Archive for October 2008

Read All About It.

Over the past five years we’ve been trying to convert everything we receive or create into digital form. It makes for easier storage, searching and retrieval. So it comes as no surprise that many of the magazine subscriptions that are available  to telecoms people are slowly converting their format, at least in part, to a digital form.

One magazine which over the years we have read regularly is European Communications. In the past couple of years they have done a great job of digital conversion and it’s worthwhile to browse over to their magazine site to read the current issue. We are suitably impressed by the features and functions that the online version of the magazine has—scanning thumbnails, searching the magazine, and on screen page widgets are great. It has in fact embraced an online model so compelling we have to admit, we do not even get the paper version anymore. One tiny suggestion would be that the magazine be indexed by search engines.

If all online magazines considered a format similar to these folks the publishing industry might just have a future online.

All You Can Eat—Forty Loonies!

I love the proposed business model of wireless upstart BMV Holdings who recently bagged some of the G block spectrum at the recent Industry Canada spectrum yard sale. For just $52M they bought spectrum that most players did not want (few handset manufacturers build for this frequency) and plan to run flat rate service.

That network will cost how much?

Having lost most of my hair in trying to figure out how to control the cost of network build-out I am patiently anticipating their numbers (estimates put it in the C$125-170M range, which in my experience is low). Overall the business plan seems at least plausible. They are backed by a number of VC firms with deep communications experience, some of whom I have personally worked with. From the business perspective these VCs are not patient for a long time so BMV better have its ducks in a row and deliver on its investor expectations.

Continue reading ‘All You Can Eat—Forty Loonies!’ »

Sorry my dance card is full…

Seems like with all the courting and consolidation in the OSS and BSS arena lately  it’s rare to see an OSS company ’stay home and wash their hair’. That’s just what UK billing provider, Intec Telecom Systems announced today. In the past it has been courted by many suitors including the likes of Oracle (back in 2006).

M&A activities drain the life out out of the participants and cause the board and company executives to be distracted from the main mission. Intec has been at the negotiation table a number of times in the past. However, with current economic realities, and the urgent need for businesses to focus on their core strengths, this decision should bode well for the future.

Lawful Intercept - a world of difference

Having worked for some time with companies that are involved with communications and net security I came to understand esoteric things such as deep packet inspection, wormability and malcode—stuff that requires me to draw out my university algebra texts to understand the math behind the method. It is with some relief I managed to see a copy of a recent paper that clearly outlines the rules, by country, for Lawful Intercept.

The cringe factor

I just cringe over the whole thought of intercept as it grates against my love of personal freedom and am generally appalled by the blatant disregard for privacy. We get routinely flooded by more and more press of illegal security breaches by those folks charged with protecting us. However, lawful intercept has become accepted as a necessary evil.

In the world of Intelligence Support Systems (ISS) lawful intercept is something of a hot potato. Each country has its own version of the rules and it is difficult, if not impossible to apply them across international boundaries.

Who does what to whom?

In its recent release of The Ready Guide To Intercept Legislation 2 (sign up is required), which covers 31 countries, SS8 has provided a great world reference paper that anyone interested in the ISS space should have. While this is a re-issue of an earlier paper it should be noted that they have added seven new countries including our home and native land.

The authors have done a great job in clearing up the rules and regulations by country and by legislation element. Good work!

Threat to OSS and BSS is free.

Just last week I was meeting with a few friends in the OSS business and we were discussing their ongoing challenges relating to product sales, deployment and ultimately support. We talked about what barriers there were to sales for them, and in passing, one of my friends said, “the biggest hurdle to sales, that we are facing, is open source and free software”.

Continue reading ‘Threat to OSS and BSS is free.’ »

The Monster Mash

I love mashups.

Recipe for Telecom Opportunity

  1. Take a bit of Google Analytics,
  2. An equal part Call Detail Records (CDR),
  3. Add a bit of ifbyphone wizardry,
  4. Mix it up,
  5. Serve very cool.

Just what IVR company ifbyphone did recently. The article over at TELEPHONYONLINE highlights some of what can be done. This technology has major opportunities for the telecom industry. In my opinion this is just the tip of the iceberg. Smart money will figure out what mashups provide unique insights into the dynamic nature of business and find ways to market and deliver them. Be there or be square!

Single Common Product and Service Catalogue

Dream or Destiny?

We’ve always been astounded by the rampant proliferation of product and service catalogues within most Communications Service Providers (CSP) and have commented about this before. The speed required to launch services causes most CSPs to make pragmatic decisions to deploy quickly, while paying mostly lip service to product and service catalogues (amongst other things), which are, at best, an afterthought. However, part of the problem lies with OSS and BSS providers who are unwilling or unable to work with a common catalogue.

A joint presentation by tribold, Gartner and The TeleManagement Forum highlights some of the points that can be considered in moving to this business model. While the talking heads style is a bit 1950s and if you can overlook the marketing pitch nature of the presentation there is some helpful information to gleaned from the material. You can access the presentation here.

Web based OSS & BSS

A trend that we have been following for some time seems to be picking up speed in the market. Web based OSS and BSS seem to be gathering real momentum. While some entry level billers and support system back-end applications have had a web presence for some time, it is interesting to note that Alcatel-Lucent is moving into this space rapidly.

It has always been evident that bringing support systems closer to the customer will reduce inefficiencies in the delivery of service. A recent article over at TMC Net provides an analysis of the services and some insight into what it might mean to your business.

Five Islands Many Routes

The Art of Letting Go When Managing Objectives

As a family, some years ago, we had the good fortune to sail the Grecian Cyclades Islands. During this journey I read Homer’s classic, The Odyssey. Contrasting the technology we had on board our sailboat to the Mediterranean’s original sailors, I was astounded by the fact that even with technical advantages, we still struggled with the age-old problem of wind, water and weather.

We had departed from Athens along with about a four other boats. Each having chosen different routes to the various scenic islands within the archipelago. Some of our decisions were dependent upon avoiding the prevalent Meltami winds that blow in the area in July and August. about a week later, as fate would have it, all sailboats were harboured together during a storm on the Island of Paros.

Continue reading ‘Five Islands Many Routes’ »

Shulist Group Releases Telecom Search Engine

Search Is Out

After months of research (and fiddling about with too much technical stuff) we’ve managed to complete our first public release of a Telecom Industry search engine. The search engine is highly tailored to meet the needs of many of our clients in terms of focusing searches to fall more precisely within the Telecom industry.

Scheduled Updates

For years we’ve struggled with the need to eliminate the dross that typically comes from regular search engines. That was the primary reason we stumbled upon the creation of this customized search. This application is being constantly updated with additional site locations and the tools used to keep the search narrow are being refined. We look forward to continuing our work in this area. We have released it with 70 sites and are planning to bring that total up to 100 within a short period of time—based upon our research we think we there will be about 500 relevant sites.

How To Get There

You can reach the search portal on this site , or by selecting the menu link search the telecom universe at the top of this page and by going to the public portal.


However you reach the search portal we’d like your feedback, comments and suggestions. You can contact us directly from here.