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A Tale of Bribery, Cockroaches and Raid

December 21, 2008

 


One of the most fascinating articles I have read in a long while is about the Siemens global bribery scandal where the company spent $1.4 billion on bribes from 2001 to 2007. Of that, get this - telecom accounted for $800 million or 57%! Consider the company also had divisions in industrial, transportation, control systems, healthcare and other areas and you see just how out of whack the telecom bribery spending was.

This leads one to wonder a few things...

We're No Shrinking Violet Says Nortel's Carrier Chief

December 20, 2008

Nortel is an interesting company from the perspective that they have an inherent advantage in their product development as they cater to two separate markets - enterprise and carrier, which need similar products. The company can afford to easily sell carrier-class products to enterprise customers making them more reliable than what many competitors offer.

But all the advantages in the world don't mask the company's recent earnings which were below expectations with carrier revenue down 24% and they certainly can't easily offset the billions of dollars of debt the company has.

I said this in a recent post:

LTE Being Rushed Out

December 18, 2008

The fight between the WiMAX and LTE camp is heating up and WiMAX seems to be on the back burner according to wireless experts like Harald Braun and others.

This is an excerpt from a recent article in fact:

I asked about the WiMAX/LTE competition and he said for his company, WiMAX was always a bridge technology towards LTE but today it seems carriers have stepped up their roll outs of LTE technology. "Now the gap is closing," he said. He continued, "I would have thought we would have more WiMAX deployments by now and I don't see it."
My take? LTE does have the inherent advantage of being provided by the equipment companies the carriers are familiar with and moreover it has the advantage of copying the best of WiMAX.




One in Six Households Wireless Only

December 18, 2008



Consumers are cutting the cord, making it more important than ever to have a wireless strategy which is solid. As it continues, the cable companies are at the biggest disadvantage.

Over the past years it seems the FCC went out of its way to penaliize the cable companies while giving the phone companies a free ride -- you know -- killing the CLECs, encouraging mergers, etc.

I kind of understood the thinking of the FCC (not the killing the CELCs part) as the triple-play was becoming popular and cable companies were far ahead of the telcos.

Now however the phone companies have the advanatage -- as consumers move to wireless networks and give up landlines.

One wonders if the FCC will change its stance now that the balance of power is shifting rapidly towards the telcos. We will see what happens next year when Kevin Martin moves on.









The Why of the Storm

December 18, 2008

I have noticed the Blackberry Storm has improved a good deal over past weeks but this it seems is not enough to keep people from returning these handheld computers at a record clip. While it is impossible to know for sure if the Storm return rate is higher than it is for other devices, Silicon Valley Insider says it is surprisingly easy to find people sharing their device return intentions on Twitter.

Here is what I am hearing. People find the device difficult to use and confusing.

Visionary Harald Braun Says Telecom - Especially Wireless - Best Industry to be in

December 17, 2008

Smartphone Increase Leads to Significant IP Mobile Backhaul Adoption

One of the most charismatic and energetic people in the carrier equipment market has to be Harold Braun (interview) the CEO of Harris Stratex, the largest independent supplier of wireless transmission systems in the world. The company supports broad frequency coverage from 4-38 GHz and capacities up to 1.2 Gbps. Their product lines consist of the TRuepont, Eclipse and Constellation among others.

I recently had a chance to catch up with this globe-trotting CEO and he was quite happy as he told me the market for mobile backhaul is growing at 6-8% and when you look more closely you see the majority of this growth is in IP.

iPhone WiFi Goes Global Thanks to iPass

December 15, 2008

Back in 1999, experts at pre-merger Lucent's Bell Labs head predicted a communications skin would engulf us, allowing us to seamlessly connect with various networks. Over the years this prediction has come true but we are far from able to seamlessly connect to them all. If anything, connecting to many of these networks is a major barrier when you consider entering credit card and other information can take five minutes or more.

But there are ways you can overcome the barriers which are artificially placed between you and the wireless network you want to use.

Hey Wait A Sec... Where is Jon Arnold?

December 15, 2008

Google Scraps Net Neutrality Push?

December 15, 2008

Om Malik has some interesting analysis of Google and its stance on Net Neutrality. The genesis of the story is a Wall Street Journal article discussing Google and how it is looking to peer its caching devices directly with network operators. This would allow Google's content to get to you faster than other content and would reduce the bandwidth requirements for carriers.

What is Malik's take on Google after reading this story?
  Given how close President-elect Obama is to the current Google management, I can only fear the worst.

Thanks to Dubya - No Free Wireless Internet

December 14, 2008

I am deeply saddened by the fact that the Bush administration pressured the FCC to cancel a meeting on a vote which would have put free broadband in the hands of hundreds of millions of Americans. This is my opinion is perhaps one of the most damaging things the Bush administration has done to date and it is shocking that they don't have the capacity to see the potential of giving free wireless internet to all.

I guess this is what happens when you have a person who really doesn't use the internet in charge of the country. It's scary really.

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