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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 10:20

The webinar that was scheduled this week on the Swedish Broadband Consumer study ran with the FTTH Council Europe had to be postponed due to a platform failure outside of our control. We apologise for those who waited in vain until we figured out we couldn’t go forward.

Everything is fixed now, so we are rescheduling the webinar to April 24th (next Thursday) at 3PM CET. For details on the content see here and also this interview from the FTTH Council Europe conference (starts at 37:30).

Registration is here!

Spread the word!

Author: "Benoit FELTEN" Tags: "Business Models"
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Date: Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 13:17

The FTTH Council Europe and Diffraction Analysis are running a free webinar on April 15th at 11 AM Central European Time. Benoît Felten and Joeri van Bogart will present and discuss the results of the quantitative study entitled Why Consumers Love FTTH – The FTTH Consumer Experience Study. Here are some of the one-line results from this study:

• In Sweden a huge majority FTTH users (75%) think their broadband is better than before they had fibre.
• 67% of Swedish broadband users think broadband over fibre is ‘Very Good’, but only 13% think the same of DSL.
• Swedish FTTH subscribers use video-communication over the Internet five times as much (25%) as DSL users.
• In Sweden 59% of FTTH users see FTTH as modern. Only 17% of DSL users see DSL as modern.
• In Sweden, 34% of FTTH users are 4Play or 3Play customers vs. only 23% for DSL users.
• In Sweden 59% of FTTH users think fibre broadband is sustainable. Only 44% of DSL users think the same of DSL.
• In Sweden, 59% of DSL users find their broadband price excessive vs. only 32% for FTTH users.
• For FTTH users in Sweden, quality of broadband is the 1st criterion after home price when choosing a new home.
• Close to half of Swedish FTTH users (45%) are Very Satisfied with their broadband vs. only 28% of DSL users.

During this session, we will discuss all of these results and much much more. Please join us by registering on the following address: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/826247690

Author: "Benoit FELTEN" Tags: "Access, Business Models, consumer study,..."
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Date: Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 10:49

BBC Summit 2014pink_woDATE - regonline-H.jpg

The Broadband Communities Summit is probably the most exciting broadband event in the US. It’s not one of those corporate events built by and for industry sponsors, it’s an event run by the good people at Broadband Communities magazine and focuses on sharing experiences so that communities who have managed to develop (directly or indirectly) good broadband can share that experience back with those who are looking into these issues. And of course it doesn’t stop there, look at that agenda!

So we’re very pleased to say that not only will Diffraction Analysis be there, but CEO Benoît Felten will be speaking at the event during the Cornerstone Awards Luncheon on Wednesday April 9th. Diffraction Analysis customers and followers can attend the whole event at a steep discount (over 50%) by selecting the first button (CODE HOLDERS) on the registration page and entering the code SPKR14.

Benoît would also like to propose to attendees who are interested in discussing industry trends, best practices in broadband deployment or specific issues / pain points they may have related to operational issues some one on one sessions during the event. Please feel free to contact us by email to organize this if you’re interested.

See you in Austin!

Author: "Benoit FELTEN" Tags: "Business Models, austin, broadband commu..."
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Date: Friday, 07 Mar 2014 10:59

See on Scoop.itConnected World

UFB deployment to continue.

Benoit Felten‘s insight:

Sneaky but clever move from Vodafone. Good that the government held it’s ground: implementing structural separation to then let a vertically integrated player provide wholesale would have been a catastrophic move. 

See on www.itnews.com.au

Author: "Benoît Felten" Tags: "Uncategorized"
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Date: Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 11:56

The week before last, after the FTTH Council Conference in Stockholm, Stokab and Stocholm IT Region organized an event for their customers and stakeholders. They filmed the whole proceedings and have put it all up on a the Stockholm IT Region website. Since all of the speeches were of great interest, here are individual links to each one of them:

The morning started with an address by the Chairman of the Board of Stokab, followed by a fun presentation on the history of telecommunications in Stockholm by Anders Johansson.

