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GENBAND Buys Fring to Make Carriers Sexy

September 12, 2013

Carriers are scrambling right now as they see OTT services such as Skype and WhatsApp eating into their revenues. In a conversation with David Walsh (pictured), GENBAND’s new CEO, we discussed how OTT players have taken 30% of voice traffic in seven years and how service provider voice growth is now around 3% per year.



In response to this onslaught of new competition, carriers have come together to develop standards which will allow their telecom equipment to run on off-the-shelf servers so they can more effectively compete with their app-based competitors. This initiative: network functions virtualization or NFV will help turn hardware-based telcos into software telcos allowing them to be more flexible in rolling out new offerings while saving money in the process.

Why Google is Getting Hammered on Twitter for being Evil

August 16, 2013

Google is being called out by Microsoft for being "evil" and pursuing anti-competitive practices

Last May Google blocked a Microsoft YouTube app from running on its mobile platform Windows Phone causing Microsoft to rewrite it to Google’s specifications. This week the app was blocked once again and Microsoft’s David Howard explains why in a letter titled The limits of Google’s openness.

Howard explains that his company’s goal is to satisfy customers:

We know that this has been frustrating, to say the least, for our customers. We have always had one goal: to provide our users a YouTube experience on Windows Phone that’s on par with the YouTube experience available to Android and iPhone users.

Axis Communications Uses APIs and Low-Light Tech to Differentiate

August 5, 2013

One constant in business has been the ecosystem can be more important than the product. As an example, if a person is considering attending a conference, they typically look at the speakers and exhibitors to see if there is a fit before booking their trip. In other cases they will look to see who else is attending before they decide to pull the trigger. Over the last few decades a number of tech companies did their best to attract developers to their platforms to build their ecosystems.

Chromecast Dongle Helps Google Take Down Apple

July 26, 2013

A low-cost atom bomb from Google aimed at the living room

If you have been following Google’s moves lately you see the company seems to have a laser focus on being a leader in a number of areas from autonomous cars to balloon-powered WiFi. Its important to point out there seems to be intense focus on competing with Apple with the introduction of solid products which are priced far lower than what Cupertino has to offer.

In the past five years, Google has launched an app store, an OS for mobile devices, smartphones, tablets and cloud-powered laptops. Now the company has unveiled Chromecast, a $35 dongle allowing streaming from mobile device to any television.



In short it takes on Apple TV to some degree and costs one-third as much.

The 12-Year-Old Egyptian Boy Feared by Global Goverments

July 14, 2013

This video of 12-year-old Ali Ahmed speaking about the protest in Egypt is one of the most moving political opinions you will hear – perhaps ever. After all, this is a child and yet he is more engaged in his government than most Americans… He understands the political process, has facts, worries about the rights of women – is concerned about the abuse of power by his government and speaks with a confidence which is absolutely awe-inspiring.

The video was recorded last October and already has seen tremendous viewership in China until it was banned.

Thanks to the internet, the views of a single global citizen – regardless of age can bring a nation and perhaps a globe to its knees, changing power structures and influencing the ideas of perhaps hundreds of millions.

You Say You Want (to watch) a Revolution

July 3, 2013

The Arab Spring has brought about a number of revolutions and protests but perhaps the most amazing part of living in a connected world is that anyone can watch it in real-time on the web. Of course none of this is new – video on the web certainly isn’t but the ability to sit at work and see millions of protesters a world away in Egypt sometimes has the ability to amaze even me.

Another point worth making is the ability to access such streams means protests can get larger as many people will only get involved once critical mass has been reached.

This is what I’ve been watching if you want to have a look at the live stream yourself.



 

WebRTC APIs all the Rage at WebRTC Expo Atlanta 2013

June 24, 2013

WebRTC Expo kicks off this week and it's been a busy day here in Atlanta, Georgia where I have had back-to-back video interviews with companies in tech and telecom. A few of my meetings with companies involved in WebRTC were perhaps the most interesting as I see a trend devloping.

Soufiane Houri of Weemo told me about the company's cloud-based API service which allows any developer to embed video collaboration. The goal here is to enable this collaboration to take place without the need to make a user leave one application and go to another.

Facebook famously announced similar integration with Skype a few years back with the idea being allowing users to stay in the platform and collaborate with their friends.

Software Telcos Based on NFV Want Less Equipment Provider M&A

June 18, 2013

Mergers are nothing new but about a decade ago in the telecom market they reached a fever pitch when SBC purchased AT&T and rebranded itself with the name of the acquired company. At the time it became common in the industry to believe consolidation among carriers meant consolidation needed to take place at the equipment supplier level.

The idea is if you have fewer customers, you have less pricing power which means lower overhead with means merging suppliers can eliminate redundant costs such as accounting, marketing, HR and other “synergistic” areas of the business.

Large carriers have also been known for choosing large suppliers for their hardware needs as they felt these larger companies were more likely to be around to support them in the future as they roll out their solutions.

A Billion WebRTC Endpoints Force Voice and Data Players to Adapt or Die

June 5, 2013


From an evolutionary standpoint regardless of whether we talk about nature or business, adaptation is a key to success in changing environments. During the industrial revolution in London a species of moth with a white color blended in with the bark of the local trees until soot from the nearby factories turned the trees black. Some darker moths were now camouflaged in the dark trees and eventually the species adapted and became black. When air quality improved, the moths over successive generations changed color again.

Avaya Takes Networking Lead in SPB

May 15, 2013

At Interop Las Vegas 2013 Avaya was demonstrating their real-world Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) solutions and while interoperating with Spirent, HP and Alcatel-Lucent. Many of you will remember when Avaya was actually the enterprise division of Lucent before the company spun off just over twelve years ago. Randy Cross the company’s director of PLM discussed how there is a rapid move to software in the networking market and SPB is an evolution of MPLS allowing services to be created dynamically on the server where the applications reside or on the switches nearest the users.

This is one of the main benefits of SPB in-fact… It allows customers to simplify network creation and management by requiring service provisioning only at the edge of the network.

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