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February 2013

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Telenity Enables M2M, Location Based Ads at MWC2013

February 28, 2013

The big news out of Monroe, CT based Telenity at Mobile World Congress 2013 is the company's new M2M and LBS solutions. On the M2M front the company has announced m2mConnect which handles connectivity management of m2m devices. The idea here is to auto-provision, activate, monitor and diagnose M2M solutions in the lowest-cost way possible. As Dr. Gurol Akman, VTO and EVP of R&D explains, M2M customers are very low ARPU and you have to ensure you minimize your support cost.

Comverse Gets Social at MWC2013

February 28, 2013

Comverse showed me their Share solution at Mobile World Congress 2013 which allows carriers to deliver a Facebook app giving the user a portal into their subscriber account. Once you enter the app, you are prompted to enter a phone number and are subsequently sent a text message allowing you to get a code which enables authentication.

At this point you can check your account balance, send notes to customer care and more. The operator benefits as well because they can mine the user likes and preferences allowing them to determine for example if they may be a candidate for a bundle or special offering.

NICE Systems at MWC2013

February 28, 2013

At Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona NICE had a very compelling story regarding its multiple product lines which are generally analytics, security, financial and the contact center. In a conversation with Yaniv Zukerman and Eyal Kirshner I learned the company will be focusing more on its multi-channel analytics solutions across its product lines. Moreover, we will see more cloud solutions from them as well - including in the anti-fraud space. This technology will be rolled out across product lines - and used to allow for CFPB compliance.

Smith Micro Extends MDM Standard to Chipset Level

February 28, 2013

Smith Micro's main message at Mobile World Congress 2013 was that wirelss broadband connectivity is going to become easier. Carla Fitzgerald, VP Marketing Wireless & Mobility explained how the company has worked with chipset vendors to get its QuickLink MBIM Middleware installed at the chip level in various computer systems.

She said, "Connectivity originally started as an application where the user was once forced to be an IT administrator." She continued, "But now with standards like MBIM and Smith Micro working with chipset vendors, connectivity will be automatic regardless of operating system."

The benfits for users will be the ability to have backward and forward compatability across not only operating system versions but operating systems as well meaning you could take a USB stick modem and seamlessly have it work regardless of your system. Currently the middleware supports just about anything you would want to use such as Windows 7, Vista, XP, Mac OSX and Linux.

Dialogic Fuels Networks, Augments WebRTC

February 27, 2013

Having covered Dialogic for about two decades I can tell you they were an integral player in the converging world of communications and technology. When you leave a voicemail, call into a call center or benefit from a telecom advancement quite often a Dialogic product is involved by providing an interface and performing some sort of processing behind the scenes.

After rolling up much of the competitive space and other telecom vendors as well, the company found itself in a situation where much of its core business was being eliminated as many of the tasks you once needed proprietary boards to handle could be taken care of through software on ever-more powerful Intel CPUs.

If this challenge wasn't enough of an issue, Asterisk made it easy to have a standardized base of solutions to build on top of when looking to solve the problems you once had to rely exclusively on Dialogic to provide.

In response to this pressure the company has relaunched itself with a new branding campaign titled "Network Fuel" which is designed to remind carriers the company can help it solve a myriad of networking challenges for them.

Napatech Focuses on Analytics at MWC2013

February 27, 2013

 

A few big trends at Mobile World Congress 2013 had to do with helping carriers make money - quite often through analytics. Spending some time with Daniel Barry at Napatech shows his company is certainly in line with trends at the show.

By utilizing an array of hardware adapters, the company uses off-the-shelf servers to enable carriers and the suppliers who they purchase from to build scaleable applications for big data analysis. Such solutions could help operators deliver new services rapidly to respond to an ever-changing market.

Teoco Shows Predictive Geotargeting at MWC2013

February 27, 2013

At Mobile World Congress 2013 Teoco explained how they have carved out a niche in the market focusing on BSS and OSS analytics while taking advantage of geolocation to ensure operators not only serve their customer with greater profitability, they can also capture new revenue models.

