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

Research Firms Missed Again on UC

MarketsandMarkets states that the UCaaS market size is expected to grow from USD 17.35 Billion in 2016 to USD 28.69 Billion...

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End of Messaging?

Chetan Sharma has been discoursing on what he calls the “4th wave of mobile communications” for some time.  And I’ve commented on some...

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Robocalls Call for Service Provider Intervention

Robocalls have been getting quite a bit of ink lately in the United States.  Robocalls are those annoying auto-dialer calls you may...

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Talari Adds Firewall, Features to SD-WAN solution

SD-WAN is another one of those growth areas in tech which often goes unnoticed. Some time back I went to visit Talari...

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Silicon Valley Will Crush You!

The amount of PR generated by tech companies mostly in Silicon Valley like Google, Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Tesla and Amazon is staggering....

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HD Voice Finally Comes of Age

It’s been quite a while since I wrote about HD voice.  When HD voice was first coming to the market 7 or...

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Tech Culture Will Separate Winners from Losers in The Digital Economy

The 2016 Tech Culture Award winners have been announced The outlook for tech workers has perhaps never been brighter as top tech...

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Rural Broadband : All There is to Know About RUS and NTIA

July 7, 2009

Just last week, the Obama Administration published some of the criteria for its broadband stimulus money-doling.  This event followed President Obama's signage of the  of 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act(ARRA), which allocated $7.2 billion to the US Departments of Agriculture and Commerce to improve broadband development in rural and remote areas of the US.  The Rural Utilities Service (RUS)-a subsidiary of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)-and the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA)-a subsidiary of the US Department of Commerce (USDC)-were entrusted with the responsibility of handing out the money to appropriate applicants.  Here is a simple, yet comprehensive guide to the who, what, and where of this major government windfall.



The ARRA provides over $28 million toward Rural Community Development. 

Should Skype be redesigned?

July 7, 2009

A friend caught me this morning and wanted to talk about the Skype IPO next year. A few months back I had been trying to get near the discussion because some from friends who had money in hand.

Ebay thinks that the IPO is the right strategy according to reports, but when I was trying to talk to them, the Intellectual property still owned by Niklas and Janus and embedded in Skype seemed to be a stumbling block.

Now in the past Skype has been clever in acquiring their own path to success.  The acquistion of Camino Networks was allowed them to go beyond Global IP Sound.

So how do they go around themselves?

Henning Schluzrinne did a great analysis of this question with his team in 2005. 

Personally, I think they have to come to terms with the patent before the IPO, but stranger IPOs have been in the market that got past these kind of issues.

Perhaps this is a sleeping dog, with 15 Million subs if they were compared to voice service providers they should do better than the 2.6 Billion previously evaluated.

However customer goodwill is not the same as salvage cost, so maybe Skype will be compared to an Oracle or Microsoft?


Tags: Camino Networks., Ebay, Global IP Sound, Henning Schulzrinne, Janus Friis, Microsoft, Niklas Zennstron, Oracle, Skype


















LG Nortel OY!

July 6, 2009

I never know what to make out of a partnerships, so the announcement out of Finland that K&K is the partner for LG Nortel fiber optics left me asking more questions.

First of all the positive side.  Nortel Enterprise has a strong history in optics and their solutions were part of a rebirth strategy shared with some friends earlier in the year.

But clearly the decision by K&K is more about support of the existing than growth of the new. 

LG Nortel  is more case of what a strange taffy pull it is to extract telecom strategies.  The primary value of Nortel in the mix is in reaching out to carrier enterprise sales with the LG Nortel product line.  Given the Nokia Siemens deal, I am not sure how the LG channel will work. 

It may be that the K&K, part of Lagercrantz) deal is part of the overall trend.  Then again, it may be time for LG to rethink its relationship with Nortel, or become a buyer for the fiber part (which would make my Adtran / Digium strategy even more logical).



Tags: Adtran, Digium, K&K Oy, LG, LG Nortel, Lagercrantz, Nortel, Nortel Enterprise.

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Scenario Planning; If You Build It Will They Come?

July 6, 2009

"A sales guy is usually the last guy to call a downturn", is the quote from Dave Vellequette of JDS Uniphase in today's Journal as they discuss the value of scenario planning in a recession.

I think all the carriers are busy doing their own efforts nows.  With over 5 Million additional subscribers to ATT as a result of the Iphone here are some scenarios I will be thinking of at 4GWE.  Verizon is certainly wishing it had better understood the impact of the exclusivity on their bottom line, and the desire to partner with Apple with LTE is a big part of the aggressiveness implementation.

1) Best Case for T!  Nothing changes for Apple and ATT but the widgets start to add value to a general marketplace.  I am still not sure I can make the distinction between a widget and an application, but as Google's Android and Palm advocate widgets I think the scenario will be slower growth.  Its still the coolest phone in town, but its limitations are easy to exploit.  Multiprocessing and more web friendly strategies all work for me.

