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

Why Android Sucks: Part 2

Earlier this month in a piece titled Why Android Sucks you learned that Dell decided to stop updating Android devices. The article...

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2016 State of WebRTC

Where are we really with WebRTC?  It’s not generating the buzz it used to. There are not many specialized conferences anymore.  Even...

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What It Means to Master an Agency

After rumors swirled at CP Expo in Vegas in March, the announcement is finally here: Sandler Partners is acquiring X4. This...

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Why You?

This was another Me-too week in press releases. It was ILEC SD-WAN week with announcements from AT&T, CenturyLink and Verizon. It...

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Zang to Grow Communications PaaS offerings at All About the API

Here at the All About the API 2016 show in Las Vegas I got a chance to catch up with keynoter Davide...

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PlumUC Pipes in on Skype4B for Partners

On Microcorp's weekly agent call, the first topic was the Office365 opportunity for channel partners. (One slide from that call shows...

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Business Continuity is a Conversation

I think about Business Continuity all the time. In the past two months, my cable service has gone out 3 times...

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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

  • Related Entries

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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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.