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Rich Tehrani
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Unified Communications

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.

Rumor Mill: Google Acquiring Sprint

November 10, 2007

Recent news that Sprint is not going to work with Clearwire to build out a WiMAX network only added to the rumors I have been hearing about Google acquiring Sprint Nextel. On the surface it seems like this would be a bad move for Google but in reality the world’s leading search engine has become so much more than just a website to go to when you want to find a trinket of information… The company now needs a wireless network to allow it to grow in the mobile search and related spaces such as watching YouTube videos on the subway.   Let’s look at Google from a philosophical level. The company has built almost everything from scratch in its past and present. Computers, operating system, web server software and more.

PR and Marketing Done Right

November 10, 2007

Oftentimes companies in the communications space ask me how they are doing compared to their competition in the areas of marketing and PR. They generally do this by asking me to take surveys about their company’s standing in the market. In addition, I often get calls from organizations on Wall Street asking about specific companies. These analysts typically want to know if target companies are worth investing in, etc.   While I am not a financial analyst myself I feel I am in a pretty good position to discuss a communications and or technology company’s standing in a market.

Cisco VARs Feeling Microsoft Pressure

November 10, 2007

I saw an article in CRN titled Cisco VoIP VARs Feeling Microsoft Pressure and I found it interesting that Cisco VARs are having to deal with customer doubt regarding selling unified communications solutions.   Imagine this news is coming less than a month after I wrote Microsoft’s Big Unified Communications Launch which discussed Microsoft’s official entry into the space with a Bill Gates cameo appearance in San Francisco.   What amazes me most is that Cisco has shipping products and is such a dominant player and the threat of Microsoft entering the Unified Communications space is slowing down the networking giant’s telecom sales.   One wonders if Cisco VARs are having such problems are the VARs of other PBX players feeling the pain as well? Many of the other players in the market are doing their best to embrace the Microsoft Unified Communications strategy so perhaps this challenge is unique to Cisco and Avaya.   Why do I throw Avaya into the mix? Only because they haven’t tied themselves closely to the Microsoft UC strategy as of yet.   At the last ITEXPO this past September in Los Angles, CA, approximately one in five VARs I spoke with said Microsoft’s entry into the space would change the competitive landscape. Most were not concerned.

ITEXPO Discount – Act Fast

November 7, 2007

Sometimes I think I have the best job on earth as I get to meet with the real thought leaders in the communications market and see the latest products and services in the industry. Then I get the distinct pleasure of writing about my meetings.   Now there are times – don’t get me wrong – when I am on deadline and I can’t seem to type a cohesive sentence. But other than these few times each year, I have a great job made even better when I get to meet my many readers in person at trade shows and events around the world.   Each year, thousands of service providers, enterprise decision makers, resellers and developers come to TMC’s Internet Telephony Conference & Expo to learn about what is happening in the world of IP communications and to make purchasing decisions   In an effort to get to meet more of my readers in person, I would like to offer something I have never offered before… A major discount to attend ITEXPO, the world’s best-attended IP communications event drawing attendees from over 100 countries.   As you can see from these photos and videos, this is the world best attended IP communications event. We are very excited to have you come to this show.

Nortel is Back

November 6, 2007

Recently it is has been a mixed ride for communications companies as those relying on tier-one service providers for the majority of their growth have been battered. Case in point is Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent who each have lost over $15 billion in market capitalization in the last three months alone.   On the other hand companies like Cbeyond and ShoreTel have been fantastically well as they focus on the small business market exclusively.   Enter Nortel, who has a mix of products in its portfolio serving enterprise customers as well as service providers in the wireless and wired spaces. The company’s shares have been decelerating since early in 2004.   So Nortel’s prospects for beating earnings this quarter were less than clear. Would they have a great quarter like so many technology names with worldwide exposure or would they have a terrible quarter like both Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent?   Well the results are in and the news is very good as the Toronto-based company said it had net income of $27 million or 5 cents per share in the third quarter.

IP Communications News November 6, 2007

November 6, 2007

What are some of the interesting things happening in the wide world of communications today? For one, Excel telecommunications and Allworx have partnered to provide SMBs with SIP trunking and a PBX solution respectively (check out the SIP Trunking channel for more news on this segment).   The SMB space seems to be brimming with choice as Cisco too has decided to focus more energy on this are with a series of new additions and upgrades to the company’s product line.   In a more patriotic move, ReCellular has launched a program allowing people to donate their old cell phones so the proceeds can be used to provide calling cards for US troops around the world.   Moving to the software world, Aspect Software has moved up on the Software 500 list at 76 overall – a nice 6 place increase from the prior year.   Moving right along into the service provider market, Pactolus Communications has recently announced a quarter million session benchmark translating into upwards of 8-10 million subscribers served on an ongoing basis.   From their lets discuss the consumer market where Packet8 has done something new by updating the firmware on its Tango Video Terminal Adapter in order to allow it to also be a digital picture frame when not engaged in an IP communications call.   Priced at $99 after mail-in rebate this is one of the greatest IP communications values around. Having recently spent around $700 myself for two digital picture frames n the past few months I can tell you this price is good.   As always, the TMC team is diligently writing more articles for your perusal so check back often for more exciting developments.

Quantcast

November 6, 2007

You are likely familiar with Alexa, a division of Amazon that measures website traffic. I have written about the site a number of times before. A while back I discovered a site called Quantcast which is becoming a well respected third-party way to measure web traffic in an accurate manner. Currently Quantcast allows you to see how many unique visitors any site has.

Communications News -- What a day!

November 5, 2007

The day’s communications news doesn’t stop it seems and it is worth sharing some nuggets since my last report on the Open Handset Alliance where we discussed Google’s mobile strategy. But as we focus on mobility it is worth pointing out most companies don’t focus enough on mobile security.   In fact according to a CompTIA survey of 1,070 organizations, 60 percent said handheld device security issues relating to data access and transfer have increased over the past 12 months. Also, 55 percent of the respondents said that security issues with WiFi networks are on the rise.   The study also surprisingly uncovered that of the almost 80 percent of the organizations allowing their mobile employees to access data remotely, only 32 percent of them have implemented security awareness training for employees, with only 10 percent having plans to offer such training in the next year.   But when you consider mobility, consider IMS and whether in fact we need IP multimedia subsystem technology at all to provide QOS to mobile networks and devices. Fred Goldstein from Ionary Consulting thinks not.   In even more mobile news, it seems our phones are all going to be video-enabled soon.

Open Handset Alliance and More

November 5, 2007

Another week and other massive avalanche of news in the communications space. The first item worth sharing is regarding Google shaking up the foundation of the mobile phone market. The funny thing is, editors and bloggers have been looking to find the Google phone for months and instead of it being somewhere, it will be everywhere.   If you missed it the company has launched an Open Handset Alliance which aims to open things up in the cellular communications space. Specifically the alliance is a total of over 30 companies working together to produce low-cost phones whose development is supported by advertising.
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