Qwest Rolls Out High-Speed Fiber Services
Qwest Communications International Inc. announced last week that it will soon offer fiber-optic Internet services to residential and small-business customers in 23 cities and 10 states.
Qwest Connect Quantum offers premium fiber-optic Internet service with connection speeds up to 20 Mbps for a bundled price of $99.99 per month, while Qwest Connect Titanium offers connection speeds up to and 12 Mbps for a bundled price of $46.99 per month.
The plans will be available this year in Denver; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City; Seattle; and Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, among other cities, Qwest said.
Read the release.
Cable Companies Abandon Pivot Mobile Venture
Three of the nation's largest cable companies have quietly terminated their participation in Pivot, a joint cell phone venture with Sprint Nextel, according to the Associated Press and USAToday.
Spokespeople for Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications reported last Wednesday, April 23, that they have stopped marketing the Pivot service and that they will give their Pivot customers the option of switching to traditional Sprint mobile plans. A spokeswoman for the fourth cable partner, Advance/Newhouse Communications, declined to comment.
The Pivot venture was announced in 2005 and all four cable companies and Sprint each invested 100 million in the project. Pivot was intended to give the cable companies a competitive line up of services, the “quad play” of voice, video, data, and wireless products.
View the USAToday article.
Wireless and FiOS Gains Support Verizon’s Growth
Verizon Communications Inc. announced its Q1 2008 financial results yesterday and exceeded the predictions of many Wall Street analysts. The communications provider earned $23.8 billion in revenues, a 5.5% increase from the previous year’s period, and $4.3 billion in operating income, a gain of 14.1% over Q1 2007.
The wireless division added 1.5 million net new wireless customers, for a period ending total of 67.2 million total customers. The wireless business generated 13.2% increase in total revenue during the quarter, an increase of 1.2% from the pervious year’s period.
The wireline business, on the other hand, suffered from a 1.4% decline in revenue when compared with this same period in 2007, and total access lines decreased to 8.2% or 40.5 million lines. Verizon’s FiOS services helped to offset the losses with 263,000 net new FiOS TV customers and 262,000 net new FiOS Internet customers, for a total of 1.2 million FiOS TV customers and 1.8 million FiOS Internet customers.
View the release.
Mobile Social Networking to Reach $412M By 2012
The concept of mobile social networking is fast catching on in the U.S., as tier-I and tier-II operators now offer social networking applications.
New analysis from consulting firm Frost & Sullivan finds that revenue from on-deck mobile social networking services in the United States is expected to reach $ 412 million in 2012. Additional revenues also can be expected from mobile advertising.
The research firms credits three main trends as the main drivers of mobile social networking: the emergence of popular social networking services on the Internet, increasing penetration of the mobile Web and emergence of mobile advertising.
The challenge at hand is to develop dedicated and effective mobile advertising models to deliver targeted advertising to the mobile social community, which would require close cooperation between advertising solution providers, mobile social networking solution providers and mobile operators, as well as subscriber willingness to share more personal data. Further, Frost & Sullivan asserts that advertising should be immersive, simply displaying banner ads within mobile social networking sessions may not be enough.
"While the extension of popular online social networking communities onto mobile phones is a major growth driver, it is unreasonable to expect the same level of functionality as is offered through the PC," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Analyst Vikrant Gandhi. "Mobile social networking services clearly need to be targeted toward mass-market phones in order to gain traction."
Read the release.
And, last but not least, our video of the week: I second the fears of this roller coaster rider. You sure won’t find me on one!
Have you recently seen a funny, entertaining or informational video? "The New Edge" would love to hear from you. Please send your suggestions for the next "video of the week" to firstname.lastname@example.org and your video might be featured in an upcoming issue.
IP-PRIME: An IPTV Solution Designed for Your Telco
NTCA and NRTC have launched the IP-PRIME IPTV Solution for rural telcos. The solution offers rural telco members a choice of two business opportunities: 1) an end-to-end IPTV service using a centralized, satellite-delivered IPTV distribution solution content transport, headend, and set-top box solutions or 2) a programming-only solution for telcos with existing headend facilities or other transport arrangements. To date, more than 35 service providers have signed up for the solution, serving nearly 2,000 subscribers. For more information, visit the Web site or contact Kevin McGuire at email@example.com or 703-351-2032.
FRS Produces Mailer on DTV Transition
The Foundation for Rural Service has released its latest informational mailer, “Digital TV: Dealing with the DTV Revolution,” which explains the upcoming DTV transition deadline. The mailer provides valuable details on the February 2009 switch to all-digital TV programming and addresses various consumer concerns, including how to tell if your television will receive digital TV, how to purchase a digital-to-analog converter, and how to receive a coupon to help with the purchase of a converter box. This DTV bill stuffer has been recently updated to comply with the FCC’s DTV Consumer Education Initiative and will satisfy the requirement for a DTV bill stuffer in your customers’ monthly billing statements. To order copies of the mailer, visit www.frs.org. For more information on the foundation’s products, contact Cara Garfield at 703-351-2026.
Association of Communication Engineers – 2008 School (May 4-7)
The seminar is intended to provide an update on technology segments vital to the future of Telecommunications Service Providers. The topics chosen for presentation include IP Evolution, FTTH/OSP and Video Challenges. The Rural Development Telecommunications Program is also presenting two half-day sessions in conjunction with the ACE technology topics. Interspersed throughout the entire seminar are numerous vendor specific presentations that are offered in a dual-track format allowing for additional choices to customize the session.
NTCA HR Human Resources Conference (June 8-10)
Join your colleagues for the NTCA Human Resources Conference June 8-10, in Charleston, S.C., the premium conference for human resources professionals in the independent telecom industry. This year's conference will focus on "HR's Role in Guiding Change at the Telco." Participants will learn about workforce changes and how these changes impact the strategic objectives of the organization.
OSHA Compliance Seminar (June 19-20)
Save the date for NTCA's general industry Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Compliance seminar where you can earn an OSHA Compliance Certificate. The seminar will take place June 19 - 20 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Irving, Texas and will cover topics about record keeping requirements, working surfaces, emergency action plans, electrical, personal protective equipment, hazard communications, confined spaces, blood-borne pathogens, Section 268 Telecommunications specific requirements, developing, writing, implementing and managing OSHA required safety plans. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
NTCA 2008 Regional Meetings (July-Oct)
Attend the meeting for your region to learn about current issues impacting the telecommunications industry. Explore the emerging technologies workshop while connecting with colleagues. Register early to take advantage of the early-bird registration discount. We recommend that you call and make hotel reservations as soon as possible. Be sure to ask for the NTCA group rate. For more information, visit NTCA's Web site.
EXPO '09 (Feb 8-11)
EXPO '09 takes place during NTCA's annual meeting and is the hottest show in rural telecommunications. Stay ahead of the competition and unveil your top solutions to approximately 3,000 representatives, including key decision makers, looking to upgrade and provide the best services to their customers. Get in the middle of the action on the EXPO floor and register today.
Get Smart with NTCA in 2008: Earn While You Learn
NTCA has a dynamic line-up of conferences for 2008, and we want telco employees and directors to expand their knowledge by gaining "smarts" when attending these conferences. When telco employees or directors attend select NTCA 2008 conferences, that particular telco will earn SmartPoints. Six member telcos that have accumulated the most SmartPoints at the end of 2008 will become eligible to receive gift certificates valued at $500, $250 or $150. Gift certificates will be awarded based on the number of employees: 1-75 or 76+.