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MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC

wPAN = wireless Personal Area Network    
In case of MediaTek a wPAN is organised around the smartphone. Take special note of the new ANT/ANT+ wearable link, Bluetooth 4.1 or Bluetooth Low Energy as called otherwise, as well as the 802.11ac Wi-Fi and multi-system GNSS technologies, all described in this post as new ones with roles in wPANs/IoT.
IoT = Internet of Things

Update: Shipment ratio of 8-core smartphone solutions to be lower in 2014 [DIGITIMES, March 13, 2014]

The shipment ratio of 8-core processors to total smartphone solution shipments will not be higher in 2014 as brand and white-box handset vendors in China will still prefer to use quad-core models in order to build their share in the entry-level to mid-range segment, according to industry sources.
While Samsung Electronics has been more upbeat about sales of 8-core smartphones, it remains unknown whether shipments of the Galaxy S5 will be as brisk as expected, said the sources.
Although a number of handset vendors in China have voiced their support for MediaTek’s 8-core CPUs, few of them have completed the design-in process for 8-core models, which will limit shipments of 8-core processors in 2014, revealed the sources.
Additionally, MediaTek has maintained a price gap between quad-core and 8-core CPUs in order to continue ramping up shipments of its quad-core solutions, said the sources, adding that MediaTek is also unlikely to adopt an aggressive price strategy to promote 8-core CPUs for the time being.
Since suppliers of 8-core chips are limited and demand for the top-end 8-core smartphones is getting lower, shipments of 8-core solutions are unlikely to ramp up until 2015, the sources commented.

First let’s look at the current standing of MediaTek on the market, and then at their strategy and products in Mediatek@MWC 2014: Jeffrey Ju, Head of Smartphones, Pre-MWC Presentation [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 5, 2014]:

Jeffrey Ju, Mediatek Head of Smartphones, talks about new product announcements at an exclusive invitation-only event for press and analysts ahead of Mobile World Congress.

imageNote that at this MWC event for the press and
analysts Ju’s presentation was the 2nd one, following a repositioning/rebranding presentation by Johan Lodenius, CMO of MediaTek which will be embedded here later on.

Note: As the MT6595 was announced earlier it has been presented with all related details in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

Just 4 slides from that presentation in order to show here what kind of giant MediaTek is:

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Then Mediatek@MWC 2014: Words from the media at the Fabrica Moritz Launch Event [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 3, 2014]

Mediatek hosted an exclusive invitation-only event for press and analysts ahead of Mobile World Congress to unveil the new Everyday Genius campaign and its forthcoming product announcements. Find out what the media thought about the new direction and products announced by Mediatek.

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from PDF, also available as MediaTek to focus more on western markets as it targets Qualcomm
Watch also: Interview – CFO, MediaTek [Mobile World Live, March 3, 2014]

Targeting Qualcomm with products announced at MWC 2013 for the “super-mid market” just being born:
64-bit quad-core LTE SoC MT6732 [MediaTek press release, Feb 24, 2014]

MediaTek wants to make the world a more inclusive place, where the best user experiences and fully connected does not mean expensive,” said Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer for MediaTek. “We are committed to power devices that accelerate the global demographic and cultural transformation. Inclusiveness is such an important part of MediaTek’s vision, which is why we strive to put technology in the hands of everyone, to enable everyone to be an everyday genius.

Following the launch of the world’s first 4G LTE Octa-core smartphone SOC – MT6595 – earlier this month*, we are quickly expanding our LTE offering across a range of performance points to meet the growing demand for smartphone devices across all markets. The MT6732 provides excellent performance and a very comprehensive feature set.

…added Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

* The 32-bit octa-core LTE SoC MT6595 is to be commercially available by the first half of 2014, with devices expected in the second half of the year. See the details in the roadmap slide following the MT6732/MT6752 spacifications (the table below), as well as in the press release included in the end of this post.

Update: MT6732—64-bit LTE SOC with ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cluster and Mali-T760 GPU [product page, March 13, 2014]

Overview

MediaTek MT6732 targets the rising ‘super-mid ‘market with LTE and a next-generation coherent 64-bit ARM® Cortex®-A53 cluster and Mali™-T760 GPU.

Features

64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Quad-core 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 processor
  • ARM Mali-T760 GPU with Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 support

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Low-power 1080p video playback at 30sps
  • H.265 and H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording 
  • 13MP camera image signal processor with PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices 
  • MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated Multi-mode 4G LTE Modem

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42Mbit/s downlink, 11Mbit/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE for legacy 2G/3G networks

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0 for low-power connections to fitness gadgets, wearables and other wireless accessories

64-bit octa-core LTE SoC MT6752 [MediaTek press release, Feb 25, 2014]

“The MT6752 is part of our commitment to provide high performance yet cost effective solutions, accelerating the global demographic and cultural transformation for the Super-mid market. We continue to democratize technology as previously seen in the TV and DVD industries. We launched world’s first true octa-core solution in November 2013 and now we continue to extend our lead to deliver on our vision to make the world a more inclusive place,”  said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

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This is how the latest SoCs fit into the traditional roadmap (leaked in China) structure from which the new “super-mid market” is going to be born (according to MediaTek):

imageSee the MT6595 details in the press release included in the end of this post. Alternatively all details are provided in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

The essence of this repositioning: Mediatek – Everyday Genius [mediateklab YouTube channel, Feb 23, 2014]

We’re Mediatek. We make the technology that’s at the heart of the things you use every day, from smartphones and tablets to smart TVs and wearable devices. Technology solves problems and makes exciting new things possible. It makes us smarter in ways we don’t always expect, enabling us to do more — and enjoy more. At Mediatek, we believe technology can fulfill the potential that’s inside all of us and that’s why we’re making the world a more inclusive place. We want technology to be accessible to everybody. We want everyone to be an Everyday Genius.

From Everyday Genius [MediaTek campaign page, Feb 22, 2014]

Introducing Everyday Genius

The world is becoming a more connected place and MediaTek is making it happen. Our technology not only powers the smartphones and tablets helping people around the world get online for the first time, but also the Smart TVs and wearable technology that offer completely new ways to communicate. We’re even working hard to bring the Internet of Things to life, where everything and everyone can talk to each other using the internet. MediaTek makes life easier and more enjoyable, often in ways we couldn’t even imagine a few years ago. Our technology expands horizons and creates new opportunities to discover more about the world. We’re giving rise to a new generation of coders, unlocking new creative talent and inventing new ways of doing business — and we want to do it for everyone. With the right help, we believe anyone can achieve something amazing, even if it’s just in a small way. And we believe they can do it every single day. We call this idea Everyday Genius and everything we do is dedicated to making it happen.

What we do — and why we do it

MediaTek is a fabless semiconductor company, which is another way of saying we design chips for electronic devices that our partners manufacture. Our expertise is in shrinking multiple components into a chip no larger than your fingernail. So where anything from a DVD player to a smartphone used to require a complex array of chips to perform their many sophisticated tasks, they can now do the same thing with just one or two. This tight integration of components makes all kinds of technology much more efficient and the more efficient something is, the more it can do with even less resources. More importantly, it makes technology affordable to all. Making technology more affordable and more accessible is something MediaTek is deeply committed to — and something that’s at the very heart of Everyday Genius.

imageThe repositioning/rebranding presentation which was actually the 1st one at the event for the press and analysts: MWC 2014 Cocktail Party – [MediaTek] CMO Johan Lodenius Presentation [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 3, 2014]

We have been on a fast moving journey since 1997.
Now we are taking our game to the next level with our products, business models and marketing.
The new branding is the foundation and this is the kick-off, but it’s just the beginning!

There is a huge transformation going on in the marketplace.
Emerging markets are disappearing and the general view in the west of the developing world is being challenged. This means a lot more opportunity for everyone, wherever you are.

Everyday Genius is the great outcome of the new all-inclusive connected mobile world.
For the first time it’s a level playing field, we can all be an Everyday Genius in this day and age.
– Whoever we are, wherever we are;
– Whatever our interests and desires are.

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Subsidies are being to be replaced by new buy-back and trade-in incentive programs. … Average prices will have to be adjusted to more normal, commoditized market levels

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Android is now in over eighty percent of the world’s smartphones. That’s my own calculation because it was seventy-nine percent according to Strategy Analysis at the end of 2013. Android works the same way in all devices across phones and tablets creating a uniformed user experience. There’s more differentiation in the apps than in the OS itself. This means that Android is a great user experience leveller cross price tiers as the world is flattening.

All this gives strong reasons to believe that the current market structure is going to change, radically:image

The super-mid market is born, fueled by global middle-class growth and the key industry changes we just talked about. We characterize super-mid as eighty percent in the middle with two dotted lines as boundaries at the opposite ends. The low boundary is set at 79 dollars, and the high boundary at 399 dollars. … This means that at the top of the range performance products are being pushed down into the super-mid, and price levels are getting adjusted.

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Mediatek@MWC 2014: Everyone can be an Everyday Genius [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 3, 2014]

Mediatek introduced its new Everyday Genius campaign at Mobile World Congress 2014. Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer, explains the rationale behind the concept and how it addresses the needs of the new super-mid market segment that has emerged.

Mediatek@MWC 2014: Internet of Things, Wearable Technology, Wireless Charging and more. [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 5, 2014]

In addition to a new brand identity, Mediatek introduced a number of new products at Mobile World Congress 2014. Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer, talks about resonance wireless charging, wearable technology, the Internet of Things, the new high powered MT6595 mobile chip and the company’s ambitions.
Note that the MT6595 was announced earlier, and also has been presented in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

resonance wireless charging: MediaTek MT3188 Multi-Mode Wireless Charging ASIC Supports Inductive and Resonant Modes [press release, Feb 25, 2014]

MediaTek today announced MT3188, the world’s first multi-mode wireless charging ASIC that supports multiple competing standards. MediaTek MT3188 is a tightly-integrated solution that supports resonant charging technology and is fully compatible with current inductive chargers certified by the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) and the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC).

Key features

  • Compatible with existing PMA and WPC inductive standards as well as emerging resonant wireless standard A4WP
  • Ultra-compact design for smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices
  • Highly integrated, with an optimized bill of materials that requires no external active components
  • Supports out-of band communications in resonant mode (A4WP)
  • Provides the option of in-band communications in resonant mode for applications where a Bluetooth transceiver is not available
  • Operates stand alone or with Mediatek MT6595, MT6732 or other systems on a chip
  • Sampling now, with first commercial devices expected in Q3 2014

“With resonant charging, MediaTek makes consumer lives better. The devices can be placed in any position on a resonant charging mat and one mat can simultaneously charge multiple devices with different power needs at their optimum rates,” said Mark Estabrook, Senior Director of Strategic Marketing at MediaTek. “Resonant charging also works through non-metallic materials, so there’s no need to remove a smartphone case before charging and the chargers can be built easily into furniture and vehicles.”  

MediaTek’s in-band communication technology for power control provides a simple and reliable way to add resonant wireless charging support to a whole host of consumer devices where Bluetooth transceivers may not be available for out-of-band communication, such as ebook readers, noise-cancelling headphones and even spare batteries.

MediaTek MT3188 requires no external active components and its highly-optimized bill of materials (BOM) is comparable to best-in-class WPC inductive solutions. The solution can be mounted on a mobile device’s main PCB or battery cover, and provides a programmable output voltage from 1.5V to 5V at 1.4A (7.0W maximum). MT3188 is powered wholly by the charger and works even with a completely discharged battery.

MediaTek is an active contributor to the wireless charging standards community, and is co-vice chair for resonant technology at PMA and a member of WPC. Mediatek is also a member of the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) — a not-for-profit organisation that supports Rezence™ resonant charging technology.

MediaTek MT3188 is sampling now and expected to feature in commercial devices within Q3 2014.

More information: The convenience of wireless charging: It’s just physics [MediaTek whitepaper by Mark Estabrook, Jan 10, 2014]

wearable technology: MediaTek to Showcase Multiple New Products and Technologies at CES 2014 [press release, Jan 3, 2014]

MediaTek presents the all-in-one solution for wearables, Aster. It is not only the smallest SOC with high integration, but provides also a comprehensive Application Framework, MRE (MediaTek Run-time Environment) that allows users to install and upgrade APPs.

Internet of Things
Cloud applications, video over Wi-Fi (VoW), indoor positioning and smart home automation

MediaTek Going Wearable, Chinese & Cheap [EE Times, Jan 31, 2014]

MediaTek is quietly going after the emerging market of under-$50 wearable devices.

The company’s new “all-in-one” SoC, called Aster, is sampling now only to a select group of customers. The chip is not officially announced yet, with no datasheets or block diagrams publicly available.

Aster integrates ARM7 ESJ, Bluetooth 4.0/Bluetooth Low Energy, power management IC, and memory (4 Mbytes of flash and 4 Mbytes of SRAM). Housed in a 5.4 x 6 mm package, MediaTek describes Aster as the “smallest SoC” with “highest integration” for wearable devices.

Aster also comes with a comprehensive Application Framework. Its Run-Time Environment will make it easy for users to install and upgrade apps and run them on wearable devices, according to MediaTek.

With an ear close to the ground in China, Taiwan’s consumer chip behemoth MediaTek appears to know about something not readily evident to most system vendors and chip companies in the West: a surge in Chinese consumer demand for new gizmos designed to leverage the power of smartphones.

“Innovation can come up very quickly in China compared to Western society,” Cliff Lin, senior director of MediaTek’s US corporate marketing, told EE Times.

Let a thousand flowers bloom
MediaTek’s Aster, together with the company’s wearable “turnkey solutions,” is designed to let a thousand flowers bloom in a number of new consumer devices, ranging from a Bluetooth dialer to a smartwatch. These devices are meant to be wirelessly connected to a smartphone, a device already ubiquitous.

It’s important to note that these wearable devices MediaTek has in mind are not positioned to replace smartphones — an idea sharply divergent from the hopeful thinking, more popular in the West, that wearable devices will supplant phones.

A Bluetooth dialer, for example, is, technically, not a phone. But the sleek, convenient device helps a user dial or receive a call without forcing her to haul a bulky tablet or phablet out of her bag.

Some in the industry, especially in the West, might argue that calling such a device — whose function appears to be simply a remote-control unit inside an already available smartphone — “wearable” is an overstatement.

After all, today’s wearable devices, if loosely defined, are all over the map — ranging from wristwatches, shoes, and glasses to headbands, clothing, and home healthcare devices — with no killer wearable form factor on the horizon, at least not yet.

Different wearable devices demand a different set of sensors. They also come in different shapes and sizes, as they will be worn on different parts of the body. Their evolutionary trajectory suggests that they will be far more diverse and complex than mere remote-control units in smartphones.

And the fact is, many smartwatches on the market today are designed for just that purpose. Besides email, voice mail, and social network message notifications, a smartwatch can control various functions of a smartphone remotely.

MediaTek’s Lin added that its Aster is even capable of offering a “viewfinder function” on a wearable device, when wirelessly connected to a smartphone’s camera. By reducing the image size, the picture can be transferred via Bluetooth from a camera in the smartphone to a small display of the new smartwatch. It allows a user to remotely frame a picture right on a smartwatch display, instead of awkwardly tilting a bulky phablet in the air.

Although MediaTek displayed Aster at its suite during the International CES earlier this month, the company is not giving out any more details of the SoC. When asked about its price, Lin noted that Aster is “suitably priced for end-products ranging from $20 to $50.” The SoC’s mass production is slated for the third quarter of 2014.

Internet of Things: MediaTek and ANT Create New Opportunities for Connected Lifestyle, Health and Home Management [ANT Wireless press release, Feb 26, 2014

New chip links mobile platform innovators to millions of available ANT+ wearables and devices

ANT Wireless, proven innovator in ultra low power (ULP) short range wireless technology and ANT+ interoperability, and MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company of wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announce native support for the ANT wireless protocol in MediaTek’s new MT6630 5-in-1 combo connectivity chip. Targeted for premium smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices aligned with the super-mid category of chips, the single chip MT6630 allows integrators to link end users to the millions of leading ANT+ wearables and products for sport, fitness and health as well as smart home and location based service devices.

The feature-rich MT6630 combines the latest connectivity options in a low power, small footprint chip including 802.11ac Wi-Fi, ANT, Bluetooth 4.1, multi-system GNSS, [Global Navigation Satellite System may also refer to GLONASS], and FM. Delivering full concurrent operation of all five systems, the MT6630 offers the advanced capabilities of ANT+ interoperability and connection to the vast array of certified ANT+ devices including monitors and software that track activity, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle oxygen, running, cycling, swimming, hiking, weight, etc..  ANT wireless communication will also facilitate the expanding connected use cases in home and industrial environments.

“MediaTek is committed to bringing an optimal experience to the digital home and mobile applications.  ANT complements our unique leadership position,” said SR Tsai, General Manager of MediaTek’s Connectivity Business Unit.  “ANT will continue to be a driver of wireless and wearable solutions for the Internet of Things.  MediaTek’s inclusion of this established protocol gives manufacturers and their consumers simple and direct access to these innovative ANT+ products.”

“Our collaboration with MediaTek greatly expands access to more ANT+ enabled phones and ANT+ sensors, in more markets and regions, which is fantastic for everyone:  mobile OEMs, ANT+ product manufacturers, and consumers,” added Rod Morris, Vice President, ANT Wireless.  “The result will be a great range of offerings and best-in-class lifestyle products worldwide.”  

MediaTek will be demonstrating ANT+ in combination with the MT6630 solution at Mobile World Congress, Feb 24-27, Hall 6, Stand 6E11. The MT6630 is sampling now and the first commercially available devices to use MT6630 IC’s are expected in the second half of 2014.  ANT Wireless is also exhibiting at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain, February 24 – 27, Hall 7, Stand 7M49.

Celebrating over ten years in ultra low power wireless technology, ANT also offers its expanded suite of ANT+ Plugins for Android applications to app developers and manufacturers selecting the MT6630.   ANT+ Plugins eliminate the need for ANT+ profile development and technical expertise and facilitate the path to seamless ANT+ connectivity.

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About MediaTek
MediaTek is a pioneering fabless semiconductor company, and a market leader in cutting-edge systems on a chip for wireless communications, HDTV, DVD and Blu-ray. MediaTek created the world’s first octa-core smartphone platform with LTE and its CorePilotTM technology released the full power of multi-core mobile processors. MediaTek [TSE:2454] is headquartered in Taiwan and has offices worldwide. Please visit www.Mediatek.com for more information.  Press Office:  PR@Mediatek.com  +1 650 283 2781

About ANT / ANT+ (www.thisisant.com**)
ANT is a proven protocol and silicon solution for ultra low power (ULP) practical wireless networking applications. ANT+ is the pervasive ULP wireless technology facilitating the capture of critical market share in the exploding mobile sensor sector. With over 100 million devices in the market, ANT+ facilitates interoperability between ANT+ devices and the collection, automatic transfer and tracking of sensor data. This standardized communication platform enables quick-to-market solutions for application developers, sensor manufacturers and cell phone makers. ANT+ has amassed an ecosystem of world-class technology vendors in the ANT+ Alliance, an open special interest group of companies who have adopted the ANT+ promise of interoperability. These industry leaders offer readily-available brand name products for sport, wellness management and home health monitoring. 

** Note that the web pages of www.thisisant.com describe ANT as:
ANT is a Wireless Personal Network [otherwise wPAN] protocol, by Dynastream Innovations Inc., with small size, reasonable cost and Very Low Power requirements.

My insert here: ANT+, from technology to the ecosystem [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, Oct 13, 2010], read also on Wikipedia:
ANT (a proprietary  open access  multicast  wireless sensor network  technology)
ANT+ (an interoperability function that can be added to the base ANT protocol)

ANT+ business development manager, Dallin Doney, walks you through ANT technology to many branded ANT+ products in sports, fitness and wellness. Products showcased are from Adidas, A&D, Digifit, Garmin, Star Trac, Tanita, Timex and Wahoofitness

The company behind ANT Wireless is Dynastream Innovations Inc. (www.dynastream.com).   Dynastream was established in 1998 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. in December 2006. Dynastream is based in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, and is a world innovator in the research and development of inertial and wireless technology.

ANT+ Product Directory (www.thisisant.com/directory)
The ANT+ Product Directory is a complete inventory of all ANT+ certified or verified products. It is a tool designed specifically to help consumers source hundreds of industry-leading devices and all compatible products within the vast ANT+ ecosystem. Devices may be searched by product name, brand, activity or product category, allowing the consumer to create a monitoring system that meets their specific needs.

To get some idea watch these ANT-related videos
(see more in http://www.thisisant.com/news/video-gallery/):
– for lifestyle:  Technology in Fitness – Enhancing the User Experience! [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2013]

FIT-C President, Bryan O’Rourke, and ANT Wireless Sales Manager, Paul Lockington, discuss technology in fitness, the opportunities, and the need to enhance the user experience through data monitoring and wearable technologies. http://www.thisisant.com http://www.bryankorourke.com

– for health: 4iiii Innovation’s Cliiiimb System Demo [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2013]

4iiii’s Product Manager, Alana Baxter, demonstrates the new Cliiiimb system – an ANT+ enabled KOM experience powered by Strava that combines Sportiiiis heads-up audio visual display, Viiiiva heart rate monitor with iPhone connectivity. http://www.thisisant.com. http://www.4iiii.com.

– for home management: ANT Lighting Control Demo [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, July 31, 2013]

ANT Wireless Global Sales Manager, Mike Paradis, demonstrates the features of an ANT enabled lighting control system and explains the benefits of ANT/ANT+ home and industrial automation. For more information visit http://www.thisisant.com.

Mediatek Announces MT6630, World’s First Five-in-One Combo Wireless Connectivity SOC for Mobile Devices [press release, Feb 25, 2014]

Mediatek today announced MT6630, the world’s first five-in-one combo wireless system-on-a-chip (SOC) to support full featured smartphones, tablets and other premium mobile devices.

The MT6630 dramatically reduces the component count and eBOM while improving ease-of-design for manufacturers by eliminating external low noise amplifiers (LNAs) and integrating the Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz power amplifiers (PAs), Bluetooth PA, and transmit-receive (T/R) switch into a PCBA footprint less than 65 mm2.

Key features

  • Dual-band single-stream 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with 20/40/80MHz channel bandwidth
  • 802.11v time of flight protocol support and management engines to enable higher accuracy of indoor positioning via Wi-Fi
  • Advanced support for Wi-Fi Direct Services and Miracast™ optimization for easier pairing, increased robustness, advanced use-cases and lower power
  • Bluetooth 4.1 with Classic, High-Speed and Low-Energy support, and ANT+ for compatibility with the latest fitness tracking, health monitoring and point of information devices and applications
  • Concurrent tri-band reception of GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS with industry leading sensitivity, low power, positioning accuracy, and the longest prediction engine
  • FM transceiver with RDS/RBDS
  • Integrated engines and algorithms for full concurrent operation and co-existence, including industry-leading throughput during LTE transmission

MT6630 delivers full concurrent operation of all 5 systems operating at maximum compute intensity with no degradation compared to single-system operation while offloading the mobile device CPU for design ease and extended battery life.

As a focus on low power and digital home convergence, the MT6630 uses a configurable PA architecture to save current at commonly used power levels, including those used for Miracast™ Wi-Fi Direct services. MT6630 implements advanced co-existence techniques, including for LTE to deliver industry-leading throughputs. MT6630 also supports Wi-Fi diversity for premium smartphones and tablets to improve antenna angle sensitivity and handheld scenarios.

“MT6630 makes it simple for manufacturers to bring mobile devices to market with sophisticated wireless features, lower power and uncompromised performance,” said SR Tsai, General Manager of MediaTek’s Connectivity Business Unit. “MT6630 furthers MediaTek’s focus to deliver the best experiences across the digital home and mobile applications by using its unique leadership position in digital TV host processors, smartphone platforms, and connectivity.”

The small-footprint design is available in 5 x 5mm WLCSP (Wafer Level Chip Scale Package) or a 7 x 7mm QFN (Quad Flat No-Leads) and requires only 44 components, which is around half that of other integrated wireless solutions.

Mediatek MT6630 is sampling now and complements the recently announced MT6595 octa-core SOC with LTE for premium mobile devices. The first commercially available devices to use MT6630 are expected in the second half of 2014.

new high powered MT6595: MediaTek Announces MT6595, World’s First 4G LTE Octa-Core Smartphone SOC with ARM Cortex-A17 and Ultra HD H.265 Codec Support [press release, Feb 11, 2014]

Note: As the MT6595 was announced earlier it has been presented with all related details in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology enables outstanding performance with leading energy efficiency

MediaTek today announces the MT6595, a premium mobile solution with the world’s first 4G LTE octa-core smartphone SOC powered by the latest Cortex-A17™ CPUs from ARM®.

The MT6595 employs ARM’s big.LITTLE™ architecture with MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology to deliver a Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) platform that unlocks the full power of all eight cores. An advanced scheduler algorithm with adaptive thermal and interactive power management delivers superior multi-tasking performance and excellent sustained performance-per-watt for a premium mobile experience.

Excellent Performance-Per-Watt
Four ARM Cortex-A17™, each with significant performance improvement over previous-generation processors, plus four Cortex-A7™ CPUs
ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture with full-system coherency performs sophisticated tasks efficiently
• Integrated Imagination Technologies PowerVR™ Series6 GPU for high-performance graphics

Integrated 4G LTE Multi-Mode Modem
• Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE with data rates up to 150Mbits/s downlink and 50Mbits/s uplink
• DC-HSPA+ (42Mbits/s), TD-SCDMA and EDGE for legacy 2G/3G networks
• 30+ 3GPP RF bands support to meet operator needs worldwide

World-Class Multimedia Subsystems
• World’s first mobile SOC with integrated, low-power hardware support for the new H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, in addition to Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9
• Supports 24-bit 192 kHz Hi-Fi quality audio codec with high performance digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) to head phone >110dB SNR
20MP camera capability and a high-definition WQXGA (2560 x 1600) display controller
• MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices
• MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

First MediaTek Mobile Platform Supporting 802.11ac
• Comprehensive complementary connectivity solution that supports 802.11ac
Multi-GNSS positioning systems including GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS
Bluetooth LE and ANT+ for ultra-low power connectivity with fitness tracking devices

World’s First Multimode Wireless Charging Receiver IC
• Multi-standard inductive and resonant wireless charging functionality available
• Supported by MediaTek’s companion multimode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek is focused on delivering a full-range of 4G LTE platforms and the MT6595 will enable our customers to deliver premium products with advanced features to a growing market,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

“Congratulations to MediaTek on being in a leading position to implement the new ARM Cortex-A17 processor in mobile device”, said Noel Hurley, Vice President and Deputy General Manager, ARM Product Division. “MediaTek has a keen understanding of the smartphone market and continues to identify innovative ways to bring a premium mobile experience to the masses.”

The MT6595 platform will be commercially available by the first half of 2014, with devices expected in the second half of the year.

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MediaTek Drives Global LTE Adoption with New ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7 [press release, Feb 25, 2014]

Powered by MediaTek’s 4G LTE Platform, ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7 will be available in Q2 delivering high-speed data performance to consumers worldwide

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TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 23 February, 2014 – MediaTek and ALCATEL ONETOUCH today announce the LTE-enabled ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7, powered by MediaTek’s 4G LTE quad-core platform. Available in Q2 this year, the POP S7 launch will bring 4G LTE to the mass market at an affordable price point, and will further extend the product range for both ALCATEL ONETOUCH and MediaTek across their respective global portfolio of LTE devices.

The POP S7 features MediaTek’s 1.3GHz quad-core processor and multi-mode 4G LTE modem MT6290.  By combining fast 4G connectivity with a sharp and bright 5” IPS display, users can enjoy a truly immersive mobile experience with the POP S7 such as streaming high-definition video content. 

The MT6290 multimode 4G LTE modem embedded within POP S7 supports LTE Release 9 CAT 4, enabling data rates as high as 150Mbit/s downlink. The MT6290 modem is also compatible with FDD and TDD modes, as well as HSPA+, W-CDMA, TD-SCDMA, EDGE and GSM/GPRS radio technologies. 

“MediaTek is proud to again be selected to power the latest ALCATEL ONETOUCH smartphone. The new ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7, designed for the mass market and featuring our multimode 4G LTE modem, is the exciting first step for MediaTek to demonstrate its global capability in the fast growing LTE market.” said, Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of Smartphone Business Unit, MediaTek. “Our aim is to unleash the potential of everyone for the creation of a better world by maximizing the capacity of technology innovation,” Jeffrey added. 

Dan Dery, CMO of ALCATEL ONETOUCH added, “The POP S7 is the first entry-level LTE-enabled smartphone powered by MediaTek’s innovative technology, and we’re rolling out across EMEA, APAC and other regions. We foresee a huge increase in LTE adoption worldwide in 2014, and we are pleased to working in close collaboration with MediaTek to meet the market demand at the right time.”

Intel is ready to push big in smartphones next year with its winning multimode voice and data, multiband LTE modem technology capable of global LTE roaming via a single SKU

To play it safe the chip is still produced by TSMC (as with Infineon bought in 2011 by Intel) and could continue so in the foreseeable future. 

IDF 2013: Intel CEO shows 22 nanometer-based, LTE smartphone [ITworld YouTube channel, Sept 11, 2013]

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at IDF in San Francisco showed a smartphone based on Intel’s 22 nanometer architecture. He demonstrated a smartphone platform featuring both the Intel XMM 7160 LTE solution and Intel’s next-generation Intel® Atom™ SoC for 2014 smartphones and tablets codenamed “Merrifield.” Based on the Silvermont microarchitecture, “Merrifield” will deliver increased performance (with 50 percent more performance than the previous Clover Trail+ platform), power-efficiency and battery life over Intel’s current-generation offering.

From: Intel’s CEO Discusses Q3 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Oct 15, 2013]

In the Wireless business, I was pleased with our progress on LTE. Our multimode data modem is now available in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. By the end of the year, we expect to have voice-over-LTE versions available for customers and our second generation of voice-over-LTE product with carrier aggregation will be available in the first half of next year.

Intel Webcast – Accelerating Wireless [intelmarkus YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2013]

Thomas Lindner, senior director for Multicomm Marketing and Product Planning at Intel, said that LTE has so far presented unique and demanding challenges for device makers. “There is fragmentation in the market, with over 40 LTE bands in use worldwide, and each country using its own set of bands,” he said. With 15 of these bands in one product, Intel “enables devices to operate on a global basis in all major markets”, he added. The XMM 7160 is also the first generation capable of handling the full data rates supported by today’s 4G networks, according to Lindner, enabling downlink speeds up to 150Mbps. It also has support for Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which means that it can be used to deliver voice calls with better voice quality over LTE networks. Over time, this capability will see 2G and 3G networks phased out and make “legacy cellular technologies obsolete”, Lindner said. “[With the XMM 7160] manufacturers of devices can serve the global market with a single global SKU or small number of SKUs between one and three”, he added. … Lindner disclosed that Intel also plans to deliver a second generation LTE module in 2014. The XMM 7260 will support higher network speeds and additional capabilities such as support for the TD-LTE standard and the ability to combine bands for higher bandwidth. Despite its perceived sluggishness to enter the mobile space, Lindner claimed that Intel is entering the 4G market “just as it’s about to take off”. There are 166 million 4G subscribers in 2013 and this is expected to grow to over 1 billion in 2017, he added.

See also: Intel® XMM™ 7160 Slim Modem [ARK | Your Source for Intel® Product Information, June 23, 2012]

Interview AnandTech with Aicha Evans — Scale & Integration- Addressing the Global Market for LTE [channelintel YouTube channel, Aug 14, 2013]

Interview AnandTech with Aicha Evans — Intel’s Approach to Wireless Innovation [channelintel YouTube channel, Aug 14, 2013]

Background information: Ask the Experts: Intel’s Aicha Evans Talks Wireless and Answers Your Questions [AnandTech, Aug 15, 2013]

Intel proves that it has what it takes when it comes to LTE [By Michael Thelander on Spirent blogs, March 19, 2013]

Signals Research Group (SRG) recently completed its eighth collaborative effort with Spirent Communications and its sixteenth “Chips and Salsa” report on cellular chipsets. In the most recent collaboration, we brought together LTE baseband chipsets from eight different suppliers (Altair Semiconductor, GCT, Intel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Renesas Mobile, Samsung, and Sequans) to determine who has the best performing chipset, based on a series of 32 test scenarios that we derived from industry accepted 3GPP test specifications. SRG facilitated the benchmark study and was responsible for reviewing and analyzing the results. Spirent provided engineering support, and most importantly, the use of its 8100 test system to conduct the automated and highly repeatable tests on each chipset.
The most recent study marked our second benchmark study of LTE chipsets. Previous studies with Spirent have included HSPA+, HSDPA, UMTS call reliability and A-GNSS. To date, we are still recognized as the only independent provider of baseband chipset performance benchmark studies in the industry. And as a testament to our long-standing relationship, the companies that participated in the most recent round are already clamoring for the next round to take place. The companies that came out on top want to prove that they are not a one trick pony and the companies that came out toward the bottom want redemption. The few companies that were not ready to participate in the last study are also ready to enter the competition. There was a reason that we titled the report, “Sweet 16 and never been benchmarked” since some of these companies have been noticeably absent from prior studies due to the uncertain viability of their chipsets.
The results from the most recent round are interesting, to say the least. First, Spirent and SRG were able to bring together numerous pre-commercial and commercial chipsets. I imagine that most people were surprised that Intel actually had a working LTE chipset, let alone find out that it was the best performing chipset (more on this facet in a bit). Additionally, the list included pre-commercial solutions from Sequans, Renesas Mobile and NVIDIA. It would be virtually impossible for any organization to assemble such a line-up!
As I hinted in the title, Intel came out on topbeating the likes of perennial favorite and San Diego native, Qualcomm. To be fair, the results were incredibly close with only a few percentage points separating the two companies, but Intel’s results were better and close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. We could add another activity to the list, but this blog is intended to be family friendly. And if you are assuming that Qualcomm came in second place then you might want to rethink your assumption – nothing we wrote in this blog suggests that they did.
In hindsight, Intel’s results should not be all that surprising since it highly leverages the Infineon 3G platform and stellar RF performance that has since evolved to support LTE under the Intel moniker. Infineon, I note, was always a strong performer in our HSPA+/HSDPA chipset studies and it was in the original 3G iPhone until Qualcomm won the slot, in part due to its ability to support the requirements of a certain North American operator whose name rhymes with Horizon Direless. Intel may have lost the ARM war, but you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
Separate from the overall results, I once again saw some pretty big performance differences among all of the chipsets, in particular for the more challenging fading scenarios. As a side note, in addition to the more basic static channel conditions, our 32 test scenarios included various simulated fading channels (EVA5, EPA5, ETU70, and ETU300), SNR values, and MIMO correlation factors to create a range of challenging, albeit realistic, scenarios. In many cases the variance between the top-performing and bottom-performing LTE baseband chipset exceeded twenty percentage points. Even for the top-performing LTE baseband chipsets, it was clearly evident in the results that some chipsets did better in some scenarios than in other scenarios.
Now that we’ve set the bar for how chipsets should perform, I expect to witness material improvements in our next round, which we have planned for later this year. Just to keep everyone honest, I plan to change the test scenarios for the next round. In the interim, Spirent and SRG are investigating some additional benchmark studies that we can do together. These studies could include the industry’s first independent over-the-air (OTA) testing of leading platforms in commercial devices (imagine Samsung S III versus Apple iPhone 5) as well as our second round of A-GNSS testing.
If you are interested in the published report, please feel free to visit our website at www.signalsresearch.com where you can download a report preview.
Click here for more information on testing LTE chipset and mobile device performance.

From Intel® Mobile Phone System Platform Products and Features

Intel® XMM™ 7160 platform

Multimode LTE & DC-HSPA

Based on Intel® X-GOLD™ 716 digital and analog baseband with integrated Power Management Unit and Intel® SMARTi™ transceiver for 2G, 3G, 4G, and LTE, the Intel® XMM™ 7160 platform is the most compact solution for LTE and DC-HSPA smartphones for worldwide deployment.

View the Intel® XMM™ 7160 platform brief > [June 23, 2012]

  • LTE capabilities of 150Mbps and 50Mbps (Cat 4)
  • HSDPA and HSUPA capabilities of 42Mbps and 11.5Mbps with EDGE multislot class 33
  • Multi-band LTE, penta-band 3G, quad-band EDGE for worldwide connectivity
  • Excellent power consumption and extremely small PCB footprint
  • Hardware and software interfaces to applications processors or to a PC as a wireless modem

From the announcement in February 2012 via product launch in Q1’13 to first commercial delivery in October 2013:

From: Intel Expands Smartphone Portfolio: New Customers, Products, Software and Services [press release, Feb 27, 2012]
Addressing the growing handset opportunity in emerging markets where consumers look for more value at lower prices, Intel disclosed plans for the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2000.
The Z2000 is aimed squarely at the value smartphone market segment, which industry sources predict could reach up to 500 million units by 20151.The platform includes a 1.0 GHz Atom CPU offering great graphics and video performance, and the ability to access the Web and play Google Android* games. It also supports the Intel® XMM 6265 3G HSPA+ modem with Dual-SIM 2G/3G, offering flexibility on data/voice calling plans to save on costs. Intel will sample the Z2000 in mid-2012 with customer products scheduled by early 2013.
Building on these 32nm announcements, Otellini discussed how the Atom™ processor will outpace Moore’s Law and announced that Intel will ship 22nm SoCs for carrier certification next year, and is already in development on 14nm SoC technology.
In 2011, Intel shipped in more than 400 million cellular platforms. Building on this market segment position, Intel announced the XMM 7160, an advanced multimode LTE/3G/2G platform with support for 100Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink, and support for HSPA+ 42Mbps. Intel will sample the product in the second quarter with customer designs scheduled to launch by the end of 2012.
Intel also announced that it is sampling the XMM 6360 platform, a new slim modem 3G HSPA+ solution supporting 42Mbps downlink and 11.5Mbps uplink for small form factors.
From: Intel Accelerates Mobile Computing Push [press release, Feb 24, 2013]
Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE)
Intel’s strategy is to deliver a leading low-power, global modem solution that works across multiple bands, modes, regions and devices.
The Intel® XMM™ 7160 is one of the world’s smallest2 and lowest-power multimode-multiband LTE solutions (LTE / DC-HSPA+ / EDGE), supporting multiple devices including smartphones, tablets and Ultrabook™ systems. The 7160 global modem supports 15 LTE bands simultaneously, more than any other in-market solution. It also includes a highly configurable RF architecture running real time algorithms for envelope tracking and antenna tuning that enables cost-efficient multiband configurations, extended battery life, and global roaming in a single SKU.
“The 7160 is a well-timed and highly competitive 4G LTE solution that we expect will meet the growing needs of the emerging global 4G market,” [Hermann] Eul[, Intel vice president and co-general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group] said. “Independent analysts have shown our solution to be world class and I’m confident that our offerings will lead Intel into new multi-comm solutions. With LTE connections projected to double over the next 12 months to more than 120 million connections, we believe our solution will give developers and service providers a single competitive offering while delivering to consumers the best global 4G experience. Building on this, Intel will also accelerate the delivery of new advanced features to be timed with future advanced 4G network deployments.”
Intel is currently shipping its single mode 4G LTE data solution and will begin multimode shipments later in the first half of this year. The company is also optimizing its LTE solutions concurrently with its SoC roadmap to ensure the delivery of leading-edge low-power combined solutions to the marketplace.

From: Signals Ahead: Chips And Salsa XVI – Sweet 16 And Never Been Benchmarked [Feb 25, 2013] 
Executive Summary

In December 2011 we published the industry’s first performance benchmark study of LTE baseband modem chipsets. In that study we tested five commercially-procured chipsets from four chipset suppliers. We tested two different Qualcomm chipsets. Fast forward fourteen months and we are finally out with the results from our most recent study in which three companies vie for top honors. Intel’s pre-commercial solution was the top-performing solution that we tested.

This report is our sixteenth Chips and Salsa report since 2004, with the overwhelming majority of these reports focused specifically on performance benchmarking. Over the years, we’ve benchmarked UMTS (call reliability) HSDPA, HSPA+, Mobile WiMAX, A-GNSS and LTE chipsets, with the results always providing the industry with a fully independent and objective assessment of how the chipsets compare with each other for the given set of evaluation criteria. For the eighth time, we have collaborated with Spirent Communications to get access to their 8100 test system and engineering support in order to obtain highly objective results.
The significant advantage of conducting lab-based tests is that we can easily replicate and repeat each test scenario in an automated fashion, thus ensuring a common and consistent set of test scenarios for each device/chipset that we tested. And with the Spirent 8100 test system that we used for the tests, we know that we went with a test platform that is widely recognized and being used in several early LTE deployments. SRG takes full responsibility for the analysis and conclusions associated with this benchmarking exercise.
In the most recent round of chipset testing, we tested a seemingly staggering number of solutions – we tested solutions from eight different chipset suppliers (reference Table 1). We attempted to test a solution from HiSilicon, but through no fault of their own we ran into some difficulties and faced time constraints with MWC just around the corner. We reserve the right to publish their results in the near future and provide updated rankings. Many of these solutions were pre-commercial chipsets and/or the chipsets that came directly from the chipset suppliers. This approach ensured that the results that we are providing in this report are very forward looking and highly differentiated. It would be virtually impossible for any single organization to get access to all of these chipsets and replicate this study.
Worth noting, we personally invited all companies with LTE chipset aspirations to participate in this study, and given our history in doing these tests, companies recognize the importance of supporting our efforts. Needless to say, if we didn’t include a company’s LTE chipset in this study then they probably don’t have a solution that is ready to be benchmarked against their peers. It is one thing to issue a press release, demonstrate a working PHY Layer without any upper protocol layers, or show a chipset operating under ideal conditions. It is another situation all together to put your proverbial money where your mouth is and allow a third party to benchmark your solution and publish the results for all to read. Sweet 16 and never been benchmarked!

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As previously alluded to in this report, we used throughput as the primary criteria for evaluating the chipsets. We recognize that device manufacturers and operators use other objective and subjective criteria to select their chipset partners. The criteria includes support for multiple RF bands and legacy technologies, power consumption, time to market, price, engineering support, and the inclusion of peripherals (e.g., application processor, connectivity solutions, etc.). However, no one can dispute the importance of throughput and the ability of the chipset to make the most efficient use of available network resources.
We subjected the chipsets to 32 different test scenarios that combined a mix of fading profiles (Static Channel, EPA5, EVA5, ETU70 and ETU300) and transmission modes (Transmit Diversity, Open Loop MIMO and Closed Loop MIMO). All of the chipsets that we tested performed quite well with the less challenging test scenarios but we observed a fairly large separation of results with the more challenging test scenarios. In many cases the performance difference was in excess of 20% between the top- and bottom-performing solutions.

Based on our highly objective evaluation criteria, Intel had the top-performing solution by a very slight margin. This result may surprise some readers, but we point out that the Infineon 3G solution was always a strong contender in our previous benchmark studies. That scenario is in stark contrast to its application processor which has continuously struggled to be competitive and to attract market share. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. All this and more in this issue of Signals Ahead.