This was followed by a very interesting presentation by Ericsson’s Head of Strategic Marketing on Smart Cities, presenting Ericsson’s Networked Society Index. You can find the Index itself here. What was interesting, beyond the ranking itself, was the trends emerging in terms of infrastructure, affordability of services and usage maturity.

Which led to Diffraction Analysis’ intervention, specifically on Smart Cities and the Infrastructure issues that are raised by connected community initiatives. It’s not the first time we deliver this speech, but I believe it was very appropriate to this audience and went down well. You be the judge.

Then followed an excellent speech by Christopher Mitchell on the US market and how some cities are taking broadband matters into their own hands (and others can’t). Christopher also talked about Google Fiber and the impact it’s having on the US market.

Henry Quek of Singapore’s regulator iDA then detailed how Singapore led the pack in terms of NGA and structural separation, and in particular showed how despite quasi-universal coverage the story is not over. Some fascinating things about enabling Smart City applications there, and a graph from Diffraction Analysis research quoted, always good for our ego.

The final speaker of the day was Chorus’ Martin Sharrock who explained very clearly how groundbreaking the New Zealand NGA model is, and the challenges that it faces from political turmoil.

There was finally a 45mn Q&A session with Ulla Hamilton (City of Stockholm), Crister Mattsson (Acreo) and Benoît Felten (Diffraction Analysis). The discussion was very complementary to some of the discussions had during the Investor’s Day earlier in the week: EU political process, structural separation, community involvement, etc.

Since Stokab then ran separate interviews of all the speakers, here’s Benoît Felten’s interview that summarizes some of the topics discussed during the presentations and panel discussions.

Author: "Benoit FELTEN" Tags: "Contents, infrastructure, it, presentati..."
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Date: Monday, 03 Mar 2014 14:54

ConnectivityThumbThere are recurring misconceptions about broadband in emerging markets. These are considered “truths” and repeated in newspaper articles and at telecom events. For example:

  • “There’s no space for wireline services in developing economies!”
  • “FTTH in emerging markets? You’ve got to be joking!”
  • “There will never be a way to deliver mobile services outside of urban areas in these markets!”

But the urban mobile model that is often described is not a universal truth, far from it. A few months ago the Google policy team contacted Diffraction Analysis and asked us to analyze alternative connectivity models were and how they worked. The result is this white paper entitled Connectivity Models for Developing Economies. In this paper we examine a number of cases that do not conform to the “standard” model being displayed for developing economies. We also examine policy approaches that seem to have made a measurable difference.

This paper does not offer a silver bullet solution for all developing economies: there’s no such thing. It does however analyse interesting case studies and looks at the replicable aspects of some of these models.

You can find the paper on SSRN through the following link: Connectivity Models for Developing Economies.

Author: "Benoit FELTEN" Tags: "Diffraction Analysis, Expert Opinions, b..."
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Date: Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 16:59

See on Scoop.itConnected World

In The Wall Street Journal, Andy Kessler writes that the FCC could change this overnight by focusing on what’s best for the economy, not just for those it regulates.

Benoit Felten‘s insight:

The underlying current of "it’s the cities’ fault" in this piece is one more reason every city in America (and many outside of America) should seriously ask themselves if taking their broadband future in their own hands isn’t the better option…

See on online.wsj.com

Author: "Benoît Felten" Tags: "Uncategorized"
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Date: Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 10:33

During the days preceeding the Sotckholm FTTH Council Annual Conference, we published a good number of tweets teasing some of the results of the first FTTH Consumer Survey. This study was undertaken in december with a panel of 400 users, 3/4 of which were FTTH/B users.

