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Posts from July 2009

Highway Robbery in NY State - E911 Tax Dollars Not @ Work

New York legislators are going to get a good old country whippen, if they're not carful. Talk about bait and switch. Wow.

Every month New Yawkers shell out .70 cents on their cell phone bill (and that's going up to $1.20 soon) per mobile number to support 911 services, so you would think the money would go to improve the 911 service that motorists call.

WRONG.

Read the Buffalo News story and see the latest example of "highway robbery" in one of the nation's biggest states.


Comcast Application is About Convenience, Convergence and Ambush Marketing

Right now Comcast isn't offering a mobile phone service, but they will. And what way better to market to take away the customer from their biggest competitor, AT&T, than with an easy to use, and well thought out iPhone application.

What i find so funny here is that Comcast has this app out and running on the iPhone today, offering convergence management (or at least promising to) is that AT&T's UVerse has a similar remote that's good for setting up your recording of programs remotely (don't want Bubba to miss the big game when he's on a hot date) but they have yet to integrate the voice and email functionality the way Comcast did, as Ma Bell is really only offering a video remote control to the set top box.

But the inside ambush play is well at work here because the app is free, it is delivered over the AT&T network and works over the AT&T Network.

Isn't "open" a wonderful world :-)


Nimbuzz on The Mac, New VoxOx Now Out

Tom Keating picked up on the recent Nimbuzz Mac client announcement which I missed last week.

I suspect that we'll see a lot more in the area of softphones, especially on the Mac. To date most softphones have been designed for PCs and then ported. In the next few months we'll likely see some native Mac apps that change the whole game.

Hat Tip to Nadeem at About.com's VoIP blog as he pointed me to an update of VoxOx to 2.0.

In essence VoxOx and Nimbuzz are on collision courses, seeking to be the aggregator of Instant Messaging. The funny thing is that Gizmo5 (when it was simply Gizmo) had all that going and more. Right now Gizmo remains the proven SIP player in the space, but others seem to be catching up.


Google Rings Back Advertising on Mobile Phones

A patent from Google that was just announced promise to bring commercials to you on your mobile phone.

Unwired View has the details.

This patent is going to make life very interesting for all the players in the mobile eco-system. It gives Google, in a word, LEVERAGE.

Already they have the sales engine in place. Add in the Android OS (Dear Mr. Mobile Operator--use our phones if you want ad revenue via any ringback process), GoogleVoice - (Dear Mr. Operator-we don't need you, as your customers already want us) and now this.

Someone has been busy playing Machiavelli.


Event Season Cometh

I was on the phone this week with the Big Boss Man at TMC, pal Rich Tehrani going over a few things when I realized we're about six weeks away from IT Expo in Los Angeles in September. With it the IP Communications industry has the start of another eight week period of pretty much non stop expos, conferences, trade shows, meetings at them and more.

What's it look like for me and people in our VoIP and Mobile world:

IT Expo in Los Angeles September 1-3. It's bundled in with the 4G Wireless Evolution put on by another pal, Carl Ford. The two events together promise to be bigger and better than ever as its time to buy and the selling on the floor should be as good as the conference was a few months back in Miami Beach, which was outstanding.

Nokia World 2009 in Stuttgart on September 2 & 3. This is where the world of what's going on next at the Finland based mobile and now services giant gets known and seen for the first time. Last year in Barcelona was a treat, and where the N97 debuted. To see what 2010 brings from Nokia means going to Germany this fall.

GigaOm's Mobilize 09 in San Francisco, staged by Om Malik, and organized by another friend of some time Surj Patel. My favorite part of Mobilize is Launchpad. Launchpad had its roots inside eTel. Companies like GrandCentral got a big pump at that in 2006, as did Fonolo in 2008. Who will be the star of Launchpad this year. Go to SF on September 10th and find out.

