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Rich Tehrani
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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.





















Taqua Leverages WiFi, Introduces Backhaul Product at MWC 2012

March 10, 2012

Taqua has a made a name for itself serving carriers of all sizes with products like the T7000 for wireless and wireline switching, the T7100 for media management, trunking and peering as well as the TCS6100 for small cell and voice messaging services over 4G/LTE.

At Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona I had a chance to speak with Payam Maveddat the company’s EVP of Product Line Management about the fact that carriers have become very interested in WiFi solutions. A frequent discussion at the show in fact was that carriers who wouldn’t even discuss WiFi with you a few years back are now actively asking for the technology to help alleviate the spectrum crunch they are all facing.

Maveddat explained that his customers are happy that they can leverage VoLTE, VoWiFi and femtocells with the company’s solutions.

Metaswitch Brings SBCs to the Cloud

February 22, 2012

Metaswitch is relatively new to the SBC game but they already have been thinking of ways of taking session border controllers and making them more flexible and scalable. To that end the company has put its Perimeta SBC in the cloud allowing it to run on COTS servers with a variety of hypervisors.

According to Steve Gleave, VP of Marketing at Metaswitch, "The arguments for separating signaling and media functions in a session border controller are now well understood.  The commercial benefits of running session border control on COTS platforms are also clear.  So moving the signaling control function into the cloud, and leveraging the economies of generic server platforms and inherent system redundancy is a logical progression.  

Despite Outages, Verizon Has Record Quarter

January 24, 2012

Months back Verizon sent me a 4G personal hotspot to review and I confess it is one of the most important pieces of technology I have. For example just yesterday I was at a lunch meeting for an extended period of time – and I had an iPad and keyboard with me. The Optimum WiFi network was not working well. AT&T was also having problems for whatever reason – it was very slow.

Julius Genachowski Makes Brilliant Move at FCC in Hiring Henning Schulzrinne as CTO

December 29, 2011

Earlier this month, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the appointment of Henning Schulzrinne as Chief Technology Officer – a major move forward for the FCC and the US communications regulatory environment. This move was made in-part because the FCC has had to keep up with fairly rapid changes in the communications and networking worlds. Telephony was once a circuit-switched service provided by a handful of large telecommunications companies and a number of regional players.

It was relatively easy to understand and regulate.

At Metaswitch Forum 2011

October 3, 2011

I presented at two sessions today at Metaswitch Forum 2011 and both focused on wireline trends in the market. The general theme of this conference so far has to do with how carriers can compete in a world which is rapidly becoming mobile and social. Metaswitch for it's part has been busy improving it's platforms allowing carriers to take back control of business relationships with their customers.

Interesting takeaways from this session is a discussion being led by Anusha 'Ash' Nirmalananthan of Metaswitch where she is dissecting some social network activities in Facebook and Skype and exposing areas of exploitation for carriers.

She says, innovation and differentiation are crucial for carriers going forward.



ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

Will AT&T, T-Mobile Merger Slow Wireless Innovation?

July 25, 2011

AT&T has done an incredible job of getting special interest group after group to endorse its merger with T-Mobile, saying it will provide better broadband access for minorities, rural subscribers and just about any group of people you can think of. The broader gay community too has endorsed the merger - apparently transgender-Americans have been hoping for the day when there was one less GSM provider to choose from.

Here is how the system works - AT&T has hundreds of thousands of workers and inevitably large numbers of them in myriad groups. This in turn coupled with large contributions to various organizations and associations is rewarded with the reciprocal endorsing of anything AT&T requests.

To help grease the wheels even further, AT&T has further upped its lobbying budget by 58% according to PC Magazine.

AT&T is doing the smart thing by getting rid of its sole GSM provider allowing it better negotiating leverage in its roaming agreements with foreign carriers and gaining the ability to raise rates with one less major competitor to depress market pricing. It will also gain more leverage when negotiating with hardware and software companies.

An anti-merger video by the Free Press Action Fund



If the US government blocks the deal it will be because the remaining major companies AT&T and Verizon will have so much share that they are effectively a duopoly at about 80% - allowing them to raise prices at will.

Again, if you are an AT&T or Verizon shareholder, you likely want this merger to happen and AT&T is serving its short-term  shareholders well by seeking this transaction.

But the challenge I see is that with one less major telecom carrier in the US it becomes that much more difficult for innovative start-ups to launch, get funding and hold their breath long enough for a carrier to buy from them.















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