From: Innovation, Reinvention on Intel® Architecture Fuel  Wave of 2-in-1 Devices, New Mobile Computing Experiences [press release, Jun 3, 2013]
Accelerating Fast: Tablets, Smartphones and LTE
Intel’s 22nm low-power, high-performance Silvermont microarchitecture is enabling the company to accelerate and significantly enhance its tablet and smartphone offerings.
For tablets on shelves for holiday 2013, Intel’s next-generation, 22nm quad-core Atom SoC (“Bay Trail-T”) will deliver superior graphics and more than two times the CPU performance of the current generation. It will also enable sleek designs with 8 or more hours3 of battery life and weeks of standby, as well as support Android* and Windows 8.1*.
For the first time, [Executive Vice President Tom] Kilroy demonstrated Intel’s 4G LTE multimode solution in conjunction with the next-generation 22nm quad-core Atom SoC for tablets. The Intel® XMM 7160 is one of the world’s smallest4and lowest-power multimode-multiband LTE solutions and will support global LTE roaming in a single SKU.
With a number of phones with Intel silicon inside having shipped across more than 30 countries, Kilroy previewed what’s coming. He showed for the first time a smartphone reference design platform based on “Merrifield,” Intel’s next-generation 22nm Intel Atom SoC for smartphones that will deliver increased performance and battery life. The platform includes an integrated sensor hub for personalized services, as well as capabilities for data, device and privacy protection.
From: Intel Readies ‘Bay Trail’ for  Holiday 2013 Tablets and 2-in-1 Devices [press release, Jun 4, 2013]
At an industry event in Taipei today, Hermann Eul, general manager of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group, unveiled new details about the company’s forthcoming Intel®  Atom™ processor-based  SoC for tablets (“Bay Trail-T”) due in market for holiday this year.
Eul also spoke to recent momentum and announcements around the smartphone business and demonstrated the Intel® XMM 7160 multimode 4G LTE solution, now in final interoperability testing (IOT) with Tier 1 service providers across North America, Europe and Asia.

Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE)
Intel’s strategy is to deliver leading low-power, global  modem solutions that work across multiple bands, regions and devices.
Intel’s XMM 7160 is one of the world’s smallest and lowest-power multimode-multiband LTE solutions. The modem supports 15 LTE bands simultaneously, and also includes a highly configurable RF architecture running real-time algorithms for envelope tracking and antenna tuning that enables cost-efficient multiband configurations, extended battery life and global LTE roaming in a single SKU.
Eul demonstrated the solution by showcasing a Bay Trail-based tablet over an LTE network connection, and said that Intel will begin shipments of multimode data 4G LTE in the coming weeks following final IOT with Tier 1 service providers in North America, Europe and Asia.

Intel announced that the new Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 10.1-inch is powered by the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2560 (“Clover Trail+”). Additionally, the new Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 10.1-inch tablet will come equipped with Intel’s XMM 6262 3G modem solution or Intel’s XMM 7160 4G LTE solution.
From: New Intel CEO, President Outline Product Plans, Future of Computing Vision to ‘Mobilize’ Intel and Developers [press release, Sept 10, 2013]
In high-speed 4G wireless data communications, [Intel CEO Brian] Krzanich said Intel’s new LTE solution provides a compelling alternative for multimode, multiband 4G connectivity, removing a critical barrier to Intel’s progress in the smartphone market segment. Intel is now shipping a multimode chip, the Intel® XMM™ 7160 modem, which is one of the world’s smallest and lowest-power multimode-multiband solutions for global LTE roaming.
As an example of the accelerating development pace under Intel’s new management team, Krzanich said that the company’s next-generation LTE product, the Intel® XMM™ 7260 modem, is now under development. Expected to ship in 2014, the Intel XMM 7260 modem will deliver LTE-Advanced features, such as carrier aggregation, timed with future advanced 4G network deployments. Krzanich showed the carrier aggregation feature of the Intel XMM 7260 modem successfully doubling throughput speeds during his keynote presentation.
He also demonstrated a smartphone platform featuring both the Intel XMM 7160 LTE solution and Intel’s next-generation Intel® Atom™ SoC for 2014 smartphones and tablets codenamed “Merrifield.” Based on the Silvermont microarchitecture, “Merrifield” will deliver increased performance, power-efficiency and battery life over Intel’s current-generation offering.

Intel Announces First Commercial Availability of 4G LTE Modem; Introduces Module for 4G Connected Tablets and Ultrabooks™ [press release, Oct 30, 2013]

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Intel® XMM™ 7160 LTE modem is now shipping in the 4G version of the Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 (10.1) – available in Asia and Europe.
  • Intel® XMM™ 7160 provides multimode (2G/3G/4G LTE) voice and data with simultaneous support for 15 LTE bands for global LTE roaming.
  • Intel announces PCIe M.2 LTE wireless data modules expected to ship in 2014 tablet and Ultrabook™ designs from leading manufacturers.

Intel Corporation today announced the commercial availability of its multimode, multiband 4G LTE solution. The Intel® XMM™ 7160 platform is featured in the LTE version of the Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 (10.1)*, now available in Asia and Europe.
Intel has also expanded its portfolio of 4G LTE connectivity solutions, introducing PCIe (PCI Express) M.2 modules for 4G connected tablets, Ultrabooks™ and 2 in 1 devices as well as an integrated radio frequency (RF) transceiver module, the Intel® SMARTi™ m4G. These new products make it simple, efficient and cost effective for device manufacturers to add high performance wireless connectivity to their product designs.
“As LTE networks expand at a rapid pace, 4G connectivity will be an expected ingredient in devices from phones to tablets as well as laptops,” said Hermann Eul, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group. “Intel is providing customers an array of options for fast, reliable LTE connectivity while delivering a competitive choice and design flexibility for the mobile ecosystem.”
The commercial availability of the Intel XMM 7160 solution follows successful interoperability testing with major infrastructure vendors and tier-one operators across Asia, Europe and North America. The Intel XMM 7160 is one of the world’s smallest and lowest-power multimode, multiband LTE solutions for phones and tablets. The solution provides seamless connectivity across 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks,supports 15 LTE bands simultaneously and is voice-over LTE (VoLTE) capable. It features a highly configurable RF architecture, running real-time algorithms for envelope tracking and antenna tuning that enables cost-efficient multiband configurations, extended battery life and global LTE roaming in a single SKU.
Intel offers a broad portfolio of mobile platform solutions including SoCs, cost-optimized integrated circuits, reference designs and feature-rich software stacks supporting 2G, 3G and 4G LTE. Building on the Intel XMM 7160 platform, Intel today announced two multimode LTE solutions that pave the way for 4G connected devices in a variety of form factors.
New Intel PCIe M.2 LTE Modules and Intel SMARTi m4G Solution
Intel introduced Intel PCIe M.2 LTE modules, which are small, cost-effective, embedded modules in a standardized form factor for adding multimode (2G/3G/4G LTE) data connectivity across a variety of device types. The Intel M.2 module supports peak downlink speeds of 100Mbps over LTE. The modules support up to 15 LTE frequency bands for global roaming. In addition, those modules also feature support for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) based on the Intel CG1960 GNSS solution.
For manufacturers, the M.2 module makes it simple to add 4G connectivity to their designs while reducing integration and certification expenses, and improving time-to-market. The M.2 module is currently undergoing interoperability testing with tier-one global service providers. Intel M.2-based modules will soon be available from Huawei*, Sierra Wireless* and Telit*. These modules are expected to ship globally in 2014 tablet and Ultrabook designs from leading manufacturers.
imageIn addition to the new M.2 LTE module, Intel also offers the new Intel SMARTi m4G a highly integrated radio transceiver module. The Intel SMARTi m4G was developed in cooperation with Murata* and integrates the Intel SMARTi 4G transceiver with most front-end components in one LTCC (low temperature co-fired ceramic) package. When paired with the Intel® X-GOLD™ 716 baseband, manufacturers can meet the certification requirements of service providers with minimal design cycles in an easy-to-place, low-profile solution. With the Intel SMARTi m4G, the overall component count can be reduced by more than 40 components and the required PCB area is reduced up to 20 percent.
Intel plans to deliver next-generation LTE solutions, including the Intel® XMM™ 7260 in 2014. The Intel XMM 7260 adds LTE Advanced features, such as carrier aggregation, faster speeds and support for both TD-LTE and TD-SCDMA. More information about Intel’s mobile communications solutions is available at http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wireless-products/mobile-communications.html.

See also: Intel Talks about Multimode LTE Modems – XMM7160 and Beyond [AnandTech, Aug 20, 2013] from which I will include here:

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XMM7160 is still built on TSMC’s 40nm CMOS process, and its SMARTi 4G transceiver is built on 65nm at TSMC, but Intel still claims it has a 20–30% power advantage for modem and RF compared to a competitor smartphone platform, though it wouldn’t say which. … The transition of modem to Intel Architecture (away from two different DSP architectures) also remains to be seen, and I’m told it will be two to three years before Intel’s modems are ready to intercept the Intel fabrication roadmap and get built on Intel silicon instead of at TSMC. …

From: Mobile Wireless M2M Value Proposition Product Portfolio and Roadmap for M2M 2G-4G [Intel presentation, Nov 26, 2012]

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Xiaomi announcements: from Mi3 to Xiaomi TV

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An Official Video of the MI3 & MITV Launch Event (with English & Chinese subtitles). HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR REAL UNDERSTANDING OF XIAOMI!)

Read before: Assesment of the Xiaomi phenomenon before the global storm is starting on Sept 5 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 30, 2013]
Watch before: Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Takes on Apple in China [Bloomberg TV, Sept 6, 2013] Xiaomi CEO and Founder Lei Jun discusses the company’s growth and competition with Apple on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” image
Read after: Exclusive: Hugo Barra Talks About His Future at Xiaomi and Why He Really Left Google [AllTingsD, Sept 12, 2013] … “There is no question the phone business is very low margin today, but they want to get to a place where they can sell the device at cost and then sell high-margin services to make that phone experience even better,” said Barra. … “The aspiration for the founders is that Xiaomi will become a global company that happens to be in China,” he said. “If I do my job right, in a few years, the world will be talking about Xiaomi in the same way that they talk about Google and Apple today.”

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Introducing Xiaomi MIUI MI3 (3D) [MrMiui YouTube channel, Sept 5, 2013]

Check this thread for Xiaomi New Product Convention 2013http://en.miui.com/thread-7486-1-1.html (Live)

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Xiaomi2 hours ago

ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event]
#MiPhone 3: The Fastest Smartphone#

  • Dual Platform – Nvidia Tegra 4 quad-core processors (1.8GHz A15 + A15) with 72 GeForce GPU cores + Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (8974AB quad-core 2.3GHz + 28nm HPM)). MiPhone 3’s overall performance increased 40% (compare to MiPhone 2S).
  • Screen – Sharp and LG 5-inch 1080P IPS display with ultra-sensitive touch. It works even when your figures are wet. You can set to recognize your figures even wearing gloves;
  • Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM+16GB eMMC4.5 flash
  • Battery – 3050mAh battery;
  • Camera – SONY 13 MP Exmor RS CMOS back camera, 2MP BSI front camera
  • Supports NFC & 2.4/5G WiFi

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XiaomiYesterday

ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event]
#MiPhone 3: The Fastest Smartphone

  • Size: 114mm×72mm×8.1mm, weight: only 145g;
  • Six official colors;
  • Camera comes with Intelligent beauty corrector. It can also identify age and gender.
  • The GPS can preserve the satellite trajectory for 7 days.
  • Immersion vibration function with situational vibrate mode.
  • Price – USD$327 for 16GB; USD$408 for 64GB.

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Nvidia has recently started receiving orders for its Tegra 4 processor, and in addition to the recently launched Mi3 smartphone from China-based vendor Xiaomi, Nvidia has also landed orders for Microsoft’s second-generation Surface RT as well as Asustek, Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard (HP) tablets, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
The Mi3 is the first smartphone to adopt the Tegra 4 processor.
Nvidia is also supplying its Tegra 4 to Asustek for its 10-inch New Transformer Pad tablet, HP for its 10-inch Slatebook 10 x2 and Toshiba for its 10-inch Excite Pro. Nvidia is reportedly also considering releasing an own-brand tablet.
Nvidia has also been aggressively promoting its Shield gaming device, trying to compete against the 3DS and PS Vita with a price of US$299.

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Photos Taken by Xiaomi MI3 (HD) 小米手机随手拍 (高清) [MrMiui YouTube channel, Sept 6, 2013], watch in either 720p or 1080p HD, and you could even watch in the original HD

MIUI is one of the most popular Android ROMs in the world. It is based on Android 2.3 and 4.1, featuring a rich user experience and user customizable themes. MIUI is updated every Friday based on feedback from its users. Now with over 20 million users and 17 MIUI fan sites worldwide, MIUI is the choice of many Android users globally.

Immersion Enters Multi-Year License Agreement With Xiaomi [press release, Sept 5, 2013]

Recently announced Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone is the first to launch with advanced tactile effects
SHANGHAI & SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Immersion Corporation (Nasdaq:IMMR), the leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, today announced that it has entered into a broad multi-year licensing arrangement with Xiaomi, one of the fastest growing smartphone makers in China, and that the recently released Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone uses Immersion’s TouchSense® technology to add new dimension of engagement in Xiaomi’s popular MIUI interface. Users can experience Immersion technology in two new downloadable tactile themes available in the MIUI storefront, as well as the crisp, intuitive tactile effects integrated throughout the Mi3 user interface and Tool applications. The Mi3 is Xiaomi’s first smartphone to come to market under the new license agreement between Xiaomi and Immersion, which covers Immersion’s Basic Haptics IP and select TouchSense and Integrator software solutions.
“We are pleased to work closely with Xiaomi to design tactile effects that create a rich user experience and deliver a distinctive and branded feel to MIUI, Xiaomi’s custom Android interface,” explains Dennis Sheehan, Immersion’s Sr. Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Xiaomi is our first direct mobile OEM licensee in China, and this relationship further validates the value of our IP portfolio and software solutions. With Xiaomi’s focus on design and innovation, we’re looking forward to collaborating in the future to bring advanced tactile experiences to mobile users in China.”
The Xiaomi Mi3 smartphone is available in China online at www.xiaomi.com.

Mi3 users who want to experience tactile effects have many options:

    • Users can select which strength of tactile effects they experience throughout the handset by customizing the vibration settings menu, found in the Settings/Sound menu

    • Mi3 Tool apps, including Compass, Calculator, Clock, Torch & Recorder include customized haptic effects to create a more intuitive user interface

    • The Iron Man and Gun MIUI themes are enhanced with realistic tactile effects, and are available for download from the MIUI Themes app.

      “The Xiaomi Mi3 was designed to be easy to use, personalized and cutting-edge. The addition of haptics seamlessly extends these values to the consumer through the sense of touch,” explains Lei Jun, Chairman and CEO of Xiaomi. “Immersion’s technology and expertise allows us to create a one-of-a-kind user experience that engages the sense of touch and complements our visual and audio design.”
      For more information on Immersion’s TouchSense technology and Integrator platform, visit http://www.immersion.com/markets/mobile/index.html.
      About Immersion (www.immersion.com)
      Founded in 1993, Immersion (NASDAQ: IMMR) is the leading innovator in haptics, or tactile effects; the company’s touch feedback solutions deliver a more compelling sense of the digital world. Using Immersion’s high-fidelity haptic systems, partners can transform user experiences with unique and customizable touch feedback effects; excite the senses in games, videos and music; restore “mechanical” feel by providing intuitive and unmistakable confirmation; improve safety by overcoming distractions while driving or performing a medical procedure; and expand usability when audio and visual feedback are ineffective. Immersion’s TouchSense technology provides haptics in mobile phone, automotive, gaming, medical and consumer electronics products from world-class companies. With over 1,300 issued or pending patents in the U.S. and other countries, Immersion helps bring the digital universe to life. Hear what we have to say at blog.immersion.com.
      About Xiaomi (www.xiaomi.com)
      Xiaomi is a mobile internet company dedicated to creating the ultimate user experience through its overall portfolio of products including Xiaomi phones, a series of high-performance smartphones; MIUI, a customized UI based on Android; and internet service, such as MiTalk, app store, and game center. Founded in 2010, Xiaomi is headquartered in Beijing, China and has over 3,000 employees.

      Xiaomi2 hours ago

      ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event]
      #MIUI V5 and MiCloud Service#

      Hi to all MIFans!

      -What do you like the most about MIUI? What is your wish list?
      Today, we have over 20 million MIUI users around the world! MIUI team works hard to deliver updates each week. Until today, we have delivered 27 updates for MIUI V5.

      -MiCloud Service
      More than 10.5 million registered users uploading 11 million photos daily to our MiCloud. With MiCloud service, you can sync contacts, messages, settings, photos and videos etc. to our cloud. Feel free to delete and leave enough space for your phone to do more!

      -Share Photo Album and Edit Together
      MIUI V5 added an amazing feature. It allows you to share photo albums and invite people to edit those albums with you. You can simply invite people through texts or generate QR codes for them to scan.

      -Share Public WiFi Access
      Tired of asking for password to access public WiFi? MIUI V5 allows people to share access! Just one setting or simply generate and scan a QR code, you can soon be connected.

      -Send Large File
      Have you experienced problems sending huge files like movies using your phone? With our MIUI V5 new system app, you can send huge files without concerns.

      image

      Xiaomi TV Eyes On – GizChina [Gizchina YouTube channel, Sept 5, 2013]

      We got some eye’s on time with the new Android Xiaomi TV yesterday in Beijing. The 47-inch smart TV is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 600 chipset, features and LG/Samsung 3D display and has the narrowest borders we have seen of any TV to date!

      Introducing Xiaomi MIUI MiTV (HD) 小米电视 (高清) [MrMiui YouTube channel, Sept 5, 2013], watch in either 720p or 1080p HD, and you could turn on even the 3D

      MIUI is one of the most popular Android ROMs in the world. It is based on Android 2.3 and 4.1, featuring a rich user experience and user customizable themes. MIUI is updated every Friday based on feedback from its users. Now with over 20 million users and 17 MIUI fan sites worldwide, MIUI is the choice of many Android users globally.

      image

      Xiaomiabout an hour ago

      ON AIR [Xiaomi 2013 New Product Announcement Event] Surprise! Xiaomi 47 inch 3D Smart TV Only USD$490

      -47 inch Polarization 3D HD LCD from LG/Samsung;

      -1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor MPQ8064 for TV , 2GB RAM /8GB flash memory ;

      -TV remote with only 11 buttons, easy to use;

      -Supports dual-band WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0;

      -Run MIUI TV customized version, it is really smart!

      image

      image

      The Upcoming Mobile Internet Superpower

      download this PDF-format mini e-book
      (now with an extensive follow-up & ‘The global forces behind …’ analysis, later in this post)

      Subtitle:
      China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web

      Put* together by Sándor Nacsa in August 2013

      This mini e-book is a follow-up to the findings of “China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web” [Aug 5, 2013] post from my trend-tracking blog “Experiencing the Cloud”, as well as the following posts which lead to those findings:

      IMT-Advanced (4G) for the next-generations of interactive mobile services, China is triumphant [Oct 24, 2010]
      Good TD-LTE potential for target commercialisation by China Mobile in 2012 [July 13, 2011 – Feb 8, 2012]
      TD-SCDMA: US$3B into the network (by the end of 2012) and 6 million phones procured (just in October)[ Oct 18, 2011]
      China becoming the lead market for mobile Internet in 2012/13 [Dec 1, 2011]
      MWC 2012: the 4G/LTE lightRadio network [Oct 16, 2012]
      China: 20,000 TD-LTE base stations in 13 cities by the end of 2012 and about 200,000 base stations in 100 cities launched in 2013 with the 2.6GHz TDD spectrum planning just started—SoftBank with TD-LTE strategy in Japan getting into global play with Sprint (also the 49% owner of US TD-LTE champion, Clearwire) acquisition [Oct 16, 2012]

      download this PDF-format mini e-book

      Now an extensive FOLLOW-UP
      (& ‘The global forces behind …’ analysis after that)

      China emerging as ‘mobile only’ in sharp contrast to the US multiscreen market [DIGITIMES, Aug 19, 2013]

      With smartphone penetration still in the early stages in China, a new study indicates that the country could become a “one screen nation,” outpacing the US in consumers who use smartphones as their sole or primary media device, according to research developed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Interactive Internet Advertising Committee of China (IIACC).
      The research revealed that media consumption is more impacted by smartphone ownership in China. More than a quarter of China-based smartphone owners report less TV watching and reduced print consumption as a result of owning a mobile connected device (28% and 27% respectively). In comparison to their US counterparts, China-based smartphone owners are 86% more likely to report less TV usage and 42% more likely to report less print usage.
      In contrast to China smartphone owners’ concentrated focus on the small screen, US smartphone owners are much more likely to consume other media with their mobile devices in hand. For example, while watching TV, smartphone users report participating in Internet communication (51% US vs. 10% China), reading social media (38% US vs. 9% China), and conducting a local search (34% US vs. 8% China). The data shows similar disparities when it comes to reading print media, the research found.
      The two firms said the research also illustrates Americans’ greater dependency on their smartphones as devices that they would “never leave home without” (69%). In comparison, merely 6% of their China counterparts said the same. Approximately one-third (34%) of Americans said that their smartphone is the “first thing I reach for when I wake up,” as opposed to 7% of China-based smartphone owners.
      China-based consumers are also more apt to use their smartphones for web browsing than Americans (32% China vs. 21% US), the research found. More than one fifth (23%) of China-based respondents said that they spent three hours or more per day in the last week accessing the Internet with their smartphones. The top reason they cited for turning to their smartphones was “entertainment.”

      Slush 2012: Keynote by John Lindfords (Digital Sky Technologies – DST) [startupsauna YouTube channel, Nov 24, 2013]

      Nov 21, 2012 [16:30-16:50]: John Lindfors of DST chats about how the Internet and especially mobile are changing the world as well as the ample startup opportunities that ensue out of that unprecedented connectedness. But what has he to say of Asia’s perception of European startup activity? John Lindfors is a Partner of Digital Sky Technology (DST) and Managing Director of the Asian office in Hong Kong. He joined DST in 2010. Prior to joining DST, he was the Partner in charge of the European Technology and Media department for Goldman Sachs. He joined Goldman Sachs in London in 1993 and worked in London and New York during his 17 years at the firm focusing on the technology and media sectors. John has a M.Sc. (Econ) from the Swedish School of Economics in Helsinki.

      How Social Media & E-Commerce Operate in China [Tim Swanson YouTube channel, Aug 13, 2013]

      Tim Swanson, author of Great Wall of Numbers, interviews Matt Garner, a seasoned China specialist about companies such as Tencent and Alibaba — the giants of the Chinese Internet. Matt worked for a brand marketing consulting company and large NGO in Shanghai and is an expert on Chinese web trends and market analysis. Website: http://www.ofnumbers.com

      China’s E-Commerce Boom: Millennials Shop Alibaba & ASOS [ForaTv YouTube channel, Aug 3, 2013]

      Full video available at: http://fora.tv/2013/07/11/Around_the_World_in_Almost_10_Slides Matt Hiscock, senior vice president for ASOS US, describes how the fashion e-commerce company plans to work with the demands of shoppers in China.

      Weibo: How Chinese Microblogs Sneak Fashion Past Censors [ForaTv YouTube channel, June 14, 2013]

      Full video available for purchase at: http://fora.tv/2013/05/21/Do_in_Rome_as_the_Romans_Do_-_Winning_Strategy_in_a_Fast-Changing_Market Executive vice president of Shanghai Jahwa United Co. Ltd. Hua Fang shows how microblogging tools like Weibo – the equivalent of Twitter in China – are helping to globalize brands.

      Alibaba investment spooks some of China’s online shoppers [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 4, 2013]

      Aug. 5 – E-commerce giant Alibaba’s investment in the Weibo microblogging service has resulted in users being bombarded with targeted ads for everything from bikinis to coffins. Anita Li examines the reaction.

      Chinese Tech Giant Sets Sights on $265 Billion “Smart TV” Market [TheMotleyFool YouTube channel, July 24, 2013]

      It’s no secret that the television will be the next great tech battleground. But what is less clear— and what will ultimately prove most profitable to tech-oriented investors— is what company will be the last one standing. Motley Fool analyst Lyons George discusses Alibaba, a Chinese Internet giant that deals in e-commerce, online auctions, and— as early this week— “smart television” operating systems. With an IPO expected any day now, Alibaba’s entrance into the projected $265 billion next-gen TV market is raising investor eyebrows around the globe.

      In China smartphone market, cheap rules – and Apple suffers [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 19, 2013]

      Aug. 19 – Apple’s seen its market share in China dwindle as homegrown smartphone makers crank out feature-packed budget models. Could the launch of a cheaper iPhone restore its flagging fortunes?

      FACTBOX: Will China Mobile deal widen Apple’s wedge? [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 20, 2013]

      Aug. 20 – Apple is losing market share to cheaper rivals in China. But a tie-up with top carrier China Mobile seems to be getting closer, and could quickly alter the country’s billion-strong playing field.

      ‘Broadband China’ aims to speed up network [CCTV News YouTube channel, Aug 18, 2013]

      In its emphasis on ensuring that information technology becomes a key driver of growth, China has unveiled its new Broadband China strategy. As in the US, and Europe, the goal is that faster broadband should result in greater industrial efficiency, and, convenience for households.

      More foreign carriers to deploy TD-LTE [China Daily video published on March 14, 2012 via SPHRazorTV YouTube channel]

      March 14, 2012: Wang Jianzhou, Chairman of China Mobile Communications Corporation and a CPPCC member, talked about the current situation of TD-LTE’s development and promotion as an international 4G standard.

      TD-LTE Subscriptions to Surpass 500 Million by 2017, Representing Annual TD-LTE Operator Service Revenues of $91 Billion Worldwide [Research and Markets announcement via PRNewswire, Aug 16, 2013]

      More than 50 mobile carriers worldwide have so far committed to TDD LTE technology, and over 30 OEMs have commercially launched TD-LTE compatible devices, with a major proportion of these devices supporting both FDD and TDD modes of operation.
      This forecast datasheet presents revenue and shipment market size and forecasts for both infrastructure and devices, along with subscription and service revenue projections for the LTE market as a whole, as well as separate projections for the TD-LTE and FDD-LTE sub-markets from 2012 through to 2017. Historical figures are also presented for 2010 and 2011, along with vendor market share data.
      Driven by large scale TDD spectrum availability and the technology’s lower deployment costs, the industry witnessed several prominent TD-LTE network deployments in late 2011 and early 2012, including Softbank in Japan, Etisalat Mobily and STC in Saudi Arabia, and Bharti Airtel in India. More recently, in October 2012, the TD-LTE ecosystem received a major boost when China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that the entire 190 MHz of spectrum in the 2.5/2.6 GHz band will be allocated for TD-LTE deployments in China, which harmonizes its TDD spectrum with Japan and the US, two major LTE markets.
      These developments could allow the TD-LTE ecosystem to reach significant economies of scale, boosting further infrastructure and device investments in TD-LTE technology.

      20130430 SoftBank、Sprintについての会見。質疑最終部分と囲み [Tamotsu Hashimoto YouTube channel, May 1, 2013]

      Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son arguing against Dish Network counteroffer to acquire Sprint.

      Sprint shareholders approve $21 6 billion deal with SoftBank [KansasCityNews YouTube channel, news article and video on June 25, video published via YouTube on Aug 13, 2013]

      By combining their interests, Sprint and SoftBank hope to be able to negotiate better deals with network equipment companies, cellphone makers and lenders. Their aim is turning Sprint into a stronger competitor for Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Sprint and SoftBank’s plans rely heavily on valuable wireless spectrum controlled by Clearwire Corp. Spectrum are the licensed airwaves that carry video, downloads and other data-heavy activity of smartphone customers. Sprint has a deal to buy the roughly half of Clearwire it doesn’t already own for $5 a share. The Clearwire merger is part of the plans Sprint and SoftBank submitted to the FCC’s review. Clearwire shareholders vote July 8 on the merger with Sprint. Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/25/4311893/sprint-shareholders-approve-deal.html#storylink=cpy

      Sprint CFO: SoftBank deal lets us take Clearwire spectrum nationwide [FierceWireless, July 30, 2013]

      Sprint (NYSE:S) will be able to deploy Clearwire’s 2.5 GHz spectrum for TD-LTE service on a nationwide basis now that it is flush with fresh capital from SoftBank, which now controls 78 percent of Sprint, according to Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer. Sprint formally took control of Clearwire earlier this month.
      Steve Elfman, president of network operations at Sprint, noted during the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call that Sprint now plans to deploy Clearwire’s 2.5 GHz spectrum on all 38,000 of its planned Network Vision cell sites and even more sites than that in a nationwide rollout. Previously, Sprint had said it would use Clearwire’s spectrum as a “hotspot” LTE network to offload traffic in urban markets.
      In an interview with FierceWireless, Euteneuer said SoftBank’s $21.6 billion acquisition–which includes $5 billion in new capital and allowed Sprint to buy Clearwire–spurred Sprint to make the shift in strategy. The move will let Sprint add more capacity to its own FDD-LTE network, which it is still in the process of being built out. Euteneuer noted that Sprint and Clearwire originally planned to deploy Clearwire’s spectrum on around 5,000 cell sites as an offload network in urban markets. Those plans are still proceeding this year, but Sprint now wants to expand that to improve the customer experience.
      “Now that we own 100 percent of Clearwire, with the help of SoftBank, we said, how do we take full advantage of the 2.5 GHz spectrum?” Euteneuer said. “The best way to do that is to have it fully integrated with the rest of your spectrum capabilities. And to do that you really need to put it on every tower.”
      The Sprint CFO said because of the weaker propagation characteristics of 2.5 GHz, Sprint will deploy small cells and other sites beyond the 38,000 Network Vision sites the company has mapped out. He said it is unclear at this point if the nationwide deployment of Clearwire’s spectrum will be finished by the end of 2014. Clearwire commands around 160 MHz of spectrum in the top 100 markets.
      It is unclear exactly how many TD-LTE cell sites using Clearwire’s spectrum will be online by year-end. Iyad Tarazi, head of network development and integration for Sprint, recently told CNET that Sprint will have 5,000 Clearwire sites on air by year-end, but on Tuesday Elfman was less specific, and said “we’ll have several thousand sites up this year because of the work that Clearwire was doing before us.”
      “We are working with Clearwire on plans and will share more soon,” Sprint spokeswoman Roni Singleton said in a follow-up statement.
      Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said the deployment of a nationwide LTE network on 2.5 GHz will help give Sprint “competitive parity” with its rivals. “And the important thing in terms of what we believe will be a better, a superior network experience will depend upon how quickly we roll out the 2.5 [GHz spectrum], because that will give us extraordinary capacity and some speed and performance advantages in the market,” he said. …

      Xiaomi CEO: Don’t call us China’s Apple [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 15, 2013]

      Aug. 15 – China’s Xiaomi has sparked a frenzy with a low-cost smartphone that may help the tech firm widen its lead over Apple in the local market — but CEO Lei Jun says it has very different ambitions.

      China’s Tencent tops leaderboard, but rivals loom [Reuters TV YouTube channel, Aug 15, 2013]

      Aug. 15 – China’s biggest Internet firm, Tencent, has been signing up users and burning up the stock charts. But its recent results point to a tougher future marked by higher costs and tougher competition.

      WeChat, Made-in-China Messaging App Grows in Popularity [CCTV News YouTube channel, July 30, 2013]

      As SMS messaging continues to grow, more and more players has entered this competitive space. One of those grabbing a bigger and bigger share of this market is the App – WeChat – owned by the Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd. WeChat is currently the number one messaging App in China. Follow us on Twitter/Facebook/WeChat @CCTVNEWS

      Tencent Corporate Video [Alison Lee YouTube channel, Aug 6, 2013]

       


      The global forces behind the overall setup of Chinese Internet giants:

      China’s doors may be closed to social network company Facebook, but for its pre-IPO investor DST Global, the gates are wide open.
      As a result, the firm has managed to invest about $1.5 billion into China-based companies over the past four years, translating into around half the amount of capital it has invested worldwide, Partner John Lindfors told Venture Capital Dispatch.
      Unlike some foreign investors, DST Global is happy to take a minority shareholding in portfolio companies, and being a late-stage investor with the ability to write bigger checks, it has also encountered less competition among China-focused investors when targeting new deals.
      “We don’t want to take control. If you think about it, some of the most successful companies have been run by their owners. We’re trying to find the next Bill Gates, and back him,” said Lindfors.
      DST Global counts Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and online retailer Jingdong Mall as part of its Asian portfolio. DST, alongside other private equity firms like Silver Lake agreed to buy shares in Alibaba at a tender offer of $1.6 billion in 2011. That same year, DST Global also participated in a $1.5 billion third round of funding in Jingdong, with media reports stating that DST bought a 5% share in the online retailer for $500 million.
      Although DST Global spent around $1.5 billion on both of those deals, said Lindfors, he noted that the firm is also “happy” to invest far less in a deal, even from $50 million, as deal sizes in China can often be smaller due to the general market size.
      Other firms active in China’s Internet space include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, which typically target lesser-sized deals than DST Global, opening the playing field for the Russian investment firm.  In fact, KPCB China Investment Partner Wei Zhou last year told Venture Capital Dispatch that it had even started investing in pre-Series A deals.
      DST Global, headed by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, expects to invest in a “few” more deals in the next year or two across China’s Internet sector, specifically in e-commerce and mobile Internet, on expectations that growing domestic consumption and increasing users of mobile devices will bolster growth in these areas, said Lindfors.
      “We see an explosion of smartphone usage,” said Lindfors. Indeed, industry insiders, including Kai Fu Lee, founder of Chinese investment firm Innovation Works, predict China will have 500 million smartphone users by the end of this year, jumping up from the current 330 million.
      On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, DST Global has invested in the likes of Twitter and now-Nasdaq-listed Facebook–which faces restricted use in China–and manages three funds. Last year, Bloomberg reported that DST Global was raising $1 billion for a new technology fund, and separately reported that DST Global I achieved an annual 151% gross internal rate of return. Lindfors declined to comment on the firm’s funds.
      DST Global likes other countries across Asia such as Indonesia and India, but for the meantime, opportunities are too early stage, said Lindfors, who previously worked at investment bank Goldman Sachs.
      DST Global, which has an Asia-based office in Hong Kong, was set up by entrepreneur Milner, and is best known for investing $200 million in Facebook in 2009, and then a subsequent round in 2011 worth $500 million with Goldman Sachs.

      Milner Discusses Social Networking Companies, Facebook: Video [Bloomberg YouTube channels, March 23, 2012]

      Yuri Milner, chief executive officer of Digital Sky Technologies, talks with Bloomberg’s Cris Valerio about his company’s investment strategy in social-networking companies like Facebook Inc. Digital Sky is a privately held company investing in Internet related companies. Bloomberg’s Betty Liu also speaks.

      2012 – My Recipe for a Better Tomorrow – Mr. Yuri Milner [PresidentialConf YouTube channel, June 24, 2012]

      The fourth Israeli Presidential Conference, Facing Tomorrow 2012. Plenary: My Recipe for a Better Tomorrow. Speaker: Mr. Yuri Milner.

      Encouraging Innovation – Yuri Milner at European Zeitgeist 2011 [zeitgeistminds YouTube channel, May 17, 2011]

      Yuri Milner talks about his primary aims, which include finding investors for new businesses and to encouraging innovation. He calls social a dominant theme and says that innovation happens when there is concentration and a critical mass.

      Юрий Мильнер с 2005 года началась эра социального Интернета [Umid Matnazarov YouTube channel, Sept 20, 2011]

      Президент компании Digital Sky Technologies Юрий Мильнер – член президентской комиссии по модернизации и технологическому развитию экономики. В интервью “Вестям” он рассказал о направлениях работы комиссии и о тенденциях развития Интернета.

      Alibaba Said to Have Applied for HK Listing [The China Perspective, July 23, 2013]

      Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China’s dominant e-commerce service provider, has lodged its application for listing at the Hong Kong stock exchange aimed at raising up to $20 billion, Hong Kong-based Oriental Daily reported. The company is expected to float in October with a valuation of $100 billion. Approximately $7 billion from the money raised will be used to buy back Alibaba’s share owned by Yahoo! Inc (Nasdaq: YHOO), the source said. Alibaba delisted its B2B site Alibaba.com a year ago in preparation for the initial public offering of the group as a whole. Its Taobao.com is China’s top C2C site; its Tmall.com is China’s top B2C site; its Alipay is China’s top third party billing service provider. Japan’s Softbank is Alibaba’s largest shareholder, holding a 35% stake; Yahoo owns 23%, Alibaba’s management owns 24.7%; some private equities and institutional investors own 10.3%; its founder Jack Ma owns 7%.

      Masayoshi Son [Wikipedia]

      Masayoshi Son (Japanese: 孫 正義 Hepburn: Son Masayoshi?, Korean: 손정의 Son Jeong-ui; born August 11, 1957) is a Japanese businessman and the founder and current chief executive officer of SoftBank, the chief executive officer of SoftBank Mobile, and current chairman of Sprint Corporation. According to Forbes magazine, his net worth is $8.1 billion as of 2011 and he is the second richest man in Japan,[1] despite having the distinction of losing the most money in history (approximately $70 billion during the dot com crash of 2000). [2] Forbes also describes him as a philanthropist.

      Masayoshi Son is known for his extreme persistence to achieve his business goals. As example, when Japan’s Post and Telecommunications Ministry denied his application for a particular telecommunications license, he is reported[3][4] to have threatened to set himself on fire inside the Ministry if his company is not awarded the desired license (however, he is reported[5] not have brought any fuel along to back up his threat).

      Former Amazon manager takes Chinese e-commerce company global [GeekWire, Aug 16, 2013]

      Watch out, Amazon.com. A Chinese e-commerce company is out to redefine notions of customer service. If you think free shipping in two days is fast, how about in three hours?
      In cities across China, customers can order everything from fresh produce to a new laptop, get it delivered for free the same day, pay cash on delivery and even refuse the goods at the door if they fail to meet expectations.
      It’s all part of a strategy of JD.com (formerly 360buy) to become China’s largest e-commerce company and expand globally. China’s booming and highly competitive e-commerce market gets more interesting all the time, and JD.com is a major player to watch.
      JD.com stands for parent company Jingdong, which has grown to become China’s largest online company that sells directly to consumers, with 100 million registered users, 5 million orders a day, and a whopping 60 billion RMB in sales ($10 billion) in 2012. The company rebranded itself earlier this year and may be planning a U.S. IPO.
      Jingdong Vice President and General Manager Shi Tao, who spent more than three years working for Amazon China, visited Seattle this week to introduce the company and meet with prospective customers and partners.
      JD.com operates differently than its major competitor, Alibaba’s Tmall, in that Jingdong spent years building its own network of warehouses and fulfillment centers, allowing it to manage its own delivery rather than simply matching buyers and sellers or relying on third parties to ship the goods.
      “Chinese consumers want to shop on the platform with the best experience, especially shipping and post-sales customer services,” Shi said. In May Jingdong introduced nighttime and three-hour delivery services in six Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan and Shenyang. The company offers same-day delivery in 27 major cities and next-day delivery in more than 150 cities across China.

      Tmall is still the leading B2C company in China overall, with more than 51 percent of the market, compared to Jingdong’s 17 percent, according to iResearch. Amazon China has about 2 percent of that market.

      China’s e-tailing industry has posted 120 percent annual growth since 2003, and online sales in China could reach $650 billion by 2020, according to McKinsey Global Institute.

      What was not mentioned in the DST/Lindfors interview earlier:

      DST has strong ties to
      DST’s partners and employees
      Goldman Sachs. Alexander Tamas
      in 2008 and John Lindfors,
      Goldman Sachs, joined DST in
      employees include Rahul Mehta and
      2011, DST has orchestrated an
      brought Goldman Sachs into the
      Goldman Sachs. The majority of
      have previously worked at
      joined DST from Goldman Sachs
      a previous partner at
      2010. Other ex-Goldman Sachs
      Shou Zi Chew. In January
      investment into Facebook and
      deal.

      From Digital Sky Technologies is …

      Asia Awards: VC Deal of the Year – Xiaomi [Asian Venture Capital Journal, Dec 5, 2012]

      Validation of Xiaomi’s approach was provided by Yuri Milner of DST Advisors who led a $216 million third round of funding in June – valuing the company at $4 billion – with Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC) also involved.

      DST Founder Yuri Milner Invests in Xiaomi [Tech In Asia, Dec 23, 2011]

      We already knew Xiaomi had scored $90 million RMB in new financing — they announced that at their press conference with China Unicom on Tuesday — but Lei Jun has now revealed on Weibo where at least some of that money came from: DST founder Yuri Milner.

      Xiaomi’s market value could reach US$10bn after new financing [WantChinaTimes.com, July 28, 2013]

      Xiaomi Technology, a Chinese manufacturer of own-brand budget smartphones, will soon launch another round of financing worth more than US$2 billion, with insiders suggesting the main investor will be Russian venture capital firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST), the Shanghai-based First Financial Daily reports.

      Leading Chinese internet firm Tencent Holdings invested US$300 million in DST in April 2010 and would therefore become an indirect investor in Xiaomi, the report said, though both Tencent and Xiaomi have declined to comment.

      Rumor: Tencent Invests in Xiaomi via Russian VC [Marbridge Consulting, July 23, 2013]

      According to industry insiders, Beijing-based Android handset developer Xiaomi has secured a new round of funding exceeding USD 2 bln from Chinese internet and mobile services firm Tencent (0700.HK), with Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST) acting as an intermediary.

      The latest round of funding values Xiaomi at approximately USD 10 bln.

      Tencent Invests $300m in DST and Establishes Strategic Partnership [Tencent press release, April 12, 2010]

      Tencent Holdings Limited (“Tencent” or the “Company”, SEHK 00700), a leading provider of Internet and mobile & telecommunications value-added services in China, and Digital Sky Technologies Limited (“DST”), one of the largest Internet companies in the Russian-speaking and Eastern European markets, today jointly announced that Tencent will invest approximately US$300 million in DST, thereby establishing a long-term strategic partnership between the two companies.
      The aggregate consideration of approximately US$300 million, which will be paid in cash, gives Tencent approximately a 10.26% economic interest in DST upon completion of the transaction. Tencent will hold approximately 0.51% of the total voting power of DST and have the right to nominate one observer to the DST Board.
      DST and Tencent will embark on a long-term partnership and co-operation as they seek to benefit from each other’s insights gained from their respective markets. DST’s deep understanding of the Russian Internet market, together with its leading brands such as Mail.ru, Odnoklassniki and VKontakte, will enable Tencent to benefit from the high growth of the Russian-speaking Internet market. At the same time, Tencent’s leading position in China will provide DST and its companies with unique and valuable operational insights and access to its regional network that can help DST further accelerate its growth path.
      Chief Executive Officer of DST, Mr. Yuri Milner, said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Tencent as a shareholder in DST. This investment is a vote of confidence in DST from the market leader in China and one of the world’s most successful and dynamic Internet companies overall. Our teams share many common views and beliefs and a clear vision about the significant opportunities that lay ahead. We look forward to working together with Tencent and benefiting from their expertise as we both push forward with our plans to capitalize on this immense growth in our markets.”
      President of Tencent, Mr. Martin Lau, said, “We are excited to enter into a long-term strategic partnership with DST, a key global Internet player and a leader in Russian-speaking Internet markets. The investment allows us to benefit from the fast-growing Internet market in Russia, as well as to leverage our technical and operational know-how to strengthen the leadership position of DST and explore new business opportunities in the Russian-speaking Internet markets.”
      Details of the transaction can also be obtained from the statutory disclosure documents available on http://www.hkexnews.hk website and http://www.tencent.com/ir .
      About Digital Sky Technologies
      DST was founded in 2005 and is one of the largest Internet companies in the Russian-speaking and Eastern European markets and one of the leading investment groups globally to exclusively focus on internet related companies. DST, together with its affiliate DST Global, also hold stakes in Internet world leaders such as Facebook and Zynga. DST is a privately held company backed by leading Russian and Western financial institutions. For more information please visit http://www.dst-global.com .
      About Tencent
      Tencent aims to enrich the interactive online experience of Internet users in China by providing a comprehensive range of Internet and wireless value-added services. Through its various online platforms, including Instant Messaging QQ, web portal QQ.com, QQ Game portal, multi-media social networking service Qzone and wireless portal, Tencent services the largest online community in China and fulfills the user’s needs for communication, information, entertainment and e-Commerce on the Internet.
      Tencent has three main streams of revenues: Internet value-added services, mobile and telecommunications value-added services and online advertising.
      Shares of Tencent Holdings Limited are traded on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, under stock code 00700. The Company became one of the 43 constituents of the Hang Seng Index (HSI) on June 10, 2008. For more information, please visit http://www.tencent.com/ir .

