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August 2009

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Thats a lot of Stimulus

August 27, 2009

Over 2,200 Applications
Over 25 B Requested (4 B has been Allocated)

WASHINGTON- The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications
and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture's
Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced today that they received almost 2,200
applications requesting nearly $28 billion in funding for proposed broadband
projects reaching all 50 U.S. states and territories and the District of Columbia.
This is the first round of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding
aimed at expanding broadband access and adoption to help bridge the
technological divide and create jobs building Internet infrastructure, with $4
billion available through loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations. 
 
The Recovery Act provided a total of $7.2 billion to NTIA and RUS to expand
access to and adoption of broadband services. Of that funding, NTIA will utilize
$4.7 billion to deploy broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas
in the United States, expand public computer center capacity, and encourage
sustainable adoption of broadband service.
















No Degrees of Separation: SMS vs. Mobile IM

August 27, 2009

Some good friends and I keep a dialogue going about the industry.  We don't make public our views, so as to protect the people from being exposed with their views versus their consulting / job opportunities.

A thread that I thought was intriguing was about the reason SMS / txting has not been successfully bypassed by IM.  It may be that the price is right to avoid the cross elastics.

But I think there is a simpler answer.  Signalling on IM on a mobile phone requires a learning curve and a redirection, while texting is via SMS is an embedded application.  So the cost to do the IM is in the time, and the cost to do the SMS is nominal.

I bring this up, because of the discussion about Apple's iPhone coming to China. In the article IDC states that about 7% of the iPhone market share is in Asia.  Previously, I have pointed out that Telefonica has not gotten the boost ATT has from the iPhone.  

I think China Unicom will have a big enough market that the opportunity itself will change the marketshare.  While Touchscreens are hot according to the article and my expectation is that will point to more gaming being done and less phone calls.

The reality is that Kanji characters are very easily navigated by the Asian market with alphabetic keyboards.  Spelling phonetically on the alpha the kanji characters appear on the screen until the option of four or five appears and bingo they mouse over to it.

It will be interesting to see if the that kind of a mix on a touch screen can be duplicated.  On my gPhone, this feature is less that spectacular for english, so the touch screens may be need to go through a few generations of optimization for this to work properly.

But the iPhone is to fun not to be bought and with China's software development capability, I have high expectations for the App Store, although it may be jointly owned with China Unicom in the end due to China's restrictions.













Will 'Portability' Lure Businesses to WiMAX?

August 26, 2009

When WiMAX providers talk about the technology's attributes, cellular-like mobility is usually near the top of the list. But for many business users WiMAX's simple portability -- the ability to pick up and move your broadband connection -- may prove to be a more powerful economic and operational lure, the kind of money-saving, hassle-free attribute that gets CIOs interested and gets POs signed.

The power and potential attractiveness of WiMAX's simple portability was one of the surprising themes we picked up on during the reporting and writing of our latest Sidecut Report, titled the Sidecut Reports WiMAX Business Deployment Guide. Available now as a free download, the report also includes a basic primer on what WiMAX is, and where and how businesses can connect to WiMAX services, and some broadband pricing comparisons.

And while there are potentially many customers who might eventually take advantage of WiMAX's ability to support real broadband connectivity while in motion -- we are thinking here of commuters in Chicago and New York, markets that are already on the Clearwire launch schedule -- for right now it's easy to say that most business computing is done by bodies at rest; by people sitting at a desk, a cubicle, a coffeehouse table or somewhere else well lighted and generally stable. Right now those workers' broadband needs are either met by a wired network, or by a Wi-Fi access point tied into a backbone via either DSL or cable modem.

The twist WiMAX adds into this work equation is the ability to unplug that beefy backhaul and move it across the cube, across the hall, across campus or across town -- delivering workspace flexibility not just for individuals, but for entire workgroups who could theoretically be supported by WiMAX services' rather robust plans.





BTOP Reviewer Training This Week

August 25, 2009

 

In this time of need for so many Americans, thank you so much for taking a moment to consider how you might help President Obama and your Federal Government deliver on the promise of economic recovery through the Recovery Act's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and Broadband Initiatives Program.

We need the help of experienced professionals like you to ensure the success of the BTOP grant program by lending some of your valuable hours to helping review the many applications we expect to receive over the coming months for broadband grant funding. To be considered as a reviewer you must have significant expertise and experience in at least one of the following areas:

1) the design, funding, construction, and operation of broadband networks or public computer centers;

Bright Shiny Object - Death Star Apple Part 2

August 25, 2009

Of course, I would like to talk about Apple's FCC letter regarding GoogleVoice, but Steve Jobs is in the news with the iTablet.  So the distraction has worked. 

