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Greg Galitzine

January 2009

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The Bell Has NOT Rung on WiMAX

January 30, 2009

So there's been quite a bit of buzz this past few weeks about the potential demise of WiMAX.   First Nokia stopped production of their WiMAX device, then there was some news about Intel writing off their entire investment in the venture with Clearwire... It was covered all over TMCnet, but Rich summed it up nicely in his post: The Trillion Dollar Question - Is WiMAX Dying?   Now, LTE has its proponents and WiMAX has its detractors, but Carl Ford, writing on the 4GWE blog points out the following:   While many want me to point to LTE as the clear winner, I don't think this would be a sign of WiMAX's apocalypse. I instead see this as a prudent move on Nortel's part to emphasize the pieces of the solutions they own. Partnerships in Telecom are pretty easily forced by the carriers, and the real story is that no carrier is forcing Nortel to support WiMAX.   This maybe proof that WiMAX is in trouble, but it's more likely proof that the legacy Nortel customers are not looking for Nortel to go into new areas with them.   So I asked Scenna Tabesh, director of marketing communications for the WiMAX Forum, for some insight into the Nortel situation as well as the future co-existence of the two 4G approaches, LTE and WiMAX.

Alvarion Responds to Nortel Change of Heart

January 30, 2009

Alvarion -- playing the role of jilted lover -- is justifiably perturbed by the announcement yesterday that Nortel is "refining" their carrier focus. 

By refining, Nortel is saying that  the company "...has decided to discontinue its mobile WiMAX business and end its joint agreement with Alvarion Ltd."   Breaking up is never fun.   And so, in response to being jilted, Alvarion is reportedly "analyzing the details of actions it will take to mitigate the impact on its business, and expects to provide more information about these actions during its fourth quarter 2008 financial results conference call on Wednesday, February 4, 2009."   According to a release issued by Alvarion, the strategic agreement, entered into in June of last year calls for:   ...among other things, the resale by Nortel of the Alvarion platform of WiMAX access products and Nortel's contribution of resources and funding to accelerate Alvarion's development of its portfolio of WiMAX base stations. Under the terms of the agreement, Nortel is obligated to pay Alvarion for certain research and development services beyond Q4; however, collection of these payments is uncertain and subject to Nortel's creditor protection proceedings.     Alvarion is figuring out what the next steps will be, but in the meantime, President and CEO Tzvika Friedman is sounding all the right notes:   We are obviously disappointed in the direction this has taken; however, Alvarion's industry position has never been stronger. In Q4, our WiMAX shipments, excluding Nortel, reached a record $54.4 million and WiMAX revenues were $42.3 million. Our book-to-bill remained well above 1, and we ended the year with over $140 million in cash on our balance sheet.   During 2008, we won numerous major WiMAX deals, both directly and with various partners.

ABI Research: Netbooks to Play Secondary Role

January 30, 2009

Looks like ABI has been spending a lot of time researching the netbook market.   A November 2008 study targeting 1,000 North American adults found that only 11% would use a netbook as their primary computer while 79% would purchase a netbook for use in concert with a laptop or desktop computer.   According to ABI Research principal analyst Philip Solis, "While their low price does cause some consumers to view netbooks as a replacement for a laptop given the current economic conditions, the majority view a netbook as being a secondary device."   "Even as a device that is secondary to the PC, this has to cut into the laptop market somewhat. When considering another laptop as an additional device mostly for browsing the web and using other Internet-based communications applications, consumers will find netbooks to be an appropriate alternative."  

Dell to Enter Smartphone Fray?

January 30, 2009

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Dell is planning to release two new SMARTPHONES at the upcoming Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.   To say it's a tall order to break into this market would be an understatement. Just ask Motorola how tough it could be. And Nokia... And Ericsson...   Blackberry is hot with their Storm smartphone, and of course Apple keeps moving iPhone after iPhone.

Beatles Final Gig - 40 Years On

January 30, 2009

On this day in 1969, I was but a wee lad with not a care in the world. Across the pond from where I was busy forming my first words, a group of four famous Liverpudlians were making their final public appearance.