      Naspers makes strategic investment in DST [press release, July 14, 2010]

      DST to assume full control of Mail.ru upon share swap with Naspers
      Johannesburg and Moscow, 14 July 2010 – Naspers Limited (“Naspers”), the broad based international media group, and Digital Sky Technologies Limited (“DST”), one of the largest internet companies in the Russian-speaking markets, announces today that Naspers’s subsidiary Myriad International Holdings B.V. (“MIH”) will take a 28,7% stake in DST. The transaction will be effected by Naspers contributing its 39,3% stake in Mail.ru into DST and investing US$388m in cash. Concurrently, Mail.ru management and other minorities will also convert their shares into DST.
      Upon the close of this transaction, DST will own over 99,9% of Mail.ru. Mail.ru is the leading communication and entertainment platform in the Russian-speaking internet world, with over 50m registered email accounts, leading market share in MMO games and one of the leading social networks in Russia.
      Naspers and DST have worked closely together over the past three years as co-owners of Mail.ru and today’s transaction will enable them to further strengthen that relationship.
      Chief Executive Officer of DST, Yuri Milner, said, “Naspers’s strategic insight has already proven to be valuable in our partnership and we welcome the expertise they will bring to DST. We are delighted to announce this transaction and look forward to creating further value through our relationship.”
      Antonie Roux, head of Naspers’s internet operations, commented: “We have known DST and its management for years and we share a similar view and approach. We are excited to strengthen our partnership. This opportunity further expands our exposure to emerging markets and the fast-growing internet sector.”
      About Digital Sky Technologies
      DST was founded in 2005 and is one of the largest internet companies in the Russian-speaking and Eastern European markets and one of the leading investment groups globally to exclusively focus on internet related companies. DST, together with its affiliate DST Global, also holds stakes in internet world leaders such as Facebook, Zynga and Groupon. DST is a privately held company backed by leading international financial institutions and companies. For more information please visit http://www.dstglobal.com.
      About Naspers
      Naspers is a leading emerging market media group operating in 129 countries. It is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE), with an ADR (American Deposit Receipt) listing on the London Stock Exchange. The group’s principal operations are in internet platforms (focusing on commerce, communities, content, communication and games), pay-television and the provision of related technologies and print media (including publishing, distribution and printing of magazines, newspapers and books). The group’s most significant operations in emerging markets include South Africa and subSaharan Africa, China, Central and Eastern Europe, India, Brazil, Russia and Thailand. For more information visit http://www.naspers.com.

      imageTencent (700 HK) [RHB OSK Securities (Thailand) report, Aug 15, 2013]

      Internet – Online Games and Media
      Market Cap: USD88,608m

      Shareholders (%)
      MIH China (Naspers)         33.9
      Ma Huateng [Pony Ma]     10.2
      JP Morgan                             4.5

      Good WeChat progress. The pace of development on Tencent’s mobile social platform WeChat has exceeded our expectations since its launch. Monthly active users (MAU) breached 236m in 2Q13 (1Q13: 194m) while new services such as sticker sales, targeted ads and the first game released on the platform, TTAXC (天天爱消除), showed monetisation potential.

      image

      Online advertising is a major earnings driver at the gross profit level.

      SWOT Analysis

      image

      Company Profile
      Tencent is a leading internet conglomerate in China with operations in online games, social networks, advertising and e-commerce. The company operates leading online games in China while its mobile chat application, which has expanded globally, has a user base exceeding 300m.

      Naspers Fact Sheet June 2013:

      Business overview
      Founded in 1915, Naspers is a leading multinational group of eCommerce and media platforms, with operations in more than 133 countries. Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) since September 1994, it also has an ADR listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
      The group’s principal operations are in e-commerce, paytelevision & related technologies and print media. It also has minority investments in listed, integrated social-network platforms Tencent (SEHK 0700) and Mail.ru (LSE: MAIL).
      The group focuses on attaining sustainable market positions in growing emerging markets which it believes to present above-average growth opportunities. These markets include South Africa and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, China, Brazil and the rest of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East.

      image

      INTERNET
      Naspers operates platforms that offer customers fast, intuitive and secure environments where they can communicate, participate, entertain and shop. The group’s e-commerce services include marketplaces, general and vertical e-tail, classifieds, lead-generation and payments.
      Naspers major e-commerce operations are:
      • Allegro (97%), a leading e-commerce business in Central and Eastern Europe.
      • BuscaPé (95%), a major e-commerce platform in Brazil.
      • OLX (84%), a strong classifieds operator in a number of emerging markets.
      Other investments include 36Boutiques, Avito, Brandsclub, Dealfish, Dubizzle, eMag, Fashion Days, Flipkart, Fixeads, ibibo Group, kalahari.com, Korbitec, LevelUp!, Markafoni, Movile, Netretail, OLX, PayU, PriceCheck, redBus, Ricardo, Sanook!, Souq, Sulit, Tokobagus, Travel Boutique Online and Trendsales.
      Naspers also holds minority positions in:
      • Tencent (34%) – China’s largest and most used internet services platform.
      • Mail.ru Group [DST] (29%) – the leading internet company in Russian-speaking markets.

      Naspers rides Tencent to Internet fortune [TechCentral (South Africa), Aug 31, 2012]

      When Naspers stumbled on a little-known Chinese Internet company in 2001, it could not have dreamed that a US$32m investment would account for more than 80% of the media conglomerate’s R200bn market cap now.

      Tencent Holdings is the largest Internet solutions provider in China and Naspers, which owns a 34% stake, is its largest shareholder. R4,8bn of Naspers CEO Koos Bekker’s personal fortune of R6bn in shares is linked to Tencent.

      It [Naspers] has a market capitalisation of about $57bn and its total revenue for the year to 31 December 2011 was up by 45% to $4,4bn. Profit attributable to equity holders was $1,6bn — 27% higher year on year — and its profit for the second quarter of 2012 was up by 32%. The p:e ratio (share price compared with  its earnings) is 33.
      Founded in November 1998, Ten­cent has become one of China’s largest and most widely used Internet service portals and, in 2004, it was listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
      More than 50% of Tencent employees are research and development staff and the company has obtained patents relating to technology for instant messaging, e-commerce, online payment services, search engines, information security, gaming and more.
      Its leading Internet platforms in China include instant messaging, social networking (with 580m active users) and a mobile chat and micro-blogging service known as Weixin. It is also the largest online gaming company in the world.


      And the DST money is said to come from:

      image
      THE THREE KINGS & THEIR PRINCES(S)

      “Larry Summers is ethically challenged.”
         Former Economist Colleagues

      Larry Summers and his Facebook Friends conspire to undermine U.S. “checks & balances” and take control of the world economy by stealth, we believe.

      First see a specially written article to understand very easily the whole affair with the judicial and other systems in U.S. in Facebook — a force for freedom perhaps, but at odds with the rule of law in the U.S. [Americans For Innovation (AFI) via Open Trial, July 26, 2013] from which I will include here only the following excerpts:

      In the late 1990s Innovator Leader Technologies invented a technology we now call “social networking.” By the time they filed for their first patents in 2002, they had invested 145,000 man-hours and over $10 million. Literally within three months of Leader perfecting the lynch-pin of their invention, Mark Zuckerberg and his PayPal associates were in the market, on February 4, 2004. Zuckerberg claims to have done all the work himself in “one to two weeks” while chasing girls and studying for finals.

      New evidence indicates he received Leader’s source code from a mole who was cooperating with Zuckerberg’s apparent mentor, James W. Breyer, of Accel Partners LLP and with Fenwick & West LLP, who was also Leader’s attorney at the same time. It appears that they were waiting for Leader to finish debugging its invention so that they could roll out the Harvard-boy-genius-Facebook-origins myth, with Zuckerberg in the leading role.

      Not so coincidentally, Lawrence Summers was President of Harvard at the time. Summers arranged for the 19-year old Zuckerberg to get more Harvard Crimson news coverage than any world leader or event. Breyer was a big alumni contributor. PayPal COO, Reid Hoffman (later LinkedIn CEO) was coaching Zuckerberg and feeding him spending money, as was Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal. Tellingly, these three sold over $6 billion of their Facebook stock on Day 3 of the Facebook IPO, at the highest price anyone received for their stock before it crashed. Summers popped up in Silicon Valley before the IPO too—as “special advisor” to Instagram that sold their 13-man company to Facebook for $1 billion. Could it be that their CEO, Matt Cohler was able to exert some influence over Zuckerberg, as he knew about the theft of the Leader invention?

      Forty-four months after filing for their patents, Leader received their first patent on November 21, 2006—U.S. Patent No. 7,139,761. On November 19, 2008, Leader filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook. Leader Technologies, Inc., v. Facebook, Inc., 08-cv-862-JJF-LPS (D.Del. 2008).

      Current Federal Reserve Chairman candidate, Lawrence “Larry” Summers has mentored Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg since the early 1990’s. He also mentored Russian Yuri Milner, who has close ties to Russian oligarch Alisher Asmanov and the Kremlin. Summers was one of the Harvard-wunderkind architects of the disastrous Russian voucher system in the early 1990’s while Chief Economist for the World Bank. Milner is Facebook’s second largest shareholder and is partnered with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. With Goldman’s and Morgan’s help, Milner moved billions of dollars into Facebook pre-IPO. Curiously, Cohler helped Hoffman start LinkedIn in 2004. There appears to have been a feeding frenzy surrounding the debugging of Leader’s invention.

      This occurred after the US taxpayers bailed out Goldman and Morgan Stanley in 2008. To this day no one knows the origins of those funds, which pumped Facebook’s valuation up to $100 billion. Milner is also connected with Bank Menatep, which was caught laundering $10 billion in Russian mob funds and diverting $4 billion in IMF funds. Summers’ conduct here has never been scrutinized, even though he was appointed to oversee the bailout soon after Barack Obama was elected President. See Congressional Briefings.

      Georgia [Beardslee] interviews the real inventor of social networking, Michael McKibben, CEO of Leader Technologies, Columbus, Ohio: GEORGIA! KSCO AM 1080, Apr. 10, 2013 Michael McKibben interview, CEO of Leader Technologies, Inc. [leadertv100 YouTube channel, April 12, 2013]

      Georgia: “One of the most interesting, complicated and disturbing stories of the decade.” On April 10, 2013, news-talk show host Georgia Beardslee interviewed Michael McKibben, CEO of Leader Technologies, Columbus, Ohio on her weekly radio show GEORGIA! KSCO 1080 (Santa Cruz, CA) about Leader’s battle with Facebook over Leader’s U.S. Patent No. 7,139,761. The interview covers (1) background on the LEADER V. FACEBOOK patent infringement lawsuit; (2) the suspicious split verdict; (3) the Harvard back story; (4) the Federal Circuit judge’s stock in Facebook; (5) the refusal of the Federal Circuit court to disclose their Facebook stock holdings; (6) the likely undue influence of the federal courts by financiers, bankers, underwriters, Silicon Valley venture capitalists; (7) the questionable conduct of the U.S. Patent Office; (8) the judges’ ignoring of Zuckerberg’s concealment of 28 hard drives and Harvard emails; (9) the Facebook-doctored trial evidence; (10) the ruling against Leader without a shred of evidence; (11) the involvement of billions of pre-IPO investments in Facebook by Russian companies, (12) Goldman Sachs’ and Obama bailout director Larry Summers’ involvement, and now (13) the interference of the White House at the U.S. Patent Office. This case appears to have exposed an underbelly of corruption at the national and international levels that is much worse and even more organized than we might have otherwise suspected. While the video plays, pages from Leader’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Leader Technologies, Inc. v. Facebook, Inc., No. 12-617 (U.S. Supreme Court Nov. 16, 212) will display, page by page (41 pages not counting the appendices). This document can be obtained at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/113545399/P… For background facts, see alsohttp://americans4innovation.blogspot…. This broadcast and these notes may contain opinion. As with all opinion, the information should not be relied upon without independent verification.
      Georgia: “One of the most interesting, complicated and disturbing stories of the decade.” On April 10, 2013, news-talk show host Georgia Beardslee interviewed Michael McKibben, CEO of Leader Technologies, Columbus, Ohio on her weekly radio show GEORGIA! KSCO 1080 (Santa Cruz, CA) about Leader’s battle with Facebook over Leader’s U.S. Patent No. 7,139,761.

      The interview covers

      1. background on the LEADER V. FACEBOOK patent infringement lawsuit;
      2. [18:30] the suspicious split verdict;
      3. [34:25] the Harvard back story;
      4. the Federal Circuit judge’s stock in Facebook;
      5. the refusal of the Federal Circuit court to disclose their Facebook stock holdings;
      6. the likely undue influence of the federal courts by financiers, bankers, underwriters, Silicon Valley venture capitalists;
      7. the questionable conduct of the U.S. Patent Office;
      8. the judges’ ignoring of Zuckerberg’s concealment of 28 hard drives and Harvard emails;
      9. the Facebook-doctored trial evidence;
      10. the ruling against Leader without a shred of evidence;
      11. the involvement of billions of pre-IPO investments in Facebook by Russian companies,
      12. Goldman Sachs’ and Obama bailout director Larry Summers’ involvement, and now
      13. the interference of the White House at the U.S. Patent Office. This case appears to have exposed an underbelly of corruption at the national and international levels that is much worse and even more organized than we might have otherwise suspected.
      While the video plays, pages from Leader’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Leader Technologies, Inc. v. Facebook, Inc., No. 12-617 (U.S. Supreme Court Nov. 16, 212) will display, page by page (41 pages not counting the appendices). This document can be obtained at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/113545399/P…
      For background facts, see also http://americans4innovation.blogspot….
      This broadcast and these notes may contain opinion. As with all opinion, the information should not be relied upon without independent verification.

      Obama is protecting his 47 million Facebook “likes” at the expense of the U.S. Constitution [Georgia! KSCO-AM1080, May 31, 2013]

      image(My collaboration with a listener, 5/31/2013):Washington D.C. is toxic and fiendishly deceptive these days. Speaker John Boehner described the flow of scandal developments as “Drip, drip, drip.” I take this to mean that the Deception Tank is full and starting to leak. (At last!)
      imageInvestigators are now uncovering common people driving these scandals. The Leader v. Facebook property rights debacle seems to have been another one of their pet deception projects. Remember, Facebook was judged guilty on 11 of 11 counts of stealing the inventions of Columbus-based innovator Leader Technologies, Inc., yet the federal courts ruled for Facebook anyway. They had to ignore the Consitution to do it.
      Many people lusted after Leader’s innovations that we know as “social networking.” Obama and his handlers needed it to raise election dollars and polish Obama’s persona many times a day. Larry Summers, Accel Partners and the PayPal Mafia wanted it as their global financial transactions platform, Zuckerberg and his fellow thieves wanted it as a global voyeur platform to invade everyone’s privacy, the Kremlin wanted it as a money-laundering vehicle, James W. Breyer wanted it as his ‘pump and dump” stock manipulation scheme, the greedy law firms wanted it to rake in fees. And, at least two Federal Circuit Judges Alan D. Lourie and Kimberly A. Moore were beefing up their financial portfolios with the pump of their undisclosed Facebook shares at the IPO. Wow, that’s a lot of interests all lusting after Michael McKibben’s innovation! (I have interviewed him on this show twice.)
      Beware of McBee Strategic lobbyist Jeff Markey bearing gifts
      Americans for Innovation has smoked out intimate, undisclosed relationships among Facebook’s chief litigator in Leader v. Facebook, Cooley Godward LLP’s Michael Rhodes, Obama’s Justice Department Cooley “Advisor,” Donald K. Stern, the failed $1.6 billion BrightSource Obama “green” stimulus project, big Facebook IPO winner J.P. Morgan Chase and McBee Strategic’s Steve McBee and Jeff Markey.
      This is so convoluted I asked by resident artist to do me a diagram of these relationships. No wonder Washington is so confused. It’s intentional on the part of some morally bankrupt people and organizations (click to enlarge):

      image

      Figure 1: Conflicts of Interest Map among Barack Obama, Executive Branch, Justice Department,  Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, Michael Rhodes, Donald K. Stern, McBee Strategic, Steve McBee, Jeff Markey, Judge Leonard P. Stark, Judge Alan D. Lourie, Judge Kimberly A. Moore, Leader v. Facebook, BrightSource, Solyndra,Tesla Motors, Solar City, Elon Musk and 47 million “likes” on Facebook.
      McBee Strategic and their lobbyist Jeff Markey have lied at least twice on disclosures that we have already identified. On their BrightSource Senate disclosure on 11/20/2009 they answered “No” to affiliated organizations that actively participate in their activities. This was false since on 4/23/2009 they had publicly announced their alliance with Facebook’s attorney Cooley Godward Kronish LLP specifically about helping companies access Obama’s “green energy” money. That’s LIE #1. Then, we discover that Jeff Markey is accustomed to lying whenever it is to his benefit. On 4/30/2004 Markey lied on a financial disclosure that he was an Executive for SAIC in an apparent deception to gain access to the National Congressional Republican Committee. That’s LIE #2.
      Markey clearly plays on both sides of the ball in Washington. While he is busy spending Obama’s billions, he donates mostly to Republicans, including MITCH MCCONNELL, ROB PORTMAN, ARLEN SPECTER, LINDSEY GRAHAM. Republicans beware of this wolf in sheep’s clothing. Such cynical parlaying of contacts just to keep one’s job in Washington is why Washington is failing. These people are there for the wrong reasons. They need to get real jobs. Professional bureaucrats and politicians (and the lobbyists who feed on the rotted meat) are the death knell of a democracy.
      While we’re on the subject of lying to Congress, then Magistrate Judge Leonard P. Stark told Congress in his 4/22/2010 confirmation hearing that he would follow the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Appeals Courts. However, three months later he ignored that promise and even after instructing the jury to do so, he ignored the Supreme Court’s Pfaff test of on-sale bar evidence, as well as the Federal Circuit’s Group One tests. Obama and his Facebook “friends” just seem to lie all the time.
      Don’t believe me? Check out the source material yourself. Here are some of them we downloaded quickly. Please share more as you find your own information.

      Detailed information is available in Mark Zuckerberg used Leader white paper to build Facebook [Origin of Facebook technology?, Aug 27, 2011] post, from which I will include just the most relevant excerpt in my opinion:


      The court documents reveal how Mark Zuckerberg was able to accelerate from 0-to-60 mph in “one or two weeks” while studying for his Harvard finals to start Facebook on February 4, 2004. The idea for the student facebook was already known at Harvard from three well-documented sources prior to Mr. Zuckerberg: (1) the Winklevoss twins’ ConnectU,[1] (2) Aaron Greenspan’s houseSYSTEM,[2] and (3) from the Harvard computer administration.[3] And, if Leader Technologies (“Leader”) is right, Mr. Zuckerberg lifted the ideas for the structure of the platform from Leader Technologies’ patent pending white papers, one published on October 22, 2003, along with Leader’s first patent publication on June 24, 2004—exactly when Mr. Zuckerberg says “Steven Dawson Haggerty” was hired to build the “groups functionality” which is disclosed in the Leader patent publication.[4][5][6][7]

       


      More on Yuri Milner
      :

      Mark Pincus, founder of Zynga: I Love Yuri Milner [PandoDaily YouTube channel, July 19, 2012]

      From the Wikipedia article: The company develops social games that work stand-alone on mobile phone platforms such as Apple iOS and Android and on the Internet through its website, Zynga.com, and social networking websites such as Facebook, Google+, and Tencent.[5] Zynga states its mission as “connecting the world through games.”[6]

      Russian Billionaire buys $100 Million U S Mansion Yuri Milner [estarcobusiness10 YouTube channel, (originally made the news on March 31, 2011) April 2, 2012]

      Home Brings $100 Million [WSJ.com, March 31, 2013]

      A Russian billionaire investor paid $100 million for a French chateau-style mansion in Silicon Valley, marking the highest known price paid for a single-family home in the U.S.
      The purchase of the 25,500-square-foot home in Los Altos Hills, Calif., underscores the strength of some luxury properties in an otherwise depressed housing market.
      The buyer, Yuri Milner, 49, who heads Digital Sky Technologies and whose investments include Facebook Inc., Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc., had no immediate plans to move into the home, said a spokesman.
      Mr. Milner is the stocky founder of DST, a Moscow-based fund that’s made a splash in Silicon Valley via its investments. Its first in the U.S. was a $200 million check for Facebook in 2009. His primary residence is in Moscow, where he lives with his wife and two children.
      The sky seemed to be the limit for Mr. Milner’s new house, a symmetrical limestone mansion with San Francisco Bay views that was inspired by 18th-century French chateaux.

      The home has indoor and outdoor pools, a ballroom and a wine cellar. The grounds include a tennis court and inside are chandeliers and a frieze around a skylight in the entryway, among other details.

      Mr. Milner bought the home through a limited-liability company; the home wasn’t on the market, according to people familiar with the deal.
      Mr. Milner, who studied theoretical physics in Moscow and attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, began his career in Moscow in the 1990s. By 1999, he had focused on the Internet after dabbling in everything from private equity to a macaroni-and-cheese factory. …


      Larry Summers
      :

      The Asian Financial Forum (AFF) 2013 welcomed Professor Lawrence H Summers, one of America’s most influential economists, who served as Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton and Director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama. In this AFF luncheon on day one of the 14-15 January event – Prof Summers discussed potential short-term and long-term solutions for the global economy, and the unique opportunities presented by low interest rates.
      Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols reports on President Barack Obama’s search for the next leader of the Federal Reserve, his personal relationships with Lawrence Summers and Janet Yellen and the prospects of a confirmation battle for whoever is the candidate. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”
      There is some serious talk in Washington about appointing Larry Summers as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve. Obama has been out on the stump praising Summers, but when you look at his record, there isn’t anything worthy of praise on this guy’s resume’. Ring of Fire host Mike Papantonio talks about the disaster that is Larry Summers with economist Dean Baker.


      Alisher Usmanov
      (+Irina Viner):

      This year’s Sunday Times Rich List has been revealed — with Arsenal FC 30 per cent shareholder Alisher Usmanov, who hails from Uzbekistan leading the way with a fortune of GBP 13.3 billion. Usmanov is married to a Jewish lady – Irina Viner, who is the Russian national team gymnastics coach.

      BBC News – Sunday Times Rich List: Alisher Usmanov [BBCWorldNewsWatch YouTube channel, April 21, 2013]

      Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov has topped the Sunday Times ranking of the wealthiest people in Britain and Ireland with a fortune of £13.3bn. The wealthiest British-born person in the list is the Duke of Westminster in eighth place with £7.8bn from property.

      Moshiri Becomes Billionaire Helping Usmanov [jagan washpost YouTube channel, July 9, 2012]

      Bloomberg’s Matthew G. Miller reports on Farhad Moshiri, an Iranian-born accountant who is now a billionaire after a two-decade alliance with Alisher Usmanov, Russia’s current richest man. Miller speaks on Bloomberg Television’s "InBusiness With Margaret Brennan."

      Russia’s Usmanov – Fed Tapering ‘Vital & well-balanced’ (CNBC) [gmshadowtraders YouTube channel, July 11, 2013]

      Full video here http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000177176 Alisher Usmanov, founder of USM Holdings, says that the decisions taken by the Fed regarding money and derivatives are “vital” to the global economy and the decision on tapering is “well-balanced”.

      Full video: Russia’s Richest Man Supports Fed [CNBC, June 20, 2013]

      Форум в Давосе. Интервью А.Усманова [Моше Кац YouTube channel, Jan 23, 2013]

      Алишер Усманов одобряет планы, поставленные российскими властями, которые заключаются прежде всего в диверсификации экономики, уменьшении зависимости от сырьевого сектора и развитии новых технологий. Все это позволит построить новую экономическую действительность. Потому бизнесмен уверен: вероятность, что Россия избежит любого из обозначенных на форуме негативных путей, достаточно высока. Интервью главы холдинга “Металлоинвест” Алишера Усманова телеканалу “Россия 24”.

      Алишер Усманов: на Россию надвигается этап сложностей [Моше Кац YouTube channel, June 23, 2013]

      Инициативы президента Владимира Путина глазами одного из крупнейших бизнесменов России. Предложения и темы ПМЭФ-2013 в интервью телеканалу “Россия 24” комментирует учредитель USM Holdings Алишер Усманов. Он предположил, что мир может находиться в середине кризиса, начавшегося в 2008-ом году. В таком случае выводы, сделанные на форуме, дадут реальный шанс преодолеть предстоящие трудности. Также Алишер Усманов дал ответ на вопрос, который активно обсуждался участниками форума: замедление экономического роста – это миф или реальность?

      Без галстука с Ириной Винер [Russia24TV YouTube channel, Nov 7, 2012]

      Те, кто хорошо знает Ирину Винер, говорят: “женщина странная”. Добилась всего на самом высоком уровне, уважаемая, заслуженная, доктор, профессор – и все же никак не успокоится: что-то планирует, строит, генерирует новые идеи. Тренер сборных России и Узбекистана по художественной гимнастике стала героем нового выпуска программы “Без галстука”.

      Russian Billionaire Usmanov Bets $100M on Apple’s Rebound [Bloomberg YouTube channel, April 30, 2013]

      In today’s “Movers & Shakers,” Bloomberg’s Betty Liu reports that Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has bet big on Apple, investing $100 million on a rebound of the company’s stock. She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.” … He is the world 35th richest person with just under 20 billion dollars.
      Алишер Усманов прокомментировал ситуацию в “Норильском никеле”. В эксклюзивном интервью телеканалу “Россия 24” известный российский бизнесмен сказал, что не хочет участвовать в олигархических сговорах. Кроме того, он предостерег инвесторов от ошибочных выводов: по мнению совладельца крупных предприятий, разочаровываться в Facebook рано. Алишер Усманов рассказал также о том, что планирует увеличить свою долю в социальной сети “ВКонтакте”.

      USM Holdings is a leading global investor in companies in the digital space. Its deep understanding of the internet sector has played a key role in the success of its businesses and the development and diversification of
      internet services.

      USM Holdings is a major shareholder in Mail.ru Group, with a 17.9% economic stake and 58.1% voting power, and the largest investor in the Digital Sky Technologies (DST ) family of funds, an investment company specialising in late stage, high growth private businesses in the global internet sector. USM Holdings recognises the future growth prospects of e-commerce, social networks, online video, online gaming, mobile internet and online advertising.

      MAIL.RU GROUP
      Founded in 1998, Mail.Ru Group is the number one internet company in the high growth Russian-speaking internet market reaching c. 85% of Russian users on a monthly basis. It is the world’s fourth largest internet company based on total page views, with a global monthly audience of 97.4 million users.
      In line with its ‘communitainment’ strategy, the company is moving rapidly to build an integrated communications and entertainment platform. Mail.Ru Group comprises the most popular Russian free email service Mail.Ru and two popular Russian-language internet instant messengers. The company operates two leading Russian social networks, My World and Odnoklassniki.ru, and owns a 40% stake in VKontakte, Russia’s number one social networking site. Mail.Ru Group is also a leading player in the online games market.
      In 2010, Mail.Ru Group successfully completed an IPO on the London Stock Exchange worth c. US$92 million.
      Mail.Ru Group’s aggregate segment revenue in 2012 was RUR 21,151 million, representing a 39% year-on-year increase.
      PORTFOLIO INVESTMENTS WITH DST
      DST was the group’s first internet investment. In 2008, DST became a backer of Facebook based on a firm belief in the strong growth potential of the internet, and particularly social networking. The current market valuation of Facebook exceeds the initial value at the time of DST ’s entry by approximately seven times.
      In 2009, DST spun off DST Russia, later renamed Mail.Ru Group (see above), which is a separate business at present.
      Through DST and Mail.Ru Group investments, USM Holdings gained international prominence with stakes in some of the world’s leading and most valuable internet assets, including Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, Zynga, Spotify, Zocdoc, Airbnb, Alibaba and 360buy.

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      USM Holdings is a major investor in some of Russia’s leading telecoms businesses. It is ideally positioned to leverage its assets
      and experience in the rapidly growing market
      for 4G and other mobile services.

      USM Holdings owns 82% of Garsdale, a telecoms holding, which in turn controls 50% plus 100 shares of MegaFon, Russia’s second largest mobile operator; 100% of Yota, a pioneering international 4G services provider; and 51% of Peter-Service, a billing services company. Through Garsdale and MegaFon, USM Holdings owns 50% of Euroset, Russia’s number one mobile retailer.
      MEGAFON
      Formed in 1993, MegaFon is Russia’s second largest mobile operator in terms of revenue and subscribers and the market leader in the mobile data segment.
      With over 33,000 employees, MegaFon is a leading universal telecommunications provider with c. 62.7 million wireless subscribers in the Russian Federation as of 31 March 2013. The company offers a full range of voice, data and other mobile and fixed-line telecommunications services, including digital TV and IP telephony, to retail customers, businesses, government clients and telecommunications services providers. MegaFon operates one of the most extensive 3G networks in Russia and renders a wide range of mobile services in Tajikistan, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The company has a strong track record in innovation and pioneered the introduction of a number of services in Russia, including the launch of MMS and mobile TV in 2004, free incoming calls in 2006, 3G services in 2008, significant reduction in roaming charges in 2011, and 4G/ Long Term Evolution (LTE ) services in 2012.
      Through MegaLabs, a fully owned subsidiary, the company develops a variety of new projects in the promising value-added service (VAS) market in a number of areas, including content and media, mobile finance, mobile advertising, cloud and IT solutions, M2M, e-government and m-health.
      MegaFon owns a large distribution network. As of the end of 2012, it included 1,785 owned and operated stores and 1,757 third-party points of sale operating solely under the MegaFon brand. In addition, its acquisition in late 2012 of a 25% stake in Euroset, the largest wireless mobile equipment retailer in Russia, is expected to enhance the company’s initiatives focused on improving the quality of MegaFon’s subscriber base and broadening the marketing of its products.
      In November 2012, the company listed c. US$1.7 billion worth of shares in an IPO. The company’s shares are traded on MICEX-RTS , and its GDR s on the London Stock Exchange.
      In 2012, MegaFon’s revenue grew 12.4% year-on-year to RUR 272.6 billion. The company demonstrated a strong performance in Q1 2013, achieving consolidated revenue growth of 7.6% y-o-y to RUR 67.7 billion.
      YOTA
      Yota was founded in 2007. It is the leader of the mobile broadband sector in Russia. It was the first company to offer its subscribers access to services based on WiMAX and LTE technologies, and is one of the leading companies in this segment globally.
      In 2013, Yota was divided into two companies: Scartel, which is involved in construction and management of 4G infrastructure, and Yota (Yota LLC), a mobile operator.
      Scartel operates LTE networks and provides access to its networks for telecom operators using a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model. It was the first company worldwide to launch LTE-Advanced technology for a commercial network, enabling data transfer rates of up to 300 Mbps. The company’s LTE networks are currently available in 31 regions and more than 100 cities in Russia. Its total investments in LTE infrastructure in Russia to date exceed US$400 million and are set to reach US$1 billion by the end of 2014.
      Yota provides communication services to its subscribers through Scartel’s platform. Yota owns an extensive retail and dealer network throughout Russia, offering its users a truly unlimited LTE experience, coupled with the provision of hardware and the highest level of customer service. At present, Yota services are available in more than 20 major cities in Russia.
      Yota and Scartel are 100% owned by the telecoms holding Garsdale, which is part of USM Holdings.
      EUROSET
      Founded in 1997, Euroset is the largest mobile retail chain in Russia, with more than 5,000 outlets. Its stores offer a wide range of goods, such as handsets, accessories, tablets and netbooks; and services, such as mobile top-ups, repairs and financing.
      Euroset is one of the best known brands in the Russian market for consumer goods and services. The retailer’s share of Russia’s mobile phone market is approximately 30%. The company operates in more than 1,500 towns and cities in Russia and Belarus, and attracts more than 40 million customers to its stores each month.
      The company today is one of the largest Russian employers, providing jobs to over 30,000 people.
      PETER-SERVICE
      Peter-Service is the first Russian developer of billing systems for telecoms operators. It provides billing solutions along with product installation, integration and support services. The company has regional offices across Russia and in Ukraine. Since its establishment in 1992, Peter-Service has completed over 100 projects for more than 50 operators of fixed and mobile networks in 10 countries.

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      USM Holdings owns 50% of UTH Russia, one of the country’s fastest growing commercial television broadcasters. The company aims
      to capitalise on the expansion of the youth entertainment
      market and the ever increasing interest
      in youth lifestyle and wellbeing.

      UTH RUSSIA
      Through UTH Russia, USM Holdings owns some of the country’s most popular outlets in broadcast and digital media. Building the main framework on its two free-to-air channels – the Disney Channel and U channel – and the cable MUZ-TV channel, UTH Russia is on its way to becoming the leader in youth entertainment and lifestyle programming. U channel and the Disney Channel broadcast in more than 880 cities, and the company continues to expand its market share.
      The UTH platform also houses the specialist online video service ClipYou, which offers licensed content from leading Russian and international music companies, including some of the top labels, such as Universal Music, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI.

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      USM Holdings invests in a number of Russia’s steel and mining companies. It owns 100% of METALLOINVEST, a leading global iron ore
      and hot briquetted iron (HBI) producer
      and one of the regional steel producers.

      METALLOINVEST
      METALLOINVEST extracts and exploits iron ore from the second largest measured reserve base in the world (c. 14.9 billion tonnes).
      In 2011, the company was the largest commercial iron ore producer in Russia/CIS and the fifth largest globally, the leading producer of pellets in Russia/CIS and the third largest globally, and the leading producer of merchant HBI globally.
      The main production assets of the company are strategically located in the European part of Russia and the Urals.
      The company is organised into three integrated operating segments focusing on mining operations, steel production and auxiliary businesses and other assets. The mining segment includes Lebedinsky GOK and Mikhailovsky GOK, and the steel segment includes OE MK, Ural Steel and Ural Scrap Company. In addition to its mining and steel businesses, the company owns several supporting businesses and other assets that provide services and raw materials to the mining and steel segments.
      Lebedinsky GOK is a leading manufacturer of iron ore products in Russia and operates as an integrated mining company whose assets comprise iron ore extraction facilities and secondary processing facilities, including beneficiation and secondary beneficiation plants, a pellet plant and two HBI plants.
      Mikhailovsky GOK is the second largest iron ore extraction and processing operation in Russia, after Lebedinsky GOK. In 2014, Mikhailovsky GOK intends to finish construction of what is expected to be the largest pelletising plant in Russia, with a capacity of five million tonnes a year.
      OEMK is one of the most modern steel mills in Russia, employing Midrex DRI technology. The unique application and properties of the steel and finished products from OE MK have ensured stable demand in Russia, the CIS and worldwide. It is located close to Lebedinsky GOK, which supplies OEMK with high grade iron ore concentrate through a 26-kilometre slurry pipeline. OEMK sells products for engineering, automotive, pipe, hardware and bearing industries in the domestic market, and exports its high quality pipe and cast billets and long rolled products such as wire coil and bar to foreign customers.
      Ural Steel is a major manufacturer of strips for large diameter pipes, pipe billets, bridge construction steel and heavy plates. Ural Scrap Company purchases, processes and delivers ferrous scrap to METALLOINVEST’s steel producing assets.
      Baikal Mining Company, a subsidiary of METALLOINVEST, holds the licence for the development of the Udokan copper deposit, which has a mineral resources base of c. 2.7 billion tonnes. Udokan is one of the world’s largest undeveloped deposits of copper amounting to c. 25.7 million tonnes of metal. The licence covers 60% of copper deposits in Russia.
      With a 21% holding, METALLOINVEST is a major shareholder of the Canadian company Nautilus Minerals. Nautilus Minerals commercially explores the seafloor for massive sulphide systems, which are a potential source of high grade copper, gold, zinc and silver. The company is developing the world’s first seafloor copper-gold project in Papua New Guinea.
      METALLOINVEST has a shareholding of approximately 5% in Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of nickel (18% of the market) and palladium (41%), as well as a leading producer of platinum (11%) and copper (2%). Norilsk Nickel also produces multiple by-products, such as cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium and sulphur.
      In 2012, METALLOINVEST’s net income grew by 20.4% year-on-year to US$ 1.7 billion.

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      USM Holdings – Alisher Usmanov Founder of USM Holdings [June 12, 2013]

      Mr. Usmanov is an investor, industrialist and philanthropist.
      He created and built up USM Holdings by identifying
      and focusing on growth businesses.

      Mr. Usmanov was born in 1953 in the town of Chust in the Namangan region of Uzbekistan, which was then part of the USSR . He graduated in 1976 from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, a leading Russian university, with a degree in international law. In 1997, he received a degree in banking from the Finance Academy under the Government of the Russian Federation. He is fluent in English, French, Russian and Uzbek.
      Mr. Usmanov has played a number of key roles in businesses essential for the advancement of the Russian economy. Since February 2006, he has been a member of the Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and currently heads its Committee for Updating of Control and Supervision and Elimination of Administrative Barriers. Mr. Usmanov has served as General Director of Gazprom Investholding since 2000, prior to which he was as an Advisor to the Chairman of Gazprom and was First Deputy General Director of Gazprom Investholding. From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Usmanov held the position of General Director of Interfin Investment and Finance Company. From 1995 to 1997, he served as the First Deputy Chairman of MAPO-Bank, and from 1994 to 1995, he was an Advisor to the General Director of Moscow Aviation Industrial Enterprise. From 1990 to 1994, Mr. Usmanov worked as the Deputy General Director of Intercross JSC.
      Mr. Usmanov is the President of the International Fencing Federation and a member of the councils of the 2014 Sochi XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games, the 2013 Kazan XXVII Summer Universiade and the Russian Olympian Sportsmen Support Fund. He is a Trustee for a range of social, educational and cultural organisations, including the Russian Geographical Society, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, National Research University Higher School of Economics, and European University at St. Petersburg.
      Mr. Usmanov is the founder of the Arts, Science and Sports Charity Foundation.
      In 2013, Mr. Usmanov was awarded the Order for Service to the Fatherland IV class in recognition of his services to the state, as well as his community and charitable activities. In 2004, he was presented with the Order of Honour of the Russian Federation for his contribution to business and charity.
      In 2011, he received the Order of Friendship of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
      Alongside his investments within USM Holdings, Mr. Usmanov owns Kommersant Holding, the leading Russian business media group, as well as almost 30% of Arsenal, an English football club.

      USM Holdings – About us [June 21, 2013]

      USM Holdings Limited (“USM Holdings”) is a diversified, international company with significant interests across the metals and mining,
      telecoms, internet and media sectors. It was established in 2012
      to consolidate the various investments and holdings of
      Alisher Usmanov, which are the result of more than
      30 years of his investment and business
      development activities.

      In consolidating Mr. Usmanov’s interests into one company, USM Holdings has the right structure to enable the sharing of both intellectual and financial capital amongst its various businesses. The group’s companies benefit from a global network of relationships and a wealth of experience, which enable them to access international investment opportunities. Through its structure, reporting and transparency, USM Holdings aims to ensure that its companies adhere to the highest international standards of corporate governance.
      In carrying out its operations, USM Holdings acts in a socially responsible way, investing in long-term sustainable enterprises, stimulating economic development and creating employment opportunities in Russia. The group cares about the communities in which it conducts its business, and supports them through a wide range of social projects in the fields of education, sports, arts, science and ecology.

      The main shareholders of USM Holdings are Alisher Usmanov, Vladimir Skoch and Farhad Moshiri. Their economic interests are divided 60%, 30% and 10% respectively, while Mr. Usmanov holds 100% of the voting rights with respect to USM Holdings.

      Russian Billionaire Usmanov Links Fortune to Partnership [Bloomberg, Feb 6, 2013]

      Alisher Usmanov, Russia’s richest man, and two of his long-time billionaire investment partners have joined all of their assets in USM Holdings, a limited liability company based in the British Virgin Islands.
      Conceived in early 2012 and completed in December, the new formation holds the trio’s assets in mining, technology, telecommunications and media, and carries a value of more than $29 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
      “We have completed the process of consolidating assets into USM Holdings,” Usmanov, 59, said by e-mail Feb. 5. “The formation of a single holding company enables us to optimize business processes, enhance the efficiency of managing subsidiary companies, and provide more opportunities to access international capital markets.”
      According to the company’s website, which went live late last month, USM was established to consolidate the holdings Usmanov has built up during the last 30 years, including closely held Metalloinvest Holding Co., Russia’s largest iron ore producer, publicly-traded mobile phone company MegaFon OAO and Internet company Mail.Ru Group Ltd., as well as the technology investments he has made through the DST investment funds.
      USM shareholders include Usmanov, who holds 60 percent; Vladimir Skoch, who holds 30 percent on behalf of his son, Russian Duma deputy Andrey Skoch; and Ardavan Farhad Moshiri, an Usmanov adviser of 23 years, who owns 10 percent.
      Usmanov and Moshiri continue to hold their shared 29.9 percent stake in London-based Arsenal Football Club Plc separately. Usmanov owns all of newspaper Kommersant outside of USM.
      ‘One Roof’
      Usmanov controls all of USM’s voting rights and also has the ability to block his partners from selling any assets it holds without his consent. He first disclosed his plans for the holding company in April 2012, and released further details of its formation in MegaFon’s preliminary prospectus, which was released in November.
      Ivan Streshinskiy, who has helped manage Usmanov’s investments since 2006, was appointed to the USM Holdings board and named chief executive officer of USM Advisors, an affiliated company that will provide advisory services to the holding entity.
      “Having all of the assets under one roof makes it easier to manage them and value them,” Kirill Chuyko, head of equity research at BCS Financial Group said by phone Jan. 21, explaining the possible reasons for structure.
      Longtime Allies
      The two minority partners acquired their stakes in USM by swapping their existing equity in holding companies controlled by Usmanov and making a cash investment. After the transaction, Usmanov has a net worth of $21.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, while Moshiri controls a $1.7 billion fortune. Skoch is valued at $6.2 billion.
      Rollo Head, a spokesman for Moshiri at London-based RLM Finsbury, said Moshiri declined to comment on his net worth. Albert Istomin, a spokesman for Skoch, declined to comment on the net worth calculation. Usmanov also declined to comment.
      Usmanov first met Andrey Skoch in 1992, when he was importing cigarettes to Russia and Skoch was working as an oil trader. At the time, the country was suffering from a deficit of consumer goods, which enabled Usmanov to build a thriving trade business.
      He and Skoch purchased metal and mining assets during and after the country’s chaotic privatization years, including a steel plant in the Belgorod region, central Russia, and iron ore producer Lebedinsky GOK. In 2006, after buying Mikhailovsky GOK from Georgia’s current prime minister, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, they created Metalloinvest, now Usmanov’s most valuable asset.
      Government Ally
      Usmanov’s rise to prominence was boosted in the early 2000s, when he proved to be an ally to the new government led by Russian President Vladimir Putin. As head of Gazprominvestholding, the investment arm of Russia’s gas monopoly OAO Gazprom, Usmanov helped negotiate the return of assets to state-run Gazprom that had been moved out of the company under previous management.
      In 1999, Skoch was elected as a deputy of the State Duma, Russia’s main legislative body, representing the Belgorod region. He later transferred the fortune he had built to his father, Vladimir, shielding himself from public criticism. He was re-elected to the Duma four times.
      Iranian Emigrant
      Moshiri, an Iranian emigrate to London who now resides in Monaco, first met Usmanov in 1989, and has served as Usmanov’s financial consultant ever since. Through the years, he earned shares in some of Usmanov’s most important assets, including Metalloinvest, MegaFon and Arsenal.
      The former accountant, who is a British citizen, resisted Usmanov’s diversification into technology investments, which began in 2008, using billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST funds.
      “Moshiri also didn’t believe in the prospects for investments in Facebook and Groupon,” said Usmanov in an April 2012 phone interview with Bloomberg News.
      His hesitation did not prevent Usmanov from allowing him the chance to participate, which has given Moshiri holdings through DST in publicly-traded Facebook Inc., Zynga Inc. and Groupon Inc., as well as other investments in a number of closely-held technology companies, including Twitter Inc.
      USM did not disclose how much Moshiri and Skoch may have paid to make those investments, or their exact stakes.
      New Valuation
      The new holding company requires a revised method for the Bloomberg ranking to calculate the net worth for Usmanov and Moshiri, and established a valuation for Skoch’s fortune.
      Prior to the transaction, Usmanov and Moshiri controlled half of Metalloinvest through Cyprus-based Gallagher Holdings Ltd., which has since been renamed USM Steel & Mining Group Ltd. That stake was combined with the 30 percent held by Skoch. The remaining 20 percent of Metalloinvest was bought back by the company from Moscow-based OAO VTB Bank at the end of 2012 through debt financing, consolidating all of the company under the control of USM.
      Further details on the debt financing will be provided when Metalloinvest releases its earnings in April, the company said.

