If you believe in NVTL, then nothing has changed, just continued manipulation..notes from last conf call
Anthony Stoss - Craig-Hallum Capital Group - Analyst
Peter, A lot of handsets are coming with Wi-Fi hot spot capabilities built in. I would love to hear your thoughts on whether or not you think that will have an impact on your business.
Peter Leparulo - Novatel Wireless - Chairman and CEO
Sure. This has been around for a long time actually in various combinations and we are seeing the issue coming up again. This has never become a broad-based solution, in terms of the data space. And there are several reasons for it, but over achingly Tony, MiFis are optimized for mobile broadband. Smart phones are not optimized for mobile broadband.
This ends up manifesting itself in a lot of different ways. The number one reason it hasn't taken off is the user experience. It ends up being a terribly awkward solution. We optimize our products in terms of performance and their battery life. We optimize them for data. And if you think about the user experience for the Smart Phone. Take it against the MiFi. It would be a very awkward solution to put your Smart Phone in the middle of the room and have five people using their laptops off of it.
There also are some technical issues. There are power management issues that have been a problem in the space. In terms of the usability of that type of solution. There is a discontinuity that you will get between data and voice. If you're on a voice call, you'll have an interruption for a data session and vice versa.
The market also has not accepted this type of solution. The data plans that you get supplementally might be good for casual users on a one time bases. But for a data user who wants a device optimized for data, you really need to go for a rate plan that allows you to use an amount of data that would be commensurate with what your goals are for a data only device. So, you know, overall, there are a lot of reasons for this. They boil down to Smart Phones are optimized for voice and downloading apps. And we deal in a different space. I think it has never taken off and I don't expect it to be a big disturbance.
Thanks- at first glance I was thinking what a good post but when you read this carefully, here is what Peter actually says: 1) MIFI is better because it is awkward to put your phone in the middle of a room and have people run their computers off it. But is it really? What is so different about putting an Iphone or a MIFI in the middle of a room?
2) Power issues- not entirely sure what he means here but if it is battery issues this is true, but someone could always plug their phone in and not run the battery down.
3) optimized for data. This could be his strongest argument but, as usual, he doesn't drive the point home. What are those differences and how does it translate when looking at performance. NVTL should be generating that data and reporting on it.
4) Rate plans- I think this true for AT&T which charges a lot for tethering but I've read that VZ will be different. Anybody know?
5) voice/data interruption. This doesn't seem like an issue to me. If I'm using the smartphone for data and get a call is the data interrupted if I don't answer the call?