Why Google Fi May Be Best for Your New iPhone

I have Google Fi on a Pixel and my bill this month will be roughly $25.00. That's for unlimited voice and text, and a PAYG data plan. Since the Fi spends so much time on WiFi, and so little on 4G/LTE, the data that is being consumed is almost nothing so I pay almost nothing. Subtract $20.00 for helping a friend sign up for Fi, and my bill will be roughly $5.00 this month.

Looking at the new iPhones, I realize I'll be able to use AT&T or T-Mobile (or both) as my eSIM provider in the USA, but I'll also be able to buy their lowest voice and data plan, as I'll be able to use the Fi's data only SIM in the other slot. Basically with an eSIM I'll have the best option around, as I can flip flop between AT&T and T-Mobile based on coverage areas, and still have the Fi Sim connected to T-Mobile or Sprint (until they merge). When I go internationally, I'll activate a PAYG Truphone plan for voice and data, and use that.

Of course I could also just put my Fi phone and data SIM into the SIM card slot and then use any of the UK or EU mobile operators as the PAYG eSIM provider when I'm in that part of the world, and Truphone or Fi everywhere else

There's a really big play here for Google and Truphone in the global traveller market, as it really takes off after the iPhone turns on the eSIM for everyone. Already the dual SIM Pixel2 provides this type of benefit, but let's face it, with what Apple is doing, it will bring the idea of dual SIM, dual carrier, mainstream in the USA, as it has been a big deal in Asia for a while.

For people who spend most of their time connected to the cloud, or on conference calls without the need to dial a number, the dual SIM plan will be golden. As a VoIP user, I already make calls for the most part over IP via LTE or WiFi. With apps using the data plan and regular calls going over the mobile operator SIM in the Voice/DataFi SIM scenario, I can forward the calls to my mobile operator to deal with calls when I'm in lower speed, poorer coverage areas. But when I'm in full coverage or WiFi, the Google Fi line becomes primary.

Even more, I can use services like Dialpad, Telzio or other cloud telephony providers to be my published line and take advantage of their wider array native features over WiFi and LTE. While FI may not support WiFi calling given how I use a VoIP provider more than my cellphone provider number to make calls, it's no big deal.

With CPaaS services from SignalWIRE, Twilio, Plivo and Nexmo, I can create various messaging and voice functions tied to applications or workflows. With location based features it will be likely that I'll be able to toggle between the two SIM service providers and the trigger services on and off, further taking advantage of the WiFi or LTE/4G networks.

At the end of the day, the dual SIM approach will likely provide a means to save money, by eliminating the cost of a second phone, and providing power users to really be able to choose which network is best for them, where they are and for what they do versus the current one size fits all approach being sold by the mobile operators.

The dual SIM really does offer, Power To The People.....right now.

 


Skype Over Echo is a Big Deal

Skype is coming to the Amazon Echo soon. This is a big win for Amazon, and also at the same time could have massive ramifications to the entire voice and video calling industry. And it may also be the biggest boost to Skype resuming being a force in calling. 

Here's why

  • Echo devices are becoming almost ubiquitous. They are also becoming dirt cheap. As low as $50.00 for the Echo dot. With the new in car Echo coming to mobile (2020) the ability to reach anyone, anywhere, will be easier.
  • Imagine if Amazon and T-Mobile put SIM cards inside Echos for data. Skype can call over the network. BOOM.
  • By connecting to Echos Skype now has millions of endpoints world wide.....That's a big number......
  • Video-Amazon has made voice control of a video call already possible between Amazon Show devices. But Show to Show is a limited market. Add in Skype and connectivity to mobile devices, Macs and PCs, and now Skype is the switchboard.
  • Apple hasn't done this with FaceTime yet. Google hasn't done this with Hangouts.
  • A Skype In or Skype Out call is like a phone call. Add voice control and it's no different than using your iPhone with Siri.
  • You know my name, you don't have to look up my number.-Just like you can ask Alexa to play a song over Spotify, Pandora, or Amazon Music, you'll be able to do the same thing with your Echo. So today, while you can Connect and call Echo to Echo, with Skype that audience just got really huge.
  • Even though Google Home can call over Google Voice, it doesn't receive phone calls (yet). Skype on the Echo is an full service endpoint.
  • This could eliminate the need for a voice plan as all you'll need in the car for calls

Calling on the Echo though isn't new. In it's infancy Telzio did the first integration ever as a VoIP player, followed by OnSip. Dialpad also has done one too. These though are edge cases and really proof of concept. Skype still has 300 million users worldwide. But it's the Skype In and Out capability that changes the game though. WhatsApp has 1.5 billion connected users but you can't call someone from WhatsApp that not a WhatsApp user. Nor can Facebook Messenger call out. 

Given the deskphone is going the way of the dinosaur, the Echo is the ideal replacement, and since Skype is like a switchboard, Microsoft's move to cozy up with Alexa, is a big, big move.