The Virginia-based company has provided carrier solutions in the past such as service assurance such as capacity planning, managing network congestion, etc. They also provide network optimization like suggesting what direction a tower should tilt. Finally, margin assurance is a big area of focus - which in one case they say saved a customer half a billion dollars in five years through a variety of analytics projects such as reducing access charges, modifying contracts with suppliers, fixing uneven roaming scenarios, tower location analysis, network routing and other projects.

MATRIX Software: Charging and Policy Solutions for 4G and Shared Plans

February 27, 2013

As carriers move to shared data plans and LTE becomes prevalent, the old way of charging and policy need an upgrade. Enter MATRIXX Software with their real-time charging, policy and analytics solutions which enable today's carriers to keep up with the latest in technology.

Shared plans were championed by Verizon and others and the success of such solutions in increasing ARPU (although it should be pointed out the old ARPU model dissolves when a User has multiple devices) means we can expect many carriers to adopt similar models the world-over.

The MATRIX Charging Engine has been designed from the ground up to give carriers flexibility in how they charge and deliver new bundles to their customers whether they be consumers, SMB or the enterprise.

Mobidia Tackles Bill Shock at MWC2013

February 27, 2013

 

Chris Hill (pictured) the VP of Marketing at Mobidia was euphoric in telling me about the growth of the company's new app My Data Manager which has had 3.5 million downloads in the past 12 months. As bill shock becomes a larger problem which is amplified by the speed of 4G networks, users - especially when roaming, are literally a movie away from being hundreds of dollars above their typical monthly costs if they aren't careful.

The app runs in the background on iOS and Android and monitors app usage and cellular usage anonymously sending data back to the company if the user agrees to it. To date, over one million people have signed up to allow their data to be tracked meaning Mobidia has some incredible information about mobile use trends.

Tangoe Integrates MDM and TEM

February 27, 2013

At Mobile World Congress 2013 Tangoe was discussing the company's integrated solutions which combine TEM and MDM allowing telecom expense management and mobile device management to be handled with a single sign-on and user interface. As Director of Product Marketing Troy Fulton (pictured) explained to me, with 4G networks, bill shock can be quite real as you can be roaming and rapidly go way over your allotment of data.

The companies rTEM solutions can deal with such a scenario in ten minutes he says. Moreover, Tangoe realizes devices have valuable information on them - in fact many large enterprises spend 57% of their IT budgets on mobility, making it quite strategic says Fulton.

Tellabs Outlines Carrier Backhaul Challenge and Opportunity

February 26, 2013

Tellabs had some scary news for operators at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona as they outlined the detachment of user expectations in wireless which follow Moore's Law versus operator cost which is increasing rapidly. This according to Stuart Benington (below) who is a global director at the company. Citing an increased capacity shortage worldwide he went on to say there is an "investment shortfall" ranging between 1.2 petabytes in North America to 9.4 petabytes in the APAC region.

 

Gary Kim recently wrote about the issue as well emphasizing the nine-billion dollar investment deficit carriers will experience over the next few years. The chart above shows the details.

Enter the company's SDN application solutions demonstrated to me by Benington and George Stenitzer (below) who is the VP of Marketing.

Altair Semiconductor's 4G Chip Bet Pays Off

February 26, 2013

As wireless markets globally move to 4G, Altair Semiconductor has targeted this newer network standard with a single-mode line of chips which cost less and use less power than mult-mode solutions which have to grapple with 3G and older standards. As consumer electronics devices become more price-competitive, choosing a streamlined solution means OEMs/ODMs can reduce their costs and pass part of the savings on to customers allowing more inexpensive solutions to be marketed.

The big news for the company at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona was the release of a new chipset for LTE-A, the 3800/6300 FourGee line which can download at 150Mbps and upload at 50 Mbps. The chips support carrier aggregation and a wide frequency band span of 400-3800MHz with 6 concurrent LTE bands for both primary and diversity antennas, enabling global band combinations. There is further support for VoLTE and HD-voice as well as interference cancellation an peripheral interface support for a wide variety of applications from consumer electronics to M2M.

The company hopes it becomes the go to source for connectivity in an "internet of things" world and spokesman Matthew Krieger (pictured) brimmed with excitement about how their solutions are replacing competitors in the market.