The iTablet is probably not a netbook strategy, but a MAC that supporting streaming Video via Verizon's LTE network and attacks the Kindle's ebook functionality.

You may recall that Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless CEO.  was talking about the ability to stream an HD Video channel on their network.

As for the Kindle functionality, Jobs can undo the Bezos fiasco about audio via iTunes bundling. 

Speculating without corraboration, Apple can probably find a way to sync text to audiobooks as well, but that is probably a futuristic function.

The WSJ seems to indicate that Steve, back on the job, is causing a stir amongst his employees and pushing back on the assumptions used on the ITablet.

From Verizon's perspective, allowing Steve to be Steve, masks the frantic buildout they are doing to provide the network for the iTablet.  So its a win-win even if it does nothing but freeze the market for a while.













Free Download: WiMAX Business Deployment Guide

August 24, 2009

The Sidecut Reports WiMAX Business Deployment Guide answers the questions businesses small and large may have about the newest wireless broadband technology to hit the U.S. market: What is WiMAX, how can we use it, and how might its features, prices and attributes save us money, enable new business opportunities, or bring more flexibility and connectivity options to our existing workforce?

Prepared in an easy-to-read style with deep background material for those who may not have understood WiMAX before, the report provides a thorough explanation of the technology, the newest devices that connect to it, and how both small businesses and branch or remote offices of larger enterprises might benefit from WiMAX's ability to deliver "bandwidth on demand" without impacting existing network infrastructures.

 In the new report you will learn:

-- How WiMAX compares to existing business broadband Internet access options on a price/benefit comparison

- Why WiMAX's portability, and not necessarily its cellular-like mobility, may be the key selling point for business customers

- Where WiMAX services will be launched in the U.S. this year and next

- What devices are available for businesses to connect to WiMAX now, and in the near-term future

- How flexible pricing and "try before you buy" options may make WiMAX a low-cost, low-risk option

The report also provides a brief historical background on the origins of WiMAX, as well as a cost-comparison matrix for WiMAX and competing broadband services in the Portland, Ore. market. Download your free copy today!















Death Star Apple

August 24, 2009

Lately, I am feeling right at home.  Regulatory is rearing its head and as some one no longer trying to navigate it, I can just sit back and watch the events.

Nothing is more fun to look at then the tenor of the three letters from Apple, ATT and Google,

ATT, long acquainted with their role and the concerns about them, write humbly even though they have done nothing wrong.  In their document, they make clear that they have accepted the concept of third party VoWiFi services.  As we head towards LTE, we might be saying "Its all WiFi eventually).  More about this later in the week.

Then comes Google's Letter.  A thing of beauty.  The writer, a friend has been in the advocacy area for carriers for years, has the high ground with  open standards and knows he does not have to defend Google here. Mind you they did keep confidential their contacts with other third parties, but on this specific case and on the Google app store they were clean.

Google has been very involved with this administration and it maybe to Apple's regret that they severed the relation at the board level.

Apple's letter has some interesting statements in it.  That if I were worried about monopolistic powers (RIAA are you listening) I would question.

"We provide every developer with the same software that we use to create our own iPhone".



Does anyone else want to challenge that statement.  Particularly after the answer to question number 1. 

"The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone's distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail.  Apple spent a lot of time and effort developing this distinct and innovative way to seamlessly deliver core functionality of the iPhone. "

In other words, we enable compliance not openness.

There are other places in the document where Apple is placing their controls in the most favorable light.

















The War is Still a Skirmish amongst Giants:

August 19, 2009

Andy Abramson sent me a note about the Truphone announcement regarding an iPhone bug.  It is not that Apple targeted Truphone its just a bug.  Here is the post,

Apple iPhone Bug Isn't Truphone's Problem

I'm posting is a Public Service Announcement but also since Truphone is my agency's client we felt the important thing to do is get the right information out as far and wide as possible.

This afternoon this afternoon Truphone sent an emailout to its customers explaining that Truphone knows of a bug issue with the Apple iPhone that has existed since the launch of the 3.0 OS in June 2009.

The issue has been widely reported on sites including Mobile Crunch and theiphoneblog. The problem, as was outlined in the email, impacts all applications on a the iPhone, not just the Truphone application.



