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Google in Wireless

November 16, 2007

More discussions regarding Google getting into the wireless game were sparked today by a Wall Street Journal article focusing on Google’s wireless ambitions.   In summary:  
  • Google will likely bid on the 700 MHz spectrum or lose good will in Washington
  • The company’s bid will be $4.6 billion or more.
  • Google has a test FCC license and has cell towers at its campus which it uses with Android-based phones.
  • The company has been in semi-serious discussions with Clearwire regarding building out a WiMAX network.
  • Google has invested in femtocell maker Ubiquisys
  • Everyone and their brother is on record explaining how difficult it is to build a wireless network.
  • Wall Street is enthusiastic about lending money to Google to bid at the auction
  • Google will think about bringing in partners after the auction is over and it sees what happens.
  • The company has brought on game theory experts to help it in the bidding process.
  There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the rumors of Google acquiring Sprint with many thinking the idea is farfetched. It would seem however that since Google is working on its own wireless network, they are very serious about getting into the wireless space.   As we discussed in my recent post on the matter, Google likes to build everything itself from scratch. This is just the way the company operates. However if you are going to go into the wireless business it will take years to put towers around the US and then the world.   Think about the layers of negotiation which need to take place… City by city… Neighborhood by neighborhood -- the company has to place base stations with antennas on tall buildings, water towers and hilltops as far as the eye can see.   Sure this can be done, but it will take such a long time… Let’s say five years to cover the U.S.

Vonage Loses Again

November 16, 2007

How does he do it?

November 14, 2007

U.S. House Passes E911 Bill

November 14, 2007

As many of you know, in 1997 TMC decided to launch Internet Telephony Magazine because we saw the power of IP communications changing the communications worldwide. Over the past years we have seen this in action as entire network backbones have been rebuilt from circuit-switched to packet-switched.   Yesterday’s news regarding the House passing an E911 bill which not only accommodates IP but leverages it, gives me great personal joy as it shows the power of IP communications will now transcend the consumer and business space and change the way the nation’s emergency networks function.   I further expect other countries to follow suit meaning increased safety for the world population.   I commend US politicians for seeing the value of Internet Protocol and leveraging it in a manner which will no doubt save many lives over the years.

Android Developer Contest

November 13, 2007

Question: What is the best way to get your mobile platform to be adopted by developers and subsequently end-users?
Answer
: Pay off the developers   And that is just what Google is doing with their Android SDK. A total of $10 million dollars will be awarded to the best applications in a contest Google recently announced..   Having lived through the application wars of Apple vs. PC and then Microsoft Windows vs. IBM OS/2 I can recall just how important it is the have the application developers behind your platform.   For example in the publishing industry a popular software package for desktop publishers was Quark Express and the company was a loyal Apple developer.

How Network Neutrality Solves the Cable Competition Problem

November 10, 2007

It is obvious to me the cable companies are getting the short end of the FCC stick. In fact I am not sure the FCC will be giving any sort of stick to the cable companies this Christmas. Even the lump of coal Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Comcast were expecting may not be in the stocking – don’t they know how bad coal is for the environment?  

The cable companies are in deep trouble because FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has decided to regulate cable and in so doing ensure there is more competition. They will for example make sure access to spare channels by other content providers is done at a reasonable cost.

  There is an arcane law on the books called the 70/70 rule which is being used as the basis for the FCC to get involved in regulating this market.   The rule says that if 70% of households in the US have cable access and 70% of those that do use cable, the agency can step in and regulate it.   This is great for consumers in my opinion but is also coming at a time which is incomprehensible to me.   If you want true cable competition, it seems to make more sense to ensure network neutrality is enforced.

Pandora Competes Handily With Satellite Radio

November 9, 2007

In the past I have written about not allowing the XM/Sirius satellite merger take place. I figured it would be bad for consumers. However a single website changed my mind a few months back. That website is actually a streaming radio station which allows you to play the customized music you like.

The Future is UnClearWire

November 9, 2007

TMCnet’s Russell Shaw reports in his Regulation blog that Clearwire and Sprint Nextel are not going to work together on a nationwide WiMAX network. Citing a story in the Wall Street Journal, Shaw says:  
A letter of intent to build such a network was signed in July, when Gary Forsee was still CEO of beleaguered Sprint Nextel. But that was before Forsee- who had championed the deal- lost significant support among his company's Board of Directors, resigned his position in early October.   Forsee's departure, as well as what the Journal sources termed the "complexities of the transaction," were apparently too much to convert the letter of intent into a signed, sealed commitment with a firm go-ahead.
  Obviously this is not good for Clearwire or WiMAX in general. It is also not good for Sprint whose strategy seems to shift more than the wind as of late.   One reason this deal fell through could be that Sprint has thrown in the towel and decided to sell.

Ballmer on Android

November 9, 2007

Pen Phone

November 8, 2007

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