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Rich Tehrani
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Fake Steve Jobs Suggests an AT&T Flash Mob

December 14, 2009

AT&T has told its users they use too much data - they are actively looking for ways of limiting their usage. One idea being thrown around is usage-based pricing. Forget for a minute that years back, carriers worldwide were trying to get users to adopt 3G networks and now that we are, their equipment is buckling.

Not surprisingly, many people are telling AT&T to suck it up and be happy that their customers find the products they sell on their network so indispensable that they use them constantly.

Google's Very Cool TTS Service

December 14, 2009

Search leader seemingly giving everything away for free now offers cloud-based text-to-speech as well

In what has to be one of the most interesting "simple" services, Google translate allows you to send the company a simple text string and have it converted to an MP3 file which is immediately downloaded and played. A developer could use this service to build a mobile app which reads e-mail or snippets of news or text messages or Twitter feeds or Facebook status or whatever you like. I took the liberty of trying this out and you can see what I did by clicking here.

TeliaSonera 4G Screams at 80 Mbps

December 14, 2009

TeliaSonera allows 20-80 Mbps download speeds on a 4G-based LTE network allowing a theoretical 4 simultaneous HDTV streams at maximum throughput!

If you live or visit the central parts of Stockholm or Oslo you can now get blazing fast wireless broadband access courtesy of TeliaSonera's new LTE network based on equipment from Ericsson and Huawei communicating with a Samsung GT-B3710 USB modem.

Forget about how much more productive customers will be with this speed for a moment and focus instead on the embarrassment factor to wired carriers worldwide.

Case in point, just last week, AT&T announced U-verse Max Turbo which offers a maximum broadband speed of 24 Mbps downstream.

SIP Trunking Providers

December 10, 2009

One of the areas of IP communications which is seeing tremendous growth is SIP trunking providers and suppliers and the reason is simple - the technology saves companies money and increases their telecom flexibility and ability to boost productivity. The move to SIP however is more challenging than just plugging a wire into a box. You need to be aware of security, quality and compatibility issues. But to buy legacy circuit switched equipment today is generally suicidal for a career so SIP trunking has to be on your immediate radar.

A Photo of a Typical SIP Trunking Session at ITEXPO

 

Why is Nokia Closing Flagship Stores?

December 10, 2009

Although the Internet was supposed to reduce the need for brick and mortar locations and in reality growth in ecommerce does come to some degree at the expense of catalogues, contact centers and of course retail stores - It seems having marquee stores in the electronics market is crucial to maintaining a strong brand.

That is why I look at the closing of Nokia's flagship stores with a strange fascination like - perhaps the same way most of us would look at a magazine cover touting all the ways President Obama can learn from Tiger Woods.

The company is moving its store in Sao Paolo and closing its New York and Chicago locations. The company says it continues to expand in North America but explained that US buying habits are different as consumers buy their phones from carriers.

The History of the Internet and Net Neutrality

December 10, 2009

If you are looking for a single article which will illuminate the evolution of the Internet, the challenges regulators had when policing phone companies, the competition between cable and phone companies and net neutrality, look no further than this article from Fred Goldstein of ionary Consulting titled The Net that Got Away. In about 5-10 minutes you can read this well-written and historical article which describes how the Internet got to where it is today and how the Bell operating companies used regulatory sleight of hand to gain benefits from regulators in turn for promises that weren't kept.

This article discusses a book The $300 Billion Broadband Scandal by Bruce Kushnick, one of the biggest critics of the phone companies. Kushnick often complains about how the large phone companies have taken advantage of consumers and have broken promises repeatedly.

Debate Over In-Flight Calling Continues

December 10, 2009

The debate about using phones on flights has continued for a few years and currently through a mix of regulations and technology firewalls, passengers are prohibited from talking while in-flight. The USA Today reports that a coalition of manufacturers, carriers and consumer groups is trying to rally airline passengers this week to stop Congress from banning air-to-ground voice service.

The article cites comments from Rep. Peter DeFazio, who says he wants to protect travelers from the intrusion of phone calls in one of the last phone-free zones. To this I say, "How awesome is that?" Our politicians have decided where and when we can use a phone.

Nuance Dragon Dictation for iPhone Launched

December 8, 2009

The free program for Apple's iPhone is dead easy to use and the accuracy is OK as you can see from this blog entry below. Interestingly I said it worked quite well below but as you can see it need lots of editing. The point is you can use this tool to give others a rapid glimpse into the ideas you want to share, understanding what you convey will not be perfect. Corrections were added by me to help clarify meaning.

Video Streaming: The Future of Communications

December 7, 2009

I have mentioned in the past that the future of the web will be live video streams on social networking sites. I expect 2-4 video streams at a minimum from people who can't seem to share enough information about themselves. To get an idea of what this will be like I tested a new app called Knocking Live Video on the iPhone with Tom Keating. The idea of this application is to share your camera view with the other iPhone user.

Dear FCC: Please Ask Verizon and Others More Questions

December 5, 2009

Recently the FCC reached out to Verizon Wireless to inquire about why it is raising early termination fees on advanced phones and in addition, the commission wants to know how consumers will be notified that they are purchasing an advanced device and how they will be informed of the prorated charges associated with early termination. This inquiry is in response to Verizon doubling its early termination fees on smartphones.

It will be interesting to see how the wireless company responds to the increasing ETF question but to me it is still obvious these costs are going up because advanced devices the company sells will now have superior functionality, allowing for services such as free GPS which Verizon can charge for on other devices. In other words these new fees cover the loss of potential revenue from enhanced services.

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