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TeleChoice Analysis: TeleChoice has published numerous books and white papers that focus on the information needs of service providers, and new categories of technologies and solutions. Additionally, several TeleChoice executives contribute articles in leading business and industry publications.

The Bleeding Edge
by Daniel Briere and Pat Hurley

Where have all the good phones gone?
In my office, I get to try out all sorts of new gear and technologies. And with all this testing come boxes full of gear that didn't quite work as promised, or didn't earn a place in my daily office life.

2007: The year of motion applications
Several times over the years, I've suggested you corner your CEO and whisper some sweet IT in his/her ear. Well, it's that time again - you can help drive some near-term innovation and differentiation into your firm's product lineup that builds on an up-and-coming technology: motion-enabled applications.

Unlocking ruling rings in more cellular chaos
Last month the U.S. Copyright Office put into effect a ruling that allows cell phone users to unlock their phones. Effectively, this ruling will allow -- if not easily enable -- a user to take any phone from one network to another (compatible) network, even if the original carrier put software locks in place to prevent this.

Carriers: Make stopping spam a priority
All the well-lobbied interests are getting their way - TV is coming to a telco near you, if you fit the demographics. If you are in Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont, forget about it - Verizon wants to sell you off. If you live in rural areas, you may not even get broadband

Disruptive approaches to telecom problems
We design solutions to problems every day. These problems can be pretty sticky, and they can seem insurmountable. But we usually find crafty ways to solve the issues at hand and move on.

Verizon's managed TEM services monetizes wireless/wireline complexity
Don't look now, but Verizon's got your number...and the bills and contracts that go along with it.

Alerts can be big business
There are a lot of trends coming together that make alerts and the networks that might support them into an opportunity. We should start off by trying to put our arms around the category alerts - because actually it's a quite broad category. At the most "serious" or "official" level alerts could include the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA's recently proposed new national security alerting system which will utilize public television, SMS and other means to rapidly get broad scale alerts out to the public quickly during times of natural disaster, terrorist attack or other national security events.

Do you know where your cell phones are?
Let's face it: Wireless is out of control. It's invading everything from tennis shoes to your skin. The days when wireless was a simple cell phone are gone. Wireless is everywhere.

Are your bandwidth usage models wrong?
As service providers plan their networks and make strategic technology choices - like fiber to the home vs. fiber to the node vs. enhanced CO DSL - they rely upon certain assumptions about how customers will want to use bandwidth, and what sorts of bandwidth requirements customers will have, and - most importantly - what minimum requirements users will seek from their provider (or go to another provider for).

Trade show tips that make life easier for all
I am back from another trade show and am doing all my postconference processing. Once again, I'm dealing with all the typical postconference headaches, which follow the inevitable conference headaches, which were preceded by the preconference headaches. I am amazed that so many people are still making life hard for us analysts and writers.

Moore's Law, Metcalfe's Law; now McGuire's
We're now in the Age of Mobility, governed by the Law of Mobility. Thanks to cost reductions of Moore's Law, scalability resulting from Metcalfe's Law, convergence and miniaturization of devices and increasing ubiquity of 3G wireless networks, the cost of making any product (especially one involving information) available all the time is plummeting. Therefore, McGuire concludes, just as computing power and the Internet have been built into virtually every product, mobility is beginning to be built into every product.

Give your customers a mobility roadmap
In the news this week was an exciting (and long-awaited) item: the IEEE has approved the standard for mobile WiMAX, 802.16e. This standard gives vendors, chipmakers and carriers something to aim at, and gives groups like the WiMAX Forum the ability to start developing interoperability standards, testing procedures and certifications for mobile WiMAX – just as last year’s 802.16d-2004 fixed WiMAX standard has provided some stability in the non-mobile arena. But having a standard - and even having interoperability and certification - doesn’t solve the problem that carriers face about where to go next.

Debunking the set-top box safety net
The set-top box is becoming less important. That's right, less important. Wow, how can you say that? Cisco just paid bazillions for Scientific Atlanta. Microsoft is plowing money into its IPTV set-top box-driven initiative. No doubt you are shaking your head at this statement and thinking: You're NUTS!

