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The US Entrenched in the Communications Third World

February 25, 2008



A year ago I wrote an entry titled Living in the Third World of Communications and boy, I must have been really pissed off on that day because I usually don't tell politicians they need to be sure they aren't the reason their kids have two telephone companies to choose from instead of hundreds or thousands.

I kept thinking about living in the third world of communications when I saw this post regarding a new Panasonic phone with specs that make it a must have. The model is the Panasonic P905i Viera phone and its 3.5 inch screen has 854x480 resolution. This is a breathtaking amount of pixels to put on a phone and allows for some incredible web surfing and TV watching.

In fact, Google tells me this device has 5.4 times the pixels of my brand new Windows Mobile device. Only country music makes me sadder than seeing this in writing.

As you might imagine there is a dedicated TV tuner processor and mobile banking built-in to this incredibly sophisticated little device.







FCC Forum Starts This Week

February 24, 2008

This week there will be an FCC Forum in Boston where the FCC will be discussing many issues regarding the future of the internet. While the lobbying system of the US is wonderful in that it allows many to have their voices heard in Washington, the problem has been in many industries, the people with the most money scream loudest.

As is so common in many situations, the squeaky wheels get the grease. And let's just say that large phone and cable companies are professional squeakers. Again, not that there is anything wrong with this from a shareholder perspective and even in terms of the law… Lobbying is within a companies' rights.

So it will be with great interest that I watch what happens at the FCC Forum next week.



More SMB Communications Growth

February 22, 2008

Jamie Siminoff on The Big Idea

February 21, 2008

HotSpot @Home Talk Forever Home Phone

February 21, 2008

Skype Serves up 100 Billion Minutes

February 20, 2008

What can you say about a company that has generated 100 billion minutes of telephone traffic. Skype has been around for 4.5 years by the way making this milestone an even greater accomplishment.

While these minutes were all free, it shows just how Skype has changed the way the world communicates.

I remember when long-distance calls in the US were about 25 cents. If you assume that Skype could charge this amount per minute of calling this would amount to a cool $25 billion in cash.

Of course this exercise is kind of ridiculous -- especially when you consider all these minutes of use are due to the service being free.

Then again, I use Skype video because it is convenient. I would pay may $10/month if I had to for such a service.

Many will look at Skype as the ultimate company that has brought the telecom companies to their knees but it is amazing to me that they are also the company with the most video users.

Why did it take a start-up from Europe to give us the most popular videoconferencing software in the world?

It goes to show you how disruptive companies are generally the greatest innovators as well.













More Cable Details Emerge

February 20, 2008

400,000 iPhones Found in China

February 20, 2008

One wonders what need China Mobile has for revenue sharing agreements with Apple when it seems iPhones are streaming into China faster than Walmart purchase orders. In fact, analysts estimate 400k iPhones entered China last year alone! This is a staggering amount and Apple must have known this problem was happening as they had a temporary restriction on how many iPhones could be purchased at one time in their stores.

So the question becomes, how does Apple go about negotiating with the largest cell provider in China now? It will be interesting to watch how this plays out.

The Problem with Triple-Play Providers

February 20, 2008



I am a cable quadruple customer. VoIP, broadband, TV and the reason I switched from standalone VoIP to cable had to do with dropped packets on my network. After spending days trying to figure out what the problem was with the network I finally threw in the towel and went with cable because I figured they would now own any problems I had. Surprisingly my problems went away as soon as I switched, leading me to believe that either my old cable modem was at fault or the ATA from my VoIP service provider which intercepted every packet on the network.

Yesterday I wrote about Jon Arnold's analysis of Vonage and I said it would be sad if Vonage was to go away.



Verizon Wireless and AT&T Lowering Rates

February 19, 2008

I have been intentionally staying away from the news regarding Verizon Wireless introducing new unlimited voice plans but now that AT&T has come out and matched Verizon's plans, it seems I have to at least mention it and point to GigaOM as they are covering the news and can give you the details.

I am a bit surprised by this move as Verizon Wireless has been doing well charging more than its rivals. These new rates mean that Verizon Wireless is either seeing a slowing economy and have decided this is a way to increase share or they have decided it is time to do away with their weaker competitors T-Mobile and Sprint.

One wonders if this is an opening salvo in a price war where only the customers will be the winners. It certainly seems like this is a likely scenario and the wireless market could soon end up (from a profit perspective) being a lot like the domestic airline market.



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