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


Tennis Goes Underground

May 8, 2009

Telecom and marketing.   It's nice to see that money is still being spent to promote telecommunications related brands.   As official sponsor of the Women's Tennis Association Sony Ericsson marked the start of the Madrid Open with 'Underground Tennis' a marketing promotion designed to draw some attention to the upcoming tournament.

  Elena Dementieva and Caroline Wozniacki rallied with each other on the tracks of one of Madrid's busiest Metro stations; Chamartin.   Dementieva, the Tour's number 3 player commented: "I never thought I'd be playing tennis on an underground track! It was a unique way to prepare for the Madrid Open."

  Dementieva's opponent, world number 11, Caroline Wozniacki said, "Taking tennis to new audiences is really important in keeping the game alive. Playing tennis while commuters go about their daily business was a new experience and really fun."   A specially built court placed on the unused track of the Chamartin Metro station for the players to rally with each other underground gave a once in a lifetime view for all onlookers. A team of workers built the 20 x 6 meter court with layher (a special type of iron) and wood which was painted to look like a real tennis court.   It's good to see that there is still marketing at work in the telecom space.

The Web: The Best is Yet to Come

April 23, 2009

If you think the Internet's a crowded place today, guess what? One of the Internets founders (insert Al Gore jokes here) Tim Berners-Lee, keynoting at the 18th Annual World Wide Web conference in Madrid this week, believes that the best of the Internet is yet to come.   "The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past," he said.   The ITU report, Measuring the Information Society, The ICT Development Index, finds that only 23% of the global population currently uses the Internet, as compared to over 60% of the world's population that is currently subscribing to mobile cellular phone services.   An article on Breitbart quotes Internet co-founder Vinton Cerf who says, "We will have more Internet, larger numbers of users, more mobile access, more speed, more things online and more appliances we can control over the Internet."   I for one, think we all can agree that the future of the Web is mobile. As smartphones proliferate and becomes less expensive; as next-generation wireless networks bring Internet access into every far-flung corner of the globe; as more people are able to get access to more information, we will see the truly transformational power of the Internet facilitate a freer exchange of ideas, resulting in new advances in technology, society, etc...   Now if only we can do away with e-Mail spam...

Stock Blog Compares AT&T, Verizon

April 22, 2009

This morning, over at Seeking Alpha, there's a nice article from ValueExpectations (a stock blog and investment newsletter that provides institutional quality equity research) on the difference between AT&T and Verizon. is run by the founders of The Applied Finance Group and Toreador Research and Trading.   To start, the article separates AT&T and Verizon from the third place U.S. wireless provider, Sprint.   Then, it compares the relative value proposition of both top wireless operators.   AT&T's market cap is $150 billion to Verizon's $90 billion.   AT&T is considered to have the better 3G network and a partnership with Apple to offer what is considered the hottest smartphone on the market, the iPhone. Verizon however has a "decent" 3G network, according to the article, and through its partnership with and support for several Blackberry models, is riding a positive trend.   Verizon's FiOS is considered the wave of the future, delivering "lightning-fast fiber optics" while AT&T's FTTN (fiber to the node) strategy is somewhat wanting.

Toddler's iPhone Obsession

April 10, 2009

Kara Swisher who writes for the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital, has a very interesting video showing a toddler's iPhone obsession, and frankly it made me think of a bunch of people I know and how they sometimes let their gadget obsessions get the best of them.   Of course I love a cool tech toy as much as anyone, but I'm a bit of a laggard when it comes to laying my hands on the latest and greatest.
Sometimes I think I'm just on a different schedule, that's all. For example I can't wait to accessorize my aging (banged up, with a cracked screen) KRZR with a new handset accessory, like the one from Novophone (pictured).
  There is something comforting about that retro look.   Maybe then I'll consider the iPhone. I wonder if they'll reissue it in the classic Princess form factor... They do have a deal with AT&T, don't they?

Nuance Mobile Care Enhances User Experience

April 2, 2009

  I'm at CTIA in Las Vegas today, where I just had a meeting with Nuance senior product manager David Winarsky, who shared his insights into Nuance's latest offering Nuance Mobile Care.   The solution gives end users the ability to self-solve simple problems including customer care and billing directly and instantly on their handset thus eliminating wait times for customer service agents, and allowing customers to help themselves.   Winarsky told me that this creates a large opportunity for service providers to reduce costs and provide a superior customer experience.   Deploying the Nuance Mobile Care solution has reportedly been shown to reduce calls being directed to live agents by over sixty percent. Winarsky cited a statistic that a miniscule shift of just 1% to automation can save large carriers $1 million per month.   He showed me a demo of the solution on a Nokia N-series phone, and walked me through the different options for account management, visual IVR, ease of navigation and the ability to display complex details on the handset.   Subscribers can choose which channel (speech, text...) is best for self service and they can always zero out to an operator   The application also does some diagnostics, helping users determine if there are problems with the device.   One interesting opportunity is that service providers can use this application to send consumers targeted advertisements, and fulfillment takes place right on the device, which is another incredible revenue opportunity for the operators.   The solution is currently deployed with T-Mobile in the U.S. (postpaid) and Metro PCS (prepaid); and with Vodafone in the UK (with a contract to expand to 18 other operators in Europe).   Looking ahead, Nuance plans to add personalization and by continue to enhance the user experience. And while they are addressing wireless carriers today, Winarsky tells me that there are plans in the works to target the enterprise market down the road.

