Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rural FTTP 'perfectly economical,' says muni fiber veteran

An interesting article in Telephony Magazine quotes Dr. Timothy Nutly director of ValleyFiber, a nonprofit organization focused on bringing municipal fiber to towns in Vermont’s Upper Valley “'It’s nonsense,' he said, addressing the Broadband Properties Summit today. 'It’s perfectly economical.'”

The article explains why rural fiber is only slightly more expensive than the urban and sub-urban counterparts.
Rural FTTP 'perfectly economical,' says muni fiber veteran

Leaked T-Mobile Internal Memo says 3G Tomorrow

TmoNews - The unoffocial T-Mobile blog, is reporting that T-Mo will finally be rolling out UMTS tomorrow in major cities. There are already(only) 3 third gen. handsets in the product mix now that will be able to use this technology. Still, it will be interesting to see what this will ultimately mean for T-Mobile customers.
TmoNews � Blog Archive � More 3G release news

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

An early look at AT&T Mobility’s MediaFLO mobile TV service

RCR Wireless news has learned that AT&T's MediaFlo service is further along than they had announced.

Supposedly, LG Electronics Co. (maker of the two available handsets) has let it slip. Once they got their hands on one of the devices, RCR was able to get the service working fairly easily. According to RCR:

"From what we've seen, we think AT&T has a solid broadcast mobile TV offering that can compete and perhaps outpace the reach of Verizon Wireless' Vcast Mobile TV. With the concerts channel and (hopefully) more services like datacasting on the way from MediaFLO, mobile TV just might strike the chord it's failed to strum thus far."
An early look at AT&T Mobility’s MediaFLO mobile TV service - RCR Wireless News

Monday, April 28, 2008

Got my BBQ!

OK, I really couldn't go to Tennessee without sampling some barbeque, now could I? I hope I don't insult too many of my Tennessee readers (OK, no real possibility of that since so few read this post) when I say I was truely disapointed in the quality of "Q".

The best style of ribs is Memphis - HANDS DOWN. One would think Nashville would come close! I sampled the half-rack at a place on Broadway that was recomended. It was edible, but needlessly spicy and dry (see photo). I'll spare you by not mentioning the name (truth is, I forgot it) but the view of the street below from this outdoor vantage point at least made for a decent experience.

I also got to sample pulled pork from a place called Whitts (a local chain) that was quite good. I'm now told that the place to go downtown is Jacks (Broadway b'ween 2nd & 3rd). Oh well, there's always next time...
View more photos here
Posted by Picasa

Starbucks rolls out AT&T Wi-Fi service

Starbucks had previously announced that they were replacing T-Mobile with AT&T as their Wi-Fi provider. It now looks like the conversion is occuring sooner than we thought.
Starbucks rolls out AT&T Wi-Fi service - Business Courier of Cincinnati

Thursday, April 24, 2008

AT&T Mobility to sell $100 femtocells

Last month I discussed femtocell technology and why this could be the future of wireless. Today we learn that AT&T Mobility is jumping headlong into this technology by purchasing femtocells that they will sell for around $100 each.
Report: AT&T Mobility to sell $100 femtocells - RCR Wireless News

Thursday, April 17, 2008

On the Road Again...

This time I'm heading to Lafayette, TN (pronounced "La-FEY-ette") for IPTV installation and CSR training classes. I'm fairly positive I should get some decent barbecue in rural Tennessee, but time will tell. As usual, TfTTE readers will know first!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mobile Term Madness: LTE, WiMax, EV-DO and More Explained

Gizmodo, in their typical amusing fashion, has taken it upon themselves to explain various buzzwords used in the wireless world (and its actually pretty good). Definitely worth a look:
Mobile Term Madness: LTE, WiMax, EV-DO and More Explained

Sprint Sticking to it's Guns

Despite Verizon Wireless and AT&T's decision to go with LTE for their eventual 4G deployment, Sprint has decided to stay the course with it's WiMax decision. This week,
Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse defended his company's WiMax bet, declaring that "WiMAX is not slide-ware", meaning that WiMax will exist, some day. Hesse also said that Sprint planned to delay its "Xohm" WiMax service launch until later in the year.

Dan says: A better bet would be that WiMax gear on the scale needed by Xohm will not be fully lit by year's end, perhaps a beta trial in some cities, if we're lucky.

FTTH now available for over 10 million folks

Telephony is reporting that Fiber to the Home (FTTH) has now reached the 3 million mark in North America. Fiber now passes nearly 12 Million homes, or 10% of the homes in North America. It is now marketed to over 10 million homes.

