Archive by Rich Karpinski

Google threatens telcos with SMS, payment ‘pricks’

What’s the saying? Death by 1000 pricks?

Telecom service providers are certainly keeping close tabs on Google as a competitor, but it often seems the search giant hasn’t really made one big move that would signal its intentions. They’ve mucked around with spectrum, tweaked telcos at the FCC about DPI and other developments and launched services that seem not-quite-mainstream like Google Talk or Google Voice.

But those pricks add up, don’t they?

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User trends, loosening rules provide ‘app economy’ insights

It continues to be interesting watching the new “app economy” develop.

As we’ve discussed before, the new mobile application ecosystem — largely the iPhone app store right now but with Android, Nokia, Microsoft, Palm and other app outlets in the offing as well — has the potential to change the telecom playing field (for instance, it seems to be breathing new life into VoIP).

New developments: word of iPhone app ARPU (average revenue per user, a classic telecom metric), more app approvals and some worrisome rhetoric about operators taking it on the chin when it comes to the app ecosystem bottom line.

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Google to Gmail users: ‘five nines’ — what’s that?

So Google’s GMail service was down yesterday, apparently due to some architectural issues that failed to isolate failed routers correctly. That follows major outages in February and May. Just ask a telco, a few hours of outages per month can very quickly not a few “nines” off your “ive-nines” uptime guarantees.

That’s not to say that everything is rosy in carrier-land, either. more

Skype-o-Rama: Why VoIP matters again

Who knew? Last we’d heard, the VoIP and Web-based calling business was fading, with companies like Vonage having a hard time competing and upstarts like Jangl calling it quits.

But all of a sudden, VoIP news seems to be everywhere, and almost all of it good. Skype, of course, selling out at a price that values the company at $2.75 billion, more than the $2.6 billion eBay paid for it (a seeming minor miracle). Vonage’s stock soaring last week, then falling back slightly, before heading upward again as its iPhone app was officially approved. VoIP Web calling and SIP backbone player Jajah inking a deal with Microsoft. The profile of Google Voice rising at last, at least in part due to its much-noted trouble getting in to the iPhone store.

So why is VoIP suddenly so hot?

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Mac desktop virtualization vendor does carrier cloud automation too

If you work on a Mac, you probably are familiar with Parallels, the company and software that lets Mac users run the Windows operating system and applications in so-called “virtualized” fashion. In recent weeks, the privately-held Parallels announced a new app to help making a Windows-to-Mac switch easier and another update helping users run Windows and Linux side-by-side.

But for all the attention the vendor’s desktop virtualization business gets — including its success fueling visions of a possible IPO sometime soon – Parallels also does a healthy business providing hosting companies, including telecom service providers, with an industrial strength platform for automating, virtualizing and provisioning managed services and new cloud computing applications.

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Could targeted ad opportunity be over before it starts?

Blessed with a treasure trove of information about their users — including down to the IP level thanks to technologies like deep packet inspection — most large telecom service providers have advertising at least somewhere on their new service revenue white boards.

Don’t count the pennies on those (potentially billions of) impressions too early. more

The growing video age gap

It’s no surprise that online video skews to the young, but it’s always interesting to see some hard data to back it up.

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So Al Gore invented the Internet and Barack Obama could turn it off?

Word today of the latest draft of proposed Senate bill that would allow the president to temporarily assert control over the public Internet in the event of a so-called “cybersecurity emergency.” more

Apple approves rival music app — just the start?

Online, ad-supported music service Spotify — available only in Europe so far, but garnering tremendous attention — could be set for yet another leap forward as Apple has apparently approved an iPhone version of the app. more

Why is Vonage stock suddenly going bananas?

Vonage stock, sitting at about 38 cents seven trading days ago, has exploded, hitting a high of $2.24 (or a 495% increase) before settling at about $2.00 mid-day Thursday. Have we seen the peak or as their more upside to come? Who knows?

The more compelling question may be why the huge jump in the first place?

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