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What comes with iPad

What comes with iPad?

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The much-hyped Apple iPad finally hit the street in April and has been as popular as its predecessor the iPhone, heralding in the age of smart mobile devices. The device market gets another boost from Android smartphones that are increasingly available and affordable. In China, sub-US$140 smartphones are becoming common.

Strategy Analytics data shows that worldwide smartphone shipments rose by 43% to 60 million units during the second quarter of 2010, claiming 19% of the handset market. Such new smart devices are effecting changes in usage habits that cause a shift in the value chain of the operator industry. More importantly, the traditional telecom network has to adapt and change as a result.

This view is echoed by Mr. Rolv-Erik Spilling, CTO of Telenor Norway, who observed, "In the next three years, terminals such as the iPad will make business applications much more usable. Integrating everyday work and specific business into the terminals will boost the needs for business applications. Capacity driven and business services such as video, telepress and unified communications will be boosted. Our project is paving the way to realize this."

Apart from the iPhone, iPad and various Android smartphones, mobile broadband dongles have been wildly popular over the past two years and contributed decisively to mobile Internet development. According to Andy MacLeod, Director of Vodafone Technology Networks, the majority of mobile data usage is from dongles on PCs, not smartphones, even though the iPhone, Android and other smartphones have attracted a lot of attention. In 2009 alone, Vodafone' s networks registered a 93% increase in data traffic, 85% of which came from mobile broadband dongles.

To address the dongle traffic, Vodafone has consistently invested in network bandwidth. Seeking to optimize capacity usage, Vodafone has come up with yield management techniques, which include: more efficient and effective network monitoring; better capacity usage; and offloading low-quality/high-volume traffic as early as possible.

The most fundamental change brought about by a wider array of smart devices is in business and operating models, rather than in usage habits and growing demand for bandwidth and network capacity. Leading operators like MegaFon and Vodafone are successfully pioneering smart operation through effective management of network resources, users, content, billing, and so on.

Without robust cloud computing infrastructure and network support, the iPad is merely an expensive toy for adults. In effect, mobile Internet growth calls for highly effective coordination between the terminal, pipe and service platform. It is in this coordination that actors on the value chain identify and leverage business opportunities.

Ding Yun
President of Huawei Global Solution Sales Dept.

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