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Posts from June 2009

WiMax/In Home and Mobile Bundles Coming From Comcast

A lot of time and words are spent bashing Comcast by many a pundit, but you can't ignore the fact that as a company they clearly have a strategy and a very defined one that says "we want to be you communications company."

In Portland Oregon, a market they serve in competition with iLec Qwest much in the same manner that Cablevision competes mostly with Verizon in the metro New York region, the cable giant is showcasing just why the invested in ClearWire after Sprint proved once again they can innovate but not market Xoom, their mobile WiMax play backed now by a consortium of cable operators and technology players including Google and Motorola, as well as Intel, who always plays the role of the Insider.

Rethink Wireless points out that:

Comcast is offering a 12-month introductory rate. For $50 a month, a subscriber gets 12Mbps home cable broadband and WiMAX, which is only a $7 premium over the cost of cable broadband alone (and includes a free Wi-Fi router). A national 3G add-on is an extra $20 a month and roaming to other Clearwire WiMAX markets is free. After the one-year trial the tariff goes up to $73 a month ($93 with 3G). There will be a $99 charge for a dongle (and other devices to follow in future), though people who commit to a two-year deal get the gadget for free.

To me, the $20 a month national mobile calling plan is a new low in pricing, and while the number of minutes weren't revealed, at the end of the day for $73 a month to have mobile WiMax, voice and cable broadband is a sweet deal. All they're missing is a WiFi roaming deal and this would make the WiMax bundle direction to really consider if you lived in the covered area.

Comcast Gets The Global Nature Of Voice

Hat Tip to Doug Mohney for his discovery of Comcast's new International plan, which is another broad shot cross the bow taken at Vonage and Skype by the cable companies.

While not a "free" offer, this is a move by the cable giant is offering another reason to buy their triple play (voice, video and data) and then upsell the customers with more options. In this case $15 dollars buys you an added 300 minutes (six hours) of international calling.

Shozu and Truphone Nominated for Euro Tech Awards

The TechCrunch European Tech Awards nominations are out and the voting is open, and two of my clients plus a company we worked with for a year, Palringo, giving us three are in the running which in hockey terms gives us the Hat Trick!

Shozu and Truphone have hit the list in different categories. Truphone is joined by Palringo in the The Europas: Best Mobile Startup (EMEA) category, while Shozu is listed in the The Europas: Best Mobile Application (EMEA) category.

What's also great to see is that one Truphone's key founders, Alexander Straub was also listed a nominee in the The Europas: Best Investor Personality (EMEA) category. I just had dinner with Alexander and Truphone CEO Geraldine Wilson, along with CFO Coen Van Breda and founder James Tagg. If there was a category for best fund raisers it would be Van Breda and Tagg, who together have raised over $52 million US Dollars for Truphone.

It's also nice to see pal Pat Phelan's company, MaxRoam on the list. We all know Pat as one of the hardest working guys around so its nice to see his company recognized.


I've been trying to come up with a name for the cool, pocket size WiFi hotspot creators that are rapidly coming to market, starting with the Novatel Wirless MiFis (of which I now have both CDMA and GSM version-unlocked to boot).

Then it hit me..the term is POCKETSPOT. I claim first use of the term, even though you will find the term used in photography for a small spotlight to light a very discreet amount of space, I've yet to see the term used in relation to the MiFi like device .

Free WiFi @ San Diego International Hits a Speed Bump

Normally when I'm at San Diego's Lindbergh Field for a flight I'm used to amazingly fast download speeds. Not so today as I was waiting for Virgin America's flight to SFO this morning.

My download speeds were just pitiful, indicating either the network is overloaded or they airport is rate limiting the users. If it's the former, this means that there provider Time Warner Telecom may want to think about working to boost the fiber connection here, as this is really a showcase for their data and telecom broadband they sell to the enterprise and SMB marketplace, head to head against Cox Communications, AT&T and former brother in arms Time Warner Cable.

