Category Archives: telecoms

Ola from MWC!

BARCELONA was brilliant – and I’ve got the blisters to prove it.

The Mobile World Congress was host to 1300 companies  – I tried very hard to get round to all of them, to spread the PMB Word, but probably only managed a fraction of that!

The mobile ecosystem is in the midst of an unprecedented wave of transformation. As business models adapt, new verticals and players emerge. Technology evolves, perceptions shift, and lives are improved. We are constantly looking at opportunities to expand and strengthen our business, and we certainly weren’t disappointed this year.

A big hello and welcome to our new partners in Pakistan and South Africa. We’re hoping to be out there visiting you in the next couple of months.

A big thank you to Kate Hamilton from Myriad, for her fabulous organisation…

Off to Uganda this week:

I’ll be spending time with one of our favourite clients – he even named his son after me, and you can’t say fairer than that!

Cape Town

Stunning South Africa – view from my room!

I’ve just got back from an amazing telecoms conference in SA. Africa Com was a vibrant and positive meeting of global companies, and PMB was thrilled to be there. We went away with loads of enquiries, and orders in the ether.

The Xumii social networking was enthusiastically received and we presented on a loop to very keen potential clients. We also had a lot of interest shown in our new android handsets.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the number of internet users in South Africa is just over 4 million, which puts it at number 49 in the World League Table. Incidentally the CIA World Factbook website is definitely worth a visit – https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook

In case you’re interested, this is the top 10 according to the CIA. No surprise to see China with nearly 300 million users! I included Indonesia as number 11 in the Table with an incredible 30 million users. And a mention must go to the Christmas Islands at number 216 on the list, with 464 users. Not sure how much networking would be needed there!

1 China
298,000,000
2008
2 United States
231,000,000
2008
3 Japan
90,910,000
2008
4 India
81,000,000
2008
5 Brazil
64,948,000
2008
6 Germany
61,973,000
2008
7 United Kingdom
48,755,000
2008
8 Russia
45,250,000
2008
9 France
42,912,000
2008
10 Korea, South
37,476,000
2008
11 Indonesia
30,000,000
2008

I changed my plans to dash back from SA to watch my son play in the rugby county trials. Only to discover on reaching the Airport, that he had broken his elbow! MUPPET.

And from Muppet to Booby, this Abbotts Booby nests solely on Christmas Island and is an endangered species.

Mmmm, endangered boobies.

Indonesia again…

I’ve just returned from a fabulous trip to Indonesia. It’s a real hotbed there for PMB, lots of new clients in the pipeline, and a chance to look at some innovative products as well.

Bali was amazing, especially the Nirvana Golf Club, we had a fantastic weekend there thanks to the generosity of my Sim card suppliers who arranged the trip as a surprise.

The Social Networking Solution – Xumii – has created a real storm in Indonesia and we are in advanced talks with a major operator in Jakarta, we are hopeful it will be launched shortly.  http://www.xumii.com/

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly enjoyed a great weekend despite the huge amount of rainfall whilst we were there. A bit like Manchester – but warmer! Oh, and a few more palm trees!

Sims are doing great guns. We are increasing month on month sales to Indonesia and Uganda and we are about to break the market in Kenya. As far as we are concerned we are still the cheapest available. Without compromising on quality or lead times.

I shall be in Capetown in November showcasing our new products at the AfricaCom 2010. Especially our new low-cost Android model available at under $150. Looking forward to seeing you there!

PMBehave…

I played golf last night… making hay whilst the sun shines. The weather in the UK this summer has been shocking. So any breaks in the rain (not many!) and you’ll find me swinging a club. I’ve been trying to get my handicap down.

I’d like to say it’s been as easy as falling off a log. But last night whilst searching for my ball, way off the fairway, in the middle of a dark, dark wood, I DID fall off a log!! Not a pretty sight, me, buried neck down in nettles and brambles, whilst the PMB Marketing Director rolled around the floor laughing.

She’d better watch out – Marketing Directors are in ample abundance at the moment….

It’s a good job the business is better than the golf!

