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Rich Tehrani
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Level3 Cuts

February 5, 2008

It seems that Level3 will have some more cuts as a result of a steep loss this quarter. Over 1,000 people or 16% of the company's workforce will be getting the axe according to TheStreet.com. I was a bit surprised by this news actually. I didn't think things were this bad for the company.

Part of the reason I was caught off guard is that I have been hearing that in many regions, the company has pursued an acquisition strategy which put them in the position of being one of a few fiber carriers and this resulted in increased pricing power.

My contacts in the carrier hotel space however predicted the company would continue to have problems.



ITEXPO East 2008 Videos

February 1, 2008

Charlotte Wolter Joins TMCnet

January 31, 2008

I am proud to announce that Charlotte Wolter is joining our roster of TMCnet contributors and she  will be writing about the service provider space. I have been a huge fan of Charlotte -- her insight and writing and am thrilled to have her join us.

Earlier this week, we announced Gary Kim is joining the TMCnet team and just about a week earlier it was Jon Arnold joining us. The TMC team keeps growing and it is thanks to all of our loyal readers like you as well as our sponsors and advertisers.

Garmin and Dell in Cells

January 31, 2008

Motorola Explores Spinning off Handset Business

January 31, 2008

Word is according to CNBC is that Motorola is looking for strategic alternatives for its mobile phone business. I wonder if this move makes sense for the company as this product line is where everyone seems to want to be. Apple, Google, Microsoft and others.

It seems the company just needs to figure out how do get their mobile house in order. It will be interesting to see who wants this business and if it can return to its former glory with other leadership.

At a time when consumer electronics products are literally on fire it is still surprising to me that Motorola has not been able to grow this business and make it the leader in mobile phones that it really should be.

Let's see what the next chapter holds.

See also Greg Galitzine's blog, Is Motorola Finished with Handsets?







ITEXPO East 2008 Recap

January 30, 2008

You definitely want to check out Tom Keating's writeup of ITEXPO East 2008 where he talks about the great products he saw. Tom got to see more than I did at the show but one point I agree on is MobileMax is an awesome product. Thankfully I had a chance to stop by the company's booth at the show and install the software on my Windows Mobile device.

The company's software resides on a smartphone and intercepts international calls which are subsequently rerouted onto a VoIP network. I am trying this software via Packet8's MobileTalk product.

I can tell you from personal experience that this software works amazingly well and allows you to easily call international numbers from a cellphone without the need for calling card PIN codes, etc.

The best thing about this product is that it requires zero change in user behavior.

There is also a JAVA-based solution coming which will work on Motorola and other handsets which are not technically "smart." Users with such handsets will need to select an icon on the home page to dial an international number.







TMC Welcomes Gary Kim

January 29, 2008

700 MHz Auction Update

January 26, 2008

So far in the 700 MHz auction there have been bids totaling more that 2.4 billion and in about a month we should know who won. There were just under two thousand bids for this precious spectrum which could become a viable competitor to DSL and cable.

Five spectrum “blocks” are on the table: A (698-704 MHz and 728-234 MHz), B (704-710 MHz and 734-740 MHz), E (722-728 MHz), C (746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz), and D (758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz). Collectively, the entire 700 MHz spectrum covers the analog TV channel range 52-69.

It seems to me that Google absolutely needs to ensure some of this spectrum falls into friendly hands -- even if it has to purchase frequencies and lease them out to other companies.

Of course it isn't just Google who is in this position... Microsoft, Yahoo!, Amazon and others are similarly challenged.

Google's need to acquire some of this spectrum is in exact contrast to the incumbent providers who have to do their best to ensure the spectrum does not fall into the hands of companies which would reduce their negotiating power in generating more revenue from their existing broadband connections.

We should know who the winners and losers are in about a month and this TMCnet









Sprint Sues VoIP Firms

January 25, 2008

Many in the IP communications industry blame Vonage for going public, knowing full well that the way they run their business, they can never be profitable. They basically spent a fortune on customer acquisition and not enough time finding ways to generate enough revenue to be a healthy company.

Now, some in the IP communications industry blame the New Jersey-based VoIP provider for not effectively fighting the various patent suits it was involved in.

Many of the patents the telcos used against the company were based on technologies that existed before the patents were filed for according to many in the industry.

Now, the next chapter in this book unfolds as the telcos seem to be coming after others after winning their patent suits against Vonage.

The first telco to do so is Sprint, who now chasing Nuvox Communications, BroadVOX Holdings, Big River Telephone and Paetec Communications.

According to Sprint, the company has invested a great deal in its VoIP products and it cannot stand by while others take advantage of their innovations.

Of course this is all BS as hundreds of companies were years ahead of Sprint in rolling out VoIP.

It just so happens that many of these small but innovative companies didn't make it through the bubble bursting and aren't around to help Vonage win these suits. And it seems Vonage wasn't able to find any past employees of these companies to help their case.

Although I am not an attorney, it seems like it is time for the industry as a whole to come together and take on telcos who somehow believe they invented VoIP and a host of related technologies.

Anyone ever heard of VocalTec?

In a torrent of irony, these telcos are the same companies who tried to destroy VoIP for years before they started embracing it.



















ITEXPO: Article in Sun-Sentinel

January 25, 2008

The Sun Sentinel had a great article on Internet Telephony Conference & Expo today and their spin was local. They mentioned companies in the Florida area who participate in the show.

The article was written by Arlene Satchell and she did a wonderful job with it. Here is an excerpt:

South Florida businesses are tapping into the technology that allows people to make phone calls using high-speed Internet instead of regular phone lines.

Known as voice-over-Internet protocol, or VoIP, the technology is seen by some businesses as a cost-saving measure and a way to offer employees telecommuting flexibility.

Thirteen South Florida companies debuted their latest products and innovations this week at the Internet Telephony East Conference and Expo at the Miami Beach Convention Center, which is expected to attract 7,000 participants and ends today.







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