      Alisher Usmanov: Uzbek eyes a prize listing [Financial Times, Nov 16, 2012]

      The billionaire businessman reflects the new style of oligarch that puts a premium on loyalty and predictability

      When Alisher Usmanov met Lloyd Blankfein on the sidelines of the St Petersburg Economic Forum in June, the two men appeared to strike up a rapport. The Uzbek-born billionaire and the chairman of Goldman Sachs discussed the planned initial public offering of Megafon, the mobile phone company owned by Mr Usmanov, say people familiar with the conversation. Mr Blankfein courted Mr Usmanov, one of Russia’s most powerful and best-connected businessmen, for an insight into upcoming deals.
      Within months, everything had changed. By early October, Goldman had dropped Mr Usmanov and the Megafon deal, throwing a spanner in the company’s IPO plans and launching a storm of bad publicity around Mr Usmanov personally.
      Goldman declined to comment on its reasons for quitting the IPO. Morgan Stanley, Sberbank, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and VTB are still working on the deal, which began formal marketing on Thursday after receiving delayed approval from the UK regulator, which appeared to have been shaken by Goldman’s exit.
      Should the deal, which could raise as much as $2.1bn, go through, it would be the biggest flotation by a Russian company in nearly three years. If it flops, it will be another setback for Mr Usmanov, a symbol of a class of powerful Russian businessmen who work closely with the state, and his plans to take his empire public.
      Businessmen close to the 59-year-old oligarch say he was dumbstruck by Goldman’s move. In his world, loyalty and predictability are prized above all else, and it is partly because of his strict adherence to such a code that he has risen so far in the Russia of President Vladimir Putin.
      Today’s oligarchs are not the brash, buccaneering variety of the 1990s, who wielded both wealth and influence in Boris Yeltsin’s Kremlin. Putin-era billionaires such as Mr Usmanov are expected to respect state power in order to thrive.
      It was in this context that Mr Usmanov – worth $18bn, according to Forbes – bought the art estate of cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and then donated it to the state. It was also for that reason, analysts say, that he agreed to take a stake in Megafon, interceding in a years-long shareholder feud that was damaging Russia’s investment climate.
      Usmanov is known as a person able to resolve delicate situations to the satisfaction of all the parties,” says Ivan Streshinsky, a long-time associate.
      That is not all he is known for. The 45 pages of Megafon’s IPO investor prospectus entitled “Risk factors” includes “media speculation” about Mr Usmanov’s alleged mafia ties and the six years he spent in an Uzbek jail in the 1980s, along with more media speculation that the real owner of a large share in Megafon might be Leonid Reiman, a former communications minister.
      This week it also emerged that a public relations firm had tampered with Mr Usmanov’s Wikipedia page to remove mention of an incident in which the billionaire had allegedly threatened bloggers who repeated allegations that he was a “gangster and racketeer”, and also edited out mentions of his jail term.
      Mr Usmanov and his partners deny issuing such threats, deny having any ties to organised crime groups, and he and Megafon’s management deny Mr Reiman is a shareholder. Andrei Skoch, a long-time friend and business partner, blames Mr Usmanov’s fraud conviction in 1980 on enemies of his father, a local Uzbek prosecutor. The criminal charges were overturned in 2000.
      The criminal conviction did dash Mr Usmanov’s dreams of a career as a diplomat moving between the world’s capitals, an ambition forged in a remote corner of central Asia in his native Uzbekistan, where he was born in 1953 in the small city of Chust, a place renowned as home of the traditional Uzbek skullcap.
      Once out of jail Mr Usmanov built up a number of small businesses before consolidating some of Russia’s biggest metal and steel holdings into holding company Metalloinvest in 2006. Since then he has expanded outside Russia: acquiring stakes in internet groups such as Facebook and Groupon, and buying properties and trophy sporting assets in London as well as some of Russia’s most prestigious media properties.
      Some international ventures have been less than happy. At Arsenal, the English Premier League football club in which he holds a near 30 per cent stake, he has waged a running battle with the board, criticising strategy and complaining that the best players have been let go.
      Football is one of his passions, along with opera, ballet and fencing.
      His approach to business involves close attention to detail. Despite poor eyesight, he is said to read up to 300 pages of analytics, reports and news items a day that are tirelessly rewritten into Russian by a retained group of round-the-clock translators.
      Close links to the Kremlin have not harmed his prospects, say analysts. In 2009, at the height of the financial crisis, Metalloinvest received Rb61bn in bailout loans from state bank VTB, allowing Mr Usmanov not only to emerge from the crisis unscathed but also in the same year to spend $200m on a 2 per cent stake in Facebook through Digital Sky Technologies, a company in which he is a shareholder.
      Associates say any political connections are normal. “With the scale and size of his business it would be misleading to say he has no relationship with the authorities – just like any major business leader in the world,” says Mr Streshinsky.
      But Mr Usmanov’s political allegiances came under scrutiny last year when he fired two executives at his news weekly Kommersant Vlast because of a cover, published at the peak of mass anti-government protests in Moscow, that featured an obscene comment about Mr Putin.
      Critics saw this as trampling on editorial freedom. Friends say he acted for reasons of taste. “He’s an old-fashioned guy. This overstepped the bounds of decency,” says Mr Streshinsky. “This has nothing to do with freedom of speech”.


      The ‘Facebook Corruption’ accusations via a U.S. Congress Representative:

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      image image image

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      in addition a page from Who is Lawrence “Larry” Summers? [FB Cover-up opinion blog, Jul. 31, 2013]

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      China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web

      My preceding posts on this site are already leading to such a massive conclusion. Read:

      IMT-Advanced (4G) for the next-generations of interactive mobile services, China is triumphant [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 24, 2010]
      Good TD-LTE potential for target commercialisation by China Mobile in 2012 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 13, 2011 – Feb 8, 2012]
      TD-SCDMA: US$3B into the network (by the end of 2012) and 6 million phones procured (just in October) [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 18, 2011]
      China becoming the lead market for mobile Internet in 2012/13 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 1, 2011]
      MWC 2012: the 4G/LTE lightRadio network [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 16, 2012]
      China: 20,000 TD-LTE base stations in 13 cities by the end of 2012 and about 200,000 base stations in 100 cities launched in 2013 with the 2.6GHz TDD spectrum planning just started—SoftBank with TD-LTE strategy in Japan getting into global play with Sprint (also the 49% owner of US TD-LTE champion, Clearwire) acquisition [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 16, 2012]

      The latest information collected to support my headline here is providing further evidence:

      1. The new frontier: application service (e.g. WeChat) global expansion with lead market advantage and tremendous growth opportunity lying ahead
      2. Online shopping growing very fast
      3. Applications, applications to be added to the search
      4. Xiaomi to take Apple place
      5. Strong central government support
      6. Country-wide 4G roll-out by year end 2013 after extensive trials
      7. From operator branded to white-box superphones supporting all that

      Lead #1: Choosing Sides: Who’s Partnered with Who in China’s Internet War? [Tech In Asia, Aug 5, 2013]

      image

      The battle between China’s internet giants is only becoming more contentious, and the nation’s major companies seem to be making acquisitions and partnerships at a breakneck pace this year (not to mention rolling out products designed to invade rivals’ markets).

      In the interest of clarity, I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of who’s on whose team so far, based on China’s three most internet profitable companies. Obviously none of this is cast in stone, but it’s still quite an interesting way to understand the internet sector. (Note: these lists only include acquisitions and partnerships from 2013).

      Team Alibaba:

      • Sina Weibo – a huge new partnership that’s likely to yield more social products from Alibaba.
      • Qihoo 360 – Arguably an independent player, but Qihoo has worked with Alibaba on a product search engine. Qihoo is itself rumored to be buying Sogou.
      • Autonavi – Alibaba invested a boatload in the online mapping company, though it’s not yet clear what role this will play in Alibaba’s long-term strategy.
      • Xiami (acquisition) – Another likely part of Alibaba’s social plan.

      Shots fired: Alibaba has been especially harsh to Tencent this year, banning third-party communication tools (mostly WeChat and QQ) in its offices andshutting down the Taobao-WeChat interface. But it has also taken a swipe at Baidu via the launch of its own search engine.

      Team Tencent:

      • Xiaomi – A very new partnership, but one that could see Tencent strengthen its strangehold in mobile.
      • China Unicom – WeChat’s popularity has got all of China’s telecoms trying to cozy up to Tencent to get in on the money train.

      Shots fired: New security features in WeChat 5 will challenge Qihoo, and Tencent is also rumored to be interested in buying Sogou which would put it at odds with Baidu. Additionally, Tencent dealt old rivals Qihoo a loss in the courts this year.

      Team Baidu:

      • 91 Wireless (acquisition) – A huge buy that shows Baidu is serious about mobile.
      • PPS (acquisition) – Another major buy that turned Baidu into one of the major players in internet video.
      • Qunar – Baidu has invested big in the online travel company.
      • Kingsoft – Baidu has also invested in Qihoo rival Kingsoft.

      Shots fired: Baidu really hates Qihoo, and has launched an antivirus suite and Baidu Guard, both of which are designed to break into Qihoo’s PC security market. Entering Alibaba’s domain, it has also released a product search engine. Plus, just like Tencent, Baidu has spanked Qihoo in court this year.

      First watch this video about Baidu [firecracker888 YouTube channel, Dec 4, 2012]
      Baidu is one of the WPP, BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2013. Each brand has its own individual story and to tell them we have put together 50 short films – one on each of the brands in the rankings.
      as well as about Baidu’s recent expansion by acquiring 91 Wireless, the biggest 3d party appstore in China: Baidu Gains Mobile Share in $1.9B 91 Wireless Deal [BloombergMarket YouTube channel, July 16, 2013], note Baidu’s earlier platform attempts—Baidu Site App Platform [Sept 3, 2012] and Baidu Yi [Sept 2, 2011]—now joined by 91 open mobile platform [Oct 11, 2012] as well.

      Jin Yoon discusses Baidu on CNBC World [BeyondPixInterviews YouTube channel, July 30, 2013]

      Jin Yoon, Nomura Live at Beyond Pix Studios in San Francisco, CA. July 16, 2013. http://www.beyondpix.com
      Then go deeper first with:
      Alibaba is one of China’s largest–and most successful–online retailers, and its IPO could command upwards of $70 billion dollars. With a offering coming as early as September, Alibaba appears to be taking steps to limit the counterfeit merchandise on its platform. The Wall Street Journal reports:
      Unlike Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Alibaba doesn’t sell products itself but operates websites that help sellers find buyers. While Alibaba doesn’t have much control over who sells what on Taobao–a mammoth site with more than 800 million product listings—it has been continuously upgrading the system to delete listings for counterfeit goods. In Alibaba’s efforts to maintain credibility, Tmall, another shopping site that became independent from Taobao in 2011, plays a key role. While anyone with a national identification document can become a seller on Taobao, Alibaba’s criteria for Tmall, which hosts storefronts for major brands such as Nike Inc. (NKE) and Gap Inc. (GPS), are more stringent as it tries to make the site a piracy-free zone…
      …Alibaba said it blocks some items from being posted on Taobao using filtering mechanisms based on certain keywords used by sellers to describe counterfeit goods. Brands like[guitar-string manufacturer] D’Addarioconstantly monitor Taobao and report any counterfeit items to Alibaba.
      which provides a good introduction to Jack Ma: E-commerce in China and Around the World [Credit Suisse YouTube channel, March 20, 2013]
      With 242 million people in China expected to shop online in 2013, spending an estimated US$265 billion, China’s e-commerce industry is a force no-one can afford to ignore. Jack Ma, the head of Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce company, discusses how the sector has been generating grassroots economic opportunities and changing lives in China and beyond, and what the future of e-commerce will be like.
      And now it’s time to learn via an authentic video of how that business started in 1999 (with the experience of the first Internet company “China Pages” started in 1995 and then 14 months of work for the goverment behind) Jack Ma Speech From “Crocodile In The Yangtze” [PandoDaily YouTube channel, Jan 16, 2013]
      Alibaba founder Jack Ma gives an inspirational speech to his recruits in the company’s first office: his apartment. This clip is from Porter Erisman’s documentary film about Alibaba: “Crocodile In The Yangtze.” See http://www.crocodileintheyangtze.com/

      Then continue with Alibaba Founder Jack Ma: Ideas & Technology Can Change the World [stanfordbusiness YouTube channel, June 19, 2013] the same appeared as Jack Ma: E-Commerce and the China Opportunity [TeamAlibaba YouTube channel, May 9, 2013] with “… talks about his unusual entrepreneurial beginnings at …. See what else he has to say about e-commerce and the China opportunity.

      Jack Ma, the founder of China’s most profitable e-commerce company Alibaba Group, made his last public speech at Stanford University on May 4th, 2013 before stepping down as CEO. In his talk, Ma discussed why embracing change is critical for global leaders managing the fast turnover of technology. The event was co-hosted by Alibaba Group and the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE): http://stnfd.biz/lVQGt Transcript (English): http://stnfd.biz/mZAZw Transcript (Mandarin): http://stnfd.biz/mZB1D
      Jack Ma reflects at Stanford during final days as CEO; says ‘people bet I’d be a loser’ [By Daniel Limón on SPRIE, May 14, 2013], see also the full transcript in English (PDF)
      Speaking without notes or visual aids on May 4th at Stanford University’s NVIDIA Auditorium, founder and former CEO of Alibaba Group Jack Ma unspooled a farewell talk that at moments turned highly personal and deeply reflective: Ma spoke openly about his persistent failures in school, including spending seven years in elementary school and being rejected by Harvard ten times, and about his struggles to jumpstart Alibaba with only 50,000 RMB.
      Less than two minutes into his talk at the event co-hosted by Alibaba Group and the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Ma touched on the trials and travails he had faced early on as an internet and e-commerce pioneer in China. “Back in 1995,” revealed Ma, “I felt I was a loner and people thought I was a cheater. They said I was trying to make something out of nothing.” In fact, added Ma, his first interview with CCTV was censored at the behest of the producer, who feared Ma’s talk about giving the Chinese government internet access was “not a positive influence” and made Ma “look like a bad guy.”
      Ma’s personal struggles, however, began well before he knew anything about e-commerce—in elementary school—where Ma confessed to being such a bad pupil that no school in his hometown of Hangzhou wanted him. In high school, he spent three years taking the college entrance exam before scoring high enough to enroll in a local teachers college. Harvard rejected him ten times. “Nobody said that I would be a very capable person that would do something significant or meaningful in the future,” Ma admitted to a silent and still audience of about 100 people. Ma also recalled his father asking him to focus and do calligraphy. “I couldn’t really do it—I didn’t have good penmanship,” he said.
      It’s clear the former English teacher turned internet billionaire never let the doubts of his detractors or the rejections from Harvard spoil his high aspirations—in fact, Ma credited the Silicon Valley for inspiring him to bring internet innovation to China amid the setbacks: “I knew nothing about technology, but every time I came to Silicon Valley, on the weekends I would see cars fill each and every parking lot… I saw the lights were on at each and every office building. When everyone spoke, their eyes were filled with sparkles. They were really hopeful about the future. So I was really inspired when I went back to China—I thought that I should do an internet business.”
      So Ma did, founding Alibaba Group in 1999 with 17 other co-founders. Today, Alibaba is China’s largest e-commerce firm, something Ma readily admitted exceeded his wildest dreams: “I never thought that Jack Ma would have, in the future, a day like today. I never thought that Alibaba or Taobao or any type of transaction developed by Taobao would have a day like today. I never thought the internet would have a day like today.”
      Midway through the speech, the 49-year-old seasoned entrepreneur also struck a philosophical and political chord, making tacit references to god, social conflict, war, and generational change. He encouraged the audience to be grateful for living in an era of great opportunity, adding “the worst thing is that mankind experiences war… if we can actually solve problems through economic development, we will not need wars and we can actually use economic development to influence many people.” He warned, nonetheless, that in the next 30 years the world would face a host of unknown vicissitudes, including “lots of social conflicts,” which Ma described as opportunities for young people. “If everything stays stable, we are not going to have any opportunities.”
      Ma also gave the audience his views on the state of China’s present social milieu: “This is the best of times, this is the worst of times,” remarked Ma. “Nobody is happy in China… there’s a lack of trust and nobody is happy. The poor people are unhappy; the rich people are unhappy. The government doesn’t trust media; the media doesn’t trust government. We are in an era of constant change.”
      At least twice during his speech, the founder of China’s most profitable e-commerce company also took spirited swipes at some of his personal critics. “You know, we are experiencing economic and political restructuring and they want me to commit suicide. Lots of people are asking, ‘why are you not advocating for political restructuring?’ I don’t feel that’s actually something that can be done. I feel that lots of people encouraging me to do that have foreign passports. And they aren’t going to stay in China as long as they see the situation changing. They’re going to flee the country.” Ma also took to task those that ask why he runs a technology company if he knows so little about technology. He said it’s like asking a real estate developer “you know nothing about constructing a house—how can you be a real estate developer?”
      Fourteen years removed from when he founded Alibaba, Ma’s personal belief is that one shows respect and admiration for technology and the people that develop it. “That you don’t know about technology,” said Ma, “doesn’t mean you don’t respect technology.”
      You can understand the role of Alibaba in global e-commerce (already) via Small Business Success: DS Global Corporation (DS글로벌) [TeamAlibaba YouTube channel, July 17, 2013]
      A look at how DS Global Corporation (DS글로벌) president, Heaon-Jae Lee, found success for his small business in the automotive industry using Alibaba.com from Korea. From early on, Lee understood how the internet could help him reach new markets around the world. He now works with companies across 70 countries, including Turkey, USA, Spain, South Africa, Brazil and Russia.
      and for making simple the task of global sourcing for potential customers there is an all-encompassing service on Alibaba.com, the AliSourcePro [TeamAlibaba YouTube channel, July 3, 2013]
      Find out more and submit your buying request now at:http://www.Alibaba.com/AliSourcePro Save time and find quality suppliers in one easy step to use sourcing platform. AliSourcePro makes sourcing easy!
      More information:
      Why Alibaba’s Future Looks Bright [Tech In Asia, May 21, 2013]
      Why Alibaba could be China’s next $100bln IPO [Reuters’ Analysis & Opinion blog, April 25, 2013]
      Interview with Alibaba.com’s Chairman, Jack Ma [a bmpcroxon article now available only via Alibaba Trade Forums, Oct 23, 2006]
      Jack Ma, In the Chinese Cave of Alibaba – La Tribune, Business section [Alibaba Trade Forums, Aug 13, 2007]

      Lead #2: Here’s why a war has started between Chinese Internet giants Tencent and Alibaba [The Next Web, Aug 5, 2013]

      Chinese Internet giant Tencent has been on a roll recently — for a while last week, it seemed that plenty of other Chinese tech companies wanted to be friends with the firm behind WeChat, a wildly popular messaging service in the country.
      However, a huge crack appeared in its veneer of popularity toward the end of the week when Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba suddenly suspended its working relationship with WeChat, marking the start of war.
      A series of collaborations and one break-off
      Last week, Chinese telecom operators did a surprise turn-around after previously getting upset that WeChat was allegedly stealing users away from traditional SMS.
      China Unicom officially announced the introduction of a new SIM card that includes an independent data package for WeChat. Subsequently, it was reported that China Telecom would launch a plan that includes 2GB worth of data specifically for WeChat as well as Sina Weibo — though WeChat was obviously the focus of this package.
      Following that, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi launched its latest Hongmi phone — at $130, it is the lowest-priced in Xiaomi’s range — in collaboration with Qzone, a social networking website owned by Tencent.
      Tencent seemed to be riding the wave of popularity throughout last week — until all of a sudden, Alibaba announced that it was suspending all WeChat-related marketing applications from its e-commerce sites.
      Alibaba cited misuse by sellers as the reason for doing so, but in the next moment, the company announced that it was launching a “Weibo-Taobao” platform to make it easier for customers on the Twitter-like microblogging platform to shop on e-commerce site Taobao. Interestingly enough, it was also revealed that Sina Weibo will provide Taobao sellers with marketing services.
      This suspension of any existing working relationship is a clear indication that war has started between the two Chinese Internet giants — Tencent and Alibaba.
      Unlikely rivals cross paths
      It would seem that the two make unlikely rivals. The former focuses on providing service portals, while the other mainly dabbles in e-commerce.
      However, Alibaba — which makes more money than eBay and Amazon combined — has been showing interest in tapping into the social market. It took an 18 percent stake in Sina’s Weibo in a bid to slow down Tencent’s WeChat success and also bought 28 percent of AutoNavi, China’s top mapping system, suggesting that it is focusing on maps as another prong of its social strategy.
      This comes as Tencent revealed last year that it was looking to expand its business into a number of new areas as it sought to increase its already sizable online presence and appeal to advertisers — one of which was e-commerce, which would infringe on Alibaba’s presence. Subsequently, it created an e-commerce subsidiary called Tencent E-Commerce Holding Company.
      Just recently, Tencent also led a $150 million investment in design-focused e-commerce service Fab.com, aimed at helping the firm learn more about global e-commerce models.
      Alibaba’s fear of Tencent’s social power
      Why would Alibaba be so afraid of Tencent though, given that Tencent has not yet made its big jump into e-commerce? The reason is simple:
      Tencent’s dominance in the social market.
      The power of social is something that every company aspires to have. Communities form opinions and can ultimately define future products and services, according to Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyst and partner at Altimeter Group.
      Right now, it is clear that even if communities haven’t entirely started defining products and services yet, they can decide which ones should get the love. This means that if you have the community on your side, you have a significant advantage.
      And Tencent has the power of communities on its side, which could easily become a force to be reckoned with. QQ had close to 800 million active accounts at the end of 2012, while WeChat has nearly 400 million users in all, out of which there are 195 million monthly active users.
      This means that any new initiative rolled out by Tencent, such as e-commerce, could very possibly tip the scale to its favor.
      Even though Tencent has not started mapping a clear route to develop e-commerce, its dabbling into selling peripherals such as stickers and games could see it inch slowly toward rolling out more products.

      image

      Furthermore, Tencent has the payments solution in place to enable possible e-commerce. The company owns Tenpay, a PayPal-like online payments solution. Its QQ platform also has a virtual currency already, while the latest update to Weixin (what WeChat is known as in China) saw it introduce mobile in-app payments linked to a banking account which is in turn supported by TenPay.
      A Sina Tech report noted that by introducing payments onto WeChat, Tencent is literally declaring war on Alipay, the mobile payments company spun off by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The report cites a source close to Alipay as saying that the company had already sensed the impending threat of TenPay being integrated into WeChat, and has been developing new techniques to head off the challenge – for example, it recently announced a major update of its mobile app, Alipay Wallet.
      Who will win the war?
      Alibaba has shown all intentions of fighting this war to victory. Newly-installed Chief Executive Jonathan Lu has pledged to continue the e-commerce giant’s recent string of big investments as it continues focusing on improving its services for mobile. Lu wants Alibaba’s service – and in particular its two biggest e-commerce businesses: virtual ‘mall’ for brands Tmall and eBay-likeTaobao marketplace – to make better use of customer data to provide a more tailored user experience.
      However, even Tencent’s rival — and Alibaba’s ally – Sina has publicly admitted that WeChat is causing its users to spend less time on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo service.
      In other words, Tencent isn’t China’s biggest Internet company without a reason. By harnessing the power of social, Tencent has laid its foundation well and could easily spread its influence into a wider variety of businesses.
      John Hancock once said: The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.
      The community that Tencent has painstakingly built up over the years will lead to much easier influence in the future, which bodes well for its business. On the other hand, Alibaba needs to brush up on its social influence in China. It is doing swimmingly well in its main businesses — which include e-commerce, financial solutions and big data — and has been tipped for a multi-billion-dollar initial public offering (between $60 billion-$70 billion), but its lack of a persuasive social strategy still sticks out like a sore thumb.
      Could the tables turn though? Definitely, considering that Alibaba has already recognized this and is taking steps to beef up its social strategy. In war, victory is always possible as long as you keep fighting. Who knows, Alibaba could one day just as easily roll out a phenomenal success like WeChat.
      Then I recommend to watch Tencent [firecracker888 YouTube channel, Dec 4, 2012], note that the “weixin” service (mentioned in the video by Chinese) is WeChat mentioned above
      Tencent is one of the WPP, BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2013. Each brand has its own individual story and to tell them we have put together 50 short films – one on each of the brands in the rankings.
      To close this lead section is best with these 13 months old Tencent CEO interview which speaks for the whole Internet industry in China, also by clearly expressing its global expansion potential:  Tencent’s Pony Ma (马化腾) on China’s internet economy [NUS Business School  YouTube channel, July 1, 2012]
      Founder and CEO of China’s biggest internet company speaks to NUS Business School on the challenges and opportunities in China’s fast-changing dotcom sector.

      End of the Lead Contents

      My preliminary investigation was concluded in an ‘April 13, 2013 Report’, which is following after the above sections, and organized around the following findings:

      Digitimes Research: Smartphone sales to reach 329 million in China in 2013 [DIGITIMES Research, March 18, 2013]
      China Mobile aims to sell 100-120 million TD-SCDMA handsets in 2013 [DIGITIMES, March 15, 2013]
      China Mobile 2013 capex increases 49% on year [DIGITIMES, March 14, 2013]
      China Mobile to build world’s largest 4G network [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]
      China Mobile launched 100 cities 1 million terminals-covered 4G plan to create world’s largest 4G network [GTI News, March 8, 2013]
      China Mobile to procure TD-LTE devices from Huawei, ZTE, Samsung [DIGITIMES, March 19, 2013]
      China Mobile: 4G licensing expected by year-end [China Daily, March 13, 2013]
      China to lead mobil payment technology [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]
      Commercializing 4G in China needs 1 yr: minister [China Daily, March 15, 2013]
      FRANCE 24 Report : Chinese smartphone brands take bite out of APPLE [france24englishYouTube channel, Feb 18, 2013]
      Rise of Chinese smartphones [CNNInternational YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]
      Mike Walsh on Global Innovation [cmispeakers YouTube channel, Feb 5, 2013]
      China Smartphone Sector [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]
      Chinese Smartphones [FinancialTimesVideos YouTube channel, April 5, 2012]
      Chinese smartphones going big [CCTV News via the GoUTube123 YouTube channel, July 11, 2012]
      Handset Industry 2013 Outlook [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]
      SED Electronics Market (Tablets Market) in Shenzhen walk-through [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]
      Allwinner A31 9.7″ Retina factory tour at Celeb Tech [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]

      Then followed by More information

      This getting even more interesting as the quite dramatic by itself introductory information is only one of the reasons (more will follow below) why we can say that China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web … even if such a power of influence is too new for the country to be able to exercise that to a greater degree (yet): China Knocks Off U.S. to Become World’s Top Smart Device Market [Peter Farago on the Flurry blog, Feb 18, 2013]

      Nevertheless the collection given below in the ‘Background’ section is showing that potential. Just look at the major headlines in that section:
      China becomes world’s top smartphone producer
      China’s e-commerce revenue hits over 1 trillion yuan in 2012: minister
      China’s top microblog site boasts 500 mln users
      China expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister
      Preparing for a 4G network across China
      ZTE leads in 4G wireless networks
      EU telecom demands raise tensions with China
      China has till June for solar, telecoms trade deal: EU
      China’s mobile phone users reach 1.11 bln
      China market: Samsung takes up 22.5% of 2012 smartphone sales, says iiMedia Research
      Smart phones cover 70 pct of mobile market: report
      Android powers a third of all mobile phones shipped in 4Q12, says Canalys
      Google controls too much of China’s smartphone sector: ministry
      Too late for China to develop own mobile operating systems, say Taiwan makers
      China handset makers hope to reduce reliance on Android
      China to modify plan to open up mobile telecom sector
      4M[bps] broadband to cover 70 percent of Chinese users in 2013
      Broadband network expansion in the pipeline

      DETAILS


      1. The new frontier: application service (e.g. WeChat) global expansion with lead market advantage and tremendous growth opportunity lying ahead

      The new frontier: WeChat striving for global expansion [ChinaDaily, Aug 5, 2013]

      Lisa Tseretzoulias, a 51-year-old office administrator living in Montreal, Canada, came across WeChat a year ago and instantly fell in love. “I like it a lot and have recommended it to family and friends.”
      WeChat, known as weixin in Chinese, is the country’s most popular messaging and social media app developed by Tencent, China’s biggest Internet firm. WeChat is often likened toWhatsApp, developed by a US firm, and Japan’s Line.
      But WeChat is more than a messenger app and packs a host of other features, including a hold-to-talk function that allows users to send audio messages to other WeChat users, much like a walky-talky. It’s also a social media platform to post photos and make comments, much like Facebook. Companies and celebrities can open a special account to interact with fans and build a following. NBA basketball player LeBron James has an account.
      Founded in 1998 in the southern city of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, Tencent has over the past decade proven itself to be China’s undisputed king of messaging, with its banner instant messaging service called QQ, China’s largest instant messaging service with over 800 million users. With a shift in Internet usage from personal computers to smartphones and tablets, Tencent launched WeChat in 2011.
      By the end of the first half of 2013, the number of WeChat users in China had exceeded 400 million, driving revenue growth from mobile traffic up by 56.8 percent, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
      Just like the impact Skype has had on landlines, the heavy use of WeChat in China now poses a challenge for telecom operators, whose revenues for text messaging—its most profitable business—fell markedly, leading to a debate overwhether or not to charge a user fee for the application. The attempt by telecom operators to pressure WeChat to charge for the service was roundly condemned by Chinese netizens and others who called on the phone companies to leave WeChat alone and develop their own products to compete. So far, Tencent has no plans to charge users for the popular app but says it will cooperate with China’s big telecom players in other ways.
      WeChat is already a huge domestic success and is used by everyone from teenagers to their parents to their grandparents. But Tencent is not satisfied with success in the home market and is branching out globally tooth-and-nail. Roadblocks, however, remain.
      With an eye on the international market, WeChat is now available in 18 languages, including English, Indonesian, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Vietnamese and Russian. The app can be used on almost all mainstream mobile phone systems thanks to a first-class research and development team at Tencent. WeChat is growing quickly in overseas markets. Tencent announced on July 3 that WeChat has accrued over 70 million registered overseas users, a sharp jump from the 40 million users it claimed it had back in April.
      “The software has been especially successful in Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and the Philippines,”said Martin Lau, President of Tencent, at a developer conference held in Beijing on July 3.
      To further expand its user coverage, Tencent has unveiled an advertising campaign featuring internationally famed soccer star Lionel Messi to run in 15 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, India, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Spainand Turkey.
      WeChat has adopted a localization strategy when branching out by hiring celebrities as part of its marketing efforts. A much-loved feature of WeChat is a wide range of cartoon emoticons that users can send to each other, called emoji. With overseas markets in mind, WeChat hasd esigned emoticons featuring local big names. For instance, in India, Tencent roped in popular Bollywood actors Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan as brand ambassadors. Emotes featuring the two Bollywood stars caused a sensation in the country. WeChat is also working closely with businesses overseas and is cooperating with Chang, a well-known beverage company in Thailand.
      WeChat’s fun features coupled with Tencent’s strong marketing skills have made the app popular across different markets and helped the app’s popularity soar. User growth is one encouraging sign for the tech company, one of several Chinese Internet companies that have ambitions to expand their businesses abroad. “Successful or not, this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Tencent,” said Ma Huateng, co-founder and Board Chairman of Tencent, speaking about Tencent’s global layout.
      Not easy
      While boosting popularity among users outside China, WeChat is faced with competition in the global mobile-chat app market from WhatsApp, Line and Kakao from South Korea.
      WhatsApp announced in June it has racked up over 250 million active monthly users worldwide. Line announced on July 23 that it has amassed 200 million global users, and Kakao said in July that the number of its users has topped 95 million. The four are bound to duke it out in the global market.
      WeChat has made a splash in emerging nations, especially in Southeast Asia, and has yet to gain a foothold in a large developed economy like the United States, a highly coveted market. By the end of September 2012, there were 100,000 registered WeChat users in theUnited States, a distant cry from the numbers WeChat will need to make an impact beyond the limited population of Chinese-Americans and Chinese students studying there. To that end, Tencent opened an office in February to study the US market and form partnerships with US firms to boost the app’s popularity.
      In comparison with the boom in Southeast Asia, WeChat is in its nascent stages of development inthe United States. WeChat faces stiff competition from Line and the Japanese company also has designs on the US market. For now, it’s unclear exactly how WeChat stacks up against its rivals in the battle for the UnitedS tates.
      “The US market is a difficult and important one for any Internet company. Many first-class Internet products and companies were born there. The US market is highly sought out by many foreigncompanies and products, and WeChat is no exception,” reads a recent statement from Tencent in February.
      “The United States is the most difficult market to tap in our global campaign,” said Ma. “China’s Internet companies lag far behind their globally successful peers and have never been a globals uccess. But now mobile phone and Internet use is developing faster in Asia than in the West. This has given China’s Internet companies a precious opportunity to surpass Western ones,” said Ma, who touts that WeChat is more innovative and user-friendly than its rivals.
      But one major concern has Tencent worried: If its popularity grows, could other nations erect the same kind of roadblocks to expansion that have plagued Chinese telecommunications companies like Huawei and ZTE? Both companies have seen their efforts to expand into the United States halted over “national security” concerns.
      WeChat has already run into such resistance. India’s intelligence bureau has reportedly proposed a ban on WeChat, saying that the app has already possessed too much personal information on Indians. The United States and other Western nations may suggest the same, fearing that too much citizen data could easily fall into the hands of the Chinese Government.
      In response, a spokeswoman for Tencent said, “We have taken user data protection seriously in our product development and daily operations, and like other international peers, we comply with relevant laws in the countries where we have operations.”
      Given the recent revelations that the US National Security Agency has been snooping on the e-mails of Americans, users may have few nagging doubts about downloading the Chinese app.
      Another issue is whether China’s global image will hold back WeChat in international markets since China is often associated with producing cheap, low-quality products. Persistent foods candals and toxic toys have created a lack of trust of Chinese-made goods in developed countries and beyond.
      Duncan Clark, Chairman of BDA China, a consulting firm that specializes in China’s technology and Internet sectors, told The New York Times that WeChat has the potential to overcome anylingering doubts in the West over the made-in-China label, saying potential users would haveno idea the product is Chinese when visiting, for example, an app store, thereby leveling theplaying field for mobile-chat app developers.
      Robin Pinsto, a 54-year-old WeChat user in Canada, said she was surprised the app is Chinese.
      “I started using WeChat six months ago and I use it every day now. I think WeChat is even better than WhatsApp, with its wide range of cartoon images and other functions,” said Pinsto. “I think WeChat has a shot at being a global success.”
      Tseretzoulias, the office administrator in Montreal, has no qualms about WeChat’s origins.
      “It doesn’t concern me which country developed it, as long as it’s good to use.”

      The lead market advantage: China´s online population nearly 600 mln [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, July 19, 2013]

      China’s online population hits 591 million [Shanghai Daily via Xinhuanet, July 18, 2013]

      China’s Internet population reached 591 million by the end of June, fueled by a booming mobile Internet user base, a top industry group said yesterday.

      More than 70 percent of the new users accessed the Internet via smartphones or other wireless devices. These users are already accustomed to services like instant messaging such as Tencent’s WeChat and payment modes like Alibaba’s Alipay on handsets, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a government-authorized Internet research organization based in Beijing.

      CNNIC publishes China’s Internet development report twice a year, which is regarded as an authoritative dot-com review of the country.

      “The traditional Internet applications (e-mail and search engine) have developed smoothly in the period but mobile Internet has come into the spotlight,” CNNIC said in a statement on its website.

      By the end of June, China had 591 million Internet users, a 10 percent growth from a year ago, and indicating that 44.1 percent of the country’s population uses the web. The Internet penetration rate was 2 percentage points more from the end of last year, CNNIC revealed.

      The growing web applications were online music, video, games and literature, according to CNNIC.

      China’s mobile Internet user base reached 464 million by June, 78.5 percent of the total Internet users, compared with 72.2 percent a year ago, the center said.

      Mobile Internet has become new economy development engine with an increasing number of users and latest innovation, according to Analysys International, a Beijing-based research firm.

      WeChat, which is mainly used on mobile platforms, has attracted more than 400 million users in China within about a year. Its developer Tencent has launched WeChat in overseas markets and expects to reach the 500-million user mark soon.

      GSMA, a global mobile communications industry association, said last month that by 2017, the Asia Pacific region will have 1.9 billion mobile subscribers, accounting for almost half of the predicted global total of 3.9 billion.

      The popularity of smartphones and wider coverage of 3G network, which provides faster web access, will continue to boost the user base of mobile Internet, CNNIC added.

      And there is tremendous growth ahead. Here are the latest quarterly trends for the current situation of the mobile Internet according to operators’ company data:

      image

      China’s H1 telecom income up 8.9% [Xinhua, July 24, 2013]

      China’s telecom business income increased 8.9 percent year on year in the first half of 2013, with 319 million users of 3G technology, a Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) official said on Wednesday.

      At a press conference about the communication industry, Zhu Hongren, the MIIT’s chief engineer, also said that from January to May, the country’s information consumption surged 19.8 percent year on year to 1.38 trillion yuan (223.68 billion U.S. dollars).

      He said the mobile Internet sector has grown along with broadband access, online shopping and mobile payments.

      Information consumption has become a new way to stimulate domestic demand and has been crucial in boosting China’s economy as foreign trade of goods and services only contributed 0.9 percent to the gross domestic product in the first half of 2013.

      Zhu said China had more than 400 million users of Weixin, a popular free WhatsApp-like messaging service with all the functions of short messaging service (SMS) by the end of June.

      The application, developed by one of the country’s largest information technology (IT) companies, Tencent Holdings Ltd., helped income through mobile Internet data traffic rise “56.8 percent in the January-June period,” according to Zhu.

      Thanks to new platforms like Weixin and Sina Weibo, China’s most popular Twitter-like microblog, the country’s e-commerce market size grew 38.5 percent year on year to 5.4 trillion yuan and sales of smart phones and televisions both surged over 25 percent, Zhu added.

      Chinese Premier Li Keqiang demanded at a meeting of the State Council, China’s Cabinet, on July 12 an average growth rate of over 20 percent in information consumption in the next three years.

      Zhu Jun, another MIIT’s official, said the ministry is mapping out measures to realize the growth objective through building and upgrading the network communication infrastructure, enhancing the application and service of 3G technology and promoting the private capital in the telecom market.

      Meanwhile, the government will push the share of education and medical treatment resources, encourage innovation in e-commerce and strengthen the safety of private network information, Zhu Jun added.

      Digitimes Research: China 3G service subscribers to top 300 million in 1H13 [DIGITIMES Research, June 26, 2013]

      The number of 3G service subscribers in China is expected to top 322 million by the end of the first half of 2013, representing a penetration rate of 27.1%. Meanwhile, sales of smartphones in China will total 170 million units in the first half of 2013, up 51% on the prior six-month period, according to Digitimes Research.

      In the second quarter of 2013, Samsung Electronics delivered a total of 14.5 million smartphones, including entry-level to mid-range 3G models and the high-end Galaxy S4, in China, accounting for a 15.7% share.

      Lenovo ranked second with smartphone shipments totaling 8.6 million units in the second quarter, followed by Coolpad with 8.4 million units, Huawai with 8.0 million units and Apple with 7.7 million units.

      Buoyed by brisk sales of its 3.5-inch entry-level models and CNY1,000 (US$163) dual-core models, Coolpad outperformed both Huawei and Apple to take the third-rank title in China in the second quarter and accounted for a 9.1% share.

      Sales of Apple smartphones were lower than expected in the second quarter as the US-based vendor did not release any new models during the period. But Apple may see its sales rebound in the second half of 2013, powered by the planned launch of a low-priced model as well as a TD-SCDMA version iPhone.

      The penetration rate of 3G telecom services in China is expected to reach 30-40% for all of 2013, and total smartphone sales will reach 390 million units in the year, including 280 million units sold through the retail channels of telecom carriers, estimated Digitimes Research.

      The world biggest operator, Chinal Mobile is heavily increasing its 3G penetration. Here are the latest monthly change trends for the current situation according to operators’ company data:

      image

      CBBC Webinar – The Evolution of Social Business in China [China-Britain Business Council YouTube channel, recorded on July 17, published on July 30, 2013]

      Wednesday 17th July 2013 – Presented by: Lewis Rosa, Consulting Manager, Social Business Consulting, CIC Background: China is home to an active community of over half a billion internet users, or netizens, over three quarters of whom are creating original content, which when compared to less than a quarter of American internet users, puts any accusations that China lacks creativity firmly to bed. They’re also far more inclined to discuss brands, products and services. This committed engagement and creativity begets a bonanza of social business intelligence if you know where to look, or more accurately, how to listen This webinar covers: • China’s vast, fractured and dynamic digital landscape • The evolving tastes and behaviors of Chinese netizens • Social listening to inspire creative and inform strategy • Operational implications of social business development

      Half of Chinese urban kids surf Internet [Xinhua, July 30, 2013]

      About half, or 52.6 percent, of kids aged four to six in urban areas of China know how to use the Internet, according to a report on the lifestyle of Chinese children.

      In the survey, which covered 9,114 four-16 year olds in 10 provincial areas or cities including Beijing, Wuhan and Qingdao, 93.2 percent of 13-16 year olds have used the Internet, The Beijing Times cited the report as saying on Saturday.

