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October 2009

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Actus Networks G.8032 Carrier Ethernet Ring Protection Boosts Backhaul

October 31, 2009

Carrier Ethernet ring network standard allows potential SONET/SDH replacement at as little as 1/10th the cost

As smartphones and netbooks proliferate and drive more wireless data traffic, the need for better backhaul solutions only grows. In fact this week the new Verizon/Motorola Droid will be released with a new version of Google Maps which includes free turn-by-turn navigation. Expect it to be a single application which is called out as a bandwidth hog in the future.

One company looking to help provide carriers with less expensive and more reliable solutions which support this massive bandwidth growth is Actus Networks.

How DSM Desotech's UV Curing Coatings Tackle Fiber Optic Microbending

October 31, 2009

Bandwidth Tsunami, have you heard of it? I received an email which said this recently from a close relative. Heard of it I answered, sure - telepresence, YouTube, video conferencing HD video streaming, p2p sharing networks, 3D TV, yep, one of the brightest spots in tech is finding ways to monetize this trend. The Backhaul market is just one example.

Why Silicon Valley won The Tech War with Boston

October 31, 2009

Just a kid, that's all I was in the early eighties in high school as I took a class in BASIC. I was always fascinated by all things electronic and whether it was video games or advanced scientific calculators, I couldn't get enough. At Westhill high School, they had a Prime minicomputer and it was on this machine where I was instructed how to program. I also had a Commodore 64 at home and with it I wrote my own video games at night and on weekends.

IIT VoIP Conference Photos

October 29, 2009

In Chicago for VoIP Conference

October 29, 2009

ZyXEL Helps Carriers go Upmarket

October 28, 2009

On my recent trips to California and Chicago I got to spend some time catching up with ZyXEL, a company providing a wide variety of products which are in the ADSL, fiber and numerous other areas such 802.11n gateways and more. The following videos show how the company is able to help carriers be more than just a service provider providing dumb pipes; they can be part of a connected home strategy. Service providers who avoid going upmarket have a lot to lose as they end up troubleshooting consumer devices beyond their control, and this costs money. Jake explains why carriers should take control of the device and use their products to remotely troubleshoot and resolve issues that do come up.

Blackberry Storm 2 Analyzed

October 28, 2009

I spent some time analyzing a Blackberry Storm 2 in a Verizon store in Norwalk, CT where I chatted with prospective customers as well as Verizon store employees and management. First the phone itself is improved with WiFi support, a capacitive touchscreen and worldphone support. I think typing on the device is about as good as it is on the iPhone at this point. Although a common feature of smartphones I really like the ability to go back to my last application.

Google Maps Navigation Analysis

October 28, 2009

As Om Malik points out, turn-by-turn GPS navigation with voice guidance has come to Google Maps and carriers can't be happy about it. Who is even less happy? TomTom and Garmin. According to Google, less than 1% of navigation devices are connected to the cloud and ironically my TomTom Go 740 Live with Google local integration is one of these devices and it is limited - it really only allows you to query Google for local establishments and it does receive real-time traffic data.

Speaking at VoIP Conference and Expo 2009

October 27, 2009

I really excited to speak at the Illinois Institute of Technology Rice Campus for the VoIP Conference and Expo 2009. This will be my first time to this event and interestingly the third time in recent weeks in which I am in Chicago instead of Vegas for a show. Maybe the city didn't get the Olympics but they certainly seem to have gotten all the shows - WiMAX World, Supercomm and now this event.

Getting back to my talk - I am moderating a Keynote Panel titled: Are the "Bells" ringing for Carrier VoIP?

Book Review: Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com

October 27, 2009

I generally don't do book reviews as there just isn't enough time in the day but I recently read Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry by Marc Benioff and wow - is it good. I posted this review on Amazon a week ago and now that I am finished with the book I want to say the last 1/3 is just as good as the rest! It should be required reading for all entrepreneurs and people who want their companies to grow.

Every company needs a Marc Benioff.

