The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See:”
Telstra Europe, a UK-based “alternative business telephony and data service provider,” has announced the launch of an enhanced range of Business Broadband services across the UK with speeds of up to 8Mbps.
Of course, the actual broadband speed attained will depend on the length and quality of the telephone line. Telstra Europe will provide the fastest speed possible up to the maximum quoted speed of the service purchased. Actual results may vary. Some settling of contents may have occurred during shipping. Serving suggestion.
As competition within the UK broadband market continues to intensify, Telstra’s enhanced service offerings – Business BroadbandMax and Business Broadband Max Pro – are billed as providing customers with free installation, high speed connectivity and nationwide coverage.
Telstra’s also offering “competitive pricing plans” backed up with 24/7 customer and technical support, and the package includes .uk domain name, e-mail and web hosting.
David Thorn, CEO, Telstra Europe, claimed Telstra is “one of the first providers to launch an enhanced business broadband service across the UK with download speeds of up to 8Mbps.”
The Business Broadband Max Pro service costs £59.99 per month ($107) and is recommended for office users with 10 or more staff. In comparison with the Business Broadband Max service at £39.99 ($71) per month, it provides increased maximum upload speeds and throughput capacity for businesses which have greater bandwidth requirements.
Happy birthday to the late Ella Fitzgerald, born in Newport News, Virginia in 1918. “I owe Marilyn (Monroe) a real debt,” Fitzgerald once said. “It was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ‘50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again.”
On-demand CRM vendor RightNow Technologies, Inc. has announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2006, reporting its 33rd consecutive quarter of revenue growth, with first quarter consolidated revenue of $24.6 million, an increase of 34 percent from the first quarter of 2005.
GAAP net loss in the first quarter of 2006 was $(440,000) or $(0.01) per diluted share, compared to net income of $801,000, or $0.02 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2005. First quarter 2006 non-GAAP net income per diluted share was $0.01, which excludes the effect of the new accounting standard for stock-based compensation.
RightNow added 97 new customers and handled 281 million customer interactions during the first quarter. New, renewed and expanded customer relationships during the first quarter of 2006 included Crutchfield Corporation, Deltek, Electronic Arts, HanseNet Telekommunikations GmbH, London Underground Ltd., Overstock.com, Ricoh, Scholastic Inc., Sharper Image, Ticketmaster, and Virgin America Inc.
For the second quarter of 2006, revenue is anticipated to be in the range of $25.5 to $26.5 million. GAAP diluted net loss per diluted share is expected to be in the range of $(0.02) to $(0.04) cents.
For the full year 2006, revenue is anticipated to be in the range of $115 to $120 million, and GAAP diluted net income per share is expected to be in the range of $0.02 to $0.09 cents. Excluding the effect of stock-based compensation, non-GAAP diluted net income per share for the year is expected to be in the range of $0.16 to $0.23 cents.
Vimpel Communications, a vendor of telecommunications to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Amdocs, a vendor of CRM products, have announced that VimpelCom and its affiliates across the CIS will standardize on Amdocs technology.
VimpelCom’s CIS affiliates will deploy multiple Amdocs products including billing, contact center, self-service and sales force automation, as well as ordering and service fulfillment.
VimpelCom officials say the company needs help supporting the “fast pace of subscriber growth.”
Currently each VimpelCom affiliate relies on a different system. By standardizing on Amdocs, all VimpelCom CIS companies will have identical billing and customer care systems in each region.
The Amdocs system will create immediate access to all customer data across all touch-points for each affiliate, while its customer service representatives will have a single customer view across all lines of business. This will fit in with VimpelCom’s ambition to build a strong, multi-regional brand and expedite the introduction and support of new services across its CIS affiliates, while paying attention to things like customer satisfaction and retention, and reducing operating costs associated with billing and customer service.
“We have expanded our business across Russia and CIS through acquisitions,” said Sergey Avdeev, Executive Vice President, Chief Technical Officer, VimpelCom, who acknowledged that integrating these affiliates, aligning the business processes to deliver customer service, can be troublesome.
In Russia, VimpelCom uses Amdocs Billing, Amdocs CRM and Amdocs Self Service to support its more than 40 million corporate and individual subscribers.
According to the Interfax news agency, hopeful Russia VoIP provider GlobeTel has “postponed the launch of a major project to build a wireless Internet access network in 30 Russian cities from April to May.”
Interfax cites a source close to the company as saying the cause of the delay is that GlobeTel’s Russian partner, Internafta, has not provided the money necessary to fund the first stage of construction:
“The project to set up DECT high-speed Internet and mobile telecommunications access requires $600 million. The first $150 million tranche should have been received in January 2006. The company announced a delay in payment several times, after which agreement terms were changed. The companies decided to break up the payment into several smaller tranches, but none of these has been made yet.”
GlobeTel, an American company based in Florida, announced at the end of December 2005 its plans to set up WiMAX, WiFi and DECT services in Russia, using base stations in aerostats (which the vulgar call “blimps”). Construction was to get underway in April:
“The company applied to the Russian Telecommunications Ministry to have its equipment certified in Russia, but applications for a telecom services license and the necessary frequencies have not yet been submitted,” Interfax says.
According to the Providence Journal, Rhode Island-based Aloha Partners LP has established a new subsidiary, Hiwire, to oversee plans to deliver wireless, broadcast-quality TV programming to cell-phone users.
Charles C. Townsend, president of Aloha Partners, said his company believes the venture will succeed because “It combines the two activities that Americans spend the most time doing: watching TV and talking on the cell phone.”
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