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February 7, 2008

Is AT&T a Runaway Winner?

February 6, 2008

Is AT&T going to win the IP services wars? I get the feeling they are really doing a fine job in this regard and will only do better over time. Jon Arnold agrees and in a  recent article he talks about how well AT&T is doing but also explains how in the new world of Internet Protocol communications, there will be mistakes and successes along the way.

He discusses, events that took place at ITEXPO and explores standalone versus bundled services while mentioning Verizon, Covad, XO, 8x8, Cbeyond and many others. There is good insight here and this article is worth a read.

Here is an excerpt:

Moving further along the spectrum, however, these two pieces begin to diverge, and the incumbent carrier must share the pie with competitors and over-the-top operators.






Level3 Cuts

February 5, 2008

It seems that Level3 will have some more cuts as a result of a steep loss this quarter. Over 1,000 people or 16% of the company's workforce will be getting the axe according to TheStreet.com. I was a bit surprised by this news actually. I didn't think things were this bad for the company.

Part of the reason I was caught off guard is that I have been hearing that in many regions, the company has pursued an acquisition strategy which put them in the position of being one of a few fiber carriers and this resulted in increased pricing power.

My contacts in the carrier hotel space however predicted the company would continue to have problems.



Charlotte Wolter Joins TMCnet

January 31, 2008

I am proud to announce that Charlotte Wolter is joining our roster of TMCnet contributors and she  will be writing about the service provider space. I have been a huge fan of Charlotte -- her insight and writing and am thrilled to have her join us.

Earlier this week, we announced Gary Kim is joining the TMCnet team and just about a week earlier it was Jon Arnold joining us. The TMC team keeps growing and it is thanks to all of our loyal readers like you as well as our sponsors and advertisers.

TMC Welcomes Gary Kim

January 29, 2008

700 MHz Auction Update

January 26, 2008

So far in the 700 MHz auction there have been bids totaling more that 2.4 billion and in about a month we should know who won. There were just under two thousand bids for this precious spectrum which could become a viable competitor to DSL and cable.

Five spectrum “blocks” are on the table: A (698-704 MHz and 728-234 MHz), B (704-710 MHz and 734-740 MHz), E (722-728 MHz), C (746-757 MHz and 776-787 MHz), and D (758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz). Collectively, the entire 700 MHz spectrum covers the analog TV channel range 52-69.

It seems to me that Google absolutely needs to ensure some of this spectrum falls into friendly hands -- even if it has to purchase frequencies and lease them out to other companies.

Of course it isn't just Google who is in this position... Microsoft, Yahoo!, Amazon and others are similarly challenged.

Google's need to acquire some of this spectrum is in exact contrast to the incumbent providers who have to do their best to ensure the spectrum does not fall into the hands of companies which would reduce their negotiating power in generating more revenue from their existing broadband connections.

We should know who the winners and losers are in about a month and this TMCnet









ITEXPO East 2008 Schedule

January 21, 2008

Here are some of the happenings this week at ITEXPO. My team is already down in Miami, making sure the new Mustang convertible is prepped and ready for the raffle Friday. I wish you luck in winning the car and either way you will end up with something of value -- a 3-day IP communications education available nowhere else.

See you soon!

---

Wednesday, January 23, 2008:
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9:00 am - Breakout sessions*
9:00 am - TMC University Training: Using SIP to Build Enhanced Services* 9:00 am - TMC University Training: Microsoft OCS* 9:00 am - trixbox Open Communication Training Courses* 10:00 am - Reseller Solutions Day Workshop 10:00 am - Ingate's SIP Trunking Workshop
4:15 pm - KEYNOTES by Broadvox, 8x8, Inc. (Packet8), and Fonality 6:00 pm - EXHIBIT HALL OPEN 6:00 pm - Welcome Networking Reception in Exhibit Hall
  Sponsored by Aculab.

Thursday, January 24, 2008:
-----------------------------
8:00 am - Breakout sessions*
8:00 am - trixbox Open Communication Training Courses*
8:15 am - Voice Peering Fabric Workshop
8:30 am - Ingate SIP Trunking Seminars
9:45 am - KEYNOTES by Nortel, AudioCodes, and Mitel 11:30 am - EXHIBIT HALL OPEN (Hall closes at 5:00 pm) 4:00 pm - Networking reception in exhibit hall sponsored by Ontario Canada
4:45 pm - Bose SoundDock(R) and Apple iPod Giveaway -- see below (You must be present to win)

Friday, January 25, 2008:
-------------------------------
9:00 am - Breakout sessions*
9:00 am - trixbox Open Communication Training Courses* 11:00 am - EXHIBIT HALL OPEN (Hall closes at 2:30 pm) 2:30 pm - 2008 Mustang Convertible Giveaway -- see below (You must be present to win)

*Fees required to attend conference sessions & training courses.

I encourage you to visit the expo site now to review detailed descriptions of everything happening at the conference and to quickly and easily register.

I hope to see you down here in warm, sunny Miami for three great days of improving your business.




































Have a Safe Trip to ITEXPO

January 21, 2008

I hope everyone has a safe trip down to Internet Telephony Conference & Expo. The registration numbers are trending nicely above estimates and we expect a stellar event. As always, we have done our absolute best to assemble the most knowledgeable speakers and diverse exhibitors and this show will provide the best IP communications education ever.

As a side benefit I figured I should remind you that flights to Miami are still very cheap and the weather in the US is getting colder. Here is a map of the current temps...

ITEXPO Giveaways

January 18, 2008

Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go

January 16, 2008

A disproportionate amount of fraud seems to have taken place in the telecom and technology fields over the last decade. Adelphia, Worldcom, Enron (remember they also had a bandwidth trading division) and many others have been caught and convicted over the years.

Today, one of the people involved in on the of the many stock options backdating scandals, Gregory Reyes the former CEO of Brocade Communications was sentenced to jail for 18 months and ordered to pay a large fine because of his involvement in falsifying documents.

While I hate to see a single scapegoat,  it is always a good sign when the courts show they are serious about protecting shareholders from fraudulent activity such as options backdating.

The problem in this case is that it seems virtually every tech company was deeply involved in the same activity and until recently much of these problems did not come to light.

The excuse was "Everyone else is doing it," so it must be OK.

I would be tempted to be more lenient of such arguments if the same exact excuse wasn't being used by financial firms to explain why they got involved in subprime loans which didn't make sense and complex financial instruments they obviously didn't fully understand.

The only difference is that in the financial crisis we are currently in, much of the blame rests with ratings agencies and mortgage insurers who felt the pooling of massive quantities of low quality loans would somehow equate to a high quality rating.

While I got off track a bit here... I suppose I should end by saying I am glad to see courts upholding laws and protecting shareholders. I love the technology and telecom markets which TMC serves and I am glad to see courts uphold shareholder rights and setting an example which shows unethical/illegal behavior (even if commonplace) will not be tolerated.

The integrity of the tech and telecom spaces rests in the hands of powerful company chiefs who cannot think they are above the law.















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