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

Apple

Conflicting iPhone Rumors

June 8, 2008

T-Mobile Suing Starbucks

June 7, 2008

T-Mobile is already not thrilled AT&T will replace them as the service provider of choice in Starbucks stores, now the GSM-based service provider who was early to embrace WiFi is losing revenue due to the new AT&T/Starbucks promotion of free WiFi in its stores.

While the news came out around February 11th that AT&T and Starbucks would provide free WiFi service, according to these court documents T-Mobile learned of this arrangement on or around March 30th.

Here are the salient points from this lawsuit:

  • In early 2008, Starbucks, AT&T and T-Mobile negotiated some agreements allowing a structured and seamless transition allowing AT&T to replace T-Mobile as the WiFi provider in Starbucks stores.
  • During the transition period, T-Mobile and AT&T would each promote the other brand via web pages which are displayed when a user logs onto the wireless network.
  • In addition, this page would allow customers to be authenticated by an existing subscription with either service provider.
  • AT&T and T-Mobile would not pay each other for using one another's networks.
  • Starbucks rolled out a promotional plan allowing its customers using a Starbucks card to register the card at starbucks.com and at this point the customers are directed to an AT&T page.
  • Since every US market is covered by T-Mobile except for Bakersfield, CA and San Antonio, TX, T-Mobile loses the opportunity to be marketed in front of these customers in other markets.
  • In addition, these cards are available to everyone, not just AT&T customers.
  • The agreement stipulates only AT&T customers are to have this right.
There is more but you get the idea... The point is if you have a T-Mobile account today, why not cancel it and use these cards instead to ensure you have access to the internet for free.

Based on the documents it is apparently T-Mobile thinks that Starbucks and the relationship they have with the behemoth of a coffee house is important to their success. Om Malik finds it funny that a coffehouse is a key pawn between two telecoms. He has a point.







Will Steve Jobs Wow Us?

June 7, 2008

It seems that if you do not blog about the iPhone this weekend you will be out touch with the blogging and news gathering communities. It is just that important. On Monday we will have a new Apple mobile device to drool over and I wonder if the company has any surprises up its sleeve such as higher screen resolution?

We know the new iPhone also called Jesus Phone by some will have 3G but will it also have a keyboard?

HTC Touch Pro

June 5, 2008

The HTC Touch Pro may be the ultimate Blackberry killer. I know the term "killer" is used very often but let's look at this situation carefully... People who type a lot benefit from a keyboard. Sure, an on-screen keyboard works but it is not ideal.

Mobile Virtual Worlds Emerge

June 4, 2008

There are so many communications companies pushing products and services revolving around virtual worlds, one wonders if we are about to see a new subset of communications break out and achieve mass appeal like VoIP, the iPhone or Blackberry. Do you think we could see a time when we all have avatars -- or even multiple avatars used when communicating with different people?

Think about it... A work avatar in a suit, a casually dressed avatar for hanging out with your friends and yet another more "elegantly dressed" avatar for communicating with members of the opposite sex.

I recently wrote that Nortel, Dialogic and NMS are in this space but I forgot to mention that IBM too is deploying a virtual world communications system for US intelligence agencies. (Credit goes to Tony Rybczynski for reminding me yesterday of this).

Nortel recently espoused how we will one day use avatars on our mobile phones and it seems they were right on -- at least in theory.





WiMAX Research Launched

May 28, 2008

If you are interested in analysis on the ClearWire WiMAX deal and other facets of the exciting WiMAX industry, you are in luck as Sidecut Reports has a new report which goes into depth on all parts of the burgeoning market.

The growth of WiMAX is probably going to be like so many other technologies. It will be over-hyped, slow and then do well when we aren't looking. This of course is easy for me to say but what about the countless people who need to make investment decisions that turn into quick profit?

These people need actionable intelligence and they need it ASAP.

Is this report what you need?

I browsed the 39-page draft executive summary and liked what I saw. In addition, I know the author Paul Kaputska quite well and he is great writer -- knowledgeable and with good connections.

