Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cool news: FTTH, M&A, SMS, products and services

Here is some recent and noteworthy stuff, with just a few words of my own:


  • Gaining a lot of momentum. I just updated my private litle database, a Google spreadsheet that you can also access on the right (under 'Fiber Ring').
  • Of note: OEN (Houston) closes its network, SureWest may buy the assets.

Takeover speculation:

Cool new products:

  • Everex is launching a Google-friendly PC, the Green gPC, with Google apps pre-loaded or given easy access to. I suppose that is an 'asset-light' entry into the PC-market.
  • Amazon Kindle, Kindle Store and Whispernet. Many comments widely available. Connectivity is included - very much a Telco 2.0 strategy. A European launch will be hampered by lengthy negotiations with operators.

Cool new services:

  • Celtel in Africa is launching 'One Network', essentially a roaming deal turning 12 networks into one. Calling at local rates, automatic activation, no sign-up or fee.
  • Cox is stretching its network towards 1 Gbps bandwidth.
  • BT is negotiating e-health business opportunities in Qatar and neighbouring states. I think e-health is a multi-billion opportunity, where many participants meet. That will allow operators like BT to become the center of an ecosystem.
  • Jajah is launching an opt-in service where advertisements replace ring-back tones. They say it takes an average 12 seconds before people answer a call. I suppose they will not allow competitors into the advertising network.

Ever new SMS-based apps:

  • Zain launched automatic translations (Arabic/English).
  • SpinVox enables voice-to-text conversion and has a deal with Skype: a voice message will be converted into an SMS. Also several operator deals (Alltel, Vodacom, Telstra a.o.).
  • Kajeet, an MVNO on Sprint, launched 'Feeds': entertainment and information pushed to the user as an SMS, at 10 c/SMS.
  • Mobile payments using SMS, e.g. Safaricom in Kenya and Base in Belgium. Proximus (Belgium) launched public transportation ticketing by SMS.
  • KPN's 'flirting service' olllo uses SMS (priced at 55 cents!).

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