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.

 


Why the WWE is A Telescope, Not a Microscope

I grew up watching WWWF wrestling when Vince McMahon was the broadcaster. Actually, even before that. I would stay up late to watch Florida Championship Wrestling with Gordon Solie. The same with Georgia Championship Wrestling, even the AWA when Thunderlips pre-dated the creation of Hulk Hogan. In the 80's was at the Spectrum in the media conference for the first promotional tour for Wrestlemania and in the late 70's I interviewed Bruno Sammartino for the Philadelphia Journal (well promoter Phil Zacko did most of the talking). I'm also a music junkie and what is going on with the WWE and music plus their talent roster is all part of a bigger play. 
 
The idea of a campaign is typical to marketing. It starts with a hint. A tease. It grows. And grows. What the WWE and Rousey's managers are doing, are building more than just one person.  Wrestling has always been a soap opera. Stories within stories. Themes within themes. As a student of advertising I love a great campaign and seeing all the nuances that the public takes for granted. This is one of them.
 
The WWE has done a masterful job at reviving the song "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett. They are doing it with "Rowdy" Rhonda Rousey, a former MMA champ, but also with the whole women's movement surrounding the Divas, what they did in the UAE last summer and with their upcoming all women's pay per view. That means some music supervisor came up with a few songs that could be the core of the campaign. Hats off to that person. Then a creative director and team built upon it. Mastery on so many levels.
 
 
 
This is a campaign around a campaign, carefully crafted to broaden their audience at a time where the "Me Too" movement is alive and growing. While I have no doubt that at some point the same thing went on in the WWE, that's ages ago and from a different era. As someone who grew up in sports and entertainment, that was part of the game off the playing field. It wasn't right then, it was just how it was.
 


 
But today, with youthful stars like Rousey, Charlotte Flair and others who are now competing on par with the likes of the top male wrestlers, the WWE, their close confidants in the world of Hollywood agentry are shaping things the way the big 4 networks have not even come close to. The same can be said about the NHL, NFL and MLB, while the NBA at least has the WNBA. You don't see the NHL glorifying women's hockey, yet it's an Olympic sport. The NCAA has the women's hockey championships. So while we all know wrestling is reality TV at it's finest, and live reality in the arenas, it has surpassed the rest of the groups at moving in the direction of giving women their place, "bad reputation" or not.
 
 
 
 
 

Why There Are No Guest Posts on VoIPWatch

In the history of VoIPWatch, there has been only one guest post, and that was by Michael Robertson during his days with MP3.com and Gizmo. But from the start, I never would permit guest posts, and it was for one reason. This is MY BLOG and it exists to share MY THOUGHTS and VIEWS on things, starting with VoIP, Mobile and Collaboration.

Yesterday, longtime blogging buddy, Om Malik drew attention to what Buzzfeed unearthed, but what most of us in the world of blogging and PR have known for years. That most of the guest post in what were once leading media outlets were really just paid posts to benefit a client. 

How did guest posts come about? Before that term was coined, there was the concept of the "contributed article." The contributed article was often presented by the PR agency to a media outlet as a thought leadership piece, that gave the publication, or web site, content for free. It had to meet standards and often it was considered a plum to score one for a client. Of course, like all good ideas that had merit, the publications saw "contributed articles" as a way to reduce cost on paying freelance writers or having a big staff and it became their route to survival by selling ads around content that cost them nothing. Voila, the guest post model came to life and almost anyone with a keyboard and an email account could send in an article to be published.  And, since the search engines can't discern the difference between real journalism and a contributed article, a piece written by a contributor would be discovered along side an article by a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter. That and the decision to not clearly label the content as being contributed also led to this situation overall

So, the next time you read something, ask yourself if the "reporter" is indeed a "reporter" or a "contributor." 

Oh, and there's nothing wrong in contributing content. Just don't try to be perceived as a "reporter" when all you are is a "contributor." Give the public the ability to decide if what you write has value, because some "contributed articles" actually do provide the type of information that reporters can never cover, it all just needs to be properly positioned.

That's why, to get covered here, it means I have to want to write about it...so, please, stop asking if I accept guest posts. I don't. 


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.

 

 


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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The Comunicano for Friday February 17 2017

 
Last night I dined out using Feastly for the first time. It was the way to book seats at a “pop up” dinners across the USA. The dinner was the debut of former Herringbone LA chef Jason Witzl, who is in the process of opening up his own Cal-Ital place, Ellie’s, in DTLA. Not only was Feastly a cool app/service experience end to end, but the communal dining experience made it easy to make new friends, hang with old friends, eat very well and of course BYOB. 

Alexa-can you come with me? So many times i wanted to take Alexa with me, so while Telzio had voice enabled access to my Amazon Echo first via their mobile app, almost a full year or so ago, there wasn’t a lot of use. Well the game just changed as Rain Labs has launched Reverb with apps for the Mac, iOS and Android. It’s all made possible by Amazon Voice Service.  As I wrote on the Xceptional Blog a few days ago, Amazon keeps looking more and more like a telco/information services competitor to AT&T, Verizon, H-P and more….
So with that, let’s dive into the news in today’s extended edition of Comunicano.

Facebook just changed its mission, because the old one was broken
Here are the details of Uber's disastrous public Q&A session with drivers on Facebook
App Watch
Messaging Tech Expert: The Year Messaging (Actually) Matches its Hype
White House Staff Are Using A "Secure" App That’s Really Not So Secure
23 Must-Have Alexa Skills for Your Small Business
Money Watch
Uber Gives Restless Employees a Way to Cash Out
Airbnb buys Montreal-based Luxury Retreats to bolster high-end vacation offerings
Verizon acquires Portland startup Skyward, a maker of drone management software
Daimler’s MyTaxi acquires Greek rival Taxibeat for undisclosed amount
Soundtrack Your Brand has raised $22 million for B2B music streaming
Apple Watch
Apple Vowed to Revolutionize Television. An Inside Look at Why It Hasn’t - Bloomberg
Apple may cut the (charging) cord completely with the iPhone 8
Cool Things
The Piaggio Gita Is a Futuristic Helper Bot From the Makers of the Vespa
A breakthrough in Alphabet’s balloon-based internet project means it might actually work
Private Astronaut Taxis by SpaceX, Boeing May Not Be Ready by 2019
Where is Zealandia? Geologists say they have discovered eighth continent
Odds & Ends
AT&T’s new, new unlimited data plan eliminates an annoying requirement
Jack Dorsey: Twitter Lacked 'Focus And Discipline' For Growth

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