TheTelecomBlog.com’s Top 6 Posts for January 2014

by Jeff Wiener on February 4, 2014

1. Google Sells Off Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 Billion

A short nineteen months after Google scooped up Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion and entered the mobile hardware market, the search engine giant has sold its lacklustre asset to Chinese tech giant Lenovo for a fraction of the purchase price—a paltry $2.91 billion.

While most are chalking this up to the worst investment in Google’s history, the truth of the matter is that Motorola had never really lived up to its hype, unable to provide Google with the patent protection and market clout we all thought it would deliver. Despite the loss, however, perhaps this may serve to be a good move for all parties involved, a chance for Lenovo to revive the Motorola brand and for Google to regain its focus on its Android ecosystem.

2. Avoiding a Customer Service Disaster

Following any airline disaster investigators inevitably turn to the aircraft’s black box–a virtually indestructible piece of technology that records all the fight data– to discover the reason(s) behind the accident. Most often what investigators find is that crashes are not caused by a single problem, but by a cascade of exponentially worsening issues that ultimately end in disaster…customer service is no different.

So what if I told you your business has its own black box, a built-in analysis tool to help you learn from and avoid customer service disasters; you just need to know where to find it.

3. Vodafone Sells Stake in Verizon Wireless

It looks like the all American wireless provider Verizon Wireless will soon, in fact, be all American, as U.K.-based Vodafone, a 45 percent partner with Verizon Communications in the U.S. wireless venture, has received approval from its investors to sell its share to its joint partner.

But an interesting sidebar to this whole story as developed as well, as rumours abound that chief Verizon competitor AT&T is interested in purchasing Vodafone, expanding its reach into Europe and other growth markets.

4. Appeals Court Strikes down FCC’s Net Neutrality Standards

A U.S. Federal appeals court has struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s rules for Net Neutrality regarding the equal treatment of all broadband network traffic, striking yet one more blow against the beleaguered and impotent bureaucratic entity as it tries in vain to bring some semblance of order to a telecommunications industry gone wild.

But all is not lost for the FCC, as through the defeat the courts have given the Commission the way forward for how to properly ground its Net Neutrality standards, meaning the FCC may soon have far more power to regulate the Internet than any of us thought…and few of us are comfortable with.

5. T-Mobile’s Next Plan: Mobile Money, the “Un-Banking” service

The T-Mobile UnCarrier revolution seems unstoppable, a veritable avalanche of paradigm altering new offers that are changing the way wireless providers operate. But strangely enough T-Mobile’s latest endeavor has nothing to do with new deals, discounts, offers or incentives, the carrier has moved into another area completely—mobile banking.

T-Mobile’s latest program is called Mobile Money, and it aims to provide a low-cost solution to consumers who don’t yet have a bank account. Users will be able to deposit and access their money, and pay bills using their handset and a Visa-backed T-Mobile debit card.

6. Blackberry Cost Cutting Hits Home: Company Divesting up to 80% of Waterloo Facilities

Although long known as the “Waterloo” mobile giant, that moniker will soon no longer apply to the struggling Canadian mobile company Blackberry, as the firm is reportedly looking to sell off 80 percent of it sWaterloo facilities, its longstanding base of operations.

The announcement comes as yet more questions are raised about Blackberry’s future as the company tries to realign its business structure and once again refocus itself on the enterprise market, its last glimmer of hope. The sale of most of the company’s head offices has sparked questions over whether Blackberry will remain in Canada for the long-term future or move overseas where lease sites are cheaper to operate.

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