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Adtran Earnings Rise, Declares Dividend

October 14, 2008

Adtran just released earnings for the third quarter and the good news is they were 4% greater than a  year ago. For the year, Adtran is ahead by by 11%. The company has also declared a quarterly dividend of nine cents per common share.

What does this news mean to the communications sector? Well, it is obviously positive and bodes well for how the communications and tech spaces can do as things slow down.

As you recall, the last 60 days or so have seen major global economic problems and to be able to beat last year's earnings in such a tumultuous environment is a great accomplishment.

This positive communications news follows up on the recent news that AudioCodes has reaffirmed their yearly guidance.

It is difficult to predict what the next few quarters will look like but it seems a number of the companies in the communications and tech space are pretty well-prepared for a potential slow-down in the general economy.

With the ability to boost productivity and lower costs, communications and technology can really help companies get through a slower economy without the need to cut heads.









CBX 2008 Video Interviews

October 14, 2008

Some months back I was invited to be the video reporter at the Telx CBX event which took place in Brooklyn, NY. You have likely already read my CBX blog posts but I neglected to post the video interviews themselves. They have been on YouTube for a number of months but now you have an easy reference with links to all of them:

Overview The Best of Packet Exchange Jason Velody/Chuck Storman PointOne Vic Bozzo Telx Tesh Durvasula Telx Eric Shepcaro Stealth Communications Shrihari Pandit WBS Connect Scott Charter Calient Networks Jim Diestels 4Connections Bill Kosnik



SnapTell: Mobile Game Changer

October 12, 2008

Game changing is a term used too often - and sometimes in the media we think something will bring about big change when in fact it doesn't. No one has any way to know for sure when an idea is going to change paradigms but I have been experimenting with software for the iPhone which really has the potential to change the way we interact with our environment.

SnapTell Explorer is a free application which allows you to take a picture of the cover of a CD, DVD or book and in about 30 seconds or less, looks up the item in a database, presents you with a summary and allows you to search for it online and even buy it on Amazon.

In tests, the software was very good.

Avatars: The Cursor in Communications 2.0

October 10, 2008

One of the people with a long history in the communications space is Neal Shact (pictured) -- CEO of Communitech Services. In the past, Shacht has been a distributor in the headset market and has been early in many new markets such as VoIP, call centers and others.

Shact points out it is impossible for customers to know what they want in UC. He mentions the old story that Henry Ford once said people when asked what they wanted in transportation said, a faster horse.

His point: you need a communications roadmap. Don't rely exclusively on your UC vendor to dictate what you want and need.

You want to check out this podcast as it is rife with references outside communications -- and the tie-ins are fascinating.





HTC WiMAX-Based T8290 Comes to Russia

October 10, 2008

ZeeVee's Localcasting Solution Merges Internet, TV

October 8, 2008

As the convergence of television and the internet continues, there is still a basic challenge in finding a simple way to connect the massive stores of internet video content seamlessly with the traditional television. There are a number of devices which tackle this problem but none I've seen which seem to have the momentum to become mainstream. The marriage of the internet and TV is a huge opportunity and if done correctly, it will change numerous industries.

Recenty I heard from old friend Brian Mahony (pictured), the VP of marketing at localcasting (in-home broadcasting) company ZeeVee. Mahony has worked at a number of companies on the cutting edge of technology in the decade in a half or so I have known him. When I met him in the nineties, he was working for Tundo - one of the first IP PBX companies which like so many others, ran out of funding during the dotcom/telecom meltdown.

Apple's Developer Can of Worms

October 7, 2008

In a perfect world, a company who decides to control which applications can be downloaded to its devices would have no problem doing so. We live however in a world which is far from perfect and Apple is having serious issues controlling what can be downloaded and what cannot.

Recently the Cupertino-based company decided that a program called Podcaster which allows multimedia files to be downloaded wirelessly should no longer be downloaded to iPhones because as the company says, the software duplicates the functionality of iTunes. It would seem to someone like me who is not allowed to "legally" download the software anymore that this ruling is to protect Apple from a software program which seems superior to iTunes.

After all, it makes little sense to have to plug a wireless device into a PC when you want to download music, podcasts and other files.

I have a theory that iTunes will soon go wireless as well and this move by Apple is a defensive play to ensure the market for wireless multimedia downloads is there when Apple is ready.

But that article will have to wait for another time. For now, Podcaster has turned to Cydia, the open-source iPhone application installer and will focus on installing on phones which have been jail-broken -- referring to the concept of breaking the walled garden locks Apple has placed on its devices.

The question worth asking here is whether the negative PR buzz is worth it for Apple and should they open up?









AudioCodes a Barometer of Communications Markets?

October 7, 2008

Verizon Loses VoIP Patent Case: Justice Served?

October 7, 2008

One of the last companies to jump on the VoIP bandwagon is Verizon. Yet -- our legal system allows larger companies with deep pockets who focus more on patents than providing users with new technology to easily sue new competitors into oblivion.

This is the case with Vonage -- the company paying over a hundred million dollars for patent infringement to Verizon. Cable companies are another matter as they have large legal teams and deep enough pockets to defend themselves from patent suits which may or may not be frivolous.

Recently, a jury decided Cox Communications did not infringe Verizon patents. This is great news for Cox and regardless of who is right or wrong in a complex legal case like this, having a jury trial where six patents are in question and winning all six is surprising.



WiMAX World 2008 Update

October 6, 2008

WiMAX has gone through an overhype stage and now is like so many other technologies - VoIP included, at a stage where the markets are trying to figure out where the opportunities lie. Indeed, trying to determine what is real and what is hype is difficult to do and to cut through the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) I spent time at WiMAX World in Chicago to learn more from the movers and shakers in the space.

I came armed with questions about deployments and the threat of LTE - the evolutionary technology theoretically enabling 2-3G operators to ignore WiMAX. In the last six months there have been numerous articles and technical white papers written about whether WiMAX is necessary.

To cut to the chase, I spoke with VP Chair, Marketing Working Group of the WiMAX Forum, Dr. Mo Shakouri who explained that the transition to LTE is more than a simple software upgrade as carriers need to go from CDMA to OFDM - which obviously requires hardware. They believe there is a strong marketing campaign being waged by mobile operators and some hardware providers who want to sow FUD in the WiMAX market.

In order to combat the threat from LTE the WiMAX Forum is feverishly working with companies to develop lower cost CPE devices as carrier profitability is tied to device cost.





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