A few days later on September 14 and 15, the TechCrunch 50 rolls into San Francisco, showcasing the unknown who will be the soon be known. Michael Arrington and crew will promise and deliver a no holds barred match up of early stage companies.

Demo happens here in San Diego from September 21-23. The granddaddy of launch events, this years marks the end of the Chris Shipley era, as she passes the microphone and producers baton over to VentureBeat's Matt Marshall. The two will tag-team up on stage. For companies looking to meet VCs and get in front of media that cares, DEMO without the head to head issues of last year vs. TechCrunch will draw a very big crowd to sunny San Diego.

VoN/Channel Partners happens in Miami Beach, sadly at the same time as DEMO so I'll miss it. The Virgo Publishing group took over the VON name, and has started from scratch, with VON editor Rick Martin putting a lot of time and energy in on the panels and the speakers. Bundled with the sales lead generation and dealmaking event, Channel Partners, plus offering a Latin/South American track or two may make this event as hot as Miami Beach will be in the fall.

October

CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment comes to San Diego after its tour of Las Vegas and San Francisco in prior years. Considered the smaller show vs. the spring edition, that will likely change as San Diego is the capital of wireless in the USA with Qualcomm and the whole CDMA eco-system pretty much in the neighborhood.

eComm 2009 Europe wraps up the two months of almost non-stop conference activities, and picks up where this past March's eComm in Burlingame left off. Expect some blockbuster news from the companies that are making a difference and changing the landscape of communications around the globe. Money meister James Enck, on his Eurotelcoblog reminds us that using ENCK will get you a discount on top of the early bird pricing that runs through next week.

Eagle eye Doug Mohney also brings to light two more conferences of note- Jeff Pulver's second HD Communication Summit happening in the Big Apple on September 15 and 16. The summit is all about the ways voice can sound better, richer and clearer, picking up on the May event that kicked off the series.

A second and uber-VoIP tech event is AstriCon in Phoenix, AZ October 13-15 , put on by Digium and all about the wild world of open source PBX's.

Now where did you leave that credit card?


Google Feeling Heat From App Stores

Let's face it. If your business is built on things like web based technology (SEARCH), cloud based technology (Apps) and advertising from traffic that goes to and through your search engine or when people are looking at their content in the apps, the concept of many app stores has to be very, very scary for a few reasons.

1) Apps make the browser less relevant.

2) Apps pull subsets of data from the search engines, but with higher degrees of relevance

3) Apps keep the user engaged and away from the search engine

4) The app is on the device, not in the cloud

Most of all though the app store is all about transactions, and transactions are where Google would like to go with their Google Checkout model.

Right now, I'd say the fears are warranted as the app stores, which I think are really warehouse stores and not retail just yet, are only the tip of the iceberg of what will be the way software is retailed by brands.

We have yet to see retail marketing strategies and tactics applied to app stores. When that starts, they really will be like WalMart and 7 - Eleven.


Google Voice Adds Blackberry and Android Apps

Yesterday I got wind of a Google Voice announcement. Om captured the details as have others. Here's where I see the value here:

1) Take an unlocked Android out of the USA, use a local SIM, pay their low rates.

2) Point the GV number to a Truphone number and make calls at USA rates and client Truphone handles the international call leg at low rates.

3) Bridge your calls and have better voice mail with text delivery by SMS and email and keep all your messages in one place.

Who is google going after. It's not the telco or Mobile operator, it's also SpinVox and PhoneTag, GotVoice and YouMail here by offering a more complete experience that the mobile operators will have to now figure out how to replicate. For PhoneTag, Truphone and the rest this is like the best business development invitation around as the MNO's will now need to figure out how to offer a GoogleVoice like unified, one number calling experience which is easily duplicated by the service previously known as Webley, and is now called Communikate.

The integration with Blackberry and Android is a great first step, but the real heat will be seen when an Apple iPhone app comes along and a Symbian Series 60 app for the Nokia N & E series simply because of user base size in my book.

Still, this is a great toe in the water for Google Voice.