Carl Ford : 4G: For Generations to Come
Carl Ford

$4B Wireless Repair Market Event Comes to ITEXPO

Almost 8,000 wireless repair businesses employ over 20,000 people and the market is growing. Yes, it’s a $4 billion dollar market! Apple’s next-gen phones...

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Ad Blockers vs Mobile Advertisers

In September, I wrote a blog on why mobile advertising is expected to grow based on Mary Meeker’s yearly Internet Trends report. Something to...

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Ransomware Fog Rolls over SanFran Muni, SFMTA

We’ve known ransomware costs for a small- to medium-sized business can be $99,000, per Kapersky Labs. This includes lost business data,...

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Why you would give up the chance to strut around in Middle Earth Barbie wear? Allison Smith asks.

#Thankful! What for? Being able to speak...well, not as well as Allison Smith. Being able to design software and apps with code,...

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't think Ican write one better than I did 2 years ago, so here's a link to that piece. Happy...

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Comparing Different Types of Mobile Ads

Now that access to the internet via mobile devices is past 50% compared to access via desktop, it makes sense that internet...

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UCaaS Round-Up (Tidbits 2443)

Nextiva, a Broadsoft powered ITSP, announced at their user conference that it has released a new UC&C or Workplace Comms platform...

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Are you Looking for Working? Can you help with BTOP?

July 23, 2009

I volunteered to help the NTIA with its broadband Stimulus evaluation, but before I get a chance to look at them, three of 4GWE speakers are working with various states for build out strategies. 

One of them told me he was only going to bid on ten and that has since doubled because the states have approached him.

This is to the point where he needs more people to write the proposals make the calls do the work, so he asked if I wanted to get involved.

Since I had volunteered already, I did not want to.  Some of the states he is applying for I know of other proposals.  Hmmn, I wonder if unserved can go to overserved in a year.  

Standard thought is that when three competitors exist real competition exists.
I have never understood if they would count a comprehensive view of data, video, voice as a single competitor or not. 

After a long delay the stimulus may be having the desired effect. even if it is just on paper so far.  I expect the monies for CAPex are going to be 2010 2Q.

On paper most of these proposals make a lot of sense to me, One of our speakers is augmenting a state I work in with some localized NAPs to connect regional fiber rings that are too isolated and do not support the communities connnectivity.  A few states made deals in the buildout era for fiber by the highway that is not supporting the local communities.  An analogy would be a highway with no off ramps. (Is I66 a good example?)

Lets see how the process continues, but I have to say after waiting for Washington to get the act (bill?) together, this is coming along nicely.


Tags: 4GWE, BTOP, NTIA, Rural Utilities Service, Stimulus

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Review of the Clearwire Guerrila Marketing Campaign

July 23, 2009

It's not a phone, it's the Internet.

I went to Las Vegas to attend the market launch by Clearwire.

The launch is reaching out to a population of 1.7 Million in a 638 mile area.  The launch today continues the road show by Clearwire as they open up new areas around the country.  The obvious goal is to keep the bandwagon going.  The momentum is certainly heading that way, the stock (NASDAQ: CLWR) has doubled since last year and the company is expanding their rollout strategy.  However, the goal is not upgrading existing customers, but to get new customers.  It's an uphill battle that requires putting Gorilla Marketing to work. 

On Local TV:  Clearwire embraced the town of Las Vegas by having the mayor cut the cat 5 cord and donating 20 WiMAX netbooks to the Virtual High School. Taking a shot at Verizon, Clearwire's commercial features cupcakes with sprinkles, like the sprinkles of the Verizon add, except here the sprinkles shower down from the sky beyond the Skittle showers of commercials gone by. The event ended with 500 balloons containing gifts of service and other gifts being dropped on to the local audience.

Street Warfare: The truck is green, with glass panels surrounding two rooms.  A living room area and complete with laptop and HD Screen, the second room resembles an office which includes a chair, a desk and of course a laptop.  As the truck is driven around Las Vegas, Clearwire employees work in the living room and the office.  On the body of the truck is the statement declaring this is not a truck it's a mobile office.







The Internet as a Bundle

July 22, 2009

I have posted in the Newsletter about the Clearwire launch yesterday, but I was struck by the conversations with the company employees.  They were using the Internet service with their own preferences,

One of them always had a device open with them in the car to listen to their choice in music via Internet Radio.

The other was using an iTouch to watch his slingbox and commenting on the fact that the video was smooth and unblocked.

Another was a Hulu user who was talking about getting a great stream of video to his home TV.

And of course they all used Skype.

Bottom line it was not a triple play. There service is access to the Interet and the bundle is what you choose to do on it.

Pretty straight forward and suggests a very focused business plan.

If you are not trying to run a three services to the same place, can you build the one service cheaper?

I think operationally the answer is yes. 

Tags: Clear, clearwire

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Samsung Selling Mondi MID for Clear WiMAX, $449 Unlocked

July 22, 2009

When we told you this morning that the Samsung Mondi MID was going to be available soon, we didn't know that soon means now! After chatting with Samsung's Kim Titus, he told us the device is available now in an unlocked format directly from Samsung for $449 ($454.94 with shipping). And on Aug. 1, Titus said the Mondi will also be available in Clear stores and Best Buy locations in all live Clearwire markets (Baltimore, Portland, Ore., Atlanta and Las Vegas), at the $449 unlocked price as well as a $349 option with a two-year Clear contract.

We played around with the device a bit at the Clearwire Las Vegas launch event, and were impressed how well the touch-screen and software keyboard works. There is a hard keyboard too.

Clearing the Way to Las Vegas Clearwire Launch

July 20, 2009

Our speakers from Clearwire have invited us to this weeks launch in Las Vegas.