It struck me in a way that so many things these days tend to, with a growing realization that the numbers associated with my life keep getting bigger.


13 years at TMC... 16 years kids are how old?

Skype to Verizon? Just Sayin'...

January 29, 2009

First Verizon said: No more Copper by 2016.   Then word came down that Verizon was not going to stop offering voice over copper lines after all.   Next we heard speculation that eBay was going to offload Skype.   Recently we're hearing how Verizon is clipping its VoiceWing VoIP business.     It's becoming "crystal clear"  to me that Verizon is going to buy Skype and offer the VoIP service to their FiOS customers as a value add. You know, "...those cable guys are making you pay for voice... we'll give you voice for free. Oh and check out our new devices, our diverse lineup of over 100 HD channels, and for a nominal fee, please take advantage of the seamless integration with our wireless service."   With everyone else speculating that Skype might go to Google, or Microsoft, or BT or France Telecom or Cisco...

Oh Canada! Dialexia, Sangoma Interop News

January 29, 2009

Speaking of Canada, Dialexia and Sangoma today announced successful interoperability between Dialexia's award-winning IP-PBX, Dial-Office, and Sangoma's NetBorder Express Gateway.                The Dialexia-Sangoma partnership will enable enterprise customers to easily deploy the Dialexia Dial-Office all-in-one, SIP-based IP PBX and interconnect their IP Telephony with the PSTN. Sangoma is a Gold sponsor of the upcoming ITEXPO, which kicks off in Miami Beach in just five days. Makes sense on so many levels. In addition to the obvious IP Communications hook, it's generally colder in Canada than it is in Miami Beach this time of year... Montreal = 12⁰ ... Toronto = 20⁰ ... Miami Beach = 80⁰  I can't wait! 

Problems at the Post Office

January 29, 2009

I heard the story on the radio coming in to work this morning, and I noticed that Rich has a post today about the Downward Spiral of Snail Mail as well.   Seems that the United States Postal Service, citing a precipitous drop in the amount of mail it carried last year, is facing a severe cash flow challenge and reported a net loss of nearly $3 billion last year alone.   Postmaster General John Potter appealed to a Senate committee yesterday, asking for among other things, the ability to cut back postal delivery to five days from the current six days a week.   Potter is asking Congress to amend a 1983 Postal Service law that mandates mail delivery every day but Sunday.

Might not seem that significant, but it would be a fundamental change to a basic service that we've all grown accustomed to. I doubt most people would complain or even notice, but for seom this may be a major inconvenience. Certainly businesses that depend on the timely delivery of certain information (periodicals, bills, etc...) would be affected.

I guess change is in the air.   Did you know that the lightest day for mail delivery is Tuesday?   Neither did I.   I know in Canada, for example, their postal service does not deliver on Saturdays.   And while I love most things Canadian, I hope that this isn't a small first step towards a giant leap in moving our government to a more Canadian model, particularly when it comes to things like taxes, national healthcare, new shoes on budget day, and a couple of other odd laws, such as:   ·         You may not pay for a fifty-cent item with only pennies. ·         Citizens may not publicly remove bandages. (maybe this is a good thing?) ·         It is illegal for clear or non-dark sodas to contain caffeine. ·         In British Columbia, it is illegal to kill a Sasquatch. ·         In Toronto, you can't drag a dead horse down Yonge St. on a Sunday.   Maybe the last two aren't so bad, but I think you see where I'm coming from.    