      The report put the proportion of seven-nine year olds and 10-12 year olds accessing the Internet at 58.6 and 77.1 percent respectively, according to The Beijing Times.

      In addition, it showed that 57.5 percent of the respondents use mobile phones, about 26 percent use Twitter-like microblogs, and 17.9 percent use tablet computers.

      China’s netizen population, the world’s largest, continues to grow and reached 591 million at the end of June, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

      China Blocks Swedish Town Because of It’s Name [ChinaForbiddenNews, Feb 16, 2013]

      Beijing launches platform for debunking online rumors [Xinhua, Aug 1, 2013]

      Six Chinese websites jointly launched a platform on Thursday to refute online rumors, a move that an official has termed Beijing’s latest endeavor to clean up the “Internet environment.”

      The platform is a website that collects statements from Twitter-like services, news portals and China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, to refute online rumors and expose the scams of phishing websites.

      The platform operates under the instruction of the Beijing Internet Information Office (BIIO) and the Beijing Internet Association, a non-profit social organization.

      The popular use of the Internet has expanded Chinese people’s channels of expression, but also facilitated the circulation of rumors and false information, said Chen Hua, director of the Internet information service and management department under the BIIO.

      “The platform will be a new try by Beijing’s websites to eradicate online rumors and raise Internet users’ awareness of telling rumors from the truth,” he said.

      The platform was jointly launched by websites Qianlong, Sogou, Sohu, Netease, Baidu and Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like microblogging service.

      So far, the first phase of the platform has been completed, said Chen.

      It has collected about 100,000 brief statements on online rumors and phishing websites and offered Internet users about 30 websites through which they can report online rumors or scams.

      Operators of the platform will spend another year finishing the second phase. Once that is complete, more entertaining and interactive programs will be introduced to encourage the public to report online rumors.

      WHY RUMORS TRAVEL FAST

      Some Internet users create rumors to attract attention, while others do it to blow off some steam. But rumors fabricated on purpose can be dangerous and incite panic, said Min Dahong, a researcher on Internet usage.

      Based on Wu Chenguang’s observations, rumors travel especially fast in times of emergency such as natural disasters and other mass incidents.

      Wu is the news center director of Sohu. In June last year, the web portal’s news center launched a program called “Rumor Terminator” and has handled 300 rumors to date.

      Soon after downpours hit Beijing on July 21, 2012, Internet users began disseminating photos of severe flooding that had been taken years earlier.

      Another example involves rumors about earthquake forecasts. Internet users claim that people had successfully predicted that an earthquake would shake Lushan County, Sichuan Province, as early as five years ago, but these claims weren’t made until after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Lushan County on April 20, leaving at least 196 dead.

      Such rumors had an extremely harmful influence, Wu Chenguang said, adding that the government’s slow pace in releasing information has allowed Internet users to spread their rumors easily.

      When explaining why rumors travel fast in China, Min Dahong proposed that it is because rumors touch on issues of common concern.

      The Chinese people now care about their surroundings. Rumors travel fast because they cater to public curiosity and concern about environmental protection, food safety and corruption, he said.


      2. Online shopping growing very fast

      CHINA’S SHOPS SUFFER AS ONLINE RIVALS BOOM [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 4, 2013]

      CBBC Webinar – yourcompany com cn — Online Presence in China [China-Britain Business Council YouTube channel, recorded on Jan 16, published on July 30, 2013]

      Wednesday 16th January 2013, presented by Richard Unwin, Backbone IT Group. This webinar discusses webpage content, social media and how Chinese people interact with the internet. The topics covered are as follows: – How does the internet differ between UK & China? – Visual impact of web design in China – Content — what do Chinese readers want to learn from your website? – Engage your target audience while retaining your corporate image – Social Media

      China Focus: Online shopping penetrates smalltown China [Xinhua, July 30, 2013]

      Online shopping is no longer exclusively for city dwellers, as residents of smaller locales are now spending more money buying goods on the Internet.

      People living in counties and townships each spent an average of 5,628 yuan (910.7 U.S. dollars) online in 2012, almost 1,000 yuan more than their urban counterparts, according to a report released Monday by Taobao, China’s leading online shopping website.

      The report showed that township residents placed an average of 54 orders each on Taobao in 2012, far more than the 39 orders placed by e-shoppers living in China’s first- and second-tier cities.

      Major international brands like Estee Lauder have sold well in counties and townships. Shoppers in those locations spent an average of 765 yuan apiece on Estee Lauder cosmetics, slightly more than the 652 yuan spent by first- and second-tier city residents.

      Over 30 million county residents spent a combined total of 179 million yuan on Taobao, according to figures posted online by the company.

      Although residents’ incomes tend to be lower in small towns and counties, their online spending habits are similar to those of urban residents, according to a report released in March by McKinsey Global Institute.

      The McKinsey report said that for every 100 yuan spent online, 57 yuan is spent by people in third- and fourth-tier cities, greater than the national average of 39 yuan.

      The county-level city of Yiwu, ranked by Forbes as the richest county in China, topped the Taobao ranking, with online spending totaling 3.4 billion yuan.

      Residents in Qingliu County in southeast China’s Fujian Province spent a staggering 20,151 yuan, or 72.55 percent of their combined income, on online shopping. In first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the ratio has yet to exceed 27 percent.

      The report also showed that 22 percent of Taobao customers in small towns used its mobile application to shop online. But the percentage declined to 17 percent in first- and second-tier cities.

      Commentary: Global online shopping benefits Chinese manufacturers [Xinhua, July 16, 2013]

      With just a few clicks on a shopping website, a Nigerian girl buys her favorite wig, to be delivered to her home several days later from China.

      That was a scene shown Sunday by Chinese national broadcaster CCTV.

      An African girl buying Chinese products on the Internet is, by no means, an isolated case. In fact, cross-border online shopping has become quite a frenzy in recent years.

      Despite that, though, online sales of Chinese-made goods in foreign markets are still a new phenomenon and represent a strategic opportunity for China’s giant manufacturing sector.

      If the popularity of global online shopping continues to grow, it would provide a vital channel for China to sell more of its products to the rest of the world. In the long run, it may even reshape the face of global trade.

      Overseas consumers can save a lot of money by purchasing quality goods from China via the Internet because the products are generally cheaper than their counterparts from elsewhere in the world.

      This comparative advantage has made Chinese goods popular among online shoppers in Russia, Brazil, America and Europe. Chinese-made commodities such as clothes, suitcases, mobile phones and shoes are among the best-selling items.

      In the larger picture, the trend may also help modify the unfair distribution of profits in global trade.

      China has been the world’s largest exporter since 2009. However, it receives only a small portion of the profits generated by goods that are domestically produced but sold through retailers in developed economies.

      The situation may be corrected, though, if online shopping continues to prosper across the globe and the made-in-China label can be brought directly to individual consumers.

      Global online shopping, however, is still in its infancy and its future is closely tied to the development of online payment mechanisms, cross-border deliveries and tax issues.

      It is safe to say, meanwhile, that online shopping is a rising wave sweeping the globe. Online shopping boasts unprecedented vitality and its significant role for Chinese-made goods should not be underestimated.

      Mobile payment new technology [NFC] changing ways of consumption [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, July 3, 2013]

      Beijing China Mobile users can make purchases with phone [cntv.cn via Xinhuanet, July 23, 2013]

      Transit cards make taking the bus and subway in Beijing an easy thing. But they may soon be unnecessary.

      Starting Monday, China Mobile users can use near-field-communication, or NFC-enabled handsets to get access to public buses and subway lines in Beijing. They can also make payments below 1,000 yuan at a number of up-scale shops. Beijing China Mobile customers can visit any of six designated China Mobile shops to switch their SIM cards out for new ones that will allow them to connect their phones to their bank accounts.

      Samsung’s Galaxy S4, the HTC One, and some Huawei and ZTE models can support NFC functions.

      China’s mobile payments to exceed 9 trln yuan in 2015: report [Xinhua, July 30, 2013]

      Online payment transactions handled by Chinese mobile payment service providers will exceed 9 trillion yuan (1.45 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2015, according to an industry report published on Monday.

      In 2012, the country’s mobile banking sector handled 800 billion yuan in online payment transactions, an increase of 265.3 percent from a year earlier, according to a report published by the Internet Society of China (ISC).

      Last year, the country’s online payments rose 66 percent to nearly 3.7 trillion yuan, with fast growth in payments on premiums, according to the report.

      Online premiums payments grew 123.8 percent year on year to 3.66 billion yuan in 2012, the report said.

      The country’s online payment market is maturing with an accelerated growth of internet finance, said Shi Xiansheng, deputy secretary-general of the ISC.

      Online payment transactions handled by Chinese payment service providers totaled 830 trillion yuan in 2012, according to data from the Payment & Clearing Association of China (PCAC).

      China’s online payments total 830 trln yuan in 2012 [Xinhua, June 27, 2013]

      Online payment transactions handled by Chinese payment service providers totaled 830 trillion yuan (about 134.3 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2012, according to an industry report published on Thursday.

      In 2012, banks handled 19.2 billion online payment transactions totaling 823 trillion yuan, according to a report published by the Payment & Clearing Association of China (PCAC).

      Another 10.46 billion online payment transactions amounting to 6.89 trillion yuan were handled by other payment agencies last year, the report said.

      Online transactions are being used not only in traditional areas, such as online shopping and bill-paying, but also in areas related to education, tourism, fund products, insurance, community services and medical and health services, the report said.

      But experts noted that the increasing variety of payment tools has also caused problems concerning the safety of funds and customer information, calling for strengthened regulation and supervision.

      “The payment business is closely linked with people’s daily lives, so customers will be less tolerant of risks,” said PCAC’s deputy secretary-general Kang Lin.

      The People’s Bank of China, or the central bank, has so far approved 197 non-financial institutions to provide payment services, of which 72 are eligible for online payment business, tPCAC data showed.

      The association said mobile payments, or online payments made through mobile phones, totaling 2.31 trillion yuan were handled by banks in 2012, as well as 181.2 billion yuan in transactions handled by non-bank payment service providers.

      China cloud computing conference kicks off [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 6, 2013]

      [1:36] “China’s biggest cloud is Aliyun run by e-commerce giant Alibaba [China’s Amazon].” … … [2:44]

      Alibaba, e-concierge, soon at your service [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 26, 2013]

      Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans to boost its presence in China’s online market, and is adding services to ease consumers’ daily lives, from ordering food to booking movie tickets.

      The company expects the new business area to become a major revenue source in the future.

      Online shopping has become a new way of life for many Chinese consumers, said Zhang Jianfeng, vice-president of Alibaba Group. And the company has realized that customers are not satisfied with merely buying items on Internet.

      “Gradually, consumers are developing a strong demand for daily life services, in fields like catering, entertainment and travel,” Zhang said at a Beijing news conference on Thursday.

      Taobao Life, a platform owned by Alibaba that provides such services, has been receiving unprecedented attention from Alibaba’s management since the beginning of the year. In March, Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma said that “amazing” things will happen if everyday activities are combined with mobile Internet services.

      Ma compared the growing importance of e-commerce in people’s lives to “the rising sun at 5 or 6 am”, and Alibaba expressed its ambition to develop the new business to reach a scale similar to its booming Taobao Marketplace.

      If so, investors who are eyeing Alibaba’s possible initial public offering will find another bright spot for the company’s future profitability, analysts said.

      Alibaba is said to be planning to include its e-commerce platforms – Taobao Mall, Taobao Marketplace and eTao – into the planned IPO package. Last year, Taobao Mall and Taobao Marketplace posted about 1 trillion yuan ($163 billion) in total transaction value.

      Zhang revealed that the Taobao Life platform has three strategic business sectors. One is Taobao Diandian, a mobile application launched in July that helps customers order food. More than 100 restaurants in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou have opened services on Diandian.

      Meanwhile, Taobao Movie is the nation’s biggest mobile platform to buy film tickets. It allows clients in more than 100 Chinese cities to select seats from about 800 theaters, Zhang said.

      The company also set up a platform on Taobao Life, known as Offer, which provides people with classifieds in areas such as apartment rentals and housekeeping services.

      Song Yang, e-commerce senior analyst with the Beijing-based research firm Analysys International, said that there’s a promising future for companies able to successfully combine people’s everyday needs with the Internet-based services.

      “There are no official statistics about the size of the market, but this is the future of e-commerce. Because the services are all about making people’s everyday life better and easier, ” Song said.

      Video Alibaba Group launches China Smart Logistics Network [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, May 30, 2013]

      Tencent invests in Fab, takes on Alibaba [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, June 20, 2013]

      US e-commerce website Fab.com said on Wednesday it had raised investment of $150 million from companies including Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.

      Analysts said Tencent may help Fab enter the Chinese online market, which is expected to record nearly 2 trillion yuan ($326 billion) in sales by the end of this year.

      Shenzhen-based Tencent said it will make a “minority investment” in the US company, but has not disclosed the value of its investment.

      Tencent will have a seat in Fab’s boardroom after the deal is done.

      Fab could take on as much as $100 million in further investment over the following months, company CEO Jason Goldberg told The Wall Street Journal.

      The funds will be used to build its online stores, develop exclusive products and expand its international footprint, he said.

      Fab is one of the leading online design retailers in the world. Tencent believes Fab has the potential to further develop under the wave of the global, social and mobile transformation of the e-commerce industry,” Tencent said via e-mail.

      Founded in June 2011, Fab recorded revenue of $120 million last year. That figure is likely to reach $250 million by the end of this year, tech news website TNW said.

      The Manhattan-based startup has 14 million registered members.

      Tencent said its social strength and technical capabilities will help bring Fab to Internet users around the world.

      Fab’s other investors include Japanese retail conglomerate Itochu Corp, an indication the company may be looking toward Asian markets.

      China’s online shopping business is dominated by the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The company’s customer-to-customer platform, Taobao, contributed roughly 70 percent of the sector’s turnover. Alibaba also owns Tmall, the country’s No 1 business-to-customer portal.

      Tencent has been vigorously building up its e-commerce segments to challenge Alibaba’s dominance. Its most recent attempt is authorizing payments via WeChat, its popular smartphone application.

      Statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center revealed that China had 242 million online shoppers by the end of 2012 – or more than 40 percent of the country’s entire Internet population.

      Internet giants enter online pay market [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 11, 2013]

      Chinese Internet giants Baidu Inc and Sina Corp received third party payment licenses from the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, to conduct related online payment services within the country.

      According to the bank, the two Internet companies received official approval on July 6. Both companies were granted a five-year permission to conduct Internet payment businesses. Sina, which operates the twitter-like micro-blogging service Weibo, also got the nod to run a mobile phone payment business.

      It means all major Chinese Internet companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, have obtained third party payment licenses. Alipay, the online payment arm of Alibaba, together with Tencent’s Tenpay, were among the first companies to receive licenses from the People’s Bank of China – in May 2011.

      The reasons why Baidu and Sina are latecomers in the online payment industry, even lagging far behind some Chinese telecom companies, is because their online payment branches are weak and didn’t receive much attention from their management, said Zhang Meng, an analyst with Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.

      “Baidu’s and Sina’s application for online payment licenses have more strategic significance than immediate practical meaning for the two,” Zhang said.

      Sina started to explore the Internet payment business in 2011. It launched the online payment tool SinaPay that year and upgraded the service into WeiboPay (micro-blogging wallet) in 2012. Every Weibo user automatically has a WeiboPay account. Sina said it hopes to provide a more convenient way for micro-blogging users to conduct transactions online and developers to charge users for products and services.

      Sina Weibo introduced Alibaba as a stakeholder in May to act as a bridge for Sina to make use of the Alipay service. Analysts said it’s safer for Sina to have its own payment tool as it’s important to keep transaction data in Sina’s own realm.

      “An online payment service will prompt Sina Weibo’s commercialization process,” Zhang said. Previously, Sina had made some attempts to generate money from its Weibo platform. It cooperated with mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp to sell Xiaomi smartphones through WeiboPay last year. However, some shoppers complained after WeiboPay was paralyzed for a while through excessive use.

      Baidu started investigating an online payment service as early as 2008 but the company’s enthusiasm for it cooled alongside the fall of its e-commerce business Baidu Youa.

      Alibaba’s Alipay still dominates the Chinese Internet payment market. According to a report issued by Analysys International, Alipay had a 46.3 percent share of the online payment market in the first quarter of 2013, followed by Tencent’s Tenpay, with 20.3 percent.

      Alipay had a total of 800 million registered accounts by the end of April. Tenpay said it had 200 million registered users by the end of last year.

      Alibaba´s new online investment tool faces regulation challenge [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 24, 2013]

      about Alipay

      Say no to streaking to ensure online payment security [CRIENGLISH.com via Xinhuanet, April 12, 2013]

      Seven leading internet companies, including Baidu, Microsoft and Alibaba, have formed an Internet Security Working Group.

      It’s hoped the new collaboration will help lead to the better safeguarding of users’ and companies’ online profiles.

      While Consumers enjoy the ease and the financial benefits of online shopping, sometimes their financial security and personal information can be threatened during the online payment process.

      Many so-called phishing scams and malicious websites try to cheat consumers by convincing them to transfer money to their accounts instead of an online dealer’s accounts.

      Li Xiaoling is a product manager with Alipay, the largest third-party payment company in China.

      “Phishing websites imitate a popular website, like taobao.com and some other shopping websites. Consumers have to tell from small details whether they are really the websites that they want to visit.”

      Ding Rui, a senior product manager with Microsoft, says no matter how strong systems become, phishing websites will never completely disappear.

      “Driven by a strong financial interest, someone always wants to take the risk. And the word ‘risk’ is not so accurate, as there isn’t too much risk as a result of a lack of supervision and difficulty in handing out punishment.”

      Alipay began fighting the problem of phishing sites at the end of 2007.

      Li Qiushi is Alipay’s leading expert on market security.

      “Actually, merchants, payment platforms, banks and consumers online are all victims of such behavior. We joined together to prevent these problems from occurring in advance initially. That has yielded noticeable effects.”

      To be more alert, Alipay product manager Li Xiaoling suggests web users don’t access the internet without some sort of internet protection, such as an anti-virus software program or other safe control programs.

      “Firstly, we hope consumers do not use the same pass code for various accounts online. Secondly, do not input personal information like ID numbers into unfamiliar websites or into those websites that the browser reports as being dangerous. Thirdly, check clearly the usage of different verification codes and do not tell strangers the codes.”

      The internet companies taking part in the collaboration say it’s their hope they can raise consumer awareness to try to bring down the number of cases of online fraud here in China.


      3. Applications, applications to be added to the search

      Baidu searches for growth [TheDealVideo YouTube channel, July 17, 2013]

      China’s largest search engine pays $1.9 billion for Chinese mobile app distributor 91 Wireless, betting big on a still small market

      Baidu to buy 91 Wireless for 1.9 bln USD [Xinhua, July 16, 2013]

      China’s leading search engine, Baidu, Inc. announced Tuesday that it will buy all equity interests in smartphone apps distributor 91 Wireless Websoft from NetDragon for a record 1.9 billion U.S. dollars.

      The move, which is Baidu’s latest effort to diversify beyond its core search engine business, is set to mark China’s biggest merger and acquisition (M&A) in the Internet market after Yahoo’s 1-billion-U.S. dollar deal with Alibaba in 2005.

      According to the MOU, Baidu will purchase the entire issued share capital of 91 Wireless for a total of 1.9 billion U.S. dollars.

      Baidu and NetDragon will further negotiate and agree on the relevant terms of the proposed acquisition by Aug. 14 as the “Long Stop date” to buy Hong Kong-listed NetDragon’s 57.41-percent stake in 91 Wireless.

      NetDragon is restricted from approaching or discussing with any third parties the sale of 91 Wireless.

      Baidu said it intends to purchase the remaining equity interests in 91 Wireless from other shareholders based on terms and conditions similar to those offered to NetDragon, if they are willing to sell by Aug. 14.

      In May, Baidu announced its plan to buy the online video business of PPS to rival industry leader Youku Tudou, which was created last year through the merger of the country’s two major video giants, Youku and Tudou.

      My own insert: China’s Alibaba Buys Stake in Sina Weibo [NTDonChina YouTube channel, April 30, 2013]

      A China’s e-commerce giant has purchased a stake in Sina Weibo, the country’s largest service provider of Twitter-like microblogs. Alibaba announced on Monday that it is acquiring 18% of Sina Weibo for $586 million. If the online retailer wanted to, it could increase the stake to 30% at an unspecified future date. Alibaba is like eBay in the United States. With the new deal, it will have access to Sina Weibo’s 46 million daily active users. According to the Wall Street Journal, Alibaba could be looking to boost its share of the mobile market against Google’s Android smartphones. Alibaba has been promoting its own smartphone operating system. It could boost the use of its OS by leveraging off the large amount of mobile customer data available through this alliance with Sina Weibo.

      The deal came on the heels of Alibaba‘s announcement in April that it would take an 18-percent share in Sina Corp‘s microblogging service Weibo and a 28-percent stake in digital mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd.

      Experts said the M&A spree highlights the intense competition among Internet giants to secure dominance of the mobile Internet market, as an increasing number of Chinese are going online through mobile devices.

      Data from the China Internet Networks Information Center show that China’s online population reached 564 million as of the end of last year, with the number of mobile Internet users hitting 420 million.

      Baidu Buys Up China’s Internet [TheStreetTV YouTube channel, July 16, 2013]

      Baidu is spending $1.9 billion to buy mobile app store 91 Wireless, making this the biggest Chinese internet takeover.

      Baidu, 91 Wireless deal epitomizes mobile Internet scramble [Xinhua, July 17 2013]

      The attempt by China’s biggest search engine, Baidu, to buy a leading apps platform epitomizes Chinese Internet giants’ quickening steps in mobile Internet, even though some question if the company to be bought is worth the price offered.

      NASDAQ-listed Baidu Inc. announced on Tuesday its bid to buy all equity interests in smartphone apps distributor 91 Wireless Websoft for 1.9 billion U.S. dollars. The deal, if completed, will mark China’s biggest merger and acquisition in the Internet market after Yahoo’s 1-billion-U.S. dollar deal with Alibaba in 2005.

      Analysts viewed the alliance as complementary in that Baidu will promote 91 Wireless’s smartphone app distribution systems, and in return, Baidu will be better able to contend for a position as a leading access portal for mobile Internet.

      “Through the acquisition, Baidu not only gains access to app distribution, it will also attract around 100,000 app developers to its own platform in the future,” according to Ge Jia, an Internet analyst who was quoted in a Tuesday report by the Beijing News.

      Ge said that digital mapping, voice, and app distribution represent the three battle grounds in the mobile Internet market in the future, and the deal could turn around Baidu’s current disadvantages in a market that already boasts strong rivals including Tencent and Alibaba.

      On the same day as Baidu’s announcement, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba also confirmed that it has made a strategic investment in outbound travel site qyer.com, as it seeks to boost its travel offerings, including plane tickets and hotels, on its marketplace site Taobao.

      Industrial analysts even labeled this year’s mergers and acquisitions in the Internet industry as major players’ efforts to split the mobile Internet market and obtain a lion’s share.

      In May, Baidu announced its plan to buy the online video business of PPS in order to rival industry leader Youku Tudou. Just one month earlier, Alibaba revealed it would take an 18-percent share in Sina Corp’s microblogging service Weibo and a 28-percent stake in digital mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd.

      Ge Jia said that Baidu expects to attract large numbers of advertisers through its purchase of 91 Wireless. Data shows that 12.9 billion apps had been downloaded through 91 Wireless’s two leading smartphone app distribution platforms in China as of Dec. 2012.

      However, some believe that the 1.9-bln-U.S.-dollar tender by Baidu is too high for a company with an estimated value of only 140 million U.S. dollars two years ago.

      “Baidu has no better choices because its strategic arrangements for the mobile Internet came too late and it has been at a disadvantaged position. So it is seeking to change the status quo through the costly deal,” said Wang Jun, a mobile Internet analyst with Analysys International.

      Data from the China Internet Networks Information Center show that China’s online population reached 564 million as of the end of last year, with more than 74 percent of them, or 420 million, using cell phones to access the Internet.

      “The Internet giants will not miss any opportunity amid the boom of mobile Internet,” said IT commentator Hong Bo. In a report published Tuesday by the China Business News, Hong said that Alibaba’s advantages lie in its strong capabilities to do business, while Tencent has flagship apps including WeChat, a free app that enables all-round communications in text, voice, picture and video form.

      However, the commentator added that with advantages in technology, Baidu is also seeking to become a titan in app distribution through the acquisition of 91 Wireless.

      Official stresses Party building in non-public enterprises [Xinhua, May 22,  2013]

      A senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official has called for efforts to strengthen Party building in the country’s non-public enterprises.

      Zhao Leji, head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the comments on Wednesday during an inspection in Beijing.

      Visiting Baidu, China’s leading online search engine operator, Zhao called for more efforts to integrate businesses’ own developments with the progress of the country and society.

      Moreover, the fostering of a corporate culture should be consistent with the practicing of socialist core values, the official said.

      During his inspection, Zhao also underlined efforts to improve China’s talent pool, including innovations to attract, train, use and support talented people.

      China’s Internet giants in acquisition spree [Xinhua, May 14, 2013]

      China’s Internet giants have gone on a new acquisition spree in recent months as they ramp up efforts to diversify businesses amid the industry’s constantly changing dynamics.

      Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce firm, announced last week that it will pay 294 million U.S. dollars for a 28-percent stake in digital mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd..

      The move, following Alibaba’s previous deal to take an 18-percent share in Sina Corp’s microblogging service Weibo, is the giant’s latest attempt to map out a strategy in the key mobile Internet market, in which major companies have been vying for presence.

      Li Zhi, an analyst with Internet service provider Analysys, noted that rather than developing new products on their own, the Internet giants have preferred to make up for their weak areas through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to consolidate their positions.

      Earlier this month, China’s online search leader Baidu Inc. announced its plan to buy the online video business of PPS, to rival industry leader Youku Tudou, which was created last year through the merger of the country’s two major video giants, Youku and Tudou.

      The purchase is Baidu’s latest step to diversify beyond its core search sector.

      The string of M&A deals has highlighted the heated competition among Internet giants to secure dominance of the mobile Internet market as an increasing number of Chinese are going online through mobile devices.

      Currently, Tencent, which has so far attracted 300 million users to its popular voice messaging platform Wechat, is widely regarded as having secured a dominant seat in the mobile Internet market.

      But Ma Huateng, Tencent’s chairman and CEO, took a cautious view about the company’s position.

      “No matter how well-placed we are now in the mobile market, a slight oversight may cause a shipwreck,” he said at an Internet conference earlier this month.

      According to data from the China Internet Networks Information Center, China had 420 million mobile Internet users as of the end of 2012.

      With the market potential yet to be tapped, the Internet giants’ M&A activity will likely to go on for a while, according to Li.


      4. Xiaomi to take Apple place

      Xiaomi takes aim at Apple after big increase in sales [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 17, 2013]

      Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp said on Tuesday it sold 7.03 million Xiaomi mobile phones in the first half of this year and realized unaudited revenue of 13.3 billion yuan (2.16 billion U.S. dollars) during the same period.

      According to a news release sent to China Daily, Xiaomi disclosed that its half-year revenue in 2013 exceeded the company’s 12.6 billion yuan revenue from all of 2012 but it did not reveal the profitability ratio.

      The company is on track to reach its annual goal of selling 15 million Xiaomi smartphones by the end of the year, according to officials from Xiaomi’s public relations department on Tuesday.

      As of June, Xiaomi had more than 14 million smartphone users on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the news release said.

      Lei Jun, founder and chief executive officer of Xiaomi, attributed the good performance to the company’s more influential branding, better industry partner support and an improved logistics and warehouse system.

      Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has experienced rapid growth. The company launched its first smartphones in August 2011 and quickly gained market share, beating some traditional mobile phone giants.

      “In the Chinese market, with the exception of Apple and Samsung, if the shipment of one smartphone model exceeds 1 million during its life cycle, it can be described as ‘quite successful’,” said James Yan, an analyst with the research firm IDC China.

      Xiaomi has managed to sell every one of its smartphone models above the 1 million level and is easily ahead of companies such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp in terms of single smartphone shipments, Yan added, pointing out the latter firms have been selling mobile phones for about a decade.

      Xiaomi is now directly challenging international giants Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc, which both keep single smartphone sales records in China. According to IDC, Apple had sold about 16 million iPhone 4 and 15 million iPhone 4S handsets in China as of March.

      Xiaomi’s Lei sees Apple as a target to overtake in the future. During a previous interview with China Daily, Lei expressed Xiaomi’s ambition to ship more than 100 million smartphones annually worldwide for each model by 2016.

      Apple, based in Cupertino in the United States, managed to break the 100 million iPhone devices mark in 2012, less than five years since the first iPhone was sold in 2007.

      Lei dreams of achieving a similar, or even faster, pace of development.

      “I know it is crazy, but we would like to have a try,” Lei said last year.

      image

      [in the Q1 2013, see below]

      Overall, Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments in China, if they are not counted on the basis of single device shipments, are still small. The company even failed to become a top 10 smartphone supplier in China in the first quarter, according to the Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.

      Samsung was the top smartphone company after acquiring a 17.3 percent share in the Chinese market in the first quarter, followed by Lenovo with 13.1 percent and Coolpad with 10.3 percent. The country had sales of 75.3 million smartphones, a year-on-year rise of 141.5 percent, in the first quarter ending on March 31.

      Fewer Chinese consumers picking Apple’s iPhone [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 25, 2013]

      image

      Apple said on Tuesday that its revenue from China
      fell 14 percent year-on-year to $4.6 billion in the
      quarter ended June 29. Provided to China Daily

      The devices are becoming so common in China these days that many people lost their once strong desire to own one. Also, iPhones are considered too expensive, and many consumers are opting for cheaper phones with similar capabilities.

      And the Chinese market’s hesitation has showed in Apple’s latest quarterly financial report. Even though the California-based company delivered better-than-expected global iPhone shipments of 31.2 million units during the quarter ended June 29, its performance in Greater China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, was sluggish in the period.

      Apple said on Tuesday that its revenue from China fell 14 percent year-on-year to $4.6 billion in the quarter ended June 29. The figure, which represents a 43 percent decline from the previous quarter, marked the first time that revenue decreased in the region.

      Overall, Apple’s quarterly global revenue remained flat at $35.3 billion.

      Apple said its growth in the Chinese market had slowed, particularly due to economic headwinds. China’s GDP growth eased to 7.6 percent in the first half, compared with 7.8 percent a year earlier.

      Apple’s chief executive officer Tim Cook said that he wasn’t discouraged by the numbers from just one 90-day period.

      “I continue to believe that in the arc of time here, China is a huge opportunity for Apple,” Cook said on an earnings call on Tuesday.

      However, analysts believe that fiercer competition, together with other factors, played a much bigger role in Apple’s lackluster performance in China than the macro-economic effects.

      “The iPhone 5 was less popular than its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, in China during the first 100 days after they hit the market,” said James Yan, an analyst with research firm IDC. IPhone 5 handsets also saw stronger competition from brands such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and HTC Corp, as well as some local brands like Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Xiaomi Corp, Yan said.

      Meanwhile, Chinese telecom operators have cut their subsidies for iPhone 5 devices.

      “Consumers and industry partners adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward the iPhone 5,” Yan said. On the consumer side, they started to look for other high-quality smartphones with lower prices, or they are planning to buy the upcoming iPhone 5S or the iPhone 6, which seem to be more innovative products, he added.

      Kevin Wang, an analyst with IHS iSuppli, said that Apple’s pricing strategy also discouraged some first-time smartphone buyers and low-end customers. A 16 GB iPhone 5 costs at least 5,000 yuan ($809.80), more than the average monthly salary of people working in Beijing.

      “The situation will only change when Apple introduces a less-expensive version of the iPhone, then we’ll see a new sales surge in the country,” Wang said.

      For instance, Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei, which in recent years expanded to the smartphone market, launched its P6 model in June, targeting high-end users but selling at a mere 2,688 yuan.

      Huawei said on Wednesday that its first-half revenue was 113.8 billion yuan, up 10.8 percent year-on-year.

      Meanwhile, the Beijing-based Xiaomi is selling high-quality smartphones at extremely low prices, usually below 2,000 yuan. Xiaomi said it sold more than 7 million smartphones in the first half.

      But Apple still has ways to protect its status as a major player in China, said Xiang Ligang, a telecom industry insider.

      Xiang said that Apple will likely quicken the pace of its collaboration talks with China Mobile Ltd, the nation’s biggest telecom operator, to boost iPhone sales.

      China Mobile and Apple have been in talks for years, but the two have yet to reach an agreement. Some industry sources said that the two companies will likely start cooperating soon, since all the preliminary work is done.


      5. Strong central government support

      IT push aims to boost domestic demand [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, July 14, 2013]

      China is to promote consumption of IT-related products and services as it seeks to spur domestic demand and push economic upgrading.

      It will speed up work to issue licenses for the fourth generation (4G) mobile network this year and accelerate development of broadband Internet access, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

      The nation is aiming for annual average growth of 20 percent in the information consumption industry from 2013 to 2015, the statement said.

      The meeting demanded implementation of the “Broadband China” strategy, stepped-up efforts to construct and upgrade network infrastructure, pushing forward the FTTH (Fiber To the Home) project and improving Internet speed.

      China, which has the largest number of mobile phones in the world at 1.2 billion, is already building 4G trial networks in major cities.

      Liu Lihua, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said last year that China aims to have more than 250 million broadband users by 2015.

      The central government is also encouraging private capital to enter the basic telecom service market, such as the voice and messaging business, by setting up joint ventures with State-owned players.

      Projects to merge telecommunications, television and Internet services will also move forward on a nationwide basis this year, according to Friday’s meeting.

      The meeting also called for quicker development on energy saving, with the goal of ensuring the market share for efficient energy-saving products reaches 50 percent by 2015.

      Private capital set to enter telecom industry [CCTVupdates YouTube channel, June 18, 2013]

      China eyes energy-saving, IT industries to spur domestic demand [Xinhua, July 12, 2013]

      China is to speed up development in the energy-saving industry and promote consumption of IT-related products and services as it looks to spur domestic demand and push economic upgrading.

      Stimulating growth in the two sectors is a multi-purpose approach aimed at easing resource restraints, unleashing consumption potential, stimulating effective investments and fostering emerging industries, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Friday.

      Regarding IT-related consumption, including communication services and e-commerce, the State Council said China will press ahead with the construction of network and telecommunication infrastructure and strive to issue 4G licenses by the end of this year.

      Efforts to boost consumption in the area also include widening Internet-based information services, piloting “smart city” schemes, boosting e-commerce, and increasing information securities.

      Through these plans, China aims to achieve an annual growth of over 20 percent in IT-related consumption for the 2013-2015 period, the State Council said.

      In the first five months of 2013, China consumed 1.38 trillion yuan (22.4 billion U.S. dollars) worth of IT-related products and services, up 19.8 percent year on year, data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has showed.

      Sub-anchor: China’s industrial structure optimized [CNETTV.cn via Xinhuanet, July 24, 2013]

      The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology held a press conference this morning — it’s about China’s industrial output in the first half of this year, and what’s being done to boost the IT industry.

      Let’s chat to our reporter Guan Xin — who has been following the press conference.

      Q2. IT industry is one of the strategic emerging industries, what initiatives can we expect?

      A: The Ministry says IT will become a new engine to boost China’s consumption, with explosive growth of IT services and products. The spokesman shared some figures this morning….revenue from mobile internet traffic grew some 57% in the first half. The e-commerce market reached a whopping 5.4 trillion yuan, growing 38.5%, and sales of smart phones and smart TVs, are up more than 25%. The Ministry is now working on new measures to further boost IT consumption…including IT infrastructure building, expanding IT products supply, and improving public services. And these new measures will come out soon.


      6. Country-wide 4G roll-out by year end 2013 after extensive trials

      China’s telecom firms reveal 4G strategies [ChinaDaily.com.cn via Xinhuanet, June 27, 2013]

      China’s three telecom operators have laid out their strategies on the development of fourth-generation, or 4G, mobile networks, as the official issuance of 4G licenses is expected to happen soon.

      China Mobile Ltd – the world’s biggest telecom operator by subscribers – has always been an aggressive promoter of the domestic Time Division-Long Term Evolution, or TD-LTE, 4G technology.

      Xi Guohua, its chairman, briefed the press on the company’s latest progress on TD-LTE network deployment at Shanghai’s Mobile Asia Expo on Wednesday.

      Xi said that China Mobile has built more than 22,000 4G base stations in 15 Chinese cities, but that it plans to set up 200,000 base stations in 100 cities by the year-end.

      However, the other two smaller Chinese telecom operators – China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd – have expressed their willingness to adopt the Frequency Division Duplex-Long Term Evolution, or FDD-LTE, technology, or at least to build a converged network under both standards.

      TD-LTE and FDD-LTE are the two major 4G international standards, but the latter has gained more popularity across the globe and has stronger industry support.

      Lu Yimin, general manager of China Unicom, said the company is conducting tests for 4G wireless networks with mixed technologies. It is the first time that China Unicom has admitted that it is actively preparing to launch 4G services.

      However, Lu added that because the Chinese government has not yet awarded the 4G licenses, China Unicom’s final strategy is still “uncertain.” Lu also made the remarks at Shanghai’s Mobile Asia Expo.

      Last weekend, Wang Xiaochu, China Telecom‘s chairman, confirmed that the company is stepping up efforts for its LTE network trials.

      “It’s inevitable (for China Telecom) to adopt a converged network, since the spectrum is at the core of every carrier’s resources,” Wang said.

      Even though Chinese authorities have not said exactly when they plan to issue the 4G licenses, industry experts expect the licenses to be awarded shortly.

      He Shiyou, executive vice-president of ZTE, expressed an optimistic view on TD-LTE’s prospects in China.

      “I think that all the three Chinese telecom carriers will get TD-LTE 4G licenses because the rich TD-LTE spectrum resources in China allow the government to do so,” he said.

      Shang Bing, vice-minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said the development of the TD-LTE technology has entered a fast-track phase.

      “The Chinese government will firmly support TD-LTE industry development, and help create a favorable policy and market environment,” he said on Wednesday.

      The moves by the three Chinese carriers will help to further back the development of 4G technology globally, said Anne Bouverot, director-general of the GSM Association, an industry alliance of mobile operators and related companies.

      “In general, what matters is not to have the absolutely best technology, but that everybody agrees to deploy it. That’s where you get the economy of scale, and get the equipment for networks and handsets to improve each time there is a new release,” she said.

      Analysts have said that LTE 4G technology will usher in a society much more connected and convenient for people.

      Jin Lee, senior managing director at Accenture’s mobility department in South Korea, said that LTE will provide speeds about 50 percent higher than current Wi-Fi networks.

      “Once consumers get to taste that speed, they will never go back,” Lee said.

      Related:
      5,000 city users to put 4G services to the test
      BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhuanet) — Long-awaited 4G services, which provide mobile users with Internet access 20 to 50 times faster than 3G network, make their debut in Shanghai next month when China Mobile begins large-scale trials, the carrier said yesterday.
      The trial in the world’s biggest mobile phone market indicates that the country is ready to adopt the most advanced mobile technology for more than a billion handset users, and create a billion-dollar market for telecommunications equipment and handsets. Full story
      4G market set to ignite hot competition
      BEIJING, March 25 (Xinhuanet) — Foreign telecom companies are keen to join China’s fourth generation (4G) mobile network deployment with the country looking likely to issue the relevant licenses as early as this year.
      Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei said the country is expected to award 4G licenses to domestic telecom operators by the end of 2013. Full story
      China expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister
      BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) — China is expected to start licensing telecom operators to offer services on its fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone network within 2013, a senior official has said.
      “China has made breakthroughs in R&D of 4G technologies, but is still facing restrictions in commercial use,” Miao Wei, minister of industry of information technology, said on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the country’s national legislature. Full story

      China likely to issue 4G licenses by year end [CRIENGLISH.com via ChinaDaily, July 26, 2013]

      Internet users in China are eagerly looking forward to ultra-fast 4G mobile Internet services.The anticipation has heated up following the government’s announcement that licenses tooperate such wireless system will be issued before the year’s end.

      At a 4G service center of China Mobile in Henan’s Zhengzhou city, customers are trying out the new service with high expectations for faster speeds and easier access.

      “I look forward very much to the availability of 4G service, which will be faster than the current3G network. But I’m not sure if it will be able to synchronize with televisions and other homeappliances.”

      “I hope it will be launched soon. I really want to experience it as soon as possible.”

      The fourth-generation wireless service is designed to deliver a speed four to ten times faster than today’s 3G system, the most widespread, high-speed wireless service at the moment.

      China Mobile, China’s largest cell phone provider, is now promoting a homegrown 4G standard and hopes to start commercial rollout soon.

      The core technologies are ready and the company has been ramping up installations of its base stations, which will be shared by both 3G and 4G networks.

      Li Xiaobang is an engineer with China Mobile.

      “We need to examine all the base stations currently used for 3G services, including the machine room and the roof, and carry out Long Term Evolution upgrade, either to F frequency band or to D frequency band, based on overall conditions of the base stations.”

      According to Li, the company is hoping to finish the work as soon as possible so people can use the new service once the 4G license is issued.

      The government says it will press ahead with building infrastructures and hopes to issue 4G licenses by the end of this year.

      There are 1.2-billion mobile phones in China, more than any other country in the world.

      New battle for 4G equipment market share [ChinaDaily, June 25, 2013]

      China Mobile Ltd has officially launched its largest tender ever for the construction of its fourthgeneration (4G) network in China, igniting a new battle among telecom gear makers for marketshare.

      On June 21, China Mobile, the world’s largest telecom operator by subscribers, posted an online tender saying it plans to purchase equipment for 207,000 4G base stations.

      That purchase means the number of China Mobile’s 4G base stations is likely to catch up with that of its 3G base stations soon.

      China Mobile is using the domestic Time Division-Long Term Evolution technology for its next-generation mobile network.

      Unlike its 3G tenders, China Mobile said it will not accept agent bidders or those who make allcritical equipment on an original equipment manufacturing basis.

      The Chinese telecom operator’s capital spending will jump 49 percent year-on-year to 190.2billion yuan ($30.5 billion) in 2013. More than half of the company’s network expenditure, or 42billion yuan, will go on 4G projects this year.

      Foreign and domestic telecoms equipment vendors have shown strong interest in ChinaMobile’s 4G network deployment.

      Yuan Xin, president of Alcatel-Lucent China, said he is very optimistic about achieving a satisfactory result in the third quarter, when China Mobile announces the final bidding results.

      “TD-LTE business will be the core foundation for Alcatel Lucent’s future development,” Yuan said at a Shanghai news conference on Monday. China’s 4G industry is about to take off, since the market environment for LTE development has matured, he said. “Based on our solid technology and 4G experience in and out of China, we are confident of performing well,” headded.

      Alcatel-Lucent had the largest share, or 14.5 percent, among foreign telecom gear makers during China Mobile’s first round of 4G tenders last year, according to research firm IHS iSuppli.

      The company is the major telecom equipment supplier for Verizon Communications Inc’s 4G network, which covers about 200 million subscribers in the United States.

      “We even dream of introducing TD-LTE technology to the US market, which follows the trendthat carriers worldwide want to make the best use of spectrum resources,” he said.

      Because foreign telecom equipment vendors achieved less than a 30 percent market share in total during the first round bidding of China Mobile’s TD-LTE tender, they seemed more anxious to improve their positions by grabbing bigger shares this time.

