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Posts from March 2010

Gizmo Numbers Restored by Google

Thanks to Craig Walker and his team at GoogleVoice, the case of the missing Gizmo In numbers has been solved. It seems that a script error caused the numbers to go dark, and not appear. That problem has been resolved and the numbers are now back in their rightful place. With the users.

One note is that only a small number of users (like me) were affected.


Why Does Every New Service Want To Be GrandCentral Reincarnated?

I find it amazing how many "new" services either come to me for representation or I read about who choose to position themselves as "another take on GrandCentral/GoogleVoice." Talk about being super "me too." Take the About.com recap about PhoneBooth, a new service from Bandwidth.com. The about.com piece screams of messaging and positioning that's all GoogleVoice this and GoogleVoice that, even going so far as to be labeled "an alternative" in the story. And in fairness to Nadeem, he didn't jump to that conclusion. The PhoneBooth brand story, positioning and messaging led him there.

So what if PhoneBooth offers GV like Find Me, Follow Me as well as second number that can terminate anywhere. So does Line2 and Line2 offers more with the ability to present your "other" number, just like the failed, TalkPlus which may have had the best idea ever for mobile phones.

The real offer from PhoneBooth, from what I see, lies in their PhoneBooth On Demand service offering which is where for $20.00 a month some advance features come into play.

Bandwidth.com is clearly building out application based services to put more minutes on their network and for them, services like PhoneBooth and FreePbx are strides in the right direction.


Something's Up With Gizmo and Google Voice

Very quietly, Gizmo5 users in the USA have lost their USA dial in numbers. Without warning and no notice that my USA numbers would not be renewed I have lost my USA numbers assigned to two different Gizmo accounts. That of course leads me to suspect something is up. So here are a few thoughts:

1. The fact that GoogleVoice and Gizmo peer means that you can use your GoogleVoice number in the USA to receive calls and have them terminate on your Gizmo softclient.

2. Likely the integration is moving forward and you'll see the offer of a GoogleVoice softclient where the original Gizmo client goes through a face lift and gets some upgrades.

3.The fact that Gizmo In numbers are still available outside the USA likely means they can become GoogleVoice International numbers and that in the countries where those numbers remain will be some of the first to offer GoogleVoice International service.

4. Those numbers will allow you to then identify other numbers in that country to terminate calls to, so someone like me who travels often to France and the UK will be able to have GV terminate calls that originate in the USA in those countries as if they were originated in those countries.

What I believe is happening is that the USA numbers are simply expiring and not being renewed, but the lack of any email correspondence or any details on the web site means that in the absence of any information, that we'll all speculate what's up.

For die hard users of Gizmo5 there is a way around all this. Simply buy a DID from one of the better suppliers, like CallCentric, and then simply do a SIP forward of the DID number and you're all set.


Mobile Broadband Prices In UK Are Dropping

When you look at how low mobile broadband pricing is getting in the UK with a 2 year agreement, you have to just scratch your heads in the USA and wonder why we are being asked to pay so much, especially when the coverage for 3G is so sparse.

It seems the USA based mobile operators bought the spectrum but never really built it out, preferring to make as much as they could on older and slower technology. Now with the pressure on from Clearwire and Sprint, everyone is pushing to get the speeds up, and the networks built out. That's what happens when competition is reduced to an oligopoly like we are seeing.

That's why the best thing that can happen is the entry in the USA mobile space of Cox, Comcast and Cablevision. Each will bring their own form of clout into the industry which has been running by ancient minded voice folks for too long.


Say Goodbye to FourSquare

Today, I deleted my foursquare.com account. I did it for one reason, and one reason only. I don't like "playing games." Oh, I don't mean the idea of being a Mayor, or getting badges. Those things I did as a boy. "Playing." But Andy grew up a long time a go. A very long time ago, and candidly, as much as I like to know what my friends and colleagues are up to, these days everyone you know isn't really your friend. They just know of you. When it comes to my "friends" I know what they are up to. And if I don't I can easily find out. I don't need some LBS snooper service to tell me like a lurker or a stalker.

A few years ago I came up with the expanded circle of trust concept when talking with a client. It's one that is really needed these days when one realizes just how wide a circle is cast under the guise of a "social" network is, and it's what's really needed as a reference base in the era of LBS (location based services) tied to your mobile phone's GPS. Given how easily your movements can be tracked, traced and yes, likely tampered with it's time to think about who knows what and when.

So here's the layers of the circle of trust. Lower score, means high trust and relationship.

1. Immediate Family

2. Personal friends

3. Colleagues

4. Relatives

5. People you work with (It's only business)

6. People who live around you (You have access to them)

7. People who work around you (They have access to you)

8. People who you know of (they are in you friends of friends or business circle)

9. People who know of you (they are in you friends of friends or business circle)

10. People you don't know personally-You're a fan

11. People who don't know you personally-They're a fan (or worse)

The farther down the line you go, the less anyone should expect trust to be implicit. It just doesn't work that way. So with the kind of friend requests I've been getting via FourSqure and my dislike of "games" I just took myself out of the "game."


CableVision and WiFi and Mobile ?

Word is slowly leaking out that CableVision will play the mobile voice and data game where their footprint stops extending. This is an interesting play, and my guess is the carrier will be T-Mobile or Sprint as they are the least likely to be viewed as competition, and Spint brings with them Clearwire in some ways, and that brings with it some cable partners like Comcast.

Here's why I am betting on T-Mobile and not AT&T in the GSM world or Sprint winning over Verizon in the CDMA world:

1) T-Mobile has no interest in cable TV in the USA, nor do they compete in any way, shape or form. AT&T has uVerse.

2) T-Mobile has a hotspot business, but it's in building and ever since they dropped Starbucks there hasn't been any growth; AT&T bought Wayport to be in the business of WiFi

3) T-Mobile dropped home phone service (the @HOME offering); AT&T is in the landline business (still)

4) T-Mobile has network capacity to sell and share; AT&T is very overloaded and will be for some time to come.

Now for why Sprint vs. the rest of the CDMA players

1) Sprint has deep ties to the cable industry.

2) Sprint is into 4G and alternative networks and has been for years

3) Verizon is a dead on competitor for landline, FIOS and TV content delivery

4) Verizon is pushing their Mobile Broadband data solutions heavily