Report: Consumers Willing to Pay for Citywide WiFi

January 28, 2009

An interesting report came across my desk; especially noteworthy in light of the economic conditions plaguing the landscape.   According to the "Devicescape Wi-Fi Report" consumers say that they want citywide WiFi and they are willing to pay for it.   The official announcement of the study will be out tomorrow, but I was fortunate enough to get advance notice.   The report was conducted by Decipher, Inc. on behalf of Devicescape and several other players in the WiFi space, and quizzed more than 2,700 WiFi users for their opinions about the technology.   Key findings from the report include:  
  • An overwhelming number of WiFi users expect WiFi while traveling (91%);
  • Most respondents (84%) want citywide WiFi, and many (56%) are willing to pay for it as they would a utility;
  • When traveling, the most-often used device for accessing Wi-Fi was the smartphone, such as an iPhone (vs. laptops);
  • The overwhelming majority of smartphone users (81%) prefer using WiFi over 3G for browsing Web sites, downloading data, Google searches and sending e-mail;
  • 86% of respondents want OEMs to build Wi-Fi into their handsets;
  • 82% of respondents want the service provider to provide an overall 3G/WiFi data package
  The study also found that consumers often find it difficult to get and stay connected to a WiFi network when using a smartphone. The report found that "complicated login screens" were among the most common frustration consumers had when attempting to connect to a WiFi hotspot, and that nearly 90% of handset users want their service provider to offer seamless roaming between 3G and Wi-Fi networks.

Femtocells in the News

January 28, 2009

The femtocell is indicative of much in the technology world these days.   Analysts are generally in agreement that the market opportunity is large, and yet fits and starts - typical of early days in any sector -- abound. Verizon's newly released Network Extender has met with mixed results. T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home service was well received, but ran into a bit of a patent issue late last year. And Ars Technica is reporting today that AT&T slipped up and released details of their offering into the space:   The new offering will be called 3G MicroCell, supports voice and 3G data, and allows 4 simultaneous calls or data sessions.   The product details reported on a new AT&T page, since pulled, were discovered by Engadget and SlipperyBrick.   Adding to the femtocell conversation, IntelliNet Technologies today announced the development of a new integrated femtocell gateway, which combines a femtocell access point controller with a carrier grade security gateway in an industry standard AdvancedTCA platform.   The idea behind this offering is to give service providers and wireless operators the ability to manage thousands of femtocells at once.   Anjan Ghosal, president and CEO of IntelliNet Technologies said:   Cellular phone service is now in line with traditional wireline as a subscriber's primary mode of communication.

Digital TV Transition Put on Hold

January 26, 2009

Delays, Delays... Looks like the pending transition to digital TV (DTV) will be pending a while longer. Reports abound that the Senate has unanimously voted to delay the cutover to DTV from the original February 22nd date to mid June. Now, consumers have until June 12 to decide whether they want to buy a converter box, a digital television, or switch to a cable or satellite service.  

Analyst: Netbooks to Surge

January 26, 2009

I bought a netbook, then I returned it without even opening it. It was a good deal, but even still the price was so close to the cost of a full-fledged laptop (with optical drive, bigger hard drive, bigger screen, etc...) that I thought I would either continue to live without or simply wait until the next generation of netbooks arrived.   I have always believed that the holidays are the worst time to buy technology as the stuff they announce at CES a month later is always more exciting. (I take buyer's remorse to extreme levels when it comes to gadgets and tech...)   Maybe waiting was a good thing.   ABI Research just released its forecast for a "market explosion" of netbooks, estimating that in 2009 we can expect to see 35 million netbooks shipped, growing to 139 million by 2013.   ABI Research Practice Director Kevin Burden describes the evolution of the portable computing tool, from the PDAs of "old" to the latest ultra-mobile PCs or UMPCs:   PDA's began our reliance on instant accessible data while traveling. When PDA functionality converged with cellular voice, smartphones became the new darling of mobile professional technology that many expected to evolve into the hub for all data and communication needs for travelling professionals.

SIP Trunking Podcast: Avaya's Alan Klein

January 26, 2009

With only one week to go before ITEXPO, it's an exciting time as we make the final preparations ahead of "The World's Communications Conference."   One of the elements of the show that has been very successful in the past is the SIP Trunking seminar, organized by Ingate Systems with sponsorship from the likes of Avaya, BandTel and others. The seminar is taking place at this year's ITEXPO as well.   Last week we ran a couple of interviews with BandTel's Joel Maloff, including a Q&A and a podcast.   We also published an interview with Avaya's Alan Klein.   Well we just posted the podcast interview with Alan. Give it a listen.   And when you're done, please cruise on over to the ITEXPO site and sign up for the SIP Trunking workshop. You'll be glad you did!      