Are your telecom services under the Christmas tree?
It's an amazing world when the toymakers stop making toys for Christmas. But that's what's happening. This Christmas, if the NY Toy Fair is any indication, is going to be the first one where the toy industry has pretty much thrown in the towel and agreed that kids want bandwidth not Barbie dolls.

Wireless EV-DO on board
Coming soon to a computer store near you: little yellow traffic signs that say "EV-DO On Board"

Where's Walt Disney when you need him?
We have a government busy moving pieces around the telecommunications game board. Where are our national plans for an EPCOT 2014, our New Songdo City? I guess they're on the shelf, next to our national alternative energy strategy - in the TBD section.

IPTV? Of course, but don't forget RFTV
We've spent some time this month at the FTTH Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, and we've, as always, been keeping an eye on the news related to telco TV strategies and access trends.

Extending Ethernet with copper is gaining steam
Vendors have been offering products that use bonding or VDSL-like techniques to provide copper extensions to high-speed data services for years. In some markets outside of the U.S. these services are quite popular (using VDSL coding to provide fiber extension), but in the U.S. they’ve always been a bit of a slow starter.

Voice just keeps getting worse at filling the coffers
In this day and age of "unlimited" local and LD services, of multi-1000 minute cellular plans and rollover minutes, it's hard to get too excited about the prospects of new voice and triple or even quadruple play services as a big driver of service provider revenue.

It's an XML world
There's enough experience now with the earlier adopters to project where your XML weak spots are going to be as your organization scales with XML.

It's time for XML (and more!) in your network
As you have no doubt been hearing (at least in bits and pieces), there's a big move within the networks of your enterprise customers towards application-aware switching and networking. Application switching is not happening as one big paradigm-shifting overnight revolution, but it is revolutionary, and it is coming towards as a series of smaller steps forward.

Making the leap to cheap VoIP?
We are sure you take it as a matter of course that the whole world is going to IP and that VoIP is "the future." Of course it is! Whether you're talking about residential users migrating to Vonage and the like, large enterprises moving call centers and PBXs to IP, or carriers moving to VoIP in their core networks, the move is in progress and inevitable.

We interrupt this broadcast . . .
The fact that this incident happened in the first place is stupid, but the fact that we're relying only on TV and radio broadcasts is even worse. What we really need is an approach that is built around the way we communicate in the 21st century.

How one community got DSL
It's not news that the telephone company databases feeding broadband customer service front ends can be wrong. Like me, you've probably been in the position of trying to convince a customer service representative that you really should be able to get broadband in your area, despite what the computer says. Usually your perspective is driven by common sense ("My house is right next door to the central office") or things too obvious to ignore ("Nineteen of my neighbors have DSL"). But what do you do when your telco tells you your entire community does not qualify for DSL?

Telecom policy gets political
In a presidential election year, everything is up for grabs - even things no one has seemed to care about for a long time.

SBC Web vs. telephone support: Round 2
Once again, bundling is the mantra of the day for telecom providers. If you listen to some executives on their earnings calls, bundling your voice, data and video services will not ...

Has anything really changed?
There's a danger that the same forces that took our telecom industry ball and ran with it - into the ground - are rearing their heads again.

Let your Wi-Fi network do the hard work for you
Wi-Fi networks are pretty darned easy to set up these days - at least if you’re talking about a simple one or two access point network like the ones you might find in a home or ...

There’s no business like show business
Movies are big business. The exact numbers depend upon whose reports you look at, and how you slice up the market - but movie and video industry revenue in the U.S. is probably in ...

Are you up to speed on VDSL?
VDSL component pricing is rapidly declining and approaching that of ADSL.

Making wireline work for the mobile generation
While mobile phones are just about ubiquitous throughout society - reaching across all age and economic groups - they are particularly popular among younger consumers in their 20s ...

Betting the FTTP farm on your contractors
There's no denying that the fiber-to-the-premises buzz in growing. Telcos are responding to multicable system operaters offering bundled services and municipalities are installing ...

DSL’s turning tide
Short and simple, the good news is that an architecture has been put forth that can finally allow DSL service providers to move up the value chain and offer the next tier of service ...