The full results were presented in Stockholm, and will be presented during a free-to-attend webinar sometime in April, but meanwhile I thought it might be interesting for those who haven’t read all the teasers to have them all in one place:

  • In Sweden a huge majority FTTH users (75%) think their broadband is better than before they had fiber.
  • 67% of Swedish broadband users think broadband over fiber is ‘Very Good’, but only 13% think the same of DSL.
  • Swedish FTTH subscribers use video-communication over the Internet five times as much (25%) as DSL users.
  • In Sweden the average FTTH user spends 5.3 hrs online at home, 6.7 hrs for <35 yrs old. DSL only 4.1 hrs.
  • In Sweden 59% of FTTH users see FTTH as modern. Only 17% of DSL users see DSL as modern.
  • In Sweden, 34% of FTTH users are 4Play or 3Play customers vs. only 23% for DSL users.
  • In Sweden 59% of FTTH users think fiber broadband is sustainable. Only 44% of DSL users think the same of DSL.
  • In Sweden, 59% of DSL users find their broadband price excessive vs. only 32% for FTTH users.
  • For FTTH users in Sweden, quality of broadband is the 1st criterion after home price when choosing a new home.
  • Close to half of Swedish FTTH users (45%) are Very Satisfied with their broadband vs. only 28% of DSL users.
Author: "Benoit FELTEN" Tags: "Uncategorized, dsl, ftth, survey, sweden"
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Date: Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 09:34

See on Scoop.itConnected World

Benoit Felten‘s insight:

The next step is to convince policy makers that there is value in the gaming market. It’s bizarre how "entertainment" is a great market when it comes to touting your export achievements, but not so much when it comes to justifying investment in infrastructure…

See on opticalreflection.com

Author: "Benoît Felten" Tags: "Uncategorized"
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Date: Monday, 24 Feb 2014 10:19

Stockholm in Winter

Last week I was in Stockholm all week for the 2014 edition of the FTTH Council Europe’s annual conference. It was a very good week for me (though sleep deprivation nearly got me in the end) with lots of great meetings with customers, potential customers, fellow analysts / consultants and friends. I’m not going to write a long analysis of the event (got to catch up on the million things I couldn’t get done while there) but here’s a set bullet points that summarize my feelings about it:

  • the atmosphere at the event was miles better than last year. Much more positive, better interaction, better content (at least for the little I got to attend),
  • the Council, while not endorsing VDSL in any form seems a little more relaxed around the idea that there are alternatives that make more sense for some players in some situations. It’s a good thing: more pragmatism cannot hurt the industry,
  • key finding: the second wave of FTTH deployment in Sweden is happening under a totally different model; Skanova’s CEO stated that customers were willing to pay 2000€ to get their connection installed, which would pay for most of the up-front cost,
  • the above statement didn’t surprise me as much as it could have: in between the results of our qualitative study on real-estate last year (and some follow-up work I’ll talk to you about soon) and the quantitative study on attitudes, usage and satisfaction this year, it’s quite obvious to me that most Swedes know that fibering up your home is a sound investment that also delivers great quality services (or the other way around),
  • said quantitative study was very well received, and exposes what I believe to be the first ever usage & attitudes analysis of FTTH users in a mature market (Sweden in this case). Hopefully there will be other iterations in other countries,
  • key finding: there is a third (besides Andorra Telecom and Jersey Telecom) that is doing fiber/copper substitution, on a much larger scale. It’s Telekom Indonesia, and their plans are quite advanced, targeting millions of users. Will need to investigate that one more fully,
  • key finding: Mobiliy (Saudi Arabia) is really one of the most interesting FTTH operators, very smart in its approach. I knew this from their technical operations, but their marketing operations are just as smart,
  • there’s a quasi-religious zeal in the promotion of the Swedish Open Access Model in some parts of the market there. I’ve long been aware that the model is not as widespread as it’s advertised to be, and has some deleterious side-effects on the industry, so tread with caution and don’t buy (all) the hype. It’s worked for Sweden (at some cost) but isn’t necessarily the best way to implement Open Access in my opinion,
  • key finding: TWDM is a damn interesting technology, especially in its regulatory implications. Another thing I need to dig into deeper,
  • finally, there was one thing that puzzled me deeply, and that is the Operator Award received by Vodafone. Sure, they have some FTTH in Portugal, and might have a bit in Spain soon, but for a player their size, they’re not exactly commited to the technology. Maybe it’s like Obama’s Nobel Peace Price. Let’s hope it works better…

Thanks to all of you who came by the Diffraction Analysis booth to chat or discuss collaboration. Kudos to the FTTH Council who pulled (in my opinion) the best annual conference of those I’ve attended to far. See you next year in Warsaw!

