Active Denial Weapon Round-up

Hot:

 

I’m writing this article because some people still don’t believe that pocket microwave guns (called by some, mobile phones) actually exist and are currently in use as weapons against others.

The 18 Oct 1907 Hague Convention (IV) on Law of War, it (see Article 23(e)) prohibits items that cause …unnecessary suffering. It is my contention having been on the receiving end that these weapons cause unnecessary suffering and are therefore banned. Regardless of the heritage of the manufacturer.

The following articles are collected from the web and some of them go back to 1985.

We start with an 29 year old special report on energy weapons from CNN

The Ray Gun By: Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, April 03, 2008
http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=30476

 

“…The Ray Gun was designed as a lethal weapon. During my conversation with Ms. Mary Walsh, she advised she was told by Pentagon officials the Ray Gun had been tested on animals. I was very surprised to hear this because Pentagon officials have just confirmed animals are used for testing of weapons such as the Ray Gun at Kirtland AFB. I coordinated the security when the truck loads of animals were being brought in during the middle of the night. Dead animals can’t speak, but if a goat or 500 pound cow can be killed almost instantly with the Ray Gun, then I believe most readers can safely assume a 175 pound man or woman could also die instantly from the intense heat.

The weapon could have been used in early 2003. Before I left for Iraq I had numerous meetings with AFRL/DE engineers and scientists. I knew the capabilities of the weapons. The scientists and their Directors asked me to test and evaluate the DE weapons at Kirtland AFB. I did this immediately after 11 Sep 2001. For several months, the weapons were operational and ready for use in Iraq ….” Dave Gaubatz.

 

 

ABC News: Microwave ‘Gun’ Could End High-Speed Police Chases

ABC News March 1, 2005 by Paul Eng

Microwave ‘Gun’ Could End High-Speed Police Chases: Company Develops Technology to Zap Fleeing Cars With Invisible Energy Beams.

The idea of a powerful ray gun has been a staple of science-fiction writing for decades. But a “weapon” that shoots invisible beams of energy could be making its way into law-enforcement hands soon.

The technology isn’t exactly something that would replace a police officer’s handgun. In fact, the system being developed by Eureka Aerospace in Pasadena, Calif., couldn’t even be crammed into a standard pistol holster.

But the developers say their device, which uses technology more closely related to flash cooking than Flash Gordon, may help stop criminals and terrorists in their tracks.

James Tatoian, chief executive of Eureka, says the High Power Electromagnetic System is designed to disable cars — say, those fleeing from police officers — using bursts of microwave energy.

“Basically, since the 1970s, every car is built with some sort of microprocessor-controlled system — like the ignition control and fuel pump control a lot of vital car systems,” says Tatoian. “If you introduce a parasitic current into their wires, it leads to a power surge which in turn burns out those microprocessors.”

Once the car’s chips are disabled, the vehicle will gradually slow to a halt, allowing police or other security forces to safely approach and apprehend the driver.

Parasitic current is reporter bullshit speak for high energy Microwave beam that overloads and fries the VLSI chips and causes the car to stop functioning on all it’s electronic circuits. Here is an article on how to measure parasitic current which will demonstrate that that terminology couldn’t stop a car under any conditions.: http://flashoffroad.com/electrical/CurrentDrain/currentdrain.pdf

 

A less harmful to humans version is now available. In an attempt to put an end to dangerous, high-speed police chases, scientists at Eureka Aerospace have developed an electromagnetic pulse gun called the High Power Electromagnetic System, or HPEMS. It develops a high-intensity directed pulse of electricity designed to disable a car’s microprocessor system, shutting down all of its systems. Right now the prototype seen in a video fills an entire lab, but they have plans to shrink its size to hand-held proportions.

(Source: http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1041891_video-electromagnetic-pulse-gun-stops-cars-cold)

Microwave Weapon ‘Less Lethal’, But Still Not Safe
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19125695.800-microwave-weapon-less-lethal-but-still-not-safe.html

The Active Denial System, the Pentagon’s “less-lethal” microwave-based crowd-control weapon, produces potentially harmful hotspots when used in built-up areas, and its effects can be intensified by sweaty skin. The flaws call into question the weapon’s usefulness in hot conditions, like those in Iraq.