Hey telco, where's my support?
Telco Web sites today are nothing more than user manuals online. They need an overhaul so that they reflect the most-often-asked questions and how to resolve them. Telcos need to level-set support for ...

Cutting the cord (or fiber)
Wireless is becoming more than just a means of creating a LAN in a home or office, or of connecting while on the road. New high-speed point-to-point wireless technologies are beginning to find a ...

Is video over IP the silver bullet for Videoconferencing?
For as long as we can remember, the telecom industry has been talking about a world with inexpensive, easy-to-use videoconferencing available to millions of PCs around the world ...

Going to sea…wirelessly
We tend to look at the telecom market from a land-based perspective, but the maritime communications industry is huge.

There's a new competitor in town – It's the town!
Hey service providers, there's a movement afoot in small town America that you should be aware of. The town itself sees a ...

Getting virtual with wireless LANs
Despite relatively limited revenue growth for vendors - caused by steep drops in per unit pricing - the wireless LAN ...

The Wild Wireless West: An old technology stands to challenge cell and wireline carriers
After recently talking to Norman Spangler, managing partner of telecom investment group Stellar Holdings, it seems like ...

Needed: A return to simplicity
I don't have time to shop around. My clients don't, either. Neither do your customers. Now's the time to look at the ...

Peer-to-peer traffic - friend or foe?
Most everyone is aware of the havoc peer-to-peer traffic can cause on a service provider’s network. But many may not be ...

Mobile data is coming, and backhaul needs upgrading
Whatever your opinion is regarding how fast it will happen, it seems inevitable that near broadband, and eventually true ...

Of Martha Stewart and FTTP
Are the regional Bell operating companies backing the Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) specification engaging in an inside game?

Teenagers – The last remaining unserved telecom market?
Marketers have coveted the teen/youth market for many years. As teens begin to work more after school jobs, their level ...

Untangling the hot spot backhaul mess
Wireless LAN hot spots face a common issue - how to provide adequate backhaul from each wireless access point onto the public Internet and other WANs.

The truth will set us free
John Chambers has made a big issue over the past year of re-establishing trust in the telecom marketplace.

Printing on the go – Is it ready for primetime?
Mobile printing is quickly becoming a reality with new functionalities available in the market today. Now I’m sure the thought of printing as you’re driving down the highway in your car isn’t something you long for on a regular basis… but how many times have you been caught traveling or at a customer site ready for a big presentation with no way to print?

Consolidating your access points
A centralized "wireless switch" or "router" is placed in the enterprise wiring closet, and a number of access points ( ...

Securing the residence – A new service provider business model?
There's been a lot of focus on security in today's ever-changing world. While most of this focus has been on enterprise applications that secure business content, the residential marketplace has been virtually primarily overlooked.

Location services move into prime time
Location-aware services - providing information, applications and services to wireless customers based upon their physical location - have been a long promised part of the next-gen wireless data services that seem to be finally getting off the ground around the world.

Next up: RBOCs troubles
When people say the RBOCs have won and are sitting pretty, I have to wonder. There's been a steady hum rolling across the telecom plains for the past few months, driven in major part by the anticipation of an FCC green-light decision that will set the regional Bell operating companies loose into all sorts of growth-oriented spending.

What if service providers could make wireless LANs easy?
There’s much talk in the press about the explosive growth in wireless LAN usage and how this is the hot spot (no pun intended) for wireless technology. On the flip side, there are the actual users of this technology who are still for the most part unconvinced. Although they are intrigued by the functionality of wireless LANs, most are still baffled about what it takes to support a wireless LAN - how to manage it, how many access points to install, what kind of performance to expect and, oh, don’t forget, will it be secure?

Playing the devil’s advocate
A lot has been written over the last couple of weeks regarding the recent FCC Triennial Review and how it bodes for the further demise of the competitive marketplace and the increase of creative service offers from the incumbents. We refuse to believe that we can enter a time machine and go back to the 1980s' world of telecommunications.

PON moves forward
The Passive Optical Networking industry has made some key steps forward since our last column on the subject two months ago. Most significantly, the ITU-T has approved the first two components of the Gigabit PON standard - G.984.1 and G.984.2 - and reached an "almost frozen" draft stage on a third, G.984.3.

