Archive for June, 2009

CBeyond: SMBs turning up pricing pressure

Small businesses, under pressure from the sagging economy, are in turn increasing pressure on telecom service providers to lower prices – even on those with lower IP-based cost structures. That was the report from Robert Fugate, chief financial officer of CBeyond (NasdaqGS: CBEY), at an investor conference yesterday. more

Sprint, Level 3 talk LH JV after Qwest auction

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) and Level 3 Communications (NasdaqGS: LVLT) are discussing the possibility of a joint venture involving their long-haul networks, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The two have been talking in “recent weeks,” which is about how long it’s been clear that Qwest Communications was not going to find a buyer willing to pay the price it wanted for its long-haul network.

When asked at an investor conference yesterday whether Qwest had considered divesting its long-haul network through a spin-out in combination with Sprint’s network, Qwest’s chief financial officer Joe Euteneuer said, “We entertained all possibilities.” more

T-Mobile says no evidence that hackers stole customer info

T-Mobile USA is investigating recent reports that hackers infiltrated its databases, pilfering valuable systems information and internal documents that they are now offering to sell to the highest bidder. But in a statement today, T-Mobile said that so far there is no evidence that any customer or subscriber information has been compromised. A T-Mobile spokesperson wrote:

Following a recent online posting that an alleged hacker apparently accessed T-Mobile servers, the company is conducting a thorough investigation and at this time has found no evidence that customer information, or other company information, has been compromised. Reports to the contrary are inaccurate and should be corrected. T-Mobile continues to monitor this situation and as a precaution has taken additional measures to further ensure our customers’ information and our systems are protected. As is our standard practice, customers can be assured if there is any evidence that customer or system information has been compromised, we would inform those affected as quickly as possible. more

Tellabs plans 4G distributed gateways for fall

Tellabs (NASDAQ: TLAB) is likely to introduce gateways this fall that are designed for the distributed architectures of 4G wireless networks such as LTE, the company said today.

“[LTE] is going to move towards a distributed radio network,” Rob Pullen, Tellabs’ chief executive officer, said at an investor conference today. “Everything today is backhauled to some agregation or hubbing point. It’s my belief that LTE and WiMax are going to have more of a distributed architecture. So you’ll be switching locally within the radio access part of the network.” more

Whitacre’s biggest challenge yet

I have to admit I was stunned by the news that Ed Whitacre has agreed to be chairman of the board for GM. It looks like retirement isn’t agreeing with the guy who spent the last 20-plus years building the smallest of the regional Bell companies, post-divestiture, into a telecom powerhouse that ultimately swallowed its former parent, AT&T.

Can Ed Whitacre work magic at GM? Granted, he’s the chairman of the board, not the chief executive officer, but Whitacre will still be on the hot seat if the current plans for restructuring GM, post-bankruptcy, into a more nimble and consumer-focused auto maker don’t work. more

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Faster iPhone 3GS officially unveiled

Apple today officially introduced its rumored iPhone 3GS, the s standing for “speed” as it’s the most powerful, fastest iPhone ever made, Apple’s vice president of marketing Phil Schiller told attendees of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Worldwide Developers Conference held today in San Francisco. more

Sprint cuts mobile broadband price

While Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD) is trying to lure mobile broadband customers by easing up on its data caps, Sprint (NYSE:S) is targeting new data customers by adjusting a different metric: price. Today it announced it is now offering to enterprises a 500-MB 3G broadband access plan for $40, which more than doubles the data cap offered by VZW and AT&T (NYSE:T) for similarly priced plans. more

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Infinera: Most promising

Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) has been named “Most Promising Vendor of the Year in the Asia Pacific market” by Frost & Sullivan.

Infinera made a total of 812 promises to customers in that region last year, according to F&S; the next most promising vendor made only 650.

[Pause for laughter.]
[Pause further.]

Sorry, folks. But given the dour tone of this morning’s other news, I couldn’t help myself.

I’ll get back to work now. I promise.

Industry groups targeting the WiMax femtocell

Two forums are teaming up with the goal of producing a WiMax femtocell. Today the Femto Forum and the WiMax Fourm announced plans to collaborate on specifications for WiMax femto access point, tackling such issues as end-to-end quality of service (QoS), provisioning, network authentication, power optimization and mobility management. Though the two organizations won’t be producing a femto of their own, they’ll produce a framework on which the growing number of femtocell manufacturers can design their own WiMax products. more

Verizon’s cloud: Open APIs this year?

Telecom carriers have often been told to follow the likes of Amazon and Google and open their networks to developers en masse via public application progam interfaces (APIs). Carriers have obvious reasons for being wary of such an approach; to name two: (1) The fear of being reduced to a ‘dump pipe’ provider as a result and the difficulty in trying the alternative in an open world: ensuring to end users the service quality of countless unknown garage-built apps. (2) It’s not entirely clear just yet how lucrative the approach would be for carriers or even how lucrative it has been for Amazon and Google.

The new cloud-computing offering Verizon has announced today, Computing as a Service, is a clear departure from Amazon’s approach. But Verizon did tell Telephony it may introduce open APIs this year as part of the new architecture. It’s not at all clear just how open they would be (open just to large enterprise clients, for Verizon-approved apps?). And Verizon itself appears not to have completely settled on that question internally. Stay tuned.

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