Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

Nortel: Politics, Bankruptcy and Business as Usual

January 15, 2009

Rich offers some in depth analysis of the Nortel saga, with a look at the bankruptcy laws of both the US and Canada, and some history of what drove Nortel to this particular fork in the road.


Rich also shares his insights gleaned from a conversation with Nortel Enterprise president Joel Hackney, who in the face of all the bankruptcy reports wants to reassure customers that "Nortel is still very much in business."


This is obviously a very big story in our telecom world, but it extends out to the greater question of business and politics, and specifically business and politics in the Canadian landscape.


Our Ontario-based senior contributing editor, Brendan Read, has an article today, entitled, bluntly, Canadian Politics Would Kill Any Potential Sale of Nortel to U.S. Firms


Brendan writes of the struggles Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper would face if he allowed major portions of Nortel to be sold to companies south of the border, and he offers up that "Minister Tony Clement said Ottawa will provide financing to help Nortel restructure and emerge as a viable firm."


Brendan also provides a good amount of political background, which is useful for understanding the various angles that are in play with regard to the Nortel news.

Verizon Plays Down "No More Copper" Comments

January 14, 2009

On second thought, we will NOT be doing away with voice over copper in seven years.   We like VoIP, but we love copper.   Clearly our executive was not supposed to say what he said to that Bloomberg reporter. Either that or the reporter got it wrong.   It's all a misunderstanding.   Nothing to see here... Move along...     Apparently Verizon is backing away from comments that their CMO John Stratton made to a Bloomberg reporter in a story that was carried by the LA Times and that I touched on in my blog on Tuesday.   Eric Rabe, Senior Vice President -- Media Relations has a post today on the Verizon Policy Blog basically saying that no, neither Stratton nor anyone else at Verizon believes that we will move beyond copper in seven years.   I for one felt that seven years was much too aggressive a timetable to move away from that bread and butter transport mechanism, but it says a lot that Verizon would come out so strongly to correct the perception that they were somehow turning their back on the tried and true.   I've pasted Eric Rabe's blog post below in full:     There's been a bit of online buzz about remarks attributed to Verizon Chief Marking Officer John Stratton in a Bloomberg interview (carried in the LA Times) at last week's Consumer Electronics Show. The story says that Verizon plans to "do away with traditional phone lines within seven years as it moves to carry all calls over the Internet."   Here's the background.   First, neither John nor anyone else here thinks that the traditional, circuit-switched phone network will be a thing of the past in seven years. What's often called the public switched telephone network (PSTN) is the world's most reliable, high quality, landline voice communications system. The Verizon traditional phone system will serve customers for a long time to come.   John's point was, and there's not a lot of new news here, that we see that voice can and is becoming an application called VoIP on broadband networks.   VoIP is a logical platform for any company wanting to break into the voice services business, and hundreds of companies have seized on this technology to do so, including every major cable TV company. However, the quality of VoIP voice calls and the reliability of VoIP networks are in no way superior to the quality and reliability provided by the Verizon PSTN network. In short, there is no logical reason for a company like Verizon, with a terrific voice network already in place, to dismantle that network and replace it with VoIP.   At the same time, Verizon is the foremost provider of broadband networks in the USA and a leader in providing broadband around the world. We operate much of the Internet backbone, besides providing wired broadband to 8.5 million American consumers and businesses in the Northeast, and parts of the Northwest, South and Western U.S.   It is clear to us that some parts of the market are moving to VoIP. So the right move for Verizon and our customers is to support transition to VoIP as we have already for many business customers and as we will do as consumer customers evolve to VoIP. You'll see us offer new VoIP products for FiOS in the future, and over time we'll do the same for customers served by other wireline and wireless technologies. This is a logical evolution that we understand and will support.   But don't expect the landline circuit-switched network to magically blink out in seven years.

Hard Times as Nortel Bankruptcy Looms

January 14, 2009

Rich is reporting in his blog that Nortel will file for bankruptcy today, ending the run for one of Canada's biggest corporations and one of telecom's storied companies.   This marks quite the fall from grace for a company that was once one of the highest-fliers of the tech boom.   According to a story in today's Globe and Mail:   Nortel easily qualified as the country's largest company at the peak of the tech boom in 2000, with a $366-billion (Canadian) market capitalization and 95,000 employees.   While still North America's largest telecom equipment maker, Nortel's shares were worth a total of just $192-million yesterday, and the company has 26,000 staff after a bruising series of layoffs over the past eight years.   Nortel stock that soared to $1,231 at the peak of the tech bubble - reflecting a recent consolidation in shares - closed yesterday at 38.5 cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange.   You can expect the vultures will all be out today, slamming the company's management, pointing to the series of accounting scandals that ultimately doomed this company. You'll hear all about the acquisition of Bay Networks and how that never really turned into the perfect fit that had been hoped for. Yes folks, all the news will be bad, and the blame game will be blown out of proportion.   Nortel still has some great technology, and a customer base and service contracts that will have the scavengers salivating.   Unfortunately for the many great employees of the company the end of Nortel as we know it spells something far worse.   The news reports today speak of breaking up the company and selling off the pieces to competitors. In such cases, some employees will be fortunate enough to stay on, but for too many others it's a time of great uncertainty and worry.   I have been fortunate to work with many wonderful people who represented Nortel over the past 12 years, and I hope that they fare well in the wake of whatever goes down.

