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Rich Tehrani
| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space


Will AT&T, T-Mobile Merger Slow Wireless Innovation?

July 25, 2011

AT&T has done an incredible job of getting special interest group after group to endorse its merger with T-Mobile, saying it will provide better broadband access for minorities, rural subscribers and just about any group of people you can think of. The broader gay community too has endorsed the merger - apparently transgender-Americans have been hoping for the day when there was one less GSM provider to choose from.

Here is how the system works - AT&T has hundreds of thousands of workers and inevitably large numbers of them in myriad groups. This in turn coupled with large contributions to various organizations and associations is rewarded with the reciprocal endorsing of anything AT&T requests.

To help grease the wheels even further, AT&T has further upped its lobbying budget by 58% according to PC Magazine.

AT&T is doing the smart thing by getting rid of its sole GSM provider allowing it better negotiating leverage in its roaming agreements with foreign carriers and gaining the ability to raise rates with one less major competitor to depress market pricing. It will also gain more leverage when negotiating with hardware and software companies.

An anti-merger video by the Free Press Action Fund

If the US government blocks the deal it will be because the remaining major companies AT&T and Verizon will have so much share that they are effectively a duopoly at about 80% - allowing them to raise prices at will.

Again, if you are an AT&T or Verizon shareholder, you likely want this merger to happen and AT&T is serving its short-term  shareholders well by seeking this transaction.

But the challenge I see is that with one less major telecom carrier in the US it becomes that much more difficult for innovative start-ups to launch, get funding and hold their breath long enough for a carrier to buy from them.

TMC Dallas Video Interviews 2011

July 25, 2011

Recently I spent some time in Dallas doing video interviews with companies in the Dallas, Texas area and during the course of the discussions I was able to get a sense of where the markets have been and are going. The vast range of different opinions really comes together into a few themes.

They are simply that wages and turnover rates in India are skyrocketing meaning some jobs may be headed back to the US. This is offset by an interview with  King White of the Site Selection Group - an organization which helps companies decide which countries and states they should locate in. He tells us that states with higher taxes are less attractive and subsequently deter companies from opening there.

Quad: The Death of E-mail and Cisco's Social Enterprise Ambitions

June 20, 2011

Quad moves to the cloud, has native Cius tablet support and offers better interoperability

Last week I took a train into the city from TMC’s Connecticut HQ to spend time with the Cisco Quad collaboration team – using Cisco telepresence technology and it was a fascinating look into the company’s foray into a post-email, collaborative enterprise world. First things first, I wrote about Quad and spoke with Murali Sitaram VP/GM of Cisco's Enterprise Platforms unit last September and since then Quad has not been talked about much in the media and has limited buzz in the market. Moreover, Cisco is repositioning itself – lightening up on consumer products meaning much of the company’s messaging has been in other areas of the market including launching consumer telepresence product UMI – something which should never should have gotten the green light.

Leading SIP Client Bria Gets Upgrade to 3.2

April 6, 2011

The Other Side of the iPad 2 Hype

March 3, 2011

While virtually every article you read about the iPad 2 release is positive and I expect it to be a hit - I already instructed my team to get one for me, there are two sides to every coin. For example, Seth Weintraub has a great piece on CNN/Money - Fortune the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field where he discusses how information is being presented in a potentially misleading manner.

Perhaps the item which is most shocking is claiming the iPad 2 is the first tablet to ship in volume with a dual-core processor. The Dell Streak 7, Motorola Xoom for example both are shipping and have dual core processors. Moreover the Atrix is a dual-core phone which is shipping in volume.

The question of course is what does "in volume" mean?

Why PAETEC Acquired XETA Technologies

February 9, 2011

Updated at 6:15 pm EST 2/9/11 with comments from Arunas Chesonis chairman and CEO of PAETEC at bottom

Last week at ITEXPO the rumor on the street was PAETEC may be doing a deal in India soon since Chairman and CEO Arunas Chesonis was in the country. Well it seems if this is the case it comes on the heels of another purchase - XETA technologies was just picked up by the company today.

I know what you're thinking - the company is on a mission to roll-up all other companies who use all caps in their names. Of course you are only partially right as PAETEC sees strong synergy here as XETA is a large reseller of Avaya, HP, Juniper, LifeSize and Mitel gear with a strong focus on the healthcare, financial and retail markets.

For Xeta, the move makes sense as its long-term chart looks like the Manhattan skyline just after the Empire State Building was built - basically a massive valuation around the Y2K/dotcom time frame when most companies were installing new gear. Other than that it has been mostly in the $2-$3 range for the last five years or so.

ITEXPO East 2011 Tues, Feb 1, SIP Trunking, Cloud Computing & More

January 30, 2011

Be sure to get to ITEXPO on Tuesday, February 1st to take advantage of what has shaped up to be a great pre-conference day of networking and learning about communications and technology.

First up us Ingate's SIP Trunking Workshop at 1:00pm. Here is the schedule for the day:

  • 1:00pm – The Case for SIP Trunking
  • 1:30pm – Delivering SIP to the Enterprise
  • 2:30pm – The Value of a Service Provider Demarcation Point
  • 3:30pm – Ensuring Interoperability: The Key to Service Revenue Growth
  • 4:30pm – Addressing Security Issues
  • 5:30pm – Generating Revenue from HD Video
  • 6:30pm – Wine Reception

Then at 2:00pm is Telecom One-on-One, a JS&A Power Networking Event. Bring lots of business cards and the sooner you start planning, the more meetings you can schedule and the more networking you can do.

Austin, Texas Selected For ITEXPO West 2011

January 27, 2011

I have some very exciting news to share regarding ITEXPO. I alluded to it a few weeks back and now it’s here. ITEXPO West 2011 will be moving to the Austin Convention Center in Austin Texas, on September 13-15, 2011. ITEXPO was launched in San Diego, CA at the Hotel Del Coronado and moved to Long Beach and eventually Los Angeles.

Getting to Know ITEXPO Participants

January 24, 2011

AT TMC, we painstakingly attempt to ensure you know as much about the participating companies at our events as possible before the conference so you can get a sense of who is there, where there expertise lies and if they may have something of value to offer you as you look to make purchasing decisions in the world of technology and communications. As a result we survey ITEXPO speakers and exhibitors before the event and ask questions which can help you connect with thought leaders you believe might be of assistance at the event.

Not everyone answers but we do send the questions to hundreds of companies and they seem to trickle in each day. Here is the list of people and companies who responded to my questions and links to their answers. I truly hope you find it useful.

Oh and one note you should know...

-50F With Wind Chill. Escape to ITEXPO in Miami

January 24, 2011

You know I would never stoop to reminding you about the weather to persuade you to attend what I believe to the be the best tech and telecom conference in the world - OK, maybe I would.

So I was driving along this morning on the way to work and noticed I couldn't feel any of my fingers. I decided to check to make sure I was wearing gloves. I was. Then I realized I couldn't feel any of my toes and yes I had shoes on.

I then looked at the temperature reading and it said one degree.

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