Also, with 3G dongles and MiFi devices from local Novatel Wireless here in San Diego and some other neat and nifty Qualcomm chipset devices about to hit the shores one has to recognize that untethered broadband is really growing by leaps and bounds. When you start seeing deals like these, where the MiFi is free in return for a contract, you have to expect AT&T, Sprint and even T-Mobile to all begin to offer similar plans with MiFi's and Cradlepoints and other pocketspots that come on board from ZTE, Huawai and additional manufacturers.

One good thing though. I was able to latch on immediately with my Nokia E71 and makes calls via client Truphone as well as update some apps on my new Apple iPhone GS. Favorite app so far is voice control. I can't wait to see it it works with my car's Bluetooth system.

All About Symbian Provides Spot On Insight on Truphone and Nokia

Rafe Blandford, of All About Symbian, is someone I've gotten to know as a result of the Nokia Blogger Relations efforts over the past few years. He's someone whose perspective on what is happening on Nokia Symbian based devices combines the understanding of a user, with the insight of an analyst and the why it does what it does perspective of a programmer/engineer.

Yesterday Rafe posted what I am calling the seminal post about Truphone's expanded array of Nokia handset deployment options, in one concise and extremely well written post.

In a note to Rafe I said, "the post most accurately depicts the choices and options that the user now has, artfully explained the whys and how comes related to both the opportunities and challenges the developer now has before them with the Series 60 platform and its evolution, all while giving the reader a reason to want to use Truphone."

As someone who was involved in the architecting of the announcement and scheduling the briefing, and maybe more importantly someone who has been for the last few years intimately involved with both Nokia and Truphone in the way in which the stories get told, it was heartwarming to see someone capture the story and retell it so succinctly.

Give Rafe a read, especially if you use and are interested in the Nokia Symbian platform, as few are in his league when it comes to really "getting it" and then telling it from all perspectives.

Meraki Sponsors WiFi Access At San Francisco City Hall Chambers

In what should NOT be considered "Free" WiFi, Meraki, the makers of a lightweight mesh networking platform, have sponsored the deployment of WiFi inside San Francisco's City Hall, reports

To me there is a huge difference between "free" and "sponsored" even if the general public perceives it to be "free." The rationales are quite simple as the sponsored model in this case is the same as a park's beautification being underwritten by a benefactor. If the benefactor says no more, the ongoing beautification of the park stops until a new one can be found.

In the case of San Francisco, the city won't be subsidizing the WiFi anytime soon, so Meraki stepped in and in a very self serving (in a good way) developed a plan to bring greater attention to the merits and benefits of WiFi.

Well done by all, and hat tip to Esme Vos for drawing attention to this.

Cisco Really Pushing Telepresnce-Why Don't They Just Buy Skype

It looks like Cisco is pulling out all the stops to make people in general more aware of their push for Telepresence, aka, video conferencing for the big corporate set. They have just launched a contest for>everyone to tell them they want "Telepresence."

I have to wonder if they have heard of Skype? With Skype or even Logitech's SightSpeed, the concepts behind Telepresence exist today. With Skype currently working on multi-party video calling (or so I hear) there is in my mind a great deal of alignment there that should be explored.

Since Cisco is one of the few companies that could snap up Skype without blinking an eye, it has to be on someone's mind there to consider.

Online Video Growing

Trendstream, a research group that focuses on global web trends has issued a report that was picked up by the folks at the BIG FAT MARKETING BLOG, that shows the emergence of online video as more than just YOUTUBE and HULU.

Basically this is exciting news for companies like BrightCove, Sorenson Media, ShoZu, Livestream (both clients) and Livestream’s mobile partner, QIK, as well as many others, as it shows some very compelling trends are beginning to emerge.

For starters, the big networks do not own the space, evidence that recasting of traditional content is not the only programming the web connected is interested in.  Another interesting statistic is that good old standby, e-mail, is the chosen way to share links versus the flavor of the year, Twitter or other forms of social expression online.

For now, music sites remain the dominant type of site visited, but I think as content owners, event producers and broadcast properties begin to realize that new and original, made for the computer and mobile phone type content is what’s wanted, that more and more we’ll start seeing new programming emerge, with fans and fan favorites.

Personally, I’m thrilled to see these types of stats emerge as it shows that webcasting, something I’ve been supporting for over ten years is finally having its moment of emergence.