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Esmeralda Swartz

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Top Stories by Esmeralda Swartz

In Part 1, I looked at what could be behind Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp and subsequent purchase of Oculus Rift. How are these seemingly different acquisitions related? There is no question that both Facebook and Google are in a race to build the next-generation computing/communications platform (after mobile) and the battle lines are being drawn between the over-the-top (OTT) players and telecommunications companies. After all, both Facebook and Google count on telcos to deliver services to their customer base. How will the WhatsApp and Oculus Rift acquisitions shape Facebook and impact the rest of the market including Google and mobile? Facebook did not pay $19 billion for WhatsApp simply because it's an SMS replacement, a Skype and Twitter competitor, because it could grow its international subscriber base, or could attract customers among the coveted mil... (more)

Stay Current on the Internet of Things

What Internet of Things (IoT) technology is of most interest to you? Do you currently use any IoT applications or IoT-based products? What challenges do you predict IoT will face? Is your business considering any IoT offerings? You're invited to MetraTech's monthly Twitter chat to discuss these questions and more. As of Tuesday, June 17, MetraTech will host a monthly Twitter chat for individuals interested in machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT topics. During these chats, we'll help keep you current on news, events and happenings within the IoT market, and give you a platform to exp... (more)

Facebook Plays Short and Long Game with WhatsApp and Oculus Rift | Part 1

When Facebook decided to invest a cool $19 billion ($16 billion upfront) for messaging app WhatsApp the entire world was bound to take notice. Telecommunications types, in particular, were keen to understand how this latest move would impact them as mobile operators have been feeling the heat from over the top (OTT) players like Google and Facebook for years. (To put this $19 billion in perspective, AT&T, one of the world's largest telecom carriers, invests about $20 billion in networks and spectrum in an entire year.) Shortly thereafter, in another surprise move and with the dus... (more)

Google Can Run Wireless Industry by Proxy

Some people really want Google to be a wireless carrier. The most recent speculative episode was early in April when The Information published an exclusive suggesting that Google might be thinking about an MVNO deal with Verizon or AT&T, based on comments by people who were unnamed (but might have been close to Google). Now I don't want to be picky, but the notion that Google might want to become a wireless carrier has been talked about by unnamed "experts" in bars for many years, and lots of that speculation has been published with enthusiasm. It is rather evident that becomin... (more)

The Connected Cars War

At the Geneva Motor Show Apple officially launched its new "CarPlay" product for cars, to some excitement. Apple has enlisted a number of big name auto manufacturers into the program, so you can expect to see CarPlay in your new vehicle sometime soon. But what's new here? At first glance this is just a computer company providing its interface expertise to car companies, just like the deal between Microsoft and Ford that was announced way back at CES 2007. The list of features - entertainment, maps, messaging, voice control - looks very similar. So what's different, and why is Ap... (more)