Can Walkman 2.0 Occur; Sony Ericsson

August 18, 2009

Today's Wall Street Journal has knews that Sony Ericsson is going to have a new CEO.  In the land where 4G is closer than anywhere else (Japan), SONY Ericsson has been a contender, but in other places not so strong.

With the Ericsson the parent now having a bigger footprint in the US with the acquistion of Nortel, the outsourcing by Sprint and the overall positive response to them from cable and wireless carriers, Ericsson has made the right moves.

And for Sony Ericsson with the game-focused mobile phones one that features an accelerometer for gesture-based controls and one that is linked to the Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles to swap content.

Gaming is certainly an important market, but my big issue is can the company get an advantage (again) in music.











A Slow News Day, but not Inactive

August 17, 2009

I have a few blogs to post, but I am not sure the audience is here right now.  I was shocked to see how much noise was coming out of some of the previous posts.  I was talking to some good friends about security issues.

Lots of people talking about finding new opportunities in security from the telecom world, but I am not sure they have a real understanding about the role they would have.  Many friends have suggested that they would be adding security functionality, but in truth the best that a telcom person should hope for is to be the interface to where the action is.

Lets take the recent Facebook & Twitter Denial of Service attacks as an example.  It turns out the attack was not on the site itself but the content of a specific user on the system.  This focused attack is related to the content.

Telecom does not normally look at the message it just provides the transport media. 

The point of making this observation is that to the security experts wearing the black / white hats the migration to 4G wireless is just more of the same of the Internet.  The concepts associated with ISUP  and other out of band control signals are periphereal to where the attack is most likely to occur, which is the application layer.

  The OWASP list of attacks are not about signaling. They are about attacks in the application itself









BTOP Extended for those who are Ready

August 13, 2009

On July 9, 2009, RUS and NTIA published a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) and Solicitation of Applications in the Federal Register announcing general policy and application procedures for the BIP and BTOP.  74 Fed. Reg. 33104 (2009).  In the NOFA, RUS and NTIA encouraged all applicants to submit their applications electronically and required that certain applications be filed electronically through an online application system at http://www.broadbandusa.gov.  74 Fed. Reg. at 33118.  RUS and NTIA established an application window for these grant programs from July 14, 2009, at 8 a.m. ET through August 14, 2009, at 5 p.m. ET (application closing deadline).

 

I can't be the only one suffering! Address Book MisManagement

August 13, 2009

As a bell head the concept of state was indoctrinated into me.  I am not sure if this was through Osmosis, the continue using of the Bell System Practice as a head rest, or the "My Network" mentality.

Today the peers run rampant on my machine.  I get a .vcf file or an AIM message and you would think I was dealing with the bankers of the old lending tree add.  (I would use the old WaMu ad but the bankers were all clustered in those ads).

Particularly annoying right now is Plaxo.  Which seems to have lost its state awareness on the fact that I downloaded the integrated app to my address book and yet everytime i get a .vcf pops up again.

Other nonsense includes the ability to take from Google but not push to Google.  (Not sure why Google has not taken this problem on themselves).

The continual facebook loss of my password (and my mistrust of anything that claims to be facebook).

And of course my Apple Time Machine, that has decided I have to reinput all my license keys after the fiasco of the stolen machine.

I want control of my identity and I want control of the identity systems independent of software packages.

I thought the data portability group was going to bring me something to this end, but they seem to have other issues that motivate them.  OpenID in theory should be this, but so far the services seem to have more control than the users.

I think this should all be linked to a presence enginge managing presentity with a key chain to my devices.  I have not seen anything like this as independent service, but maybe I am wrong. 























Clearwire Adds Just 12,000 Subscribers in Q2

August 13, 2009

Highlights (or lowlights) from the Clearwire Aug. 11 earnings call (the press release is here):

-- Clearwire reports 12,000 net subscription adds for Q2, down from 25,000 for Q1. Ouch. Execs on the call say this number is good and signups are strong, but no getting around the fact that 12,000 is not a big number. Remember this is all mainly Portland, since Vegas/Atlanta didn't launch until end of quarter. The net adds includes losses from pre-WiMAX subscribers, which may be significant.

Clearwire Adds Huawei to Infrastructure Suppliers List

August 12, 2009

In a separate announcement before its earnings call Aug. 11, WiMAX provider Clearwire announced that China's Huawei has joined its list of infrastructure vendors, specifically to provide radio access network (aka RAN) equipment. According to the press release:
Specifically, Huawei will provide several key infrastructure pieces, including base stations, element management system (EMS) components, and related network hardware and software.

