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

Why the Fax Isn't As Outdated As You Think

I wrote a blog about faxing a few months ago and got an overwhelming response. Got some comments via email and...

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Camera-Phone Opportunity Exists for Samsung

There exists an opportunity for a superior camera with 10x or greater zoom coupled with the traditional things we are used to...

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Tomorrow is Purchase Google Glass Day!

If you are a wearable tech fan, tomorrow is a big day as you will finally be able to (if you are...

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The Secret Value of VoLTE

By Ed Elkin, Director, IP Platforms Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent 

At Mobile World Congress, I discovered that many network providers still aren’t aware of the broader business values of voice over LTE (VoLTE).  Most knew it readily includes HD voice for clearer calls and reduced background noise, which lets you feel like you’re standing right next to the other person. Most didn’t realize that, in unexpected ways, VoLTE helps them earn more money and increase efficiency.

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How to Kill Shadow IT: Step One - Recognize that Resistance is Futile

By Bryan R. Davies, Senior Director of Enterprise Communications Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

The first step in resolving any problem is to make sure you understand the core issues. So here’s the crucial question for shadow IT: What is the biggest challenge it presents for your IT department?

Holding back the flood?  

Today’s flood of mobile devices and cloud services is making shadow IT a bigger headache than ever before. But it’s nothing new. It started with the first enterprise employee who ever put an application in place without the knowledge or approval of IT staff.
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5 Tips to Get Out of a Sales Slump

Lots of sales professionals go through a sales slump. Nothing is closing. Depression or Panic ensues - or worse, Desperation, that...

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Less is Better than None: How WebRTC Helps Carriers

Almost everyone knows that telcos’ mobile voice and messaging revenue is declining. With 3G offering a mobile on-ramp to the Internet,...

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How I Spent My Summer Stimulus

July 1, 2009

Today's the day the NTIA explains the Stimulus package for unserved and underserved networks to be augmented, developed, etc.

It was the ability to understand the funding that has helped RUS in the Dept. of Agriculture put the dollars out there which has given Alvarion a boost with companies like Connected Nation, Digital Bridge and Open Range.

Now the question is where will the NTIA dollars be spent.  There are some tricky considerations that have yet to be explained.  The dollars are in effect CapEx.  Even with a quick adoption the OpEx is probably going to add to the costs. Then of course comes the analysis of the criteria and whether you can be disqualified. Some strategies get the backbone services dispersed into the parts of the states that are underserved via strategies that utilize existing networks and make the equivalent of aggregation points, others are for dealing with loop problems.  I am hoping that all of these strategies are based on first hand knowledge of the problems.  Mark Hewitt and John Reynolds have been offering some interesting strategies to specific states that are worth considering.  For one state that I am very familiar with their strategy fixes alot of known problems. Tom Evslin is involved on behalf of Vermont.  The issues within the states are very different.

Other friends, like Rob Mazer who is coming to 4GWE to speak about the Stimulus, are more carrier centric and will have plans that will span beyond a state jurisdiction. 

Larry Strickling who has been key to getting these dollars in place, is now in the position of overseeing the plan.  I know he has the vision, now its time for the execution.  Since the dollars are suppose to be earmarked just on September 10th, it's going to be a busy summer.

Tags: BTOP, DoA, John Reynolds, Larry Strickling, Mark Hewitt, NTIA, RUS, Robert Mazer, Stimulus, Tom Evslin

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The Death of the Cassette: Anthony Robbins

June 30, 2009

My TV keeps me company in my late hour work and my hotel rooms.  Often I wake up to the infomercial dujour.  Anthony Robbins is on a lot these days with a 19.95 offer.  I have been trying to understand why so cheap.

Then I noticed the offer was only for the audio cassette.

My guess is that he got caught thinking that cassette was a constant business. I think we can assume that the tipping point has occurred for digital media.

Face(It)Book: Get Over It!

June 30, 2009

Sitting here waiting for my Penetration Testing class, I am reading a copy of MIT's Technology, particularly the Simson Garfinkel article regarding Facebook.


It's a pretty good read and asks the interesting question?  Why are so many privacy advocates on Facebook? This is the reality of security.  Not only is it a second class, terceriary consideration.  Event its advocates are willing to ignore the risk for the sake of being "where the action is".

The reality is that repetition is reputation and the view of people about Facebook is that the security is pretty good.  This view is based on all these levels privacy restriction.  Mind you the latest status release from Facebook has been written up in the market as an added privacy feature.

But this is the real issue, words like privacy and security go hand in hand in peoples minds as part of a security strategy.  But publishing your presence status does not enhance the privacy.

Its a lot like love and marriage,  privacy and security can be a blend but can just as easily have very little to do with each other.

