Posts by Gary Kim

Author Gary Kim has been a market researcher and journalist covering communications for more than 25 years, with significant interludes spent working at Internet-related start-ups. Gary got his undergraduate and Masters degrees at the University of Oregon, and is a member of Mensa. He was named a "Power Mobile Influencer" by Forbes.



When Will Cable Start Shifting Bandwidth Away from Video and to Internet Access?

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If an ISP’s highest-margin product is projected to have demand growth of an order of magnitude growth, or more, while other products with lower profit margins are declining, should we not expect more bandwidth to allocated to the fast-growing, highest-margin service? Internet bandwidth, despite all worries about the “dumb pipe” implications, is the highest-margin product...Learn More

In the Coming Gigabit Era, Not All ISPs Can Win

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Now that Google Fiber is to be built in three U.S. cities, and given AT&T’s announced intention to counter with a 1-Gbps network of its own in Austin, Texas, new attention will be paid to precisely what has to be tweaked in an ISP’s business plan to make such networks possible on a wider scale....Learn More

Google Fiber for Austin, Texas?

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By April 9, 2013, we should know whether Austin, Texas will become the second U.S. city to get Google Fiber. And observers still will ask whether Google Fiber is a sustainable commercial proposition.  Of all the assumptions necessary for Google Fiber to be a sustainable business, the critical assumption is penetration rate. Though some argue...Learn More

Is Fixed Broadband Access More Important Than Mobility?

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If they had to give up one service (video entertainment, mobile, broadband), U.K. consumers would ditch video (49 percent) or mobile (30 percent) before their fixed network broadband connection (two percent), a survey of  more than 10,000 U.K. consumers has found. That might come as a surprise, as many would presume the mobile would be...Learn More

How Much Change Might “Unlocked Phones” Bring?

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Would mandatory rules on sale of “unlocked” phones enhance consumer welfare and competition in the U.S. mobile communications business? Some argue that the benefits to consumers would be significant, as “phone unlocking” would create a competitive situation more analogous to Europe, where any unlocked device can be used on any network. And the question is...Learn More

Can Wi-Fi Really Compete with Mobile Networks?

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As someone who historically has been skeptical about suggestions that widespread Wi-Fi networks would be a viable alternative to mobile networks, recent smart phone and tablet trends are a cause to reexamine those assumptions. The way people now use mobile and untethered devices means the questions have to be asked in a different way than...Learn More

Diminishing Use Predicts Churn: Will that Happen to Access Networks?

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In the mobile service provider business, one of the classic signs of potential customer churn is a pattern of diminishing use. But that is but one of scores to hundreds of key performance indicators mobile service providers can monitor when attempting to protect their current customer base. One therefore wonders whether changing patterns of usage,...Learn More

Changing “Definitions” Reflect a Changing TV Industry

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Traditional and basic metrics that are losing their power to describe financial performance or end user behavior are among the sure signs a market is changing. So it is that the television industry is within three months of creating new definitions of what a “TV household” is, for purposes of measuring viewership, and hence developing...Learn More

Apple Has to be Working on a Lower-Cost iPhone

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Is Apple working on a lower-cost iPhone? Yes, some say. No, others say. To be sure, Apple tends to stake out the high end, “premium” position in a market, and really does not “chase market share at any cost.” But none of that means Apple can avoid gearing the price of its “premium” devices to...Learn More

Why a Broadband Capacity Crisis Will Not Happen

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One frequently hears warnings about outsized growth of broadband access demand, the implication being that a crisis might develop if “something is not done.” Some predict that 1,000 times more mobile bandwidth will be needed by 2020, for example. Those “problems” tend not to materialize, and one has to assume the natural workings of supply...Learn More

Why Should Toll-Free Services Be Illegal?

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Most people likely would agree that a “postage-paid” return policy is a useful and good thing for suppliers of online retail merchandise. After all, sometimes a garment doesn’t fit, or a customer doesn’t like the fit and finish of an item of clothing purchased online. Most people probably would agree that a “buy one, get...Learn More

Will Appeals Court Overturn “Network Neutrality” Rules?

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A U.S. Court of Appeals finally will hear a Verizon challenge to Federal Communications Commission network neutrality rules. How the court rules could lead to big changes for the broadband access business. Specifically, if the court sustains the network neutrality rules, it is possible the “best effort only” rules that now apply to fixed access...Learn More