Rich on Microsoft's Response Point

January 23, 2009

Rich has a nice post about the opportunity for Microsoft's Response Point phone system in the coming year. Microsoft's John Frederiksen, General Manager of the Response Point group will be giving a keynote at the upcoming ITEXPO Also there will be a 2-day Microsoft Response Point Solution Seminar at ITEXPO East 2009 Best part of this (aside from the education) is that it's free. Check out Rich's post for the details.

TMC Blogs: The Week in Review

January 23, 2009

What was the big story this week? No doubt it was the inauguration of Barack Obama, as the 44th President of the United States and the first African-American to hold that post. Truly a historic day for our nation: a day when many people put politics aside to welcome our newest leader to his job, and judging by the crowds in Washington, D.C. this past Tuesday it was quite a welcome indeed.   Rich is excited.

SIP Trunking Podcast: BandTel's Joel Maloff

January 23, 2009

Last Friday I published an interview with Joel Maloff, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at BandTel, the SIP Trunking provider.   Working together with Ingate, BandTel is a Platinum Sponsor of the "SIP Trunking: Everything You Need to Know" seminars at ITEXPO East 2009, which take place February 2-4, 2009 in Miami Beach, Florida.   Well I just concluded a podcast interview with Joel, and so I invite you to listen to that audio interview as well, to get some more information ahead of the seminars.   The seminars have traditionally been a big draw at ITEXPO and all forecasts point to another successful installment at the show, which takes place in Miami Beach in just 9 days.   Sponsors of the SIP Trunking: Everything You Need to Know workshop include:   Platinum Sponsors: Avaya, BandTel Gold Sponsor: Cbeyond Sponsors: AireSpring, BBTelesys,, Digium, Iwatsu, J Arnold & Associates, ShoreTel, SIP Forum, and VOIPSA.   For more information, or to register for the show, please visit the ITEXPO home page.

Copps Named Acting FCC Chair

January 22, 2009

President Obama has named FCC commissioner Michael J. Copps Acting Chairman of the FCC.

  In a written statement, Copps expressed his gratitude and pledged to serve:   I thank President Obama for his confidence in me and for this opportunity to serve. I know that I have a truly gifted and terrific team to work with. I pledge every effort I am capable of to help steer the Commission through its current transition to new leadership.   Copps, who has been on the Commission since 2001, previously served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1998 until January 2001.   His colleague, Commissioner Robert M. McDowell shared his thoughts in a statement as well. McDowell, a former FCC lobbyist was previously Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of COMPTEL, an industry organization.   According to McDowell:   I am pleased that President Obama has announced that my friend and colleague, Mike Copps, will serve as acting chairman of the Commission. I appreciate the sacrifices Beth, Mike and the Copps family have made during his distinguished public service career. I look forward to continuing to work with him at this unique time.

Even Microsoft Gets the Blues

January 22, 2009

Add Microsoft to the ranks of companies forced to cut jobs due to the state of the economy.   According to a story by our own Michael Dinan, the software maker today announced major year-over-year earnings dips and a plan to cut 5,000 jobs.   Microsoft reportedly saw a net income decline of 11 percent, to $4.17 billion, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, as well as a 6 percent drop in earnings per share, to 47 cents.   About 1,400 of the 5,000 job cuts -- across R&D, marketing, sales, finance, legal, HR and IT -- will occur today, with the rest coming over the next 18 months. The layoffs are expected to help reduce operating expenses by about $1.5 billion.   Ever the optimist, Steve Ballmer commented:   While we are not immune to the effects of the economy, I am confident in the strength of our product portfolio and soundness of our approach. We will continue to manage expenses and invest in long-term opportunities to deliver value to customers and shareholders, and we will emerge an even stronger industry leader than we are today.   Investors apparently need some time to digest the news.   Microsoft's shares fell in the wake of the announcement, (down 10.5% at 2pm EST).   I had hoped I was mistaken when I blogged here about industry job losses.   In addition to Microsoft, Ericsson this week announced plans to expand its restructuring, cutting about 5,000 jobs. This is on top of an announcement last year that the firm would eliminate 4,000 positions.    

