have been successful in automating key elements of the account management lifecycle. It started with increasing functionality on their Web sites, but now the device is becoming an important medium. Implementations are generating positive ROI. Read this Lens piece higlighting the findings of our recent White Paper. For a complimentary copy of the full White Paper, please e-mail me. Read More

fiercewireless
September 2009:
What's Next for T-Mobile?

T-Mobile has had a couple of disappointing quarters and seems to be "caught in the middle". Plus, there are rumors about Deutsche Telekom's plans for the U.S. market. How might T-Mobile differentiate going forward? Read More

Lens
August 2009:
Taking on the Talking/Texting While Driving Issue

There has been a great deal of attention lately to the issue of talking/texting while driving. Rather than dwelling on the public policy aspects, we focus here on what we can do as an industry - education, training, products - to address the issue. Read More

fiercewireless
August 2009:
Could Amazon outmatch iTunes with an Amazon App Store?

Amazon could be a much broader and more significant player in wireless than it is today. In fact, I think they could give the Apple App Store juggernaut a serious run for its money should they decide to enter the fray. Read More

fiercewireless
July 2009:
Wireless industry is anticompetitive? Not so fast

The issue of the wireless industry’s “competitiveness” is heating up once again. The centerpiece issue is handset exclusivity, but there are broader concerns about the industry’s structure, such as the size and scale of the major operators and the commonplace “subsidy for contract” practice. Not so fast, I argue in the July column for Fierce. Read More

fiercewireless
June 2009:
Is TracFone the new Southwest Airlines of wireless?

Is Tracfone the Southwest Airlines of Wireless? With little fanfare, a new service was announced this week that I think is a signature event for the U.S. wireless industry: Straight Talk from Tracfone. Why is this significant? Read More

Lens
May 2009:
Rethinking Mobile Broadband Pricing

Wireless has fared comparatively well in this tough economy. One exception is the marked slowdown in mobile broadband growth. My view is that the prevailing pricing from leading operators is not aligned with the needs of the next wave of adopters, plus the multitude of connected devices coming to market. It's time to rethink the approach to MBB pricing. Read More

fiercewireless
May 2009:
A more personalized app store

With the explosion in app stores, what will the next generation of capabilities look like? I argue that a more personalized, contextualized applications experience is needed. Read More


Lens
April 2009:
Five Companies Leveraging Change

As executives, I think it is important to learn from companies that are being especially innovative in adapting to change, introducing new business models, or are significantly over-indexing their peer group. What are some of the lessons for the wireless industry? Read More

fiercewireless
April 2009:
Evolution of the App Store Business Model.

With so much investment and effort going into the app store ecosystem, I think it's an opportune moment to consider what the future might look like. In this column, I will focus on the evolution of the app store business model. My next column will focus on the evolution of app store features and capabilities. Read More

fiercewireless
March 2009:
What to Expect at CTIA

Even though attendance might be a little down, I think the tone of the show will be upbeat. Here's what to expect in the areas of infrastructure, devices, applications, open development, and more. Read More

fiercewireless
February 2009:
What's Next for Location Services

We are at an important fork in the road with respect to location-based services. There is a huge amount going on in this area, yet LBS have proven difficult to monetize. Will location be part of a premium set of apps? Is it the holy grail of mobile search and advertising? Read More

fiercewireless
January 2009
A New Model for Wireless Pricing

It became clear in 2008 that flat rate plans are, over time, going to become the prevalent structure for wireless pricing. Even with these developments, I believe we are starting to outgrow today's pricing model for wireless services, when we think about a multi-device world with all sorts of connected wireless devices. Here are some thoughts on some new approaches. Read More

Lens
January 2009
A New Model for Wireless Pricing

It became clear in 2008 that flat rate plans are, over time, going to become the prevalent structure for wireless pricing. Even with these developments, I believe we are starting to outgrow today's pricing model for wireless services when we consider a multi-device world. In an expanded version of my January Fierce Wireless column, some new pricing approaches are presented.
Read More


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