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IMS

Cisco Systems Rockets Ahead, Beats all Estimates

November 16, 2006

Here is part of my Internet Telephony Magazine Publisher's Outlook December 2006:   -----------   Certainly the biggest news in recent months is that Cisco Systems, the world’s biggest vendor of computer-networking equipment, reported first-quarter 2007 net sales of $8.2 billion (exceeding analyst predictions, which ranged from $7.9 billion to about $8.05 billion) and net income of $1.61 billion (up 28% from last year). In a public statement, Cisco’s CEO John Chambers boasted that the company “achieved, once again, record revenue of approximately $8.2 billion, a 25 percent year-over-year increase and a Cisco standalone increase of approximately 16 percent, which was above our standalone guidance of 11 to 13 percent,” adding, “This is the fastest standalone year-over-year revenue growth rate we have seen in several years.”   After the news appeared, investors jumped into the market, sending Cisco shares surging 7% to a new 52-week high of $27.44. The stock closed that day with a 6% gain, at $26.71 on the Nasdaq. Analysts everywhere either immediately upgraded their rating on the stock to “buy” or else increased their price targets.   The Associated Press quoted Ittai Kidron, an analyst with CIBC: “Few businesses Cisco’s size can claim to have achieved what it did in [the quarter] — outperformance in nearly every product line.

Cantata Layoffs

November 15, 2006

The word on the street is that approximately 50 people (see update) were laid off at Cantata yesterday out of a workforce of 300. Most of the people who were let go are shocked. Sources tell me the reason for the layoffs are soft sales numbers and some speculate the company is facing increased competition in its Excel Switching line. Apparently competitors are providing lower cost solutions.

Showing Kevin Martin the Door

November 13, 2006

FMC Research

November 11, 2006

While the recent ABI FMC report gushes with optimism regarding the FMC market I get the feeling their numbers are off by a bit if not a great deal. ABI says fixed mobile convergence technology will cost operators more than $450 million during the next five years.

ABI also predicts that in 2011, operators will generate $97 billion (yes, that's billion, not million) in FMC service revenue.

Here is the problem in my opinion. First of all, operators will likely spend more than they first intend on this equipment so I would say the $450 million could exceed a billion dollars pretty easily. Is this based on hard and fast research by yours truly?



France Telecom in the Movies

November 8, 2006

The next move for telecom companies is to look outside telecom

It would seem that if cable and phone companies are set for a war, the phone companies need to hurry up and catch up in one of the areas cable has a stronghold; video content. This is not news to France Telecom who recently created a new unit that will invest in French and European movie rights and produce between 10 to 15 films per year.

Some people were surprised by the move but what France Telecom has done makes perfectly good sense for a number of reasons. We all know content is king. Consumers will be watching more and more video on devices like iPods, phones and soon watches.



GrandCentral

November 7, 2006

One Number for Life is the tagline of GrandCentral the brainchild of Craig Walker who by the way was one of the Internet Telephony Magazine's Top 100 voices of IP Communications. He was also president and CEO of DialPad and stayed on with Yahoo! for a while when the online portal purchased the company.

GrandCentral is a telecom dashboard that is future proof. The main benefit is as long as the company is around they will save your voicemails and allow you to keep your phone number.

In addition you can forward calls to any phone number and provider certain callers or groups of callers with special rings, specific rules, etc.

This is exactly the sort of service that would have saved Tom Keating from having a Vonage number porting problem a few months back.

In addition this service -- assuming everyone used it -- could have saved service providers from having to spend millions on local number portability solutions.

Other benefits of GrandCentral? You can also use a ring back tone derived from an MP3 file so callers can hear the song of your choosing.

In addition you can have call screening on your calls so you will know who is calling before you answer.











Bridgeport Networks Funding

November 4, 2006

If you’re a wireless carrier you know the disruptive combination of IP communications and wireless networks such as WiFi, WiMAX and others could really hurt your business over time. If you are smart you will have already developed technology allowing your wireless service to be extended onto the broadband networks to save precious capacity and also minimize the need for your customers to go and start experimenting with free VoIP offerings from the likes of Skype and others.

One company looking to be the glue connecting wireless providers and VoIP soft clients is Bridgeport Networks whose MobileSTICK USB-SIM solution transforms personal computers into voice, multimedia messaging and presence terminals for mobile operator services.

The company recently made news when it announced $13 million dollars in funding. One would imagine their investors think the company is on the right track. Bridgeport Networks are in a pretty interesting area of telecom and wireless carriers have to look at developing innovative solutions that are sticky to retain customers.



FCC Delays the AT&T/BellSouth Merger Again

November 3, 2006

Cable Companies Vulnerable?

November 1, 2006

There are some very smart people in the telecom business who are betting on the cable companies as the winners in the service provider wars. Their logic goes something like this. The cable companies have relationships with content providers and have faster broadband connectivity and are taking away voice market share from the LECs. The phone companies aren’t even able to deliver TV yet.

There is some sound logic here. The LECs are behind and if they don’t catch up soon they can be in trouble over time.

The one ace up the sleeve of the phone companies is their relationships with businesses which are better than the cable companies.



Aricent

October 26, 2006

As Zippy says quite well in this article, "Normally, when a new company makes its debut, Yours Truly will cross his fingers and wish good luck upon the company's uncertain future. That won't be necessary with Aricent, which comes out of the gate as a market leader in communications software, with 125 software products and already enjoying over $300 million in annual revenue."

I think Aricent who you may know as Hughes Software Systems or as part of Flextronics International is poised to do well. Although I haven't heard from them in a short while I know they have been active in PR and marketing during the telecom meltdown years and the reaction to the company at TMC's Internet Telephony events was favorable. I am looking forward to catching up with company execs and now seems like a great time.

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