The telecom industry is littered with lawsuits, so many in fact that it's nigh impossible to keep track of them all. That is unless you print out a copy of CNNMoney.com's modified social graph, a slightly altered and updated version of the original pieced together by InformationIsBeautiful.net.
The graphic makes sense of what would otherwise be a convoluted mess of lawsuits. Follow the arrows and you'll discover, for example, that Kodak is suing RIM, who is suing Motorola (so is Microsoft), who is suing Apple, who is suing Nokia, who is suing (and being sued by) Qualcomm. Dizzy yet? There's plenty more.
If this is the kind of stuff that gets you going, check out the full graphic here.
We've been wondering what Google would do with VoIP service Gizmo5 since their recent acquisition. Now we're getting the first hints of the plan. Google is apparently testing a new VoIP service that will be built into Gmail. The service is expected to allow calls to be placed from a user's Google Voice number. Could this also mean Google Voice is about to open up?
The Gmail interface will gain a new button that will bring up a phone keypad with access to contacts and a credit balance. Before now, if you wanted to make a call using Google Voice you needed a phone to route the call over a voice network. This will also allow users to initiate calls on their Google Voice connected phones.
In addition to the Gmail integration, a desktop app is also in the works. All this is still not open to the public, and Google has been tightlipped about it so far. We find this pretty exciting, you?
Dick Lynch is the Verizon chief technical officer, and he has some news on Big Red's 4G rollout. The LTE time table they talked about a while back is actually working out well. So well in fact, he's pretty sure Verizon will have commercial availability in 25-30 markets in Q4 if this year. When Verizon first talked about this goal several months ago many felt it was too aggressive, and would be pushed back.
Even before the wide scale commercial rollout, Verizon will be testing the fledgling 4G network with their close partners. This may happen as early as late summer. It's unlkely you'll be buying a phone compatible with the LTE network right away. The first LTE devices will probably be USB modems for use in laptops. The new high speed standard has the potential to be ten times faster than current 3G data, but an additional cost could apply in the early part of the transition. How much of a premium would you pay for that kind of wireless data?
If you were holding out hope that Verizon would run some fiber to your house and save you from the cable company, think again. A Verizon spokesperson has clarified the company’s position on the future of FiOS. Verizon will not be laying any fiber in cities where it is not already underway. They will, however, be continuing to hook up homes and businesses in cities where the rollout has already started.
Verizon is still negotiating for so-called franchise arrangements to begin rollout in some small communities, but called off talks with larger municipalities like Alexandria, VA. The original intention of FiOS was to reach 18 million customers by the end of 2010, and they are likely to reach that goal. We just didn’t think they’d completely stop after that. Still, it isn't surprising given the approximately $1,350 it costs just to get a new customer up and running.
It seems likely that in the midst of the economic downturn, the value proposition became less attractive to Big Red. Adoption slowed as consumers tightened their belts, and Verizon shifted resources to the more lucrative mobile business. AT&T and Qwest are both laying fiber into neighborhoods, but are running copper lines to individual houses. We’d like to hold out hope that fiber may one day find its way into everyone’s home, but we aren’t optimistic for the near term.
Oracle on Wednesday said it was going to scoop up Convergin, an Israeli startup specializing in software that helps telcos extend their services across multiple networks.
"As communications service providers transition from legacy telephony networks to next-generation networks, the combination of Oracle and Convergin will accelerate new service innovation while reducing network complexity and cost," said Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Communications.
Oracle said it is still looking over Covergin's product roadmap and plans to update customers at a later date. Convergin's customers include T-Mobile and SaaskTel.
Verizon has secured a major legal victory against OnlineNic, a San Francisco-based domain registrar, which has been tormenting it for quite some time by squatting domains related to the telecom giant’s products. The court has ordered OnlineNIC to pay a sum of $33.15 million for squatting more than 600 Verizon-related domains.
Although the court’s order is expected to serve as a deterrent against cybersquatting, it is not clear how the promoters and employees of OnlineNIC will be brought to book as their identities still remain a mystery. They seem to be adept at concealment just like many other cybersquatters. In fact, it is this ability of cybersquatters to operate undercover that allows them to operate with impunity.