Service provider-ready wireless LANs
Wireless LANs remain one of the bright spots in an otherwise lackluster networking market. But service providers, with a few exceptions, haven't really caught on to the services aspect of the Wi-Fi revolution. Sure, companies like Boingo and Wayport are beginning to make a business providing hot spot services, and Cometa has jumped into the pool too (creating a huge splash), but there isn't yet a widespread availability of Wi-Fi services in public places (beyond Starbucks/T-Mobile).

Gadgets show IT's future
Now more than ever though, there's a hidden message in gadget mania, and it has to do with your telephone company, its future offerings and your IT environment.

A look at new service revenue generation via IP services
The main problems today's service providers face are not a surprise to anyone who works in the telecom industry. They have been discussed and rehashed for the past year in the media, at conferences and in internal meetings.

Streamlining your network with GMPLS - Part 2
Returning to profitability and increasing shareholder value will no doubt be huge themes for service providers in 2003. We want to continue our discussion from the November column regarding Generalized Multi-protocol Label Switching (GMPLS) and service provider expectations.

Holiday wrap up
As the year comes to a close, we'd like to look forward to some opportunities for the upcoming year. Although we'd like to say the telecom market will turn and all will be well in this part of the industry, a global correction is probably not in the cards in the near future.

PON through a service provider’s eyes
PON is still a new technology, and despite some valiant marketing efforts, the industry as a whole is still awash in acronym soup.

Will 2003 see a telecom revival?
We're going to focus on the New Year's resolutions that might turn the industry around and provide meaningful recovery. But while we hate to play Grinch, we believe 2003 largely is going to be a repeat of 2002 - and potentially a bit worse.

Wireline providers: Stemming the outflow to cellular options
If you're a wireline provider, you have to admit there are some challenges coming down the pike. Slow acceptance or not, 3G is coming, and the wireless data services' pricing plans are getting better rationalized.

Streamlining your network with G-MPLS
Every so often, we come across a new technology that appears to have the potential to significantly help service providers enhance the operation of their network and offer new services.

The need for more revenue - what’s a service provider to do?
There’s been much talk of the triple play over the last 6 to 9 months in the telecom industry. Is this just an overhyped vision that isn’t needed in the market?

Intrusion Prevention Systems complete security
No longer is a managed firewall adequate to protect a customer's vital network and information assets. A complete security offering requires a multiple-layer approach that includes an intrusion detection or prevention solution.

Crisis requires change of habit
We hope a few service providers will be brave enough to spend money to bring more bandwidth to your doorstep in the face of Wall Street's ignorant threats.

What telecom can learn from fashion
The fashion industry is cutthroat, and the way they market is something to be admired, watched and learned from.

Catching up on home networks
Pay attention service providers, because your customers are sending you a clear message: they want home networks, and they're not going to wait for you to provide them.

The end of telecom
Ever since 1877 when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, businesses and consumers have bought their telephone services and equipment from telephone companies.

Shoring up consumer erosion with wireless bundles
This summer we've seen a disconcerting trend from large incumbent carriers: the erosion of plain old voice lines, the core bread-and-butter business.

Telecom scared stupid
We have clients all over the world, in all aspects of telecom. And they have all turned dumb. Not a smart one in the bunch.

Partnerships - Telecom buoy for survivors
During the last few years we've all seen announcements of joint "partnerships" between companies, not only between various telecom vendors but also between various service providers.

Everything old is new again ..
When you hear "innovative and new," does private line leap to your mind? Probably not, though private lines have been quietly re-invented over the past few years and continue to evolve.

Consumer storage solutions - the next deadly threat
There's been lots of hype about enterprise storage solutions since 9/11, but few have considered the impact plummeting storage prices will have on the telco business plan - particularly from the consumer front.

Can we talk? VoIP's firewall challenges
One of the interesting nuggets from SuperComm 2002 was the lip service that large service providers are giving voice over IP.

Free Space Optics - Ready for Prime Time?
Free Space Optics, the technology that overlaps the optical and wireless categories, has long been under development yet ...



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