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

IBM, Mitel, Wearable Tech round out Latest ITEXPO News

Its been an amazing ITEXPO so far - wow. In case you missed some of the happenings from day 1, here are...

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3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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Best Buy Gets Smart about Mobile

June 25, 2009

Yesterday, Scott and I were busy traveling to meetings in the city with companies in three separate sections of town.  At one point we past the Best Buy Mobile store at Union Square.  I wanted to jump in, but we were in a time crunch.

If you read the press release of the Best Buys earnings you discover that smart phones are pretty profitable for the retailer.  So much so they intend to add another fifteen stores under the Best Buy Mobile broad.

And its not just smart phones they want to display there but netbooks as well.

At the retail level the term Mobile Internet Device [MID] seems to be missing.

It maybe that with the advent of certified WiMAX rolling out this fall, the term MID starts to catch on.  Talking to Ari Zoldan yesterday, I was impressed with some of the devices solutions he was offering that was carrier independent.

I don't think this is the place where Best Buy makes its margins, I think they are somewhat carrier dependent for the margins on the smart phones.   So it will be interesting to see what kind of bundles start to happen with the netbooks.

I purchased a netbook separately from the Verizon MiFi from Novatel.  But and the HP Verizon bundle may have value to others.

Bottom line though is the Wireless Internet market is about to explode and it should be fun to watch.

Tags: Best Buy Mobile, BestBuy, Broadband Wireless, HP, MID, Novatel, Verizon, Wireless Internet, netbooks, smartphones

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Intel Finnishing it Connections, or, That's Nokia with an IA

June 25, 2009

Jack Gold who has consulted many friends in the industry and provide great analysis now at J Gold Associates has done a more thorough analysis of the Intel Nokia deal that I highlighted yesterday.  Having talked to friends in both companies, I think Jack understands the considerations very well.  Take a read.

 

Today, Intel and Nokia announced a long term strategic relationship. There are 3 key parts to this agreement: Intel will license Nokia's technology for 3G HSPA cellular technology for use with its chips; Intel and Nokia will collaborate on making their respective open source implementations of Linux for small devices (Moblin and Maemo) more compatible; and they will collaborate on future Intel architectures (IA) for mobile devices. This is a compelling partnership for several reasons.

Why we are here? 4GWE Rewind

June 24, 2009

I took the liberty of heavily editing  Brough Turner or Dialogic discussion from the "Our Genealogy" session.  When we come to the west coast we broke up the tutorial so that Brough Turner and Fanny Mlinarsky had more latitude to talk about the current environment.

I placed the Video on YouTube.  Not sure how easy it is to find it has the same title.

What's great about Brough's analysis is the understanding of the prime movers in the technology.

This clip gives the perspective of the fact that like the landline network, the wireless network is being swallowed by the data requirements of the future.
In LA we are continuing the discussion about what it take to evolve the 4G wireless broadband.

In listening to Brough, one thought occurred to me is that iPhone probably drove the US 3G adoption way past Europe at the present time.  (Don't your get hopes, I have not reset my opinion of Apple.) 

Enjoy the listen and if you want to stay up to date with us join us at 4GWE September 1-3 in LA.

In the meantime if you want access to the presentations send me an email and I will add you to system.

Tags: 1G, 2G, 3.5G, 3G, 3GPP, 4G, CDMA, China, FInland, GSM, Huawei, Japan, Korea, Qualcomm, USB Modems, Verizon Wireless, WiMAX, ZTE

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This is ARMless: Nokia & Intel

June 24, 2009


In case you missed it yesterday, the great news was that Intel and Nokia started up their working together again.

Why do I like this?  While I covet an N97 (or even a refurbished N95), my favorite Nokia device was the WiMAX 810 tablet.  Mind you this announcement is for the 3GPP side of the equation.  Its also for Linux which means (I think) its more of a netbook than a phone.

As you watch the Silicon in the wireless devices of the future, various manufacturers are partnered with the subs or other partners for their strategies. 

Down at the base Silicon is in turmoil.  Hostile takeovers, forced mergers and stranded investments.  Nokia working with Intel to use the chips that are at the heart of the data revolution makes real sense.

One of our speakers at 4GWE is from EB Software who was the design support for the 810.  My own take is this will be the key for data network to deliver the full experience of the Internet.

Tags: 3GPP, 4GWE, 810, ARM, ATOM, Chips, EB Software, Intel, LTE, Linux, N95, N97, Nokia, Silicon, WiMAX

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Twenty Reasons to like RIM over Apple

June 23, 2009

Anton Wahlman, a good friend, who helps focus money and hedge bets, sent me this note.    

1.      Blackberry is a fully encrypted military-grade secure platform,
with 100% market share at FBI, CIA, White House, Congress, Department
of Defense, major consultancies and major investment banks.  There has
never been a virus or security breach on a Blackberry.  iPhone is
filled with security vulnerabilities.





New Phones Apple pushes the competition around

June 23, 2009

Last week the iPhone 3GS was announced and Apple says they sold 1M. 

Comparing that to Sprint's PalmPre and T-Mobile G2 announcement its a winner.  However, Apple's efforts to steal the thunder obviously succeeded.

Having said that the front end loading has been pretty annoying.  Apple basically did not let those of us who had minor needs into the store in some areas they were so busy selling the 3GS.

Myself, I continue to try to recuperate from the disaster of losing my machine.  Having gotten different support from the Genius bar and the Apple Care line, I continue to find Apple a back end system disaster.

