Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

September 2009

You are browsing the archive for September 2009.

Social Media Preso for FISPA

September 29, 2009

Ma Bell Versus Google

September 28, 2009

It's funny to watch Ma Bell fight Google, because Bell isn't used to fighting another company that also has billions of dollars - and millions of users. No CLEC was ever this big - nor cable company. And Google is kind of both -- or at least that is what Ma Bell is crying to the FCC about. 

Google has more video on YouTube than any DVR or cable company can match currently. Google Voice is the online VoIP service many people wish that an innovative telecommunications services company would have delivered years ago.  But Ma Bell isn't innovative.

Nice Folks at FusionTel

September 28, 2009

Lots of parties last week at Channel Partners Expo. It seems like it is almost 2003 again. So back to the Delano we went with FusionTel. FusionTel wanted to make a splash by having a party at the Delano. It worked about 60 people showed up at 4:30 to have a few drinks and chat.

I got to start a conversation with their President, but we didn't get to finish it. I did get to chat with Stacy Conrad, Senior Director of Partner Sales, about agents selling their Hosted VoIP service.

Telecom Billing Issues

September 25, 2009

I moderated a panel on Telecom Billing Issues at Channel Partners this week. It was a full room. Apparently, one or two people thought it was too hard on the carriers (or I was too hard on a carrier). 

If you have been in telecom for more than a year (and have any voice customers) then you know that there are billing issues. Heck, even on simple IP or transport bills there are errors and surprises.

Thoughts about UC

September 25, 2009

Pouring Billions

September 21, 2009

The WSJ has an article titled, "AT&T, Verizon Still Pouring Billions Into Mobile Networks". It notes that cellcos have already spent billions upgrading their networks to 2.5G and 3G -- and now will spend billions more on 4G.

In addition, both companies are also dumping billions into International routes, domestic broadband networks, and their respective triple play networks, U-Verse and FiOS. 

On top of that, both companies have been acquiring companies, like Alltel and Centennial. Ummm, how are they not toppled over in debt? 

These companies have felt intense pricing pressure from cable companies as well as T-Mobile and Sprint. Customer Acquisition and Retention costs have to be high, even as ARPU remains about the same.

Hulu Killed the TV

September 16, 2009

As stated previously, as telcos spend billions to deliver TelcoTV to the masses, the masses decided they don't want it.

The cellular companies want to deliver some kind of TV content exclusively to their uses. This makes no sense because these guys bitch a storm when you actually use your EVDO/High speed Internet card, but streaming video to my handset is fine? Schizophrenic much?

Also, these same companies - ATT and VZW - are building out telco TV networks and 4G networks. Can you say redundant billions?

Why they didn't just stick with the satellite TV partnership instead of their current play is beyond me.

But It's In the Tariff!

September 16, 2009

I've been trying to order Dry Fiber out of the AT&T Southeast FCC Tariff # 1 for over a month.

The Service Inquiry used to be manual paper - now it is a system called NSS. No idea how to access that system. 

I tried to order it through the Channel. It is not on the commission schedule so my Channel Manager wrote me, "We need to concentrate on products we get paid for, dry fiber is not one of those products."  So nevermind helping the customer.  Or sell product and bring in some revenue. Or that the customer has a huge spend with AT&T already. (Or that I just need an SI done - nothing more).

Product Management indicated that AT&T is no longer offering the Dry Fiber product.


September 14, 2009

A piece of news hit me that just adds to the bad taste that COMPTEL leaves in my mouth. Here's an organization that is mainly composed of CLEC's. Since MCI and AT&T were acquired by RBOC's all teeth have left the building. I can't think of a single COMPTEL FCC or court victory.

New Sprint Rumor

September 14, 2009

Engadget has a rumor that Deutsche Telekom is eyeing Sprint Nextel for acquisition. There are a number of issues here:
  1. DT owns T-Mobile.
  2. T-Mobile is GSM and Sprint is iDEN and CDMA. Not much value in mixing that many signaling protocols. No synergy.
  3. FTC and DOJ may not like that much Public Safety being foreign owned.
  4. The cost would be staggering.
By that I mean that DT isn't exactly experiencing huge growth to pay back a multi-billion dollar acquisition of a declining asset.

SUTUS Does an Upgrade

September 10, 2009

SUTUS sells an Office-in-the-box solution for small business. For 25 and under employees, the Sutus Business Central 200 is a file server, email server, router, wireless access point, and phone system. The BC200 has gotten an upgrade
  • New User Interface: enhanced Flex technology supports seamless installation, management and use of the Business Central 200, onsite and/or remotely.
  • Enhanced Desktop Install Tools: enables the set-up of desktops, VPN clients and mail clients in a matter of minutes.
  • Enhanced Network Interoperability: the appliance now can seamlessly co-exist within a customer's legacy local area networks; including active directory, hosted exchange, and existing internet routers.
  • VoIP Interoperability: ITSP partners added to the VoIP interop menu now include, Airespring, Excel and XO Communications.
It's the telephony upgrade that caught my eye: Call park / retrieve and directed pick-up. Older key systems use call park and most Hosted PBX systems cannot emulate that feature. (Aastra has a PBX that can).

ADTRAN Teams with TBI

September 10, 2009

Channel Shift

September 10, 2009

The Channel is Shifting - and by that I do not mean a paradigm shift. I mean, that some telecom company channel programs are shifting away from a typical Agent focus and aiming squarely at the VAR Channel.

XO has a distribution deal with Tech Data that gives them access to a ide and deep VAR base. Once the VAR's figure out that taking the WAN piece isn't that difficult, the value added reseller will become what the system integrator is to Microsoft Partners:  the glue that small business needs to mesh it all together.

The Systems Integrator doesn't just install software, they right API's or drivers or database hooks to make data flow in an easier fashion through the system. The basic MCP just sells licenses and Exchange seats.

Only 2 Rounds of Broadband Stimulus

September 10, 2009

Looks like the latest testimony says that there will only be 2 rounds of funding under the Broadband Stimulus act.

V. Future Funding Rounds Although NTIA and RUS previously indicated that we planned to hold up to three rounds of funding, our review of our experience in this first round, leads us to now explore the option of holding just one more round of funding. This more consolidated approach may have the potential of yielding benefits for all stakeholders.

Too many apps for way too much money (basic math anyone?) has closed the window for some applicants who were on a holding pattern to see what could be learned from Round 1.

What did we learn? Rules change fast these days.

Contract Law and Bad Advertising

September 4, 2009

Being a telecom agent usually means that you will have commission challenges with your vendors (the carriers). 

I have been on the receiving end of a big dent in my pay a couple of times. (Netting sucks). But it is the nature of the beast.

I would like to point out that time and again when agents bring their commission issues to me (because I am a blogger and a founding member of the TCA, a non-profit association for the betterment of the  agent channel), the dispute is a Contract dispute. Your agent agreement is a contract.

Can You Scale?

September 1, 2009

I've been talking about Scale and Culture a lot lately. As companies hit revenue plateaus, the growth is difficult.

How do you hire the right employees that will fit in your corporate culture? Especially if your culture is what is one of your differentiators like Paetec likes to say (or Zappos). 

How do you manage the growth?

We have had a $1B CLEC before - Intermedia. It imploded under its own weight.

CLEC Strategy Thoughts

September 1, 2009

Talking with a mutual fund manager today about CLEC Strategy. The interesting point that was made is that if you don't own your own facilities is your business model short term?

Interestingly, if you own your own facilities - whether that is fiber, MTU, or wireless - then you certainly have an advantage. To get there, you need to sell Dense. Then convert to facilities from rented plant.

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