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Thomas Philippon, French native, moved to the United States in 1999 to pursue a graduate’s degree. While in the U.S., he noticed that cell phone plans and airfare were much more expensive in comparison to the prices in France. Twenty years later, he discovered that these prices were not only lower in France, but in Europe and Asia as well.

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Wireless network technology is not often on the mind of the average person. Over the past ten years, society has grown accustomed to uninterrupted access to the internet everywhere we go, whether there is a Wi-Fi connectivity or not. The proliferation of mobile applications has made many people dependent on continuous network connectivity to conduct business, commute to work, stay up to date on the news, and interact with family and friends. The wireless network is the technology that underpins omnipresent access to the internet and that technology is scheduled for a major upgrade in the coming years.

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Have you ever tried streaming a show, watching a YouTube video, or downloading an album, only to discover that the media is unavailable due to your location? This common occurrence in the media and communications industry is known as geo-blocking. Platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, and YouTube are entertainment services in which geo-blocking frequently occurs, due to the companies’ negotiations with studios. As media piracy has increased in recent years, studios are becoming more particular about which regions have access to on-demand streaming. Such precautions have been made in certain countries to increase incentive for purchase and to decrease illegal production of copyrighted material.

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The Korea Fair Trade Commission, a corporate regulator based in South Korea, declared that it would fine mobile chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. a hefty $853 million over the company’s purported abuse of antitrust laws. The announcement comes at the end of the Commission's three-year investigation of Qualcomm and constitutes the highest such fine charged to an individual United States-based company. The Commission concluded that Qualcomm broke antitrust laws by refusing patent access to competing chipmakers and by withholding necessary phone chips in order to pressure mobile manufacturers into strict licensing agreements. In addition, the Commission claimed that Qualcomm used patents from other chipmakers without fair compensation. Qualcomm has stated they will appeal this decision to the Seoul High Court, professing that their licensing practices follow decades-old industry standards. 

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Two of the world's most valuable technology companies, Facebook and Alphabet (by means of its subsidiary Google), are working with TE Subsea Communications (TE SubCom) and Pacific Light Data Communication (PLDC, a subsidiary of China Soft Power Technology) to construct the world's fastest trans-Pacific submarine cable. The 12,800 kilometer (8,000 miles) submarine cable will enable a speed of 120 Terabits per second and connect the United States and China by way of two major cities: Los Angeles and Hong Kong (where PLDC is based). The cable, known as the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), will utilize fiber-optic technology to create the fastest possible telecommunication channel, covering twice the speed of the current-fastest undersea cable. The goal of the PLCN is to increase bandwidth and reduce connection delays in the Asia-Pacific region. According to Google, the cable should be built and functioning by 2018.

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The commercialized use of virtual reality is on the horizon, and it offers numerous opportunities beyond just video game enhancement. Virtual reality is defined as an environment that stimulates physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds and lets the user interact in that world. It gives users artificial sensory experiences such as sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.  Imagine a world where one could virtually go to a conference overseas without leaving the comfort of his or her home. Or, imagine a world where you could meet a person without physically being there with them. The possibilities are endless with virtual reality, and as producers get closer to unveiling the products to the mass public, corporations are brainstorming more and more ways to utilize the software.

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Many financial institutions are turning to social media as a way to attract and engage their customers. The Managing Director for TD Ameritrade, Nicole Sherrod, even works on the weekends to send tweets and interact with the firm's clients. She believes that as a result of her presence on social media, she now has "an even closer relationship with clients" and has been able to get to know them better. By posting on the weekends, she is able to show her activities after work hours and build a more personal relationship with the consumers. Twitter in particular is a useful tool to help financial service workers to navigate company guidance and industry regulations to share industry news, respond to questions from clients, and address other problems or concerns.

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Earlier this year, Comcast Corporation was planning on taking over Time Warner Cable Inc., a deal that was met with harsh reactions from the public as well as many media companies and organizations. The fear was that a merger between two of the biggest media conglomerates in the United States would significantly reduce competition in the telecommunications industry. After the Department of Justice threatened an antitrust lawsuit against the companies, the merger plan was canceled about a month ago. Now Charter Communications Inc. has taken Comcast's place, having proposed a $56.7 billion plan for the takeover of Time Warner Cable. This time, the deal seems to be different and has gathered more support. Here is a closer look at the potential benefits and ramifications of this proposal.

