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The ISPS Strike Back

February 18, 2008

In the quest for behavioral targeting, companies who control ad networks have been working as hard as possible to allow advertisers to reach web surfers based on their online behavior and not just what page they happen to be on.

The company best positioned to take advantage of behavioral targeting without a doubt was once Yahoo. The wealth of services the company offers is surely staggering and they are able to ascertain what stocks you are considering, what content is in your e-mails, what sports teams you track and much more.

Google has one-upped Yahoo! with their purchase of DoubleClick and in an article titled Google Achieves Behavioral Targeting Nirvana, written about ten months ago, I spelled out why Google is now in a better place than Yahoo! to take advantage of the most accurate behavioral targeting. As a reminder, between Google and DoubleClick the surfing habits of virtually all web surfers will be known to Google.

But it is really the ISPs who have a better handle on where people go online than even Google.





RIM Sues Motorola over Patents

February 18, 2008

The sheer nastiness of what is about to happen could become something of legend. The first few grenades have been lobbed back and forth between Canada and Illinois. First Motorola jacked up licensing fees for its patents for things like using WiFi on a handheld device and now RIM is suing and saying these moves are unreasonable and moreover Motorola has infringed on one of RIM's patents which covers a device which has a keyboard optimized for use with the thumbs.

RIM's complaint alludes to Motorola's setbacks and argues that Motorola boosted its royalty demands in response to the "declining fortunes of its handset business" along with the fact that RIM has become a "more substantial competitor in the wireless market." As of December, RIM had 12 million BlackBerry subscribers world-wide, up from seven million in December 2006.


Aastra Acquires Ericsson's Enterprise Business

February 18, 2008

Ericsson has divested itself of its Enterprise communications business and this move reminds me a great deal of Lucent spinning off its enterprise division in 2000 or so. For Ericsson the logic behind the move is sound as it wants to focus on the service provider space and the company has never been able to penetrate the US enterprise market effectively anyway.

Truth be told, the company seemed to never have the will to become a player in the US. They never had a consistent branding message or seemed to really want to sell PBXs on our shores.

This is sad because the company is a part owner of Sony Ericsson and the synergies between these devices and corporate PBXs is immense. Somehow the company could not capitalize on this powerful differentiator.



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.









Mobile Browsing Gets Better

February 15, 2008

Stacy Higginbotham over at GigaOm has some thoughts on mobile browsing and concludes that the mobile web browsing experience is still not great but it is getting better. She discusses a number of new and even existing companies who are targeting this market and hopefully making it easier to browse while on the go.

As Higginbotham points out, it is essential for wireless carriers to give us better browsing as AT&T has shown you can make amazing money if you can provide a better browsing experience.

As a user of the mobile web, I must say that things are getting better but I still wish for larger screens and better keyboards. An iPhone with a screen double the size allowing for a larger keyboard and more browsing room would be fantastic.

If the device could be slightly thiker and have a clamshell design allowing it to double the screen real estate, I would be thrilled. For mobile browsing, I think Nokia's N800 or N810 is still the gold standard but of course you need to connect the device wirelessly to your phone if you want to access the web over a cellular connection.





Unprotected SIP

February 14, 2008

Increase Marketing Spend in a Recession

February 14, 2008

Corporate Phone Bills: $133 Billion in 2008

February 14, 2008



A staggering $133 billion dollars will be spent on communications services by businesses in 2008 according to Insight Research. 39% of this spending will be on cell phone bills. This staggering amount could be reduced if companies explore IP communications solutions that currently exist on the market.

If the economy is indeed slowing, a painless way to save money is to explore the world of IP communications more thoroughly and picking solutions which not only save your business money but they also increase flexibility and customer satisfaction.

Even if you have an IP PBX, be sure you also have SIP trunking so your calls are routed in the most cost-effective fashion possible. If you are a big user of telephony be sure to look at VoIP peering.





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.











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