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Ring! Ring! Monday News Analysis, 5th November

Telco2.0 Strategy

Telecom NZ profits down 18 per cent.

Telco2.0 Comment: Barbara Castle once advised someone to “Think, think, think - it’ll hurt at first but you’ll get used to it”. You could say the same thing about structural separation - just ask BT.

O2 reckons 200,000 iPhones will go this Christmas in the UK.

Telco2.0 Comment: They plan to fire the iPhone starting gun at 6.02pm on Friday in the UK, and the hackers are already stocking up on coffee for the unlocking marathon that will inevitably follow. Apple executives were reportedly laughing and throwing handfuls of $100 bills around.

AT&T lets iPhone users get flatrate data roaming.

Telco2.0 Comment: iPhones love to bask in connectivity, what with their push-mail emulation and fancy voicemail. Unsurprisingly, AT&T is discovering that deploying a kajillion of them and then trying to ration connectivity is doomed to failure. They’ll now need to persuade their subscribers not to use this facility…

Technology Disruptions

OpenSocial: blessing or curse?

Telco2.0 Comment: It sounds like the best idea of the year, a standard API for social network applications that would permit both application interworking, so widgetry from Facebook could work on a MySpace page, and data interworking, so a widget on Bebo could pull data from, say, dontdatehimgirl.com and sourceforge.net. But there are a hell of a lot of caveats; it’s unclear just how “open” OpenSocial is, what Google’s commercial rights in it are, or what it’s actually for seeing as there are already good tools for this sort of thing that haven’t been adopted yet. Nevertheless, it’s another example of fantastic things telcos could be doing but aren’t. After all, telcos have more social network data in their CDR piles than anyone else; something like this could allow them to expose their voice and messaging capabilties in new contexts, and extract value from their under-exploited user data assets.

Gphone hype cranks up to a high-pitched chattering whine; more details here.

Telco2.0 Comment: It’s the GooglePhone hysteria yet again; it seems likely they’ll launch something this week, but it looks more likely to be software than a phone. If there is any truth to these reports, it could be a powerful development platform, presumably full of hooks back to the GooglePlex. No fun for the network operators there. At the Telco2.0 conference a few days ago, someone said that “the mobile industry is where PC industry was 15 years ago”. Google presumably wants to be Microsoft.

HP, Tekelec, and BEA do IMS in a box.

Telco2.0 Comment: So somebody still loves it. Anyway, this does sound an awful lot like Brough Turner and Li Mo’s remarks about IMS products that are closed, proprietary boxes that aren’t really IMS at all. In fact, if IMS is to have any value whatsoever, it was meant to get us away from monolithic integrated systems and let all kinds of elements talk to each other.

Blogwar; Dean Bubley vs MobileSociety on IMS.

Telco2.0 Comment: Beers and popcorn, please. Mobsoc comes out as an IMS true believer; Bubley sets out to bust his chops. It may be incomprehensible technobabble, but all your voice and messaging revenue is at stake.

Broadband Connectivity

Sprint Nextel wobbly on WiMAX.

Telco2.0 Comment: S/N seems to be just beginning to realise that building a huge WiMAX network optimised for fast, cheap mobile IP service could be an example of creative self-destruction. For the rest of us, creative self-destruction is just as important as the usual kind; the IBM PC being exhibit A.

Digital Politics and Regulation

Does LBS make the mobile networks the state’s new bloodhounds?

Telco2.0 Comment: Not as much as you’d think, according to Bill Ray’s summary of the law. More importantly, in Pakistan they’re not trying to track dissidents by LBS, they just switched the whole thing off. (However, some accounts speak of “intermittent” mobile service, which sounds more like a peak load problem.)
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