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The Real Story on Grasshopper Phone Service

June 30, 2011

Earlier this month I wrote about a service from Grasshoper called Spreadable which was shut down by the company. Unlike most companies which shut down a division or brand, Grasshopper decided to write a four-part series on why they did it. Anyone else would have tried to kill the news. I called the company either marketing geniuses or marketing morons - mentioning that they did get me to write about the story and give them some extra publicity.

Since then I have had time to speak with the company - specifically the company's Ambassador of Buzz Stephanie Bullis who gave me many answers to the questions I had and more.

Spreadable was shut down without being sold because the company decided it could devote its resources more effectively to Grasshopper than Spreadable - the social sharing/referral/marketing company.



Sprint Tries Desperately to Block AT&T, T-Mobile USA Merger

June 28, 2011



At a time when wireless broadband is becoming so important to US consumers and businesses, how can it make sense to have less choice in the market? Moreover, as carriers shift from all-you-can-eat pricing to a tiered system, isn't it obvious that wireless charges for consumers are going to skyrocket?

These are some of the arguments opponents to the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA are making but AT&T spends so much on lobbying and is so well-connected, they seem to be close to getting their deal done.

The situation for Sprint is so dire, the company's CEO Dan Hesse is doing virtually anything he can to prove the deal is bad for consumers. This includes an 18-state push and tripling of the time he spends in front of Congress and regulatory bodies.

Generally any action has positives and negatives associated with it and Hesse has to prove that on balance, AT&T will either provide inferior service or higher prices as a result of this merger.

Certainly the momentum is on the side of AT&T and not Sprint but the government does need to sign off on this deal and if he can find enough sympathetic listeners he may be able to kill this deal or at least make AT&T have to give up some very painful items to get it done.

More from Bloomberg BusinessWeek.











Verbalizer: Bringing the Power of Google and Voice to Hackers

June 28, 2011

Avaya's Support Strategy Emulates Successful Cancer Diagnostic Systems

June 23, 2011

It is an unusual occurrence for me to receive a call from any company to discuss their support. Generally the media gets all warm and fuzzy about tangible things like new product launches – scoops and items you can put in the category of breaking news. Ironically though if you ask most companies what differentiates them from the pack, service and support is typically the most common answer. Yet, I can’t remember other companies asking me to meet their new head of global services.

Now You Need to be a Lawyer to Understand Tech?

June 23, 2011


It seemed to start off slowly but now the trend is gaining momentum - lawsuits over patents in tech are everywhere and its tough to make decisions which are best for your company when you aren't sure if the products and services you are purchasing are infringing on the patents of others.

I must say that when the number of stories of tech patents gets to the dizzying level we are seeing today, it isn't good for anyone. Well except lawyers of course. Sure it is great to protect peoples' inventions but at the same time there are some very silly patents out there which are being used to "extort" money out of companies who have successfully put together a suite of products and services consumers want.

Solving the problem is beyond the scope of this entry but to get an idea of what set me off take a look at some recent stories in the patent space:






Quad: The Death of E-mail and Cisco's Social Enterprise Ambitions

June 20, 2011

Quad moves to the cloud, has native Cius tablet support and offers better interoperability

Last week I took a train into the city from TMC’s Connecticut HQ to spend time with the Cisco Quad collaboration team – using Cisco telepresence technology and it was a fascinating look into the company’s foray into a post-email, collaborative enterprise world. First things first, I wrote about Quad and spoke with Murali Sitaram VP/GM of Cisco's Enterprise Platforms unit last September and since then Quad has not been talked about much in the media and has limited buzz in the market. Moreover, Cisco is repositioning itself – lightening up on consumer products meaning much of the company’s messaging has been in other areas of the market including launching consumer telepresence product UMI – something which should never should have gotten the green light.

Telecommuting Tax: Now The States Are Killing Jobs

June 16, 2011


In August of last year I explained why there are so few jobs – in part the problem revolves around demonizing the successful by our politicians and in-part because of excessive taxation. Part of the support for my post was an opinion piece from Michael Fleischer of Bogen Communications – a company in the telecom space I have followed for over a decade-and-a-half. Some of you may think Fleischer is complaining too much and he needs to give back more of the money he earns to be fair – but you should know that in New Jersey he has to pay $74,000 so a worker can take home $44,000.  He doesn’t mention this but I will – if he then is lucky enough to make profit he could pay 50-60+% of that money back out to the government through federal and state tax as well as various fees – real estate taxes, regulatory compliance, etc.
Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com

This week Fleischer was on Fox Business and isn’t any happier with the state of the US economy and has nothing for venom to spew at politicians who make it more difficult for his company to succeed.




Ericsson Telcordia Acquisition Analysis

June 14, 2011

Top 20 VoIP Innovators

June 13, 2011

CradlePoint Wireless N 4G CTR35 Impresses

June 6, 2011


CTO and founder of CradlePoint Gary Oliverio just sent me the company's CTR35 - wireless N portable router allowing you to plug in a USB dongle and light up a room with WiFi - where up to 16 devices can share a wireless broadband connection. And the great news is this gadget can now share a 4G connection.

I tested it with a Verizon 3G EVDO card and was able to achieve average download speeds of 1.9 Mbps downloads and 500 kbps uploads which is respectable considering I did the tests from TMC's HQ where 3G coverage isn't generally super-strong.

The router supports devices from AT&T, Bell Canada, Clearwire,
icket, Rogers, Rover, Sprint, T-Mobile, Telus, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless (Alltel), & Virgin Mobile and claims its range is about 350 feet - for WiFi. I did test the range inside of TMC's headquarters and got to about 100 feet of dense metal and electronics and found the signal started to drop dramatically. This is in line with all other WiFi APs I have seen - more or less so I would say the range of this device is comparable to any other generic AP out there and all this with a small size - about the same as two iPhones stacked. So basically - 350 feet of open air range is well within within reason based on my tests.

The device allows you to have dual SSIDs - in case you want to share a second one with guests and it has bulletproof installation - you plug it in and it works.







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