Here is my review:

 




Boingo on Blackberry

October 27, 2009

Attention Blackberry Users: you can now quickly and immediately jump on and off over 100,000 hotspots around the world without the painful process of entering a user name and password. Boingo, a global provider of WiFi service has become a friend while I am on the road. The company provided me an account over a year ago and since then I have been able to enjoy rapid access to hotspots in hotels, around town and in airports all over the world. I consider this type of service a must have for anyone who wants to stay connected to broadband networks on the go.

The Smart Product Ecosystem and 2D Barcodes

October 23, 2009

Yesterday I discussed TMC's evolution to a company growing rapidly by building communities in a number of new topical areas. One such space is the smart ecosystem market which focused on the rich relationships between partners in various markets. For example the iPhone app store is a huge ecosystem as is Avaya's DevConnect program. I also mentioned yesterday that TMC is partnering with experts in other areas to combine our community building technology and infrastructure with the absolute best content available.

Supercomm 2009 Video Interviews

October 23, 2009

TMC Adds Important New Business Development Position

October 22, 2009

I wanted to alert my readers to some exciting news happening at TMC. As you likely know TMC is among a handful of media companies growing at a time when the media landscape is in dramatic decline. As you might imagine this growth is primarily online. Over the last decade and especially in the last few years we have focused on building online communities (Channels and GOCs) for customers who sponsor these areas as they rapidly attract focused decision-makers from around the world.

Droid Gets Early Rave Review

October 21, 2009

Yesterday I mentioned some negative comments about the new Motorola Droid. I have never seen the device and I mentioned that in my blog entry. I did see photos which I said were boxy. And quite frankly I have little confidence in Motorola as I have seen them release disappointment after disappoint across multiple product lines.

Major Challenges at NSN

October 21, 2009

Here is an extremely informative overview of the challenges facing NSN from Caroline Gabriel. It leads off discussing the fact that Siemens is thinking of pulling out of the joint venture. The article points out where the company has been successful and where it has not. One area which is worth delving into is a mention of NSN pulling out of WiMAX without having significant LTE business.

Would Apple Let Your Product Out its Door?

October 20, 2009

Is Steve Jobs smarter? Is he just more detail-oriented or does it come down to simply managing a small stable of products with a laser-focus on usability. This is what I thought about as I read this blog post (some profanity included) which tears apart the Pre for being full of problems and most importantly being  too slow to be useful. This entry came from an obvious Pre fan and that is why it is so scary and important that Palm deal with the problems mentioned.

Genband 10-year Anniversary Party

October 20, 2009

Supercomm 2009 Update

October 20, 2009

I am here in Chicago for Supercomm 2009 where I have numerous video interviews and meetings set up. I will be attending a few receptions and the first one is this evening in celebration of Genband's 10-year anniversary. We have a booth at the show where we will be filming live interviews with industry executives and thought leaders and we are excited that TMC's Paula Bernier will be participating in the conference portion of the event. Genband is participating on the panel she will be moderating and will be sending out a press release which I feel objectively describes the session.

SIP Forum Embraces Smart Grid

October 20, 2009

Do You Need a SmartWatch?

October 20, 2009

I am a bit of a watch nut and especially a lover of watches which are rich in technology. As of today I don't wear one because my mobile phone has pretty much replaced it but the last one I loved to wear was the Tissot High-T which was a Microsoft SPOT watch allowing me to keep up to date on news and my calendar. Microsoft SPOT technology used FM frequencies to send data signals to a range of devices from watches to coffee makers which kept you informed of changing weather. What was amazing about the Tissot was the fact that it alerted me 15 minutes before every meeting I had.

Xirrus, Replacing Wire in the Enterprise with WiFi

October 19, 2009

Recently I had a chance to visit Xirrus in their offices in Thousand Oaks, California and meet John Merrill, the Director of Marketing and Dirk Gates the CEO. Dirk is legendary in tech as he was the president and later CEO of Xircom, the company which made those PCMCIA cards which allowed a laptop to connect to a network and modem. The company was later sold to Intel and Dirk stayed on at Intel for a number of years and later left to found this company.

I had a chance to have a tour of the company and see their Wall of Wonder or WoW where they do testing of access points.