The ADS fires a microwave beam intended to heat skin without causing damage, while inflicting enough pain to force the victim to move away. However, tests of the weapon showed that reflections off buildings, water or even the ground can produce peak energy densities twice as high as the main beam. Contact with sweat or moist fabric such as a sweaty waistband further intensifies the effect.

 

Active Denial System’ could boost security of DOE nuclear assets

http://www.sandia.gov/LabNews/ln06-24-05/labnews06-24-05.pdf

A multi-organizational team has developed technology that can be used to put the “heat” on adversaries and help protect DOE nuclear assets.

The DOE Office of Security and Safety Performance Assurance (SSA) is exploring the potential to use directed energy weapons technology sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD), named Active Denial Technology (ADT), to help protect DOE nuclear assets.

ADS systems are a new class of

nonlethal weaponry using 95 GHzmillimeter-

wave directed energy . . . capable of rapidly heating a person’s skin to achieve a pain threshold . . . very effective at repelling people, without burning the skin or causing other secondary effects.

sm_Active_Denial

NONLETHAL WEAPONRY — Sandia researchers Willy Morse and James Pacheco

fine-tune the small-sized Active Denial System. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

 

Handheld Version Of Military “Pain Ray” Being Developed
http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/handheld-version-of-military-pain-ray-being-developed

“According to a recent article in New Scientist, defense contractor Raytheon is working on developing a portable, reduced-range version of the crowd-dispersal military technology known as Active Denial.”
Police Could Soon Get Their Hands on the U.S. Military’s ‘Pain Ray’

 Its invisibility has prompted concerns from several quarters. A proposed trial of the portable “pain ray” at a California prison was canceled when fears arose about its possible use as a torture device. Currently, the National Institute of Justice is reviewing whether the Raytheon version will ever make it into civilian law enforcement.

My experiences between the 8th of August 2013 and the 6th March 2014 is that not only does it exist but it has been extended to operate via TCP from any device with Blue tooth/WiFi or Gigahertz frequency networking with centralised targeting. i.e.: many devices can be controlled from one location to aim at a single target.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/police-could-soon-get-their-hands-on-the-us-militarys-pain-ray-61361173/

“The U.S. military has a non-lethal toy straight out of dystopian science fiction.”

Raytheon is now building smaller versions for law enforcement or commercial maritime use – designed to be placed inside buildings, such as prisons, or mounted on ships for defence against, say, pirates. And soon there could be handheld versions of the pain ray. Raytheon has developed small experimental prototypes, one of which is about the size of a heavy rifle and is intended for police use.

 

Russia Working on Electromagnetic Radiation Guns

http://article.wn.com/view/2014/01/07/Russia_working_on_electromagnetic_radiation_guns/

by: Staff Writers Herald Sun April 04, 2012 12:00AM

* Guns will use electromagnetic radiation

* Rays will attack victims’ central nervous system

* Have all your Jedi fantasies finally come true?

WHILE many believed it to be an April Fool’s Day joke, Vladimir Putin has confirmed Russia has been testing mind-bending psychotronic guns that can effectively turn people into zombies.

The futuristic weapons – which attack their victims’ central nervous system – are being developed by scientists and could be used against Russia’s enemies and even its own dissidents by the end of the decade.

Mr Putin has described the guns, which use electromagnetic radiation like that found in microwave ovens, as entirely new instruments for achieving political and strategic goals.

Plans to introduce the super-weapons were announced by Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

While the technology has been around for some time, MrTsyganok said the guns were recently tested for crowd control purposes.

When it was used for dispersing a crowd and it was focused on a man, his body temperature went up immediately as if he was thrown into a hot frying pan,” Mr Tsyganok said.

“Still, we know very little about this weapon and even special forces guys can hardly cope with it,” he said.

Research into electromagnetic weapons has been carried out in the US and Russia since the ’50s but it appears Putin has stolen a march on the US.

Precise details have not been revealed but previous research has shown that low-frequency waves or beams can affect brain cells, alter psychological states and make it possible to transmit suggestions and commands directly into someone’s thoughts.

Mr Putin said the technology is comparable in effect to nuclear weapons but “more acceptable in terms of political and military ideology”.

Mr Serdyukov said the weaponry based on new physics principles – direct-energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, genetic weapons and psychotronic weapons – were part of the state arms procurement program for 2011-2020.