There’s more good news coming out of Indonesia regarding Social Networking Software. I shall be going back to Jakarta in the next couple of weeks to sign up another client. Exciting stuff for PMB… We have also been in touch with an old friend from the Ivory Coast, there are many opportunities in West Africa for our business, and I’ll drop by on the way back to the UK…We are in the race to supply a telecom operator in Uganda with batteries..watch this space… they are cheaper than chips, but without sacrificing the quality…

I’m glad the summer (?) is coming to an end… the kids have been off school for months, they must be bored stiff by now. And whilst it’s all very lovely having them at home all day every day – it’s bloody expensive!

Just to close out, this was the funniest one-liner at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, a bit like our holiday this year:

“I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again.”

Every why has a wherefore…

Saturday night found us on the shores of Lake Windermere in the Lake District, enjoying a picnic by moonlight at Storrs Hall.

It was fantastic. I’m not a big fan of the theatre, and had to be persuaded that I was going to enjoy myself – ‘you WILL enjoy this Eli’ – but this was great. The Globe Theatre put on Comedy of Errors, and we sat on the lawn of the hotel,  on deck chairs, quaffing champagne, watching the chaos unfold. And it didn’t rain!

http://www.skyarts.co.uk/video/video-sky-arts-at-shakespeares-globe-on-tour/

It was really good to be away for the weekend. This year is staycation time at Casa Lederwerg, which sounds good in principal, but has been hopeless in practice, as the great British public attempts to holiday in the great British weather.

Back to Monday morning now and work mode – the last trip to Indonesia is paying dividends, three more orders are in the pipeline – USSD solutions are really taking off there, and we have been inundated with requests for quotes.

Mobiles are currently being shipped to Africa, and I have several new clients in East and Central Africa interested in our products, so a trip over there will be on the cards very soon.

RV or not RV

We’re back from our Winnebago Adventure! It was great – camping for wimps. That’s me.

Hot and cold water, a proper bed and Sky TV. What more could you ask for? The site we chose was fab – just a five minute walk from St Andrews. In fact it was a golf course – St Michael’s – the M&S of camping? Sorry about that, but they were very organised and good value for money with a marquee set up for hot breakfasts and bbqs, and lots of Dutch, we love caravans and tents do the Dutch.

We played lots of golf with very friendly Scottish folk, and spent Sunday at the Open, which although not a thrilling finish, was a wonderful spectacle… would certainly recommend it!

Hello to all our friends in Mozambique, the latest customers to take advantage of our most popular handsets. We’ve also got more than a few hot leads in South America, especially with regard to some new Android handsets we have available.

And it won’t be long before we can offer our own version of the iPad:

The Indian government has unveiled the prototype of an iPad-like touch-screen laptop, with a price tag of $35 (£23), which it hopes to roll out next year. Aimed at students, the tablet supports web browsing, video conferencing and word processing, say developers. Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said a manufacturer was being sought for the gadget, which was developed by India’s top IT colleges.

Catching my breath

It’s been a pretty busy few weeks to be honest. Moving house was a nightmare. We seemed to be thoroughly organised, but it still seemed like chaos! We sent half a tonne of rubbish to the tip and another half a tonne to the local charity shops, and we still have several tonnes surplus to requirement. It does seem to be true that the bigger the space you have the more you fill it.

Minimalist is the new mantra.

Actually I thought ‘Winning Ugly’ was my new mantra.

Because there has been the small matter of a little football competition taking place over the last few weeks which I may have cast my eye over once or twice in between packing boxes… By the way I hear Oxo are making a new product. The packaging is white with a red cross and they’re calling it the laughing stock. England were awful, ‘Losing Ugly’ seemed to be their strap line.

Good job the Oranje were there to save the day for the beautiful game. Well, until the final that was. When it all went very pear shaped. I have to agree with Johan Cruyff who called it ‘anti-football’…

“This ugly, vulgar, hard, hermetic, hardly eye-catching, hardly football style… If with this they got satisfaction, fine, but they lost.”

Shocking. Absolutely shocking. Nine yellow cards, and they were lucky not to be playing with nine men!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/8812484.stm

Apparently a trait that the Dutch are well known for is their cleanliness. Mmm, not in this case!

Business continues to improve. Orders for sim cards are strong. And we have just road-tested some fab low-cost handsets that have been very well received. If you would like to have a look, I’d strongly recommend getting in touch, they are selling like hot cakes.

I’m off to The Open today with my son. So I’ll blog from St Andrews, I’m taking my clubs and lots of waterproofs, I didn’t qualify this year, but you just never know!!