Vantrix Optimizes Media Delivery at MWC2013

February 26, 2013

As audio and video traffic over wireless networks has grown exponentially, operators around the world have struggled to deal with managing the challenge. Enter Vantrix who focuses on bandwidth management and more specifically media optimization according to company execs execs at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.

 

The company showed off its solution running on the QuickFire Networks T-Video line - an offering which deals with ever-more complex video by attacking the problem with a combination of hardware and software. Using Intel 2.3GHz Core i7 processors the T-Video V1100 reduces the footprint of video transcoding solutions by a factor of five using 44 cores per rack unit. As H.265 video becomes prevalent, Mark Hopper, the VP of Product Line Management (pictured) for the company says video systems will have to increase their footprint size by 20-30x to keep up with video which has ten times the complexity factor - referring to the differences between H.265 and H.264 video.

MWC 2013 Day One Trends

February 26, 2013

After a day of meetings there are some strong takeaways from the first day of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Interestingly devices played a large and yet small factor in my analysis. First off The Sony Xperia Z tablet was shown off here but crowds were lackluster. In examining the device I was amazed at how thin and light it was - it seemed like a larger iPad Mini in terms of weight and the feeling in the hands.

Ciena Launches New Services Play

February 25, 2013

Ciena has some exciting news when it comes to the world of service provider networks. We know the company as an equipment provider which has had years in the business but now they have branched out from not only upgrading networks but businesses. Chuck Kaplan VP Industry Marketing (pictured above) spent some time with me at Mobile World Congress 2013 explaining how his company has spent years helping customers not just spend money on their solutions but make it as well through a new consulting initiative.

The first step in the process is to redefine carrier services for a new world where data usage has tremendous spikes which are caused by things like cloud service utilization.

Stoke GameChanger Improves Stadium Broadband Delivery

February 25, 2013

Dan McBride VP Marketing Stoke

 

Mobile and WiFi gateway solution provider Stoke recently launched at Mobile World Congress 2013 a new solution which is targeted at improving the customer experience at stadiums and metropolitan areas. The company's GameChanger solution in partnership with SOLiD Technologies brings together management, WiFi and fiber installation.

The idea is to allow a stadium to be WiFi and carrier agnostic meaning in a perfect world every customer will be able to come to a stadium and have coverage from their own provider.

Volubill Updates Charging and Policy Solutions at MWC2013

February 25, 2013

Volubill the "converged charging and policy" company brought their solutions up to date at Mobile World Congress 2013 with the introduction of 4G LTE solutions. One of the interesting differentiators the company provides is allowing carriers to personalize virtually anything. For example, customer Orange Madagascar recently launched 18 new packages and will soon launch another 14. Each took 15 minutes to configure, test and deploy.

AMDOCS Allows Carrier Self-Service at MWC2013

February 25, 2013

The big news from AMDOCS at Mobile World Congress 2013 was a suite of solutions dubbed CES 9 which the company internally calls the "Wow release." The company says it has seamlessly connected its customer management, billing, OSS, CRM and network controller solutions allowing customers for the first time to see connect their experience from the device down to the network.

You have heard me go on about the age of acceleration and apparently carriers feel the pressure of providing things faster as well. One of the biggest advances in this new solution will allow carriers to let their customers take advantage of self-service on the devices they use. For example, a tablet user will be able to upgrade their data account without having to call into a customer service representative or CSR. The company believes the release will actually allow 80% common transactions to be completed without a call center call-in.

 

Company representative Rebecca Prudhomme pictured above explained that the industry is adopting a new metric regarding customer satisfaction which gauges a customer's willingness to recommend a service to friends or family.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z Impossibly Light

February 25, 2013

Broadcom Has Low-Power GPS Geofencing News and More at MWC2013

February 25, 2013

Broadcom made some big noise here at MWC with the launch of its 47521 GPS chip which is a  follow-on to the 4752 they announced at the show last year. This new silicon-software solution allows real-geofencing due to its reduced power consumption which the company said was cut by a factor of 60!  I say "real" - because currently geofencing drains battery so much, users have to turn it off.

