Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
Rich Tehrani
| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space


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.

Is AT&T Using Investment Angle to Silence Blumenthal?

March 25, 2011

One thing you have to give AT&T a tremendous amount of credit for is knowing how to work the regulatory system - legal, financial and lobbying to get deals done. They are absolute masters and off the record I hear amazing things about just how connected they are. And they will likely need to pull on all the strings they have access to in order to make the T-Mobile acquisition happen.

So realizing the US is a Republic made up of 50 states, the company has now begun working on public opinion in individual states. Consider that today alone the company has put out two releases regarding their building of what they call the most advanced mobile broadband experience in Cincinnati and Connecticut.

In boilerplate press releases where a few items are changed, the company explains that in the greater Cincinnati area it is going to install 10 new cell sites, add spectrum carriers to 35 cell sites, enhance backhaul to 100 cell sites to enable 4G and deploy a distributed antenna system at the Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium to enhance network coverage during events.

What AT&T Purchase of T-Mobile Means

March 20, 2011

Today, AT&T announced it was purchasing T-Mobile from Deutsche Telecom generating a combined entity with 130 million wireless subscribers producing $72.2B per year in revenue. While AT&T had an exclusive contract with Apple to sell iPads and iPhones it could rely on organic growth but now that Cupertino decided polygamy was more lucrative and Google’s Android is unleashing a torrent of cool devices on all networks, the challenge for carriers is to figure out how to compete effectively in a world where differentiating based on device is more difficult.

iPhone and AT&T’s Network Quality Perception

AT&T took a beating while being the exclusive home of the iPhone and was ridiculed on programs from The Daily Show to Saturday Night Live for selling device which couldn’t effectively make phone calls.

Sprint Doing Better But Challenges Loom

February 11, 2011

Sprint added 58,000 net subscribers in its latest quarter ahead of estimates but is still losing money and now must contend with the Verizon iPhone. Beecher Tuttle has the details on TMCnet. The new challenges for Sprint are twofold.

You can now get an iPhone to work anywhere in the US where Sprint service is strong. Every carrier has some pockets of strength. The basement of Grand Central Station for example is one place where AT&T works very well and Verizon doesn't work at all.

If Super WiFi is A Dream, At Least I'm in Good Company

January 27, 2011

Updated Jan 27, 2011, 8:01 pm EST.

It’s no secret that both Microsoft and Google are looking at white spaces and Super WiFi as an area of growth allowing inexpensive broadband wireless signals to be transmitted over long distances.

But technology is difficult to predict – we didn’t know for sure tablets were going to cannibalize PC sales but they are and we didn’t know small, cheap hard drives were going to cut the legs out from the large, expensive hard drive market. You may know that in 1997 when I went to COMDEX and told the world TMC was going to launch a magazine called Internet Telephony – people laughed and told me it wasn’t an industry.

-50F With Wind Chill. Escape to ITEXPO in Miami

January 24, 2011

You know I would never stoop to reminding you about the weather to persuade you to attend what I believe to the be the best tech and telecom conference in the world - OK, maybe I would.

So I was driving along this morning on the way to work and noticed I couldn't feel any of my fingers. I decided to check to make sure I was wearing gloves. I was. Then I realized I couldn't feel any of my toes and yes I had shoes on.

I then looked at the temperature reading and it said one degree.

Former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to Keynote ITEXPO

January 20, 2011

I just got word from my team that Former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin will be giving a keynote at ITEXPO on Wednesday, Feb 2nd, 2011 at 5:00 PM EST at the Miami Beach Convention Center! This is huge news and as a result, I apologize in advance for some scheduling changes we'll be making to accommodate his participation.

Two things are worthy of sharing:

  1. FCC Chairman are best as speakers when they are not chairman... Only then do you get any insight on their positions on various matters. I learned this when FCC Chairman Michael Powell gave a great keynote to ITEXPO attendees a few years back and was able to speak freely.
  2. Chairman Martin will speak about the femtocell market and related topics such as LTE/4G in a 30 minute presentation which will be followed by Q&A.

This addition makes the event that much more critical to attend and we hope to see you in two weeks in Miami at ITEXPO East 2011 and collocated events.

Tom Keating's take.

Google, AT&T, Towerstream, Sonus and Xirrus to Sponsor Regulatory 2.0 Event

January 18, 2011

Hey coffee addicts – I’ve got a way to get you to kick the habit – try to communicate with an audience of millions the benefits and reasons to attend 14+ simultaneous conferences taking place in two weeks in Miami.  Yep, that’s been my goal lately and thanks for your patience as I do my best to keep you posted on all the exciting things happening at ITEXPO and related events while also keeping you informed on all the non-expo related news and information worth covering.

The latest bit of expo news of interest is sponsors to the Regulatory 2.0 Workshop. Google is the official video streaming sponsor and AT&T, Towerstream, Xirrus and Sonus Networks are some of the other sponsors.

The Ultimate Channel Industry Event

January 17, 2011

In our never-ending attempt to make ITEXPO the best place on the planet to learn about communications and technology, TMC has partnered with Beka Publishing one again to bring your Channel Vision Expo - or CVx. The event targets resellers, the channel, VARs, distributors and the reset of the channel ecosystem.

A tremendous conference program available nowhere else is part of the event and here are some of the details from an email TMC sent earlier today.


Gain the Knowledge You Need in Today’s Fast Paced Environment. Make Your Move - Attend

ChannelVision Expo (CVx).

With a conference program covering everything from traditional lines of business to emerging opportunities, you will learn how to adapt, what to sell and how to sell it within this ever-evolving communications ecosystem.
Executives from Revenue Velocity, Nitel, AnswerNet, RAD-INFO, Inc.,, HyperOffice, AgilePath Corporation, MACH 4, Inc., and more will be presenting these in-depth conference sessions at CVx!

Check out the
Conference Program below and make plans today to attend CVx!

Thursday, February 3, 2011
Accelerating Revenues

Skip Lane (Moderator) Managing Partner -Revenue Velocity
One of biggest challenges facing providers and distributors is the consistent ability to meet sales quotas in an economically strained and highly competitive market.

Broadvox Reaches For the Cloud With Cypress Buy

January 17, 2011

20 things you need to know but didn’t have had time to ask

SIP Trunking leader Broadvox just completed their acquisition of Cypress Communications resulting in a nationwide VoIP and MPLS-enabled network blending the benefits of traditional telecommunications with the latest in IP trunking.


In a conversation with David Byrd, the company’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing I had a chance to ask a number of questions which shine light on this deal.

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