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E-commerce has quickly become a major factor for businesses across the world, as consumers’ comfort with online shopping continues to increase. With more options, better prices, and the flexibility of shopping at home, e-commerce has opened a new avenue for companies to conduct business, with global sales expected to hit $1.5 trillion in 2014. This avenue has also allowed companies to expand their operations across the globe, tapping new, lucrative markets. With this global expansion has come several challenges that businesses have to meet, as they must tailor their marketing and operational strategies to account for differences in each diverse market.

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Advertising strategies have greatly changed in the past 10 years as globalization spreads to every corner of the world. Companies with high local prestige now attach large importance on expanding their overseas markets with the hope of receiving great returns. Problems often arise in advertising when cultural differences are disregarded. Often culture is overlooked as simply expanding the brand name in foreign markets becomes the major obsession of the manager. This blog will briefly discuss major issues associated with international advertising and will also provide possible solutions.

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Although sending emails is an efficient form of communication for some tasks, bosses are prompting employees to make a phone call when appropriate.  Some managers have gone as far to say that emailing instead of calling can hurt business, hinder creativity, and delay projects.  This issue is especially common among the Millennials, a group defined by people born between 1981 and the early 2000s.  A common belief is that this generation is so accustomed to texting, emailing, and communicating via social media that many of its members are inept at communicating on the phone or in person. 

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Have you been exposed to a company advertisement or website that translated their message word-for-word and missed the mark, instead of focusing on the marketing translation? Google Translate does this for many websites because many companies do not have a specific website for a particular language. This is a huge problem as businesses try to enter new foreign markets. Their messages do not communicate the correct message because language is not based purely on word translation; it also involves cultural meaning, context, style, and connotation. Localization and a global marketing strategy are becoming key drivers for companies as globalization expands. Getting your message across in a word-for-word translation is the wrong approach, but transcreation can be the solution.

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It can be argued that there is nothing more universal in the world than music. Music has brought people and cultures together from the beginning of time. To many people and cultures, music is an important part of life—an art form that enhances life’s appeal. Today, music is not only an art but also an extremely important industry in the global economy. Just as globalization and technology have changed the course of many other industries in the world, these two factors have both dramatically transformed the music industry for better or for worse. Consumers, artists, retailers, record labels, and businesses have all been affected by these changes. Now the question is: “Has globalization created a sustainable shift in the music industry and how have these changes affected the art of music?”

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When taking a company, product, or service internationally one has to take into consideration the variability of laws they will encounter. This tends to be quite the process, and a very complex one at that. Few may be more complex (and more of a hindrance) to business expansion than copyright law, specifically when it comes to the music industry. This makes for a wide array of complications that music empires have to deal with and has even derailed some.

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One third of the world’s population is now connected to the internet, a surprising statistic considering where we started not too long ago.  As more people become connected, consumer consumption patterns around the globe are changing. The mediums people use to consume content are changing as well, caused by cultural differences as well as different regulations across countries. Many regions, such as Scandinavia and India, are a much different market than the United States. We will explore these differences by analyzing how they affect consumption patterns and their impact on business in a global context.

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After releasing its high IPO on March 18th, 2012, Facebook has fallen over 50% and does not seem to be headed in the right direction anytime soon. The costly mistake in the first day of trade of a computer malfunction placed millions of dollars in the wrong location, and there was no recovery after that. With social media on the rise worldwide, it was believed that this would be a hot stock early on.  The overly-optimistic buyers were waiting for an early 50%-60% increase, and little did they know it was about to be a failure. Was the IPO too high, or is Facebook just losing its popularity it once had?

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Ten years have passed since the end of Angola’s civil war and the country has made enormous strides in rebuilding its once struggling economy. This year Angola’s economy is expected grow by eight percent as it becomes the second biggest producer of oil in Africa. One of the main effects of this rapid economic growth is the boom in infrastructure development. In the capital city of Luanda, the skyline is now filled with newly-built skyscrapers and each month more businesses are beginning to populate the area. Economic growth is beginning to transform Angola into a country filled with business opportunities, but how does Angola expect to sustain this economic growth in the years to come?