While I naturally thought asset-tracking/M2M was the major market for the company, Donald Fuchs Director of Business Development for the Mobile and Wireless Group says this market is a "rounding error" compared to the size of the wireless space. His thoughts as well as those of Monika Gupta from Broadcom are that social networkingand mobile marketing are the main areas for such a technology.

Oracle Not Shy at MWC

February 25, 2013

Alcatel-Lucent Pushes Tagline at MWC

February 25, 2013

Made it to Mobile World Congress MWC2013

February 25, 2013

Steve Wozniak to Keynote ITEXPO Las Vegas

February 22, 2013



We are extremely proud to announce Steve Wozniak is a keynoter at ITEXPO in Las Vegas, Thursday, August 29 at 10am. After the amazing keynote of John Sculley, past Apple CEO weeks back at this event* in Miami (video below), we thought the only way to even come close to finding someone of a similar caliber was to present the cofounder of Apple to our beloved ITEXPO community!





After all, how often do you get to hear from the person who helped revolutionize the personal computer industry by inventing the Apple I and Apple II computers?

The Woz has intricate knowledge of both communications and computing and as today’s mobility solutions have brought these markets together, his presence as a featured speaker means attendees at the show will hear from one of the most-focused visionaries available anywhere. Moreover, his topic which is the past, present and future of technology and entrepreneurship are sure to resonate

Registration is open now.

WebRTC Advisory Board Announced

February 20, 2013

One of the more exciting bits of news this week has to do with TMC and partners choosing the Inaugural WebRTC advisory board. After the huge success of the first WebRTC World show in Santa Clara, California, we wanted to make sure we worked with the absolute top minds in the communications, technology and WebRTC fields to ensure our conferences have the best content possible.

The next show takes place June 25-27, 2013 in Atlanta, GA. Here is a list of the new board members with Twitter handles for easy-following purposes.

Update: Jim Donovan's correct Twitter handle is now listed below.





Name/Company Member Handle Company Handle Jim Donovan
Acme Packet @jdrtc @Acme_Packet Tsahi Levent-Levi
Amdocs @tsahil @Amdocs Alan Johnston
Avaya @alanbjohnston @Avaya Chris McGugan
Avaya @cmcgugan @Avaya Arnaud Budkiewicz
Bistri @arnaudbud @Bistri Cullen Jennings
Cisco @cfluffy @CiscoSystems Steven Sokol
Digium @ssokol @digium David Duffett
Asterisk @dduffett ‏ @asteriskpbx Dean Bubley
Distruptive Analysis @disruptivedean @DApremium Geoff Hollingworth
Ericsson @geoffworth @ericsson Craig Walker
Fierspotter Labs @cwalker123 N/A Jan Linden
Google @jtlinden @google Justin Uberti
Google @juberti @google Stephen Brown
Mitel @mitelcloudchief @mitel Boris Selitser
Oracle N/A @Oracle Joe Burton
Plantronics @JoeBurtonCTO @Plantronics Goncalo Morais
Siemens @gnclmorais @SiemensEnt Mohan Palat
Sonus @mpalat @sonusnet Mark Weidick
TenHands @markweidick @TenHandsInc David Jodoin
ThruPoint @david_jodoin @Thrupoint Dan Burnett
Voxeo @voxeodanburnett @voxeo Alexey Aylarov
Zingaya @aylarov @Zingaya_Service





















Thank You Amazon, Retailers May Now Merge at Will

February 18, 2013


When reports surfaced regarding Office Depot merging with OfficeMax, the first thing which may have occurred to many, is regulators wouldn’t let this approximately $2 billion happen because the resulting store would be too large and create antitrust concerns. Much of these worries in retail however have decreased as of late because of the strength of Wal-Mart, Costco and of course Amazon. Let’s also remember that Staples is a major player in the space. It’s worth pointing out that Amazon in particular can be used by just about all retailers to justify industry consolidation.


Scam Users, Accumulate Facebook Likes, Buy a Ferrari

February 18, 2013

Bitdefender Labs recently reported that a site showing kittens and unicorns suggested users download a “business flash” plugin in order to see a video. At this point the plugin takes control of the user’s computer allowing cookie information to be taken and replicated on another computer – effectively locking a user out of their social networking account.



