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ITEXPO East 2011 Attendance up 52%

January 13, 2011

For those of you who attended the ITEXPO and related events last year in Miami, you remember it was a very strong show with great attendance. The conference usually draws from all over the world – especially Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Central and Eastern US and of course Canada.

The even better news about this upcoming event Feb 2-4, 2011 at the Miami Beach Convention center is the numbers are trending much better than last year. My marketing team just sent over the comparable stats and here they are:

  • Overall attendance up 52% over same time last year
  • Paid conference attendance up 54% over same time last year
  • Loews hotel block up 31% over last year

The event has certainly grown and there are currently 13 collocated events as follows.

Microsoft Tablet Expensive but does Flash

January 5, 2011

Microsoft, the company which invented the tablet – Tablet PC just under a decade ago has a long way to go before they understand how to become an important player in the tablet space of today. In short order, the market has become one which is price sensitive – iPads start in fact at under $500.

Yet when Asus rolled out its tablet strategy with three Android units and one based on Windows 7, the latter device was priced at more than twice the average of the Android gadgets. So you can buy an Asus Tablet for $399 or $499 or pick up a Windows unit for $999.

Incredible New Content at ITEXPO East 2011 Next Month

January 5, 2011

If you haven’t checked out the ITEXPO home page in a while please do so because the show evolves as rapidly as the markets do with relevant quality content being added constantly. There is virtually no part of the tech market which will help you and your company that is not covered from multiple angles.

For example VI-Peering focuses on the IP peering space, the Business Video Expo focuses on the increased use of video by companies and Super WiFi Summit focuses on how white spaces could absolutely revolutionize the way broadband access is delivered via the disruptive use of radio frequency white spaces which are open and free.

Another addition is Telecom One-on-One powered by DealCenter and taking place Tuesday, Feb 1st, 2011 from 2-5 PM.

What The Peep (Wireless) is Going On?

January 4, 2011

A company which claims to do the impossible. What can’t this thing do?

I love to hear aggressive new companies break onto the scene full on huge ambitions but the recent news that Peep Wireless will be able to take a smartphone or telematics-based bluetooth system and use software to recreate the PSTN has me baffled just a bit. OK, baffled a lot.

Skype, FCC, IBM and Tech News Before New Year's

December 30, 2010

While the week before Christmas and New Year’s is typically slow with regards to news, the huge blizzard which hit the northeast really started things off with a bang. A foot-and-a-half of snow hit the area around TMC headquarters in Norwalk, CT with drifts totaling a few feet in height. Airports were backed up and some streets took days to plow well.

Skype has been busy

Skype Video For iPhone a 2011 Killer App

December 30, 2010

I just did a brief test of Skype video calling on the iPhone - it works on the iPad as well. TMC's Tom Keating and I tried calling over WiFi and AT&T 3G. WiFi worked amazingly well and the first 3G call I tried just hung.

My second attempt to call Tom's iPhone 3GS with my iPhone 4 went through and the quality seemed slightly worse than WiFi but still quite good. During the demo I received two non-Skype 3G calls which placed the Skype call on hold.

The Apple iOS vs. Android Fight in 2011

December 28, 2010

As TMCnet's Tom Keating mentions on his blog, there are many factors to consider in the fight for mobile supremecy between Apple, Google Android and yes, even Microsoft. Tom's point about Microsoft injecting itself into the Android relationship with carriers to become the defacto search engine has even begun to happen already.

But what caught my eye regarding the controversy is will Apple become the defacto high-end alternative that is priced out of the reach of most of the market?

The answer may lie in production numbers alone.

You see, the Apple hardware is virtually unchanged from iPod to iPhone to iPad so economies of scale work in the company's favor.

However, Android devices are gaining massive share. If these gadgets can also leverage the same hardware with other mobile operating systems then they too can take advantage of the same efficiencies. Perhaps Samsung and HTC are best positioned in this regard as an HTC device, for example, can do double-duty as an Android and Windows Phone 7.

A while back I asked Nokia execs about the disadvantage they had in supporting a plethora of form factors while Apple gets away with one and they didn't have a good answer.

But if a phone manufacturer can leverage multiple operating systems to drive scale they can then compete more effectively with Apple.











3G and 4G Group Data Plans Needed

December 20, 2010

I am beginning to change my tune on the embedded cellular radio vs. the external MiFi device debate. Does it make sense to purchase a tablet with embedded 3G or 4G or is it better to go with an external 3G/4G device which becomes a personal hotspot?

To date I have decided that my laptop should have embedded Verizon 3G via EVDO while the iPad - embedded AT&T 3G.

But if you have a family and your kids need (OK need is a strong word - desire is probably more appropriate) connectivity, should you embed their devices with 3G modems as well?

Obviously the bill can get pretty big pretty fast and if you have kids who only occasionally need wireless access when WiFi isn't available it is crazy to sign a multi-year contract for $40 or more per month. Sure you could get a cheaper plan but if you opt for an iPhone instead an iPod Touch to take advantage of a wireless carrier's larger 3G wireless footprint you have to buy a voice plan as well which starts at $39.99/month - then of course you'll want to add a text message plan, etc.

This is why I read with interest the news that Best Buy is selling a bundle of an iPad with a free MiFi with a 2-year contract.

When you amortize the use of this free device across all your family's gadgets such as the Nintendo DS, iPod Touch and future products you know you'll buy, it seems to make sense to have one.

But one wonders if carriers aren't doing themselves a long-term disservice by not coming up with some sort of group or family plan for devices.











Callvine Simplifies Mobile Conferencing

December 19, 2010

Yesterday I was at a party where one of the guests was telling me about her job managing real estate for her family. I inquired about where her office is and she held up her cell phone and said my car is my office. This conversation reminded me about a recent conversation with Callvine Founder and COO Mark Dzwonczyk who tells me his company has found the secret ingredient to take conferencing to the mobile professional. After a couple of years of work, the company has an app which I tried on an iPhone (iTunes preview) allowing you to quickly set up groups which you can use to SMS and conference.

Ready, Aim, Send: Military Embraces Smartphones

December 18, 2010

It is not as if the US government has slowed spending to keep up with the general economy so it comes as a surprise to me that we haven't been issuing a couple of smartphones apiece to soldiers in the field. Thankfully, the military is getting into the swing of things by ensuring virtually everyone will have 24x7 access to mobile information, videos from unmanned vehicles and tactical information of various sorts.

My only concern? I hope these things are really locked down well so as to make leaks more difficult to pull off. The last thing we need is thousands of soldiers tweeting sensitive information on the battlefield.

Just to be sure, I hope the top brass in the armed services is monitoring the hashtag #topsecret.

Ed Silverstein breaks the story on TMCnet.





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