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Posts from February 2011

Danger, Little Stranger: T-Mobile Drops Danger's SideKick

T-Mobile Color SidekickImage via Wikipedia

If you're a Danger SideKick user on T-Mobile life just got a little stranger for you, becuase as of May 31, 2011 you won't be using your Sidekick on their USA network any longer. In many ways the Sidekick was the first cloud device that came along. But it's had its troubles. Apps promised in its early days were slow to arrive, and then there was the famous Paris Hilton matter, plus the Microsoft era data loss. Forward thinking in its era, the device in some ways did more for texting in the USA than any other "smartphone" did, as it ushered in an era to the teen crowd that you can do more with a phone than simply talk.

Here's the official statement:

After May 31, 2011, the Danger Service (a subsidiary of Microsoft) used by T-Mobile Sidekick customers for data services will no longer be available on Sidekick devices.
T-Mobile will provide offers for our Sidekick customers before May 31, 2011, to help make an easy transition from their existing Sidekick device to a new device. We will have more information to share about these offers with our customers in the weeks ahead.
To ensure the best possible transition for our loyal Sidekick customers, an enhanced Web tool is available on to easily export their personal data, including contacts, photos, calendar, notes, to-do lists, and bookmarks, from the Danger service to a new device, computer, or a designated e-mail account.  An application is also available in the Sidekick Catalog to make it easy to export personal data to the Sidekick’s memory card.  Many T-Mobile stores can transfer data from that card to a new T-Mobile device if the customer brings in the memory card and Sidekick.



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UK ITSP Gradwell Adds Mobile Option

This caught my eye over the past few days. Gradwell, a UK based service provider has secured an MVNO agreement with 3, and married the mobile piece up with a very nifty hosted platform and in essence is now in the FMC (fixed mobile convergence) business for the business market. 

While they're steering clear of the word VOIP, they are marrying the idea of the PBX with the mobile world, something that I expect to see happening more and more in 2011.



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Mobile Operators Clarifying VoIP Rules on Data Networks

Skype Technologies S.A. logoImage via Wikipedia

Vodafone Italia is clarifying their permitting of VoIP, or when they'll block it.

In Spain and France I've noticed how some of the mobile operators were blocking Skype and SIP calls over their date networks. It seems to be impacting the pre-paid market more than the contract market, but in the case of Vodafone Italia they are being very clear in defining which customers can, and which can't place or receive Skype or VoIP calls.

My feeling is that this is really a pre-cursor to what the mobile operators will permit when LTE rolls out on a global basis.

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Phone Fusion's Visual Voice Mail Yanked From Android Market

After all Google went through with Apple to get their GoogleVoice app into the App Store for the iPhone you might have expected some legal department compassion. 

Nope. Instead they have pulled the PhoneFusion Visual VoiceMail client from the Android Market reports GigaOm's Ryan Kim. 

PhoneFusion is a former client. They've built a very compelling offer that has a lot under the hood that goes beyond GoogleVoice so I don't think the issue is so much that they are competitive as much as Google is seeking to be consistent in how they are handling in-app payments to prevent fraud more than likely. 

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iPhone and SFR PrePaid Made Easy

The key to using SFR's prepaid voice and data on your iPhone 4 is so simple. Reset the network settings.

For some reason, on the iPhone4 doesn't pick up the proper settings off the get go. I'm not sure why not, but now after two visits to the SFR store, I've figured out with their very capable techs that "resetting the network settings" seems to release whatever congests the iPhone. 

You need to of course not only top up for minutes and have credit on your phone, but you also need to have the "illimite Internet and email" package. 

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Skype Connect to Get Boost Next Week at Enterprise Connect

Avaya's logo. This SVG version, created by me ...Image via Wikipedia

Skype is rumored to be in trials of its business focused Skype Connect service with two Avaya customers and next week at Enterprise Connect there will likely be some noise made by the global telco minutes stealer of an expanded relationship with Avaya.

Skype is also hot on the trail to get more enterprise customers onto their Skype/SIP hybrid platform, as evidenced by the push they'll be making in Orlando. My guess is that soon there will be more companies in the trials and that by Q3 of this year a full roll-out will be underway.

