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Ring! Ring! Hot News, 17th December

Telco 2.0 Strategy

Structural separation? We don’t need no stinkin’ separation! So says Belgacom…

Telco 2.0 Comment: They built a VDSL network, and now their competitors want to play. Belgacom of course claims they took the risk and therefore should reap the rewards; but the biggest competitor is the company that laid the fibre already everywhere else, and now wants to offer unbundled service in the rest of the country. Will profits come from pleasing customers, or regulators?

Cinven dumps half its Numericable stock.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Who wants to be a French ISP anyway?

Vodafone: wants to go to Brazil.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Arun Sarin’s Great Emerging Market Splurge strategy rolls on. Apparently they don’t want to do a greenfield deployment in Brazil, which means only one thing; their acquisition finger is itching again. And with their monster cashflows, even a global credit market meltdown won’t stop them. Might it all turn ugly when India and Brazil saturate and commoditise in five years’ time?

Broadband Connectivity

UK TV spectrum up for grabs.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Everything from 470 to 862MHz could be on the block. Seriously, somebody’s bound to do a really big WiMAX network…

MWeb gets its WiMAX ticket punched.

Telco 2.0 Comment: This really has been the year of WiMAX, which is amusing when you recall the top telecoms official who told us it “wasn’t a commercial reality” back at 3GSM this spring. MWeb’s trial licence has been extended; that makes five WiMAX operators in South Africa alone.

Ericsson snags three contracts to build municipal metro-area fibre networks in Greece.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Remember Roy Gradwell’s talk at the Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm in October? You should; it was all about how to get a municipal fibre network started incrementally, by linking up buildings that had an existing need for fibre. That’s precisely what is happening here.

Algeria gets the fibre out there already.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Algeria goes for FTTH! Look, this is getting embarrassing…

Sprint WiMAX tiptoes onto the stage.

Telco 2.0 Comment: They’re calling it a “soft launch”, but it’s more like a big trial. To begin with, Sprint employees only are allowed to use the test network. But it’s a start.

Earthlink misses major metro-WLAN meeting.

Telco 2.0 Comment: “We’re going down in a ball of flames”, according to the comments… Need we add more?

Digital Product Innovation

Amazon to give away MP3s with devices

Telco 2.0 Comment: And you thought content would offset your costs, not add to them. How long before home hub/media centre devices come pre-stuffed with flicks? Former BT tech supremo Peter Cochrane has been predicting it for years, and at last it’s coming true.

France Telecom and Universal have a deal over content licensing.

Telco 2.0 Comment: But there’s going to be no Orange IPTV any time soon. Priority #1: Get the fibre out there, right?

Technology Disruptions

Palm’s awful year ends with a burst of layoffs.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Apparently they’ve missed a deadline for a key new product. This comes after the forever-delayed Linux phone and the Foleo flub; stick a fork in Palm, it’s done. Expect someone to buy them for the Treo name in 2008.

Watch your own stuff on your iPhone.

Telco 2.0 Comment: God knows we’d mocked the iPhone hysteria enough. But we didn’t know they’d gone as far as blocking RTSP traffic so as to break streaming applications.

Nokia moves its CTO to the West Coast.

Telco 2.0 Comment: Keeping an eye on the Googleplex, apparently.

Telco 2.0 Recommends:: Google ID?, T-Mobile USA furts Twitter, those unlocked froggy iPhones are dangerous, Hello Android!.

And finally, two customers get mugged by their operator: Chris “Long Tail” Anderson gets a $2,000 data roaming bill from AT&T for leaving his iPhone on — doing nothing but pinging for new email. Bell Canada easily bests this feeble effort by charging one victimcustomer C$85,000 — on an “unlimited” data tariff. What could possibly go wrong?

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Another interesting Telco 2.0 related news for the week is the release of the Ribbit Developer APIs. The Open Ribbit API enables VoIP calls within (Flash enabled) web browsers. This is where Telco 2.0 could meet Web 2.0. Check it out: http://developer.ribbit.com/

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