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Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Merger/Acquisition

Why I'm Neutral on the Comcast, Time Warner Cable Deal

February 14, 2014


There has been lots of controversy over the merging of two of the largest cable companies Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Concerns range from fear of a monopoly to worse customer service to higher fees and data caps. Jim Edwards at Business Insider for example says you will get screwed if the merger goes through.

Consumers Union thinks if the merger happens, prices will increase and service will suffer.

GENBAND Buys Fring to Make Carriers Sexy

September 12, 2013

Carriers are scrambling right now as they see OTT services such as Skype and WhatsApp eating into their revenues. In a conversation with David Walsh (pictured), GENBAND’s new CEO, we discussed how OTT players have taken 30% of voice traffic in seven years and how service provider voice growth is now around 3% per year.



In response to this onslaught of new competition, carriers have come together to develop standards which will allow their telecom equipment to run on off-the-shelf servers so they can more effectively compete with their app-based competitors. This initiative: network functions virtualization or NFV will help turn hardware-based telcos into software telcos allowing them to be more flexible in rolling out new offerings while saving money in the process.

Microsoft Buys Nokia Device and Services Business

September 3, 2013

“What’s good for windows phones will be good for the Windows ecosystem,” said Steve Ballmer to CNBC regarding the company’s acquisition of Nokia’s services and device business. He went on to explain that this deal will help Lenovo and Dell. Of course he said this precisely because this strategy is going to cause problems with Microsoft’s relationship with other hardware manufacturers the company relies on. The goal of course is to the thread the needle – similar to Google, by producing hardware and licensing Android to others.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash.

Google, YouTube, Apple and Beats: Music Options Galore

March 6, 2013

There is good and bad news for Pandora today. The streaming radio leader has for the first time found itself in a position to compete for radio advertisers on an equal footing thanks to its inclusion in an influential ratings network run by Strata Marketing. The potential in the streaming radio market has brought new competition.

It's worth noting the news recently broke that Apple has held talks with Beats Electronics LLC about collaboration and/or investment in a music service called Daisy – apparently these talks go back a decade but Steve Jobs wasn’t ready to act when they began. Although Apple hasn’t been announced as an investor in the deal, Daisy has just secured $50M from a group including Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik, Fort Worth billionaire Lee M. Bass, and Australian financier James Packer.

MWC 2013 Day One Trends

February 26, 2013

After a day of meetings there are some strong takeaways from the first day of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Interestingly devices played a large and yet small factor in my analysis. First off The Sony Xperia Z tablet was shown off here but crowds were lackluster. In examining the device I was amazed at how thin and light it was - it seemed like a larger iPad Mini in terms of weight and the feeling in the hands.

Thank You Amazon, Retailers May Now Merge at Will

February 18, 2013


When reports surfaced regarding Office Depot merging with OfficeMax, the first thing which may have occurred to many, is regulators wouldn’t let this approximately $2 billion happen because the resulting store would be too large and create antitrust concerns. Much of these worries in retail however have decreased as of late because of the strength of Wal-Mart, Costco and of course Amazon. Let’s also remember that Staples is a major player in the space. It’s worth pointing out that Amazon in particular can be used by just about all retailers to justify industry consolidation.


Thoughts on Alcatel-Lucent

February 8, 2013

One of the greatest challenges incumbent companies face is the ambivalence and corporate politics incumbency breeds and it only gets worse in what we call the age of acceleration where competitors arise faster and technologies shift more quickly than ever. Nortel, NSN and Alcatel-Lucent are all companies who enjoyed decades of leadership in the carrier market and in the process decided to provide generous benefits for their workers which would eventually help make them uncompetitive.

There is more to it - in the late nineties, Lucent acquired companies so quickly that its workers didn't know exactly who did what. Nortel too made a great deal of acquisitions.

Dell+Microsoft=Apple?

February 5, 2013

Dell is in a mind-bogglingly large long-rumored deal to go private worth $24 billion and of note is business partner Microsoft has decided to invest in the company which has struggled for many years. The company still has strength in the data center market but the PC space is facing a major challenge from the smartphones, the iPad and other tablets.

Dell tried to go upmarket with its Adamo line realizing Apple was a threat due in-part to its superior computer designs but the strategy fizzled. In the past, Dell also tried to come out with a device in the PDA space only to see the market erode as it launched because smartphones became more desirrable.

Chinese Government Funds Global Telecom Roll Outs Through ZTE

December 20, 2012

With global uncertainty the norm, many carriers have struggled to get financing for new infrastructure projects and in fact they have been a bit hesitant to spend on areas other than wireless where ROI is much more predictable. Subsequently, the financial challenges facing Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Networks, ZTE and others aren’t expected to dissipate any time soon. What may be a surprise to some though is how ZTE, a Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer with relatively low costs could have lost $414 in Q3 of this year while seeing sales drop by 13% and gross margins cut in half.

In response to this decline, China Development Bank (CDB) an entity controlled by the Chinese government has given the company a $20B line of credit at very low rates allowing it to streamline operations, continue its expansion and perhaps most importantly finance its customers’ purchases.

Voxeet Shows the Future of Conferencing - Stereo and 3-D

December 12, 2012

About eight years ago I held up DiamondWare as a shining example of what communications should be – HD, stereo and 3-D. Nortel later purchased DiamondWare and integrated it into its Project Chainsaw initiative which allowed avatar-based communications. Then these assets were sold to Avaya as part of the Nortel bankruptcy. I am fairly disappointed that this technology never went mainstream.

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