      “We are not satisfied with the results Ericsson achieved in China Mobile’s first-round 4G bidding last year,” said Mats H. Olsson, senior vice-president of Ericsson Asia-Pacific, duringthe 2013 Mobile World Congress held in Spain in February.

      “In the past Ericsson paid a lot of attention to countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea and mainly focused on the deployment of FDD-LTE networks. Now we have turned our sights on China and TD-LTE technology,” Olsson said.

      However, analysts argued that domestic rivals still hold advantages over foreign players. ChenPeng, analyst with China Merchants Securities Co Ltd, said he expected Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp to gain more than half of the share in China Mobile’s 4G bidding.

      image

      Guangxi to build wireless cities with 4G network [ChinaDaily Liuzhou Guangxi, June 25, 2013]

      The Guangxi branch of China Mobile, which is the world’s biggest telecom carrier, said it will start construction of a fourth-generation network in 14 cities in the autonomous region in the second half of this year in a bid to build high-speed “wireless cities”.

      Nanning, Liuzhou and Guilin are among the 14 cities, which will soon be covered in the 4G network in Guangxi. The 4G technology transmits data to wireless devices and has a theoretical speed as high as 100 Mbps.

      It takes a 2G network 16 hours to download a 1 gigabyte movie, while it takes a 3G network two hours to download the same movie. The 4G network can complete the download within two minutes.

      In addition, with the growing popularity of mobile phones, tablets and other wireless devices, 4G networks can effectively link people with each other and eventually build a convenient “wireless city”.

      A woman surnamed Lin, who works in the media sector, said she is looking forward to the 4G networks in Guangxi. “We often need to carry a laptop on business trips in order to send stories back to our headquarters. With the 4G network, I will be able to do it with my mobile phone in the near future,” she said.

      Though the 4G network is very high-end, the cost of using the network is even lower than 3G technology because 4G is a Chinese home grown technology.

      China Mobile has spread its 4G network in 13 cities in China, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, and it plans to include 100 cities into its 4G network by the end of 2013. With the completion of the project, China Mobile is expected to build the largest 4G network in the world, covering 500 million people.

      4G network covers Pingtan [ChinaDaily Pingtan Fujian, May 21, 2013]

      The city of Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, launched a fourth generation, or 4G, wireless Internet service on May 17, which was also World Telecommunication Day.

      The 4G network mainly covers the downtown area within Second Ring Road, the university zone, and the Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone, said the Strait News on Saturday.

      Fuzhou became a pilot city for 4G trial network in September 2012. After eight months of construction, it has built 1,138 base stations and carried out several rounds of signal upgrading.

      With the launch of the 4G network, residents in both Fuzhou and Pingtan will enjoy free high-speed Wi-Fi to play videos, surf the Internet, and start online video chats on their mobile phones.

      Telecom giants tap Internet potential [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, May 18, 2013]

      Chinese telecom operators have stepped up their efforts to boost their business through exploring online channels, since more people in the country prefer shopping on the Internet.

      On World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, which fell on Friday, Chinese mobile carriers launched different e-commerce campaigns to attract clients’ attentions.

      China Mobile Ltd, the nation’s biggest mobile carrier with 726 million subscribers, said that Friday was its first “Online Shopping Day” and offered favorable prices for people topping up accounts, purchasing mobile phones, or registering a telecom service plan.

      The operator, which suffered weak profit growth in the first quarter, said it has also developed an optional package, consisting of diversified telecom services, for customers to build up tailored telecom contracts.

      Xing Hongtao, an official from China Mobile’s market operation department, said that the new service was a bit like “going to a cafeteria, looking at the menu and choosing your favorite dishes”.

      Previously, the operators designed the service plans, but now it is up to customers to devise the contracts,” he said.

      China Mobile is the first telecom operator in the nation to deliver this kind of service. The company started a pilot of the optional package in 13 provinces in the second half of last year, which more than 8 million customers have signed up to so far.

      On Friday, China Mobile officially rolled out the service across the nation.

      China Mobile’s sales from e-commerce channels have grown rapidly in recent years, according to the company.

      By April, China Mobile had sold around 250,000 mobile phones per month on its website, an increase of 30 percent on the figure in January.

      Ma Jingxin, deputy general manager of China Mobile Terminal Co, said in an earlier interview with China Daily that the company aims to sell up to 30 percent of its customized mobile phones through e-commerce channels by 2015.

      China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd, the nation’s second-biggest telecom carrier, started building its e-commerce channels in 2007.

      The average daily sales on China Unicom’s online platform now surpass 150 million yuan ($24.4 million) and its daily user base is more than 10 million, according to Zong Xinhua, general manger of China Unicom’s e-commerce department.

      From May 17 to May 23, China Unicom plans to offer 10,000 smartphones at discounts to new telecom service subscribers.

      The growing number of Internet users in China, combined with the public’s growing acceptance of e-commerce, is driving online sales of mobile phones.

      “The most important reason for choosing a device online is because mobile phones are cheaper on the Web,” said Deng Kuibin, deputy general manager of SINO Market Research Co.


      7. From operator branded to white-box superphones supporting all that

      China Mobile launches own-brand smartphones [ChinaDaily via Xinhuanet, Aug 3, 2013]

      China Mobile Ltd officially entered the booming mobile terminal market on Friday as it unveiled its own-brand smartphone models.

      The China Mobile M701, a 5-inch screen Android-based smartphone equipped with MediaTek Inc’s 1.2-gigahertz quad-core processor, is priced at 1,299 yuan ($212). The China Mobile M601 is a 4-inch screen, dual-core Android smartphone that targets lower-end users with a price of 499 yuan.

      The two smartphones are produced by original equipment manufacturers, Hisense Group and Shenzhen-based BYD Co Ltd, respectively. They will hit the Chinese market through China Mobile’s online and offline outlets this month.

      Li Yue, chief executive officer of China Mobile, the world’s biggest telecom operator by subscribers, said the company has about 740 million customers.

      Li said those customers usually change their mobile phones every 23 months, so at least 300 million new mobile devices are needed every year.

      China’s mobile terminal industry has a very bright future,” Li said, during a Beijing news briefing on Friday.

      Analysts pointed out some additional implications for China Mobile’s smartphone launch.

      James Yan, an analyst with research firm IDC China, said China Mobile’s move aims to create a platform that seamlessly integrates its current mobile services, such as the instant messaging tool Fetion, and other mobile applications.

      “Chinese mobile carriers hope to decrease the risks of being a ‘dumb pipe’ and to relieve the pressure from Internet companies’ challenges,” Yan said.

      Lingxi, the Chinese version of Apple Inc’s Siri service, will be installed on the new China Mobile smartphones. A year ago, China Mobile struck a $214 million deal to acquire a 15 percent stake in Anhui USTC iFlytek Co Ltd, a Chinese company that develops software and apps related to voice input services.

      “Lingxi is a highlight of China Mobile smartphones,” said Li Lin, a marketing manager with iFlytek. Compared with Siri, Lingxi is more localized and has partnered with third-party service providers such as Dianping.com and douban.com to offer helpful daily living information for customers, Li said.

      “You can ask Lingxi to make a phone call, send a text message or find a nearby restaurant,” Li explained.

      The other benefit for China Mobile in its launch of own-brand smartphones is that it helps the carrier to expand and strengthen coverage in county-level markets.

      In tier five, tier six cities, which most mobile phone companies fail to reach, China Mobile can successfully sell smartphones through its powerful distribution channels,” Yan from IDC said. Those areas are usually remote from bustling cities and have less intense market competition, he said.

      Kevin Wang, an analyst with the research firm IHS iSuppli, said China Mobile’s move will help reinforce its branding, but he said that he doubted the smartphone business will be a major revenue driver for the company.

      Foreign telecom operators such as AT&T and Vodafone have offered own-brand products for many years, but the own-brand smartphone proportion they sell is still small,” Wang said.

      China white-box vendor introduces ultra-thin smartphone [DIGITIMES, July 3, 2013]

      China-based white-box smartphone vendor UMeox Mobile has joined the world’s ultra-thin smartphone market by introducing its UMeox X5, which has a thickness of only 5.6mm.

      The Umeox X5 is equipped with a 5.3-inch touchscreen and is powered by a dual-core processor set on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 3-megapixel front camera.

      The UMeox X5 comes less than a month after fellow company Huawei unveiled on June 18 its ultra-thin model, the Ascend P6, which the vendor claimed to be the world’s slimmest smartphone at 6.18mm during a launch event. The Ascend P6 has a 4.7-inch 1280 by 720 in-cell display and is powered by a HiSilicon 1.5GHz quad-core K3V2E processor.

      In China, the ultra-thin segment was previously dominated by branded players including Huawei, ZTE and Oppo; the entry of white-box vendors will eventually heat up the competition in the sector, said industry watchers.


      April 13, 2013 Report:

      Digitimes Research: Smartphone sales to reach 329 million in China in 2013 [DIGITIMES Research, March 18, 2013]

      There will be 329 million smartphones sold in the China market in 2013, hiking 67.0% from 2012 due to large growth in the total number of 3G subscribers, while sales of feature phones will drop 39.9% to 146 million units, according to Digitimes Research.

      The 2013 sales of smartphones will consist of 110 million TD-SCDMA models [88M till end of 2012 in total !!!], increasing 155.8% from 2012, 77 million WCDMA models [76.5M till end of 2012 in total !!!], up 45.3%, 67 million CDMA models [80M till end of 2012 in total !!!], up 59.5% and 75 million EDGE models, up 27.1%.

      The average production cost of entry-level smartphones will decrease from US$35 in the fourth quarter of 2012, to US$31 in the first quarter of 2013, according to Digitimes Research.

      Here is the monthly change trend for the current situation according to operators’ company data:

      image

      So 2013 indeed will be quite a different year, especially for the biggest by far operator China Mobile (having the world’s largest customer base which is 64% of the market in terms of the overall number of 1.11 billion Chinese subscribers there), with new 3G subscribers to be added greatly exceeding even the total number of 3G subscribers accumulated so far over the last 4 years (since February 2009, precisely):

      China Mobile aims to sell 100-120 million TD-SCDMA handsets in 2013 [DIGITIMES, March 15, 2013]
      China Mobile, the only TD-SCDMA mobile telecom carrier in China, aims to sell 100-120 million TD-SCDMA handsets in 2013, 80% of which will be smartphones, according to company president Li Yue.
      China Mobile saw the total number of TD-SCDMA subscribers increase by 36.72 million in 2012 to 87.93 million at the end of the year, China-based sina.tech.com indicated. There were 242 models of TD-SCDMA handsets, including 138 smartphones, launched in the China market in 2012 and the total sales volume stood at 56 million units, of which more than 60% were smartphones, sina.tech.com pointed out.
      China Mobile spent CNY23.8 billion (US$3.77 billion) to subsidize purchases of TD-SCDMA handsets bundled with contracts in 2012, and has set aside a budget of CNY27.0 billion for 2013, the company indicated.
      image
      source: 2012 Annual Results presentation [China Mobile, March 14, 2013]

      So a dramatic change will be not only for 3G but for 4G/LTE as well:
      China Mobile 2013 capex increases 49% on year [DIGITIMES, March 14, 2013]

      China Mobile, one of the biggest telecom carriers in China, reported 2012 total revenues of CNY560.4 billion (US$90 billion, up 6.1% on year. Net profits were CNY129.3 billion, representing an on-year increase of 2.7%, said the firm. China Mobile reported that 2013 capex will reach CNY190.2 billion, an on-year growth of 49.29% compared to CNY127.4 billion in 2012.
      In particular, the capex for 4G networks will be CNY41.7 billion in 2013. The capex is for investments regarding 200,000 TD-LTE base stations. However, currently, TD-LTE service coverage is only 35-40%, and according to company CEO Li Yue, if the firm pushes TD-LTE service coverage to 90%, another CNY40 billion needs to be invested. China Mobile currently has no schedule for this type of investment.
      China Mobile currently has 710 million users with 87.93 million being 3G users, a relatively low 3G service penetration rate. According to China Mobile chairman Xi Guo-hua, the firm’s sales of handsets in 2013 will reach around 100-120 million units and 80% will be smartphones.
      In addition, China Mobile has been seeing strong growth in the usage of mobile networking among users. According to the firm, 2012 usage increased 187.6% on year and revenues from mobile networking services increased 53.6% on year, accounting for 12.2% of total revenues.

      China Mobile to build world’s largest 4G network [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]

      China Mobile announced on Tuesday that it plans to deploy the world’s biggest 4G LTE network in China this year, covering more than a billion people. During a keynote speech at the Global TD-LTE Initiative summit in Barcelona, the vice-chairman of China Mobile said homegrown TD-LTE technology is gaining popularity across the world as the industry matures, and the company will build the world’s biggest 4G network this year.
      image
      source: 2012 Annual Results presentation [China Mobile, March 14, 2013] 
      Note that GTI stands for the Global TD-LTE Initiative

      China Mobile launched 100 cities 1 million terminals-covered 4G plan to create world’s largest 4G network [GTI News, March 8, 2013]

      On February 26th, Mr. Xi Guohua, Chairman of China Mobile announced China Mobile’s new 4G plan at the Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC) in Barcelona that China Mobile will build the world’s largest 4G network covering over 100 cities in China and purchase more than 1 million 4G terminals by this year.
      Since GTI announced the GTI Plan & Actions that was initiated to construct over 500,000 TD-LTE base stations in 2014 covering over 2 billion population, global commercialization of TD-LTE has seen a great leap forward. At present, TD-LTE has set up a complete end-to-end industry chain involving widespread participation of global industries and highly mature products. Significant progress has also made in terms of chips. In addition, the scale of TD-LTE commercial networks and user base has been enlarged to a large extent. The capability of LTE global roaming has also been proven.
      Mr. Xi Guohua expressed in his opening address, “TD-LTE technology and industry have been mature enough for large-scale development. China Mobile will scale up the construction of trial network to create the largest LTE network in the world. Besides, China Mobile will purchase more than one million units of TD-LTE terminals, with a hope to promote TD-LTE multi-mode multi-band terminal to reach 3G standard as soon as possible and lay a good foundation for its complete commercialization.
      It was reported that China Mobile, as a leader and main driving force for the global deployment of TD-LTE, has built pilot TD-LTE networks in 15 cities across China, among which the networks in Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Guangzhou have achieved full coverage in main districts. China Mobile also launched diversified TD-LTE trial commercial services, receiving high praise from consumers. According to this latest released program, China Mobile’s TD-LTE network will cover all the prefecture-level cities and above with over 200,000 base stations covering more than 500 million population, which will be the largest 4G network in the world.
      Dynamic development in the field of TD-LTE terminals has also been seen. At the summit, China Mobile and its industry partners, including Huaiwei, ZTE, Samsung, HTC and LG, jointly launched 5 models of TD-LTE multi-mode multi-band smart phones. Remarkably, China Mobile also released 3 eye-catching independently branded MiFi [wireless router that acts as a mobile WiFi hotspot, the abbreviation stands for “My Wi-Fi”] products. With the joint efforts by global chip vendors, the technologies for TD-LTE multi-mode multi-band smart phones are getting mature increasingly. It is estimated that booming development of TD-LTE terminals will be realized in a diversified, large-scale manner in the coming two years. Beside high-end mobile phones, middle and low end mobile phones will enter into the market. This will provide consumers with enriched choices while allowing seamless global roaming.
      In pace with further promotion in the fields of commercial network deployment, multi-mode multi-band terminals, global roaming test and commercialization as well as the application of automotive consumer electronics, 2013 will be a key year for the global deployment and large-scale development of TD-LTE.

      China Mobile to procure TD-LTE devices from Huawei, ZTE, Samsung [DIGITIMES, March 19, 2013]

      China Mobile, the only TD-SCDMA mobile telecom carrier in China, will procure TD-LTE terminal devices from Huawei Technologies, ZTE, and Samsung Electronics, and will offer two own-brand Mi-Fi models, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

      China Mobile will procure Huawei Mi-Fi model E5375, ZTE Mi-Fi model MF91S and offer own-brand CM510 and CM512. It will procure Huawei’s Ascend D2-TL smartphone, Samsung’s Galaxy I9308D smartphone and ZTE’s network interface card MF820T. These devices support TD-LTE, FDD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and GSM standards and 10 frequency bands.

      CM512 will be produced by Tech-Full (Changshu) Computer, a China-based subsidiary of Quanta Computer.

      China Mobile has launched a 4G network trial in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, with signal coverage over 30% of the population. This marks a further step in the network being fully operational. “4G, Life-Changing Experience.” The importance of the new data network to China Mobile has two meanings. First, it is the only 4G network in China, giving China Mobile an obvious lead over the other two telecom giants. Second, the 4G network, TD LTE, designed and developed by China, strengthens the country’s place in the field of information technology. Sun Lian, planning & development manager of China Mobile Guangdong, said:”The 4G network developed by China can have an impact beyond the whole telecom industry. It brings opportunities for electronics and mircro-chip companies, online service and content providers. It could change our entire experience of the information service.” But it is never easy to tap into new markets. China launched its own 3G network, the TD SCDMA in 2009, but even standing on the shoulder of this telecom giant, its development was anything but smooth sailing. It is incompatible with other 3G networks in the world, and users cannot choose carriers outside China Mobile. This time, the telecom giant has vowed not to make the same mistake. Yang Wenbin, engineer of China Mobile R&D Center, said:”There are currently two kinds of 4G network, the TD LTE network in China, and the FDD LTE network already adopted by some countries. Many of the communication protocols they use is the same, therefore it is easier to achieve compatibility on software level, without making tweaks on the hardware.” The 4th Generation network is marked by its high speed. On the launch of the trial, the top download speed could reach around 80 megabytes per second. The speed of the 4G network is amazing, it can download several gigabytes of contents in just a few minutes. But unless you have an unlimited download plan, this could also mean a very heavy telephone bill. For those not using the monthly package, the current price for 3G usage is 1 yuan per megabyte. This means downloading a movie will cost over 500 yuan on average, or about $80 US dollars. So knowing what kind of package comes with the 4G network is key for customers. A customer in Guangzhou said:”Of course I look forward to a faster network, but I hope it won’t be too expensive.” A customer in Guangzhou said:”On my current data plan, the cost of the 3G network is acceptable. I hope the 4G network won’t be more expensive than the 3G network.” A retail store manager of China Mobile Guangdong said:”We are now offering more data plans and discount packages to meet the growing demand. And along with the 4G network, we will also have many discounts to encourage users to switch to faster services.”

      China Mobile: 4G licensing expected by year-end [China Daily, March 13, 2013]

      The chairman of China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier by subscriber base, says the rollout of4G technology in the country is just around corner. Speaking on the sidelines of the on-going two sessions, Xi Guohua, a CPPCC member, also said that the carrier is extending a trial of 4G networks
      <embedded video worth to watch>
      According to China Mobile, the fourth generation technology offers 10 times bigger bandwidthand 10 times transmission speed than its 3G predecessor. The operator plans to build more than 200,000 4G base stations. The network, when completed, will be the largest of its kind worldwide, and will cover a population of more than 500 million.
      Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile, said, “We will further expand the current trial on a large scale network. We plan to build 4G base stations in 100 cities, and purchase 1 million terminals.”
      Xi also expects the government to issue its fourth generation license before the end of thisyear.
      Xi said, “The timing of licensing should be in line with technological development. I think it is appropriate to do that by the end of this year.”
      China Mobile started its large-scale 4G trial last year. Industry insiders say if commercialized, the new technology will give a major boost to every part of China’s telecommunications industry.

      China to lead mobile payment technology [NFC] [CCTV News via GoUTube123 YouTube channel, Feb 27, 2013]

      Smartphones may soon replace cash and credit cards. Constantino de Miguel reports from the Mobile World Congress, China is poised to be the leader in this technology. Just like motorists who pay tolls electronically, consumers the world over may soon be paying on-the-go at any shop, using smartphones or tablets. Mobile devices will be our wallets thanks to a technology called “near field communications”, or NFC. China is expected to lead mobile payments since it already has the largest network of credit cards.

      Commercializing 4G in China needs 1 yr: minister [China Daily, March 15, 2013]

      With the third-generation communication network flourishing in China, consumers are eager to know when they will be able to start using the next generation’s network, 4G. On the sidelines of the NPC sessions, the Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei,said that the large-scale commercialization of 4G is currently in a testing phase, but that the network coverage still has a long way to go.
      <embedded video worth to watch>
      Miao Wei, Minister of China Ministry of Industry & IT, said, “Some factors are blocking the 4G development. First is the network. At the moment, even the 3G network is not fully received in many places across China, as it always drops to 2G due to poor network coverage. We have to speed up the installation of coverage technology so as to realize the smooth switching between 3G and 4G. Licenses will still be given to China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. 4G will first be commercialized in six pilot cities as the network coverage will be available there. But it needs at least one year to commercialize it across the country.”

      FRANCE 24 Report : Chinese smartphone brands take bite out of APPLE [france24english YouTube channel, Feb 18, 2013]

      Global technology heavyweights are eager to make inroads into China, the world’s biggest smartphone market. Yet local brands like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Coolpad, Huawei are putting up stiff resistance, selling phones for around half the price of their larger competitors. They’ve even beaten the iPhone into fourth place in rankings of Chinese smartphone sales… and now they’re setting their sights on foreign customers too.

      Rise of Chinese smartphones [CNNInternational YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]

      Fortune magazine writer Michal Lev-Ram examines the rise of Chinese smartphones.

      Mike Walsh on Global Innovation [cmispeakers YouTube channel, Feb 5, 2013]

      86% of the worldwide web comes from global markets…only 14% from the US…learn about China’s ‘Shanzhai’ innovation on cloned phone technology.

      China Smartphone Sector [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]

      A specific growth opportunity within China
      The Chinese market is a critical market for the local branded Chinese smartphone brands, whitebox and chipset suppliers into that channel. Overall market growth is poised to continue, driven by a significant step-up in subsidies of sub-Rmb1,000 smartphones from Chinese brands and much better low-cost handset availability and quality.
      The market is also a key market not dominated by the traditional Tier 1 brands, with feature phones traditionally 60% served by whitebox and local brands. The initial ramp of smartphones was dominated by the traditional global Tier 1s at 70% share in 2011. In 2012, however, this market made a marked turn and is now only 36% supplied by Tier 1s, 35% by the Top 4 Chinese brands (Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad), and 29% by the whitebox and Tier 2 Chinese brands. The key shift was substantial lowering of entry barriers due to higher quality chipset reference designs, better availability of components (panels, touch, image sensors, low cost mobile DRAM) and a stable Android platform.
      The availability of these smartphones has already prompted a substantial rise in smartphone penetration of device purchases, from 17% of units in 2011 (78 mn smartphones out of 458 mn handset sales) to 38% of units in 2012 (197 mn of 512 mn handset sales). By 2015, we model in our global forecast 421 mn of 570 mn handset sales (74% of device units). The export channel has taken off a bit slower, with penetration in emerging markets increasing YoY from 16% to 23% in 2012 and projected to reach 54% in 2015 (619 mn of 1.13 bn devices), a potential area of further upside.
      Based on rising affordability and quality continuing to improve, we expect the Chinese smartphone market to grow from 197mn units in 2012 to 421mn in 2015, with 30% from tier one’s, 33% from the top Chinese brands and 37% from other brands.
      We note that the whitebox and other brands can expand as Tier 2 brands (Hisense, BBK, Oppo, Gionee, Tianyu/K-Touch, TCL, Xiaomi) become household names in China and emerging markets and the quality of clone Galaxy and iPhones improve with better touch, quad core and sweeter flavours of Android versions.

      Chinese Smartphones [FinancialTimesVideos YouTube channel, April 5, 2012]

      http://www.FT.com/ The popularity of smartphones is causing a fundamental shift in the handset market in China. The FT’s Kathrin Hille visits Shenzhen in southern China to discover where the mobile phone industry is heading.

      Chinese smartphones going big [CCTV News via the GoUTube123 YouTube channel, July 11, 2012]

      Last year 488 million smart phones were sold worldwide. That’s nearly two thirds more than 2010. The smart phone industry has quickly become so hot that many investors feel that they must get in on the action, and in China they’re doing it fast.

      Handset Industry 2013 Outlook [Asia Pacific/China Equity Research, Credit Suisse, Jan 7, 2013]

      Increased push towards lower end smartphones. One of the common themes emerging out of all three carriers in China is the increased push toward bringing down smartphone price points. During 2011, the focus had been on launching smartphones priced at around Rmb1,000 with a number of product introductions in that price range. For 2012, the target seems to be to further price point reductions.
      • China Mobile noted that out of 166 smartphone models it offered during mid-2012, 126 of them are being sold at a price point of around Rmb1,000 (or US$150), with the company already working towards launching smartphones priced at Rmb500.

      • China Unicom highlighted that after having successfully launched a series of Rmb1,000 smartphones in 2011, it has been working on to introduce smartphones priced at Rmb700 (US$ 100) or below during 2012.
      • China Telecom had an offering of around 240 models for smartphones in mid-2012, compared to only 100/200 models at the end of 2010/2011. Further, the carrier sold 16mn smartphone devices in 1H12 compared to 17mn in 2011 (up 2x yoy).

      And the Chinese industry and supply chain positions are even better in the tablet ecosystem space as well described in my spinoff blog:

      SED Electronics Market (Tablets Market) in Shenzhen walk-through [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]

      Here’s my latest steadicam/GH3 walk through the SED Electronics Market in Shenzhen, that building is my favorite in the Shenzhen Huaqiangbei Electronics market area. This is where you can find all the tablets, HDMI sticks and tablet accessories.

      Allwinner A31 9.7″ Retina factory tour at Celeb Tech [Charbax YouTube channel, March 17, 2013]

      Here is a tour of the Celeb Tech factory in Shenzhen China. This is their touchpanel [TP] assembly line, they also have a more general tablet assembly factory in another part of Shenzhen (Dongguan) which I may go to and film at the next time I visit Shenzhen. They are in full swing producing the pretty awesome 9.7″ Retina Allwinner A31 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 tablet that sells at some pretty amazing prices on the Chinese market.

       


      More information

      This getting even more interesting as the quite dramatic by itself introductory information is only one of the reasons (more will follow below) why we can say that China is the epicenter of the mobile Internet world, so of the next-gen HTML5 web … even if such a power of influence is too new for the country to be able to exercise that to a greater degree (yet): China Knocks Off U.S. to Become World’s Top Smart Device Market [Peter Farago on the Flurry blog, Feb 18, 2013]

      SmartDevice InstalledBase China vs US Feb2013 resized 600

      Nevertheless the collection given below in the ‘Background’ section is showing that potential. Just look at the major headlines in that section:

      China becomes world’s top smartphone producer China’s e-commerce revenue hits over 1 trillion yuan in 2012: minister China’s top microblog site boasts 500 mln users
      China expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister Preparing for a 4G network across China ZTE leads in 4G wireless networks
      EU telecom demands raise tensions with China China has till June for solar, telecoms trade deal: EU China’s mobile phone users reach 1.11 bln
      China market: Samsung takes up 22.5% of 2012 smartphone sales, says iiMedia Research Smart phones cover 70 pct of mobile market: report Android powers a third of all mobile phones shipped in 4Q12, says Canalys
      Google controls too much of China’s smartphone sector: ministry Too late for China to develop own mobile operating systems, say Taiwan makers China handset makers hope to reduce reliance on Android
      China to modify plan to open up mobile telecom sector 4M[bps] broadband to cover 70 percent of Chinese users in 2013 Broadband network expansion in the pipeline
      China Unicom’s 3G
      [W-CDMA] subscribers hit 76.46 mln
         

      For the mobile Internet world, and consequently for the next-gen HTML5 web there is still a huge untapped potential in China, especially for the far the biggest network operator, China Mobile:

      image

      China Mobile’s untapped potential in the 3G space is even greater than that of other two operators as from Q4’11 to Q2’12 it was operating at much lower quarterly growth rate of 3G penetration than its bigest domestic rival, China Unicom (see the chart in the middle). In fact during the last 2 years both China Unicom (W-CDMA) and China Telecom (CDMA) had a consistently faster growth of 3G subscribers than China Mobile (TD-SCDMA) as well illustrated by the first chart on the top. In fact the resulting 3G penetration rates by the end of the period (Q4’12) speak for themselves:
      – China Mobile (TD-SCDMA): 12.4% (vs. 3.5% in Q4’10)
      – China Unicom (W-CDMA): 32% (vs. 8.4% in Q4’10)
      – China Telecom (CDMA): 43% (vs. 13.6% in Q4’10)

      The major reason for China Mobile’s significant underperformance between 2010 and 2012 is related to all the difficulties related to the stubborn attempt to deliver a completely homegrown solution in the 3G space, 100% of China’s own, end-to-end: TD-SCDMA, SoCs, operating system, services etc.

      1. TD-SCDMA defined and developed totally independent of the Qualcomm driven CDMA  and the Europe driven W-CDMA (including HSPA) which both had broad involvement of all kind of interested parties, especially the final 3G+ winner W-CDMA (including HSPA). This is well expressed by the following technology adoption chart (which includes forecast for the recently launched 4G LTE as well):

        From: Report: LTE Connections To Hit 90 Million By Year’s End, 1 Billion By 2017 [TechCrunch, May 17, 2012], i.e. LTE was in its 3d year in 2012
      2. China Mobile, as a SOE (State Owned Company, see SOEs and state coexistence in China [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 19, 2011]) with only 25.82% of shares not in the state hands as of 31 December 2011, got full support of the state via different financial means and other TD-SCDMA related companies of the state as well. See China Mobile repositioning for TD-LTE with full content and application aggregation services, 3G [HSPA level] is to create momentum for that [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 18, 2011]. China Mobile awards 12 companies TD-SCDMA research grants [May 17, 2009] and  China Mobile Reveals TD-SCDMA Handset Subsidy Bidding Results [May 17, 2009] there are particulary revealing such efforts in the very beginning.

        There was no lack of resources for everything, despite of doing it all alone, nevertheless it took no less than 3 years from the TD-SCDMA launch to have a workable plan which resulted just in the end of the fourth year in the significantly improved results of greater quarterly TD-SCDMA penetration growth of 14.4% in Q4’12 Q vs. 13.2% in Q1’12, 10% in Q2’12 and 10.2% in Q3’12. The plan was TD-SCDMA: US$3B into the network (by the end of 2012) and 6 million phones procured (just in October) [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Oct 18, 2011] and the Q4’12 result is quite visible in the penetration growth rate jump (copied here as well for convenience):

        image

      3. It was clearly identified from the very beginning that SoCs would be needed from several sources. China Mobile was getting that quite early from local  chip design houses Spreadtrum and Leadcore as well as from ST-Ericsson, MediaTek and Marvell coming from outside (see Marvell beaten by Chinese chipmakers in sub 1,000 yuan handset procurement tender of China Mobile [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 15, 2010] and Marvell’s single chip TD-SCDMA solutions beaten (again) by two-chip solutions of Chinese vendors [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 11, 2011]). Despite of Marvell’s very strong and early 2008 commitment to capitalise on the TD-SCDMA opportunity only, even strengthening that with Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 8, 2011] and ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” dominance [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 8, 2011], it was much more later that there were First real chances for Marvell on the tablet and smartphone fronts [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Aug 21, 2011].

        Then, in fact, rather its long-time local competitor gained the upper hand with World’s lowest cost, US$40-50 Android smartphones — sub-$100 retail — are enabled by Spreadtrum [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 11, 2011] which was already at the time of  China becoming the lead market for mobile Internet in 2012/13 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Dec 1, 2011] and The new, high-volume market in China is ready to define the 2012 smartphone war [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 6, 2012]. In the end not Marvell but Spreadtrum exploited best the tremendous volume opportunities when it was possible to state that Lowest H2’12 device cost SoCs from Spreadtrum will redefine the entry level smartphone and feature phone markets [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 26 – Nov 9, 2012] as the 2.5G only $48 Mogu M0 “peoplephone”, i.e. an Android smartphone for everybody to hit the Chinese market on November 15 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 9, 2012] arrived. And the increase in the number of TD-SCDMA subscribers was still not that much more: 12.3 million in Q4’12 vs. 8.5 million in Q3’12.

        So Spreadtrum’s H2’12 success came much more from its extremely low-cost with 2.5G+WiFi (SC6820) capability than from the one which included as well  the TD-SCDMA capability. This also means that for our final word about the maturity of the TD-SCDMA technology stack from the network basestations through the TD-SCDMA SoCs we will able to say just in 2013, after similar kind, or even higher, increases in the number of TD-SCDMA subscriber additions would indeed be reported by China Mobile. The findings of the market research panels published just last week are well supporting this reasoning (see the full press release much more below of the excerpts included here):

        Wi-Fi is the Data Beast of Burden among Smartphone Panelists [Arbitron press release via PRNewswire, March 4, 2013]

        … Even as carriers aggressively promote their newest generation of cellular data networking, the Arbitron smartphone panelists in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and China, still consume nearly two thirds of their mobile data through public and private Wi-Fi networks. …

        … China and France have the lightest users of mobile data … However, their respective share of Wi-Fi networks as a data source stands at a polar opposite. China panelists consume the largest share—70 percent—on Wi-Fi networks. French panelists, consume the smallest share—53 percent—of mobile data on Wi-Fi. …

        This means that the Chinese were well satisfied with their less costly 2.5G mobile connections for less data consuming tasks, while for most consuming ones the great majority of them were relying on the Wi-Fi networks available to them in the various hotspots and at home (probably at the workplace as well). Considering that along with the 4G/LTE there is the upcoming 5G WiFi with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac Miracast™ from Broadcom for streaming content to UHD (4K) TVs as well [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 3, 2013] this situation will not change in the future either, definitely not in the much more cost-concious Chinese market (see: China: going either for good quality commodities or the premium brands only [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 21, 2012]).

      4.  Wi-Fi is the Data Beast of Burden among Smartphone Panelists [Arbitron press release via PRNewswire, March 4, 2013]
      How much mobile data Arbitron smartphone panelists consume varies by country and mobile platform
      Wi-Fi® remains the leading data network for on-the-go data consumption in the five leading Arbitron Mobile-based smartphone panels.
      Even as carriers aggressively promote their newest generation of cellular data networking, the Arbitron smartphone panelists in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and China, still consume nearly two thirds of their mobile data through public and private Wi-Fi networks.
      Wi-Fi Data Consumption by Arbitron Mobile-based Smartphone Panelists
      Sorted by average mobile data consumption per month (cellular +Wi-Fi)
       
      % via
      Wi-Fi
      Cell + Wi-Fi Data
      MB/User/Month
      % of panelists
      > 1,000 MB/month
      U.S.
      61%
      1,496
      49%
      U.K.
      69%
      1,181
      37%
      Germany
      63%
      861
      37%
      France
      53%
      730
      24%
      China*
      70%
      719
      25%
      Source: Arbitron Mobile Index: Executive Summary Reports, 4th quarter 2012
      * Operated by iResearch using Arbitron Mobile technology

      The United States and United Kingdom have the heaviest users of mobile data in their Arbitron smartphone panels. A substantial share of the data consumption—61 and 69 percent respectively—relies on Wi-Fi networks.
      China and France have the lightest users of mobile data in their Arbitron Mobile-based smartphone panels, both in terms of the average monthly data consumed and the share of the panel who consume more the 1,000 MB a month. However, their respective share of Wi-Fi networks as a data source stands at a polar opposite.
      China panelists consume the largest share—70 percent—on Wi-Fi networks.  French panelists, consume the smallest share—53 percent—of mobile data on Wi-Fi.
      In all five of the Arbitron Mobile panels, Apple iOS users are heaviest consumers of mobile data and are the heaviest users of Wi-Fi for their on-the-go data needs.
      Data Consumption by Leading Mobile Operating Systems
      Sorted by average mobile data consumption per month (cellular +Wi-Fi) on iOS
      Apple iOS
      Android
       
      MB/User
      /Month
      % via
      Wi-Fi
      MB/User
      /Month
      % via
      Wi-Fi
      U.S.
      2,512
      66%
      821
      57%
      U.K.
      2,216
      80%
      740
      64%
      China*
      1,636
      81%
      347
      65%
      France
      1,527
      70%
      635
      52%
      Germany
      1,203
      71%
      566
      56%
      Source: Arbitron Mobile Index — Executive Summary Reports, 4th quarter 2012
      * Operated by iResearch using Arbitron Mobile technology

      Apple iOS was the predominant operating system among the heavy data users in these five smartphone panels.  Seventy-two percent of iOS users in the U.S. and German panel were in 1,000+ MB/month club; in the U.K., 76 percent, and in China 60 percent. In stark contrast, only 29 percent of the iOS users in the France panel consumed more than 1,000 MB/month in the fourth quarter 2012.
      About iResearch Consulting
      iResearch Consulting, founded 2002, is the leading consulting and media measurement company in the Internet industry in China. With more than 200 employees, iResearch, headquartered in Shanghai, has been at the forefront of Chinese Internet measurement and operates a currency Internet audience rating service for China.
      About Arbitron Mobile
      Arbitron Mobile Oy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arbitron Inc., uses a proprietary, on-device software meter to provide marketers, the media, content providers, app developers, and wireless access suppliers with information on how mobile consumers use apps, surf the web, engage in social media, participate in e-commerce, and employ their devices to communicate.
      For more information, visit www.arbitronmobile.com or contact mobile@arbitron.com.
      About Arbitron
      Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is an international media and marketing research firm serving the media—radio, television, cable and out-of-home; the mobile industry as well as advertising agencies and advertisers around the world.  For more information, visit www.arbitron.com.
      Wi-Fi® is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

      Background

      China becomes world’s top smartphone producer [Xinhua, Jan 16, 2013]

      Chinese shipments of smartphones totaled 224 million units in 2012, making the country the world’s largest smartphone producer, official data showed Wednesday.
      In 2012, over 730,000 Chinese apps were launched on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad platforms, and the number of apps in China Mobile’s online Mobile Market approached 150,000, according to a statement from the China Academy of Telecommunication Research under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
      Beijing-based research firm Analysys International predicted that China’s mobile Internet market will reach 429.6 billion yuan (68.19 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015.
      China added 50.9 million Internet users in 2012, bringing the total to 564 million at the end of last year, according to data released Tuesday by the China Internet Network Information Center.
      The number of mobile Internet users increased 18.1 percent to 420 million, with mobile phones becoming the primary channel for using the Internet in China.

      More information:
      Huawei challenges Apple, Samsung with world’s biggest smartphone [Xinhua, Jan 7, 2013]
      Lenovo seeks top smartphone spot [in China] [China Daily via Xinhuanet, Jan 5, 2013]

      China’s ZTE unveils latest Android smartphone in Indonesia [Xinhua, Dec 19, 2012]
      Smartphones give family ties the busy signal [Xinhua, Oct 18, 2012]
      Smartphones in use top 1 bln worldwide: report [Xinhua, Oct 17, 2012]

      The number of smartphones in use in the world has risen to over 1 billion, 16 years after they were first put into market, report from Strategy Analytics showed on Wednesday.
      According to the third quarter figures released by the research firm, the number of smartphones in use increased by around 330 million from the third quarter of 2011 and by 79 million from the second quarter of this year.
      Executive Director at Strategics Analytics Neil Mawston said one in seven people in the world now has a smartphone.
      Mawston pointed out that there will be more smartphone penetration in the future because of the “huge scope for future growth, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa.”
      It is calculated that although 16 years were needed for the first billion smartphones to come into use, it will need just three years for that number to double to 2 billion.

      China’s e-commerce revenue hits over 1 trillion yuan in 2012: minister [Xinhua, March 8, 2013]

      China’s booming online commerce industry is expected to reap more than 1.1 trillion yuan (about 175 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue in 2012, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said on Friday.
      “The total revenue of online commerce is estimated to be around 1.1 trillion yuan (about 175 billion U.S. dollars) to 1.2 trillion in 2012,” said Chen, noting that the exact figure was not available.
      China’s online commerce has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with its total revenue expanding from 25.8 billion yuan in 2006 to 780 billion in 2011, the commerce minister told a press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing national legislature.
      “Online shopping is changing people’s way of life and consumption, taking advantage of the huge potential of China’s industrialization and urbanization,” Chen said.
      The commerce minister said the growth dwarfed that of many western countries, attributing to the fact that China’s commerce industry was not as developed in the first place, and online shopping could serve to reduce the cost of logistics by a huge margin.

      More information:
      Chinese booming e-commerce nibbles traditional retailers [Xinhuanet, Feb 18, 2013] with internal headlines: online business booms + traditional retail industry threatened
      Conference updated on China’s regulation of e-commerce [Xinhua, Nov 27, 2012]
      Securing China’s e-commerce growth [Jeff Liao, country manager of Visa China on Xinhuanet, Nov 20, 2012]

      Between June 2011 and 2012, China’s Internet population reached 538 million, of which some 194 million had shopped online. Online retail sales in China have soared in recent years and are expected to hit 360 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 – up from about 121 billion dollars in 2011 – according to The Boston Consulting Group.
      Impressive as the numbers are, there’s another set of statistics that’s even more striking: Nearly one-third of the online shoppers in China fell prey to fraudulent websites during that period, costing them 4.7 billion dollars, according to the China Electronic Commerce Association.
      <quite worth to read after that>

      China’s top microblog site boasts 500 mln users [Xinhua, Feb 20, 2013]

      Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, had attracted over 500 million users by the end of 2012, a year-on-year increase of 74 percent, Sina Corp. announced on Wednesday.
      Sina Weibo’s active daily users have exceeded 46.2 million, the company said.
      The site’s revenues totaled 66 million U.S. dollars in 2012, of which 23 percent came from surging income from value-added services.
      The other 77 percent came from advertising, the revenues of which exceeded 50 million U.S. dollars.
      The company plans to further improve its user experience and expand its services while veering its focus to mobile Internet, said Cao Guowei, CEO and president of Sina.
      Some 75 percent of Sina Weibo’s active users log in using mobile devices.
      Sina also issued financial reports for the last quarter and full fiscal year of 2012 on Wednesday, showing that its net revenues hit 529.3 million U.S. dollars with a year-on-year increase of 10 percent.

      Web China: Xi Jinping fan microblog triggers curiosity [Xinhua, Feb 6, 2013]

      … a personal microblog on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, which has released exclusive photos and other news regarding China’s top leader Xi Jinping, has raised eyebrows with its candid coverage.
      Netizens have become increasingly curious about the blog, titled “Xuexifensituan” (“Learning From Xi Fan Club”), which covers the latest moves made by Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, during his inspection tours.
      Entries on the blog are often written in the style of a tabloid, with brief phrases (“he’s returned to the hotel”) describing Xi’s whereabouts. However, the posts are exclusive and always come ahead of reports from official media.
      Sometimes there are rare first-hand pictures — distant shots of Xi dozing in a van or photos taken by a shaky camera while Xi walks through a crowd of people.
      The microblogger refers to Xi as “Xi Dada,” a term that translates as “Uncle Xi” in some parts of China. “Pingping,” a dual-syllable nickname often used by intimate friends or relatives, is also used to describe China’s top leader.
      The blog has attracted nearly 500,000 followers since going online in November 2012. Although the information contained in the blog has interested the public, netizens are also curious about the real identity of the blog’s owner.
      The blog does not feature a “V” emblem, a mark which indicates that the blog owner’s identity has been verified by Sina Weibo. The only clues are profile details stating that the blog’s owner is a female from northwest China’s Shaanxi province.
      The mysterious blog is suspected to be maintained by someone very close to Xi, as the information it contains is supposed to be unavailable to the public and some of its photos were shot from vantages close to Xi.
      The blog’s owner has denied claims that he or she is close to Xi. “I am just an ordinary office worker, not a CPC member, nor an official,” an entry on the blog said.