2.  Retail WiMAX! So what?  Clearwire has been agressive with its build outs, but the WiMAX certification process is going to yield some products that are going to be looking for a general consumer spend.  What is the scenario that impacts the planning?  What should be the competitive analysis that drives the discussion.

3. Price Floors!  We have bundled pricing as our strategies, when a competitor starts to impact you what can you do to stop the bleeding.  Ericsson / Sony, HTC, LG, Nokia, RIM, and Samsung are all great at making the same phone (only different) for various partnerships.  However, Apple, Google and Palm are doing exclusive deals (We may have to think about Google differently then all of them going forward).  So how do you fight the coolest release.  The reaction to the Apple/ATT launch was very weak by T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon.  What should be the next strategy.  Apple certainly knew how to steal the thunder from the Palm Pre launch.  Other than price what works?  What holds the customer in place?

4. MID way!  The case can be made that the device of future is not a phone, I am now starting to watch how many people are in keyboard mode rather than in voice mode.  I have even seen someone trying to text while the speakerphone of the cell was on (does this work on your device?).  If you look at Intel / Nokia and a few others they will tell you the story is not about a phone but a computer, (Hence the session at 4GWE)  I am not sure when this move happens.  Samsung has a WIMAX netbook, but everything else is still adjuct with a USB.  I think there is a price point that will hit the market right for this and then comes the most interesting question.  Will the carriers enable VoIP?

All of these are game changers that can have a huge impact on the bottom line and all of them require contingencies.  I have also left out the possibilities of major mergers, and the world wide impact.











Wireless Termination: Neutral Tandem

July 2, 2009

Investor's Daily did talked about Neutral Tandem today.

The article was interesting because their biggest customers are the wireless carriers that are not affiliated with the ILEC (is that term getting old and I should just say ATT & Verizon?). 

So T-Mobile and Sprint/Nextel are using them as place to interconnect.  One to the biggest values is the way the tandem configuration works.  We can make the case that Neutral Tandem is a virtualization service to reach the most of the jurisdictions.

Friends are at Neutral Tandem who use to work with me and they have gained some of the brillant people formerly at Vonage, Comcast and Nominum. 

TNDM is the ticker and if you are into this kind of thing, IBD likes them as a stock.  They compare them to Neustar which is interesting. The general view is that cable operators may prefer this methodology of interconnection going forward, and who knows combined with the wireless operators may find a way to cease paying the incumbents for termination.

Tags: ATT, Comcast, Neustar, Neutral Tandem, Nextel, Nominum, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, Vonage

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EU Price Rationalization

July 2, 2009

If all politics is local this one indicates the issues local to Europe.  Europe is about to go on holiday.  As a matter of fact for the northern climates July is the month, the southern go in August. So the law to reduce the cost of roaming for both SMS and Voice will be loved by all starting now. Which is why it went into effect yesterday.

Charges for roaming in Europe have been high regardless of whether you are roaming on the service provider that you already have in your home country.  O2/Telefonica, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone are brands that span across Europe but, charges when you leave your own country do not take into account your affiliation. 

Viviane Reding at the ECC has been a long time advocate about the high prices of carriers, and is very Skype friendly as she as held them up to make her points about the traditional carriers.

The biggest change will be the way that consumers see their bills because the prices are rounded up to minutes but on seconds.  The large carriers say they have already complied with the law but the commission says it intend to continue the analysis and may add future guidelines next year.


Of course the issue right now may not be SMS or Voice but the web, and with revenues in decline the migration to LTE for many of the carriers may face some financial challenges.








Tags: DT, Data, ECC, EU, France Telecom, GSM, KPN, O2, Orange, SMS, Skype, T-Mobile, Telefonica, Viviane Reding, Vodafone, Voice, Web, billing

  • Related Entries

TerreStar to Launch

July 1, 2009

FCCESQ

July 1, 2009

Okay, First of all I admit I am a fan, but a frustrated one.

Chairman Genachowski announced his staff.  Men and Women (many Harvard trained) that are willing to give themselves to public service.  Thank you all.

So why I am frustrated.  I have been rooting for some IAB, IETF types to be the mix. No Offense to lawyers but changing law to support changes in communication in theory could benefit from some of the best thinkers about where the Internet is going and where it should go.

I am aware of some of the best Interent engineers on the planet's willingness to come work for this administration.  So it was with a frustrated sigh that I read the bios of the chairman's staff.  I wish you all well, but please let some of the brillant minds that are expanding and supporting the Internet be more central to your views of what you are regulating.

The rules of Interconnection and taxation that have driven telecom for centuries are being usurped by the ability to interoperate based on Internet - working meet points and almost universal ethernet structure.  The Universal Service I worked to support in my youth is drawing to a close and the age of a new universal service (called the Internet) should not be judged on the existing service models.

My hope for you all is that the new laws you offer are based on a goal for service in the future and not a restriction of power we have seen in the past.

Tags: FCC Staff, Julius Genachowski

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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.