 

Raytheon’s Pain Gun Finally Gets Deployed In Afghanistan (update: recalled)
http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/18/raytheons-pain-gun-finally-gets-deployed-in-afghanistan/
“It’s been six long years since we first got wind of the Pentagon’s Active Denial System, and four since it was slated to control riots in Iraq, but though we’ve seen reporters zapped by the device once or twice, it seems the Air Force-approved pain gun is only now entering service in Afghanistan.”

U.S. Testing Pain Ray In Afghanistan (Updated Again)
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/06/u-s-testing-pain-ray-in-afghanistan/
“The U.S. mission in Afghanistan centers around swaying locals to its side. And there’s no better persuasion tool than an invisible pain ray that makes people feel like they’re on fire.”

Raytheon Microwave Gun Recalled Amidst Controversy
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2010/07/raytheon-microwave-gun-recalled-amidst-controversy/23693/
“A controversial microwave weapon called the Active Denial System has been recalled from Afghanistan, according to an Air Force spokesperson.”

A Disturbing Trend, writes Ando Arike at Harper’s: “Although ‘first-generation’ weapons like rubber bullets and pepper spray have gained a certain acceptance, despite their many drawbacks, exotic technologies like the Active Denial System invariably cause public alarm. Nevertheless,The trend is now away from chemical and ‘kinetic’ weapons that rely on physical trauma and toward post-kinetic weapons that, as researchers put it, ‘induce behavioral modification’ more discreetly. One indication that the public may come to accept these new weapons has been the successful introduction of the Taser—apparently, even the taboo on electroshock can be overcome given the proper political climate.”

 

In fact, law enforcement is already setting up stings for people who are attempting to build these machines

 

Two Men Arrested For Trying To Build An X-Ray Gun

http://www.popsci.com.au/tech/two-men-arrested-for-trying-to-build-an-xray-gun,379866

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported the curious case of Glendon Scott Crawford, a man with Ku Klux Klan connections who wanted to build an X-ray weapon to “help Israel kill its enemies while they slept.” It’s an act so unsubtle and cartoonishly evil that Hollywood execs would probably laugh the premise out of the room.

Crawford was arrested Tuesday, after a sting operation by FBI agents in which they provided Crawford and his co-conspirator, engineer Eric J. Feight, with an nonfunctioning X-ray machine. This begs the question: Could an actual weapon be made from a working X-ray machine?

X-rays are best known for taking pictures of the insides of people. While a regular dose in a medical setting is harmless, increased exposure to X-ray radiation can cause harm. In the grand scheme of radiation, it’s a modest dosage.

Like ultraviolet radiation, the kind that comes from the sun, too much X-ray radiation can cause cancer. That can be a death sentence, but it hardly compares to the kind of death sentence that would come from, say, a regular gun. The typical chest X-ray is 1 rad, or the base unit of radiation.

An intense X-ray that gives off 5-20 rad can cause chromosomal damage, and at 20-100 rad X-rays cause temporary reduction of white blood cell counts, risking reproductive health and sterility. At 200 rad, the earliest forms of radiation sickness can take effect, and 800 or more rad absorbed in a short time is almost always fatal. Crawford planned to create a device capable of generating lethal dosages of X-ray very quickly, probably taking no more than a few hours. He described his plan as “Hiroshima on a light switch,” according to the complaint.

Microwave weapons have been public knowledge since at least the 1985 CNN Report. That’s twenty-nine years. A lot happens in Technology in 29 years. We went from the Intel 8088 @ 4.77 MHz IBM PC to the iPhone 5s in the same time frame.

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In that twenty-nine years we have combined and miniaturized technologies.

 

Anyone that doesn’t believe me after all the above, needs to ask themselves why the 2.4GHz spectrum used on their telephone is used for both for cooking, WiFi and Bluetooth ?

 

 

 

 

The death knell for Nokia, Motorola and iPhone is spelt Chinese Android.

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A few weeks ago we ran an article about Microsoft being the most pirated software in the world as being an indicator for the success of the company.

ACTA was drafted to ensure that cheap “clone” copies of the world’s leading brands are not made by the East and dumped on the west undercutting the local manufacturers investment in their brand.

