Almira Labs Blog

Weather Forecast 2.0

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The weather is always a big concern when planning a trip, practicing some outdoor sports, as hiking or cycling, arranging all kinds of events, or even choosing what to wear the next day. So far to check the weather forecast you had to wait till the end of newscast, buy the newspaper or have an internet connexion available to access a weather service. Fortunately, from now on those efforts aren’t necessary anymore.

Yesterday, Almira Labs launched together with our partner Digitalmeteo, expert in meteorological forecasting, Meteovox, a new revolutionary value-added-service which enables you to have the meteorologist always at your fingertips. Backed up by the Spanish national newspaper 20Mintutos we invited 30 well-known Spanish technology bloggers to an exclusive get-together to experience in first hand how a personalised weather forecast works.

The overall feedback was thrilling, pointing out that Meteovox is designed to work on any kind of phone device, whether feature phone, smartphone or even landline. “The weather will never surprise you again while you are spending your few days off at the beach”, Almira Labs’ CMO Miguel Monforte precised the unique value of this service. Meteovox calls you to deliver a personalised voice message for your city telling what weather you can expect for the next day in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Málaga, Sevilla and Zaragoza.

Select from 3 different plans that fit best to your personal needs: Daily Plan, from Monday to Friday or Weekend Plan, starting from 2.5€ per month. Finally you can get detailed information about the weather in a simple and comprehensible language without the need of a meteorology degree to understand the usual weather forecast.

Almira Labs at SDP Global Summit: It’s “Time to Market” That Matters Most to Operators

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Almira Labs CMO Miguel Monforte recently joined representatives from France’s Bouygues Telecom and Open Cloud to discuss the economic realities that mobile operators must face when deploying new services and applications in their networks. The panel session took place at the SDP Global Summit, which was held from 11th to 13 th September in Rome.
During the discussion, Mr. Monforte raised the point that operators are most interested in how quickly they can monetize new features, and are looking for scenarios where integration and implementation are more seamless and cost-effective.

“Open-standard technologies offer technical efficiencies and lower operating costs that are very appealing to service providers,” explained Mr. Monforte. “For providers that are trying to squeeze more profits in a very tight economy, this is critical. Any solution that enables operators to quickly add more services to their subscribers—without disrupting their networks or incurring capital expenses—will be very well received. Almira Labs along with Open Cloud solutions offer all these benefits.”

Patrice Crutel, Core Network and Service Architect for Bouygues Telecom, reinforced this concept to the audience. “A lot of developers—and operators for that matter—seem to be completely focused on APIs,” said Mr. Crutel. “Our experience is different. We do understand that long term, APIs should be offered to developers but we’re also very comfortable delivering advanced services and applications to our subscribers using the Open Cloud Service Broker. The cost of deployment is low, and most importantly, the speed to market is high. From our perspective, that’s a huge advantage. We do see JAIN SLEE (or SIP Servlets) offered by Opencloud Service Broker as an alternative to API”

Left to Right: Miguel Monforte, Patrice Crutel, and Mark Windle, marketing manager for Open Cloud, discuss their experiences  to deliver features and services to mobile subscribers.

Running with the Big Boys

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There are few industries worldwide today more competitive than wireless communications. Talk about having to differentiate between a host of “me too” solutions. Sure, there are differences in mobile devices and exclusivity arrangements for launches; but in the eyes of most consumers, how different can the experiences be?

Tier-1 mobile carriers spend billions each year on elaborate marketing campaigns and endorsement contracts to position their devices, service packages, and quality of connection as the “must-have” deal of the season. In actuality, the device and service margins are so razor thin, the bottom line savings offered to consumers between any two Tier-1 competitive options end up six versus one-half dozen. A wash. And if Tier-1 providers are butting head-to-head to compete, where does that leave Tier-2 and Tier-3 carriers, who must erode share to survive?

While Tier-1 providers go round-for-round focusing heavily on data and multimedia services, Tier-2 and Tier-3 carriers can outsmart and outmaneuver them by expanding their voice-based services. Yes, voice. Voice-based apps are steadily returning the mobile world’s collective imagination back to the power of voice as the universal app. Of the six billion mobile devices estimated to be in use around the world by 2016, four billion will remain standard feature phones, and the revenue potential of this market — ironically, the industry’s original market! — remains virtually untapped today.

By enabling standard feature phones to share in such traditionally data-driven capabilities as voice-to-email, voice-to-video and voice-to-social networking, just to name a few, Tier-2 and Tier-3 operators now have a proven path to successfully compete, increase revenues, and leave no phone behind.

Almira Labs speaks at panel session at SDP Global Summit

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From the 11th- 13th September the 8th Annual SDP Global Summit takes place again, and this time in Rome. Intensive 3 days are expected where over 90 Operators and more than 300 Executives of the Telco industry will join workshops, keynotes and panel discussion to exchange facts and opinions about next generation service delivery platform, App store strategies and business models and much more – a unique get-together for everyone who is looking for prosperous partnerships.

A “NOT TO MISS” event will the Panel session “Open For Innovation” on Thursday, the 13th, at 14:40 pm where Almira Labs’ CMO Miguel Monforte will give valuable inside about various strategies that service providers can leverage to introduce next- generation services to their subscriber base.

The panel, completed by Shira Levine, directing analyst with market researchfirm Infonetics, as well as representatives from Open Cloud, and the French mobile operator Bouygues, will also share real-world examples where operators have used cloud-based technologies to deliver high-margin voice-driven services, such as email, QR technologies, and social media, to legacy handset subscribers, as well as smartphone and fixed line users.

>  Enter the complete SDP Global Summit Conference Agenda