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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

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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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.







Why Not COMPTEL?

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 Bandwidth.com, 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).
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