Chinese mobile phones were developed for the Chinese people in the first instance. The aim was to put a handset into the hands of every person in China.

With the average manufacturing price coming out at $17-$24, the Chinese “clone” handsets were affordable and subscriber numbers boomed.

To the extent, where on a worldwide basis, last year, Internet access via Mobile phones exceeded that of dial-up, ADSL and Cable subscribers.

The problem of course only arose when the “clones” were offered to the West complete with Windows mobile as the operating system.

Microsoft jumped up and down about their software being used for free on the Chinese “clones”.

A year is a lifetime in the technology world.

Windows mobile is no longer the OS of choice.

Google may have abandoned China, but the Chinese think-tanks have certainly not abandoned Google and Android is now available on a whole plethora of new phone offerings from the East.

Traditional phone manufacturers have to be careful how they implement “features” copied from other phone manufacturers.

Intellectual property is ignored largely by these manufacturers who use lawyers to draft the feature list to ensure that no patent claims are lodged.

Chinese manufacturers on the other hand haven’t quite bothered with this nicety.

They merely take the best of the features of all phones and churn out the new “clone”.

Which, surprise, surprise, surprise, is a clone no longer.

Want two standby Sims? Analogue TV ? Two earphone jacks for togetherness listening …. A real 3” screen, front and back cameras, video and still photography?

The Odyssey AU$120.88 or for 20 or more for AU$104.52 each

Chinese Odyssey Mobile Phone

At that price, you could afford to lose half a dozen before equaling the current cost of comparable leading “brandname” phones.

This particular phone runs the Nucleus [pdf file] RTOS OS from Oregon (USA) based Mentor Graphics.

Which according to Wikipedia,  boasts a Nucleus install base of over 1.6 billion mobile devices, as of mid-February, 2010.  (Our story on MS-Dos/win-95, XP etc quoted Microsoft as selling only 1,5-2 billion operating systems all up.).

That certainly puts Mentor Graphics in the top three of mobile operating systems.

However, we have been informed that Chinese vendors are readying the next generation Odyssey and it [and it's cousins] will all be loaded with Android.

DIGITAL DIVIDE

per capita

Industrialized

World

Emerging

World

Total
Banking account unique holders 950,000,000 79% 1,250,000,000 22% 2.2 B
Internet users incl PC, shared & mobile 775,000,000 63% 925,000,000 17% 1.7 B
Mobile phone subscriptions 1,600,000,000 3,000,000,000 4.6 B

Source: Tomi Ahonnen’s 2010 Phone Almanac

According to Comscore in the USA, the most popular phone in February this year was the Blackberry, followed by the iPhone with Android near the bottom but growing fast.

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Oct. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Oct-09 Jan-10 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
RIM 41.3% 43.0% 1.7
Apple 24.8% 25.1% 0.3

Source: ComScore MobiLens

American coverage is still spruiking the Blackberry RIM OS.

The Blackberry holds the lead because of it’s adoption across the business world. Instant emails, wherever is an important business tool – fifteen years late, but nevertheless, a handy option if your business life depends on rapid communications in writing.

However the nextgen phone users may be changing all that, with facebook updates, Tweets, and simple SMS taking over from email as the preferred method of what passes these days as deep and meaningful conversation.

“Wanna hook-up l8tr?”  does not require the RIM operating system.

And – have you seen this yet ? http://bit.ly?someaddress will work on any phone OS browser. Very Gay!

Twitter and sms have supplanted normal communications and created a windfall for the telecommunication companies.

Developers though are choosing sides and whilst application developer’s currently prefer the iPhone OS, unilaterally there is a move towards the Android platform for longer term projects.

Major name manufactuers are also following suite…

Android Smartphones

According to a recent international study by British Telecom, “Western business is not fully prepared for the imminent impact of emerging markets.  While more than six out of ten (64 per cent) directors of large American, British, French and German corporations accept that emerging economies will “reshape” the global business landscape, many seem to have only a rudimentary knowledge of their business environments.