Author: "Benoit FELTEN" Tags: "Access, Diffraction Analysis, Where am I..."
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Date: Friday, 14 Feb 2014 16:07

See on Scoop.itConnected World

Benoit Felten‘s insight:

There are two ways to read this. One is to dismiss it entirely as yet more vaporware (lord knows there’s been a fair amount of that around Google Fiber). The other is to conclude that Google deployed P2P (unlikely) or is looking into WDM-PON (more likely). Either way, does it really change the name of the game ?

See on www.droid-life.com

Author: "Benoît Felten" Tags: "Uncategorized"
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Date: Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 17:03

See on Scoop.itConnected World

ZTE helps ETB launch FTTH broadband network in Colombia.

Benoit Felten‘s insight:

ZTE seems to be cruising nicely in Latin America. It’s about the only market apart from China where I truly see their successes, but in that market at least they have some significant wins starting with Uruguay’s Antel.

See on www.lightreading.com

Author: "Benoît Felten" Tags: "Uncategorized"
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Date: Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 09:08

See on Scoop.itConnected World

Although obviously very unhappy with the broadband monopoly created by the previous government, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull – as its shareholder minister – also has to protect the interests of NBN Co.

Benoit Felten‘s insight:

I must confess to a certain amount of pleasure watching Malcolm Turnbull struggle to keep together the NBN he has contributed so hard to undermine. It’s not good news for Australia, but you can’t help but feel he got it coming…

See on www.afr.com

Author: "Benoît Felten" Tags: "Access, Broadband, Expert Opinions, Regu..."
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Date: Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 12:32

See on Scoop.itConnected World

Benoit Felten‘s insight:

I was going to write about this, but Dean’s write is so concise, and probably better written than I would have, so you might as well read his. In a nutshell, AT&T’s sponsored data, whether you oppose it on principle or not, is doomed to fail.

See on disruptivewireless.blogspot.fr

Author: "Benoît Felten" Tags: "Uncategorized"
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Date: Tuesday, 04 Feb 2014 14:37

740x260_Superman1

Like every year, Diffraction Analysis is an analyst partner of the FTTH Council Europe annual conference which this year takes place in Stockholm on February 19-20th with pre-conference workshops on the 18th.

This year is particularly exciting for us because we will finally be able to show results from a very exciting quantitative study of broadband users in Sweden. We think these figures could significantly change some of the perceptions around the potential of FTTH. These results will be presented during Session 15 of the Conference on the FTTH Business Case:

Session 15: February 20th, 14:15, Room B

You will not want to miss that, sorry for insisting!

Benoît Felten will be there during the whole week of the conference from Feb 17-21st. He will be manning the Diffraction Analysis booth when not otherwise engaged. The booth is in the Analyst Corner section of the exhibition floor. Should you want to meet with Benoît for a briefing, expert opinion or to discuss business opportunities, please get in touch!

In addition, Benoît will be speaking at a number of workshops and events throughout the week:

  • Tuesday 18th AM – Huawei Customer Event
    Speech: 5 ways to supercharge your FTTP Business Case
  • Tueday 18th PM – Investor Day
    Panel Moderation
  • Tuesday 18th PM – World of Applications Workshop
    Speech: FTTP Usage Trends

Diffraction Analysis and Fiberevolution will be tweeting teasers from our study results starting tomorrow and all the way leading up to the conference. Please spread these around if you find them interesting!