Genesys Acquires Conseros, SDE

January 22, 2009

Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, an Alcatel-Lucent company today announced two acquisitions. The company has acquired German firm SDE Software Development Engineering GmbH ("SDE") as well as New Brunswick, Canada-based Conseros. SDE's primary product, called Genesys Customer Interaction Portal, is a Web-based thin client software solution designed to enable service providers deliver hosted contact center capabilities, such as self-service and agent-assisted service, to enterprise customers. The portal is a key component of Genesys' hosted contact center solution strategy. Conseros provides a key business application that enables enterprises to manage and distribute high volumes of work items virtually anywhere in the enterprise.

Open Source Education at ITEXPO/Digium|Asterisk World

January 22, 2009

Earlier today I noted that Camrivox' CEO was presenting at ITEXPO on February 3rd.   But the open source education doesn't stop there.   At the upcoming ITEXPO/Digium|Asterisk World Conference (is it really only 10 days away?), Digium will host a pair of new Asterisk training courses.   The collocated events take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center in beautiful Miami Beach, FL.   On Tuesday, February 3, 2009 they will present a one-day introduction/training seminar on their Switchvox system.   This course serves to: explain the role of a Switchvox system within a corporate IT/telephony infrastructure; familiarize the student with the initial setup and configuration of their Switchvox system; and more.   And, on Wednesday, February 4, 2009, Digium will present their newest educational offering, the Asterisk 123 course.   Asterisk 123 is a "gentle introduction" to the Asterisk Open Source PBX, introducing the student to the many roles that Asterisk can play and walks them through setting up Asterisk for the first time.   For both classes, participants receive a student kit, which includes:   ·         Digium TDM411B Analog card (1 FXO port + 1 FXS port) ·         Polycom SoundPoint IP 330 SIP Phone ·         Asterisk Tote Bag ·         Asterisk T-shirt ·         Asterisk SWAG Kit ·         Calculator, pen, mouse pad, etc.   If you are interested in either or both of these training courses, feel free to register online at the Digium|Asterisk World Web site.  

Camrivox CEO to Present at Digium|Asterisk World

January 22, 2009

With ITEXPO and Digium|Asterisk World just around the corner, we're starting to get word from companies about what they will be showcasing or releasing at the event(s) as well as what they will be talking about in the various educational forums.   Camrivox Ltd, a Cambridge, UK-based Unified Communications innovator and developer of Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) software for the SME market is a Digium|Asterisk software partner.   Malcolm Wood, the company's CEO will speak about how the company's Flexor CTI software extends Asterisk into the world of contact management and CRM.   We're excited to be part of Digium|Asterisk World, and look forward to spreading the Asterisk word to the wider ITEXPO community. We are bringing to Digium|Asterisk a highly compelling product that is right for this economic environment and that builds on the ethos of open-source telephony to deliver extremely cost effective and scalable CTI.   Wood will present CTI & CRM - Extending Asterisk out to the Desktop at 2pm, Tuesday February 3rd in the presentation theater on the exhibit hall floor, in the Digium|Asterisk World pavilion.  

Polycom Q4 Results Announced

January 21, 2009

Polycom announced their quarterly earnings today and the results were a mixed bag.   The Pleasanton, CA-based maker of voice and video equipment announced adjusted Q4 EPS of 42 cents, which was ahead of analysts' estimates of 40 cents.   The company also announced growth from its video services segment which accounted for two-thirds of consolidated net revenues at $141.7 million (this includes video communications - 54% and networks systems - 13%). The voice communications segment of the company's business accounted for 33% or $87.1 million, which is down as compared to Q407 when voice generated 37% of consolidated net revenues or $98.4 million.   Robert Hagerty, the firm's chairman and CEO addressed Polycom's successes in 2008 as well as the challenging economic climate and his outlook for the company into 2009:   We are pleased to have surpassed the $1 billion revenue mark in 2008. As the largest company in the Unified Collaboration industry, Polycom generated year-over-year growth in our Video Solutions business, illustrating the resilience of our fast-ROI video offering. With our Voice business showing more sensitivity to the economic environment, Polycom proactively took action in Q4 to reduce our operating cost structure and, as we announced earlier this month, we have implemented a restructuring plan designed to optimize our cost structure as we move into 2009                                                   With our rapid pace of innovation and the full breadth of our offering, we believe Polycom is the best positioned in the industry to deliver the cost-savings benefits of video adoption to our customers.