Even though a clear majority (61 per cent) of respondents admit it is “crucial” their business is able to work with the economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – the so-called ‘BRICS’ nations – to succeed in the long term, many of them demonstrate worrying ignorance of the realities of those countries

http://www.itu.int/ituweblogs/treg/ct.ashx?id=e595ae2f-02fb-4f19-b95f-33a55bbe2e95&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.bt.com%2fglobal%2fcollaboration%2fBRICS%2f

With Chinese phone factories (preferring the FREE Android operating system) churning out an estimated 400,000 phones per month, it will not be long before there will be two types of non-business related (RIM) phones in the world.

iPhones (24% of the population) and everyone else with Android. As iPhone users learn what the Android users can do with their “unlocked” non-proprietary operating system phones, the iPhone population will decrement accordingly.

References:

Comscore Phone Platforms Data

http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2010/3/comScore_Reports_January_2010_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share

Growth in North America key for RIM as Apple, Android phones appeal to consumers

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/life/sci_tech/international-growth-expected-for-rim-but-north-american-consumer-growth-key-97003369.html

Building Business With BRICS,  http://www.globalservices.bt.com/static/assets/pdf/white_papers/builiding_a_business_with_brics_new_en.pdf

Imagine downloading 85 movies a minute.

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Can’t be done say the experts.

Well what if a company was going to build out a 1 GB per second internet backbone that would allow you to do so?

Google yesterday announced their intention to do just that.
On their Blog at Think big with a gig: Our experimental fiber network they have extolled the virtues of fast network capabilities as assisting radiographers and home users to receive high resolution 3D images via fibre to the premises.

Initially the network is slated to only be provided to 50,000 to 500,000 Americans but Google are asking for communities of interested persons to contact them for consideration to being included in the first initial “test” rollouts.

There the fantasy ends for me, I live in Australia, the land of slow Internet.

Slow ?

Well, yes, for years Telstra have created an artificial bottleneck with their FDDI rings surrounding each DSLAM at the telephone exchanges.

This bottleneck was initially designed to add lag into the VOIP network so that they wouldn’t loose too much money from their voice operations.

Thankfully, Telstra have now learnt that there is more money in Data than there is in telephones. However they have learnt it fifteen years too late.

In a paper I wrote in 1996, I stated that Telstra Data income from international destinations was already exceeding their facsimile revenues and that VOIP would overtake traditional voice by 2000.

I was wrong about VOIP. Because Telstra built a special feature into their networks.

I call it the FUVNF, (sorry, you will have to decipher the acronym without my assistance – this is a family orientated publication).

Essentially, every time a packet is switched somewhere it requires an extra 34 milliseconds for the switching to occur.

VOIP becomes unusable at greater than 350-500 msec delay. Therefore to create a network on which VOIP cant be used, one just circulates the packets amongst a few switches before allowing it to go on it’s merry way.

Historical Flashback – 1997.

Here’s an explanation of Telstra’s actions and pricing model I wrote in June 1997 (An update to the 1997 paper).

In July 1996, Telstra increased the cost of Wholesale Internet from $0.02 cents per megabyte to $0.195 cents per megabyte. This increase was claimed by Telstra to be necessary to cover the cost of the trans
Pacific data link.

At the same time, Telstra announced that it was upgrading the Internet Network to “streamline” data flow. This streamlining was the construction of several core networks with a triumvirate egress network. Each switch (router) adds several milliseconds (approx 34 ms) to the length of time required for a packet to transit from A to E. In the diagram below, a packet traveling from A to E takes a minimum of 68 milliseconds whereas a packet traveling from A via B, C, D to get to E takes a minimum of 170 milliseconds.


For Example; a three minute call to the USA Telstra prime rate IDD (International Direct Dial) charges are $1.28 per minute to the USA The Telstra network is provisioned at 64 Kb bandwidth Therefore a 3 minute call to the USA would utilise 11.5 Megabits. The actual calculation of the cost of each kilobyte would be calculated in the
following manner:

60 seconds x 64 Kb x 3 / 1.28 = Data charges

11,520 Kb divided into $3.84 = $ 0.00033 per kilobyte.

(At off peak, this would cost $2.73 or $0.00023 per kilobyte.)

Telstra Internet Charging Model $0.195 per Megabyte.

Therefore, a 64 Kb conversation conducted via Internet Phone (Iphone) used to cost at anytime, 11,520 Kilobits (11.5 Megabits) @ $19.5 per Mb = $ 2.24 or $0.003 per packet.

One question that we have never heard asked in the Federal Parliament.

