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Rembrandt IP Management

February 17, 2008

Some analysts are concerned that patents held by "patent troll" Rembrandt IP Management will be used successfully against cable companies and others.

In cases originally spread across federal courts in Delaware, New York and Texas, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cox Communications and Cablevision Systems face claims that their cable-modem services infringe eight patents now held by Rembrandt, and that their video services violate a ninth one related to digital-TV transmission.

Separately, ABC, CBS, NBC Universal and Fox — as well as manufacturer Sharp Electronics — face suits alleging infringement of Rembrandt’s patent on digital TV transmission.

According to an attorney close to the litigation, the firm has sought to collect half of 1% of all revenue generated from services that allegedly infringe on the data and video patents.

“If they’re successful, this could affect everything from the cost of cable service to the price of TVs,” said the attorney close to the litigation, who spoke only on condition of anonymity.

How Will Cable do in a Slower Economy?

February 15, 2008

Regulators Reshape the Internet

February 15, 2008

It is pretty amazing to see how many separate issues are surfacing that could affect the future of the internet. The FCC and government have their plates full deciding what to do with telcos and their potentially anti-competitive practices.

The first issue at hand is net neutrality. Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the  “Internet Freedom Law” this week.

Rather than detailing specific regulations, the new Markey bill calls on the FCC to conduct a “thorough inquiry” to determine “broadband policies that will promote openness, competition, innovation, and affordable, ubiquitous broadband service for all.”   Part of the commission’s task is to conduct an “Internet freedom assessment” to determine whether or not service providers are adhering to “the Commission’s Broadband Policy Statement of August, 2005,” which prohibits actions that might interfere with users’ ability to access or use lawful content and services over the Internet and to attach any legal device that does not harm the network.

Next up is the case of BitTorrent and specifically, the fact that Comcast has been caught throttling traffic from this peer to peer file sharing network often used to send and receive videos. Comcast says they are within their rights to throttle bandwidth as needed to ensure things like voice get the proper quality of service while others are concerned that throttling bandwidth relating to applications violates the concept of net neutrality.

Finally, the issue of short codes has surfaced once again as Verizon has denied the use of these codes to Rebtel, a competitive service provider and others.

This month could be looked back upon as a pivotal one in the world of Internet freedom and the shaping of the world's net policies.









Increase Marketing Spend in a Recession

February 14, 2008

Telco 2.0 - the Microsoft way

February 14, 2008

The following are comments from Ovum SVP, Brett Azuma on Microsoft and what they are up to in service provider communications. I thought this was worth passing along.

Microsoft provided an update on its Telco 2.0 vision. The analyst telebriefing indicated that Microsoft's revenues for the Communications Sector exceeded $2bn in 2007.

Verizon's Network Upgrades

February 14, 2008



If you haven't been paying attention, you will have missed the fact that Verizon Wireless is investing like mad around the US to improve their mobile network. The quality of the wireless network was amazing to begin with and now this. VZW puts out a release every few days about a new region they are enhancing.

Perhaps all wireless companies are spending the same amount but if so they are not taking advantage of the free publicity that comes with putting our frequent press releases on their progress.

In my experience, companies who put out frequent releases do better than those who do not.

The more the editors in the world see your name surrounded by positive news the more likely they are to write nice things about you.

If you have any doubts, read to the end.

Today's release is about improving the network in Kansas, Missouri and Southern Illinois.











Yahoo's Choices

February 14, 2008



I have mentioned in the past that Yahoo! has no choice and that it needs to seriously consider the Microsoft offer. Since that time, News Corp. has offered an alternative to Yahoo!… The media conglomerate will give some assets to Yahoo! such as MySpace and American Idol.com and in return, News Corp. will receive 20% of Yahoo!

While this offer seems ridiculous to consider at first, there are some significant synergies which should not be overlooked.



ITEXPO East 2008 Video

February 14, 2008




If you missed ITEXPO this past month in Miami, you missed a great opportunity to meet with VARS, service providers and many companies looking to purchase IP communications products and services. I am truly humbled by the unsolicited comments that many of you gave us at the show.

We also got a tremendous amount of feedback regarding the move from the Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center to Miami. It was pretty interesting to hear the varying reasons why some people like one city over another.

Here is a video which encapsulates many of the comments you gave us about the show. Thanks to all of you who attended and we hope to see you at ITEXPO in Los Angeles, September 16-18, 2008.






Mobile World Congress Key Terms

February 10, 2008

As you may know, Mobile World Congress kicks off this week and to get the ball rolling the event has put out some of the key terms you will be hearing more about this week. I have posted them here with their definitions in case you need to brush up on your acronyms.

Also be sure to check out the Mobile World Congress News Page to stay up to date on the show.

3G

3G, or third-generation, is loosely defined as offering high data speeds, always-on data access and greater voice capacity, enabling operators to offer customers fast internet access, live, streaming video and other multimedia or "converged" applications over a wireless network. There are several 3G technology standards.





Google Buying Plaxo?

February 7, 2008

Another day, another Google purchase rumor. This time it is Plaxo, the company that stores online business contact details. This company recently launched something called Pulse which allows you to decide if someone is a business or personal contact.

I can tell you from personal experience that I absolutely despise the frequent e-mails I get from the company asking me to connect with people. It isn't that I don't want to connect, it is just that getting dozens of e-mails I don't ask for in a week can get annoying.

Especially since there are just so many social networking sites popping up each week.

Hey Plaxo...





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