 


The Google Disconnect

Screenshot 2018-09-11 at 12.56.57

Google is my provider for so much these days. GSuite. Pixel phone. Pixelbook. The Google Cloud powers my phone service, Dialpad and my conference bridge, UberConference. I dumped cable for YouTubeTV. In my life, Google is like Santa Claus. It knows when I've been sleeping. It knows when I'm awake. It knows when I've been bad or good (by my search habits) and Google knows where I go, via Google Maps and Waze. Google knows my music likes via YouTube Music. It knows my questions, via Google Home. To me, if Google doesn't know me by now.....well you get my point.

So how come when I arrive for the first time at Starbucks with my Pixel and my Pixelbook I have to log in to the Google powered hotspot?


Influencers and Analysts - Is There Any Difference?

Online, nothing is really what it appears to be, especially when it comes to business, and the spectacle that surrounds "the business." Today, the term, "influencer" has become a blanket euphemism for everyone who has influence, and is getting paid for it. So while it is easy for FTC to identify the online influencers, the rules don't seem to apply to the analyst community.

As blogging took hold, and as we some of us attracted clients, or patrons, the FTC stepped in to make sure we all revealed our business relationships. In my case, I started to use the word "client" in my posts. But when it comes to analyst firms or the independent analysts, there seems to be a double standard, as you never see the same type of transparency that you now see from bloggers when the reports come out, or for example, the Gartner's Magic Quadrant get announced. It seems we have different rules for different people. A double standard per se. And that's not right.

Over the past 15 years, or since the early days of blogging, it hasn't gotten better. It's only gotten worse. With consolidation in the analyst world there are fewer "big voices" to shill for the vendors. With fewer media outlets, and less reporters, there's less neutral commentary. This all means the pay for play content is trumping the independent voices. Add in domain authority to SEO and the truth further gets pushed down and less seen. 

Large analysts and research firms like IDC, Forrester, Gartner, 451 are all paid for subscriptions to their reports. But vendors are really their clients. These same client companies also offered and pay for research, advisory and writing services. The analysts in turn offer guidance on product and services launches. Some offer feedback on "go to market" planning, or serve as sounding boards for presentations to the industry or public market analysts and media. But even so, the FTC Guidelines don't apply to them. There's no disclosure. No transparency. Well it's time.

The solution is simple. If you're paid by a company, reveal it. Be radically transparent. That way, the audience can decide if it's like wrestling (fake) or like the MLB. A real game, where the outcome is based on who is best, not simply the richest.

 

 


Mobile Service on The Metro Impressively Fast

I've been a long time visitor to Paris for many years and remember my first experience on the #14 line, also known as the Meteor and how I was able to receive email on my Nokia 9000 Communicator. It was back in the 00's and the iPhone was not even in existence. Back then email and some web browsing at really slow speeds were the norm, but we were connected at least.

Today, I rode the #1 Metro and as I looked around there were people talking, texting and of course using many apps on their smartphones. I had forgotten that the Metro had improved its mobile connectivity across all of the lines that make getting around Paris such a snap.

Unlike London and New York City, where mobile phone service is relegated to just the stations, on the Metro you have full coverage. A fast speed check showed speeds at about 15 megs as the subway car moved towards Palais Royale from the Champs Elysee.

To say my experience was great is an understatement. Just watching so many people connected and getting things done while on the go underground was more than great. It made me realize that back home in the USA the operators talk about 5G but ignore opportunities in cities like Philadelphia and Washington DC. Yes BART in the Bay Area has connectivity, but it's nothing like what I just experienced here in Paris.


My Newsletter The Comunicano

For the past few years I've been putting out a newsletter, The Comunicano. First I used Flash Issue, a very well thought out platform. But as we have all seen with technology, someone always comes along and builds something better. And Revue is that better platform. It's cheaper, easier and faster for me to produce what has become an almost daily ritual for me to share news that I've found interesting.

But there's something more about the newsletter. It's the open rate and click through rates.  Even on Thanksgiving the click through rate was over 30 percent, and the same on Black Friday. 

Those types of readership levels are really something to be thankful for. If you want to subscribe, click here.

 

 


NoJitter's State of Enterprise Communications

The other day I was hunting around for what is happening in VoIP.  VoIP, which I built this blog and an agency on is like motor oil in a car. But 14 years ago, VoIP was like TESLA and electric cars. You knew it was there but it was an uphill battle. Today, VoIP is the way most voice communications travels. That's why when I saw the NoJitter State of Enterprise Communications infographic I just smiled.

I smiled, because Editor Beth Schultz nailed it with her statement about UC (unified communications) and Collaboration where she wrote:

"In comparing Team Collaboration to UC, Team Collaboration is almost as important as UC today, and within 24 months will essentially be just as important."

