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Rich Tehrani
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4G

Truphone's Vastly Expanded International Roaming Plan

May 21, 2014

Truphone bills itself as the first global network operator and in an age where international roaming bills can run up quite quickly, having the company in your corner can make predictable international voice, data and text pricing a reality. As a reminder, in order to use the service, you need an unlocked device and a supplied SIM card. The last time I covered (see below) the company they were introducing their international sharing plan and since then they have added countries – there are now eight. The service allows you to not only travel to various countries using a pool of international minutes; you are also given local international numbers.

Metaswitch Forum 2014 Live Blog

May 13, 2014


Metaswitch Forum 2014 will kick off soon, stay tuned.

Any second now - its 8:05 am in New Orleans

The event has kicked off with a keynote presented by Steve Gleave - which has been preceded by a few well-produced videos. The idea so far is tying in the theme of the event "The brains of the new global network" with Steve's brain. The cast of characters behind the scenes show how they tinker with Steve's brain - he eventually comes out on stage on a Segway with Harley Davidson sound-effects.


Everyone is Wrong about the Apple Beats Acquisition

May 9, 2014

If you read the media reports last night or yesterday, you heard that Apple is in talks to buy Beats Electronics because of the latter company’s streaming service. Frankly, I can’t understand this logic and perhaps I have the inability to understand the obvious but to me the reason has more to do with the brand and international expansion opportunities and most importantly the one thing everyone seems to think the acquisition is not about… Retail. Yes retail. Apple is a master at it.

Games: The Biggest Opportunity Carriers are Ignoring

April 25, 2014

Carriers are losing control over core network services such as voice and text which is in-turn making them dumb-pipe providers. While wireless is still a profitable business, the presence of companies like T-Mobile and Sprint in the US makes it more difficult than ever for carriers like AT&T and Verizon to keep their higher than industry-average margins. Just this week in fact, Sprint said it will unlock all its phones in less than 12 months. Add to that the bring-your-own-device mentality that T-Mobile has brought from Europe to the US and you can see why the 2-year contract; a mainstay in the US carrier market is slowly disappearing as customers migrate to options like AT&T’s Next plan.

Boingo, GigSky, XCom: Why my Europe Connectivity was Awesome

April 23, 2014

A while back, I had a chance to go to MWC (news and analysis) in Barcelona, Spain and like many of you who travel internationally, I was concerned about my cellular bill as I enjoy the relative generosity of multigigabyte 4G data plans in the US. In Europe however the costs can grow quickly. When headed overseas, Verizon charges $25 per 100 MB of data. As many US devices are locked, it becomes a hassle to bypass such restrictions with multiple devices and a bevy of SIM cards.

Intel Buys Way into Tablets While $99 may be Microsoft Sweet Spot

April 16, 2014

Intel recently reported earnings and the takeaway is the company is going to focus more on Android and ramp up subsidies to get into more OEM tablet designs in Asia and elsewhere.

Intel said that its Windows tablets are shipping in numbers which barely register in their quarterly numbers. Obviously this isn't a positive development. To put this in perspective, out of the five-million processors the chip behemoth shipped for tablets, as little as 10% were for Windows. It seems many analysts are convinced that for Windows devices to be successful, they need keyboards and to some extent this makes sense as tablets are typically described as consumption devices.

Tiscali to be one of the First Software Telcos

March 27, 2014

The traditional telco is dead – the case for moving to COTS technology is just too compelling. This is a theme I have been espousing for over a year. My readers further know companies like Metaswitch Networks have also been making the case as to why carriers need to start evaluating their software options immediately.

You also know about the cost savings associated with moving to standard servers – power and maintenance savings are a few additional benefits.

Can Apple's Haunted Empire Still Make Hits?

March 20, 2014

Isn’t it funny how much of the world has changed thanks to Steve Jobs? As I sit here at my computer using a mouse and GUI, which Jobs popularized while listening to MP3s, another industry he revitalized, I am fascinated by how much this man changed computing. Over a decade ago, my company TMC launched a show in the biometrics space called BiometriTech and another in the tablet space, Tablet PC Summit. Both shows failed because the companies in the industries failed to make products in volumes that translated into marketing budgets which allowed for a successful conference.

How TextGen Converges Texting with Service

March 7, 2014

Face it, your customers don’t want to talk on the phone, they want to communicate with you the way they do with everyone else, using text. Sure, this is a generational issue but the young are getting older. Moreover, the parents and grandparents of all those kids have learned something very important in the past decade… If they want to communicate with their younger family members, they better buy a pair of reading glasses and learn to text.

But many companies aren’t prepared for a world where customers text them.

MIPI Alliance Works on New Specs for Audio and Sensors

February 27, 2014

In a conversation with Peter Lefkin and Michael Krell of the MIPI Alliance at MWC 2014 we discussed how this ten-year-old alliance was started to help camera chips in cell phones have a common standard and has subsequently evolved to over 45 published specifications for things like display, audio and yes cameras.

Formally, the areas of focus are Multimedia, Control/Data (RF/envelope tracking - many analog technologies), Chip-to-Chip (connecting the application processor to other systems) and Debug and Trace.

New for this show is SoundWire which is an interface for dealing with audio and microphones - this interface is better than their existing SlimBus which wasn't designed for a digital, off-platform world (external speakers, etc).

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