Author: "Benoit FELTEN" Tags: "Access, Business Models, event, ftth cou..."
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Date: Friday, 31 Jan 2014 09:05

See on Scoop.itConnected World

Benoit Felten‘s insight:

Looks like the US incumbents are at it again, trying to stifle competition through restrictive legislation, in Kansas this time. Commentary has been that it might be to hamper another Google Fiber, but Google Fiber isn’t a PPP. More likely they’re worried Google Fiber will give other Kansas communities ideas…

See on www.muninetworks.org

Author: "Benoît Felten" Tags: "Broadband, Muni Fiber, Regulation, broad..."
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Date: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 11:56

New Year's CardIt is traditional for analysts to end a given year with an assessment of the major trends in that year and predict what the next year will be like. This year we thought we’d do a bit of that ourselves and update you on some of the things you can expect from us in the coming months.

Broadband and politics, unhealthy bedfellows

Probably the most significant news of 2013 in the broadband space will remain as the partial collapse of the Australian NBN. A highly political project from the start, its inability to deliver in the promised timeframe gave the Australian political opposition the ammunition to significantly reduce its ambitions when they won the elections. We have written repeatedly about exactly this risk, and while the reduced scope and ambition of the new project is a dissapointment to those who looked at Australia as the beacon in forward-thinking government led broadband, at least the core of the structural separation has so far been preserved.

In New Zealand also, the highly political NBN has hit some roadblocks, though not quite as dramatic as the Australian ones. The government, by not adjusting the regulatory framework to fiber caused the whole UFB plan to be jeopardized by a drastic price reduction in wholesale copper just when Chorus and the other Local Fiber Companies were heavily investing in FTTH. We have written about potential solutions, but they would require a fair amount of political clout and coverage, and it’s uncertain at this stage whether the government in place has that.

The conclusion from these events is that when large scale plans are put in motion to bring the telecom infrastructure into the 21st century, be it kicking and screaming, governments need to make realistic promises, execute efficiently on these and insure that regulation and policy go hand in hand. Good advice for a number of countries that have moved or are moving in that direction like Israël, Uruguay, and others.

Open Access is finally getting mainstream

At Diffraction Analysis we have long been arguing that Open Access not only makes economic sense but that in many countries around the world it’s the only way to get infrastructure deployed. A few years ago, the coalition of the unwilling incumbents was so deeply against this idea that even policy makers, for the most part, balked at exploring it. Things are slowly changing.

We’re seeing various forms of infrastructure sharing emerge around the world, be it around mobile network components (cell-towers, base stations…), access (open access fiber), backbone, etc. And the players involved, increasingly, include the same incumbent operators who had been fighting tooth and nail against any form of mandated open-access. Consequently we will see increasingly that Public-Private Partnerships that impose open access are likely to become more and more prevalent as even established players willingly consider participating.

Structural Separation doesn’t really get any closer…

On the other hand, the ultimate solution to infrastructure sharing and market fairness, structural separation, isn’t really gaining much traction. There was hope that Italy would represent a major landmark earlier in the year, but shareholder Telefonica seems to have killed that one in the nest (and nabbed a few assets in Latin America in the same move). The aforementioned Israeli project is closer to the mark although the continued existence of the copper-based incumbent may become an issue down the line.

The sad thing is that structural separation (and we now have a functional example of it in New Zealand) would solve most of the issues the market is facing both with funding and competition, at a lower cost to market players than the current model. I don’t have high hopes for policy makers to have the gumption to push this any further, although the UK and Poland might be places to keep an eye on. In the former, the incumbent seems to have aggravated the government so much that I hear the subject is at least no longer taboo. In the latter the incumbent seems keen on making it happen. If only it wasn’t owned by another incumbent who won’ hear of it…

The year(s) to come

While the above trends will continue to unfold, and hopefully a more radical approach to policy, at least in Europe, will be understood to be necessary, there’s little that we can do at our level to influence that. In emerging markets things are a little different because pragmatism generally trumps ideologies and even lobbying to some extent when you try to get from nothing to something. The example of the Colombian national backbone project is very enlightening in that respect, and probably the smartest piece of policy we have seen in telecommunications in years.