Clearwire said former suppliers Motorola and Samsung remain on the WiMAX provider's preferred list, along with Cisco, Ciena and microwave backhaul specialist Dragonwave.

According to Clearwire chief technology officer John Saw, Huawei will be providing base station technology that offers "a significant improvement in coverage and quality," thereby leading to lower costs for Clearwire network deployment. The Chinese supplier's aggressive pursuit of matters WiMAX includes 2,000 engineers working on WiMAX, according to Charlie Chen, senior VP of marketing for Huawei USA.

Clearwire said Huawei gear will first be used in Hawaii and Seattle, two markets where Clearwire has scheduled live rollouts for 2009.




XG Technology: Building for the Broadband Experience

August 12, 2009

XG Technology has been driving the next generation of wireless services and is now on the brink of a roll out that will enable the service provider to be both Internet and voice friendly. While other companies are now ignoring the voice to develop data services on their voice network. xG has developed their voice strategies based on the wireless network they run IP over. WIth layer 2 optimization xG is designed to support the end points.  The commercial release of their products are sold under the brand xMAX.

Recently they announced they were participating with the Stimulus with services they are building for  Townes Tele-communications
XGTechnologyFrankPeake.mp3.

Frank Peake and Shaski G joins us in a discussion about xG's latest advances and the opportunities in the market today.








How Close is the Future: Verizon

August 11, 2009

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article about the deals Ivan Seidenberg has made as the head of Verizon, while the deals have been great for the corporate coffers, the stockholders and the buyers of the assets of Idearc, FarPoint and the Carlyle Group have suffered.

In some ways you can think of Verizon as the Carrier's version of General Electric with the same mantra of "if you can not be number 1 in a business get out of it." 

Verizon has also managed to shed personnel in the deals making it a kind of force reduction solution, (we could look at this as the anti-matter to Cisco's acquire the company for the talent strategy).

At the heart of Verizon we can see one major goal enabling HD Video.  Its true for their FIOS vision, and its true for their LTE vision at Verizon Wireless.

So how are they doing at delivering on this vision?  And how many iterations does it take to get it right?  FIOS is now starting to be talked about favorably by friends that have it.  That future point that Verizon aimed for of the three HD TVs per home watching a game has arrived. 

For Verizon Wireless, that vision is still to be delivered upon, the MediaFlo and VCast promise is in transition. 

At their developer's conference you heard the message of Video as the future.  Yes they want applications, but they want to be the screen you look at, more than the headset you speak into.  This is the vision of FIOS, and its probably even a more illuminated vision for Verizon Wireless with LTE.

Think of the Term FIOS.  As a techie I see the IOS and think of Cisco's Internetwork Operating System attached to the word Fiber.  Its about the delivery of services via glass that was probably the vision being shared by the techies before the marketing took over.

Likewise at VDC, Verizon Wireless was promoting the Wireless equivalent.  Roger Gurnani stated that the Network API they were promoting was just the beginning.   They have an idea of where they want to be in the future, now the question is how fast can they get there?

The cash cows that have been sold seem to have lost their productive years based on their filing for bankruptcy. If you are making a deal with Verizon here is the caveat emptor, the asset they are selling probably does not fit into their vision of the future, so you may be paying a premium and should ask yourself what is your vision of the future. You better have a vision that goes beyond the dairy. 

Verizon does.





















ATT vs. Telefonica The Long Tail Effect of Apple's App Store

August 10, 2009

Having received the quarterly reports of Apple, ATT and Telefonica, I was very curious about the reasons that Telefonica was not basking in Apple's glory like ATT was.

The iPhone 3GS has added about another 1M new subscribers to the ATT network and if my calculations are correct they have about 10% of the US population on the iPhone.  

So if the apps are so kewl why is Telefonica not enjoying the same results.

A few reasons have been pointed out to me, some ring true and some do not.  The first one is that app store has many apps that are not available in Spanish.  Particularly the cooler (kewlr?) ones that rush to market to get ahead of the game do not make it on to App Store in a user friendly manner.
So the app store is not as powerful a weapon for Telefonica which interestingly enough impacts word of mouth, if you have to translate the app your are using to another person is it that interesting?

Secondly comes the issue of GSM countries versus the US.  In the UK Telefonica offers the iPhone to English speakers versus their O2 subsidiary, but the sales are not astronomical. It may be that ATT is in the backward nation of the US of A, where wireless has been starved for a working wireless Internet.  In Europe the ability to browse the Interenet from your cell phone is not as unusual thanks to GPRS, so the wow factor of mobile browsing is negated.