Satellite as a Service, Yes its True

October 19, 2009

Software as a Service or SaaS has become an established way of working where instead of buying servers, operating systems and software, you lease software over the web on a monthly basis allowing you to scale up or down as you need. It took time for corporate IT departments to embrace the concept but thankfully champions like Marc Benioff the CEO of Salesforce.com perservered during numerous economic downturns to allow the concept to gain traction.

The idea of SaaS is simple - you share infrastructure but gain all the benefits of having secure and reliable computing in a more cost-effective fashion.

In a recent conversation with Iridium's Greg Ewert, the Executive Vice President of Global Distribution and Business Development for the company, He explained that Iridium is beginning to roll out the idea of Satellite as a Service where government bodies can work with his company to purchase portions of a satellite, share the rockets, etc.

GlobeCast Interview With Matthew Rosenstein

October 19, 2009

GlobeCast is a division of France Telecom and is a broadbast service provider handling content management and delivery for broadcasters and other companies. According to Mathew Rosenstein, the company has an extensive satellite and fiber network and they are expanding their fiber footprint quickly into Latin America to handle the burgeoning sporting events market in the area. Speaking of sports, they are also upgrading their network to ensure the best HD possible.

The company looks at content management as a burgeoning area and recently made an acquisition of NETIA which means they can now help broadcasters organize their libraries as well as distribute their content.

Terrestar Networks Demos Satellite Smartphone

October 19, 2009

Terrestar Networks is one of the newest companies on the satellite scene having launched a satellite in July of this year but as is often the case, the newest tech companies have some of the most interesting technology as they have no legacy challenges to speak of. The company's CTO Dennis Matteson was quick to explain to me the goal of the company is to change the paradigm of satellite communications allowing consumer level phones to have the power of satellite communications.

In a recent conversation with Iridium, their research showed that their traditional customers did not want to have a more gadgety phone but instead they enjoyed the rugged reliability which their devices brought to the table. While I am sure the research is accurate, I have to wonder if there isn't an entirely new market of consumers and businesses who would pay to have a satellite radio in their devices.

Sprint's Big Bet - M2M and More

October 19, 2009

Speaking with Sprint's Wayne Ward you come away amazed at the potential ahead for wireless carriers in the burgeoning machine-to-machine or M2M space. Just what exactly is M2M? It is simply machines communicating with machines. Quite often this interaction is to satisfy the needs of a person, corporation or system - for example when an automobile senses a mechanical problem and signals the manufacturer for a wireless diagnostic which determines the car needs service and subsequently alerts the driver.

Can Droid Touch the iPhone or is Resistance Futile?

October 19, 2009

In February of 2007 I asked candidly if the fact that Verizon chose not to carry the iPhone will be remembered as a telecom blunder and more importantly I predicted in a year's time that we would look back at Verizon and say they really screwed up.

I still believe I was right about my prediction, just early. You see Verizon Wireless is still performing well from a financial perspective and thanks goes to the company's foresight in building a great network which consumers want to leave but just can't because it is that good. Another reason the company has done well to date is it has been able to steal share from Sprint.

Shazam Discovers Cash

October 16, 2009

The next time you are in a restaurant listening to some captivating tune and see other people in the restaurant signaling for others to be quiet as they hold their phone up to the ceiling, you may be witnessing someone using Shazam (dare I say Shazaming?) to try to discover the song which is playing. I have used the service quite often and I think it is amazing. It doesn't always work but when it does I am thrilled as without it, I am not sure how I would figure out what I was listening to.
 


The company just announced it got funding and moreover they have 50 million users worldwide with 15 million added since February of this year. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) gave the company an undisclosed sum from its iFund which contains a cool $100 million which is being doled out to an iPhone developer near you.

TMC Video Goes 2.0

October 15, 2009

Skype Soap Opera Update

October 15, 2009

A fascinating bit of reporting from the Wall Street Journal confirms some things that many in the communications industry already knew and some things we didn't.