At the root of Facebook is the opportunity for malicious attacks.

You have "zero security" as Scott McNeally has said in years past, "deal with it!"

And for most part people have.

When my own computer was stolen my identity was very vulnerable to compromise.  I am still trying determine the extent of the damage done to my network, but so far it looks like my MAC has not been used to visit the same sites as mine.

But these issues of security are of great concern.  I have recieved spam from friends, and of course invites and causes that might as well have been spam.

From my own perspective I can not image this is going to be the norm for the rest of our lives.  I expect security is going to become more than a fear and into an action. 

For myself I now think of Facebook as something to send to, not to reside on.  I am back to email.  Unfortunately it is GMAIL.  Which I will write about my frustrations with that system presently.

Tags: facebook, login, passwords., privacy, security

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Nortel Enterprise Two Buyers (Together) are Better than One

June 29, 2009

First of all congrats to Nokia Siemens.  I always wondered why the domain is NSN.  From now on this will be Nokia Siemens Nortel in my head.

Here is a thought about the rest of Nortel.  Nortel Enterprise is not just about voice, its about transport and other tools that are within an enterprise.  So who is the logical choice to acquire.

The rumor mill says that Avaya and Siemens Enterprise are already in the bidding war. However, hedge fund companies adding more distress to the mess is not their normal strategy (think of Chrysler / Cerberus). I can make a case for both and of course Cisco, but I have another idea. 

Digium has a very strong relationship with Adtran.  While it looks like Adtran is losing people the beginnings of Digium started with Adtran. 

The reason I suggest this two partner acquistion is based on the remaining assets of Nortel Enterprise.  The PBX is only 1/3 of the asset and its a hardware intensive solution.  However a Asterisk adjunct box (particularly if it can support SkypeIn Skype out) is a no brainer value proposition.  (Heck Ebay might even put some money in).

Now comes the other parts.  Over 2/3rd of the value is in rock solid government and networking equipment and for Adtran this would represent a new energy into a company that has been strong but needs to augment the porfolio for government contracts. 

Mind you if the dollar numbers I am hearing are true this is kind of a stretch, but I have seen the numbers rumored and the numbers signed to vary greatly. It may be worthwhile for Adtran and Digium to jump in.











Out in the Open Oracle

June 29, 2009

Reading the Wall Street Journal, I saw the Justice Department is extending the review of the Sun acquistion by Oracle.  Ben Worthen, pointed out in the article,  In April, Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison called Java "the single most important software asset we have ever acquired."



This is the critical issue in the Justice department mind.  Hardware no worries, Databases no worries.  JAVA not so fast.

SUN has done a great job enabling the third parties to adopt the JAVA and as they have said continually,  IBM is the largest JAVA developer. 

Given the ecosystem of JAVA, I am not sure there is much to worry about.  I can imagine some optimization for Oracle and as long as the Java Community Process continues.  Having said that, it would be nice if JAVA became more stabilized as a standards effort.  This is the one place I would focus as the Justice Department.

After that I am hoping that Larry gets his Internet Toaster.  Back when I was in the carrier, I kicked the Oracle folks out since they had an expectation that I was going to provide local loop Ethernet. 

Today the vision can be accomplished and Larry should bring it back and with an Open API.  You would be surprised what things are available when the database can be networked.  New federation opportunities exist and SUN asset will prove its value.. 

Tags: Ben Worthen, IBM, Internet Toaster, JAVA, JCP, Larry Ellision, Oracle, SUN, WSJ

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The Dead Zone: The realities of Coverage

June 27, 2009

While roaming the Internet, looking for things to make my Blogging more interesting to you the reader, I came upon Jeff Cohn's Coverage maps

I am sure you have seen the Verizon Dead Zone commercials. 

Looking at Jeff's maps you come to understand that living in an NFL city skews your perspective on coverage and makes the stimulus goal of unserved areas easier to grasp.  Mind you the economics are hard.  After all the Alvarion / Open Range announcement talked about 6M people in 17 states.  Its hard to get critical mass in some areas.

When I worked for what is now Verizon in NY I was struck how much of New York State might as well be US West territory.   When my pal Mark Hewitt showed me the plans to connect the fiber rings in NY I immediately recognized the holes that were being filled by their plan.

As will be discussed at 4GWE, If we are going to make the Internet available on broadband to everyone its going to take more than any one carrier can give us.  

One last point about the maps.  If you look at them you can see that unserved is a much greater problem then underserved.  It will be possible for the competitive providers to claim they need stimulus, but my hope is that Chairman Genachowski will focus on the unserved.  They are a greater need and more important to the greater good imho.  I base this on the believe that economies of scale work in our favor where people are served, I would venture a guess that whoever is servicing the area might be open to enabling wholesale.


