12/05/2005

Marconi - the death bell rings

BT announced the vendors who were going to supply kit for their 21CN network (well that should be 21C network, but hey), Marconi wasn't one of them and it has hit them hard, it's unlikely they'll survive in their current state.

A certain Italian must be turning in his grave at the state of his company and how it's fallen from its former glory (walk down the Strand and admire the Marconi building).

Access - Fujitsu and Huawei.
Metro - Alcatel, Cisco and Siemens.
Core - Cisco and Lucent.
Softswitching - Ericsson.
Optical Transmission - Ciena and Huawei.

It's quite suprising that Marconi didn't get the Softswitch business as BT already use Marconi System X digital exchanges and the Marconi softswitch is functionaly (to the user) quite similar, BT will have a big learning curve for an Ericsson platform.

What some people may be suprised about is the selection of Huawei who are a new Chinese entrant making some very good and cost effective kit, they are snapping after Cisco's business and winning it (some people are pronouncing their name as "Who Are We"). In Europe their systems are starting to appear in all sorts of networks (mainly large carriers and ISPs), but their showroom in China is meant to be the size of a football field and they have product to hit ALL ends of the telecoms and Internet sectors including mobile, customer kit, wireless etc. Chinese programmers are still very cheap, India is going to be out of business soon, and they produce good code.

Maybe Huawei will buy Marconi and save them?

iPods everywhere

For my sins, this week has involved daily tube travel (the subway for non-brits) which generally isn't a joyous activity.

Hoping to avoid as much of the journey as possible I drowned out the world with new in-earphones and turned on the iPod (to read on a newspaper stall that iPods are making people deaf).

It seems lots of other people have exactly the same idea. However what's interesting is that of all the people with things stuck in their ears, I'd estimate at least 2/3rds of them are using iPods. That's a lot of people. Some of course may be cheating and be using iPods earphones with something else (most people do have their iPods hidden in bags or jackets - though there's quite a few shuffles visible).

Apple really have made an impact in the portable music world, it will be interesting to see if someone manages to knock them from their pedestal.