But that's only half of what Skype is up to. Their real goal is to monitize more of the traffic and audience they are touching.

Let's face it, Skype has been about cheaper minutes, and free communications, but management their now realizes that the future is in expensive services. Last year at eComm I sat down with the father of SIP, Jonathan Rosenberg, who now guides Skype vision and strategy. During that chat Rosenberg talked all about apps, services and the web and not the cloud. Since then he and a few key Skypers, most notably Jason Fischl, ex CounterPath CTO, have been busily mapping out and building Skype's web based attack on services, figuring out what to deliver and how to deliver it all..

When you combine web based services with Skype's Enterprise play, that's where the money gets made, but that's not exactly happening today, but with Rosenberg and Company working feverishly in the direction of it, there will be money making services that are lightyears ahead of what the legacy telcos are doing today. Watch for the signs next week in Orlando.

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Motorola Zoom - A Tale of Two Posts

Verizon Wireless logoImage via Wikipedia

If you are thinking of buying a Motorola Zoom, required reading are two very different style reviews of the new Honeycomb OS based Android tablet from Motorola that debuts today.

First is Walt Mossberg, who in his Wall Street Journal review today, has made numerous comparison to the established holder of the tablet throne, iPad in his as usual very clear and concise review of something new.

Then there is CrunchGear's John Biggs. Biggs' review goes much deeper and to his credit points out more flaws than Walts, but leaves me with the same conclusion. WAIT on buying the Xoom.

A couple of reasons. The upcoming new iPad aside, as Apple lovers like me will upgrade anyway, but because there will be many other Honeycomb based devices, including new ones from Huawei, ZTE, Samsung and LG to name a few. Xoom gets the pleasure of being the first one out of the box with Verizon Wireless, and likely will have some protection on the shelf giving it some sales leadership for a while, but, it's a CDMA-EVDO device, not LTE yet. Neither AT&T nor T-Mobile have released their Honeycomb device yet either, and both are proclaiming faster networks. Third and most importantly, I prefer UNLOCKED devices that are legitimately obtained, and the Verizon device will need to be rooted to be used on international unlocked networks. And fourth, no Skype video for Android yet has been announced.

More commetary and early reviews are below.


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While no S-1 has been filed, my gut has me thinking that North Carolina based has to be thinking about an IPO at some point, possibly before Skype finally fires up their's. What got me thinking about it was their purchase of Dash Carrier Services that was announced today. Call it a SWAG (stupid wild assed guess) but really it was the way the TechCrunch writer phrased a few things. has a series of telecom services they offer, including a GoogleVoice like service called PhoneBooth. For years they have worked with pal Garrett Smith's VoIPSupply company, where he's amongst other things, their online evangelist. They sell SIP based origination and termination, plus other services, as well as supply a ton of service to companies like client IfByPhone.

This is a company to keep an eye on..

Amtrak To Add More Wi-Fi to Trains

Amtrak is getting it right. After a successful deployment on the Acela trains in the Northeastern USA and up in the Pacific Northwest on the Cascades line, they have decided to add Wi-Fi to 450 rail cars using technology from UK based Nomad Digital.

This is a huge plus for the riders of the rails who need to get work done.

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Wi-Fi and the Art of Working Where One Dines

A Wi-Fi detectorImage via Wikipedia

I'm a nomad, and I admit it. Put me on the road and I'll find what my heart lusts for. Wine, food and Wi-Fi. And the more time I spend in Europe, especially Spain, the more I find Wi-Fi in coffee shops, retaurants and gastro bars. And it's basically free.

Sure, you need to ask for the WEP key, but as a solo diner at times, being able to stay connected indoors, through the thick walls that makes 3G connectivity a challenge, but the restaurants and coffee shops are quick to offer the access to customers.

Sadly, I find less of this connectivity option in USA dining establishments and feel we're lagging behind. In essence if the cable operators and telcos in the USA worked WITH the dining establishments, adopted a "roaming" access model, the subsidized Wi-Fi would likely lead to more business for everyone.

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