’s Top 6 Posts for November 2013

by Jeff Wiener on December 2, 2013

1. Will Nortel Bring down Android?

The tech Cold War simmering between Android and the rest of the tech world is starting to boil over into an actual fight; and at the centre of it all is a company that somehow continues to influence the ebb and flow of the mobile industry from beyond the grave: Nortel.

The Rockstar Consortium—comprised of Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony—which bought Nortel’s patents back in 2011 after a heated bidding war with Google, is suing the search engine giant for alleged infringement on seven of those very patents. The patent infringement allegations go beyond just Google, however, to the entire Android ecosystem, as the suit has named HTC, Samsung, and almost every other Android operator out there as Google’s partners in crime.

2. Mitel and Aastra Announce Plan to Merge

Mitel Networks Corporation, and Aastra Technologies Limited, today announced that they have entered into a definitive arrangement agreement unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, under which Mitel will acquire all of the outstanding Aastra common shares for US$6.52 in cash plus 3.6 Mitel common shares per each Aastra common share.

The strategic move, designed to build scope and scale in a consolidating market, will create a billion dollar company with one of the largest global footprints in the industry, #1 market share in Western Europe, a US$100 million cloud business, and a global installed customer base ready for upgrade as the US$18 billion business communications market prepares to migrate to software-based cloud services.

3. Unable to find Buyer, Mobilicity Initiates Auction Process

Unable to compete in the monopolized Canadian mobile market, Mobilicity has come to the end of its road, but even there, searching for bidders, desperate for a saviour, it seems that the company has still found a way to fail at, well, failing. It should come as no surprise then to hear that the company, unable to find a buyer, has still initiated the sales process, planning an auction for their assets.

Bidders will have until December 2nd to register in order to participate in the auction for some or all of the failed company. While there some uncertainty about how the company will be sold there are already several bidders reportedly interested in scraping Mobilicity’s bones clean, particularly for its valuable spectrum resources.

4. Blackberry Abandons Fairfax Deal, Drops Heins as CEO

When Blackberry assembled a committee to explore strategic options this past summer I think everybody assumed that the inevitable decision of that committee would be to sell the company either in whole or in part, there just didn’t seem to be any other options. But surprisingly the company took another path this month, abandoning the pending Fairfax acquisition deal, and firing CEO Thorsten Heins, replacing him with interim chief John Chen.

The corporate shuffle didn’t stop there, however, as Chen announced later in the month that Blackberry had virtually cleaned house of its executive core, replacing the COO, CFO, and CMO.

5. Gartner: Wearables to Increase Worker Efficiency

While many decry the emergence of wearable technology for being the next great technological distraction, there may actually be a useful upside to this new burgeoning tech sector, one that could be a boon to enterprise. According to market analysis firm Gartner, augmented reality (AR) smartglasses, such as Google Glass, have the “potential to improve worker efficiency in many vertical markets.

But if such revolutionary thinking isn’t enough to catch the attention of CIOs the world over, perhaps the news that in the field service industry alone smartglasses have the potential of generating $1 billion in savings by 2017 will be enough make some ears perk up to this new technology.

6. Rogers Signs Exclusive $5.2 billion Deal With NHL

The news broke this month that Rogers has signed an exclusive $5.2 billion deal with the National Hockey League. This may come as a surprise for some, but for those who have been following the telecom industry lately; it is obvious that Canada’s No. 1 carrier is using every possible tool to keep its customers away from wireless and cable TV providers.

The agreement was signed for the next 12 years, andRogershas received national rights to all games, including the playoffs and Stanley Cup final on all its platforms, in all languages.

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