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With many companies spending years building a brand and strong image among its customers, few would imagine this task can completed in a relatively short period of time. However, this is exactly what’s possible with social media. In the past years, businesses have increased their use of social media platforms to market products, build a dominant brand image, and interact with their customers. It has come to a point where businesses around the world are focusing less on endorsing their products in advertisements and more on promoting their Facebook page or Twitter account. Now the question is: How does the expanding social presence of companies impact business performance worldwide?

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When was the last time your employer told you to play a video game on the job? For many, the answer may be never, up until now. Recently, some top French companies, including Paribas, Orange, and Alcatel-Lucent, have been using role playing games to teach crucial management teamwork, and sales skills to their sales staff and managers; a very important skill to have in the competitive world marketplace.

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While Asia and North America have been making large strides in the mobile industry, Europe has been falling behind, even though it previously had a large competitive advantage over other regions. This is mainly due to lack of focus on emerging products, less advanced software, and lack of government support.

In the early 90’s Europe was a strong player in the mobile industry mainly due to its cooperative take on the market. The European countries worked together to coordinate an infrastructure that worked through out the continent. In North America, multiple different standards and products that made it more complex and expensive for customers. This structure forced the North American cell phone producers to step up their game and look into a more structured format.

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At a large annual conference of marketing, the words “tweet”, “fans” and “like” were used almost as often as “touch points”, “benchmark” and “prioritize.” Why? The reason for this is rather simple: The importance of social media is expanding considerably in today’s modern business world. Holding its 100th anniversary meeting, the Association of National Advertising discussed marketing gains by companies that are using social media to amplify their brand name and advertise more effectively.

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India, being known as a country inclined to new technology, has added yet another innovation to its inventory—a talking newspaper advertisement. When readers opened to the last page of a popular Indian newspaper, a voice began to talk resembling a radio commercial. The source for this surprising advertisement was a light-sensitive, voice activated chip that encouraged readers and listeners alike to buy a new Volkswagen sedan. Weighing only one ounce, this paper-thin chip is a groundbreaking design. This “talking newspaper” can change the way print media is viewed and provides businesses a new way to communicate their messages with customers.

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With 32 different countries represented, and almost the whole world watching, the World Cup is a hot spot for advertisers across the globe. While FIFA is exclusive with who is officially sponsoring the tournament, other companies are still trying to get a piece of the action. The six main sponsors of the World Cup are Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates Airlines, Hyundai Cars, Sony, and Visa. There are also several other sponsors that are not as prominently featured at the tournament. 

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With the 2010 Winter Olympics beginning today, the world looks on with anticipation. The first ever Olympic Games were held way back in 776 BC. Since then, things have obviously changed quite a bit. Everything from the events, to who competes in them, to how we watch them has drastically changed. Until 1960 the Olympics were not televised, but since then businesses all over the globe have taken advantage of the major publicity the Games receive.

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When you own or work at a business that operates internationally, your marketing strategies are going to vary a little bit from that of local business strategies. Yet, a budget still needs to be established. To do that, the right questions need to be asked and answered. What options do you have, and how do you know if the money you are investing for marketing is giving you the return you want?

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Facebook? Myspace? Twitter? Which one of these websites have you heard of?  Thanks to a study provided through marketingtechie.com, findings show that most of the developing world has not only heard of these social networking sites, but they are spending an extraordinary amount of time on them.  Without a doubt, social media has evolved from a way to simply connect with friends and share ideas, to a commercial opportunity for corporations to connect with people in new and different ways.  However, there is another important aspect to consider in this exploding industry: How have social media websites impacted the work culture around the world?

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What do you do when your cell phone company changes its prices in the middle of your two year contract? If you terminate your contract, you will be charged and you cannot simply say "no" to the changes. Some companies promise fixed rates while the contract lasts; however, in many countries in the world, companies have a policy of "prices are subject to change". The reason why a cell phone company would decide to raise prices is in the hope to make a bigger profit - you either pay the high price or you pay the charge to cancel. However, this is where they go wrong.