Point Topic: UK Broadband Subs Down

January 13, 2009

UK researcher Point Topic sent out a release today stating they estimate that fewer than 200,000 new broadband lines were added in the UK in the Q4 2008, which results in less than half of what was originally predicted for the quarter.   Tim Johnson, Chief Analyst at Point Topic:   The main loser was BT Wholesale and its resellers who dropped almost 300,000 lines in 3 months according to our estimates. The local loop unbundlers, mainly Carphone Warehouse, Sky, Tiscali and Orange, did comparatively well in the quarter as consumers churned to their low cost bundles. LLU operators added over 420,000 lines in the period according to BT Openreach figures.   What does the future hold?   Johnson again:   The broadband market has been growing rapidly in the last few years and we project it will continue to add numbers through the recession, just much more slowly. In fact it is striking how falls in broadband growth have closely mirrored the UK's changing Gross Domestic Product.                                          By our calculations, even if the economy shrinks by a further 3% in 2009 then there still will be about 900,000 new broadband customers by next December. That would take the UK total to over 18 million.      

Verizon Exec: No More Copper by 2016

January 12, 2009

In an item today from Bloomberg News, via the LA Times, Verizon's Chief Marketing Officer John Stratton reportedly said at CES, that the operator plans to do away with placing voice calls over copper lines within a seven-year timeframe.   So let me get this straight... In seven years, no more copper? I have my doubts that the last Verizon call to run over twisted copper will take place by 2016.   Now, with customers switching to mobile phones exclusively, and 4G wireless technologies ramping up, and consumers abandoning traditional phone companies in favor of cable providers and so-called over the top VoIP providers, the concept of evolving beyind copper is not farfetched. Verizon too, by offering voice over its FiOS service, is hastening the migration away from copper.   I don't have a problem with the premise.

Expert Panel to Explore HD Voice at ITEXPO

January 12, 2009

On the events side at TMC, we're always looking to deliver compelling content to the attendees at our shows. As many of you are no doubt aware, ITEXPO is just around the corner. The show will be taking place this February 2-4 in Miami Beach. For more information, or to register, please visit the ITEXPO event Web site.   The purpose of this post is to draw your attention to a very special session that we are offering to ITEXPO conference attendees.   On Tuesday, February 3rd, from Noon to 1:00 P.M.

Praise for LTE, WiMAX' Bad Week

January 9, 2009

  Market researcher ABI Research has released a new study that points to continued enthusiasm for LTE deployment.   Coming on the heels of a turbulent week for WiMAX (see: Intel's $950 million investment write-down and Nokia ceasing production of its only WiMAX device) it's a positive sign indeed for this 4G technology.   Now before we get carried away with the premature burial of WiMAX, it's important to note that Clearwire did light up a new city this week (Portland, OR) and has plans to start service in up to nine other cities in 2009. Let's wait before we get out the shovels.   Still ABI's report Long Term Evolution (LTE) draws attention to the fact that Verizon, (possibly sensing some blood in the water?) has reportedly moved up their LTE deployment plans by a year, from 2010 to 2009.   ABI notes that globally, 18 operators have announced LTE rollout plans.   Writing in the recent report, ABI Research senior analyst Nadine Manjaro said,   ABI Research believes that NTT will also deploy LTE in Japan in 2009. We forecast that by 2013 operators will spend over $8.6 billion on LTE base station infrastructure alone. For operators that have already deployed 3G networks, LTE will be a key CAPEX driver over the next five years.   Manjaro also notes that LTE application development could be a major driver of investment as operators explore which services to deploy.   As an example, Manjaro looks to Sprint and Verizon and their plans to provide third-party access to their GPS data.   The resulting new applications will tie mobility and presence aspects together to create more compelling services than in the past.

Goin' Mobile With Skype

January 9, 2009

Out in the woods

Or in the city

It's all the same to me

When I'm drivin' free, the world's my home...

When I'm mobile...



Ok, I admit it. Sometimes I can't help myself. I reach for the most clichéd classic rock lyrics when writing about IP Communications. It happens.

Our Growing Family

January 8, 2009

Sometimes we get so busy we don't notice the great things that occur right under our noses.   In the past few months we've welcomed several new voices to the TMC blogosphere, and we continue to expand our roster of industry experts who go out of their way to share their expertise with our audience. You simply can't find such a great lineup of IP Communications related bloggers and columnists anywhere.   Among our constellation of writers, there's one I wanted to draw your attention to today. Tsahi Levent-Levi is a Product Manager at RADVISION and he writes the Talking Video blog at TMCnet.   Check it out. You won't be sorry.   In today's entry, he addresses the video calling market and where he sees this market gaining traction.   And keep an eye on TMCnet, for we have new bloggers and columnists appearing every week.   And lastly, if you want to be a star in the firmament of TMCnet bloggers or columnists, let me know.

Better Living Through... VoIP?

January 5, 2009

TMCnet and INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine are looking for customer case studies. If you are a provider of IP communications products or services, and you want to show the world how your solutions are helping your customers save money, increase productivity and all-in-all achieve a higher quality of life due to the adoption of IP Communications, then let me know.   We'll publish these case studies online at TMCnet as well as select a few compelling stories for publication in Internet Telephony magazine's monthly VoIP in Verticals feature.   We're looking for case studies highlighting customers in the following verticals:   ·         Healthcare ·         Finance ·         Hospitality ·         Education (K-12) ·         Education (Higher Ed/University) ·         SMB ·         Retail ·         Government    
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