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Rich Tehrani
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Consumer Electronics

T-Mobile VoIP

August 9, 2007

Andy Abramson really likes T-Mobile’s VoIP plan based on a potential new device the company could be rolling out soon in the US. What is the device? Something which allows FMC for the home and small business market. It allows up to two SIM cards to be embedded in it meaning it can likely support two mobile phones.

Pandora Radio

August 8, 2007

Without a doubt one of the most interesting websites I have used these past months is Pandora, a site which allows you to rapidly assemble a customized radio station for yourself. Initially, you are presented with a form where you can enter an artist name and the site plays music from the artist and others who are similar. It tries to guess the kind of songs you like. I have only been using Pandora for a few days but it is pretty amazing as it is able to blend genres to pick songs I really like from artists I have specified.   I really like the site’s user interface.

Voice Peering Growth

August 8, 2007

Last year I proclaimed it the year of VoIP peering. 2007 is becoming the year of rapid VoIP peering growth. Case in point is the Voice Peering Fabric or VPF who recently stated they have reached a 200 billion minute run-rate up from a 100 billion minute run-rate in October 2006.   I recently had a chance to see the VPF’s New York location at the Telx carrier hotel at 60 Hudson Street. Believe it or not, this was my first trip to 60 Hudson.

Cisco Beat Earnings

August 7, 2007

Cisco beat earnings by $120 million dollars and they say enterprise earnings are strong.   Scientific Atlanta also produced outstanding results for the company.   Emerging markets are growing at 40%   Here are some statements I just wrote up for a TMCnet article that should be coming out soon:   John Chambers is on record as saying has never seen such a surge in technology since 1990. This bodes very well for the industry. I would imagine Cisco should have a blow out quarter with most of the revenue growth coming from outside the US.   In addition, I would expect the company’s IP communications growth to be strong. This bodes well for the industry but as Cisco gets stronger it may become tougher for the smaller players to compete.   Update:   Here is a great article from TMCnet’s Tim Gray on Cisco beating the earnings.

Apple vs. SP Technologies

August 7, 2007

WiFi not Secure – Clarified

August 6, 2007

I just received this e-mail from Francois Doremieux, Senior Program Manager, Product Group: Customer Experience in response  to my WiFi is Insecure post from last week. I thought it worth sharing.   ----   Hello Rich It was a pleasure meeting you in Redmond last month.   I just read your "WiFi is not secure" article and I wanted to add a brief comment.   As we discussed in Redmond, the notion of security and quality at the network layer is only one way to look at it. I agree that it’s possible to snoop and intercept the packets over WiFi. Therefore, one cannot trust the network layer alone for security (as we had discussed in Redmond that it is not possible to trust the network layer alone for management of quality). That is why the approach we have taken with Microsoft UC is to provide security at the application layer, with strong authentication, non repudiation, signaling and media encryption (in the same way we did it for quality with the adaptive media stack).   Transport is a very important element of the stack, but it can’t solve all issues (and its solutions tend to not have the flexibility software brings to the application layer).

700 MHz Setback

August 3, 2007

Just when youthought it was safe to jump into the 700 MHz frequency with your own device along comes the Federal Communications Commission's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) who says initial testing of the prototype devices showed they failed to swiftly track and avoid interference with other, licensed broadcasts.   The report stated the technology coalition behind the tests had hoped the use of so called white spaces - an unlicensed spectrum between TV channels -- would pass muster with regulators as early as October. The coalition effort is one of several efforts on the part of large companies offering Internet services and devices to expand options for consumer access to the Web.   The group includes companies such as Microsoft Philips, Google, Intel Corp., and Dell Inc. Members of the coalition want the ability to offer devices and services that don't have to be used on licensed networks operated by traditional telecom or cable companies.   But the OET’s test results put a damper on the group’s hopes, noting that "the sample prototype white space devices submitted to the commission for initial evaluation do not consistently sense or detect TV broadcast or wireless microphone signals."   Hopefully there will be a way to solve this dilemma. After all, the above companies represent some of the smartest technology minds in the world.

WiFi is not Secure

August 3, 2007

George Ou has an excellent write-up about how insecure Web 2.0 applications are over WiFi. The problem? Unencrypted traffic which can be recorded, analyzed and used against you. He starts with a basic example of a Gmail account getting hijacked. Even worse, using this technique you can potentially have your home address and your e-mail known to others who are lurking nearby and recording your traffic.

iPhone, U-Phone, Everybody G-Phone

August 2, 2007

This year has been the absolutely most tumultuous ever in terms of wireless communications and these changes can and will have a dramatic effect on your business. You can’t go anywhere these days without seeing Apple’s iPhone in action. Kids have them, Mac loyalists have them and most importantly, your coworkers have them.   The question is… How do you support them and what policies and procedures do you need in place to ensure you are ready for the onslaught of questions and interoperability issues this phone will bring to the market.   What about security? How will we deal with the potential for these devices to get lost without the ability to remotely wipe confidential corporate data?   If a single-industry changing phone wasn’t enough for telecom and IT managers to deal with, we now have Google’s G-Phone (or it could be called Google Phone… Time will tell) looming in the telecom wings just waiting to disrupt the service provider business model and potentially the way you plan and negotiate your wireless telecom contracts.   Then there is the 700 MHz spectrum with it’s potential to enable an army of devices on new wireless spectrum.

Nokia N800 Question

August 2, 2007

I received the following question today regarding the Nokia N800:   I'm seriously thinking of purchasing the Nokia N800. Since it is strictly a wireless device is there really enough free public wireless to make the purchase worthwhile. I'd be using it in Central Florida (Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa)and Louisiana (New Orleans Metro)areas mostly. Also, along Interstate 10, between Jacksonville, FL and New Orleans.
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