Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oh good grief: Digital Britain - Digital Donuts

Per the norm; Despite having been one of the most innovative nations in the introduction of Internet, the Worldwide Web, and Digital Media. Britain's politicians and business leaders still cannot get their 1980's brains around the online world.

Lord Carters main hopes seem to be that consumers will behave online, that BT will roll out broadband to their remaining exchanges a bit faster. That the BBC might get together a small team to look into this digital media stuff. No mention of investing in or supporting the British high tech business sector, or ISPs, or the computer games industry which makes more for UK Plc than the Film industry.

Top marks chaps, a few more kids able to download music and housewives able to order groceries... Yep, that'll see us through!

Banking Crisis: May force Governments to invest in Telco infrastructure

I spend a lot of time with Telcos, ISPs and equipment vendors in the UK and EMEA and their is a constant stream of; Headcount cuts, projects put off, scaled back, '08/'09 capex suspended and no clear visibility into this years budgets.

Problem, inability to raise debt to fund infrastructure. Banks won't/can't lend for all the reasons we hear in the press. Confidence in a banks is linked to their stock price & their market capitalisation, they can't value their assets properly and that effects the amount they can lend, blah, blah, blah... and, that impacts on their attitude towards lending money to Telco, which lost it's low-risk utility status many years ago.

I wondered how bad was it for Banking last year? Well take a look at this...
Not a pretty picture, but interesting.

I wonder how European many countries will follow President Obama down the Keynesian route of the US government investing directly in telecommunications infrastructure, the same way they invested in physical infrastructure in the 1930's. we heard today that the Canadian government will start a programme of investment this year. The question is whether the European governments have the guts to ignore EU rules and directly subsidise the telecoms industry in their home countries - I doubt it, but we live in hope.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A quick guide to the 4G

TelecomTV have done this great intro to 4G. Had my eyes reeling from the three letter acronyms (mostly 4, sometimes 5)

I tried to embed it here but for some reason the blogger app' keeps blocking it so just follow the link

Don't worry you have at least 3 yrs before the standards start to roll out, in which to learn all the acronyms.

Monday, January 19, 2009

BackChannel Website down - Victim of Tiscali vs 186k spat

Not quite Russia vs Ukraine - but rather like those poor freezing souls out in Bulgaria, Tiscali's disagreement over payments and legals, has resulted in a load of innocents disappearing off the Network again with zero notice, and yes that includes us at BackChannel.

186k has a long and troubled relation ship with Tiscali and they have issued this public notice saying that they are migrating to a BT based infrastructure. About time!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nortel Networks Files For Chapter 11

More bad new as yet another major telco supplier bites the fiscal dust. Infrastructure equipment vendor Nortel Networks has today moved for Chapter 11 Protection.

Nortel Networks, which faces a $107 million bond interest payment this week, filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. liquidation Court in Wilmington, Del., dragged down by a sudden drop in demand for its formerly lucrative voice-only telecom network.

In 2000 Nortel was worth an estimated $250bn.

What more can you say, with Alcatel-Lucent in the deep sticky,. Nokia selling off non-core businesses, and as I type this rumours have just that Chinese "Cisco alike" Huawei may be intersted in buying Nortel , whilst Nortel is a nominally a Canadian company I can't see the American Government smiling on that one. Expect Cisco to enter the fray...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

As Baltimore goes live, Sprint's Head of 4G talks WiMAX Strategy

Today Sprint's new subsidiary Clearwire went live with their first commercial WiMAX service in the US city of Baltimore, MD. As you know we're big fans of WiMAX here at BackChannel, so it is great to see the technology being rolled out in large metropolitan.

Sprint is the telco part of a consortium which includes Intel and Google that is making a total $12bn invest in WiMAX pioneers Clearwire.

In this podcast Sprint's Vice President of 4G / WiMAX Todd Rowley says that they expect the new service to cover most of the US by the end of 2010. It's a bit cheesy, but once you get past that there is some worthwhile news and views on a technology that will really impact the lives of mobile Internet users.

At the end of December Sprint launched the first Dual 3G/4G modem which will allow mobile users to flip to the new 4G services as they move into areas that are covered by the Clearwire Network. Should I wait a while before getting BT to send me that wireless broadband dongle?