  1. eBay doesn't get Skype - this is as obvious as it gets.
  2. The current Skype Management and investors don't want to deal with Niklas Zennstrom or Janus Friis
  3. Mike Volpi, past Joost CEO wanted to change Skype's underlying technology to SIP - knowing this would upset Skype's founders Zennstrom and Friis - Coincidentally about five years ago at ITEXPO Niklas Zennstrom was giving a keynote and at the end of the presentation Andy Voss, founder of Session Border Conrol company Sansay asked why Skype doesn't support SIP. Zennstrom replied accurately that there are far more Skype endpoints than SIP endpoints.

What amazes me the most about this situation is that to all the people who understand Skype, there is a tremendous amount of value in the company and it is worth fighting over tooth and nail. To those who don't understand it - eBay for example, there is limited value.

Satcon 2009 Early Thoughts

October 14, 2009

I am here at the Satcon show in New York where I am having a number of meetings with satellite equipment solution providers. In general the industry is doing well. The show seems healthy and there is optimism about next year. Broadband stimulus funds don't seem to be impacting the players here that greatly and the consumer satellite market is under pressure from faster ADSL-based solutions and cable.

Astricon Keynote Shot

October 14, 2009

Heading to Satcom in NY

October 14, 2009

Astricon Kicks Off

October 13, 2009

Partnering for SEO Success

October 13, 2009

In the last two weeks I drove (well I was in the car anyway) for more than 1,500 miles meeting with tech companies in Montreal, Ontario, Massachusetts, Rochester, NY, Los Angeles and San Diego. The last stop on my latest trip was at CTIA where I saw dozens of companies from around the globe.

Most of my travels involve learning about companies in the communications and technology space and often advising them on how they can be more successful. Sometimes I get to see some very innovative solutions which I can't share at the time for a multitude of reasons (embargos, etc) and other times I get a firsthand look at things which I share as soon as I can.

Boston, Silicon Valley to Rule VC World

October 13, 2009

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article today talking about Dallas-based venture funds which flopped by investing in telecom and networking companies. It explains that funds in Silicon Valley and Boston are doing better than those in Texas, Washington state or New York.

Coincidentally, today there is also news that online video company Ooyala has now raised $20 million and online video conferencing company ViVu raised $3 million. Both as you guessed it are based in Silicon Valley.

FBI Director Almost a Phishing Victim

October 13, 2009

The fact that FBI Director Robert Muller almost fell victim to an online banking phishing scam which he said was started with an authentic looking email should be very scary news for all of us. After all, this isn't a temp at the FBI, this is the person who is in charge of the organization we all trust to protect us from such scams. If we can't bank, shop and exchange goods and services online as efficiently as possible we all lose. While we should all be thrilled about the 33 arrested in an FBI phishing ring sting earlier this month dubbed operation "phish fry", there is a lot more work to do.

An Amazing Week for Wireless at CTIA

October 12, 2009

Where is my Mobile Data?

An overwhelming amount of wireless, communications and tech news is the best way to describe the last few weeks. Perhaps one of the most important nuggets is a catastrophic loss of T-Mobile USA Sidekick customer data and if you have one of these nifty little gadgets, be aware the wireless carrier asks that you not reset it. This issue highlights the problems with SaaS and cloud-based services.

Heading Back from CTIA San Diego

October 9, 2009

As I sit here on the runway at the San Diego airport I contemplate the journey home. I have become spoiled with Internet access on all long trips as I switched all possible flights from American Airlines to Virgin America where every flight has Internet and power. But from San Diego to JFK, I would have had to connect through LA to get a flight on Virgin. So instead I crossed my fingers and hoped this American Airlines plane has internet.

CTIA San Diego 2009 Video

October 8, 2009

Yahoo Mobile Interview

October 8, 2009

Yahoo is increasing its focus on mobile devices with the recent rollout of a mobile home page which distills the best parts of the Yahoo! Web browser home to the important areas you need to know about. On an iPhone the new mobile home page is sleek and easy to use. Some new features include enhanced RSS reading I am looking forward to trying as well as enhanced video and better content uploading and pagination.

Some interesting stats from my interview today with Yahoo's Keith Saft are that from April of this year to now, the company has increased its markets covered from 17 to 32 and devices supported have gone from 400 to 1,900 leading me to wonder, do we really have more than 1,900 mobile devices in the world?