Bitdefender describes the people behind this scheme as crooks which makes this story more interesting as this exploit seems to be designed to “borrow” a user’s identity. If your account isn’t taken over, the extension sits on your computer and can continue to like site after site without your approval.

From Calculators to iPads, Tech Makes us Lazy

February 16, 2013

A child who shall remain nameless was recently exposed to a 1,000 piece puzzle after growing up playing games on computers and said the following: "I wish this puzzle was on an iPad so I could just pay to get hints." And it hit me - all this technology needs to be turned on its head from time-to-time so we don't become for lack of a better word lazier.

In high school I used a calculator a lot and as a result, my math skills got rusty. After scoring lower than I would have liked on one of my college placement exams I decided to write a computer program to turn the tables on tech. The concept of the algorithm was simple - it would spit out random numbers ask me to either multiply or divide them.

The Offspring of Siri and Raspberry Pi Controls Your Home

February 15, 2013

For those of you dreaming of the day when your voice can control your home, your wait is over – almost. There are a few demos floating around online showing how Siri’s responses to your commands can trigger the Raspberry Pi-based SiriProxy. The first demo below runs a garage door opener, a NEST thermostat and a cable box while the second video just opens and closes a garage door opener for now.

As Apple and investors took for the next big thing, it seems like home automation is a natural extension for the company. Ironically I tweeted an article today about NEST trying to get into the home automation space too which means the company may eventually be on a collision course with Apple.

Is Apple Too Sexy for MWC?

February 15, 2013


In deciding not to exhibit at the Macworld events, CES and MWC, Apple has shown the world that it doesn’t need others to be successful. It can control the conversation far better when it holds its own press conferences which are invitation-only by design.

While this philosophy was very successful for a number of years, what Apple didn’t count on was the innovation gap between its products and the rest of the market closing to the point where a large-screen Android smartphone is actually preferable by the masses to the company’s iOS based phone offerings.

In other words – the “Apple attitude” we’re too sexy for your trade show was a great marketing concept for a number of years but now it seems like a bad choice.

Backup DNS, The New Yellow Pages Scam

February 12, 2013

If you have ever registered a domain name you have no doubt been solicited by a number of companies you never heard of trying to renew your domain name. Lately I have noticed this trend has died down – no doubt because customers have wised up and realize if they registered with Network Solutions, GoDaddy or 1&1 then they should pay that company only.

Yesterday a relative presented me with a document which looks a lot like an invoice from a company called DNS Services. The company’s logo looks very official – you might even make the point that the infinity symbol looks a bit like the NS logo preceding Network Solutions.






The DNS Services invoice-looking non-invoice


(click to enlarge)



John Sculley Mesmerizes Audience at ITEXPO (Video)

February 11, 2013

Check Out This Amazing Nemo Snow Pic

February 11, 2013

For those of you wondering what the snow was like here in Connecticut after hearing about the "record storm" Nemo, here is a picture of what a person in Trumbull, CT saw when they opened their door over the weekend. Now that's a big surprise. As an FYI, this is a few feet of snow coupled with snow drift. If there was any good news relating this storm it was that power outages were kept to a minimum - few if any members of the TMC team lost power due to my knowledge.

Is Regulation 1.0 Slowing the Networked Economy?

February 10, 2013

Fred Wilson alerted me to a talk Nick Grossman recently gave representing their company Union Square Ventures relating to how regulators haven’t kept up with a number of peer to peer business models from Kickstarter to AirBnB to the lending business. Specifically there are fire code regulations which apply to renting out apartments to many tenants. Moreover neighbors may not want the foot traffic of strangers associated with renting apartments to others for brief periods online. Finally Kickstarter was sued in part for enabling accompany funded on its platform to infringe the patent of another company.

Apple Has 2 Weeks to Fix its 6.1 iOS Update

February 10, 2013

How Steve Jobs Even Transformed Our Views on Management

February 9, 2013

Steve Jobs was such an amazing entrepreneur - even calling him the ultimate visionary doesn't seem to describe accurately how amazing he was at reinventing numerous business categories. Like so many creative visionaries, early in his career he lacked the political and people skills which many people believed were necessary to run a company effectively.

