22/07/2005

Net4Now :: News Story

Net4Now :: News Story

Be giving a free router, not really that exciting news. It makes sense for an ISP to supply a known product as that simplifies support problems. Most customer issues are connecting up to the service.

Also the Speedtouch supports ADSL2+ (which is what Be will be using), WiFi and to analogue voice ports which will allow them to offer a VoIP service.

20/07/2005

Google Earth - now Google Moon

Google have been fantastic things with first maps.google.com, then Google Earth (from Keyhole who they bought), now there's moon.google.com, which by default shows the landing sites of the Apollo missions (as pin-points) and you can zoom into them and move around.

No strange black monolith visible anywhere, but zoom in as close as you can ...

4GB mobile phone just around the corner - ZDNet UK News

4GB mobile phone just around the corner - ZDNet UK News

Cornice has launched a 2.5cm (1") 4.0GB that costs about £37 (in 10,000 unit quantities).

This is a pretty good size in terms of storage and saize to fit in lots of mobile devices, including phones, MP3 players and GPS devices. Normally hard drives are pretty fragile and not good for being banged around, but Cornice have added Crash Guard II which includes Active Latch and Drop Safe to ensure they should survive normal use.

BBC NEWS | Technology | UK prefers broadband to dial-up

BBC NEWS | Technology | UK prefers broadband to dial-up

50.7% of UK net users are on broadband. This is good news and shows that broadband is becoming commodity and pricing will continue to fall. New services will be launched based on ADSL2+ which will allow triple-play offerings.

However Ofcom are playing a balancing act, encourage LLU take-up by forcing BT to maintain wholesale DSL pricing until there are 1.5m unbundled lines, while BT (Wholesale) are the largest provider of broadband with 5.5m+ users.

So though Ofcom is allowing LLU to grow, BT are being restrained on what they can do with current customers i.e. the vast majority.

There is a second factor to this. It will take until the middle to end of 2006 before there are 1.5m unbundled lines, which gives BT a chance to roll-out 21CN, then massively change their wholesale pricing - which has the potential to put all the LLU operators out of business (or make them severely struggle) overnight.

More THUS rumours

The ADSL T&C's have changed where references to THUS/Demon have changed to "The Company" ...

More indications that THUS is going to sell off Demon or the broadband base?

19/07/2005

BBC NEWS | Business | News Corp in $580m internet buy

BBC NEWS | Business | News Corp in $580m internet buy

News Corp has purchased Intermix Media who own Myspace.com which is the fifth most-viewed internet domain in the US, and other sites for $580m.

This will be used to drive traffic to other News Corp sites (Fox TV sites). Tis initially seems to be to drive advertising revenue which is seeing big increases in the on-line world, while traditional media are losing out.

It looks a reasonable course of action, with News Corp owning large chunks of newspaper, television and now Internet advertising space.

THUS gossip

It looks like THUS have sold a group with the operations side of the company which looked after some of the Internet systems to ComputaCenter and then outsourced to them.

It's also rumoured they've set-up an M&A group, who could possibly be looking for acquisitions. Last time they set-up a similar group they sold their Interactive division, so maybe they're grooming the company for a sale?

Only time will tell.

Vodafone takes the fight to VoIP | The Register

Vodafone takes the fight to VoIP | The Register

Vodafone is going to launch a low cost 3G voice service "@Home", initially in Germany under the "ZuHause" name. This will be a flat rate service (up to 1,000 minutes per month) for local and national dialing (so flat rate unless you're a very heavy user!!!), mobile and international calls are on top of this (and only in your "home" cell).

They have already launched a 3G data service which again is limited to the home cell, but is flat rate for 5GB/month (and more if you go above or outside your home cell).

There is an overhead for delivering packet voice though. The GSM codec uses about 13Kb/s to digitise voice and over a traditional circuit switched network which is synchronous that's all it takes. Moving to packet occurs an additional overhead of about 20% so round up to 20Kb/s, however since the network is probably not synchronous it can actually take it up to 40+Kb/s (20Kb/s each way).

VoIP will eventually take-over, but the fixed and wireless operators will do their best to try and stem the flood and keep revenues flowing on their voice networks.

