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AT&T

700 MHz Auction Concludes

March 21, 2008

The FCC 700 MHz auction concluded recently and the major winners were Verizon and AT&T. While this may seem like bad news to those who would have preferred more competition as a result of this auction, FCC Chairman Martin explains that a number of smaller competitive companies did indeed win a large chunk of spectrum.

For example, 99 bidders who were not AT&T or Verizon won 754 licenses representing 69 percent of the 1,090 licenses sold. For example, Frontier Wireless, won 168 licenses in the E block to establish a near nationwide footprint for its services.

In a press release, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin had this to say:

Even in a difficult economic climate, revenues raised in this auction exceeded congressional estimates of $10.182 billion by approximately 187 percent – nearly twice the amount Congress had anticipated would be raised to support public safety initiatives, the digital television transition and $7 billion in budget deficit reduction.


I suppose from the FCC's perspective this is great news and moreover it is a nice shot in the arm for the US government at a time when we could use the revenue.

The problem here is that this money and much more will now be extracted by the winning companies who the last time I checked were not non-profit organizations.

In other words, the government has just ensured the price of broadband will be substantially more than it could have been.

If you want to understand the power of free wireless spectrum, just think about life before WiFi. Think about how much it has improved and how much more productive the world economy is as a result of WiFi using unlicensed spectrum which was blessed by the FCC.

How many WiFi devices have been sold in the US these past years? Tens of millions?














Carriers Need Advertising

March 20, 2008

I have been saying for over a decade that carriers need to explore ways to deliver enhanced services.

To be fair, some companies are doing this. AT&T has done an amazing job partnering with Apple (the way I hear it, Verizon declined to work with Apple which is why AT&T had the option) and then they have further offered Pandora radio as a $10/month service.

I got to thinking about these services as I was reading an eComm 2008 wrap up from Jon Arnold where he discusses the future of service providers.

One of the points made by Jon is that advertising revenue pales in comparison to current subscriber revenues and as such carriers need to focus on innovating.

While I agree with this notion, I do believe carriers must consider advertising as a major revenue source. Moreover, advertising revenue models of the old days pale in comparison to what is possible with the web, interactive television and location based services.

I have written before about the potential for mobile providers to supply customers with intimately targeted ads based on location and I am still awaiting the fantastic services of the future.

Perhaps the biggest problem service providers face is cultural.











Dan Miller New TMCnet Columnist

March 19, 2008

As I mentioned a while back, TMC is experiencing record growth and I promised we would maintain our high levels of quality as we grow. TMCnet currently has just under 50 worldwide columnists and most of them write daily or even more often.

TMC continues to look for the absolute brightest thought leaders to keep you up to date and help you make informed purchasing decisions in the communications and technology space.

To that end, TMC's latest columnist is Dan Miller, an analyst at Opus Research who will write a column titled "Communications in Context."

Miller has over 25 years experience in marketing, business development and corporate strategy for telecom service providers, computer manufacturers and application software developers. He founded the highly respected analyst firm, Opus Research in 1985 and helped define the conversational access technologies marketplace by authoring scores of reports, advisories and newsletters addressing business opportunities that reside where automated speech leverages web services, mobility and enterprise software infrastructure.

More recently he oversaw the launch of research practices covering voice biometrics and local mobile search.

I am thrilled to have such a high quality writer as part of the TMCnet editorial mix and thanks again to all of our readers and sponsors who have made TMCnet so popular over these past years.

Dan's first article is titled Beyond UC: Contextual Communications and you are welcome to bookmark his columnist page so you don't miss any of the important things he has to say.











HTC Shift Vista UMPC does EV-DO

March 19, 2008



What is amazing to me is just how small full featured devices are getting. The HTC Shift ultra mobile PC or UMPC packs the Microsoft Vista OS, WiFi and now EVDO. Sure it has a weak processor, battery and WiFi but what do you expect for a full featured laptop that fits in your pocket?

[Gizmodo]

Update:

I came across a great review from Laptop Magazine of the HTC Shift X9000 which does a good job of explaining why it barely justifies its $1,499 price tag. Can you believe this little device has the ability to switch from 800x480 and 1024x600 pixel resolution modes in a seven-inch screen?

This is an example of just how powerful these pocket-sized plus devices are these days.









Spectrum Auction Concludes

March 19, 2008

3COM Deal Off the Table

March 19, 2008

Tandberg Integrates Unified Communications and Telepresence

March 18, 2008

As more and more customers deploy Microsoft's OCS, they are asking videoconferencing companies to help interconnect their products with their shiny new unified communications systems. But it isn't just video integration these companies want… These clients also want interconnection with telepresence.

Many large multinational companies in financial and manufacturing are asking for this integration according to Tandberg CTO Hakon Dahle.

The company started embracing OCS this past January and it is seeing traction now and is a shipping product according to Dahle.

He went on to tell me that the telepresence market is also doing well - both personal and room-based. To differentiate themselves in this space, the company is not just focusing on quality but interoperability via standard protocols and codecs. Tandberg is allowing telepresence connectivity to OCS clients and executive desktops in order to allow broader use of this high-quality videoconferencing technology.

Dahle predicts that in the next few years, HD will be everywhere and UC will be tightly integrated with video.







Where is the TMC Team?

March 17, 2008

Avaya's Huge Unified Communications Push

March 16, 2008

Avaya has certainly made unified communications history today with a suite of announcements that will certainly rattle the competitive landscape. UC will never be the same in my opinion.

The New Jersey-based company's biggest news had to do with affordable unified communications… For a paltry $99/user you can get full-featured UC for your workers. This is in my opinion beyond inexpensive for UC solutions from such a premium name in the business.

And we aren't talking about bare bones solutions here… You get a thick or thin client, integration with Microsoft and IBM and best of all you get access to about 700 or so Avaya communications features via your UC client. The thin client support means your new MacBook Air will be allowed to join the Avaya low-cost UC party.



IBM's Big Unified Communications News

March 16, 2008

Recently I spent a good number of hours at the sprawling Somers, NY campus of IBM where the company announced to the media their intention to spend a billion dollars in unified communications development over the next three years. IBM is a major player in the UC space but the company has been getting beaten up in the marketing department by Microsoft. Microsoft is late to the UC game in fact and some of their products are behind IBM. You wouldn't know any of this from the blitz of a campaign Microsoft is running however.

Simply stated, while spending on R&D is essential, the company will likely have to soon respond to the Microsoft PR and marketing onslaught.

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