Tags: Dead Cell Zone, Dead Zone, FCC, Jeff Cohn, Julius Genachowski, Mark Hewitt, Verizon

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Natural Selection and Evolutionary Process

June 27, 2009

Investor's Daily has a nice article on how wireless operators in the US have hit the saturation point.  While I keep trying to talk about nothing but the broadband wireless network of the future, consumers are selecting an alternative direction.   

Prepaid services are on the rise with companies like Boost (Sprint brand), MetroPCS and LEAP.  These services are strictly voice and text, with very little intention to use the wireless Interent at the moment.  One exception is American Movil which is testing a $30 a month plan that includes browsing.

For the large players world wide the story is a mixed bag.  On the positive revenue side the smartphones are on the rise to by 12% worldwide.  On the negative side the overall worldwide market fell by 9%.  (statistics courtesy of IDC in the article). 

While almost half of the market lost revenue worldwide domestically ATT is up almost 10% and its all thanks to Apple.  Mind you I am not sure those dollars translate to the net given the contract with Apple but we have to tip our hats to them.  Solid growth and from what I can tell loyalty.  I have not see the numbers, but I am guessing that 3GS has a lot of first generation iPhone users coming back.

Its seems for a great many consumers we should have a sign that says "Its the text stupid".  Their connectivity is about SMS.  For me, this feels like a market ripe for arbitrage which brings me back to the real value of the Internet.  The ability to evolve applications that grow the community.

From a 4GWE perspective the obvious question is what should we expect for the data needs.  As people are texting like crazy should we expect the data side to segment into low end services as well?  That will on my mind with our community in September 1-3 in Los Angeles.

Tags: 4gwe, ATT, American Movil, Boost, Investors Daily, LEAP, MetroPCS, Wireless Carriers, prepaid, smartphone

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Wireless Backhaul is Fiber?

June 26, 2009

Our pal Gary Kim highlighted up the In-Stat report on Wireless Backhaul

Its an interesting report and helps to show some segmentation in the marketplace.  For Verizon the LTE build out has them moving as much as possible to fiber and MetroEthernet.  

Outside of majority the base stations are taking advantage of the Microwave which means Fixed WiMAX is a winner for a lot of implementations.

MetroEthernet is going to claim about half of the market place according to In-Stat because the migration to support data means circuit switch trunking is no longer viable, and the equivalent costs associated with Special Access is becoming a bone of contention in Washington. 

As the network data traffic grows the relevance of the circuit switched models using T-1s is reduced.  Mind you the commitment to bring voice on to the data side is limited at best.

A very real benefit of MetroEthernet to the links between the RAN and the core network is the ability to have better distributed redundancy and QoS for traffic shaping.









At 4GWE we are going to look at the backhaul and give out the wireless backhaul awards.  I am hoping some innovative strategies apply.

Tags: 3GPP, 4GWE, Gary Kim, In-Stat, LTE, MPLS, MetroEthernet, Verizon, WIreless Backhaul, WiMAX, Wireless Backhaul Awards

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Apple Peals - Bob Borchers leaves.

June 26, 2009

Yesterday Bob Borchers informed the world that he was going to Opus Capital Ventures.

I keep getting told that Steve Job has made a legacy group that survives him, but the departure of Borcher and Rubinstein indicate some shake up is happening. Is this about the internal politics of Apple, has Steve's heirs been selected and that is why the departure? Or is it true that "these opportunities were too good".

Regardless of how good they are the impact to Apple has to be considered.  When a person leaves a team can be strengthened, When a team breaks up and you lose more than one person what normally happens is the individuals start thinking about their own needs.

After these departures, I am sure the premiere head hunters are smelling opporunity.

So how sure should we be that Apple will stay on top of their game?

If you read me regularly, you know that I am not an Apple fan, however the departures are survivable to me.

I am not an analyst,  but if I were I would not be ready to short Apple.  I would not be a buyer either.

 













Tags: Apple, Jon Rubinstein, Opus Capital, Opus Capital Ventures, Palm, Steve Jobs

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Context Aware Call Centers - Wake up to LNP

June 25, 2009

I have a complaint.  I dont mind that call centers user my caller id to direct me, but i wish I could give my profile my other numbers, but when I call the 800 number that is nationwide and get directed to people who can only help me based on my caller id it gets annoying.  They can't transfer.  Its pretty lame.

And they should know better.  They are using Local Number Portability and help direct it as a solution, so why can't they accomodate it in their call center call routing.

Should be a no brainer.

Tags: Call Center, LNP, Local Number Portability

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