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Rich Tehrani
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Skype, FCC and Carterphone

February 23, 2007

The Carterphone ruling is what is responsible for opening up AT&T’s original phone networks to competition. Prior to this ruling AT&T had a monopoly on the devices attached to what it considered its network. AT&T even charged an electricity fee as I recall to light the lights on phones that hard plastic buttons representing phone lines.   In the US some think wireless providers are acting like monopolies as well by restricting access to their mobile networks to devices sanctioned only by the wireless provider. Verizon is famous for crippling devices – bluetooth for example -- and thereby driving revenue from services which require subscribers to rely on Verizon’s network.   Skype for its part is not happy with this situation and is subsequently asking the FCC to apply Carterphone principles to wireless networks allowing any device to be used on these networks.

See Through X-Rays and the TSA

February 23, 2007

IBM Webinar

February 23, 2007

We have a very exciting webinar running on TMCnet this week titled IP Convergence - Tearing Down the Barriers Between Telecom and Information Technology   The number of registrations is approaching a record and we are pretty excited about hosting it on February 27, 2007 at 2:00 pm EST.   Here is an excerpt from a press release which ran today on TMCnet:   The convergence of voice, data and video networks is having a profound effect on telecommunications organizations, infrastructures, and platforms. Convergence is likewise merging traditional telecommunications networks and Information Technology infrastructures, historically built on separate technologies and methodologies.   Using common IT technologies, service providers can reduce dependence upon highly customized hardware to create new service offerings. This results in an operating environment, which can significantly reduce CapEX and OpEX, accelerate time-to-market, and provide flexibility to deploy applications in the environment best suited to the service, and requirements of the service provider.   The webinar will be led by three presenters with decades of experience in the field: Bruce Anthony, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Chief Technical Officer for Next Generation Networks and Convergence; Scott Wharton, Vice President of Marketing for BroadSoft (News - Alert); and Ernie Bergstrom, Vice President, Research and Founder of Crystal Cube Consulting.   TMC will be giving away a 30GB iPod ($250 value) to a random webinar attendee.

Jyve

February 20, 2007

A few hot buttons in tech these days are user generated content, Web 2.0 and of course Google. But what happens if you are to combine Google with live user generated content? Well, you might get Jyve, a search engine that gives live answers to questions on various topics.   I tested the system on Monday, February 19th and asked “What is Aspirin?” In response I received the following answer in under a minute:   Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid (acetosal) is a drug in the family of salicylates, often used as an analgesic (against minor pains and aches), antipyretic (against fever), and anti-inflammatory. It has also an antiplatelet (“blood-thinning”) effect and is used in long-term low-doses to prevent heart attacks and cancer.   I then hit the “live” search engine at 8:00 am the next day and asked “Which is better, the University of Connecticut or Yale?” This result wasn’t coming back as quickly so I lost patience after a few minutes and decided to open another window and I shot off the following question – which I marked consumer electronics.

Skype Pro: The Ultimate European VoIP Bundle

February 20, 2007

A few weeks back at ITEXPO there was a lot of buzz about Skype Pro and as it turns out the service goes live on Tuesday, February 19. I had a chance to speak with Skype’s Imogen Bailey and Stefan Oberg's the VP and General Manager of Skype Telecoms about the announcement and much more.   What is Skype Pro?   Skype Pro is basically a bundled package of services at a fixed price. The reason for this offering is to eliminate the one by one marketing of services customers would have to buy to receive similar functionality. In much the same way a cell phone provider gives voicemail, some SMS messages and a certain number of calling minutes, so too has Skype decided to make it easier for customers to buy a package of services.   Skype Pro’s subscription package costs €2 per month and includes:


  • Zero cents per minute calling to domestic (European) landlines in (country) previously €0.017* per minute
  • Free Skype Voicemail (normally €15 per year)
  • €30 discount on SkypeIn numbers
  • €5 Skype Credit included as part of the introductory offer
  • A €30 discount on a Philips VoIP 841 cordless phone.



Apple, iPhone and the AT&T Power Struggle

February 18, 2007

Apple’s ability to open the music industry up and now the mobile phone market is amazing. Steve Jobs has more control over the iPhone than any other recent domestic equipment provider has had over their devices. In fact few people at Cingular Wireless – now AT&T Wireless even saw the device before it was announced at MacWorld.   AT&T Wireless put up with Jobs and Apple but Verizon Wireless balked at some of the terms of the agreement such as where the phones would be sold. Apparently none of the wireless carriers are happy with comments made by Steve Jobs in the past – specifically, that telecom operators as "orifices" that other companies, including phone makers, must go through to reach consumers.   Obviously AT&T has high hopes for this device to put up with these comments and to lose so much control of the device.   But there is more at play here worth mentioning.

Blackberry 8800

February 17, 2007

Wikipedia Dead Links

February 17, 2007

FCC Still not Happy with Cable Companies

February 16, 2007

Mitel Presence Tour

February 15, 2007

Today I will be flying to California to speak tomorrow at a conference hosted by Mitel. The name of the tour – I kid you not is the Presence Tour 2007. I will be discussing Unified Communications among other topics.   Here is all the info you need to know.   It will take place tomorrow in Costa Mesa at the Westin South Coast Plaza. I will be a speaker and am apparently substituting for Sir Terry Matthews – which is a great honor.
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