Carriers talk up VoIP migration - Network IT Week

Carriers talk up VoIP migration - Network IT Week

It's a logical step for carriers to migrate to VoIP. Building a packet based network using IP (and specifically IP/MPLS to ensure QoS) costs about 40% that of legacy TDM (time division multiplexed) networks, so rather than upgrading TDM to cope with capacity demands it's cheaper to migrate to VoIP.

Once a carrier carries their own traffic over VoIP, they can interconnect using VoIP and as soon as they do that there's little difference offering VoIP to other 3rd parties too.

VoIP actually becomes an enabler such that carriers can then offer services to customers who normally would not work with carriers at all. The customer then can get better pricing, which then forces others to match i.e. overall pricing drops, more consolidation etc.

Apple mobile phone rumours intensify - Network IT Week

Apple mobile phone rumours intensify - Network IT Week

Turning the iPod into a mobile phone makes sense, but becoming a cellular operator either directly or through the MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) seems a bit of a long shot. Yes they'd own the customer end-to-end, but a major effort in a very competetive market.

If they just stick to increasing the functionality of the iPod, integrating a video player (the iPod photo already displays images) make sense and the iTunes music store is rumoured to be talking to the studios re licensing films etc. That with a mobile phone makes sense.

18/07/2005

Murdoch's men form new internet unit - WebWatch - Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com

Murdoch's men form new internet unit - WebWatch - Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com

Another media giant is taking IPTV seriously, this time the Murdoch empire.

Fox Interactive Media will take in News Corp's current sports, news and entertainment websites as well as making strategic investments.

As broadband usage increases and high megabit services become a reality, eventually transmission of TV will become more economic over Internet than legacy broadcast networks. The broadcaster also gets a backchannel which allows sophisticated audience monitoring as well as interactive services.

Big Brother isn't watching you, it's your TV provider ...

Ten year-old becomes Microsoft engineer - Personal Computer World

Ten year-old becomes Microsoft engineer - Personal Computer World

The old adage of "Microsoft software is so simple an idiot can use it" (well OK a 10year old) seems to be true, but not just for their software but their exams too and Arfa Karim Randhawa has become the youngest person to pass MS' Certified Professional examinations at age 10.

Hopefully that says good things about Arfa Karim Randhawa, rather than Microsoft's exams!!!

Net4Now :: News Story

Net4Now :: News Story

Skype offering free "SkypeOut" days. SkypeOut is Skype's breakout to PSTN service.

Unfortunately you have to look for the offer and download a gift certificate which then gives you 10 minutes SkypeOut credit.

Though Skype are by far the largest VoIP service on the Planet, there's new increased offerings from other providers trying to get into Skype market (Gizmo project from the Linspire/Sipphone outfit for one) and Skype want to maintain their customers.

US can't dominate domain names, says UN - WebWatch - Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com

US can't dominate domain names, says UN - WebWatch - Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com

The UN once again makes a non-decision. What to do about the domain name system (DNS). ICANN (the body that looks after domain names etc) wanted to take control of the "root servers" i.e. the actual top-level infrastructure that holds the core of DNS i.e. "." or the root. However the US government refused to release control and will continue to manage it.

Now the UN has come out with 4 options, do nothing (i.e. stay as is), creation of a world body to address public policy issues (out the the work out ICANN), creation of a body to address wider range of public policy issues and create three bodies one to address policy, one for oversight and one for global coordination.

It'll probably take another few years to resolve which route to go down.

More C&W/Energis Merger Speculation

More C&W/Energis Merger Speculation

As posted previously, this could be a good move. Energis has not rebounded out of administration well, they are losing Wanadoo (sorry Orange) and the banks are likely to be keen to get Energis off their books.

C&W is still a big player (coming 2nd behind BT), both competing in the B2B market and combining efforts could be a good deal, even if just to remove the competetive threat.

ADSLguide: News Archive

ADSLguide: News Archive

Zen supports Apple users. Not really a big deal as MacOS X is UN*X underneath and is generally pretty easy to set-up (MacOS does it all for you).

However they are also giving limited support for older versions, which really means "you've got a Mac, oh we'll do our best to support you if you're running MacOS, but fine if you're on MacOS X).

Maybe a bit of hype here?