Previous month:
June 2011
Next month:
August 2011

Posts from July 2011

When You Know The Answers, They Change The Questions

Data plans contracts are not really what they seem to be. As a matter of fact, only in mobile communications can we buy one service, and then have it change on us, even though we may have contracted for a certain level of service. 

Take for example the demise of the unlimited data plans for iPads and iPhones. AT&T started out selling them with both product's releases. Then, they realized that the lack of a cap was there. So now, or as of October 1 they are coming up with a new way of capping users.

My view is if a mobile operator offers you something, and you accept the offer, pay them for it, and they begin delivering you the service, the four parts of the contract have been met. And, unless both sides agree, there can't be any changes. That's basic contract law. But they're not alone. Verizon Wireless is also making promises it can't keep. The Motorola Xoom fiasco is a black eye for them. 

The upgrade to LTE was due in May. Then June. Then reportedly to me to be August by a deep throat source inside VZW. Now it's possibly going to be September. I asked the company president in writing to simply swap out the unhappy customers who have been waiting for the LTE upgrade with the new Samsung 10.1 Galaxy Tabs and to offer them something in the way of a service credit.

Their response is below:



GigaOm On SkypeBook Video

Om MalikImage via Wikipedia

Late yesterday (well for me as I'm in Philadelphia this week) Om Malik sent a note to Alec Saunders and me to give him our perspective on the Skype - Facebook video news of yesterday (another deal likely led by the recently exiled Christopher Dean of Skype) for his email essay newsletter simply titled Om Says (which you should sign up for.)

In his irregular opinion newsletter Om shares why the deal is good for Facebook, while Messrs. Saunders and Abramson point out the rationale for Skype.

"Alec Saunders, a veteran of internet telephony argued that since Skype is too quirky for his wife and too weird for his mother, Facebook’s version actually might be a good thing for Skype usage and will get them to a billion people.

The questions is to what end? Andy Abramson who blogs about internet telephony believes that in the end it will be about Facebook vs Google. To that extent I agree. Ironically Skype, which at one point wanted to turn carriers into dumb pipes is being turned into a dumb pipe itself."

Today, GigaOm's Ryan Kim picks up the ball explaining how it was all done, citing Skype's genius in residence Jonathan Rosenberg, who guides science and is widely credited with being one of the fathers of SIP. In my view it is Rosenberg and my winepal, Jason Fischl's efforts that led to this and the roots go back to almost when Rosenberg left Cisco to join Skype. Back in 2010 at eComm in Burlingame, Rosenberg presented the argument to the smarties in the audience, and to some of us one-on-one, that Skype could be social, and a WebOs was the way to go.

That and the fact that Skype will see revenue as they begin to offer paid services to the Facebook crowd (Skype Out, Skype In, Group Video) etc., thus makes Skype an exchange, using someone else's pipe. As such while Facebook may look at Skype as a dumb pipe, when you add in the recent Comcast video deal Skype starts to look more and more like a real true consumer play on face. But, as social networks continue to infect business (look at LinkedIn and Twitter) the reachability via Facebook/Skype --aka SkypeBook starts to take hold.

Then there is ad revenue. Skype has been experimenting with Dynanmic content on their Windows PC client for the past few years. Facebook and relevance opens up a whole new avenue for this and while it's minor now, the down the road opportunities are very large--imagine the possibilities.

Net net---I see this as a good deal and one that will only get better for both over time.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Refund Time? When Will That LTE Upgrade Come To the Xoom for Real

Verizon Wireless logoImage via Wikipedia

Let's face it. In the era of the Internet, a promise is a promise, unless of course it comes from your telco carrier. Back in the winter months Verizon Wireless let all Zoom owners and potential buyers know that their state of the art Android tablet, made by Motorola would be upgradeable to LTE. Coinciding with that there was the online promise that these upgrades would be ready to go in May.

Well it's now July, and guess what. There's no upgrade in site, and now the latest news is "Summer." And, calls to Verizon Wireless Customer Service result in, we have no dates yet for the upgrade, while visits to Verizon Wireless stores point the finger at Motorola. I'm guessing at some point someone points the finger at Google but who knows. More importantly, who cares. The point is that most recently, a Verizon Wireless CSR told me that there's no assurance that the upgrade will occur, and offered to disconnect my data plan that has been in effect since March. I found all of this funny, in a sick way, as Verizon Wireless has been listing how to handle the upgrade for a few months.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Going Going With GoGo

Wi-Fi Alliance logoImage via Wikipedia

Since it's launch, GoGo has steadily been growing and adding more and more planes in North America with their airline partners. Their rollout has been actually smoother than the rollout of hotel broadband back in the late 90's and early 2000's. Those who were online back then will recall the what the experience was like. Inconsistent. Poor. Frustrating. It resulted in many guests who needed, and relied on broadband vs. dial-up, to actually choose the hotels they checked-in to based upon the broadband provider. 

Back in that era, the take rate was initally under ten percent of rooms in use. That clearly has changed, and I would bet that the take rate for GoGo is actually outpacing the take rate for access in the air when compared to the first few years of hotel broadband. That's going to rise because of recently signed agreements by GoGo with iPass and Boingo. Both bring single sign on capabilty, but more importantly they also bring business customers and regular consumers who understand the value of staying connected.

On a recent flight on Virgin America GoGo was free. The service is working hard to make people aware of it's availability, and as someone who flies once a week or more, I choose my flights and airlines based upon the availability of WiFi. My guess is other business fliers do also.

Enhanced by Zemanta