Archive for December, 2009

Blogging Telco 2.0: Mobile data and ‘voice 2.0′ opportunities explored

Reporting live from Day Two of STL Partner’s first Telco 2.0 event here in Orlando. Read yesterday’s report here.

We’ll follow the conversation throughout the day as it bounces from topic to topic. Up first: mobile data trends and voice 2.0 opportunities.

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The Best and Worst of 2009 - Survey

There was no shortage of events, trends, new products and services to remember in 2009 - even some that we’d like to forget. But as 2009 comes to a close, we’d like your opinions on the year past. What were the top technology trends? What was the most unexpected event or most game-changing product? We know our readers have opinions, and we’d like to hear them.

Connected Planet and Telephony Online readers, please take a moment to fill out our survey on the good, the bad and the ugly in telecom for 2009. The first 100 respondents will be entered in a drawing to win a $50 American Express gift certificate.

Take our short survey here: Best & Worst of 2009

Sprint CEO Hesse on 4G pricing plans

Dan Hesse On the same day (and at the same investor conference) that AT&T’s Mobility and Consumer Markets CEO Ralph de la Vega talked about how his company is preparing consumers for usage-based billing models, Sprint (NYSE:S) CEO Dan Hesse shared his own thoughts on the subject.

“When you think about post-paid — and I don’t know what’s going to happen — it’s not just going to be your phone,” Hesse said. “It’s going to be your camera, your iTouch, your gaming device – they’re all going to become wireless, so what’s going to be the right plan for those? As we move into 4G, it’ll be much less about minutes and more about gigabytes (GB) as the main driver of what customers are buying per month, because it’s going to be VoIP-oriented. Minutes will be largely irrelevant. It’s going to be data-oriented. Customers may buy 100 GB of data rather than by month, they may buy monthly contracts or 1- or 2-year [contracts]. We want to have the flexibility — in wholesale and retail, prepaid and post-paid, with multiple brands — to move and morph, because business models are going to change…The biggest growth will come from non-traditional wireless devices.”

Blogging Telco 2.0: A way out of the “valley of death”

I’m spending the next few days in Orlando at STL Partner’s first Telco 2.0 show here in the U.S. The conference has quickly grown in influence as one of the industry’s go-to events for new thinking about telco service and business (and, frankly, survival) models.
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As Frontier awaits Verizon lines, cable guys pounce

Competitors are pouncing on Verizon Communications’ (NYSE:VZ) move to sell 4.8 million access lines to Frontier Communications (NYSE:FTR) in 14 states, reaching out to Verizon customers in those areas and urging them to switch providers before the network changes hands.

In particular, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has been targeting customers in Washington and Oregon, according to Donald Shassian, Frontier’s chief financial officer. Those attacks are made easier by the high-profile service problems Verizon customers saw in the Northeast after they became Fairpoint Communications customers, in a similar transaction. Frontier says it knows how to avoid the problems that beset Fairpoint. But in the mean time, while its deal is still pending (perhaps until next summer), Frontier can’t fight back in the markets it has yet to acquire.

“We can’t force [Verizon] to come up with a new promotion or new incentives or change their marketing,” Shassian said at an investor conference this week. “It’s been challenging to compete against Comcast’s campaign like that. We can’t advertise in those markets because we don’t have regulatory approval. That [would be] poking a regulator in the chest. You can’t assume you’re going to get something. You’ve got to sit back on your heels and hope Verizon does their best.” more

Helping providers win at the marketing game - on demand

NextGen Marketing Group, a virtual marketing shop with very deep executive roots in the telecom industry, this week launched new suite of services to help its telco customers cut their marketing costs while keeping the marketing pedal to the metal. more

Distracted drivers get mixed messages

The potential of consumers talking while driving was a fear that kept Martin Cooper, Motorola engineer and the inventor of the first cell phone, awake at night, according to an interesting report in the New York Times today. He suggested a lock on the dial to keep users from making calls while in motion. This idea got lost as the business of in-car calling became more attractive, but other options have since arisen. The latest comes from ZoomSafer, which today launched a new Web site and partnered with cell-phone retailer Wirefly to offer free ZoomSafer-equipped BlackBerry smartphones to encourage safe driving. more

Will Apple plus LaLa mean streaming nirvana?

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) confirmed its acquisition of music streaming company Lala today, a potentially huge move if – but only if – it leads to music streaming for all Apple products. While the service as it is today takes more of a “taste-and-buy” approach to music than a pure subscription model, some believe Lala will mean a streaming subscription service is in the cards for Apple.

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3G vs. 3G: Whose mobile data network is best?

As Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD) and AT&T (NYSE:T) argue on TV whose network is fastest and most ubiquitous, independent performance testing firm Root Wireless has put their claims to the test, mapping out the performance metrics of all of the big four’s 3G networks in seven major metro markets. The findings were surprising. Though AT&T has taken a huge public relations hit for poor coverage and capacity on its high-speed packet access (HSPA) network, Root found that it’s network performed best in almost every single category from average download speed to level of connection failure (See TelephonyOnline’s related analysis of AT&T and Verizon’s networks). Root’s complete market data can be seen after the break. more

Manufacturing in the U.S.A. — an Adtran photo blog

So this week Adtran invited press and analysts down to Huntsville, Ala., for a debriefing on upcoming announcements and a tour, of among other things, its manufacturing facilities that build and assemble enterprise and carrier equipment here on U.S. soil, right in-house.

The company does ship high-volume manufacturing off-shore to contract manufacturing partners, but says managing first-runs and rush jobs locally — with its engineers and designers right in the next building — can actually save money when all costs are accounted for. Further, it gives the company insights into its own products that it claims competitors lack.

U.S-based manufacturing is so rare these days, we thought we would share a look. more

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