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Rich Tehrani
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CBX 2008 Video Interviews

October 14, 2008

Some months back I was invited to be the video reporter at the Telx CBX event which took place in Brooklyn, NY. You have likely already read my CBX blog posts but I neglected to post the video interviews themselves. They have been on YouTube for a number of months but now you have an easy reference with links to all of them:

Overview The Best of Packet Exchange Jason Velody/Chuck Storman PointOne Vic Bozzo Telx Tesh Durvasula Telx Eric Shepcaro Stealth Communications Shrihari Pandit WBS Connect Scott Charter Calient Networks Jim Diestels 4Connections Bill Kosnik

Which Web 2.0 Companies Are in Trouble?

October 11, 2008

I came across this interesting article from Rafe Needleman about web 2.0 startups which will not make it through the economic downturn. Here are my thoughts on some of the companies on his list:

Twitter: I agree the company needs to generate revenue and showing some ads wouldn't hurt the business model that much. As I mentioned recently -- I have started to use this service regularly -- but I am not promising I will have time to continue.

Zillow: This site seems to be used by virtually everyone who owns a house -- is shopping for one or is curious to see how much their friends and coworkers are worth.

Avatars: The Cursor in Communications 2.0

October 10, 2008

One of the people with a long history in the communications space is Neal Shact (pictured) -- CEO of Communitech Services. In the past, Shacht has been a distributor in the headset market and has been early in many new markets such as VoIP, call centers and others.

Shact points out it is impossible for customers to know what they want in UC. He mentions the old story that Henry Ford once said people when asked what they wanted in transportation said, a faster horse.

His point: you need a communications roadmap. Don't rely exclusively on your UC vendor to dictate what you want and need.

You want to check out this podcast as it is rife with references outside communications -- and the tie-ins are fascinating.

UMPCs Selling Strong

October 8, 2008

Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. is doing very well thank you. Why? The company behind the Eee PC is seeing strong sales. Chief Executive Jerry Shen said the company is expecting revenue will grow 26 percent to $834.3 million in September with the prospects for October and November even brighter.

According to the AP, On Tuesday, Asustek unveiled a new Eee PC model, the S101, aimed at Christmas shoppers in Europe and the United States that costs $699.

Kontron Acquires Intel Communications Server Assets

October 7, 2008

Verizon Loses VoIP Patent Case: Justice Served?

October 7, 2008

One of the last companies to jump on the VoIP bandwagon is Verizon. Yet -- our legal system allows larger companies with deep pockets who focus more on patents than providing users with new technology to easily sue new competitors into oblivion.

This is the case with Vonage -- the company paying over a hundred million dollars for patent infringement to Verizon. Cable companies are another matter as they have large legal teams and deep enough pockets to defend themselves from patent suits which may or may not be frivolous.

Recently, a jury decided Cox Communications did not infringe Verizon patents. This is great news for Cox and regardless of who is right or wrong in a complex legal case like this, having a jury trial where six patents are in question and winning all six is surprising.

WiMAX World 2008 Update

October 6, 2008

WiMAX has gone through an overhype stage and now is like so many other technologies - VoIP included, at a stage where the markets are trying to figure out where the opportunities lie. Indeed, trying to determine what is real and what is hype is difficult to do and to cut through the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) I spent time at WiMAX World in Chicago to learn more from the movers and shakers in the space.

I came armed with questions about deployments and the threat of LTE - the evolutionary technology theoretically enabling 2-3G operators to ignore WiMAX. In the last six months there have been numerous articles and technical white papers written about whether WiMAX is necessary.

To cut to the chase, I spoke with VP Chair, Marketing Working Group of the WiMAX Forum, Dr. Mo Shakouri who explained that the transition to LTE is more than a simple software upgrade as carriers need to go from CDMA to OFDM - which obviously requires hardware. They believe there is a strong marketing campaign being waged by mobile operators and some hardware providers who want to sow FUD in the WiMAX market.

In order to combat the threat from LTE the WiMAX Forum is feverishly working with companies to develop lower cost CPE devices as carrier profitability is tied to device cost.

Navigating the Financial Crisis

October 4, 2008

I have been getting more and more questions on where the communications market stands in light of macroeconomic conditions. It is a constant in my frequent conversations. In most cases, when I get this question, people tell me their business is good but they wonder if the housing market problems will trickle down into the telecom space.

The answer is simply, I do believe there is risk to all sectors of the global economy. For the first time in my memory, US and other political leaders have come on TV and mentioned the term global crisis on a frequent basis.

Mobile Banking to Skyrocket

October 2, 2008

Communications and the Economy

September 29, 2008

Please note this post was written approximately one week ago -- before the news of the bailout bill failing began to spread fear in the financial markets. Stay tuned to learn how the financial markets will affect communications and technology.

Many people asked me recently at ITEXPO West 2008 Los Angeles, what I see happening in the communications market from an economic perspective. Let's just say that on the way to the show, I was watching TV as the stock market plunged and there was talk of another Great Depression. When I got to the show I must say I was unclear how the financial markets would affect the communications space.

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