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PowerPoint presentations have been used in the Western world for the past 25 years and all of us have seen a plethora of them. Now, many developing countries are starting to rely more and more on PowerPoint to present information as well. As the world becomes more and more technology and service based it is only natural that we will see an increase in the use of PowerPoint. However, not many of the presentations are enthusiastic. Chances are that the majority you've seen were boring. Good PowerPoint presentations can be the key to bringing improvements in a company. This is because they are easy to create and provide a convenient way to present information. Furthermore, they can be used to educate employees, to present ideas, to point out errors, or map out new ways to achieve goals. These are important things to companies. However, for the presentation to be successful, one should beware of a few things.

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As mobile technology improves, many of the cell phones people are using are becoming outdated at an increasingly-faster rate. This is especially the case in Japan, where the latest cell phone can be usurped by another within a few weeks. In fact, the Japanese are so far advanced in cell phone technology that they've had a difficult time taking their cell phones global. So, what does one do with a bunch of outdated phones that nobody wants? Recycle them for their precious metals!

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Last week Rupert Murdoch signaled the end of free news online, or so he hopes. He plans to start charging for his content within the next 12 months, and when he does, he suspects others will too. Murdoch's newspaper holdings span the globe, from the Australian to the Wall Street Journal and to his News International stable in London. The plans for a micropayment system are in the works, where users would be charged a very little fee for accessing one article. And he may get some people interested in specific content to do just that. He stated to the BBC "I believe that if we are successful, we will be followed by other media."

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Imagine a 3D videogame like environment, except instead of a game, you are attending a virtual trade expo, with other real people, over the internet.  Could this ever catch on?  Personally, I think there is no replacement for meeting in person, however, this has a lot of potential applications for international businesspeople that can't afford to travel overseas often. 

Here's an interview with the CEO of InXpo, talking about his product:


 

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Facebook has become quite popular among people from all countries and age groups. The website is very convinient and easy to use. Most importantly it is free. However, there are rumors that facebook will start requiring its members to pay for certain applications and there is a possibility that users will have to pay for having an account on facebook in the future.

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The media and communications industry has traditionally consisted of the people who were at the cutting edge of information technology - those who could broadcast to the biggest audience. In turn, these people hired talented individuals who could develop the content that was broadcast. The entire industry was structured around the assumption that, in order to physically reach any significant sized audience, you had to have access to technology that was too expensive for the vast majority of individuals to own.

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Is the media trustworthy? The internet has become one of the most widely used sources for obtaining information. However, when everyone can post information, how do we know if it is correct? We are warned not to use certain websites as primary resources; however, many use them anyway and post the information in usually trustworthy websites. Consequently, many read it and something completely untrue can be written down as a fact.

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At the Mobile World Congress gathering in Barcelona, Spain, communication giant executives discussed the future of the telecommunications industry in light of a global economic recession. Their conclusion? On the whole, things aren’t slowing down. In fact, handset-making juggernaut Nokia, based in Finland, plans to increase its investment in what has traditionally been a poor U.S. market. Is Nokia the exception?

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The Rocky Mountain News, Colorado’s oldest newspaper service, is a prime example of the downward trend for newspapers. As the newspaper approaches its 150th anniversary, parent company E.W. Scripps has acknowledged that it is entertaining offers to buy the newspaper. Along with the Denver Post, a counter-part in the Colorado newspaper business, the two newspapers have seen a $100 million loss in classified advertisement reviews. The online publication of the Rocky Mountain News has more, which leads to the question, what caused the downfall of the newspaper?

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Despite rising gas prices, a global financial crisis, increasing unemployment rates, and numerous reports proclaiming that they cause cancer, cell phones remain as popular as ever, and the mobile phone industry is even expected to boom in the next five years! According to ZDNet, although average revenue per user is expected to decline, the number of users will rise.

The reason? Growth in emerging markets for cell phones is astounding. An analysis conducted by Portio Research predicted that the percentage of the world’s population that  uses of mobile-phones will increase to 80% in 2013 from the current 50% now, which amounts to 5.8 billion people. The expected number of cell phone users is expected to reach 4 billion this year alone!