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Rich Tehrani
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IMS

AT&T: From Dumb Pipe to Security and Home Automation

April 26, 2013

There has been talk within the telecom industry for many years regarding whether communications service providers would eventually just become providers of dumb pipes or provide added value they can charge for. The move to IMS in-part was supposed to allow these companies to add more apps and services to their offerings, allowing them to generate more revenue.

When Apple opened up its iPhone platform, hundreds of thousands of apps began to do many of the things telcos would have liked to provide. Moreover, many functions which telcos used to charge for like SMS were given away for free from the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook.

Metaswitch Asks: Are You Ready to be a Software Telco?

March 2, 2013

Virtualization has made the IT world much more efficient and cloud technology allows applications to scale up and down at will in a far more cost-effective manner while requiring little to no CAPEX. There is hardly an industry which hasn't been affected as software and hardware vendors have worked together to make sure they are ready for this new world where a single server can run multiple instances of an application on servers which are flung far around the globe. Even the PBX-world has gotten into the game with many vendors - especially those doing business with Fortune-class companies supporting virtualized software communications servers.

In a recent conversation with Steve Gleave (pictured) and Carol Daniels of Metaswith at Mobile World Congress 2013, I learned the company is taking the move to virtualization seriously and their recent product launch of 19 months ago - the SBC, was developed to run in a such an environment.

IPgallery Helps Carriers Become Social Hub and More

March 1, 2013

Communications service providers once the center of the customer's world have awoken to the new reality - social and apps are the new hub. In fact, Facebook, Twitter and a wave of other social networks have fully overtaken the telephone number as the primary method of communicating among many - especially younger users. Then there are the the OTT VoIP and video vendors such as Skype. The telephone number has gone from being a protected client relationship to an afterthought.

Altair Semiconductor's 4G Chip Bet Pays Off

February 26, 2013

As wireless markets globally move to 4G, Altair Semiconductor has targeted this newer network standard with a single-mode line of chips which cost less and use less power than mult-mode solutions which have to grapple with 3G and older standards. As consumer electronics devices become more price-competitive, choosing a streamlined solution means OEMs/ODMs can reduce their costs and pass part of the savings on to customers allowing more inexpensive solutions to be marketed.

The big news for the company at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona was the release of a new chipset for LTE-A, the 3800/6300 FourGee line which can download at 150Mbps and upload at 50 Mbps. The chips support carrier aggregation and a wide frequency band span of 400-3800MHz with 6 concurrent LTE bands for both primary and diversity antennas, enabling global band combinations. There is further support for VoLTE and HD-voice as well as interference cancellation an peripheral interface support for a wide variety of applications from consumer electronics to M2M.

The company hopes it becomes the go to source for connectivity in an "internet of things" world and spokesman Matthew Krieger (pictured) brimmed with excitement about how their solutions are replacing competitors in the market.

Thoughts on Alcatel-Lucent

February 8, 2013

One of the greatest challenges incumbent companies face is the ambivalence and corporate politics incumbency breeds and it only gets worse in what we call the age of acceleration where competitors arise faster and technologies shift more quickly than ever. Nortel, NSN and Alcatel-Lucent are all companies who enjoyed decades of leadership in the carrier market and in the process decided to provide generous benefits for their workers which would eventually help make them uncompetitive.

There is more to it - in the late nineties, Lucent acquired companies so quickly that its workers didn't know exactly who did what. Nortel too made a great deal of acquisitions.

Chinese Government Funds Global Telecom Roll Outs Through ZTE

December 20, 2012

With global uncertainty the norm, many carriers have struggled to get financing for new infrastructure projects and in fact they have been a bit hesitant to spend on areas other than wireless where ROI is much more predictable. Subsequently, the financial challenges facing Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Networks, ZTE and others aren’t expected to dissipate any time soon. What may be a surprise to some though is how ZTE, a Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer with relatively low costs could have lost $414 in Q3 of this year while seeing sales drop by 13% and gross margins cut in half.

In response to this decline, China Development Bank (CDB) an entity controlled by the Chinese government has given the company a $20B line of credit at very low rates allowing it to streamline operations, continue its expansion and perhaps most importantly finance its customers’ purchases.

Dialogic: The Disruptor Combats Disruption

August 30, 2012

Perhaps nothing has disrupted communications more than Dialogic innovations. This post shows how they are reacting to disruption they initiated

Disruption is not a new concept. We all get that Amazon disrupted Circuit City, the advent of the MP3 reduced sales of CDs and digital photography wreaked havoc on filmmakers like Kodak.

Monetizing the Mobile Data Explosion with Tektronix Communications

March 20, 2012

Remember when you were in the engineering lab and you relied on a Tektronix oscilloscope to analyze signals? I do and I deeply craved one of my own but could never afford one. But the company once part of Tektronix, Tektronix Communications  does its best to ensure that not being able to afford their products is not a reason to keep you from buying. The company provides solutions for carriers which help with pre-deployment, network operations, customer care, network and RF engineering solutions as well as business performance.

Neustar Aims to Make Mobile App Development Easier

March 20, 2012

With over half a million apps in the Apple App Store alone one might argue that developers have all the tools they have to develop compelling applications but what if there was a way to take traditional apps and integrate them more closely with carrier networks and big data analytics allowing them to be more powerful, spur increased consumer spending while greasing the wheels of mobile commerce and more?

Recently Jean Foster and Steve Edwards at Neustar showed me their Intelligent Cloud service which integrates rich anonymized databases from TARGUSInfo with access to carrier networks and other information to accelerate developer productivity and to frankly enable applications to become better drivers of value for consumers and revenue for advertisers and merchants.

One demo they showed me involved a gift card where a user scans the bar code associated with it. At this point a unique URL is passed to a browser and opened on the mobile device allowing a consumer to check balance information, make a payment and connect their cell phone to the card.

Acme Packet University Live Blog

March 15, 2012


Acme Packet is hosting their Acme Packet University at Harvard University in Cambridge. I spoke with the company's Co-Founder, CEO & President Andy Ory before the session kicked off and the topic of Sonus came up. The two companies partnered for many years and eventually Sonus reached out to Acme to purchase them however Acme had begun the filing to go public and Sonus had taken a hit to their market cap so the deal never happened.

According to Andy, the idea today is to explain to the world how complicated the SBC space is - one part switch, security device and softswitch. These are separate disciplines in most companies - making it more complicated to build a good SBC.

He then briefly outlined the future and what we will learn today - how hosted-IMS based solutions will help move the industry forward.

9:00 Session kicks off

Marianne Budnick, CMO kicked things off and set the tone for the day.


Patrick MeLampy
Co-Founder and CTO began with a history of the
markets and Acme.

Net2Phone NetMeeting had problems - in part because they wouldn't work through NAT and this derailed the company.

The company started in Andy's house and the workers were day trading as well as working - this was 2000 after all.

Lots of talk of the alphabet soup of standards IP communications had to deal with until around the time of 9/11.

The partnership with Sonus Networks helped them a great deal back in the day.

People like Henry Sinnreich and Jonathon Rosenberg "hated" Acme because they didn't want the carriers to be able to control the endpoints.





















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