Also comes the fact that the exclusivity is leaky in Europe.  T-Mobile has the phone in the Germany as does O2 (even if its not sold directly their its supported) and a lot of ATT phones made it to Europe when Apple sold them only the US orginally.  An article in a German Trade magazine suggests that about 25% of the market is being supplied via other contracts.

Then comes the reality of smartphones, the blackberry, Nokia's N series and other smart devices were more readily available as a choice in the lands where GSM offered the customer the ability to bring their phones of choice to the GSM standard.  A closed network smartphone looks like a step back to people who are used to buying their phones and selecting the carrier independently.  Its hard to sell the cool of a proprietary service in Europe.

Finally comes price and the price points from Telefonica may not work in world where the cool distinction is marginalized by the factors above.

I bring this up for a few very specific reasons.  It may be that the iPhone does not have the same wow factor for other countries. In Japan, the iPhone has very little marketshare.  The wow factor their is the wrist action, which in the land of the Nintendo's Wii, NTT's Docomo and Softbank's mobile games is not that compelling.  I don't have exact prove of this but the sales numbers seem to indicated that where the wireless Internet has been available the longest, there is where iPhone sales are least.
















Gerry Purdy's Newsletter

August 7, 2009

I was reading Gerry Purdy's newsletter and he was talking about the cell phone as a hub for your networking needs. Its a good read and I encourage my readers to keep informed with Gerry as well.

His analysis is that the expectation that we will have two services plans is not as logical as the carriers would like to expect. 

His point is that the netbook and data plans that are going to be on the 4G networks are not going to maintain the loyalty that carriers like.  (In full disclosure I have added a fourth carrier to support my MiFi habit)

So are my existing carriers happy I went to the another one?  It will be in their nature to slam for the voice into some sort of bundle or have us maintain on a data plan that supports voice.

Up until now tethered services have required a PHD to figure out how to connect your Blackberry or data capable cell phone to a computer as a wireless modem.  But with Bluetooth it should be relatively easy and according to our friend Anton Wahlman in the US  the modem capability is now supported for about $30 a month from both ATT and Verizon (PS T-Mobile offers limited but free use)

So as the data plan wars heat up we should expect to see carriers willing to blend their 3G and 4G networks.

Right now Sprint does a nice job in giving dual mode access between their networks.

In a private conversation with a major vendor of LTE we discussed the carriers desires to keep the data on the 4G and milk the voice out of 3G.
While its what the carrier wants its not clear how it fits into the consumers choice.

Expect that for the next few years the deals will be varied and hard to compare.


















FanFare Software Interview with David Gehringer

August 5, 2009

David Gehringer, the VP of market for Fanfare Software allowed me to interview him earlier in the week.  Fanfare Software is a leader in system and device testing, designed to simplify system and device testing for all team members, maximizing productivity throughout the quality workflow. 

Virtualization has been a real cost savings to the carriers and the concept of a virtual test bed caught my curiousity.

CF: How long as Fanfare Software been in business and when did you join it?

DG: Fanfare was founded in April 2004, actually April 1st, which is good for a laugh.  We shipped the first product in early 2006, which was the same year I joined.

CF: You work on helping with the roll out strategy of new devices with the technology, who is your customer at that point, the carrier or the vendor? 

DG: We focus on the testing side of technology, specifically making automation a reality.  While we started with manufactures, we are now finding half of our customers to be the carriers themselves.   While the magnitude of the problems differ between the two, they are both roughly testing in a similar manner. 



CF: How have roll out cycles changed and what is your expectation in the future?
DG: Yes, from a macro perspective, the time to tests has eclipsed the time to develop.   I think in the next five years those companies that are successful will reverse that trend.   This is simply due to the fact the developers have been getting tools that accelerate their development capabilities and speed, and yet today testers are still using manual and dated scripting techniques.  Testing tools, while late, are helping testers get the productivity tools they need to stay abreast of development. 

CF: With the switch to 4G OFDM and MIMO will be a major part of the testing, How does the change impact the metrics? 

DG: I would be willing to say it will add many more metrics, but the core quality metrics will remain, QoS, latency, drops, resiliency, and reliability.   What it does mean is the hetrogenious lab just got bigger.   I need all the hard line gear, as well as wireless equipment, and possibly actual handsets.   The need for simplicity and automation will grow out of this.  A typical wireless lab setup can take 2 hours for a single test, that has got to change.

CF: Give us a feel for your customers and are their differences based on location?

