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Rich Tehrani
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AT&T

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.

GigSky Wants to Easily Connect You Everywhere

November 12, 2013

One of the largest challenges international travelers have is staying connected at affordable and easy-to-understand rates. The last time I was in Europe I was fortunate enough to have a portable WiFi device with me that gave me free access to 3G. I happily streamed music in the gym and would occasionally look at my phone ad notice the WiFi icon was missing for some reason. My stomach would drop whenever this happened as I had no idea how long I was streaming at local roaming rates.

NFV Roadmaps Are Affecting Carrier Purchases Now

October 12, 2013

The view from Asia

I had the chance to catch up with a top exec at a major Asian telecom equipment manufacturer and he told me customers are asking for NFV and they are busy working with a number of carriers in Europe to provide suitable solutions. This exec thinks that NFV will have the greatest impact in the gateway space. He went on to say he doesn’t believe the technology will have as much impact beyond the gateway because interoperability may become a problem – meaning whose throat is there to choke if things don’t work properly?

Why Apple Should not Produce Low-Cost Phones

August 19, 2013

Speculation and rumor will tell you that next month Apple is set to introduce a low-cost phone. Some will argue this makes sense since Apple is competing in a field with other companies such as Samsung and HTC which produce devices across many price points. The question worth asking however is whether this strategy is logical in the long-run. After all, aren’t mobile devices the natural evolution of PCs and laptops and hasn’t Apple learned that to be successful in those markets, you want to stay as far away as you can from being seen as a low-cost, commodity electronics producer?

Software Telcos Based on NFV Want Less Equipment Provider M&A

June 18, 2013

Mergers are nothing new but about a decade ago in the telecom market they reached a fever pitch when SBC purchased AT&T and rebranded itself with the name of the acquired company. At the time it became common in the industry to believe consolidation among carriers meant consolidation needed to take place at the equipment supplier level.

The idea is if you have fewer customers, you have less pricing power which means lower overhead with means merging suppliers can eliminate redundant costs such as accounting, marketing, HR and other “synergistic” areas of the business.

Large carriers have also been known for choosing large suppliers for their hardware needs as they felt these larger companies were more likely to be around to support them in the future as they roll out their solutions.

Metaswitch Clearwater: Game Changing Open Source IMS Initiative

May 8, 2013

The march to a software telco world is progressing nicely

Communications service providers are at war with OTT providers and need to ensure they are able to battle on as level a playing field as possible. There are significant costs associated with running a major telco and hardware infrastructure certainly ranks high among them. Sure, OTT providers like Skype and WhatsApp have infrastructure costs as well but they often leverage standard servers and software to achieve their goals.

AT&T: From Dumb Pipe to Security and Home Automation

April 26, 2013

There has been talk within the telecom industry for many years regarding whether communications service providers would eventually just become providers of dumb pipes or provide added value they can charge for. The move to IMS in-part was supposed to allow these companies to add more apps and services to their offerings, allowing them to generate more revenue.

When Apple opened up its iPhone platform, hundreds of thousands of apps began to do many of the things telcos would have liked to provide. Moreover, many functions which telcos used to charge for like SMS were given away for free from the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook.

On Screen Size, Apple is From Mars, Samsung from Venus

April 24, 2013

For many years now I have waxed poetic about the need for Apple to create a large screen phone. With the latest iteration of the iPhone, the “5” they decided to elongate the device but not make it wider. To me, this mistake is the worst that Apple has made since ignoring the market for seven-inch tablets and then playing catch-up with the iPad mini.

At first, when asked about larger screen phones, Apple said that they didn’t fit in the hand.

FCC Commissioner Adelstein Speaks at ITEXPO/Super WiFi Summit

January 17, 2013

Many people who read that former Apple CEO John Sculley is speaking at ITEXPO wondered why I didn’t mention former FCC Commissioner, Jonathan Adelstein is also speaking. I really didn’t have an answer except to say a post will be forthcoming on the matter. Here is that post.

Mr. Adelstein will deliver a keynote address on “Investing in America’s Wireless Future” at Super Wi-Fi Summit on Wednesday, January 30, at 9 a.m.

It's an App Eat App World

January 17, 2013

Peter Bernstein has a great analysis piece on how the Unilever/Slim-Fast empire is struggling in-part because the company was too slow to come out with an app as well as the fact that other competitors have expanded their offerings to match the company or even take the lead. Personal experience has shown that the majority of my friends and acquaintances are now using apps to track their fitness – running and/or eating via calorie counting.

It’s amazing to me that even a company which profits handsomely from items sold in grocery stores can lose share because it didn’t provide apps on smartphones. This is in contrast to Starbucks who I tweeted about earlier this week – they really think mobile and social are crucial to their future.

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