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Rich Tehrani
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Technology

Mobile Advertising Grows to $16.5 Billion

November 18, 2007

I was perusing some articles on mobile advertising recently and was absolutely stunned at how big some analysts think this market will be. According to this TMCnet article, Strategy Analytics predicts the global market for mobile advertising is slated to reach $14 billion by 2011.   ABI Research predicts the global market for mobile marketing and advertising will reach $3 billion by the end of 2007, and expand to $19 billion in 2011.   If we take the mid-way point between the estimates, the mobile ad market will be $16.5 billion in 2011. To put this in real-world terms it means that one-billion users will generate about $16 apiece.   It would seem to achieve this grand vision things will have to drastically change in the way we interact with mobile devices. One would imagine the path we are on at the moment cannot possibly get us to these numbers.   So as sit here looking at the gargantuan estimates above, I just wonder what would have to change to make these numbers achievable.

China and the Busy Weekend

November 17, 2007

It has been a busy weekend so far and it is about half-way over and I didn’t even get a chance to blog. Believe it or not there hasn’t been too much blog-worthy material and writing for the sake of writing makes no sense.   So after spending about thirty minutes focusing on something exciting to share I thought it better to refer you to a couple of MSNBC articles which could be of interest.   Believe me I would like to provide some insight on these stories but I am devoid of strong opinions worth sharing at the moment. Oh Well… Tomorrow is another day.   Both of these focus on telecom in China. I hope you find them interesting.   ·        Apple, China Mobile discuss China iPhone ·        China tests Mt. Everest cell station

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

Outsourced Personal Assistant

November 15, 2007

Some years back at TMC, we installed a large flat screen TV in one of our conference rooms and the person handling the job was ANDY OnCall. At the time I was not aware that ANDY OnCall was actually a franchise and the person installing our TV was not Andy at all. I was surprised but in the end it didn’t really matter as the TV did get installed.   I started thinking of this experience as I have started to see a wave of new offshore personal assistant services pop up in India and elsewhere. Obviously when you outsource a personal assistant it becomes a lot less personal but does it matter if the job still gets done?   The services being provided by firms such as Brickwork and GetFriday are things you could hire an administrative assistant in the US to do… Book plane tickets, research the competition, or really anything else.   Not all customers are happy with these services based in India and subsequently at least one company has launched a similar serviced staffed by US college students.   This trend is just another example of how technology boosts productivity and allows tasks to be outsourced on a quite granular level.   Check out this New York Times article for more. Photo courtesy of the NY Times.

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.

Facebook to Compete with Digg

November 11, 2007

Some of the more popular sites to go to when voting on technology news are digg and Techmeme. Digg actually allows you to vote on more than just tech news and both are great places to go when you are looking for news put together by a large community of users.   Having said that, these sites may be vulnerable to competition as there are rumors that the social networking sites want a piece of the user-driven news aggregation market as well.   To set the record straight, there are lots of companies out there looking to compete with a site like digg but few have made much of a dent so far.   Perhaps the biggest threat would be Facebook, as the social networking behemoth has just so many active users. In case you are wondering just how popular Facebook is, you should know the company’s site has about 24 million unique US visitors each month and is ranked in the top 22 out of all websites – according to Quantcast.

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.
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