Of the nearly 3 million homes that are connected to fiber, 770,500 of those (26%) were added in the last six months, according to a report by RVA Market Research and Consulting. According to Telephony:
Bell companies (mainly Verizon Communications) account for 2,079,000 FTTH subscribers (or 72% of the total), while a mix of 593 other providers collectively claim the other 833,500, RVA said. Non-Bell incumbents own 14% of all FTTH customers. CLECs own nearly 5%, municipalities own 4%, developers and integrators own less than 4% and cable companies own nearly 1%.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Text Message vs Morse Code

Here's an interesting tidbit from the Tonight Show: Jay Leno pitted a Morse coder against a "texter" and had them send the same message to someone at the receiving end, like John Henry vs. the steam engine. Who won? You'll just have to view the video to find out.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Verizon to take FiOS all digital

USTelecom is reporting that Verizon is finally moving away from analog cable and will be offering digital service on it's fiber to the home (FiOS) system. All I can say is, "Welcome to IPTV - it's about time!"
Verizon to take FiOS all digital - Related Stories - USTelecom dailyLead

Monday, April 7, 2008

Where Am I This Week?

Here's the photo I took this afternoon while passing through Rural Alabama. Note the sign: "FORT PAINE - Official Sock Capital of the World" I have no reason to doubt this, although I wonder whom the official authority on socks was that had the ability to make this "official".

This week I'm in Rainsville, Alabama. With any luck, I'll have time to elaborate on the purpose of my visit, etc. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the warmer weather (early spring in the south) vs. what I've experienced earlier in the year (Minnesota, North & South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, et. al.).
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 5, 2008

WiMax: Is WiMax All Washed Up? An Open Letter

The following article in Gizmodo is not afraid to ask if WiMax will even survive, given Verizon Wireless' and now AT&T's decision to go 4G with LTE.
WiMax: Is WiMax All Washed Up? An Open Letter

SPECIAL REPORT: The Growth of Convergence, part IV

There has been a lot of discussion about convergence lately. Based on some recent interest in this information, here is part IV of a primer on this trend and what it means to all of us; not just in telecommunications, but in all facets of the business world.

Prior installments have discussed the reasons behind converging networks. Just as it makes sense in the world of terrestrial networks, it makes equal sense in other facets of telecommunications.

If we think of convergence as the merging of two or more technologies as a seamless form of communications, we can go farther:

In addition to home networks, office telephone systems are becoming IP based as well. These phone systems (PBXs) need to be connected as well as electricity and Internet. A Wi-Fi enabled PBX might be able to use VoIP and work seamlessly with the company’s intranet, and require fewer network connections for huge cost savings. Bringing Power over Ethernet (PoE) reduces this further, and the ability to hand off calls to existing wireless networks makes this extremely efficient. There are many systems available today that will allow calls to be made and received from alternate locations (such as a worker’s home or wireless phone) that will appear to come from the office. Home workers may also access phone records and other data just as if they were sitting in their cubicle. Systems like this know where you are, how to route your calls and allow sharing of voice mail.

For the home user, services such as T-Mobile’s HotSpot@Home and Sprint’s Airave show promise if they are accepted by consumers.

One thing is certain: as long as consumer’s demand more services for less money, convergence will be the most likely solution for providers.

Friday, April 4, 2008

What's Up With This Photo?

I took this picture on my way out of Dulles Airport in suburban Washington DC. Here we can clearly see the popularity Clinton and Obama pins over their Republican rivals, at least by shoppers at this store. Does this mean the Dems are the choice of Wahington area passangers? It certainly looks that way unless the Republican pins (appropriately enough, on the right) were recently refilled.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Shortly after the FCC lifted it's gag rule on who won what in the 700 Mhz AWS auction, AT&T announced that like Verizon, they will deploy LTE (or Long Term Evolution) when they are ready for 4G.

During the auction, AT&T won $6.6B worth of 700 Mhz licences to complement the $1.6B worth they won in the last auction.

The carrier said they are in no rush to deploy 4G - it may not be available until 2012.

The big winner in the auction was Verizon, spending about $9.4B. They may announce what they intend to do with their AWS spectrum as soon as tomorrow.

Here is the Article from RCR Wireless News

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Good Eats in Sioux City Iowa

As Always, I try to clue readers in on any culinary discovery. Tonight I tried a place called Rebos on historic 4th Street. This went well beyond my expectation of edible bar food, good steaks or passable ribs. Rebos bills itself as Southwestern Caribbean and the food is predictably unusual and quite good. I had something that sounded pedestrian but was truly delicious: breded chicken with a mushroom cream sauce. This was a special the waiter recommended, so how could I say "no"?
Rebos (712) 258-0395 1101 4th St, #1, Sioux City, IA 51101

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

$267M Buys a Lot of Broadband for Rural America

According to GigaOhm, Denver-based Open Range Communications just received a loan of $267 million from the USDA under its Rural Development Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. This will allow Open Range to roll out broadband services in 518 rural areas in 17 states that include Illinois, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin. Additionally, the company has secured $100M in private equity. According to Om Malik, this is one of the largest investments in rural broadband so far:

"Ironically, for a company that’s getting such a huge amount of money as a loan, there is little or no information. Open Range’s web site is a placeholder with a link to an email address for its PR person. Given that it secured hundreds of millions of dollars from a government department, one should expect more transparency. Even the details on how the network and service will be rolled out remain sketchy. Open Range will use a combination of technologies, including WiMAX, to bring broadband to these communities."