This helps us focus where are work will be needed, and it’s essentially in three areas:

  • Emerging market connectivity: the field to further connectivity out in emerging countries and in the rural areas of developed countries is wide open, and smart solutions and approaches emerge everyday. Our research has convinced us that the traditional view that only wireless will do and then only in dense urban areas is increasingly erroneous. We are releasing a white paper in the next few days on this topic, so watch this space. We expect to work more and more with emerging markets in the coming years to help policy makers set up the right context for connectivity growth and to help businesses build smart, effective and profitable networks addressing the massive opportunity there. Rural broadband in developed markets will most likely rely on similar approaches although the legacy may prove to be a big hindrance.
  • Open Access: now that the ideas of infrastructure sharing are gaining traction, an increasing number of players, public, private and in-between hop on board. At the same time, they start to realise that there’s no ‘Field of Dreams’ effect in technology adoption, and that you have to work hard to make an open access model work. We have been hard at work in 2013 assisting neutral operators, both municipal and national in fostering the right ecosystem for adoption to happen as swiftly as possible, and we will continue to do so. Figuring out the proper wholesale offerings, establishing the right levels of trust between partners and taking an active role in promotion and commercialisation are all part of the solution.
  • Smart Cities: it’s a sad state of affairs when you realise that many cities that have invested massive amounts in their own municipal fiber networks are not using it for much beyond delivering broadband to their citizens. Furthermore, cities that don’t have their own assets are increasingly puzzled as to how they can become smarter while having to rely on third-party networks not designed to do what they need them to do. This will be a big focus for us in the coming year as we try to establish the infrastructure bedrock for local governments to really launch themselves in the world of Smart Cities.

These areas are of course in addition to our usual coverage and analysis. In the next few weeks we will announce a lot of releases from Diffraction Analysis, including but not limited to the new iteration of our FTTx World Database, a report presenting 5 Ways to Supercharge an FTTx Implementation, in-depth analysis of user-by-user consumption data from a gigabit fiber network, a thorough examination of the reality of Chattanooga’s Gig City and much much more.

We will also attend rather more events than we did last year, including the just-round-the-corner FTTH Council Europe conference in Stockholm from February 18-20th. We will be presenting very exciting results from the first ever Fiber Usage survey. Stay tuned for more in the coming days.

This is going to be an exciting year, both for Diffraction Analysis and for the industry in general. We certainly hope it’s an excellent year for you, and we hope to see you around before December!

Author: "Benoit FELTEN" Tags: "Access, 2014, broadband, diffraction ana..."
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Date: Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 15:04

See on Scoop.itConnected World

A few thoughts on the role of third party entreprenuerial capital in bridging the FTTx investment gap. Video of the presentation can be found here. http://eurot

Benoit Felten‘s insight:

Great presentation from James Enck on what’s missing to kick the FTTH market into high gear.

See on fr.slideshare.net

Author: "Benoît Felten" Tags: "Uncategorized"
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 10:45

I wanted to apologize for the radio silence, a combination of too much work and a planned blog/website rethink leads to blogging paralysis.

So just to make up for it, here a hilarious video that should speak to Telecom people, probably the only ones who can really get it…

Author: "Benoît Felten" Tags: "Miscellany, comedy, humor, humour, mobil..."
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 10:45

I wanted to apologize for the radio silence, a combination of too much work and a planned blog/website rethink leads to blogging paralysis.

So just to make up for it, here a hilarious video that should speak to Telecom people, probably the only ones who can really get it…

Author: "Benoit FELTEN" Tags: "Miscellany, comedy, humor, humour, mobil..."
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