DG: In North America, I still feel the testers are not given their due, and must work to prove themselves.  Frankly this is an opportunity and time is now to show they contribute to the company and are not just a necessary cost center; the IT department did the same transformation in the late 90s.   I will contrast that with Europe where testing in an established profession, with actual curriculum in colleges focusing on testing.  Asia has a mix of both NA and European testing stature based on specific countries. 

CF: Can you explain a Virtual Test bed strategy?


Sprint Open Developer Conference

August 5, 2009

As you know I am a big proponent of Widgets versus Applications.  So I am looking forward to the Sprint Developers Conference that will include the PalmPre as part of its mix this time.  In previous developers conferences support of the Samsung Instinct and mobile devices were part of the mix,  This agenda is light right now with a lot of TBDs shown in the break out area.

I believe some of this is due to the PalmPre and at the present time this may be the only developer event for the PalmPre.

Who is driving the Next Bus Verizon Wireless or Apple?

August 4, 2009

Last week while Verizon Wireless was trying to draw the attention of the developer community, the press was all a buzz about their relationship with Apple.

The problem is two fold.  The first is that ATT is the only one allowed to sell 3G iPhones with Apple. The second is that LTE is going to take Verizon a while to get out there. 

Mind you, I think Verizon Wireless could do more with what they have today.  The sad reality is Verizon is still a more Apple friendly company than ATT when it comes to the USB dongles. 

Verizon Wireless has Apple software and does not refer their customers to the device manufacturer.  Personally, my Verizon MiFi works well with my MAC and the Verizon software is Apple friendly. 

So what makes it so important that the iTablet be a Verizon exclusive, and what is the implication if the LTE network is only available in limited areas.

Verizon wants to stop the migration to the iPhone, but the question is does the iTablet represent the same market or a different market?

If Steve Jobs announces the iTablet in January what is foot print that VZW will be able to offer or will it have an EVDO to LTE upgrade offer embedded in the deal?

Should be interesting to see how the marketing moves.













Clearwire adds 10 new '4G' markets in old pre-WiMAX cities

August 3, 2009

In what seems to be now a standard practice, the folks at Clearwire are launching markets by first making them available on their coverage map page, followed by "official" launches a month or so later. We are not sure of what the difference is -- to us, a market is "officially" live when you start charging money for services.

Anyway, even though you can order services now, those new markets we told you about on Saturday will "officially" be open for business Sept. 1, according to a press release from Clearwire today. Here's the direct info from the press release:

Clearwire Communications, LLC, an operating subsidiary of Clearwire Corporation, (NASDAQ: CLWR) today announced the official launch day of CLEAR™ 4G service in Boise, Idaho; Bellingham, Wash.; and eight markets throughout Texas, including: Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Killeen/Temple, Waco and Wichita Falls will occur on September 1, 2009. CLEAR offers the first super fast mobile Internet service that works as fast on the go as it does at home.




The Apple Google war may make ATT the Victim.

August 3, 2009

While the California Titans get into a contest of wills, ATT's congressional nemesis is looking to add to the battle.

I have to say it's pretty amazing to me what Congress focuses on, but the letters from the FCC inquiring about GoogleVoice make clear that this is going to be dragged into the bigger discussion.

First of all lets talk about the letters.  The FCC's letter to Apple
Apple letter 7 31 09.pdf wants to see if ATT drove the decision or had any influence.  I think Craig Moffett is right to suggest that if that were the case, it would be more courtesy than control.

Though as a former President of a major phone company used to say, If you leave a telco witness up long enough they will confess to anything.

Now the ATT letter AT&T Letter 7 31 09.pdf gets into the general distrust and expands the discussion to ask about blocking applications as well.

Finally the Google letter Google letter 7 31 09.pdf ends with concern as to whether Android has similar strategies as Apple.

Embedded in the documents are a bunch of questions about Rural Services and Network Neutrality to the ATT & Apple relationship.  Particularly when taken into consideration of the Markey Bill.  It has brought to the attention of the Congress that the Stimulus may leave the unserved and underserved with a network that does not have sexy devices like the iPhone on it, which is not what their constiuents want to hear. 

The people want device freedom, and Congress may give it to them.

On the business side of the equation the resignation of Eric Schmidt from the Apple board is probably long overdue.  The companies have been expanding the Ven Diagram of overlap with Android, Chrome, MobileMe, Safari, etc.

While the two companies could have been the best hope for a level playing field of interoperability, we are probably not going to see either side be their better selves for a while.

Adobe and Oracle (Java) are two other companies that may have a desire to contribute to the discussion.