Call your cell phone operator and they have your history.  Call Apple its like your are a new customer every time.

Which make sense given any problem I talk to them about generates a reset.

For the Apple lovers of the world.  You are right to love their interfaces.  You can even love their customer care.  I do not.

One company they are not pushing around is RIM.  My next post will be why RIM is the real gorilla in the room.

Tags: Apple, G2, Google Android, Iphone 3GS, Palm Pre, Sprint, T-Mobile, att

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4Gee - What happened to Nortel?

June 22, 2009

The road ahead is not as clear cut as people would like to make it.  Case in point is Nortel.  The 3GPP type assets were sold to Nokia Siemens Networks.
Previously the WiMAX side of the shop was scuttled.

So what does this mean for the rest of Nortel?

Candidly I am not sure.

They have other assets they sell to carriers, but I would consider it more marginal and not specifically wireless.  Metro Ethernet, Call Center Solutions including directory, etc.  I would not be surprised if those assets also ended up in other companies.

The part of the company that is enterprised focused is surely in trouble to and acquiring that asset would be best to those who have a weakness in call center capabilities. 

Actually these assets make sense for an Asian buyer.  Although I could make a case for two others.

I can always make the case for Cisco because some of the best assets are in research and I would like to see some people land in the right place. 

As Nortel was failing its R&D was still amazing. 

So what is the lesson for the rest of us?  I would submit that 4G is not a simple migration.  Using the same technologies as the Internet and consumer wireless requires a massive rethink of what a carriers assets are and what they need.

Architectually it looks the same, but in the delivery of services and applications its a new ball game.  Thats been the focus of my travels lately and the speakers that are coming to 4GWE in LA on Sept 1-3 are also focused on the nature of the future.

Nortel had many redeeming qualities and as the assets get integrated natural selection will evolve into something new.

Tags: 3GPP, Call Center, CDMA, Cisco, Directory Services, LTE, MetroEthernet, Nokia-Siemens, Nortel, WiMAX

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Alvarion Open Range Interview.

June 22, 2009

AlvarionOpenRange.mp3  Greg Daily, President of Alvarion, Inc and Ashish Sharma talk to me about the significance of the win with Open Range.

Open Range intends to serve over 6 M in 17 states in the US.  This discussion looks at what was announced and how it can be a lesson for other 4G implementers.

Tags: 4G, Alvarion, Ashish Sharma, Greg Daily, NTIA., Open Range, RUS, Stimulus, WiMAX

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Indirect Consequences - As the FCC settles down

June 19, 2009

Just got off a call on some hiring that I have been advising.  Its been since October and its somewhat political.  Why has it taken so long?  The beauty of Washington Politics is that the change or Parties at the top put a lot of people in flux. 

By in large Washington actually works pretty well the politicians and their lobbyists know each other and act in a civil way (despite the noise you see and hear on TV).

But when the music starts again after an election and everyone has to find a new chair it turns out that in this version of musical chairs, some chairs are better than others.  And that causes a log jam. 

Hiring the right person has been hard since so many candidates are trying for better positions.  And the floor and ceiling is in flux.  Like a person, it may turn out you are their second choice because they are waiting for the appointment of a friend or have their own name in the mix of the administration.

Have a job you may want, it may be held up by the lack of a leader at the department.

So the appointment of the Chairman allows the freeze at the FCC to thaw and for the applicants to have a better understanding of their chances.

Why do I bring this up now, because as the music stops and the chairs get filled the next thing to happen is the noise level is about to increase.  Agendas and lobbying are going to find their pecking order as well.

I have already hinted at what I thought was coming up thats new.  But before we go their Intercarrier Compensation and Special Access are going to become the big stories.

And they have a lot to do with Wireless.  If you see a call with a bad called ID you can suppose that its on purpose and a wireless originator was probably involved (even thought they used VoIP to terminate). imho when Intercarrier compensation gets done this issues should go away.  And as for special access the building out of the wireless backhaul network is looking for relief from these charges.

Assume you see some documents out of the commission by the end of summer,  making for a very active fall.

Tags: FCC, Intercarrier Compensation, job hunting, Julius Genachowski, Lobbying, Obama, Special Access

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Up to Orlando for Infocomm

June 18, 2009

I woke up early this morning to keep some obligations and meet with some friends at Infocomm2009.  For some reason this show things vegas and orlando in june are good ideas.

I think the only people who should schedule for this time of year should be ice makers and deodorant conferences.

The candid remark made to me was "Its not as big as last year", which is a sad statement because to me it was looking at the glass half empty.  Last year Nextcomm was in the south hall of vegas, and i think they would kill to have the floor space this event had.

Additionally, I was there becuase of the Samsung, Radvision announcement that is definitely aimed at being a game changer.  $2000 for a video conferencing terminal pushes the video out of the executive board room and to the halls of the company.

That's also the goal, Samsung has in mind and its very well positioned to succeed. Samsung had another of cool solutions displayed and many of them would integrate well with the Radvision stack.

Radvision to their time demoing to me the presence engine and the opportunity for improved interoperabilty.

Likewise, Magor was demoing their offices by actually looking like two offices talking.  It was a very nice demo and showed well when walking buy it.

A few of the others were into these elaborate desks strategies, To me they are meant to impress the user who is an outsider, but the problem is these systems are internal.

We have a ways to go, but thanks to the magor Mitel / samsung and radvision deal we are gaining some momentum.

Tags: Magor, Mitel, Radvision, Samsung

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