Top 20 Mobile Operators in the world

If you are like me, a mobile phone and consequently a mobile operator holds an important place in your life. In 2011, mobile phone subscribers have grown to 5 billion and, not surprisingly, the growth is coming from Asia and Latin America. Here are the top  20 mobile operators in the world according to Wireless Intelligence, the market analyst arm of the GSM association. 

China Mobile sits at the top with 616.8 million subscribers (roughly two times the population of USA), followed by Vodafone and latin america giant America Movil Group.

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** Image source: GigaOM 

There are 5 Indian operators in this list, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular, BSNL and Tata DOCOMO, further reinforcing India’s role in mobile’s explosive growth. Russia’s VimpleCom comes in at number 6 and has had the highest YOY growth of all operators ( possibly due to acquisition of competitor Orascom Telecom). US carries Verizon and AT&T come in at number 13 and 16. Indonesia’s Telkomsel ranks 15th on the list with a 16% YOY growth.   

Any business or campaign that is looking to tap into audiences via their mobile phones, cannot afford to ignore the BRIC nations, Mexico, Indonesia and South Africa. If you want to fish where the fish are, don’t forget to bring a larger net. 

Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2011 presentation

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Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends presentation has become the gold standard for measuring current trajectory and calculating future growth of all things in mainstream technology. This year’s presentation is full of really interesting stats and themes. The topics covered were : 

1. Globality – We Aren’t In Kansas Anymore…

2. Mobile – Early Innings Growth, Still…

3. User Interface – Text-Graphical- Touch / Sound / Move

4. Commerce – Fast / Easy / Fun / Savings = More Important Than Ever…

5. Advertising – Lookin’ Good…

6. Content Creation – Changed Forever

7. Technology / Mobile Leadership – Americans Should Be Proud

8. Mega-Trend of 21st Century = Empowerment of People via Connected

Mobile Devices

9. Authentic Identity – The Good / Bad / Ugly. But Mostly Good?

10. Economy – Lots of Uncertainty

11. USA Inc. – Pay Attention!

12. Closing Thoughts

My 5 favourite topics were : 

  • In three years from 2007-10, China added more users than total users exist in USA
  • Focus on a rollout strategy in one country and then taking it global ala Shazam, Spotify, Soundcloud, Waze. 
  • Only 835mm smartphone subscribers over 5.6 B mobile subscribers - meaning smartphone usage still has a massive upside.
  • Traffic from mobile sites to Twitter, Facebook and Pandora have gone up from 1-2% in 2008 to 55%- 60%
  • The debt to GDP ratio of different countries. Some interesting insights on that slide. 

For viewing the complete presentation visit : 

Mary Meeker 2011

Kindle Fire and Kindle touch news and reviews

Kindle Fire

Unless you’ve been licking stamps at your local post office to send your mates christmas wishes, you would have heard that Amazon released the Kindle Fire ( a $199, 7-inch color tablet) and its new Kindle Touch for $99 and revamped keyboard-less Kindle for $79 (ad supported). If you remove the special offers though, and the price for those e-readers jumps to $139 and $109, respectively. Currently, this is scheduled for American audiences only (aw shucks!). Here are the best links from around the internet giving you an overview of the Kindle Fire and Kindle touch and does it measure up as the first real iPad alternative. 

Overview of Kindle Fire (Engadget): 

http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/28/amazon-fire-tablet-unveiled-7-inch-display-199-price-tag/

Hands on impression of the Kindle Fire (Engadget):

http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/28/amazon-kindle-fire-impressions/

Kindle Fire and Kindle touch analysis and relationship with content partners (Gigaom): 

http://gigaom.com/2011/09/28/the-kindle-fire-meet-the-new-boss-same-as-the-old-boss/

Kindle Fire in Action [Video]

http://gigaom.com/tv/kindle-fire-in-action/

10 things we dont know about the Kindle fire (Cnet) 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20113005-1/ten-things-we-dont-know-about-the-kindle-fire/

Peter Kafka’s live blog at the Kindle event in NYC

http://allthingsd.com/20110928/live-from-new-york-meet-the-amazons-kindle-fire/

So what are your thoughts? Do you like what you see, will you be pre-ordering one or are you going to hold off for the iPad 3 to see if Apple does raise the bar? 

How to enable email notifications for Facebook messages

If you are like me, you are probably miffed about Facebook removing email notifications by default when someone sends you a message. After you spend the customary few weeks moaning about it, here is what you can do to reinitiate the emails someone sends you a message. 

1. Click on Account on the top right, and click on Account Settings. 

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2. Click on the Notifications link

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3. ‘Very important’: Make sure this box is unchecked so you can manually adjust when you receive email notifications. 

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4. Click on ‘All notifications’ and hit ‘Edit’ under Facebook

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Check the box that says ‘Sends you a message’

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Job done. Now you can go back to cursing how Facebook spams your inbox. 

What is Posterous Spaces?

image Posterous Spaces is the rebrand of the popular microblogging platform Posterous. Spaces gives the entire user interface of Posterous a massive overhaul. As you may recall my daily photoblog, http://www.sidpicky.com is hosted on Posterous and I was keen to find out what Posterous Spaces brings to the table. 

The things that I immediately noticed was: 

  • The layout is much less confusing and makes navigating around Posterous a lot better. 
  • The changes implemented is designed to ensure that you spend more time on Posterous consuming content. The Reader view reminds me of the Tumblr Dashboard. 
  •  The site definitely loads faster than before. Posterous claims its 3X times faster. 
  • The mobile apps are largely the same except for prominent branding changes. 

Posterous Spaces has 4 main components 

Reader, Popular, Activity and Spaces.

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Reader: The Reader view is a collection of all the Posterous blogs you follow. It reminds me of the Dashboard view in Tumblr but its more clean and it has facebook and twitter integrated with every post. There are also some nice nifty features if you have multiple images in your post. The images stack up nicely on top of each other and you are given a choice to view the post or visit the website. I will be looking at my analytics quite closely to see if there is more referral traffic from posterous.com to my custom domain.

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Popular: This is a great way to discover new content on Posterous. It is the same as the Reader view but picks up things from even people you are not following. 

Activity: I didn’t realize that how much I missed having a place where I can just peruse the activity steam on my blog. It lists all the likes, comments and subscribers and makes it easy to follow people back.  

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Spaces: The spaces tab replaces the ‘Groups’ and ‘Sites’ tab and displays all your Posterous sites. The public and private space is much more clearer than the private group feature introduced a few months ago. (I cant believe I have 113 followers, blessed)

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Settings: The Settings tab replaces the ‘Manage’ settings. This is the place you need to go to to update the Account Settings or Profile Settings. I like the clean 3 column layout. It manages to fit in a lot of data without cluttering the page too much.  

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Find Friends: This replaces the recently launched ‘Friend Finder’ feature and gets a home on the main navigation. Here you can find your friends on Facebook and Twitter who have Posterous blogs. I was hoping to see something different here like Google+ or Instagram integration that is not run of the mill. But I guess it made sense to stick to the usual suspects here. 

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Log Out: The Log Out button ..well, lets see..hmmm..what does that do. I wonder! 

Overall verdict: Posterous is an EXCELLENT platform and I am a massive fan and Spaces pushes the needle forward in every way. The cleaner interface, the faster load times and the Reader interface are all great ways to keep the users engaged and brings it more in line with the competition. Here’s expecting a ton of new features to come up in the future.