Ifbyphone Offers Service Guarantee

January 21, 2009

Ifbyphone announced a new service guarantee today, saying that they will deliver their customers' voice broadcast calls on time otherwise those calls will be free.   According to CEO Irv Shapiro:   Our guarantee helps our business customers understand how important the delivery of their voice broadcast calls is to us. Moreover, our guarantee helps differentiate Ifbyphone's services because we are the first and only provider that stands 100 percent behind the delivery of voice broadcast calls.   The guarantee is simple: if any scheduled broadcast call to a U.S. or Canadian phone number is delayed by more than five minutes, Ifbyphone will reimburse customers for the call.   Shapiro is also on the schedule at the upcoming ITEXPO, which will take place in Miami Beach, FL, February 2-4, 2009.   On Wednesday February 4th, from 1:30-2:15pm Shapiro will be part of a panel discussion entitled: Contact Centers in a Web 2.0 World.   For more information on the show, or to register, visit   Just for the record, as I write this, it's 16 degrees in Connecticut where my office is located.   Florida sounds like a good idea.

Mobile Backhaul Certification

January 21, 2009

A new certification program, designed to act as a benchmark for mobile operators, backhaul providers and end users was launched by the IP/MPLS Forum today.


The Mobile Backhaul Certification program will initially focus on certifying standards-compliant implementations of Circuit Emulation services over MPLS as defined in the IP/MPLS Forum's MPLS Mobile Backhaul Initiative (MMBI), which defines how MPLS can be used to backhaul TDM traffic for mobile operators.


The certification program will lay out a set of guidelines and test procedures and will be administered by Iometrix, the Forum's certified lab partner.


According to Andrew G. Malis, Chairman and President of the IP/MPLS Forum:


The Mobile Backhaul Certification Program represents a needed step in the evolution of MPLS solutions which have already proven in lab trials to be ready to meet the needs of operators around the world.


The first group of certified vendors will be announced at the MPLS Ethernet World Congress in Paris this February.

Backhaul Looks Good

January 16, 2009

Dragonwave's Vice President of Product Management Dr. Alan Solheim, author of The Middle Mile column that appears regularly on TMCnet, has a new column just out that offers up a hopeful message in light of the rest of the economic bad news that's out there these days.   According to Solheim, the outlook for the backhaul market is bright:   ...the opportunity in front of the backhaul segment in general, and that for packet based radios in particular, is relatively bright. If any networks get built, backhaul wins. If any backhaul gets built, packet radio wins. So while I wouldn't break out the champagne just yet I do believe there is a case for optimism amidst all the doom and gloom.

TMCnet Blogs Week in Review

January 16, 2009

It's been quite a week for news this week, and not just the run of the mill product announcements, customer wins and such. Some rather big things went down this week, and the TMCnet family of bloggers was all over the important developments.
  It seems like a month has gone by, but in fact it was just this week that Obama officially tapped his former Harvard law classmate Julius Genachowski to head up the Federal Communications Commission or FCC. According to his bio, he was chief counsel to former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, a VC and led the development of the president-elect's technology and innovation agenda.   Rich also covered the ascension of Carol Bartz to the position of CEO at Yahoo!   I am impressed and concerned. Bartz has an excellent resume with honors and awards as long as anyone...   What the company really needs is someone who has effectively led a small to medium media company in the last 18 months and understands the needs of advertisers and more importantly how to get them to spend more money with Yahoo.

Motorola, Google Cut Jobs, Will Microsoft Follow Suit?

January 15, 2009

Motorola announced it will cut another 4,000 jobs this year, in addition to the 3,000 jobs that were eliminated last year. In a rare move, Google also announced they were laying off employees. Google also announced they would be consolidating some office locations. And, the Wall Street Journal reported that even Redmond software giant Microsoft is mulling job cuts. Check out this article for the details.

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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