To me, you can't have UC without Collaboration as today's worker is not about being in the same place as the next member of the team which Diaplad, the parent of UberConference pointed out in their report about The Era of The Anywhere Worker. Today's Anywhere Worker needs to be a digital ninja, using the tools to let them work, anywhere. (another blog I sort of still write).

The ability to work anywhere is directly tied to IP based communications, voice, text, video, sharing and broadband or mobile broadband. Have the right apps, the right devices and the right connection, and BOOM, you're working anywhere. 

But back to Beth's prophetic view that collaboration and UC will be on par within 24 months. For many, that day is here. More an more, all my one on one and group calls are scheduled, and conducted over UberConference or Zoom if my team or I originate them. If not, those calls are on WebEX or GoToMeeting. I use those services as opposed to placing or taking a regular call, as the quality is usually better, and what's more, if there's a need to share a file or screen, versus sending an attachment in an email, it can happen.

In the case of the enterprise, so many workers today now WFH (work from home) so to those workers, collaboration at any distance is a necessity, not a one day my prince will come scenario.

 

 

 

 

 


Collaborating Better

Long time peer and friend in the collaboration sector, David Coleman, best known for his Collaborative Strategies consultancy, has launched a new website, CollaboratingBetter.com.

David is filling a few gaps in the collaboration sector with both news and insight, but it'z his testing platform that has me excited. With it he will help buyers understand which service is better and why, as well as assist companies in validating their claims.

Two big hits are the real time Collaboration Tools database is a dynamite resource and not found elsewhere all in one place. Think of it as Product Hunt for Collaboration services. So is the Collaborative Calendaring-Scheduling Tools database.

As with any new website, it's clearly a work in progress, but in a sector that is so much a part of everyday business these days, but only thinly covered with any depth on a regular basis, David's new site, and his own personal perspective, is one to keep on your daily reading list.


The COMUNICANO for Thursday February 23 2017

 
 
FEBRUARY 23 - ISSUE #29
Andy Abramson
 
 
Getting Quoted…and getting quoted regularly are two different things. So far this year I’ve been quoted three times. Last year over 40. Like the number of exits Comunicano has been involved in, now 42, this isn’t luck, chance or accidental. It’s all about having insight, perspective and opinion on subjects, and having the ability to articulate the answer so it’s reporter educational and friendly. 
So the first story about the fastest way through some airports, CLEAR, has my quote, but the background provided to the reporter is there too…that’s how you GET QUOTED…There’s also news about Amazon getting in some hot water, Facebook trying to play nice, faster mobile in the USA, Twitter getting more “personal”, Lyft adding more cities and more news you need to know, so now onto the news in today’s COMUNICANO.

Travel Watch
Now you can go through MSP airport security with a fingerprint or iris scan
Norwegian Air steps up transatlantic pressure with $65 fares| Reuters
Media Watch
Facebook Is Trying To Smooth Over Relationships With The Media
Amazon Watch
What 'Chime' is it? Amazon sued over name of its new online conferencing technology
Amazon resists US demands to hand over Echo audio in murder case
Ridesharing Watch
Google’s Waze Plans Expansion of Ride-Sharing Service
Lyft launches in 54 new cities, while Uber does damage control
Wireless Watch
T-Mobile Continues to Boost Capacity for Customers with LTE-U Launching in Spring 2017
GE, Intel, AT&T team up to put cameras, mics in San Diego
Why I am not going to buy a cellphone
Odds & Ends
Google's Perspective API Opens Up Its Troll-Fighting AI
Twitter tweaks direct messages for brands so they sound more human
How Peter Thiel’s Palantir Helped the NSA Spy on the Whole World
How leaders of 9 billion-dollar companies stay productive

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The Comunicano for Wednesday February 22 2017

 
 
FEBRUARY 22 - ISSUE #28
Andy Abramson
 
 
UPS, like Amazon, is fascinated with what flying drones can do for their business. For normally silent UPS, their efforts with drones seem to be “taking off” in Florida the way Uber is testing driverless cars in Arizona. We lift off today with three items about UPS and their lofty ideas surrounding drones….those stories and a lot, lot more are all in today’s COMUNICANO.

UPS tests drone deliveries, eyes future price changes
UPS Tests Residential Delivery Via Drone Launched From atop Package Car
SportsTech Watch
Exclusive: Facebook in talks to live stream one MLB game per week - sources
Amazon Watch
Move over, Amazon: Here comes Walmart
Amazon plans to sell beer and wine at its new high-tech convenience store
Wireless Watch
Verizon offers taste of 5G as it expands network trials
Some subscribers of Project Fi are getting access to VoLTE on T-Mobile's network
Odds & Ends
Israeli glass tech can help car windows show ads
An AI Hedge Fund Created a New Currency to Make Wall Street Work Like Open Source
Apple has kept Steve Jobs promises with its new HQ

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