TheTelecomBlog.com’s Top 6 Posts for February 2011

by Jeff Wiener on March 7, 2011

1. Avaya IP Office Release 7.0 notes. The IP Office now supports the Nortel M and T series sets. It’s Official.

After its acquisition of Nortel, it was clear that Avaya would have a tough sell, either support the Nortel product base and upset it’s own supporters, or support the it’s own Avaya product base and upset its newly acquired Nortel customers, what’s a company to do?

In response Avaya gave itself one year to successfully integrate the best of Nortel’s technology into its own product line, and with the release of IP Office 7.0, Avaya has done just that. Able to support both Nortel and Avaya hardware, IP Office 7.0 is a strong indicator to the Nortel faithful that their favourite product line isn’t going anywhere, at least not anytime soon.

2. Nokia and Microsoft Look to Create New Mobile Ecosystem

Supporting two of its own mobile operating systems, it came as quite a shock to hear that Nokia signed a strategic partnership agreement with Microsoft to employ the latter’s Windows Phone 7 OS on many of it’s mobile devices going forward.

Looking to establish itself as the third major player in the mobile world, along with Google and Apple, Nokia took this opportunity to trim the fat, as it were, from its R&D department, a group who notably failed to provide Nokia with a clear mobile winner in the smartphone race.

But will such a bold move to WP7 and many new faces help Nokia re-establish its dominance in the mobile world? We’ll have to wait and see.

3. Stalling Tactics: CRTC Delays Implementation of UBB 60 Days

At the start of the month an epic battle was brewing between the Canadian government and the CRTC over the controversial usage-based billing (UBB) plan. With America embroiled in its own fight for an open Internet, UBB presents the greatest threat to an open and accountable Internet for Canadians to date.

So what is UBB? IN essence, the CRTC is fighting for the right to charge “heavy” data users more for what the amount of broadband space they use, instead of having the majority of moderate users help foot that bill. Doesn’t sound so bad right? But the problem is that same that our American neighbours are facing, who says who’s a heavy user and who isn’t? And that, my friends, is where the fight currently stands.

4. Google Accuses Microsoft’s Bing of Cheating

In what turned out to be one of the month’s strangest stories, Google has long suspected Microsoft’s Bing search engine of copying the former’s search engine results, mirroring them on Microsoft’s own engine.

In an effort to catch Bing with its hand in the proverbial cookie jar, Google set up an online sting, attaching a unique search engine result to a pile of gibberish, so typing in the nonsensical “hiybbprqag” would result in a search result of theatre tickets, a result that no other search engine would produce. So what was the result? In a few short weeks Google’s trap was sprung, as typing in the gibberish into Bing produced the predetermined result, meaning, to put it simply, that Bing has been piggy-backing on Google’s search results. More to follow.

5. Avaya Breathes Second Life into Virtual Business Communications

Sure it’s nice to hear that Avaya is currently working hard on integrating its Nortel assets and client base into its overall base of operations, but sometimes you want to hear what companies have planned for the future. In a statement released this month it looks like Avaya is bringing virtual reality to the boardroom in the form of Second Life avatars.

Virtual interactive environments like Second Life allow for users to create a virtual identity, an avatar, which users then use to interact with other people’s virtual identities. Avaya is working to incorporate this technology into its suite of communication solutions, potentially allowing an entire board meeting, for instance, to take place between virtual avatars. It’s the wave of the future folks!

6. Cisco Boosts TelePresence with Recording, Search and Collaborative Features

While the latest news out of Cisco isn’t quite as flashy or futuristic-sounding as Avaya’s integration of virtual identities, it certainly covers the same territory. While Avaya plans to use virtual reality to improve its telepresence in the future, Cisco decided to improve its own telepresence today, by integrating new features such as the ability to record and share videos on the fly.

Further, with the release of several handsets with video capabilities Cisco is, to this point at least, shying away from virtual reality, instead stressing actual reality as it continues to improve is video communications services.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jordan Richardson March 7, 2011 at 1:55 am

“the CRTC is fighting for the right to charge “heavy” data users more for what the amount of broadband space they use, instead of having the majority of moderate users help foot that bill”

Well, in this particular case the problem over UBB is that the CRTC is removing a key business model of small ISPs in the form of the unlimited Internet usage plans. The United States’ provider still offer them, but Canadian providers of any stripe would be unable to do so should the proposed ruling go through. Bell, Shaw, etc. can implement UBB all they like (and they do), but that’s not really the problem people are having.

It’s the removal of consumer choice that is on the front burner currently. As an example, if Canadian businesses (accounting for many of the so-called “heavy users”) aren’t able to get unlimited usage plans, they are forced to recalibrate their Internet usage to account for it. With unlimited plans off the table due to Bell’s newfound ability to charge wholesalers UBB rates, this means the wholesalers can no longer have unlimited plans. And this, in turn, means we’re all subject to some of the lowest usage caps and highest prices for overage in the developed world.

The CRTC and majority providers are using the same linguistic trick used in your description, incidentally. That “moderate users” would “foot the bill” for heavy users is erroneous in many ways. http://openmedia.ca/ has some great resources that explain this issue properly.

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