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IMS

SMBs Embrace FMC

February 17, 2008

Huge news comes from Nortel as they recently commissioned a survey which found SMBs are more technically savvy than some might have imagined. SMBs seem to be screaming for FMC solutions and unified communications -- especially as it relates to integrating mobile devices with traditional computer solutions like laptops, etc.

900 SMBs responded to a web survey to generate these results. Unfortunately this skews the survey a bit as the people taking the survey had to be web savvy and also it is unclear what site users went to find the survey.

Still, this is a good sign that at least web-savvy SMBs are looking for the absolute latest in communications products and services. For vendors, it is just a matter of figuring out how to position your solutions in the most appealing fashion possible while ensuring that the leading edge features are in your products.

Only a marriage of excellent R&D coupled with effectively targeted marketing/PR/branding and positioning will guarantee vendors can effectively penetrate this market.

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Regulators Reshape the Internet

February 15, 2008

It is pretty amazing to see how many separate issues are surfacing that could affect the future of the internet. The FCC and government have their plates full deciding what to do with telcos and their potentially anti-competitive practices.

The first issue at hand is net neutrality. Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the  “Internet Freedom Law” this week.

Rather than detailing specific regulations, the new Markey bill calls on the FCC to conduct a “thorough inquiry” to determine “broadband policies that will promote openness, competition, innovation, and affordable, ubiquitous broadband service for all.”   Part of the commission’s task is to conduct an “Internet freedom assessment” to determine whether or not service providers are adhering to “the Commission’s Broadband Policy Statement of August, 2005,” which prohibits actions that might interfere with users’ ability to access or use lawful content and services over the Internet and to attach any legal device that does not harm the network.

Next up is the case of BitTorrent and specifically, the fact that Comcast has been caught throttling traffic from this peer to peer file sharing network often used to send and receive videos. Comcast says they are within their rights to throttle bandwidth as needed to ensure things like voice get the proper quality of service while others are concerned that throttling bandwidth relating to applications violates the concept of net neutrality.

Finally, the issue of short codes has surfaced once again as Verizon has denied the use of these codes to Rebtel, a competitive service provider and others.

This month could be looked back upon as a pivotal one in the world of Internet freedom and the shaping of the world's net policies.









Unprotected SIP

February 14, 2008

Increase Marketing Spend in a Recession

February 14, 2008

Telco 2.0 - the Microsoft way

February 14, 2008

The following are comments from Ovum SVP, Brett Azuma on Microsoft and what they are up to in service provider communications. I thought this was worth passing along.

Microsoft provided an update on its Telco 2.0 vision. The analyst telebriefing indicated that Microsoft's revenues for the Communications Sector exceeded $2bn in 2007.

Verizon's Network Upgrades

February 14, 2008



If you haven't been paying attention, you will have missed the fact that Verizon Wireless is investing like mad around the US to improve their mobile network. The quality of the wireless network was amazing to begin with and now this. VZW puts out a release every few days about a new region they are enhancing.

Perhaps all wireless companies are spending the same amount but if so they are not taking advantage of the free publicity that comes with putting our frequent press releases on their progress.

In my experience, companies who put out frequent releases do better than those who do not.

The more the editors in the world see your name surrounded by positive news the more likely they are to write nice things about you.

If you have any doubts, read to the end.

Today's release is about improving the network in Kansas, Missouri and Southern Illinois.











Mobile World Congress Key Terms

February 10, 2008

As you may know, Mobile World Congress kicks off this week and to get the ball rolling the event has put out some of the key terms you will be hearing more about this week. I have posted them here with their definitions in case you need to brush up on your acronyms.

Also be sure to check out the Mobile World Congress News Page to stay up to date on the show.

3G

3G, or third-generation, is loosely defined as offering high data speeds, always-on data access and greater voice capacity, enabling operators to offer customers fast internet access, live, streaming video and other multimedia or "converged" applications over a wireless network. There are several 3G technology standards.





Alcatel-Lucent Cuts Dividend

February 8, 2008

Alcatel-Lucent just reported somewhat disappointing numbers for the quarter with a  few bright spots.

On the negative side, the company reported its largest ever quarterly loss since it was created in 2006. The loss was 2.58 billion euros ($3.74 billion) in the fourth quarter from 615 million euros a year earlier.

Alcatel-Lucent's market value has plunged 13.5 billion euros since Alcatel bought Lucent Technologies Inc.

On the bright side, sales were expected to be 4.87 biilion euros and came in at 5.23 billion.

The company predicts a full-year operating margin of between 2.5 percent and 5 percent, Chief Financial Officer Hubert de Pesquidoux said on a conference call.

Alcatel-Lucent forecast in June that it would have 1.7 billion euros in annual cost savings after three years, and savings of 600 million euros this year.








Is AT&T a Runaway Winner?

February 6, 2008

Is AT&T going to win the IP services wars? I get the feeling they are really doing a fine job in this regard and will only do better over time. Jon Arnold agrees and in a  recent article he talks about how well AT&T is doing but also explains how in the new world of Internet Protocol communications, there will be mistakes and successes along the way.

He discusses, events that took place at ITEXPO and explores standalone versus bundled services while mentioning Verizon, Covad, XO, 8x8, Cbeyond and many others. There is good insight here and this article is worth a read.

Here is an excerpt:

Moving further along the spectrum, however, these two pieces begin to diverge, and the incumbent carrier must share the pie with competitors and over-the-top operators.






Level3 Cuts

February 5, 2008

It seems that Level3 will have some more cuts as a result of a steep loss this quarter. Over 1,000 people or 16% of the company's workforce will be getting the axe according to TheStreet.com. I was a bit surprised by this news actually. I didn't think things were this bad for the company.

Part of the reason I was caught off guard is that I have been hearing that in many regions, the company has pursued an acquisition strategy which put them in the position of being one of a few fiber carriers and this resulted in increased pricing power.

My contacts in the carrier hotel space however predicted the company would continue to have problems.



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