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Qualcomm Races to Fix Wireless Crunch

Qualcomm conducted a hyper-dense small-cell trial deployment at the NASCAR Sprint Cup race this past weekend, delivering 43 times more capacity than what Sprint currently deploys at events. 

Qualcomm said it chose the Sprint Cup event at Phoenix International Raceway because it's such a challenging RF environment with high demands on capacity from the nearly 70,000 fans as well as racing teams and PIR personnel. Hurdles such as battling reflection from the bevy of hauler trucks added to the typical challenges of providing coverage to a highly attended outdoor event.

Sprint typically supports wireless data capacity needs at NASCAR events with Cell on Wheel units, or COWs. For this event, Qualcomm deployed 31 small-cell base stations. In addition to dramatic capacity improvements, there could be cost advantages to Sprint in deploying compact small cells rather than COWs as well.

Many believe that small cells will play a critical role in solving the impending data capacity crunch, as demand for wireless data continues to grow many times faster than 4G alone will be able to provide. Qualcomm calls this the "1000x Challenge," as it forecasts that data demand will multiply 1000-fold by the end of the decade. You can find my white paper on topic HERE.



Is Fitbit the New Abdominizer?

Are wearable fitness trackers really a game-changing phenomenon? Or are they just the latest in a long line of gimmicks designed to snag money from the wallets of people who really want to get in shape but never seem to? 

I’ve been of the mind that an awful lot of the devices will be sitting with the Shake Weight on the treadmill-cum-clothesline in the study. But I'm starting to change my tune.

I’ll submit that my position may be colored at least in part by the wearables hangover I’ve been nursing since CES last month. The manic rush to strap sensors onto body parts and embed them into other connected devices at times felt more like parody than plan. It reminded me of the days before the dot com bubble burst – on a much smaller scale, of course – when all you needed was a PowerPoint deck and a sock puppet to secure enough funding to run Super Bowl ads.

By the time I flew out of Vegas, I'd coined a new acronym: IoC, or Internet of Crap.

No doubt, there is an awful lot of IoC out there. But it's not all IoC. There are Amazon.com's out there with the Pet.com's of the wearables era.

So which is Fitbit? Read my entire column HERE.


A Tale of Two eBurglaries


Hackers recently pried their way into customer data at Target and SnapChat. It’s a costly proposition for both, to be sure. But while one company’s wings may be permanently clipped, watch for the other to dust itself off and continue on as before.

Why are consumer reactions to the two heists so pronounced? Because they view the Target hack as a security breach. And even though thieves got less information per SnapChat customer, consumers see that breakin as a violation of their privacy.

Find out why HERE.


Powerful Incentive from Miami Dolphins

Autographs? Now that's how you get fans to share their location and other personal information with you!

Last Sunday, Qualcomm and the Dolphins lit up proximity beacons around Sun Life Stadium in Miami, and gave a group of fans a taste of location-aware discounts, inside information and other benefits delivered to their smartphones. Like notifications that the food line one section over is much shorter than the one you're standing in now. Or coupons as you pass the team store.

And an alert that players are signing autographs at the loyalty tent. What loyal fan wouldn't want their favorite player's autograph? Right?

There's a good lesson here for anyone planning contextually aware apps. That is, if you want their information, you have to follow these three steps:

  • Tell them what they're sharing
  • Tell them what you're going to use it for, and
  • Give them something in return.

Read my entire column on the subject HERE.


MarketsofOne's Charter Sponsor

The MarketsofOne TechSummit welcomes Qualcomm as Charter Sponsor. MarketsofOne is the first industrywide forum dedicated entirely to contextual awareness. Digital Sixth Sense, which is Qualcomm's vision for contextual awareness, is closely aligned with the concept for the summit.

The conference will be held April 10th, 2014, at the Four Seasons in Palo Alto, CA. Learn more HERE.