Infosys Interview on M2M and Wireless

October 8, 2009

Heading to San Diego for an Andy Dinner

October 7, 2009

Southern California Trip Update October 2009

October 7, 2009

As you may know, I am traveling today in Southern California. Here are some things which have come up. IMS is growing in popularity again driven by LTE and other factors. I have heard this quite often and this is positive news for the market.

Rich Tehrani Hosts SEO Webinar

October 7, 2009

In just over a week I will be hosting a webinar on search engine optimization (SEO) as it specifically relates to click ad fatigue. Many companies are spending more on pay-per-click ads than they would like and have no idea how to duplicate or even exceed the success of PPC using other methods such as hosted SEO which offers a coveted high organic search result. Improving search rank is a moving target, part art and part science. TMC has spent years building communities in the business-to-business space which rank high on most every search engine.

AT&T Allows Skype and VoIP on 3G Network

October 6, 2009

Rich Tehrani's Favorite Tech Tools

October 6, 2009

I have been meaning to thank my tech vendors for a while - the companies which allow me to be as productive as possible on the road. I am going to be brutally honest and not sugar coat so brace yourselves.

Verizon EVDO - without this gem of a service I am not sure where I would be. I am able to upload 30Mb files in rapid-fire fashion as I perform video interviews worldwide.

Microsoft Bombs with Windows Mobile 6.5?

October 6, 2009

Mitel Benefits from Virtualization, Nortel Sale

October 6, 2009

On a recent trip to Canada I sat down with Mitel CEO Don Smith and President and COO Paul Butcher to discuss the company, industry and future. The dynamic duo is exactly that, mixing copious amounts of humor and friendly verbal jabs (this time at each other and not me ;) ) with frank talk about technology and marketshare.

Avaya Purchasing Nortel

The issue of greatest importance was the demise of Nortel and sale to Avaya, since both are Canadian companies with a similar tradition of great engineering.

Don and Paul explained off the bat that they are excited to see two of their biggest competitors Nortel and Avaya merge as they have 100% channel/geographic/product overlap (may be a slight exaggeration but at least 85% is probably a "safer" estimate) and the two companies hated each other for 100 years.

Skype Experiments with Ads, Finally

October 6, 2009

Over a year ago I asked, why isn't Skype showing eBay ads? After hearing eBay thought there was no synergy between ecommerce and communications I was too flustered to talk. I am still horrified that eBay doesn't realize the potential they have with Skype and seems to be in a rush to unload it. Two years ago I suggested a laundry list of ideas Skype should seriously consider.

Early AM Trip To LA for Rich

October 6, 2009

Smartphones Get Flash. Not iPhone

October 5, 2009

At a recent event I spoke with an ex-Adobe exec who blamed Apple for Flash not being available on the iPhone. The lack of Flash support on this device is the real Apple tax as I pointed out a while back. Now, Adobe has announced it will have Flash available for just about every smartphone on the market save Apple. David Coursey of PC World had this to say on the matter:

Carbon Scrubbing Makes it all Green

October 5, 2009

 


One of the most interesting green technologies I have seen is carbon scrubbing where a chemical reaction is used to rid CO2 from the atmosphere. Why is this fascinating to me? Because carbon scrubbing can be done anywhere in the world and still be effective.

Results of my Canada Trip so Far

October 1, 2009

The Major Tend on my Trip

October 1, 2009

Cisco to Acquire Tandberg for $3B

October 1, 2009

Cisco has done a remarkable job pushing the telepresence market forward but on the low-end of the market the company left lots of room for smaller players such as Tandberg, Lifesize, etc to prosper while relying on Cisco's marketing and PR to carry them forward. Now Cisco is about to pick up Norway based Tandberg, a strong player in the video market for $3 billion in cash.

Obviously this deal is in line with the John Chamber's vision of video everywhere and moreover allows Cisco to control a large part of the video market. Cisco is now in the position now more than ever of being able to lower the prices of the video units it sells so as to move more routers and other data center products.

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