Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
Rich Tehrani
| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space


Why Facebook Needs a Phone

May 29, 2012

Facebook as the dominant social network is becoming the replacement for the phone. Nowadays in fact it is fairly common to use Facebook as the primary way to stay in touch with others – especially among those under 30. The point here is that the phone is becoming the Facebook communicator.

And with mobile adoption continuing ta a blistering pace – many people have multiple mobile devices in fact, Facebook should be sitting pretty, right?

Turns out Cisco Cius Can't Compete With the iPad Either

May 25, 2012

Company after company is learning what most of instinctively know already – competing with Apple head-on is like trying to tackle a freight train with your bare hands as it is barreling down the tracks in your direction. Amazon with its Kindle Fire competed on price and used its services to subsidize the device. Other tablet makers are finding it virtually impossible to compete without such advantages.

Disruption Targets Currency Exchange Kiosks

May 25, 2012

Technology has resulted in massive margin compression among industry after industry. Retailers have to struggle to make money to pay their brick and mortar overhead while consumers routinely see and touch the merchandise in their store while buying it online simultaneously. A coworker in fact detailed how he saved $30 on an iPad case buy using eBay on a computer from the Apple store he was in.

But the retail story isn’t a new one – we wrote stories at TMC in the nineties about the death of brick and mortar and certainly the loss of Circuit City was in-part caused by competition not only from WalMart and Costco but Amazon.

CableWiFi: Cablecos Offer Free Roaming on 50k+ WiFi Hotspots

May 21, 2012

If you happen to be a customer of Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications or Time Warner Cable, there is some really good news in the form of an official sharing agreement of WiFi spectrum allowing customers of any of these cable companies to gain access to the WiFi networks of any of the companies.

In Norwalk, Connecticut or Cablevision country, you could drive a few dozen miles in one direction and run into a Cox Cable jurisdiction and a few dozen miles in another direction gets you into Time Warner territory. Of course your situation may vary but it is great to know that as you travel around the US you will have access to lots of access points which were once off limits.

In April, 2010 some of these providers stuck a similar deal but to date I have never been able to successfully use WiFi belonging to the other providers - just Optimum WiFi provided by Cablevision.

Perhaps I will have better luck with the new network which has the SSID of CableWiFi. In a perfect world - you log onto this network and use it as you roam this vast country we call the U S of A.

The best news is as 4G providers start to become more restrictive on their bandwidth use, WiFi networks provided by the cablecos will come to the rescue meaning consumers will have to think long and hard before switching from cable to telco-based service home broadband.

Could Verizon and AT&T counter this offer with their own "bundle" of wireless and landline service? Yes, absolutely.

Intel Finally Gets Mobile?

May 17, 2012

Intel is selling its computers quite nicely into PCs and servers and although we are in a so called "post-PC era" people keep buying computers by the tens of millions. The long-term challenge is in-part ARM, the instruction-set architecture which is being turned into highly efficient chips used in most mobile devices.

The challenge of course for Intel is the typical one of disruption from below. An example is how RAID allowed inexpensive and less reliable hard drives to replace larger disks in the market.

Likewise, the ARMv8 64-bit architecture application profile was defined two months ago and at some point soon we will see these chips in the field. Moreover, expect them to rapidly go multicore if not initially.

Why Samsung Must Have a Successful Media Player

May 2, 2012

If Samsung is the anti-Apple and with their success in the smartphone space you have to consider them a strong alternative, then they have to have a strategy which allows them to emulate Apple in order to be as successful. By this I mean, Apple has the amazing ability to sell a range of products which are highly similar and yet each is in its own category.

You want an inexpensive music player for the kids? The Apple answer, an iPod Touch.

Blackberry 10 like Siri uses Productivity to Differentiate

May 1, 2012

Apple's iPhone 4S is perhaps most known for Siri the built-in personal assistant which has had mixed reviews. Still, in-part because of this feature, the company has sold iPhones by the boatload.

RIM, who is fighting to regain market share has come at the productivity game from a different angle - the predictive text technology in its soon to be released Blackberry 10 OS is much-improved and has the potential to drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to communicate on a smartphone or tablet.

For information workers - it seems the more you work, the more there is to do. Especially when you consider the huge time suck associated with social networking, watching online video and gaming and book-reading on the go using the latest crop of tablets.

Although it is soon to say that RIM has nailed it with its new OS, it does look better than previous operating systems from the company. Now the question is how long before the functionality is copied by others and the patent war over this feature begins?

See analysis from the AP, a hands-on review from CNet and comments fom USA Today.

Is Skype Microsoft's Only Chance for Mobile Success?

April 26, 2012

If you are looking for increased competition in the mobile space, Apple’s recent and seemingly constant record earnings are bad news. Worse yet for the competition, Apple has transcended its original position of a computer and electronics maker to become a major force in the publicly traded markets and even the US economy. Its phones are status symbols the world over and its tablet is so far ahead of the rest of the market the company can charge hundreds more and consumers will pay for these products with a smile.

So news of Microsoft losing share to in the mobile space should hardly be considered news.

Determining if There is a Spectrum Shortage

April 19, 2012

Those of us who have been in the wireless space for years take for granted that there is a spectrum shortage but the New York Times had a compelling story discussing how spectrum sharing and smart antennas will help alleviate the problem. They even have a quote from David P. Reed saying that radio frequencies are not finite.

TMC's Peter Bernstein disagrees with this last point and has some interesting thoughts on the matter worth reading.

To me the debate is fascinating and is similar to arguing if we have run out of space on the island of Manhattan. On the one hand it has been built up to capacity except perhaps a few parks and other areas. But on the other hand, we can continue to purchase, knock down and build taller buildings to add more capacity.

But if New York land was spectrum, whenever a taller building is constructed, some of the units would be forced to go to competing landlords.

Is the Post-PC Era a Myth?

April 16, 2012

The way one should interpret the term "Post-PC" is "after PC" - implying that the world has changed from era to the next. Sarah Perez at TechCrunch does an admirable job of laying the case for what she calls the Post-PC era or alternatively - "PCs Everywhere" which I agree isn't quite as catchy.

In her article she discusses how Apple sold 37M iPhones in Q4, 15% of the official PC market is made up of tablets (mostly iPads) and Apple is now the leading "PC" vendor. Moreover smartphone shipments last year hit 487.7M while PC shipments hit 414.6M and the smartphone growth rate is 63% versus 15% for PCs.

So one would imagine once again that the phrase "Post-PC" means that there aren't going to be more PCs sold.

Gary Kim writes on IP Carrier that while global tablet sales are growing at 98% YoY for 2012, the PC market is expected to increase 4.4% and will increase to 10% in 2013.

The catch is - and there is always a catch, that most of these sales will be in emerging markets and will be for more portable computers - laptops, ultrabooks, etc. Kim makes the argument however that tablets may be 42% of total PC sales by 2016 - a staggering percentage.

The trend is clear however that portability and style trump virtually everything else when it comes to the tech space.

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