      China
      expected to issue 4G licenses this year: minister
      [Xinhua, March 6, 2013]

      China is expected to start licensing telecom operators to offer services on its fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone network within 2013, a senior official has said.
      “China has made breakthroughs in R&D of 4G technologies, but is still facing restrictions in commercial use,” Miao Wei, minister of industry of information technology, said on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the country’s national legislature.
      China needs to speed up base station construction and provide more terminal products, which require greater financial and technological input, he said on Tuesday.
      “We will promulgate supporting policies at an appropriate time to guide the construction and development of the 4G network,” Miao added.
      In early February, two cities in east China’s Zhejiang Province launched a 4G mobile phone network for commercial use on a trial basis, marking a new age of high-speed mobile Internet in the country.
      With a 500-yuan (80 U.S. dollars) deposit, subscribers to China Mobile in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, and Wenzhou, can access the service.
      China Mobile, China’s largest mobile operator, employs TD-LTE technology, or Time Division Long Term Evolution, one of two international standards, for the 4G network. Its maximum Internet speed is up to 10 times faster than 3G.
      4G user should be able to download a 10-megabyte piece of software in two seconds, and a two-gigabyte HD movie in just several minutes.
      With the advancement of 4G technology, 4G wireless cards and 4G mobile phones are expected to be ready for commercial use this year.
      China Mobile began building a trial 4G network in several Chinese cities, including Hangzhou, in 2011. The city is currently home to over 2,400 4G base stations, covering an area of around 500 square km.
      The minister also reiterated that China will further encourage private investment in the telecom industry.

      More information:
      China Mobile expands 4G trials to Zhejiang [China Daily via Xinhuanet, Feb 6, 2013]
      East China cities launch commercial 4G network [Xinhua, Feb 4, 2013]
      Preparing for a 4G network across China [China Daily via Xinhuanet, Nov 19, 2012]

      … The ministry officially defined the TD-LTE spectrum – 2,500-2,690 MHz – in China in October, paving the way for future TD-LTE network commercial use.
      Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile, said in June that China Mobile plans to have a total of more than 200,000 TD-LTE base stations through new builds and upgrades by 2013.
      Rumors have circulated in Chinese media that China Telecom, the nation’s smallest mobile carrier, will probably adopt TD-LTE technology when it starts to deploy its 4G network. If true, it would be a great boost for the TD-LTE industry both at home and abroad.

      ZTE leads in 4G wireless networks [China Daily via Xinhuanet, July 22, 2012]

      ZTE Corp revealed on Friday that it has gained an upper hand over rivals in the construction of fourth generation TD-LTE wireless networks globally, after it grabbed more than 70 percent of the world’s contracts of this kind by May.
      “We had absolute advantages … since the number of ZTE’s TD-LTE projects accounted for more than 70 percent of the world’s total,” said [ZTE Vice-President] Liu [Peng].
      “We had absolute advantages … since the number of ZTE’s TD-LTE projects accounted for more than 70 percent of the world’s total,” said Liu.
      ZTE announced on Thursday that it had been selected as one of two telecom equipment suppliers by China Mobile Hong Kong Ltd, a subsidiary of the world’s largest mobile operator China Mobile Ltd, to build a seamless converged LTE TDD and LTE FDD network in Hong Kong. The other selected supplier was Sweden-based Telefon AB LM Ericsson.
      It is also the first commercial TD-LTE network set up and operated by China Mobile, and because of that, it will play a critical role in China Mobile’s overall plan to promote TD-LTE technology both at home and abroad, analysts said.
      Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer of the China Academy of Telecommunication Research, said: “It is a real, tangible commercial TD-LTE network, and China Mobile will learn operating experience from it and may do a better job in the commercial use of TD-LTE technology in the Chinese mainland.”

      Implications of ZTE’s $20 Billion Credit Line [TBRIChannel YouTube channel, Feb 21, 2013]

      ZTE’s new $20 billion credit line, awarded on Dec. 4 by the China Development Bank (CDB), is timely for the struggling China-based vendor and has breathed new life into the firm; however, it portends more woes for close competitors such as Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens. On Wednesday, Feb. 20, analyst Chris Antlitz recorded a webinar that delved into how and why ZTE’s massive credit line is a game changer in the telecom vendor market, and discusses how it will reshape the industry over the next few years. Specifically, this webinar will cover three key topics: •How will the money help ZTE streamline its internal operations and regain traction in the marketplace? •How will competitors be affected by ZTE’s resurgence? •How will this loan reshape the telecom vendor landscape over the next few years?

      EU telecom demands raise tensions with China [CNTV.cn via Xinhuanet, Feb 3, 2013]

      According to a report in the Financial Times, Europe’s top trade official has urged China to grant it a bigger share of the Chinese market in telecoms network equipment.
      The EU trade commissioner, Karel De Gucht, is reported to have requested a 30 percent share of China’s telecoms market to EU suppliers in return for dropping a highly contentious EU investigation into alleged subsidies to Chinese companies.
      It’s also claimed De Gucht is insisting that Chinese telecom suppliers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp raise the price of their exports by 29%. The case centres on Brussels’ contention that Beijing has awarded illegal export subsidies to the two companies in order to fuel their growth in foreign markets.
      A delegation from China’s Ministry of Commerce met with top EU trade officials on Friday to seek a way to settle the issue without sparking a trade war.
      The EU is currently carrying out its biggest ever anti-dumping investigation into Chinese solar panel exports. It’s expected to make a formal decision on whether to impose temporary duties by the end of May.

      China has till June for solar, telecoms trade deal: EU [Reuters, Feb 27, 2013]

      China has until June 7 to negotiate a deal with the European Union on state subsidies for solar panels and mobile telephone networks or face possible punitive measures, the EU’s trade chief said on Wednesday.
      European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told a Reuters Summit on the future of the euro zone the Chinese had told Brussels they wanted to negotiate an amicable solution to EU concerns over alleged trade distortions in the two cases.
      “It is the Chinese who have requested that we would have negotiations on a possible amicable solution. We have already have contacts, we have already sent people to Beijing, and the Chinese already came to Brussels,” he said.
      The hi-tech telecoms case is less advanced but potentially far bigger in political and economic impact.
      The EU is collecting evidence to prepare a possible case against Chinese network equipment makers Huawei (002502.SZ) and ZTE (000063.SZ) over state subsidies, but has not received a formal complaint from European industry.
      De Gucht said the Commission had the power to initiate proceedings on its own authority even if no European competitor came forward.
      A complaint is the normal starting point for an investigation, but European manufacturers Ericsson (ERICb.ST), Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA) and Nokia Siemens Networks NOKI.UL have remained silent because trade experts say they fear retaliation against their business in China.
      The case over mobile network equipment makers would dwarf that in size. The European telecoms industry accounts for an estimated 4.8 percent of the EU’s gross domestic product.
      Such self-initiated cases can be awkward for the Commission, as it appears to be both complainant and judge and still needs evidence from EU producers and approval from EU member states, which ultimately vote on Brussels’ proposals to impose duties.
      De Gucht said that talks over alleged state subsidies by China to the telecom firms were running in parallel with negotiations to avoid duties on Chinese solar panels.
      There were also “serious security concerns” involving mobile telecom networks, which had become the backbone of modern European society, he said, noting that the United States and Australiahad effectively shut Huawei out of their markets.
      Diplomats said EU countries are divided in their approach to Huawei, with Britain and the Netherlands embracing the Chinese firm as a major job provider while others are more wary of Chinese inroads into such a sensitive sector.
      A leaked internal EU report last year said that action against Chinese telecom equipment makers was needed because their increasing dominance of mobile networks makes them a threat to security.


      China’s mobile phone users reach 1.11 bln
      [Xinhua, Jan 25, 2013]

      The number of Chinese mobile phone users reached 1.11 billion as of the end of 2012, according to official data unveiled Thursday.
      The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement that mobile phone users represent 80 percent of all phones users in the country.
      The number of mobile phones owned by every 100 people reached 82.6 by the end of 2012, up by nine from a year earlier, according to the statement.
      Last year, the country recorded 125.9 million new mobile phone users, among whom 104.38 million were 3G mobile phone users, bringing the total number of 3G users to 232.8 million, the MIIT said.
      The ministry said the number of Internet users rose by 51 million to 564 million people, among whom 74.5 percent, or 420 million people, surf the Internet with their mobile phones.
      The Internet penetration rate reached 42.1 percent by the end of last year, up 3.8 percentage points from a year earlier.

      China market: Samsung takes up 22.5% of 2012 smartphone sales, says iiMedia Research [DIGITIMES, March 7, 2013]

      There were 169 million smartphones sold in the China market in 2012, hiking 130.7% from 2011, and Samsung Electronics was the largest vendor with a market share of 22.5%, according to China-based consulting company iiMedia Research.
      Lenovo was the second largest vendor accounting for 10.7% of the smartphone sales volume, followed Huawei Device, Coolpad and ZTE with 9.9%, 9.5%, 8.9% respectively, Apple with 7.7%, GiONEE with 6.4%, HTC with 4.7%, Motorola Mobility with 3.5% and Nokia with 3.1%.
      In terms of operating system, Android occupied 68.6% of the smartphone sales volume, followed by iOS with 12.8%, Symbian with 12.4% and Windows Phone with 3.8%.
      There were 380 million smartphone users in the China market at the end of 2012, increasing 72.7% from a year ago.

      iiMedia: Percentage breakdown of smartphones
      sold in China by price, 2012

      Price range (CNY)
      Market share
      Below 1,000 (US$158)
      34.9%
      1,000 to below 2,000
      42.2%
      2,000 to below 3,000
      14.6%
      3,000 to below 4,000
      5.2%
      4,000 and above
      3.1%

      Smart phones cover 70 pct of mobile market: report [Xinhua, March 6, 2013]

      Seventy-million smart phones were shipped in China in the last quarter of 2012, covering 73.2 percent of the country’s mobile market share, newly released statistics showed Wednesday.
      The volume of smart phone shipments saw a 112.1 percent year-on-year increase, according to statistics by the International Data Corporation (IDC), a global market research, analysis and advisory company.
      Figures showed that shipments of mobile phones in the last three months of 2012 stood at 96 million, a 1.6 percent year-on-year rise.
      Total shipments of mobile phones in China last year reached 362 million, among which smart phones recorded 213 million, a year-on-year increase of 135 percent, said IDC.
      The corporation said that strong demand, subsidies from phone operators and new smart phone arrivals were the driving force behind the boom.
      “Producers’ heavy investments in smart phones also contributed to the success,” said Wang Jiping, an analyst with IDC’s China subsidiary.
      The company forecasts that the country’s smart phone industry will witness steady growth in the next few years.
      It said smart phone shipments are expected to reach 460 million in 2017, which will take up 90.1 percent of the country’s total mobile phone sales.

      More information:
      China smartphone shipments to rise to 460 million by 2017-IDC [Reuters, March 7, 2013]
      Smartphones Expected to Outship Feature Phones for First Time in 2013, According to IDC [IDC press release, March 4, 2013]

      … Smartphone shipments to China, Brazil, and India will comprise a growing percentage of the device type’s volume in each forecast year. Smartphone demand is burgeoning in these large, populous nations as their respective economies have grown; this has made for a larger middle class that is prepared to buy smartphones. China, which supplanted the U.S. last year as the global leader in smartphone shipments, is at the forefront of this shift.
      “While we don’t expect China’s smartphone growth to maintain the pace of a runaway train as it has over the last two years, there continue to be big drivers to keep the market growing as it leads the way to ever-lower smartphone prices and the country’s transition to 4G networks is only just beginning,” said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager, IDC Asia/Pacific. “Even as China starts to mature, there remains enormous untapped potential in other emerging markets like India, where we expect less than half of all phones shipped there to be smartphones by 2017, and yet it will weigh in as the world’s third largest market.”
      Brazil is another market where smartphone growth will remain high over the course of the forecast as its economic fortunes improve. “Brazilians have yet to turn in their feature phones for smartphones on a wholesale basis,” said Bruno Freitas, Consumer Devices Research Manager, IDC Brazil. “The smartphone tide is turning in Brazil though, as wireless service providers and the government have laid the groundwork for a strong smartphone foundation that mobile phone manufacturers can build upon.” …

      Android powers a third of all mobile phones shipped in 4Q12, says Canalys [DIGITIMES, Feb 8, 2013]

      Canalys: Worldwide smartphone shipments and share by vendor, 4Q12 (m units)
      Vendor
      4Q12 shipments
      Market share
      Samsung
      62.9
      29%
      Apple
      47.8
      22.1%
      Huawei
      11.5
      5.3%
      ZTE
      10.1
      4.7%
      Lenovo
      9.5
      4.4%
      Others
      74.7
      34.5%
      Total
      216.5
      100%
      Source: Canalys, compiled by Digitimes, February 2013

      Canalys: Worldwide smartphone shipments and share by OS vendor, 4Q12 (m units)
      OS vendor
      4Q12 shipments
      Market share
      OHA (Android)
      149.8
      69.2
      Apple
      47.8
      22.1%
      BlackBerry
      7.6
      3.5%
      Microsoft
      5.1
      2.4%
      Nokia
      3.2
      1.5%
      Others
      3.0
      1.4%
      Total
      216.5
      100%
      Source: Canalys, compiled by Digitimes, February 2013

      More information:
      Mobile device market to reach 2.6 billion units by 2016, says Canalys [DIGITIMES, Feb 26, 2013]
      Entry-level smartphone sales expected to stay strong in China throughout 2013 [DIGITIMES, Jan 2, 2013]

      Google controls too much of China’s smartphone sector: ministry [March 5, 2013]

      Google Inc has too much control over China’s smartphone industry via its Android mobile operating system and has discriminated against some local firms, the technology ministry said in a white paper.
      The white paper, authored by the research arm of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, also said China had the ability to create its own mobile operating system. (here)
      “Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android,” the paper, posted online on Friday but carried by local media on Tuesday, said.
      While the Android system is open source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google.”
      The paper said Google had discriminated against some Chinese companies developing their operating systems by delaying the sharing of codes. Google had also used commercial agreements to restrain the business development of mobile devices of these companies, it added.
      A Google spokesman in China declined to comment.
      The ministry did not recommend any specific policies, regulatory actions or other measures.
      Analysts said the white paper, which lauded Chinese companies such as Baidu Inc, Alibaba Group and Huawei Technologies for creating their own systems, could be a signal to the industry that regulations against Android are on the horizon.
      “In China, regulators regulate regularly especially where they can position the regulations as helping out domestic companies,” Duncan Clark, chairman of technology consultancy BDA, said in an email to Reuters.
      “Ironically, Android’s success has underpinned a lot of the growth in China smartphone vendors in recent years,” Clark said. Home-grown companies had failed previously in China’s market for simple handsets, he said, due to weakness in software and operating systems.
      South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s largest smartphone maker, uses the Android system, as do Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE Corp.
      Last September, the launch of a smartphone between Acer Inc and a unit of Alibaba Group was cancelled due to what Alibaba said was pressure from Google on the Taiwanese group. Representatives for Acer and Google declined to comment on the matter at that time.
      Technology research firm IDC has estimated that China surpassed the United States as the world’s biggest smartphone market in 2012, accounting for 26.5 percent of all smartphones shipped.
      In 2010, Google conducted a partial pullout from China on the basis of censorship and after it suffered a serious hacking episode that the company said emanated from China. Since then, Google’s search market share in China has fallen from almost 30 percent to 15 percent at the end of 2012. Android has been Google’s bright spot in China.
      In the third quarter last year, Android accounted for 90 percent of all mobile operating systems in China while Apple Inc’s iOS system was at just 4.2 percent.

      Too late for China to develop own mobile operating systems, say Taiwan makers [DIGITIMES, March 7, 2013]

      While China Academy of Telecommunication Research under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in its white paper calls for China’s development of own operating systems for use in smartphones, tablets and other mobile terminal devices to lessen existing heavy reliance on Google Android, sources with Taiwan-based handset supply chain makers pointed out that it is too late for such development because of difficulties to develop related technologies and establishing necessary ecosystem as well as lack of relevant patents.
      It will take at least three to five years for a new mobile operating system to become competitive in market, and if China-based companies – such as device vendor Lenovo, Huawei Device, ZTE and Coolpad, and Internet service providers Alibaba and Baidu – only begin to develop own mobile operating systems now, it is already too late to catch up with competitors, the sources indicated.
      Instead of developing own mobile operating systems, China-based companies can ask Google to loosen its regulations on using Android, for example, to allow development of various operating system versions based on the Android architecture, the sources said. In addition, the China government can encourage China-based companies to provide rich mobile services and develop various mobile applications based on not only Android but also iOS, Windows Phone and other operating systems, the sources indicated.

      China handset makers hope to reduce reliance on Android [DIGITIMES, March 6, 2013]

      The China Academy of Telecommunication Research for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has published a white paper stating that China’s handset industry has been relying heavily on the Android platform. In fact, China’s handset industry has been hoping to reduce its reliance on Google’s Android platform by switching to other platforms such as Windows Phone, Tizen, and Firefox OS. Industry sources believe the percentage of products using the Android platform is likely to fall continuously in China.
      Android is an open platform, and with price advantages, many handset makers in China are using the Android platform. Currently, Android has more than 80% of share in the China smartphone platform market. The heavy reliance has been causing concerns in China.
      Some China-based handset brands have been seeking cooperation with other platform developers. ZTE and TCL are the first two firms to cooperate with Mozilla and plan to introduce new products with Firefox OS platform in mid-2013. The new products are aimed at emerging markets such as Central and South America and Eastern Europe. Huawei is cooperating with Mozilla and Tizen.
      However, handset makers believe China-based firms are unlikely to massively adopt other platforms in the short run as Android continues to be the most attractive and mature open platform on the market.
      Handset firms noted that most China-based handset brands face the problem of relying heavily on the Android platform, which is the same problem for Samsung and HTC, but Samsung has been putting effort into diversifying by acquiring MeeGo, integrating Bada and developing Tizen while other handset makers simply do not have the resources and time to do the same.


      China to modify plan to open up mobile telecom sector
      [Xinhua, Jan 23, 2013]

      The government is considering adjusting a plan that will allow privately-owned companies to enter the mobile telecommunications sector, a government official said on Wednesday.
      Zhang Feng, director of the telecommunications development department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said at a news briefing that the ministry is reviewing opinions collected from the public and will improve the plan based on its review.
      In early January, the MIIT created a pilot plan that will allow Chinese-funded private companies to buy basic mobile telecom services from the country’s major operators, add their own services and then sell the services to customers through their own brands.
      Private companies will not have to build mobile telecoms infrastructure, but only set up a customer service system and other supporting networks if necessary, the plan said.
      The ministry said the pilot program aims to allow private capital to further enter the telecom industry and give full play to the flexibility and creativity of private firms, as well as promote market competition and improve mobile telecom services.
      The plan was published online on Jan. 7, with public opinions to be solicited until Feb. 6.
      At present, China’s mobile telecom sector is dominated by the state-owned companies China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

      More information:
      News Analysis: China to open up mobile telecom sector [Xinhua, Jan 15, 2013]

      … Shi Wei, an expert with the Institute of Economic System and Management under China’s top economic planner, said that private firms participating in the program must strive to make innovations in their services, or else they will become just agents for major carriers.
      “Private companies should develop more innovative applications and provide differentiated services to win their share of the market,” Shi said. …
      … The pilot program is designed to last for two years.
      Private enterprises can send applications to telecom authorities within the first year of the program.
      China has attached great significance to encouraging private investment, as it plays an important role in creating jobs, boosting domestic consumption and maintaining sustainable economic growth.
      In 2010, China’s State Council, or the Cabinet, announced policies to open a range of government-run industries to private investment, including water projects, power generation, mining, as well as the telecommunication sector.
      To help implement those policies, the MIIT made a detailed plan for guiding private capital to enter the telecom industry in June 2012.

      So there are wider reasons for such a change of attitude as well:
      2012 profits slow at China’s central SOEs [XinHua, Feb 8, 2013]
      Private, collective businesses’ trade outpaces SOEs [Xinhua, Jan 3, 2013]

      Private and collectively-owned businesses saw their foreign trade expand faster than that of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and foreign-funded companies in the January and November period, according to the national economic planner.
      In the first 11 months, foreign trade at private and collectively-owned companies totaled 1.09 trillion U.S. dollars, up 18.1 percent year on year, according to data released by the National Development and Reform Commission on Thursday.
      The total figure included 687.32 billion U.s. dollars in exports, up19.4 percent, and 402.75 billion U.S. dollars in imports, up 15.9 percent, the data showed.
      In contrast, foreign-funded firms saw foreign trade rise 1.9 percent year on year to reach 1.72 trillion U.S. dollars between January and November.
      Meanwhile, trade for SOEs dropped 1.1 percent from a year earlier to 685.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first 11 months, as exports declined 4 percent in the period while imports posted a slight increase of 0.9 percent, the data showed.
      The General Administration of Customs previously released disappointing trade data for November due to slackened external demand. China’s exports grew just 2.9 percent year on year in November, while the growth of imports remained unchanged from a year earlier.

      4M[bps] broadband to cover 70 percent of Chinese users in 2013 [Xinhua, Feb 26, 2013]

      More than 70 percent of China’s Internet users will enjoy access to broadband Internet services in 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Tuesday.
      The percentage of users with access to 4M[bps] or faster services climbed 23 percentage points to 63 percent in 2012 from the previous year, said Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology.
      Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services will cover 35 million households this year, as FTTH households grew by 49 million to reach 94 million in 2012, Miao said.
      The government also hopes to add more than 25 million new fixed-line broadband subscriber households, as the number of fixed-line broadband subscriber households rose by 25.1 million to 175 million in 2012, Miao said.
      Other goals expanding the number of public wireless hot spots by 1.3 million, Miao said.
      FTTH refers to a form of fiber-optic communication delivery that reaches one living or working space. The fiber extends from a central office to the subscriber’s living or working space.

      Broadband network expansion in the pipeline [China Daily via Xinhuanet, March 31, 2013]

      China is expected to have 20 million new broadband Internet subscribers this year and a total of 250 million subscribers by the end of 2015, the country’s top industry regulator said on Friday.
      “The nation needs to improve broadband speed. Our aim is to install fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband connections for 35 million families this year,” said Industry and Information Technology Minister Miao Wei.
      The announcement came after an investigation of two domestic telecom giants over alleged monopolistic practices in November.
      [see: China Telecom, China Unicom pledge to mend errors after anti-monopoly probe [Xinhua, Dec 2, 2011]]
      The broadband development plan is a part of China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), which is to increase the country’s average broadband speed to 20 megabytes per second by the end of 2015.
      China had 156 million Internet broadband users in 2011, 83 percent of the users’ Internet speed exceeding 2MB/s. About 45 million families were covered by the FTTH network, and the Internet surfing fee decreased by 30 percent compared with 2005.
      However, Wu Hequan, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said in an earlier report that the average download speed of China’s broadband is 1.15MB/s, half of the global speed.
      China’s three telecom carriers will implement the plan and invest more in the industry.
      As the major provider of China’s Internet broadband infrastructure, China Telecom will invest 40 billion yuan ($6.3 billion) to build the FTTH network this year, and attract 25 million new FTTH users, bringing the total number to 55 million, said Wang Xiaochu, chairman of China Telecom.
      Xi Guohua, China Mobile‘s new chairman, said the company has built a broadband network for 4,100 villages and that number is expected to reach more than 8,000 by the end of this year. He also said the company will add 1.4 million WLAN wireless hotspots this year, and 1.2 million new Internet users.
      China Unicom has more than 44 million broadband users, 90 percent of them connected at more than 2MB/s. The company has injected 60 billion yuan into broadband development in the past three years, said its Chairman Chang Xiaobing.
      Sixteen Internet giants, including Baidu and Sina, attended the meeting and promised to improve their services online.

      China Unicom’s 3G subscribers hit 76.46 mln [Xinhua, Jan 19, 2013]

      China Unicom [W-CDMA], the country’s second-largest mobile operator by subscribers, said in a latest report that it added 3.13 million 3G subscribers in December, bringing its total 3G users to 76.46 million.
      The carrier’s 2G subscribers totalled 163 million as of the end of December, a decrease of 36,000 from November, according to the report filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
      The operator’s Internet users with broadband access amounted to 93.87 million as of last year, the statement said.
      Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) showed China’s 3G users had reached 220 million by November.
      The MIIT said China will add an estimated 100 million new 3G subscribers this year.

      China: Entry-level dual core IPS WVGA (480×800) smartphones $65+ now, quad-core $70+ in June

      China market: Qualcomm, Spreadtrum cutting quad-core processor prices [DIGITIMES, April 25, 2013]

      Qualcomm and Spreadtrum Communications have both cut prices for their quad-core products to better compete against MediaTek, which controls half of the smartphone-chip market in China, according to industry sources.

      Qualcomm recently quoted its quad-core solutions at less than US$10, slightly cheaper than MediaTek’s offerings, the sources indicated. Meanwhile, Spreadtrum has lowered its quad-core processor prices to similar levels. Both firms are trying to gain market share through aggressive pricing, the sources said.

      Monthly shipments of MediaTek’s smartphone chips have topped 15 million units recently, and even approached the 20 million level, the sources revealed. The booming shipments already lifted MediaTek’s share of China’s smartphone-IC market to 50%, the sources said.

      MediaTek’s quad-core solutions reportedly have attracted orders from Coolpad, Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE.

      In other news, MediaTek has reported higher-than-expected sales for the first quarter of 2013. The firm has scheduled an investors meeting on May 6 to discuss its performance in the first quarter, and business outlook.

      Remark: the inserted slides are from 1Q13 Investor Roadshow Presentation [Feb 26, 2013] from Spreadtrum

      image

      And as $48 Mogu M0 “peoplephone”, i.e. an Android smartphone for everybody to hit the Chinese market on November 15 [Nov 9, 2012]
      now Mogu S2 went on sale today [China Smartphones, April 22, 2013]

      A leader in the production of super cheap smart phones, the Chinese company Mogu, today held a preliminary sales of its new budget smartphone Mogu S2. The official price of the unit is 399 yuan, or about $65. Today, the sale was put on a limited batch of 5000 smartphones at the price of 299 yuan ($48).

      image

      Mogu S2 is running the 2-core processor with a clock speed of 1.2 Ghz, and used 4-inch screen with a resolution of WVGA [480×800] to display the information. In addition there is 512 MB RAM, 4GB of ROM and a 5-megapixel camera. A nice addition is its support for two SIM cards, modules, WIFI, Bluetooth, and GPS. The operating system is installed MOGO OS (Android 2.3 Gingerbread).

      Additional key information from the company’s product page [MOGU蘑菇手机, April 20, 2013]: i.e. IPS display and the Spreadtrum SC8825 or SC6825 SoC

      imageimage

      We’ve seen the effect of the earlier SC6820 SoC leading to Temporary Nokia setback in India [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 28, 2013]. This is how Spreadtrum presented this situtation recently:

      image

      The two new SoCs are the same to the maximum as SC8825 has only the following additional functionality:

      TD-SCDMA standards (3GPP R7), 2010~2025MHz / 1880~1920MHz/2300~2400MHz

      and prospects for that additional functionality (internal to China) were presented as exceptionally bright by the company: 

      image

      Spreadtrum Announces Commercial Launch of Dual-Core Smartphone Chipsets for TD-SCDMA and EDGE [press release, April 2, 2013]

      SC8825 (TD-SCDMA) and SC6825 (EDGE) set new standard for dual-core smartphone chipset cost and performance with high level of integration, standout graphics performance and best-in-class TD-SCDMA technology
      Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider inChina with advanced technology in 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards, today announced the commercial availability of its dual-core 1.2GHz smartphone chipsets for TD-SCDMA (SC8825) and EDGE (SC6825), following the successful qualification of its platform by China Mobile.
      “With our new dual-core chipsets, Spreadtrum has leveraged our expertise in system design to deliver the lowest-cost dual-core platform in combination with high end graphics performance for the TD-SCDMA and EDGE markets,” said Dr. Leo Li, chairman and CEO of Spreadtrum. “This combination of low-cost architecture, standout graphics performance, and best-in-class TD-SCDMA technology provides smartphone designers with unprecedented value in bringing high end features to low-cost devices.”
      Spreadtrum’s SC8825, which supports dual-mode TD-SCDMA/HSPA & EDGE/GPRS/GSM and the SC6825, which supports EDGE/GPRS/GSM, are based on a highly efficient multi-core architecture delivering the lowest cost platform available for dual-core TD-SCDMA and EDGE smartphone products. The single-chip chipsets integrate a dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A5 core processor, a dual-core Mali 400 graphics processor and multimedia and hardware accelerators for differentiated performance and user experience. Both chipsets are further paired with a single-chip mutimode RF transceiver for a high level of integration and are pin-to-pin compatible, enabling handset makers to leverage a common handset development effort for products shipping to China as well as to emerging markets.
      In addition to their high level of integration and low-cost architecture, Spreadtrum’s chipsets further deliver standout graphics performance. The solutions’ powerful graphics processing capability enhances the user experience for games and other graphics-rich applications, and enables Spreadtrum to bring high end features such as the larger screen sizes more commonly found in premium smartphones to low-cost devices.
      “The benchmark results we are achieving for our dual-core solution, measured by popular benchmark programs such as AnTuTu and GLBenchmark 2.5, significantly outperform other commercial dual-core products,” added Dr. Li. “This powerful processing capability provides our customers with an even more cost-effective and power-efficient way to deliver high end features in low-cost smartphones.”
      Other features of Spreadtrum’s SC8825 and SC6825 chipsets include support for HD 1280×720 LCD display, H.264 720p video playback, up to 8 megapixel RGB camera and dual-SIM, dual-standby capability. The chipsets ship with turnkey Android and systems software, reducing the engineering time and resources required by handset makers to bring devices to market, with reference implementations available for both 4-layer and 6-layer PCB layouts.
      The SC8825 and SC6825 are commercially available now. The chipsets have already been incorporated by leading China handset makers into smartphone models that are expected to ship commercially during 2Q 2013.
      About Spreadtrum Communications, Inc.
      Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPRD; “Spreadtrum”) is a fabless semiconductor company that develops mobile chipset platforms for smartphones, feature phones and other consumer electronics products, supporting 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards. Spreadtrum’s solutions combine its highly integrated, power-efficient chipsets with customizable software and reference designs in a complete turnkey platform, enabling customers to achieve faster design cycles with a lower development cost. Spreadtrum’s customers include global and China-based manufacturers developing mobile products for consumers in China and emerging markets around the world. For more information, visit www.spreadtrum.com.

      image

      SC8825 TD-HSPA+/TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE Baseband Chip [product site, April 2, 2013]

      Spreadtrum’s SC8825 is a highly integrated mixed signal baseband processor for dual-mode TD-SCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA+ and GSM/GPRS/EDGE applications. SC8825 integrates a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A5 processor, a dual-core Mali 400 graphics processor and multimedia and hardware accelerators in a highly efficient system architecture that brings differentiated performance and user experience to low-cost smartphones. SC8825 is coupled with Spreadtrum’s single-chip tri-band TD-SCDMA/quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM RF transceiver for small footprint, and ships with turnkey Android systems software for rapid time to market and efficiency in handset design.

      SC8825 Baseband Chip Diagram

      image

      SC8825 Key Features

      Core Description

      • ARM Cortex-A5 dual-core, clock speeds up to 1.2GHz
      • 32KB I-Cache, 32KB D-Cache
      • 32KB I-Cache, 32KB D-Cache
      • 128bit FP data path

      Communication Features

      • GSM/GPRS/EDGE standards, GSM850/EGSM900/DCS1800/PCS1900
      • EGPRS Class 12
      • TD-SCDMA standards (3GPP R7), 2010~2025MHz / 1880~1920MHz/2300~2400MHz
      • HR, FR, EFR, AMR-NB
      • HSPA+ 4.2 Mbps,HSUPA 2.2 Mbps

      Multimedia Support For

      • Mali 400 GPU MP2, 40MTri/s, 700Mpix/s, OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0
      • Decoder: MPEG4/H.263 720p@30fps; H.264 720p@30fps ; VP8 720p@30fps
      • Encoder:H.263/H.264/MPEG4 D1@30fps
      • Video Streaming: MPEG4/H.263/H.264 720p@30fps
      • 3G-324M Video Telephony
      • 8 MP Camera Sub-system JPEG decoder/encoder
      • Support MP3/AAC/AAC+/MIDI/AMR-NB/WAV format
      • Audio codec included

      LCD Display Features

      • Support up to HD resolution
      • Built-in LCD Controller,touch panel controller
      • MIPI and RGB @60fps
      • Support OSD / Rotation / Scaling

      Memory I/F Support For

      • NAND flash(8bit and 16 bit devices)
      • HW ECC, multi-bit ECC
      • 2G byte SDR/LPDDR1/LPDDR2 (16bit and 32bit devices)
      • eMMC(4.4.1) boot

      Peripheral I/F Support For

      • HS USB 2.0
      • 4 x UART
      • 3 x SPI interface , 3-wire SPI,4-wire SPI, synchronous SPI
      • 4 x I2C interfaces
      • 2 x I2S and PCM interface
      • 3 x SDIO interfaces
      • 1 x eMMC interfaces
      • 2 x SIM/USIM interfaces
      • 4 x PWM outputs
      • ETM port
      • More than 100 GPIO pins
      • 8*8 keyboard interfaces

      Other Features

      • Operating ambient temperature range: -45 to +95 degrees centigrade
      • 12.1mm×12.1mm 517-ball, 0.4mm ball pitch

      SC6825 GSM/GPRS/EDGE Baseband Chip [product site, April 2, 2013]

      Spreadtrum’s SC6825 is a highly integrated mixed signal baseband processor for GSM/GPRS/EDGE applications. SC6825 integrates a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A5 core processor, a dual-core Mali 400 graphics processor and multimedia and hardware accelerators in a highly efficient system architecture that brings differentiated performance and user experience to low-cost smartphones. SC6825 is coupled with Spreadtrum’s single-chip quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM RF transceiver for small footprint, and ships with turnkey Android systems software for rapid time to market and efficiency in handset design.

      SC6825 Baseband Chip Diagram

      image

      SC6825 Key Features

      Core Description

      • ARM Cortex-A5 dual-core, clock speeds up to 1.2GHz
      • 32KB I-Cache, 32KB D-Cache
      • 256KB L2 Cache
      • 128bit FP data path

      Communication Features

      • GSM/GPRS/EDGE standards, GSM850/EGSM900/DCS1800/PCS1900
      • EGPRS Class 12
      • HR, FR, EFR, AMR-NB

      Multimedia Support For

      • Mali 400 GPU MP2, 40MTri/s, 700Mpix/s, OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0
      • Decoder:MPEG4/H.263 720p@30fps; H.264 720p@30fps ; VP8 720p@30fps
      • Encoder:H.263/H.264/MPEG4 D1@30fps
      • Video Streaming: MPEG4/H.263/H.264 720p@30fps
      • 3G-324M Video Telephony
      • 8 MP Camera Sub-system JPEG decoder/encoder
      • Support MP3/AAC/AAC+/MIDI/AMR-NB/WAV format
      • Audio codec included

      LCD Display Features

      • Support up to HD resolution
      • Built-in LCD Controller,touch panel controller
      • MIPI and RGB @60fps
      • Support OSD / Rotation / Scaling

      Memory I/F Support For

      • NAND flash(8bit and 16 bit devices)
      • HW ECC, multi-bit ECC
      • 2G byte SDR/LPDDR1/LPDDR2 (16bit and 32bit devices)
      • eMMC(4.4.1) boot

      Peripheral I/F Support For

      • HS USB 2.0
      • 4 x UART
      • 3 x SPI interface , 3-wire SPI,4-wire SPI, synchronous SPI
      • 4 x I2C interfaces
      • 2 x I2S and PCM interface
      • 3 x SDIO interfaces
      • 1 x eMMC interfaces
      • 2 x SIM/USIM interfaces
      • 4 x PWM outputs
      • ETM port
      • More than 100 GPIO pins
      • 8*8 keyboard interfaces

      Other Features

      • Operating ambient temperature range: -45 to +95 degrees centigrade
      • 12.1mm×12.1mm 517-ball, 0.4mm ball pitch

      Phablet competition in India: $258 Micromax-MediaTek-2013 against $360 Samsung-Broadcom-2012

      Allwinner in mainland China moved first to quad-core Cortex-A7 with the A31 SoC introduced with the launch of the first two tablet products, Onda V972 and V812, on December 5, 2012 (and delivered from December 24, 2012 on in mainland China). That prompted a direction only reaction that Qualcomm quad-core Cortex-A7 SoCs with Adreno 305 and 1080p coming for the high-volume global market and China [Dec 9, 2012]), with sampling just planned for Q2’13 and only now publishing a completely redesigned 2013 roadmap according to Qualcomm moving ahead of Allwinner et al. in CPU and GPU while trying to catch up with Allwinner in Ultra HD [Jan 12 – Feb 20, 2013]. The #2 SoC vendor MediaTek from Taiwan had already plans to move to Cortex-A7 so was able to react much more quickly with MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery [Dec 12, 2012]. Such a delivery first happened with Micromax A116 in India (from February 14, 2013 on) which targeted the delivery of Samsung Galaxy Grand (from January 21, 2013 on) based on a very much ‘2012 vintage’ SoC from Broadcom still using a dual core Cortex-A9 driven CPU.

      So here we have an interesting possibility of comparing a ‘2013 vintage’ (quad-core Cortex-A7 at 28nm etc.) phablet solution with a ‘2012 vintage’ (dual core Cortex-A9 at 40nm LP etc.) one. In addition from a vendor (MediaTek) trying to agressively conquer the global market after the Greater China one by going against the global #1 heavyweight Samsung. Such an analysis would, no doubt, reveal quite interesting facts not only about the current state of the market but about the future market as well.

      First here is an overall comparison video from India:
      Micromax Canvas HD A116 VS Samsung Galaxy Grand – Gaming, Benchmarks, Camera, Performance, Display [intellectdigest YouTube channel, Feb 16, 2013]

      See also: ‘Micromax Canvas HD A116 Detailed In Depth Video Review And Comparison With Galaxy Grand’ at http://www.intellectdigest.in/micromax-canvas-hd-a-116-price-and-review-583/

      Next there is a detailed specification comparison is in the table somewhat below.

      Before that, however, note that to do such a comparison one needs to invest more than one day of time which shows quite well that in the consumer computing space customers will hardly be able to recognize the really deciding differentiators(in the same way as this happens with consumer products in general). I am particularly dismayed by the fact that even from such a table one will hardly recognize the most important differentiator that from power consumption point of view the Galaxy Grand is ways better that the Micromax A116 (440 hours of standby time vs. 174 hours, and 10 hours 10 minutes of talk time vs. 5 hours).

      Then the display quality difference discussed first in the above video is far less than one would conclude from the below table (TFT LCD at 800×480 resolution on Grand and IPS at 1280×720 on Micromax A116) as evidenced by the excerpted video image included below (taken az [1:15] with A116 on the left and Grand on the right, for both the brightness set to maximum for the comparison). One of the reasons for that is the mDNIe (mobile Digital Natural Image engine) technology from Samsung going back to 2003 with TVs. In fact MediaTek just now came up with a kind of similar technology of its own (see in the end of Section 1) called MiraVision. Immediately after that (in the whole Section 2) I included all available material about both the mDNIe and its “parent from TVs”, DNIe in order to make possible to understand the maturity of Samsung solution vs. the MediaTek one. And there are definitely other “tricks” (additional layers etc.) which are also essential for making the Grand screen a true masterpice of display engineering.

      image

      Click on the image below or this link in order to go to a clickable version of the table!image
                  Click on the image above or this link in order to go to a clickable version of the table!

      Finally, in addition to the already mentioned first two sections of the detailed analysis there is a Section 3 in the end devoted to the Broadcom SoC technology used in the Samsung Galaxy Grand

      More information for this introductory part:
      Micromax Canvas HD A116 [Micromax microsite, Feb 13, 2013]
      MediaTek High Performance Quad Core Solution Empowers Micromax A116 Canvas HD [MediaTek press release, Jan 22, 2013]
      Micromax Canvas HD demo Video [micromaxtube YouTube channel, Feb 19, 2013]

      Micromax launches Canvas HD to strengthen phablet leadership [Micromax press release, Jan 21, 2013]

      … it is the ideal phone for the young generation who is always on the lookout for better, faster and savvier smart phones on the go!

      Commenting on the launch and association with MediaTek, Mr. Deepak Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Micromax said, “At Micromax, we constantly strive to innovate and develop  great technological experiences for our consumers. Today’s launch marks our association with MediaTek to bring forth our first quad core phone in this segment, offering consumers a great user experience with latest features and added functionality.” He further added, “We are excited with the success of Canvas 2, which has clearly established Micromax as number one player in the new 5” phablet category in India. We are looking forward to similar success with the new phone being unveiled today.”
      Speaking at the occasion,  Dr. Finbarr Moynihan, General Manager  – Business Development at MediaTek, said, “In less than 2 years of launching our first smartphone chipset, MediaTek’s shipments in this category have grown more than ten times, with 110 million units in 2012. As the world’s first commercialized quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC, the MT6589 is an innovative solution that accelerates product development, simplifies differentiation, and offers the best possible experience that mid to high-end smart device owners desire. Micromax shares our core philosophy of pushing the bar on innovation and bringing it within the reach of the masses. We are delighted that India’s leading youth mobile brand has chosen MediaTek to power its top-end mobile smartphones.”

      About Micromax [the 12th largest handset manufacturer in the world]:
      Micromax started as an IT software company in the year 2000 working on embedded platforms. In 2008, it entered mobile handset business and by 2010 it became one of the largest Indian domestic mobile handsets company by offering unique affordable innovations. … The brand’s product portfolio embraces more than 60 models today, ranging from feature rich, dual – SIM phones, 3G Android smartphones, tablets, LED televisions and data cards. The company has many firsts to its credit when it comes to the mobile handset market including the 30-day battery backup, dual SIM phones, QWERTY keypads, dual reception mode handsets, universal remote control mobile phones etc. Micromax has presence in more than 500 districts through 100,000 retail outlets in India. The company has global business presence spread across Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri-Lanka, Maldives, UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan and Brazil.

      Samsung Galaxy Grand (i9082) full review hands on video [mobiscrub YouTube channel, Feb 4, 2013]

      [2:06] The display of the Grand is a 5 inch Super Clear LCD with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. When compared to the Super AMOLED screen in the Galaxy Note II or the S III, the screen does look less saturated, however, color rendition is great & looks very natural. Wide viewing angles & good outdoor visibility lets you watch movies & read content easily. [2:42]
      The Galaxy Grand camera is an 8 MP sensor with autofocus & LED Flash. The camera also features BIS (Backside Illumination Sensor) which basically takes great shots even in low light condition. The shutter speed of the Galaxy Grand camera is quite nice as well but not as fast as the Note II or the S III.
      Much of the smart features in the Galaxy Grand resemble to those found in the S III & Note II such as: Multi window, Smart Rotation, Smart Stay, Smart Alert, Direct call & pop up play. Obviously there is no S Pen included with the Galaxy Grand, that differentiates from the smartphone beast, the Note II.