Some of the topics in the summary include why now is the time to launch WiMAX networks in the US as the threat of 4G looms; an iPhone discussion; LTE; cCompeting wireless timelines; A discussion of the players in the space; and WiMAX chips, costs and more.

I recommend this report to anyone who needs to keep up with the busy and often exciting wireless/WiMAX space.











SIP Forum Growth

May 28, 2008

The SIP Forum seems to be making some nice progress in attracting a broad swath of companies to its organization.

In case you aren't aware, The SIP Forum is a non-profit IP communications industry association that engages in numerous activities that advance and promote SIP technology, such as the development of industry recommendations, the SIPit interoperability and testing events, special interoperability workshops, and general promotion of SIP in the industry.

One of the Forum's recent technical activities is the development of the SIPconnect Technical Recommendation -- a standards-based recommendation that provides detailed guidelines for direct IP peering and interoperability between IP PBXs and VoIP service provider networks, and the SIPconnect Compliant Certification Program through which eligible companies can gain SIPconnect validation and the right to license the use of the SIP Forum's 'SIPconnect Compliant' certification mark.

What sort of progress are they making you ask? Well, they have recently told the world they are experianceing 100% 100% growth compared to the last quarter of 2007. The organization now has
46 Full Member companies and more than 5,000 individual members from around the world.

Why do people join the forum? Well Ken Kuenzel, Founder and CTO, Covergence, Inc. says his company joined the SIP Forum because of its efforts to build on existing IETF standards to define a standards-based approach that will enable seamless IP peering between IP PBXs and VoIP service providers.

Eric Swift, Senior Director of the Office Communications Group at Microsoft Corporation said We at Microsoft have long embraced SIP as an important standard and foundation for interoperability...










Of Cell Phones and Unborn Babies

May 28, 2008

Does cell phone use cause behavioral problems in children? A new study is out on the the matter and while it is not conclusive it did find increased cell phone use does seem to lead to children with more behavioral problems.

The study took place between researchers in Denmark and UCLA and as part of the process, more than 13 thousand women were questioned.

Over the past years, I have seen studies which show radio waves are harmful to people and other surveys which say just the opposite. What does seem obvious to me is that we are being hit with more and more radio waves as time goes on. WiFi, satellite radio and WiMAX are just a few of the new sorts of electronic radiation our bodies have to now deal with.

In case you are getting worried about this study, it should be noted that the people behind it do not think it is conclusive and moreover they think there many reasons why we shouldn't be too concerned with the results.

Here is an excerpt worth reading:

“I think this is a competently and well-done study, but I think there are enough red flags that this should probably not be something the U.S.










Being Part of Squawk Box

May 23, 2008

I spent part of my morning on Alex Saunders' Squawk Box -- a gathering place for industry analysts and thought leaders to discuss important technology issues of the day.

Topics today included Ariel Waldman's harassment allegations against Twitter. This conversation digressed into what Twitter is... Is it a communications vehicle or is it media -- like a magazine or website?

Andy Abramson had some well thought out comments on the matter and others had great points too. Andy likened the concept of harassing someone on Twitter to taking a megaphone out and broadcasting negative things about them in public.

The whole argument reminded me a tremendous amount of the Juicy Campus website and the problems the site is having as it seems to be a forum where college kinds primarily gossip about one another.

This conversation morphed into a discussion regarding freedom of speech and the refusal of YouTube to take down Al Qaeda videos from its site.







Podcast: Starent Networks Thierry Maupilé

May 21, 2008

As the wireless industry evolves, the level of complexity has evolved with it allowing companies such as Starent Networks to thrive by delivering technology which enables carriers to deliver rich content multimedia services.

We all have cell phones and it seems obvious these devices will be delivering TV, YouTube and a host of other multimedia services as time progresses. Those of you who have kids with cell phones know more about this than others of course.

As this transition takes place, carriers need to think about taking advantage of adding intelligence to their gateways so they are able to build the most flexible next generation network possible.

I had a candid conversation with Maupilé about wireless barriers to entry, Apple's iPhone, the latest generation of devices and the incredible opportunities ahead for service providers.

This podcast is certainly worth a listen and I hope you enjoy it thoroughly.







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