The biggest jump over the weekend was Red Bull Stratos: "Felix Baumgartner captured the attention of the web on Sunday when he jumped from a capsule 128,000 feet above Earth and landed safely on the ground in New Mexico." [via Huffpro] Not only did Baumgartner break the speed of sound, but YouTube broke the streaming barrier previously set at the Olympics. 8M people watched globally as Baumgarter jumped from the stratosphere.
Another big jump was Japanese mobile operator, Softbank, plunking down $20.1 Billion for a 70% stake in Sprint. Sprint needed the cash to reverse its course in 4G build-out issues with WiMax and Clearwire. PCMag has a good analysis of the deal. I think that if Hesse gets to stick around as CEO this money won't mean jack! "Believe it or not, Sprint is still trying to deal with the aftermath of its 2006 merger with Nextel, network-wise."
Increasingly, it is a global telecom world. "Britain's Vodafone owns part of Verizon. T-Mobile is owned by a German company. AT&T owns part of Mexico's America Movil, which in turn owns parts of lots of other carriers." VZ just announced plans to spend in Asia. Level3 has been expanding internationally (which still hasn't helped their bottom line).
The third big jump was VZ into SMB Hosted PBX. I say this because it looks like VZ is doing things differently than others. For example, they aren't talking about cost savings. That right their is a huge jump for VoIP players. (Are the rest of you watching?) "Verizon Introduces ‘Virtual Communications Express’ to Accelerate Productivity for SMB - Now Companies Can More Simply and Cost-Effectively Employ Advanced Collaboration Tools to Speed Decision-Making and Enhance Customer Service." The other piece that marks a departure is that VZ's VCE works with Google Apps!!! VZ does notice that 5 million small businesses use Google Apps - and it doesn't hurt that many of those businesses use Android phones on the VZW network.
"Companies using Google Apps for Business can download a Virtual Communications Express application from the Google Apps Marketplace, which will allow users to make calls -- with one click -- from Gmail, GChat and Google Calendar. Individuals can also see if other Google Apps users are available to join a call instantly."
"A Verizon-certified phone and an Internet connection, from any broadband provider, are all that any company needs to experience Virtual Communications Express’ benefits of enhanced productivity through real-time collaboration with co-workers, customers and business partners. In addition, administrators can authorize and instantly manage the various features available to individuals through a dedicated online tool."
Another winner here is Broadsoft. VZ is using Cisco in Enterprise UC, but BSFT for SMB. That's a huge sigh of relief from Maryland.
Another jump was in patent trolling lawsuits. "Based on our sample, lawsuits filed by patent monetizers have increased from 22% of the cases filed five years ago to almost 40% of the cases filed in the most recent year. In addition, of the five parties in the sample who filed the greatest number of lawsuits during the period studied, four were monetizers and only one was an operating company."
Finally, we have had metering of mobile and cable broadband, but now comes the Piracy Police. From Torrent Freak:
"A set of leaked internal AT&T training documents obtained by TorrentFreak reveal that the Internet provider will start sending out anti-piracy warning notices to its subscribers on November 28. Customers whose accounts are repeatedly flagged for alleged copyright infringements will have their access to frequently visited websites blocked, until they complete an online copyright course."