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October 2009

You are browsing the archive for October 2009.

May I have your Attention, Please about Smartphones

October 28, 2009

The smartphone marketplace is heating up and its not just because Apple has the iTablet on the way. 

The carriers are working hard to find the right device to catch the growing market, but I am not sure that anyone knows how to catch our attention.

Palm has the Pre being marketed with and without Sprint, but last years CES darling is not exactly looking to build a ground swell of community.  Which is a shame since they still have a lot of loyal palm customers.

Likewise HTC is making an effort to support their customers with commercials.

The reality is that social networks maybe the best way to communicate to the most likely customers. 

The Fan Clubs of the devices on Facebook maybe the best place to reach early adopters. 

Its clear the carriers are anxious to avoid another breakout by rivals.























China and the iPhone

October 26, 2009

It may be that ATT is good as it gets with the iPhone.

I have already commented on the fact that Telefonica is not having the same dramatic impact with the iPhone as ATT (Verizon [ NYSE: VZ] announced a 30% drop in earnings and slower growth than ATT ).

In China the Nokia E71 has a good following (I am still an N95 fan) and the  cost of the iPhone is equivalent to a $1,000 US dollars over there.  The discussion of Nokia's efforts to protect patents Apple may have violated seems late, but I suspect it will work itself out like many of these do before the court has to make a decision.  IMHO, It probably has more value in the EU to show market / thought leadership than financial value.

More importantly as China continues to manage the operations of their end users the ability to use WiFi has been disabled.  Like the issues of Skype via TOM in China, a closed iPhone with only the carriers network is not as interesting as an IPhone with WiFi.  However, it allows the state to know what it wants to know.

Of course in China if you capture less than .001 of the market you are still busy, so the iPhone success is pretty much a guarantee.









Report Excerpt: Market Launches Keep Clearwire on Target

October 20, 2009

Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from our latest quarterly report on all things Clearwire, the CLEARWIRE NTK OCTOBER 2009 (need to know) report, available now for the low low price of $4.95. In this excerpt we talk about how Clearwire's on-time, on-target market launches in Atlanta and Las Vegas, as well as a host of smaller cities, have kept the company on target with its ambitious 2009 rollout plans. For the full report, order online here. Report excerpt follows:

Vegas, Atlanta and Silicon Valley - but where is Chicago?

Easily the most positive sign for Clearwire during the hot months was its on-schedule rollout of services in Atlanta and Las Vegas, the two bigger markets Clearwire had said it would launch during the summer -- and did.



Your Huddle Masses Yearning to be Free

October 19, 2009

Fundamentally the world of packets changed the model of communications forever from one of accessing a stream to establishing a session.  Streams are continual and choose to use them to transport, while sessions are virtual and you create them and send them off from your easiest access point to the ocean of packets passing by. 

Why the crude metaphor?   We are again at that point where the Internet is being challenged at its very core.

Fundamentally the pricing model of streams is being applied to sessions. 

The reason this is important is because the application war is heating up and questions about how numbers are being connected, applications are being allowed on networks and carriers are behaving are driving congressional letters.

If you do not want the sessions to be priced based on usage send me a note.















Report Excerpt: Why Dearth of Devices Hurts Clearwire

October 13, 2009

Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from our latest quarterly report on all things Clearwire, the CLEARWIRE NTK OCTOBER 2009 (need to know) report, available now for the low low price of $4.95.

In this excerpt we talk about why we think the lack of interesting WiMAX end-user devices (or the overpriced ones that did launch) have kept users from flocking to Clearwire's 4G wireless broadband offering. For the full report, order online here. Report excerpt follows:



Prices and Devices: Waiting for a reason 'Why' to try WiMAX
Without a doubt, the coolest thing about WiMAX is its ability to provide a true broadband connection with cellular mobility. One of Clearwire's biggest problems, however, is a lack of a compelling reason to take advantage of that mobile connection -- and the dearth of devices that would allow you to even try.

The growing popularity and use of smartphones points to another WiMAX weakness -- the lack of truly portable devices that can take advantage of the technology's superior connectivity.




Dear Congress; A Phone Number does not a Service Make

October 12, 2009

In the last thirty years, the computing world has changed so much, that it is hard to remember the logic of roles and rules that existed and still drive the basis of law and leadership when it comes to telecommunication.  Telecom has always been a service that has made a distinction between service and use.  Telecom services were deliberately limited to enable the maximum amount of people to use the services for whatever activities they choose. 

Enabling the network to be ubiquitous was accomplished by aggregating the costs of service between local services and long distance services.  The cost of providing the connection (the local loop) was harmonized as much as possible with statewide loop costs and subsidization from the long distance market.  However with the ubiquity achieved the opportunity to support specialized services enabled for the early focus of the Internet to be about the signaling on top of the phone network and not inside it.

A primary reason why the issues of the phone network were of no concern was that IP was distance insensitive, and connecting at the closest point on the phone network through dial up or private line was pretty efficient. 

Now the technology and cost models of access are intertwined and efficiency in the network is not represented in any particular type of fee structure.  Nor is there a clear distinction between accessing a service via the phone network, or an "Internet" service that replaces the phone network.

As the Promoter for the Fight: I would like to get credit

October 7, 2009

Yesterday, we taxed the system of a friends conference server with a call about Net Neutrality.  It was covered by many other media outlets, which did not give us credit for the call.  It included Hank Hultquist of ATT, Todd Daubert of Kelley Drye and Dave Erickson of Free Conference call.  Rick Whitt was to be on the call, but had to pull attend to other matters.  It was a great call.  And as usual I was my orthogonal self.  I may not be a lawyer, but I make any Congressman proud in confusing the issues.

If you want to listen to the call for yourself listen hear.

Of course, All parties have agreed to come back for round 2 in Miami January 20th at 4GWE

Although Dave Erickson will part of another session about the issues of Applications Compensation.















What Is and Isn't under the FCC Jurisdiction

October 5, 2009

Can the Enhanced Service Provider exemption stay in place?

On the Google Policy Blog Rick Whitt responds to the FCC letter from ATT regarding Google Voice.  It is very pertinent to the discussion we are having on the Calliflower call tomorrow about Net Neutrality.

We could say the carriers are suffering from a little enhanced services envy, given the fact that Verizon wanted to be compared to Google at the last wall street conference they attended.  In this case ATT wants to point out that GoogleVoice admits that because of tariff anomalies, it is not servicing the rural markets, but does not consider this their battle.

So Let's see if we come to a common ground tomorrow, about what exactly the FCC is trying to accomplish.













Cisco buys Tandberg - Surprise the Wrong Conclusion is drawn again!

October 1, 2009

Lots of noise today about Cisco's acquistion of Tandberg.

No one wants to take the simple approach.

The best analysis, as usual, comes from our friend Andy Abramson who sees this rightly from the telepresence side of the equation.


Some analysts see this as a blow to Radvision.

To me the issue is different.  Tandberg is a solution that has a loyal customer base and is priced way below the Cisco Telepresence services of Cisco.

I have already spoken about companies like Magor Networks (sister company to CounterPath) and Samsung (both also Radvision) customers that have much lower price points.

IMHO, the issue is the price war on Video Conferencing has hit Cisco.

Their systems which were 100K to start were always being installed and then were subject to issue of prestige vs. practicality.

The acquistion of Tandberg is not a redesign of what exists but extends the product line to the practical participant (although to Andy's point its a better look and feel).

To Andy's point a SIP core should mean interoperability, and Tandberg will add to some of the interoperability Cisco requires to move forward. 

It also should signal that the Cisco Telepresence product line will be driven by the channel market in the next year.