While I am looking forward to hearing them speak at 4gwe.  They are excited about the opportunity now in front of them.  Some analysts were afraid of a price war, but in Clearwire's case they are clearly ready, willing and able where available.

The stock (Nasdaq: CLWR) is on an up swing making the write downs of the past a brillant move for their investors.  Recent announcements from Comcast about reselling the service is also good for their bottom line. 

I will be reporting more form Las Vegas so stay tuned.



Tags: Clearwire, Comcast

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CrowdSourcing gets an Open Source

July 20, 2009

A friend pointed out to me the release of Reuter's Handbook of Journalism
He was seeing this as a blow against paid content.  I am still trying to get my arms around what will happen in the paid content world.  I can make a case for a few models, but the thing I believe the most in is that revenues for specific content go down, while diving down to specific demographics of the audience will get a higher premium.

But the story here is more interesting if we think of Reuter's making an attempt to put some structure in the way user generated content is presented.

We can look at the release of this document as an attempt to set a standard for journalism for all.  In effect doing crowdsourcing in a set way.

Recent events in Iran showed the power of the mobile devices to deliver the message of what is happening on the street.  Not everything that happened was to the positive when it came to cell phones.

However, if Reuters is able to influence the market of would be journalists, they in effect have crowdsourced reporting and given themselves an advantage in editing and selecting of content in a more timely manner.

And that's been Reuter's history is to be the first with the information.

From a business perspective information has a shelf life that impacts the market, the quicker you have corraborated valuable information the more likely you can make a good choice from a business perspective.



Tags: Iran, Nokia, Open Source, PPV, Reuters, crowdsourcing

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Thinking About the Digits

July 17, 2009

I had a meeting yesterday talking about my favorite topic.  Identity.

From the discussion of identity all sorts of issues swirl around in my brain, federation, interconnection and interoperability, the principles of end to end on the Internet and even IPv6.

My bell head really shows up when it comes to URIs.  I just dont agree that I am going to be able to search for the person I want in this modern world without somehow using a phone number.

I am going to the doctor today, and in looking for his number on the web, I was struck by how many sites wanted to tell me about the doctor without actually getting me to him. 

I don't want to look like an old man that says "when I want your opinion, I will give it to you", but please help me know that you and I are talking about the same doctor.  Give me an identifier that helps me call if I want to.

While Search is alive and well directory is still a mess on the Internet and I am actively looking to improve it.

I believe that phone numbers are better than email in pushing out information in public.  You give out an email and you worry about who is using it and how cheap it is to get to you.  You give out a phone number and you know it will cost them to call you, so you trust it will be for a good purpose.

Plus you are used to being public about your phone number, or you paid extra for not being listed.  Email's spam problem got so bad, people use social networks as their only email.

Mind you I am open networker so my perspective is skewed, but here is the best anecdotal evidence I have.  My daughter wont let me see her on facebook, but she knows I need to have her phone number. 

Clearly the dynamics are changing, but I think a phone number is the best identifier to share publicly.

Tags: URIs, enum, facebook, phone numbers

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Apple vs. Palm Part 2.0

July 16, 2009

It's official Apple has proven themselves to be just one more brick in the walled garden.

Apple provided their equivalent of the Carterphone decision was needed when they blocked the PalmPre from using Itunes.  In other words, it was okay to let people on windows use it, but not for them to have it.

Very interesting.

We are definitely in a new phase.  This reminds me of when all the wanna-bes wanted to attach to AIM and both sides had teams of developers.
Eventually of course the problem was no longer that interesting.

Legally, Apple has the right to do what it wants.  Its a free software package.

The questions is does that show them as a good partner to the companies who look to make revenue from the downloads.

Is this an opportunity for Limewire to support the legitimate revenue models?
It should be interesting to see what happens.

Tags: Apple, Limewire, Palm, PalmPre, iPhone.















It's Time to Develop Again

July 16, 2009

Carriers are dealing with a saturated marketplace that makes it hard for the innovative to make headway.  A price war seems like the most logical answer to some friends of mine and in fact, some companies like Clearwire have been leading the battle on both fronts.  However their innovation strategy is to be an enabler and not focus of solutions.

In my continuing conversations with my fellows, the web apps are always the most interesting to talk about, but video is something worth seeing.  So far the apps have been more about the specific applications and I am not sure they match up to the way we normally live.

But Video is different.  Its more natural in my mind and its a logical place to embedded new applications.  Unlike a phone where to expect an interaction almost always interferes with proper use, Video and external controls are not normally next to each other anymore.

So we have the expectation of interacting beyond DTMF.

As I listened to a VC friend yesterday I was struck by his expectations for mobile video. 

The Video he wants expects on mobile is interesting.  Unlike voice where the expectation is you move the phone to side and out of sight.  He is looking for the display and the control to be better blended.

I was thinking of a video kindle when he talked.  But candidly the kindle's interface except for turning pages is primitive at best.

All of this is from the adoption of ATSC 2.0 and the adoption of the H.264 codec including Scalable Video Coding [SVC].

Today's Radvision Webinar I moderated is a good place to start looking at what is possible.  We are definitely going down a new direction in Video and its worth your time to understand the paradigm is about to shift.

Tags: ATSC 2.0, Clearwire, H.264, Mobile Video, Radvision, SVC, Scalable Video Coding, VC, Video

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The Smart Approach: WiMAX Goes to College

July 15, 2009

A university campus prides in its cohesiveness, in its connectivity.  Campuses have always organized programs to bring their students together socially.  Now universities want to unify their students technologically.
In the past, students were able to connect to the Internet in various locations on campus via Wi-Fi--usually in the library, the cafeteria, the dorms, and several other isolated spots.  In an age of online communications, the Internet connection has become vital to a university's makeup.