When he was "pushed out" of Apple it was seen as a normal incident - CEOs were pushed out of companies all the time as past Apple CEO John Sculley has said. In fact Scully spoke just over a week ago at StartUp Camp7 collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013 and gave the inside scoop on many important events which transpired between him and Jobs over the years.

Verizon MiFi and Boingo Indispensable

February 8, 2013

Some time back Verizon Wireless sent me a MiFi device to test and I have used it as a long-term review unit and am blown away at how useful it has become. Recently at ITEXPO in Miami I was able to use it instead of hotel WiFi which often can cost $15/day. Moreover, there was one hotel I stayed at this past month where the position of the hotel meant 4G didn't work from any provider - and it turns out I paid through the nose for hotel WiFi. I happened to use three devices and I got charged for each one (almost daily) for seven days. I didn't notice that there was a per-device charge as typically this isn't the case at the hotels I use.

Although I didn't get charged $315, that is what I would have paid had I used each device each day and the hotel didn't take some of the charges off my bill.

Does This Hire Tell us The Future of Apple's TV?

February 8, 2013

There is speculation today that the hire of OLED expert James(Jueng-Gil) Lee by Apple shows the company is serious about developing its own TV. A real Apple TV with a screen is the rumor that never dies - analysts have predicted for some time that we will see one. Moreover the supply chain has hinted that one will eventually arrive as well.

The question worth asking is exactly how far along Apple is if this gentleman was just hired.

Thoughts on Alcatel-Lucent

February 8, 2013

One of the greatest challenges incumbent companies face is the ambivalence and corporate politics incumbency breeds and it only gets worse in what we call the age of acceleration where competitors arise faster and technologies shift more quickly than ever. Nortel, NSN and Alcatel-Lucent are all companies who enjoyed decades of leadership in the carrier market and in the process decided to provide generous benefits for their workers which would eventually help make them uncompetitive.

There is more to it - in the late nineties, Lucent acquired companies so quickly that its workers didn't know exactly who did what. Nortel too made a great deal of acquisitions.

Sheldon Adelson Continues to Give Back

February 8, 2013



Sheldon Adelson was the founder of the COMDEX trade show and early in my career his team was gracious enough to work with me to promote the first magazine I published named CTI. I have always been impressed by his business skills – he ran the largest show in the US and when he sold it and stopped his involvement it went downhill fairly quickly and eventually collapsed.

At the peak of the show in the late nineties in Atlanta, GA, TMC gave away well over 10,000 magazines from a 20x30 booth – there are few other shows – even today where you could achieve such a feat. As I recall, we probably could have given out even more but we ran out!

Divoom Bluetune Solo Speaker Review

February 7, 2013

At CES 2013 I had a chance to check out the Divoom Bluetune Solo speaker, a pint-sized gadget which packs a powerful punch of bass for its size. The speaker is round and fits in a  coffee cup taking about two-thirds of it. Its worth noting however that while listening to music with strong basslines there is distortion above about two-thirds of the volume level.

Photoluminescent Paint Markers Could Save Taxpayers Billions

February 7, 2013

Do Physical Digital Libraries Make Sense?

February 7, 2013


Bexar County in Texas will be home to one of the world’s first digital libraries which contains just e-readers and lots of electronic editions of books. The interesting idea here is the library is going digital but still needs $1.5 million to start up. Moreover, it believes the ongoing costs to maintain the library will be lower than one which contains traditional books.

The natural question worth asking is, are libraries missing the bigger picture?

Dell+Microsoft=Apple?

February 5, 2013

Dell is in a mind-bogglingly large long-rumored deal to go private worth $24 billion and of note is business partner Microsoft has decided to invest in the company which has struggled for many years. The company still has strength in the data center market but the PC space is facing a major challenge from the smartphones, the iPad and other tablets.

Dell tried to go upmarket with its Adamo line realizing Apple was a threat due in-part to its superior computer designs but the strategy fizzled. In the past, Dell also tried to come out with a device in the PDA space only to see the market erode as it launched because smartphones became more desirrable.

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