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Rich Tehrani
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IP Communications

Is AT&T Using Investment Angle to Silence Blumenthal?

March 25, 2011

One thing you have to give AT&T a tremendous amount of credit for is knowing how to work the regulatory system - legal, financial and lobbying to get deals done. They are absolute masters and off the record I hear amazing things about just how connected they are. And they will likely need to pull on all the strings they have access to in order to make the T-Mobile acquisition happen.

So realizing the US is a Republic made up of 50 states, the company has now begun working on public opinion in individual states. Consider that today alone the company has put out two releases regarding their building of what they call the most advanced mobile broadband experience in Cincinnati and Connecticut.

In boilerplate press releases where a few items are changed, the company explains that in the greater Cincinnati area it is going to install 10 new cell sites, add spectrum carriers to 35 cell sites, enhance backhaul to 100 cell sites to enable 4G and deploy a distributed antenna system at the Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium to enhance network coverage during events.



Heading Back from CTIA Wireless 2011

March 24, 2011

I had a good week down in Orlando, FL at the CTIA show with many meetings. Some highlights included much debate about the AT&T acquisition on T-Mobile and the $3B break up fee associated with it. Then there were new tablets and a focus on backhaul, small cells, LBC and some talk of NFC as well as solutions to tie voice and data connections more tightly together over wireless networks. You'll be hearing more from me on what I learned very soon.

Gogobeans Enables Mobile Cloud Sharing

March 21, 2011

Behold, the semi-social mobile cloud is born



One novel way to store and share information is Gogobeans, a company which allows you to store information in a digital locker in the cloud and share it easily by sharing or “bouncing” a bean to someone else. Last December I covered the company – saying they want to manage your digital life.

What AT&T Purchase of T-Mobile Means

March 20, 2011

Today, AT&T announced it was purchasing T-Mobile from Deutsche Telecom generating a combined entity with 130 million wireless subscribers producing $72.2B per year in revenue. While AT&T had an exclusive contract with Apple to sell iPads and iPhones it could rely on organic growth but now that Cupertino decided polygamy was more lucrative and Google’s Android is unleashing a torrent of cool devices on all networks, the challenge for carriers is to figure out how to compete effectively in a world where differentiating based on device is more difficult.

iPhone and AT&T’s Network Quality Perception

AT&T took a beating while being the exclusive home of the iPhone and was ridiculed on programs from The Daily Show to Saturday Night Live for selling device which couldn’t effectively make phone calls.

iPad 2 Hands On Review

March 14, 2011

Without a doubt, the iPad 2 continues in the Apple tradition of attracting legions of followers who wait in line for hours in order to be one of the first to acquire the latest and greatest in consumer electronics. With long lines all weekend in many stores, buyers were faced with numerous choices if they did make it to the front of the line. Which carrier – AT&T or Verizon? What color – white or black?

Does Sprint Merging with T-Mobile Make Sense?

March 10, 2011



As Tammy Wolf reports in the TMC Newsroom, Sprint and T-Mobile may merge, allowing the weakest national wireless carriers to merge resources and become more credible against the threat from AT&T and Verizon. If there is one thing the wireless industry has learned these past years is network quality is the largest differentiator from a marketing perspective and as these wireless companies all will support LTE and most likely many of the same devices, carrier's likely can't count on an exclusive killer device as much as they did in the past.

In other words, if Verizon and AT&T had both used the exact same network technology, we may have seen Apple support both networks earlier on. Moreover, if there is a merger, all three providers will likely be about the same size in terms of customers meaning better negotiating power with device manufacturers - not to mention equipment providers.

Carl Ford, co-founder of the 4GWE conference thinks the fact that there are relatively new CEOs at Sprint, T-Mobile and Clearwire bodes well for a deal which is currently at the rumor stage. I tend to agree.

It seems to me that the need for these companies to get together is predicated on the fact that there is a perception issue in the US that Verizon has the best network and the others just aren't as good.







Smartwatch as Information Hub

March 8, 2011

I am a huge watch freak - meaning I love all sorts of them from the most stylish to the most nerdy. The last watch I truly loved was the Tissot High-T which was amazing because it used the Microsoft Spot network to sync all of my calendar reminders and best of all it vibrated - allowing me to get inconspicuous alerts regarding all of my meetings before they took place. Unfortunately the watch stopped working and when I sent it to Tissot for repairs they never sent it back saying it was discontinued. Instead I received a credit.

As great as it is to use a smartphone or tablet, there are times in meetings where looking at your watch is even more socially acceptable than looking at a gadget.

Skype Pre-IPO Report Card

March 7, 2011

It was back in 2007 when my fellow bloggers and journalists told me that Skype was a dog, had no future, couldn’t make money and wasn’t going anywhere. I begged to differ – the way I saw it the company simply didn’t execute on its potential. I quickly jotted down 11 ideas the company should pursue and in my post I even offered myself to Meg Whitman as a consultant to help implement my ideas.

Fast forward a few years and Meg is gone, and the company was sold and is now implementing the ideas – slowly but surely but many have been implanted in the last week which is why this analysis makes sense to present today.

Should Social Media Get Credit For These Demonstrations?

February 20, 2011

Demonstrations are breaking out all over the world and are being aided by Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Many are saying Silicon Valley deserves little to no credit but this is lost on Egyptians who think enough of social networks to start naming their kids Facebook.
The US has been a positive force in pushing for human rights worldwide and while the country is far from perfect, no other shines a beacon of freedom and democracy.


It is exciting to see how new technology is enabling people to rise up in an effort to move towards more representative forms of government.

It seems the gap between the middle east and west may be closing thanks to the use of western tools which are helping a new generation of oppressed people become liberated from their unelected governments.

See how the talk of protests is now spreading to China.







How Cloud Computing Could Destroy VARs

February 17, 2011

A typical VAR is used to frequently selling large ticket items which may not all have the largest margins but in volume can throw off a good amount of cash and profit. As a result, many resellers have developed a business model with commensurate expenses and as the market shifts to cloud-based services with OPEX budgets being used instead of CAPEX, customers are reducing their immediate spend and spreading their dollars over months if not years.

And the typical VAR is not ready for the shift. This is what was discussed in a recent conversation at TMC headquarters in Norwalk, CT with George Fandos, Vice President of Global Data Center for Westcon Group.

In a conversation, I learned this $3.5B distributor has tremendous insight into how VARs need to prepare themselves for the future. Moreover, I had a chance to learn how the company has become a large distributor of Cisco products via their Comstor division and they not only distribute but use and are fans of Cisco UCS solutions as they are faster to configure and reduce the need for cabling in a data center.

The company is focusing on the flattening of the network, virtualization and cloud-based solutions.





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