How much did Telstra’s artificial bottleneck cost Australia in :

  • International trade opportunities ?
  • E-Commerce Trade Opportunities ?
  • Foreign Investment in Australia ?

… and because Director’s, shareholders and our legislators are only interested in short term results (i.e.: this years bonus cheque) we never will hear the question asked in Parliament.

Back to the current Future……

So what will a world where a Gigabyte a second is normal, look like?

I can’t even hazard a guess. However the old Telstra model of building additional switching into a network to slow down the traffic will no longer work.

The Conclusion

Man lives for an average of seventy-five years (or thereabouts).

Most of us don’t actually start watching the tube until we are two or three years old.

So if we say that we spend three hours per day, every day of our lives watching ninety minute feature films, then we will be able to watch 54,750 movies and (on Googles new service) it will only take 21.72619 hours to download the whole lot.

If the content industry think they have a problem now with content, what will there future look like when citizens can download their entire lifetimes entertainment requirements in less than a day.

Let’s hope they find a solution to their P2P problems soon, just to ensure that they keep on making movies.

Postcript:

At OGN we fixed the “Telstra” problem by tunnelling direct links to ISP’s (to carry VOIP traffic) via the AUIX a nationawide NAP. But that’s a story for another day.

SMS Power beats Hollywood, Radio, Videogames & the Music Industry.

Hot:

Or – The Havenots become the Haves.

Preamble

It’s a well known fact that when placed under restricting circumstances, all animals will look for an escape or release from the restriction.

“The Internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it.” – John Perry Barlow.

——————————————————————————————————————————–

The Article

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It’s been around since I was a little boy. OK – It’s been around since 1988.

For those that are not familiar with IRC, it’s the same (in principle) as MSN chat, Yahoo chat, Skype chat – in fact all of those programs allow you to type messages to each other – via the internet – FOR FREE.

In fact in the early nineties, I, with a number of BBS sysops in Australia set-up a chat link called Ozlink and we connected our BBS’es to other BBS’es all over Australia.

I was connected to the Internet so we found like minded Sysops in other countries like like Florida Frankfurt and Colorado
to which we connected the Australian Ozlink chat.

It was fun, chatting to people on the other side of the
country or world. (This was BEFORE MSN/YAHOO etc.)

I fell in love with the technology because I saw it as a way for people to communicate with lots of other people, cheaply and as an economist, I just knew that had to be good for the economy.

Fast forward to 1996 and Telstra attempting to defend their voice traffic by attempting to implement a ”B” party charging regime for incoming VOIP calls via the internet.

Well we stopped that one with concerted activism which I believe for the first time in Australia had thousands of consumers sending faxes to their MP’s. (The power of the Net…)

Telecommunications companies in the early days of the Internet were moaning and groaning about losing revenue. Every one of those groaning, complaining Telco’s, are still with us today, stronger and more profitable than before the internet.

They observed, they learnt, they entered the ring and started boxing… and it rather looks like they have won the game. In most countries, it is the large Telco’s that control access to most of the internet infrastructure.

That accounts for approximately one fifth of the worlds population, mainly what we like to call the industrialized world.

The other 4.8 billion (the emerging economies) are still hunting with bows and arrows.

Or so I thought until I received an email from Tomi Ahonen today. It contained the summary of his 2010 Mobile Phone Almanac.

We started talking about messaging programs on the Internet.

Here are some bullet points from Tomi’s Almanac Cheat Sheet.

  • The mobile telecoms industry grew subscribers, services and revenues even in economic downturn
  • The ‘mobile internet’ browser service use (including WAP) now has more users than legacy PC based internet
  • The mobile phone is the only device that 30% of the world’s population carries Digital content revenues on mobile are four times as large as those on the legacy PC based internet
  • Mobile is considered the ‘first media’ in the emerging world, only medium able to reach half of the population
  • Mobile messaging revenues $153B are bigger than radio, Hollywood, videogaming & music industries combined


Source: TomiAhonen Almanac 2010

Sorry folks, I just have to say it again. WOW.

The phone companies – in a recession, increased their revenues to 153 Billion which combined is larger than all the revenues form Hollywood, Videogaming, the Music business and Radio combined.

And here is the interesting bit…

They didn’t need to sue their customers for using MSN/Yahoo or IRC.

