Archive for September, 2009

ALU, NEC still partnered for LTE (but they’re seeing other people)

Remember that joint venture to develop long-term evolution technology Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) and NEC announced at Mobile World Congress two years ago? Those of you that do remember might have been slightly puzzled by Telefonica’s LTE trial announcement today, which named both Alcatel-Lucent and NEC as separate competitors for their contract. If they’re developing the same base station, there’s not much point in doing separate trials, right?

According to Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Christine de Monfreid, our eyes are not deceiving us–ALU and NEC are, in fact, competing with each other for the Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) business and they’re bringing their own separately developed LTE kits to the party. It turns out that the two vendors re-evaluated their proposed joint venture last year and decided to scale it back a bit. Instead of developing a joint product line they’re attacking the market with their own portfolios but have agreed to collaborate on a case-by-case basis when going after specific customers, de Monfreid said.

I doubt that means that Alcatel-Lucent and NEC are going to custom build base stations for specific customers, but the implication is that, in the future, ALU and NEC could leverage each other’s customer relationships in their respective markets to land deals, i.e. a Japanese carrier long accustomed to dealing with NEC wants Alcatel-Lucent gear in its network.

Telefonica LTE trials blends vendors from east and west

Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) has become the latest global operator to commit to long-term evolution trials and like Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD), Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) and China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), it’s casting a wide net in search of suppliers. more

Comcast CEO named among five most ‘overpaid’

Brian RobertsComcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Brian Roberts has been named one of the top five most overpaid CEOs by the Corporate Library, a corporate governance research and analysis firm.

Roberts’ total 2008 compensation of more

AT&T vs. Google: Does net neutrality cross industry lines?

So what does it mean to be a telecom service provider, or more specifically, and in the most legalistic terms possible, a “carrier?”

more

AT&T brings connectivity to TomTom

AT&T (NYSE:T) announced today it will lend its 3G network to navigation and digital map provider TomTom’s XL340S Live, its first mid-range portable navigation device (PDN) preloaded with Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) local search service and real-time traffic information.

The device will let consumers search online for points of interest, the fastest routes through traffic or use TomTom’s service to find the best fuel prices. It retails for $299.99 including three months of connectivity. After that, the company is charging a $9.95 per month subscription fee. more

Some broadband projects self-fund without stimulus

As broadband stimulus applicants vie for federal funding, plenty of government entities across the country are moving ahead with public/private partnerships that extend broadband without the need for grant money from Uncle Sam. more

Grid Week: A telecom missed opportunity

This week I attend my first Grid Week conference in Washington D.C., but I wasn’t the only newbie there. In contrast to most telecom trade shows this year, this jam-packed conference, in its third year of existence, sold out. The mostly vendor-driven show did have one important (at least to Connected Planet) segment missing, however – telecom service providers. more

Time Warner: Too little, too late?

Time Warner Cable proudly unveiled its fastest Internet access service in New York City — 50 Megabits per second downstream/5 Mbps upstream for about $100 for consumers — and got, at best, tepid applause.

If anything, the announcement focused attention on what TWC hasn’t done, as in rolling out Docsis 3.0 technology across its footprint. Obviously, New York City is not only its largest market, but also the target of a major Verizon FiOS rollout.

Other large ISPs have been playing in the faster Internet speed business for longer, and offering incentives and discounts to lure consumers as well.

I think the time has past when speed is the primary draw of an Internet service. Price still plays a role, but consumers are looking for high-quality customer service and reliability, ease of installation and operation and more relevant bundles, i.e., bundle options that let them pick and choose which services they want.

Business customers, particularly small businesses, are a target of the TWC offering, but even here they may be missing the boat. Certainly, business class 50 Meg service for $289.95 is attractive, but depending on what the small business plans to do with its Internet offering, managed services could well have greater appeal at a price tag that is not a huge leap for a small business.

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No 360 for VZW, but it stays commited to LiMo platform

Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) is puttingthe LiMo Foundations Linux-based operating system at the heart of its new social-networking centric mobile Internet portal, called 360, and plans to bring the phones and service to most of its global subsidaries this year and next. The big exception is Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD), which tends to go its own way anyhow. But while VZW may not be participating in Vodafone’s global cloud applications extraveganza, it is still following its lead on the device. more

Networks alone not enough for carriers to compete in CDN

Though telecom carriers in the content delivery networking (CDN) space are quick to point to their networks as differentiators, they will have to climb the service stack – developing more sophisticated service features – to compete.

That was some of the advice from Dan Rayburn, principal analyst with Frost & Sullivan, in a recent Telephony Webcast that you can replay here. more

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