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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

AT&T

Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

October 17, 2014

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and oftentimes aren’t able to fully connect to such signals, meaning a phone’s broadband connection can be in limbo. Nothing can be more frustrating than having connectivity issues like this when your GPS software is trying to determine which route has the least traffic and you need to decide whether to go right or left at a busy intersection.

Poor service quality which can be caused by the arbitrary switching to an inferior network leads to churn and churn costs a carrier money. Quality issues don’t just center on data as quite often a challenge for carriers is providing voice service levels which are solid enough to keep a customer happy.

3M's Role in Improving Cell Phone base Stations

October 9, 2014

It’s quite common for people to look at the cellular industry as a bunch of phones from different companies competing on features and functions but the reality is the towers are often the glue that connects these devices when they aren’t near WiFi hotspots. Towers are rife with innovation and in order for consumers to get better service they need to be upgraded with better radio frequency equipment, antennas and backhaul bandwidth.

3M Communications Markets Division is one company which focuses on perfecting the base station by making them easier to work on while ensuring they need less ongoing maintenance. I spent a good deal of time with the company recently speaking with Omar Flores, Steve King and others at the company to learn about how they are applying many of their innovations directly to the towers and other equipment responsible for interconnecting our tablets and other devices.

This is more of a commercial on what this division of 3M does but it's still instructive



Alcatel-Lucent aims to Position Small Cells Everywhere

September 22, 2014

With the introduction of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus with resolution levels the company calls Retina HD at a whopping 1920x1080 pixels, we can expect a significant increase in bandwidth utilization worldwide. Not to mention the Galaxy Note 4 and Edge at a Quad HD resolution of 2560x1440! This number of pixels is likely more than any of your televisions!

Hoping to be a big part of the solution is Alcatel-Lucent, the company has a heavy focus on their small cell strategy designed to ensure carriers are effectively using their bandwidth. As my colleague Peter Bernstein points out, QUALCOMM too is part of the effort to meet this demand.

How to Get AT&T to Fund Your IoT Idea

July 31, 2014


IoT and M2M developers - here is some exciting news.

It Isn't that often that you can develop something for what is supposed to be one of the largest market opportunities ever and at the same time get the support of a major telecom carrier. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention you could also get $5,000 in the process and a Samsung tablet.

Fast Pitch sponsored by AT&T takes place Wednesday, August 13, from 2pm-4pm in Las Vegas at M2M Evolution which is collocated with ITEXPO.

AT&T judges will listen to three minute pitches at booth 601. Two winners will be chosen to receive $5,000, a Samsung Tablet, and invaluable feedback from the company. There will be a judges choice winner and an audience choice winner.  





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.

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.

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