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Rich Tehrani
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Verizon

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.





Asterisk World Comes to ITEXPO

October 6, 2008

As a major supporter of open source -- especially in the communications market, I cannot be more thrilled to announce that Digium will be co-hosting Digium/Asterisk World at ITEXPO this February in Miami.

It is well-known that open source companies consider ITEXPO an important event and one where they come to meet service providers, resellers and other companies looking to deploy open-source solutions. This news solidifies TMC's commitment to open source as a solid choice for companies looking to not only purchase today's solutions but to resell and develop tomorrow's breakthrough products.

Mark Spencer, founder and CTO of Digium and original creator of Asterisk had this to say about this news. "Hosting Digium|Asterisk World at ITEXPO East 2009 will allow us to share the vision and power of Asterisk with a broad set of customers who might not be familiar with open source. By giving them their first taste of Asterisk, we empower them to not only save money but to use and create new technologies that never existed before."

For my part, I salute Mark and his company which has brought open source communications so far, so quickly.





Dream WiMAX Phone Coming to Russia

October 5, 2008


I have it on good authority that this new WiMAX phone designed by Art Lebedev will be coming to Russia -- in about 30 days. Apparently, no one wants to go on record but multiple sources tell me this phone is going to be a game changer. As engadget discusses in their prototype article, this phone will have a touchscreen which supports 850x480 (I could not confirm these specs sadly  ) which should blow the iPhone away. In addition, those who have used prototypes tell me this phone will blow away the iPhone because it will give you access to broadband speeds without the need for a WiFi hotspot.

Sure, that is what AT&T is supposed to provide with their 3G network but the reality is their 3G network does not seem to be able to handle the massive subscriber data load at the moment.


Navigating the Financial Crisis

October 4, 2008

I have been getting more and more questions on where the communications market stands in light of macroeconomic conditions. It is a constant in my frequent conversations. In most cases, when I get this question, people tell me their business is good but they wonder if the housing market problems will trickle down into the telecom space.

The answer is simply, I do believe there is risk to all sectors of the global economy. For the first time in my memory, US and other political leaders have come on TV and mentioned the term global crisis on a frequent basis.

Communications and the Economy

September 29, 2008

Please note this post was written approximately one week ago -- before the news of the bailout bill failing began to spread fear in the financial markets. Stay tuned to learn how the financial markets will affect communications and technology.

Many people asked me recently at ITEXPO West 2008 Los Angeles, what I see happening in the communications market from an economic perspective. Let's just say that on the way to the show, I was watching TV as the stock market plunged and there was talk of another Great Depression. When I got to the show I must say I was unclear how the financial markets would affect the communications space.

Find Those iPhone Apps With Apptism

September 26, 2008

There are thousands of iPhone apps on the market but if you use Apple as your main source for learning about these applications you are limited to what Apple lets you know about. In addition, some are not thrilled with the web and iTunes interface and are looking for alternatives.

Moreover, users looking for that specific application in a haystack could search endlessly without success. This is because Apple has the ability to restrict applications from getting into its App Store for a variety of reasons. One application, Podcaster has been restricted because of iTunes overlap -- but by many accounts it was superior in some ways to iTunes.

As an iPhone user you may want to know about all applications you could potentially download for your phone and alse see user reviews and other article links to the these apps.

This is where Apptism comes in.





iPhone Tip #1 Battery Life

September 24, 2008

To maximize your Apple iPhone's battery you need to be proactive. A few tips to ensure the battery lasts as long as possible are to disable the wireless networks you do not need. For example bluetooth and WiFi are naturals to turn off at first.

The next step is to turn off the 3G network and revert to the much slower but less power-hungry Edge network. Personally, I have never done this and I understand if this is too drastic for you to undertake.

The next step is to reduce screen brightness.



Satellite and Cellular Marry: Verizon Screwed

September 23, 2008

SkyTerra's Mobile Satellite Ventures, ICO Global Communications and Qualcomm have jointly announced they will work together to develop chips which will allow cell phones to rely on satellites when cellular networks are not available.

It will be a few years until we see the results of this collaboration and I imagine battery life will be an issue when communicating with satellites -- but if you put battery life aside, this agreement wreaks havoc on global cellular markets.

Why? Verizon decided years back to not carry the iPhone and one would imagine the superior Verizon network is one of the reasons they made this decision. They felt they didn't need to bow to the desires of Steve Jobs. They figured cutomers would not defect because they would not want to lose Verizon coverage. And of course they are partially right.

But, what happens if all cell phones can rely on WiFi, satellite and WiMax networks as backup networks?





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