      Samsung GALAXY Grand [Samsung Mobile Press announcement, Dec 18, 2012]
      Samsung Unveiled GALAXY Grand [Samsung Tomorrow Global, Dec 18, 2012]
      Galaxy Grand GT-i9082 [Samsung India microsite, Jan 22, 2013]
      Samsung Galaxy Grand Redefines Smartphone Experience for All [Samsung India press release, Jan 22, 2013]

      Even though it supports a massive 5.0″ screen with WVGA TFT display powered with mDNIe [mobile Digital Natural Image engine]technology, the device is incredibly slim and comes with an ergonomic design which makes is comfortable to hold. The vivid display provides an expansive viewing experience rendering messaging, multimedia and Web content in brilliant color and clarity.

      image image

      Samsung GT-i9082 Galaxy Grand [Duos]

      Micromax Canvas HD A116 Detailed In Depth Video Review And Comparison With Galaxy Grand [Intellect Digest, Feb 17, 2013]
      List of Top 5 Phablets under Rs 20k – Feb 2013 [My PhoneFactor.in, Feb 20, 2013]
      Micromax A116 Canvas HD performance review vs. other quad-core phones [Thinkdigit, Feb 15, 2013]


      Section 1   MT6589
      Quad-Core Cortex-A7 1GHz+CPU Smartphone Platform [MediaTek product page, Dec 27, 2012]

      Overview

      The world’s first commercialized quad-core SoC available for mid to high end smartphone and tablets market
      The Coolest quad core solution- MT6589 is the world’s first commercialized quad-core SoC (AP+BB) available for mid to high end smartphone and tablets market, the MT6589 integrates a power-efficient Cortex™-A7 CPU subsystem from ARM, PowerVR™ Series5XT GPU from Imagination Technologies, and MediaTek’s advanced multi-mode UMTS Rel. 8/HSPA+/TD-SCDMA modem. The MT6589 is delivered in advanced 28nm process technology, creating a universal platform that delivers powerful performance at a very competitive price.

      Features

      Innovative, Advanced Dual-SIM solution
        • Dual-SIM and Dual-Active functionality frees users to seamlessly make and receive calls on two SIM cards at the same time.
          High-end Multimedia Capabilities
            • 13MP camera with integrated ISP, 1080p playback and recording at 30fps, and enhanced image processing for DTV-grade image quality
            • Full HD (1920×1080) [1080p] LCD support for razor sharp visuals
              Best-in-class MediaTek Technology
                • Integrated leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo, providing 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM radio

                MT6589 – The Coolest Quad-Core SoC Platform – Thermal Benchmark [mediateklab YouTube channel, Dec 28, 2012]

                MediaTek MT6589 -The World’s First Commercialized Quad-Core Cortex-A7 SoC Available for Mid to High End Smartphone and Tablets Market.

                See also:
                MediaTek Strengthens Global Position with World’s First Quad-Core Cortex-A7 System on a Chip – MT6589 [MediaTek press release, Dec 11, 2012]

                MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, announced the launch of the MT6589, the world’s first commercialized quad-core System on a Chip (SoC), available for mid to high-end Android smartphones and tablets worldwide. The new quad-core SoC integrates MediaTek’s advanced multi-mode UMTS Rel. 8/HSPA+/TD-SCDMA modem, a power-efficient quad-core Cortex™-A7 CPU subsystem from ARM, PowerVR™ Series5XT GPU from Imagination Technologies, and is delivered in 28nm process technology. As a leader in Dual-SIM technology, the MT6589 is also the world’s first HSPA+ smartphone platform supporting Dual-SIM, Dual-Active functionality to address increasing multi-SIM demand around the world. The integration of these compelling features makes the MT6589 a universal platform that delivers premium multimedia capabilities with extremely low power consumption for an outstanding user experience. It also enables handset makers to reduce time to market, simplify product development and manage product differentiation in a more cost effective way, for any market worldwide.
                The MT6589 also supports Miracast™ technology for multi-screen content sharing and pre-integrates MediaTek’s leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo, which supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM.
                The MediaTek MT6589 is currently being incorporated into smart devices by MediaTek’s leading global customers, and the first models based on this new chipset are expected to ship commercially in Q1 2013.

                Lenovo S3000 uses MediaTek quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 [Charbax YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]

                Lenovo announces the Android tablet market has overtaken the iPad market, with 53% worldwide market share for Android and 43% for iPad. Lenovo is the biggest tablet brand in China, with a tight relation to MediaTek, here’s Lenovo’s latest quad-core 7″ 1024×600 IPS tablet.

                MediaTek Powers Lenovo’s Premium Multimedia IdeaTab S6000 Tablet [MediaTek press release, Feb 25, 2013]

                This year, at Mobile World Congress, MediaTek’s quad core SoC will be powering three new Android tablets launched by Lenovo, led by the Lenovo IdeaTab S6000. Built on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, the S6000 is a sleek (8.6mm) and light (560g), 10” tablet which leverages quad-core processing to deliver performance, connectivity, and clarity.
                Jeffrey Ju, GM of Smartphone Business Unit of MediaTek. “Our aim is to democratize the smartphone market by enabling the smart ecosystem to make high performance products at affordable prices for the mainstream market.  This in turn will be the catalyst for the smart age as customers will demand greater device integration to share and view their entertainment and information seamlessly across multiple screens – requiring a sophisticated smart ecosystem that only MediaTek’s SoC total solutions can drive.”

                How MediaTek helps lower mobile device power consumption? [mediateklab YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2013]

                MediaTek is continuously making technological breakthrough with each new generation of smartphone solution. Through high levels of hardware and software integration and the efforts of system optimization, the CPU power saving for MT6589 allows for up to 11 extra hours of operation with a typical battery. Watch the video to learn more…

                MiraVision makes Full-HD support for mobile devices a reality to everyone [MediaTek press release, Feb 25, 2013]

                MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions announced today the availability of “MiraVision,” the world’s most comprehensive suite of display picture quality technology, for its smartphone and tablet platforms.
                The joint hardware and software suite of display picture quality technology – MiraVision – aims to strengthen Mediatek’s leading position in the smart age, where consumers can expect the same, high quality of the visual experience across various display resolutions. Leveraging MediaTek’s leading display picture quality technology developed in digital TV (DTV), MiraVision is designed to deliver seamless full high-definition display picture quality on mobile devices. It empowers handset and tablets makers to provide the best visual quality on the mobile platform with reduced time to market, simplified product development and differentiation for consumers everywhere.
                MiraVision is equipped with specific features that enable users to enjoy DTV-grade display picture quality on their mobile devices. With MiraVision, contents will be displayed more vivid and saturated with more details, providing a far richer and more colorful viewing experience previously only available on a high-end DTV. Furthermore, specifically tailored for mobile devices, the all-important power efficiency has been addressed and boosted through the Ambient-Light Adaptive Luma (AAL) technology, which intelligently adjusts the panel backlight in response to the ambient light intensity and the displayed contents to simultaneously optimize battery life and viewing experience. The combination of enhanced sharpness, richer color and adaptive Luma technology means true seamless quality across multiple devices is closer than ever before.
                “The future is more than just TVs or smartphones alone,” commented Jeffrey Ju, GM of Smartphone Business Unit of MediaTek, “our focus is on innovative solutions that enhance the chip, driving speed to market at premium performance up for our customers while ensuring the seamless cross-screen experience across the array of devices through which users are consuming entertainment and information. We are proud to be the one who can truly integrate technologies of DTV and mobile phones/tablets in the smart age, making the premium cross-screen experience real to everyone in every market.”

                This background technology from MediaTek is also available to the MT6589 as evidenced by [2:00 – 3:00] time fragment of this recorded video (at [0:56] it is explicitly said: “Miravision engine which has been included in the new MT6589 quad-core SoC”):
                MiraVision: world’s leading digital TV-grade picture-quality engine for mobile devices [mediateklab YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2013]

                With advanced algorithms, the Miravision picture-quality engine can calculate the optimal level of backlighting for any given environment, while also ensuring that the backlighting is optimized by the content. This kind of flexible optimization for backlighting and pixel intensity gives the user a level of screen brightness that is most comfortable and pleasing for the eyes.


                Section 2
                Samsung mDNIe [mobile Digital Natural Image engine]

                Into the New Wave – the Samsung Wave S8500 [samsungwave YouTube channel, Feb 14, 2010]

                Samsung Wave S8500 is the first mobile handset to be released on Samsung’s new, open mobile platform, Samsung bada. … Display: 3.3 WVGA (800×480) Super AMOLED with mDNIe (mobile Digital Natural Image engine) technology. DNIe technology is proven display technology which was incorporated to Samsung’s LCD TV and LED TVs lineups. It boosts an even sharper and crisper viewing experience for photos, videos, and e-books than the Super AMOLED by itself.

                Mobile Digital Natural Image Engine – mDNIe [Read a tech, June 12, 2010]

                Samsung Wave display features Samsung’s mDNIe – mobile Digital Natural Image engine technology, borrowed from Samsung’s latest LCD TV and LED TV products, says the company. The mDNIe technology is said to offer better viewing angles and “super fast response.” The Wave’s display is also touted for its tempered glass and anti-smudge surface.

                From http://tvtonight.televisionshop.info/samsung-hl-s5087w-50-inch-1080p-dlp-hdtv-on-sale/

                The Samsung Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe) Video Enhancer refines all analog NTSC and wideband video inputs for an overall improvement in picture quality. DNIe improves contrast, white level, picture detail and incorporates digital noise reduction to improve lower quality video inputs. The 3-line digital comb filter constantly analyzes the three dimensions of picture height, picture width, and picture changes-over-time to dramatically reduce edge image artifacts while improving transition detail. Samsung’s Cinema Smooth 3:2 pull-down film mode corrects for the artificial frames created when films are converted to DVDs. The result is a clearer image without the subtle motion artifacts caused by 24-to-30 frames per second video conversion.

                Samsung’s DNIe™

                Samsung’s DNIe™ technology offers digital perfection in naturally presented, crystal-clear images that uncover even the most minute detail.


                Motion Optimizer: The visual data are automatically broken down into signal and noise and adjusted through a combined spatial/temporal process to eliminate noise and blurring without the slightest damage to the original signal. This guarantees the viewer a picture of astounding sharpness, whether the scene is still or moving.


                Contrast Enhancer: DNIe has done away with the unwanted side-effects that conventional contrast enhancement can produce, such as noise boost-up and flicker by developing an algorithm that recognizes over 1 million criteria for applying contrast. Its detail contrast enhancement technology can automatically analyze up to 70,000 local images within a frame, treating the viewer to a picture rich in contrast even in the tiniest details.


                Color optimizer: For each scene the color optimizer calculates the saturation of red, green, and blue in the input signal and adjusts it to the shades that the human eye accepts as natural. Even a conventional process like white tone enhancement produces more striking results when when used with DNIe. The end result is a palette of vivid hues and pure white tones to satisfy the most discerning viewers eye.


                Detail enhancer: Many viewers complain of the unnatural effect that conventional uniform detail enhancement produces by relying on artificial amplification of the input signal. In contrast, DNIe automatically analyzes the portion to be amplified, detecting and re-processing any noise or defect to bring the viewer a startlingly sharp and lifelike image.

                Samsung DNIe ‘Pixel’ [sangafilms YouTube channel, Dec 5, 2007]

                “Nature created DNA, but SAMSUNG developed DNIe.” Samsung Electronics Unveils New “Natural Image” Technology for Digital TV [Samsung press release, April 2003]

                – Digital TVs with new DNIe technology are being put on the world market. DNIe technology can be applied to all digital TV typesLCD, PDP, projection or CRT.
                – The cleanest and most natural images are produced under all viewing conditions.
                – Samsung, which leads the world market in color TVs, TFT-LCDs, and color monitors, aims to do the same with digital TVs.
                Samsung Electronics has developed the Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe) that greatly improves the clarity and detail of images reproduced by color TVs. The company expects its technology breakthrough to elevate the Samsung brand the top of the rapidly growing world digital TV market.
                On April 29, Samsung Electronics held a briefing on the new DNIe technology and digital TV business strategy. On display were PDP, LCD, projection and cathode ray tube (CRT) models supported by DNIe, which offers far greater image detail than conventional digital TVs. Samsung Electronics began its research project to improve picture quality back in 1996 and implemented it in stages. The first prototype digital TV with DNIe was ready last December. The technology can be used with all types of digital TVs to re-create natural colors that truly please. Last year, Samsung sold more color TVs than any other manufacturer, and now the company is ready to do the same in the digital TV market.
                DNIe technology optimizes the moving picture image and color, while the contrast ratio and fine details are amplified. These four processes automatically and precisely capture broadcast signals in all formats, from analog to high definition. This high clarity, high detail image technology provides the best possible picture quality under all conditions.
                Last December, Samsung Electronics completed development of the four processes. The next four months were applying the new technology to CRT TVs (29”-32”), DLP projection TVs (43” to 61”), CRT projection TVs (43” to 52”) PDP TVs (42” to 63”) and LCD TVs (32” to 40”) and commercializing the new products.
                Significance of New DNIe Technology
                Samsung Electronics’ high clarity, high detail image technology is the product of a determined effort to improve picture quality. This approach is far more than a simple picture improvement based on analog signal reception. Rather, the new technology produces complete image quality; any signal input comes out cleaner and more natural.
                DNIe can completely eliminate blurring from movement or image prolongation. A deep contrast can also be achieved. What is more, the finest detail appears sharp, while the vivid natural color is most pleasing to the eye.
                The Samsung Electronics briefing clearly demonstrated the superiority of the company’s latest technology over conventional technology. The company has received 85 foreign and domestic patents related to DNIe, including a basic technology patent for contrast reproduction.

                DNIe Technology in a Nutshell

                Samsung’s unique DNIe technology encompasses four functions that analyze all signal input, from analog to high definition, in stages. The volume of noise in the signal is detected and the signal level is classified according into analog, SD or HD and then optimized accordingly.
                Motion Optimizer: Processes Noise More Completely than Ever Before
                This noise processing technology integrates temporal and spatial concepts to ensure clear images even when the motion is very fast.
                Contrast Enhancer: For a Deeper Contrast
                This technology employs a contrast ratio of one million or more and a new algorithm that can reproduce the optimal contrast to provide a deep and rich image quality.
                Detail Enhancer: Complete Images, True to the Finest Detail
                A vastly improved technology for automatically analyzing the picture signal reproduces images in amazing detail, resulting in more lifelike video.
                Color Optimizer: Vivid, Natural Colors
                The video signals being generated are analyzed and the quantities of reds, greens and blues are calculated to provide the colors most natural to the human eye.

                Samsung DNIe [tnbtsingapore YouTube channel, Aug 12, 2010]

                FAQs: What is DNIe [Samsung, Oct 10, 2012]

                Samsung’s Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe TM) is a set of four advanced image processing technologies that makes digital TVs, including various types of displays such as LCD, PDP, projection, and CRT, produce the clearest, most detailed, and yet most natural-looking images ever.
                The four technologies used by DNIe are:
                • Motion Optimiser: eliminates noise, even in moving pictures
                • Contrast Enhancer: increases the contrast
                • Detail Enhancer: sharpens pictures and makes details visible
                • Color Optimiser: provides natural and vibrant colours
                The secret of DNIe TM begins with an Intelligent Analyser that analyses any kind of input signal to optimise the picture quality. By analysing the frequency characteristics of the input signal, the Analyser automatically detects the amount of noise in the signal, identifies the source level as analogue, SD, or HD, and even determines whether it has been scaled.
                Through this analysis of the input signal at the first stage of the DNIe TM process, the Intelligent Analyser ensures that the optimal adjustments is made throughout the remaining four stages to the production of the final output.
                DNIe technology is not only suitable for all usual input signals for television reception today, such as analogue, cable, satellite and digital, it also works with the input signals of DVD, camcorders and game computers.
                DNIeTM R&D History
                Progress in picture quality enhancement has been achieved through sustained research and investment at Samsung, beginning in 1996 with an independent project. In 1997, Samsung’s project developed a noise reduction function for the image enhancement of CRT TVs.
                In 2000, Samsung embarked on a new picture quality enhancement project and confirmed its potential for production. By 2001, the fruits of these research efforts had laid the technological foundations for the birth of Samsung’s full-fledged image enhancement algorithm.
                In March 2002, the basic version of Samsung’s unique DNIe technology was ready. At last it was possible to obtain optimal picture quality with signals ranging from RF all the way up to HD. The development of DNIe was completed by 2002, and early 2003 this radical new technology caught the eye of the world in a successful demo at a show in Las Vegas.
                For more information on (DNIe) Digital Natural Image engine click Here

                DNIe – Digital Natural Image engine [Birds-Eye.Net, Apr 3, 2011]

                DNIe, or Digital Natural Image engine, is a “natural image” technology introduced by Samsung in 2003. Originally developed as part of a concerted effort by Samsung to improve television picture quality on non-high-definition-televisions, the DNIe chip is now used in Samsung’s plasma and high definition televisions (HDTV). DNIe makes input signals sharper, clearer and more lifelike. Its advanced image processors help to create true-to-life colors and high contrast, while pretty much eliminating digital artifacts.
                DNIe offers better detail than conventional televisions by using four proprietary processes that optimize and enhance image quality and sound: a Motion Optimizer that is a noise processing technology used to eliminate blurring and noise in fast moving images and thus producing a more natural-looking motion; a Contrast Enhancer that offers rich details and image quality through brightness and contrast levels that are enhanced for deeper, richer blacks with greater detail, and more natural whites; a Detail Enhancer that automatically analyzes the picture signal elements in order to produce sharper detail, clearer image separation and more natural edge transition; and a Color Optimizer that analyzes the video signals being generated so that the quantities of reds, greens, and blues are calculated to provide colors with a more lifelike realism, where whites are more accurate, and skin tones are given a more natural hue. DNIe also offers Samsung’s patented “My Color Control” technology that the user to control specific colors without affecting the whole screen, providing six color-control selections: white, red, pink, yellow, green and blue, so the user can adjust a color to their liking.
                Other Related Definitions for DNIe
                “The secret of DNIe TM begins with an Intelligent Analyzer that analyzes any kind of input signal to optimize the picture quality. By analyzing the frequency characteristics of the input signal, the Analyzer automatically detects the amount of noise in the signal, identifies the source level as analogue, SD, or HD, and even determines whether it has been scaled.” [Samsung]
                “The SAMSUNG DNIe vision is an image enhancement algorithm with remarkable engines that work in tandem and individually to improve the visual quality. This technology from SAMSUNG that spells the end of conventional television.” [Samsung]
                “SAMSUNG’s DNIe Pro (Digital Natural Image engine) ensures the clearest, most natural images imaginable. Colour and motion are optimised and the contrast and detail are enhanced to ensure unprecedented image quality.” [Samsung]
                “Samsung’s proprietary technology, DNIe – Digital Natural Image engine – is the secret to stunning HDTV picture quality. DNIe optimizes six different elements of image quality such as color balance, sharpness, and motion to reproduce the most life-like and vibrant picture throughout Samsung’s broad portfolio.” [Samsung]
                “DNIe generally improves most HD and DVD content with a few exceptions, but it’s a mixed bag with NTSC sources. Many HD and DVD images are made sharper with DNIe, contrast is improved, and color accuracy is enhanced in many scenes.” [Extremetech.com]
                “DNIe is Samsung’s image “enhancement” engine…On the surface these claims sound great, but on closer examination most of these features are either impossible (6 times density enhancer) or undesirable (dynamic contrast ratio). For every image DNIe makes better there are two images that it makes worse. There is no way these sets can hold a calibration with DNIe enabled. If accuracy is desired DNIe should be turned off and left off. On the HLP DNIe can be easily disabled in the user menu. It should be noted that there are a few models of Samsung DLPs (notably the HLR series) that have DNIe permanently enabled. Before purchasing a Samsung display I would make sure that DNIe can be toggled from the user menus.” [Gadgetbench.com]
                “DNIe is a video enhancer that makes the picture more colorful and lifelike. You can tell too. In the DNIe product demo, the screen is split – one side shows natural footage, the other shows DNIe enhanced footage. The difference is remarkable. The natural footage is boring and robbed of color while the DNIe footage is bright and crisp. The user controls when DNIe is used, which is good because not everyone will want enhanced video all the time – like an editor previewing footage to see what color correction is required.” [Matthew Torres]
                Links Related to DNIe
                Nature created DNA, but SAMSUNG developed DNIe – Samsung Electronics Unveils New “Natural Image” Technology for Digital TV
                What is DNIe? – Digital Natural Image engine

                Technical Resources for DNIe

                Feel the DNIeVideo demo of DNIe and Technical Information

                Blogs about DNIe
                Samsung Village – Official Samsung blog for news and inside stories
                Books about DNIe
                Digital Video and HD, Second Edition: Algorithms and Interfaces (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics) – by by Charles A. Poynton
                Global Marketing Management – by Kiefer Lee and Steve Carter
                Other DNIe Related Books

                Section 3

                Smartphone HSPA+ Platform (from 2013 Products of Broadcom [Feb 8, 2013]):

                • BCM28145: 720p 4G HSPA+ Smartphone Processor
                • BCM28155: 1080p 4G HSPA+ Smartphone Processor

                Broadcom CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Jan 29, 2013]

                Scott A. McGregor – Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

                Samsung launched the Galaxy Grand, Grand Duos, and Galaxy S2 Plus, leveraging our complete Android platform, which includes our 3G cellular SOC and wireless connectivity.

                We also have more than 40 designs in process in China on our turnkey reference platforms. Our technology mix is trending to HSPA+ dual core application processors and additional connectivity, features which command a meaningful ASP premium.

                The Galaxy Grand, for example, includes Broadcom’s dual core SOC NFC controller, connectivity combo with built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and FM, RF transceiver, power management, and GPS.

                From Broadcom Corp. – Analyst/Investor Day, December 6, 2012 (slides from here)

                Robert Americo Rango, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Mobile and Wireless Group:

                image

                Broadcom’s focus is on 3G and 4G. The reason we’re focused on 3G is because we see the 3G market continuing to grow. We see it being very important for emerging markets. And we see the 3G market taking over the feature phone market going forward. So for emerging markets, our focus is on 3G. And then the 4G market, of course, for developing regions like the U.S. Big investment in 4G, a lot of progress to report, and I’ll get into this in my presentation. So focused on both because these — this is where the growth is, and this is where the action is in the market.

                So 2 years ago, we had one 3G smartphone SoC. That was the 21553. And you can see that’s the 7.2-megabit modem, single-core device. It could address screen sizes, say, from 3 to 3.5 inches. And this was the device that last year I talked about that powered the Samsung GALAXY Y, which was one of the most popular smartphones in India. Now, over the last year, we added 2 chips that we announced earlier this year, the 21654 and the 28145. We switched from 65-nanometer to 40-nanometer, and we went from single core to dual core. So — and you can see that it helped us address a bigger part of the market. We were able to move up to the 4- to 5-inch phone screen size.

                Now today, with the announcement of the 21664 and extension of the 28145 to the 28155, we now have a full family of solutions on 3G. We can cover anything from 3 inch, all the way up to 7 to 10-inch, which would be a tablet. More interesting actually is the 5 to 7-inch category, because the phablet is growing at a 93% compounded average growth rate. And phablets turn out to be one of the biggest growth areas for phones in Asia, okay? So Broadcom has the ability now to address this entire market. And again, why is that important? Because once a customer invests in one of these chips and picks up the Broadcom software suite for one, it can quickly be applied to an entire family of products.

                Now, again, 3G market is very competitive. We all know that 3G is probably the most competitive segment out there. The reason that we can win is because we have a family of devices here that offer different feature points, different cost points and allow us to make money at these various cost points, okay? So a full range of 3G for all of the segments is now complete.

                Now, let me highlight one other point. So 82% of the volume is in this 5-inch and below, but I did mention the phablet being an important segment.

                image

                Now, let me highlight our multimedia capability. I just wanted to compare the 28155 on the right to the HTC One X on the left. So HTC One X is a phone you can buy today. HTC One X is the phone that has been touted to have a lot of multimedia capability, world-class imaging, world-class image signal processing. This is the post-processing that goes on, on the pictures to make the pictures look good. A console gaming capability, good browsing experience, a 720 HD screen, Miracast capability that I just described to you, this ability to beam videos from your phone to a TV as well as Wi-Fi Direct. All these are the multimedia capabilities touted by the HTC One X.

                Now last year, I talked about the economics of the chips that we were announcing. For those of you who were here, I talked about how Broadcom’s ability to integrate with — change the economics of the smartphone business. And here’s a perfect example of how it changed it, okay? So HTC One X, tear it apart, what do you see inside? Three different chips. A thin modem chip, a quad-core application processor, discrete application processor, and a discrete ISP chip.

                Tear apart one of our 28155 phones, what do you see inside? One chip, integrated modem, application processor, graphics and ISP. Okay. So I told you I would exemplify the power of the 28155, and I wanted to talk today about Samsung’s — Samsung is going to be announcing a series of phones based on Broadcom’s 28155 dual core HSPA+. I’m holding the first one in my hand. This is the GALAXY S II Plus, okay? And again if you look go back and look at the GALAXY S II, you’ll see a similar architecture, GALAXY S II Plus, based on 28155, is based on the Broadcom chip, the integrated chip. So those economics that I was talking to you about, they come to play right here with the Samsung GALAXY S II Plus. And in fact, there’s a series of phones that Samsung will be putting out based on the 28155 over the next couple of quarters.

                image

                So and then beyond that, what have we done in 2012? We’re working on customer diversity. And in order to achieve customer diversity in today’s 3G market, you need what’s called a turnkey device, a turnkey design. And you might ask what’s the difference between a turnkey and a reference design? Well, a turnkey is something that can quickly be put into production by a customer. So I’m holding up Broadcom’s 28155 turnkey design. And you can see it’s very thin, it’s very light, it’s the kind of phone that you’d want to carry with you. We have a design file that we can offer a customer. And it can reduce their investment from 6 to 9 months of time, down to 30 to 60 days. Where it used to take 200 to 300 engineers to put a design in production, now it’s something like 20 to 30 engineers because we’ve done the turnkey design. And this design is so complete, we have second-sourced the major components, the panel, the sensor, the memory, and we picked suppliers that are favorite suppliers for companies in China who are really building, taking advantage of these turnkeys. So what we’re doing is we’re enabling our handset companies to focus on what they do best, brand and distribution, and we focus on what we do best, which is engineering execution, okay? And we now have turnkeys for 21654, which is our single-core device, 40-nanometer single core; 21664, which is the part we just announced yesterday, which is our low-cost dual-core device, HSPA+ capable; and our 28155, which is what I’m holding up right now, which is our high-end dual core HSPA+ device. Okay.

                image

                So a lot of activity has been spawned by this — by these turnkeys and, again, this is a capability we’ve put in place in 2012. So it’s hard to measure the progress yet, but I tried to do that with this chart. And you can see, even in the short time that we’ve had the turnkey capability in place, the number of designs have gone up significantly, almost threefold. So significant number of designs that are currently going on, 15 from last year to 44. So you can see the power of the turnkey design because it enables companies — handset companies, to quickly adopt our platforms.

                image

                So talk some more about our expanding cellular SoC share. If you focus on that first row now, those are the phones that I’d like to highlight. Of course, I just mentioned the Samsung GALAXY S II, and I mentioned that there’ll be a series of phones based on Broadcom’s 28155 dual core HSPA+ coming from Samsung. The other phones you see here, GALAXY Chat, GALAXY Music, GALAXY Pocket Plus, are the beginning of a series of phones that are coming out on our single core HSPA+ device. And I’d also like to point to some of these interesting carrier-branded phones, okay? Kind of a blessing our 3G technology in the world’s biggest carriers: T-Mobile, with Concord, this is our first 3G phone in the U.S. market; Vodafone, with the Smart II and Orange. All phones based on Broadcom 3G SoCs, okay? And then all the phones in the bottom row, all in production still, all rolling along with our first 3G SoC, that’s the 21553 that I talked to you about last year. Samsung GALAXY Y is still selling like gangbusters along with a number of these Samsung smartphones in the developing countries, okay? So a lot of progress on 3G. And you can see a number of Chinese vendors on the chart, TCL, ZTE, G’FIVE, Sprocomm. Those are all customers and certainly, there’s other customers in China now working on our turnkey designs.

                imageSo exemplifying that growth we have in the 3G space, this chart shows that from Q3 2011, Q3 2012, we grew our 3G business 500%. Pretty big growth. More important to me though, is the market share that we command. You can see that Strategy Analytics has now recognized that Broadcom has 15% of the 3G/4G Android smartphone SoC ecosystem, okay? 15%. And we haven’t started shipping our 4G LTE solution yet, okay? So again, significant market share gains over the last 24 months in the most important ecosystem for us, which is Android, 15% market share.

                … roughly 15 different customers that make up that 44. And if you talk about when products hit the market, I mean, I think, they’re starting — they’re going to start hitting the market in — over the next 3 months.  …

                … you’re asking, should I worry about the vertical integration at Samsung? And I think anything Samsung does on vertical integration only applies to one segment of their business. I mean, if you look at Samsung’s business, it’s very broad. Everything from entry-level smartphones, midrange 3G smartphones, 4G smartphones, they have a very broad portfolio. In order for them to make money in all these areas, they need chips that are optimized for each one of those segments. And I think I exemplified that with the 28155 for the GALAXY S II Plus. So I think the risk of vertical integration is kind of overblown because you just need to apply the best solution to the particular class of product you’re building. …

                … we see Wi-Fi changing very rapidly and it will change even in the China market. So we don’t see the need to go integrate it. We believe the idea of having a connectivity island and a SoC island with app processor graphics and cellular modem, is the right partitioning for the next couple of years. …

                My question is, I guess, is do you think your timing — it seems like now, you’ll really going to hit the market, 2014 is when you get any significant revenues. Is that — are you going to really miss out on the profit pools while you’re fighting it out at the — with MediaTek at the midrange and low-end, meanwhile your good buddies in Southern California capture all this profit and then use that to attack you elsewhere?

                … if you look at the 3G space, it’s a lot more than just China. Right? I mean, I just showed you all the different phones from Samsung that are still coming out on 3G. So I do not believe that there’s not money to be made in 3G. Okay? Having said that, a big investment in 4G, absolutely recognize the importance. We’re moving very fast we have a big R&D investment in 4G. We think we’re going to get there in time to hit the sweet spot of the 4G market. And 4G will last for many years to come.

                Can you talk a little bit about your position on the RF side of the equation? You’re building full turnkey solutions now, there’s a lot of complexity on the RF side of the handset and whether you have the applicable tool kit to do more integration on that side.

                That’s an easy question because we have one of the world’s most capable RF teams in Broadcom. Broadcom pioneered CMOS RF, implementing RF in CMOS. And you can — as witnessed by our patent portfolio, which is second to none. We have a very capable team. The team has built RF chips for all of our devices. And I mentioned earlier that we sell more wireless chips with integrated RF than any company on the planet. So I’m very confident in the capabilities. They are doing the RF for all of our complete platforms that I showed you. So whether it’s 21553, 21654, 21664, 28155, those are complemented with Broadcom RF internal, 100% Broadcom IP. And again over the course of time, we can integrate all these IP into a single chip. That’s the reason these big OEMs, these big handset OEMs want to work with Broadcom because they know eventually all these connectivity pieces will integrate into a single connectivity island, and same thing with the baseband island.

                As it relates to the wins that you had earlier this year with the single-core platform like let’s say for example going into Samsung, I think the rough dollar content is about $10 to $12. Because you’re not only supplying the baseband, you’re supplying the power management, RF, integrated connectivity. And I think you’ve told us before that as the team moves to the dual-core platform, very similar to the GALAXY S II plus announcement today, that it’s roughly about a $7 to $9 increase in dollar content. So first question is, is that still the case?

                I think you’re asking is can our dual core — our 28155, for example, which is our high-end dual core, okay. As I mentioned, this is part that has integrated ISP. That’s the same ISP engine that Nokia used for their 41-megapixel camera that’s on board our 28155 device. We also have very high-end graphics on that device. The graphics on Broadcom 28155 rivals lot of the 4G SOCs that are out there. In fact, it surpasses a number of them, okay. So when you compare the price of that to the single core, absolutely the price delta would be in the range that you mentioned, okay, the ASP uplift.

                And then the second question is, as a team rolls out the turnkey solution, my sense is that there is still a lot of customization that has to be done on the software and the firmware set for your customers.

                … the idea behind the turnkey is not to have a lot of customization. The way that a company — a handset company could take advantage of our turnkey is to perhaps change the color, perhaps change the idea a little bit, but not change it. And that’s really what’s important. So there isn’t a lot of customization needed. We do all of the Android integration, all the tests. And we make sure all of the Android certification tests pass when we deliver that turnkey design. So if somebody wanted to put their own skin on top of it, we could do that, but would really prefer when it comes to the turnkey that they don’t touch anything, that they use this as their experience phone, if you will.

                12 months from now, most of the growth of the smartphone market is coming from emerging markets, much lower-end mix, can you help me understand how that impacts the content, the pricing, the competitive landscape, the profitability? Is that China market really going to be it’s a Broadcom turnkey solution or it’s a MediaTek turnkey solution and whoever has that turnkey solution wins it all?

                … first of all, every handset company, any smartphone handset company is — are spinning their 3G offerings today. So in order to — for them to take advantage of the growth in 3G, they’re all having to reduce their costs. They are all having to move to more integrated solutions. So I don’t see it as just a China play, okay. So I see it’s a worldwide event. And that certainly in China, I think the turnkey does help significantly because if you look at Tier 2s and Tier 3s in China, they don’t have as much engineering resource. So I do think it’s a big swing, an advantage to have a full turnkey and be able to supply this multi-sourcing capability to those Chinese customers. But again, the 3G turnover is going to happen across the world, not just in China.

                SUPPLEMENTAL CONTENT:

                image
                Source: Broadcom 2012 Analyst Day Supplemental Content, Dec 6, 2012

                BCM28145/28155
                Dual Core 720p/1080p HSPA+ Baseband Processors [Broadcom product page, Feb 24, 2012]

                The BCM28145/BCM28155 HSPA+ baseband processors are highly integrated high-performance dual-core CPUs implemented in a cost effective 40 nm LP process that squarely targets today’s power-conscious mobile platforms. These devices, combined with their complete reference platform, provide system designers with everything needed to bring next-generation mobile devices to market while also providing an extremely flexible platform for application, video, and multimedia developers.
                BCM28145/BCM28155 devices integrate high performance dual-core ARM® Cortex-A9 processors, each with a NEON floating-point SIMD processing engine. A powerful 2D/3D graphics engine, the latest audio codecs, and advanced video and image processing capabilities are all delivered by the integrated Broadcom VideoCore-IV® technology.
                Features
                • Advanced 2G/3G modem with support for 21/5.8 Mbps HSPA+ and Class 33 EDGE
                • Advanced applications processing subsystem
                  – Dual ARM cortex-A9 processors with NEON extensions, up to 1.2 GHz per core
                  VideoCore-IV multimedia and imaging processor
                  – Support for 20-Mpixel imaging, 720p (28145) /1080p (28155) video capture and playback, and accelerated 2D/3D graphics
                  – Full integration of audio subsystem
                • High performance memory and peripheral interfaces
                  400 MHz LPDDR2 memory interface (single-28145, dual-28155)
                  – High-speed e.MMC/SD/SDIO and NAND interfaces
                  – CPI and MIPI® CSI-2 and MIPI DPI-2, DBI-B and DBI-C DSI serial camera and display interfaces

                image

                image
                Source: Broadcom 2012 Analyst Day Supplemental Content, Dec 6, 2012

                See also:
                Broadcom Introduces New Platforms Optimized for Android ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ Smartphones [Broadcom press release, Feb 27, 2012]

                Single and Dual Core Processors with VideoCore® Technology Provide Premium Android Experience
                Broadcom’s new family of 3G platforms will enable handset OEMs to affordably deliver a premium Android 4.0 user experience across multiple smartphone product tiers. The Broadcom® BCM21654G features a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, an integrated 7.2/5.8 Mbps HSPA modem and low-power VGA video support. The BCM28145 and BCM28155 include dual ARM Cortex A9 cores up to 1.3 GHz, 21/5.8 Mbps HSPA+ modems and HD 720p and 1080p, video respectively. All three chips were developed in an advanced, low power 40 nanometer process technology and are complemented by radio frequency (RF), power management unit (PMU) and an advanced connectivity suite for a complete system solution.

                All three platforms are sampling to customers and expected to be in production in the second half of 2012.

                Optimized for Superior Android 4.0 ICS Smartphones:
                • Broadcom’s industry-leading VideoCore technology offers a ‘third processing core’ to offload the application processor, enriching the Ice Cream Sandwich user experience with the industry’s lowest power HD playback and camcorder capabilities up to 1080p.
                • Low latency memory and bus architecture boosts overall system performance for a highly responsive user interface.
                • Highest quality imaging is provided by Broadcom’s latest Image Signal Processor (ISP) that supports cameras up to 42 megapixels, with very low light capabilities and wide dynamic range for the sharpest images.

                From Broadcom Corp. – Analyst/Investor Day, December 14, 2011

                Robert Americo Rango, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Mobile and Wireless Group:

                Broadcom has been investing for many years, actually, since 2004 when we did an acquisition, in graphics. In fact, we call it VideoCore, and that, it’s maybe a misnomer, it should be called MediaCore because this dedicated IP block does graphics, it does image signal processing. When your image comes off the camera, you need to post-process it, that’s called image signal processing, okay? And it does video. So you can’t do those functions well with standard application processors. You need to do that with dedicated hardware, dedicated customized hardware, and that’s called VideoCore.

                image
                Source: Broadcom 2011 Analyst Day, Dec 14, 2011

                Now let’s see how we do versus the industry’s competition. One of the most recognized benchmarks that’s out there is called Taiji. It’s the OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark most people will recognize as benchmark, as a very important benchmark. And what you see here is Broadcom versus Qualcomm versus TI. In fact, this TI chip, I think, is running the latest version of some of Ice Cream Sandwich phones that are out there. And you can see that Broadcom’s VideoCore is able to render over 50 frames a second while some of the competition can barely get to 30. And in fact, just another data point comparing Broadcom VideoCore 4, all this — again, this is a fair comparison because it’s comparing what’s in production to what’s in production. Our VideoCore 4 is in production in many different Nokia phones, smartphones. And Nokia’s multimedia experience is widely considered to be one of the best. Now comparing VideoCore 4, which again is in production, to one of Imagination’s latest IP cores, we’re 1/2 the power and 2x the performance.

                So some of our competitors don’t have this IP. They go often license it from a company like Imagination. It sounds good on paper until you have a problem. And a customer calls you up and says, “Hey, this game, this Modern Warfare 3 won’t run,” and that company has to go call Imagination. Okay, Broadcom doesn’t have to do that. We’re a one-stop shop. All this IP that I’m talking about is owned and within Broadcom so I can walk down the hall, knock on the engineer’s door and say, “What were you thinking when you designed this?” and I usually get an answer very quickly. And I think that’s the respect we have with our customers, okay? We have the IP in-house. Okay, so the industry’s best graphics performance and power consumption. …

                Broadcom Announces 1080p Multimedia Processor with Breakthrough Mobile Power-Performance [Broadcom press release, Dec 15, 2009]

                New Broadcom® BCM2763 VideoCore® IV Processor Features 1080p Video, 20 Megapixel Photos and 1 Gigapixel Graphics in an Ultra-Low Power 40 Nanometer Design
                Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced its next generation multimedia processor that delivers industry leading performance and lower power in the top multimedia categories for mobile devices. Using 40 nanometer (40nm) CMOS process technology, the new Broadcom® BCM2763 VideoCore® IV multimedia processor provides even higher integration, smaller footprint size and lower power consumption than 65nm designs.
                With the higher integration and significant power savings from 40nm CMOS process technology, the BCM2763multimedia processor features the most advanced mobile high definition (HD) camcorder and video playback, up to 20 megapixel digital camera and photo image processing, and 1 gigapixel 2D/3D graphics rendering for a world-class gaming experience. HD video, 3D games and high resolution 20 megapixel pictures can be displayed at top quality on full-sized HD televisions and monitors using an on-chip industry standard HDMI interface. Additionally, the BCM2763‘s highly integrated architecture reduces bill-of-materials (BOM) cost to help drive sophisticated multimedia features into more affordable handsets.
                Highlights/Key Facts:
                The breadth and quality of Internet multimedia content is rapidlyimproving, with sites such as YouTube now supporting full HD 1080p video sharing. Consumers are also increasingly using cell phones as their primary digital camera and camcorder, which is driving demand for higher resolution and more sophisticated image processing which is currently only available on advanced standalone camcorders and cameras. Additionally, newer graphics-oriented user interfaces and mobile games now require enhanced graphics capabilities.
                The new Broadcom BCM2763 VideoCore IV multimedia processor enables best-in-class performance in the following areas:
                • Full HD 1080p camcorder capabilities in a cell phone with significantly improved quality over current generation handsets (which generally have VGA or lower resolution camcorders). 
                • Up to 20 megapixel digital camera with advanced features such as multiple shots per second, image stabilization, face and smile detection and panorama mode.
                • The ability to render mobile games natively at up to 1080p resolution, which in combination with an on-board HDMI output, allows a console-quality gaming experience on large screen HDTVs.
                In addition to providing these capabilities on new handsets, the BCM2763 has improved power savings using a 40nm process without draining the battery or significantly reducing talk time. Additional ultra-low power consumption features include:
                • 20% to 50% power reduction in comparison to the prior generation Videocore III multimedia processor.
                • 4 to 6 hours of 1080p video recording and 8 to 10 hours of mobile playback, with up to 16 hours of full HD playback over HDMI given sufficient handset storage.
                • Only 490 mW of chip power is required for 1080p camcorder H.264 High Profile encoding and only 160 mW for 1080p playback.
                • Only 160 mW of power is required for mobile game graphics processing, supporting up to 1 gigapixel per second fill rates and improves graphics performance by a factor of 4x to 6x in comparison to the prior generation Videocore III multimedia processor.
                The BCM2763 processor integrates the key functionality and components needed to drive advanced multimedia capabilities in new handsets. As a result of this high integration, the BCM2763 enables a lower overall BOM cost, enabling manufacturers to pass these lower costs on and introduce advanced features to lower tier phones than previously possible.
                • The BCM2763 integrates the functions of eight chips including GPU and graphics memory, image signal processing (ISP) and ISP memory, video processing and video memory, HDMI and USB 2.0. 128MB of LPDDR2 graphics memory is stacked in a single package. 
                • The 40nm process enables reduced power, improved performance and reduced handset board space.
                Benefiting from an existing VideoCore software code base and legacy architecture, manufacturers of phones and other consumer electronics devices can easily add these new VideoCore IV multimedia features to their products, allowing faster time-to-market.
                The BCM2763 is currently sampling to early access customers (pricing available upon request). Handsets utilizing this new 40nm VideoCore IV multimedia processor technology are expected to reach the market in 2011.
                Supporting Quotes:
                Mark Casey, Vice President & General Manager, Broadcom’s Mobile Multimedia line of business.
                VideoCore IV is setting new benchmarks for performance, power consumption and affordability and is poised to drive advanced multimedia capabilities into new tiers of handsets. Supported by our comprehensive line of complementary cellular and connectivity solutions, our multimedia processor technology is the right choice for next generation mobile designs.”
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                About Broadcom
                Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. We provide the industry’s broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®.
                Broadcom is one of the world’s largest fabless semiconductor companies, with 2008 revenue of $4.66 billion, and holds over 3,650 U.S. and over 1,450 foreign patents, more than 7,750 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video, data and multimedia.
                A FORTUNE 500® company, Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000 or at www.broadcom.com.