ShoreTel Upgrades Unified Communications Offer

March 31, 2009

  ShoreTel has released the latest version of its Unified Communications software, ShoreTel 9. Among the new features, ShoreTel 9 is targeting mobile and desktop users with enhancements designed to enable them to communicate more effectively-regardless of location-and increase individual productivity.   I had the good fortune to meet ShoreTel Vice President of Marketing, Kevin Gavin, who shared some insights regarding the latest offering from his firm as well as the market opportunity in front of ShoreTel.

According to Gavin, "CIOs are still buying but they are considering more vendors and have become more price sensitive."   "Communications is a fundamentally strategic purchasing decision, and increasingly, UC brings hard dollar savings and CIOs are willing to spend on technology that gives a good return," he added.   The latest version of ShoreTel's flagship solution, offers a series of personalization features, including location-based services and individualized call handling, and enables users create custom call-routing scenarios to ensure priority callers can always reach them.   The solution supports integration with Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, and according to the company, when Microsoft OCS 2007 is integrated with ShoreTel 7.5 and higher, customers can use Office Communicator to manage their ShoreTel phone, view other parties' presence, and exchange instant messages with other Microsoft and ShoreTel users.   ShoreTel 9 scales up to support larger sized businesses, offer Active Directory integration, and takes the company's renowned distributed architecture to the next level offering N+1 reliability, however it extends N+1 across the entire system, allowing customers to save money while maintaining high levels of reliability.   The upgraded solution also offers security enhancements including SRTP/AES encryption, which is designed to help ensure call privacy, as well as display encrypted call status on ShorePhone IP phones and ShoreWare Call Manager displays, so users can see at a glance that the call is secure.   As far as mobility is concerned, ShoreTel 9 offers location-based services for GPS-enabled mobile devices, allowing users to automatically custom route calls based on the user's location, ensuring that their most important contacts can always reach them, without having to manually manage their call handling settings.   For a full list of enhancements and features view the press release.

Motorola, Vocera Team for Healthcare Solution

March 31, 2009

Motorola, Inc. and Vocera Inc., expanded their relationship with an agreement to jointly deliver solutions combining Vocera's experience in providing targeted communications solutions and Motorola's expertise in enterprise handheld devices. The joint solution addresses the healthcare market, and is designed to deliver improved healthcare at a patient's bedside.   Healthcare staff will be able to utilize the Vocera communications system on Motorola's Enterprise Digital Assistants (EDA) and voice-over-wireless LAN (VoWLAN) smartphones to improve collaboration, increase patient safety, and provide more attentive care.   The first Vocera-enabled solutions will be a range of Motorola EDAs, including the MC70, MC75, and MC55. Vocera has also developed a software client that will be sold as a software upgrade to run on the Windows Mobile handheld computers delivering instant VoWLAN communication capabilities.   Also announced was the Vocera smartphone, which in addition to traditional full phone functionality will offer Vocera's signature voice-enabled calling and messaging capabilities within the enterprise. The solution will be based on Motorola's TEAM VoWLAN solution, The new semi-rugged phone will run the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system, giving users access to a wide variety of applications, such as electronic medical records.      

Flying Home, WIsh I Nabbed a "Demo Unit" From TI

March 6, 2009

I'm at DFW, waiting on my early flight back to the New York area.   As I mentioned in my last post, I learned this week that Sipera is up to some interesting things.   I also stopped by Texas Instruments on this trip, and in addition to getting a run down on their OMAP 4 strategy I learned  about some of the other things they just showcased at the Mobile World Congress show.   Robert Tolbert, platform marketing manager, OMAP platform business unit shared the company's recent news, and explained the company's activity in TI's quest to continue to improve user experience and the power properties of the devices that TI chips are deployed in.   Tolbert also discussed the company's recent announcement (with Samsung) of PicoDLP technology, which will be available in a Samsung handset soon,   After the briefing we took a tour of TI's Wireless Application Center (WAC), where I got to see the PicoDLP technology up close and personal. If you haven't seen it yet, it's a tiny projector, which can take your source video (as an example) and project it onto any nearby surface, such as a wall, or the back of an airplane seat. The quality is amazing, but to me the fact that this technology is available in a handset or a standalone device smaller than a deck of cards is pretty remarkable.   I almost wish I could have taken a "review copy" of the device to trial on my flight home today. It would be a great way to catch up on some of the movies I have yet to watch, or perhaps just review the video interviews that I conducted in Dallas this week.

Skype on Nokia N-Series

February 17, 2009

Wireless Association Comments on Stimulus Plan

February 10, 2009

President Obama's economic stimulus plan passed its first hurdle today, clearing the Senate, en route to the House.   Among the many elements of the bill, there is nearly $7billion in available funding for the delivery of wireless broadband to rural areas.   Fred Campbell, the President of the Wireless Communications Association International issued the following statement:   "WCAI is pleased that the Senate stimulus bill includes $6.65 billion in grants for broadband deployment. As the only broadband platform that is capable of providing access everywhere, all the time, and at affordable prices, wireless broadband is essential to broadband connectivity, especially in rural areas.
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