TheTelecomblog’s Top Six Posts for September 2011

by Matt Klassen on October 5, 2011

1. Canadians Hanging up on the Landline

I can imagine a future where the only interaction my grandchildren have with landline phones will be staring at the ever growing collection of handsets that will likely adorn the walls of my study during my retirement years. In a recent study it was found that increasingly Canadians, particularly the younger generation, are foregoing the traditional landline altogether, opting instead to use their mobile device as their only contact point.

But hoping not to sound like an old guy sitting on his porch telling the young whippersnappers passing by about how things were done in the glorious days of yesteryear, there may still be some use left in the ol’ landline phone…

2. Carl Icahn: RIM’s Saviour or Prophet of Doom?

Amidst mounting pressure from investors to unlock the company’s full value, we hear rumours that billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn is looking to buy a stake in Research in Motion. While many may think that Icahn will be the company’s white knight in times of financial hardship, for others he’s simply a harbinger of doom.

Well known for his ability to “unlock value” in companies, Icahn is infamous for his investor first approach, meaning that he will do anything to a company to extract money from it, including breaking it up or selling it off. But this raises the question, is what’s good for the shareholders always good for the company? Is RIM at a point where it needs to consider such drastic measures?

3. Cisco and Next Generation Mobility

As mobile technology increasingly becomes an integral part of our lives, the sports and entertainment industry has been looking at ways to integrate the use of handheld devices into live events. The issue with this, however, is connectivity and access, as most networks and apps simply can’t handle the simultaneous traffic that would be generated by the multiple users in high density areas like in stadiums or arenas…until now.

Introducing Cisco’s mew Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, a customized solution to provide a highly secure and single wireless network. It enables real-time access to mobile applications to hundreds of thousands of people simultaneously who have gathered to witness a sport and create new business ventures for themselves, teams, and operators.

4. ShoreTel Partners with Tech Data Canada

For the last couple of months it’s been business as usual for ShoreTel, in line with its simplicity-and-affordability message. But earlier this month, the company was back in limelight after it announced a new distribution agreement with Tech Data Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of Tech Data Corporation. The move is targeted to increase availability of the ShoreTel solution to partners and customers in all Canadian Provinces and Territories.

On the surface the deal appears to be a solid win-win scenario, as it allows ShoreTel to further the penetration of its communication solutions into the Canadian market while providing Tech Data with yet another partner in its expansive network.

5. DOJ takes Issue with AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

The road towards its merger with T-Mobile certainly hasn’t been a smooth one for AT&T, as with no prior warning, according to America’s second largest telecommunications company, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against the company this month in U.S. Federal court, citing anti-competition and antitrust concerns. This is certainly a huge blow to the merger, as the DOJ is one of the two bodies—the other being the FCC—that needs to sign off on this deal for it to be completed.

AT&T has since initiated Plan B, a course of action that will see the company attempt to divest some of its assets—particularly spectrum and subscribers—in hopes of appeasing the regulatory bodies and assuaging these serious antitrust issues.

6. Google Releases Mobile Wallet

For years now Google has been the nexus of our digital existence thanks to its popular search engine technology, and more recently the company has sought to become the nexus of our mobile existence as well. Now with the release of its mobile payment platform it looks like Google is looking for a home at the centre of our economic existence as well.

The company has officially released its mobile payment system, Google Wallet, which utilizes the fledgling near-field communication (NFC) technology that allows the phone to send encrypted credit card information to the merchant’s scanner to complete a transaction.

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