They didn’t need to turn our courts into their personal employees.

They didn’t need to lobby our politicians for unworkable legislation.

The Telephone companies achieved their 12% revenue increase in the middle of a recession, the old fashion way.

By providing a service and billing for it.

Let me spell that out in large letters for the folk that don’t quite understand how this works.

If you are a mobile phone consumer and wish to send a message – first you have to be located within a service area, and you need a mobile phone.

If there is no Cellphone tower within range, the Telephone Company don’t get your business.

So of course, Telephone companies build infrastructure to make sure that there’s a cellphone tower close by, in case you want to send an SMS.

If you cant afford to buy an expensive handset, they offer you whichever handset you want on a pay by the month plan; just to ensure that they have your business.

SMS messaging in Australia started in 1995. Billing for the messages commenced in 1996 at $0.25 per message.

Now the cost of SMS varies between three cents and eight cents (at the wholesale level) and twelve cents to twenty cents at the retail level.

According to Tomi’s data, 3.6 billion people used messaging services of whom 2 billion were from emerging nations. )(OK so bows and arrows and cellphones….)

So now persons in emerging nations are able to afford to send a message to others for a few pennies/cents.

Obviously low cost messaging with availability of service equals windfall revenues for the carriers.

Can those emerging nations afford to buy a Blu-Ray copy of this years movie? – Nope.

Can they buy it from Amazon if they don’t live in the USA?
– Nope.

Is there any legal affordable manner for them to obtain the content legally ? – Nope.

What choice do they have?

They can download it from the Net or not watch it.

That’s not a choice, it’s a Technical Meme waiting for some software to make it happen.

Oh the software for mobile phone P2P downloads already exists?

Sure has done since 2004.

But only for people from the industrial countries surely.

Nope, its available to anyone with a data connection.


Source: TomiAhonen Almanac 2010

And as can be seen from Tomi’s connectivity data, the communication crossover between industrialized and emerging has occurred.

DIGITAL
DIVIDE per capita

Industrialized World

Emerging World

Total

Banking account unique holders

950,000,000

(79%)

1,250,000,000

(22%)

2.2 B

Internet users incl PC, shared & mobile

775,000,000

(63%)

925,000,000

(17%)

1.7 B

Mobile phone subscriptions

1,600,000,000

3,000,000,000

4.6 B

There are now more people connected from the emerging nations than the industrialized nations.

The moral of the story is that the industry that provides the ability for it’s customers to :

a) Acquire the content (get connected)

b) Use the content (send/receive a billable message)

c) Economically (cheaply)

Appears to be leaping ahead of the industry that makes the content

a) hard to get – if you happen to live in the wrong country.

b) too expensive

c) encrypted and too hard to use

d) self destroying DRM rental overnight digital copies

e) sues their customers

f)  wastes money lobbying Government to enact prehistoric legislation.

g) When it does make the content available – it is usually not in a timely manner.

In other words what would happen if when you wanted to send an SMS, the Telephone company operator came on the line and said – I’m sorry sir, but SMS service to your destination party will be delayed for three to six months from the time you send the message.

When you ask why…..

The operatior replies….

Well our boss is on the board of Warner Bros Studios and it’s a new thing they’re trialling. Three month Delayed SMS. Do you think it will catch on?

The Telcos with their agressive and suportive marketing plans have made a success of harvesting increasing revenues from countries who it seems only last decade were on our foreign aid recipient list.

We wonder if the content industry can learn to do the same.

After all, look at the money they made out of a lousy billion people. How much could they make our of selling that catalogue to five billion more?

Hint – A Bluray video that sells for $25.00 on Amazon is not going to sell too well in Burundi where the average income is $120.00 per annum.

(Of course I’m assuming that unlike Australians, Burundians will be able to purchase Video content from Amazon and not be told – I’m sorry the country of your IP address is not yet authorized to purchase that content…..) AAaaaaargh!

Disclosure:

I have purchased Tomi Ahonens 2009 Almanac. I have no other connection with Tomi or his products. I do however happen to like the way he presents his data and findings.

References:

Tomi Ahonen “Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2010″

[Tomi Ahonen presentation and slides on The Next 4 Billion]

http://fora.tv/2009/09/24/Mobile_Phones_The_Next_4_Billion_with_Tomi_Ahonen