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I Can't Hear You, the Washing Machine Is Too Loud
August 27, 2015
Why do my GE washer and dryer sound as loud as a hurricane? As I sit here at the beach, on the balcony, on a beautiful, sunny, warm and peaceful morning watching the sun rise over the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, something is terribly wrong. What? I can't hear you. Could you speak louder? Sorry, the new washer and dryer we recently bought are roaring so loud I can't hear myself think.
Wireless Performance Studies and You
August 20, 2015
It appears both AT&T Mobility and Sprint deserve congratulations on their great performances, based on two just-released studies on the wireless wars. J.D. Power and RootMetrics revealed some interesting and surprising new information on this changing marketplace. For the fifth time, AT&T won first place with J.D. Power. For its part, Sprint showed significant performance improvement over the last year.
Will Google Win the Alphabet Game?
August 13, 2015
Google suddenly announced something much bigger. It is splitting itself into several different companies under one master brand called "Alphabet." Splitting up is what Google has needed to do for several years. The idea of creating a master brand makes enormous sense for a company like Google, which is an octopus with many arms. However, it is only right if it is done correctly.
The Transformational AT&T, DirecTV Merger
August 6, 2015
AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV is more than a merger -- it is a transformational event that could change the entire television space. It has the potential to create such intense competition that it very well could transform the entire television space -- meaning cable TV, satellite TV and IPTV -- and blend it with wireless. It means more choice and more innovation.
As Wireless Changes, So Must Marketing
July 30, 2015
We have just seen quarterly earnings reports from AT&T and Verizon, and they continue to grow at a healthy pace. Sprint and T-Mobile also have started to grow once again. However, the larger wireless marketplace is splitting into smaller segments. Understanding this is one of many keys to success for any wireless carrier going forward. The larger wireless marketplace is changing.
Can Jet Elevate the Shopping Club Experience?
July 23, 2015
Jet launched this week, and it could be part of a growing trend. Many people love the club retail shopping idea of Costco, BJ's and Sam's Club. Jet is a new e-commerce player offering a similar shopping experience. Will the online model be successful? The retail shopping club is one of America's success stories. Customers pay an annual fee to become members.
Comcast Needs to Do More Than Stream
July 16, 2015
Comcast -- and in fact, the entire cable television industry -- is going through a time of incredible change. Cable companies used to grow year after year because there was no competition. However, today they are losing market share, so to help plug the hole, Comcast just introduced Stream, a new subscription streaming service. It offers Xfinity customers more choices for content consumption.
Sprint Gets Up Close and Personal With Direct 2 You
July 9, 2015
Sprint's Direct 2 You program seems to be another home run in its recovery-and-expansion effort. It follows the success of Sprint's Cut Your Bill in Half plan over the last few months. Direct 2 You started out in Kansas City, Miami and Chicago. It is now in 28 cities and expanding rapidly. Sprint just announced its expansion into New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.
Time of the Season for Innovating?
June 25, 2015
Not all innovation is good. Let me illustrate with a few examples of how poor innovation can harm a company. Bad innovation can quickly cut down a brand that took years to build. Generally speaking, innovation is good. Without innovation, we would still be driving a Model T and getting blocks of ice delivered to keep our refrigerator cool while sitting in our uncooled home listening to our radio.
Will PayPal Become the Next BlackBerry?
June 18, 2015
Recently I had a problem with a purchase, which led me to ask an important question: Will PayPal become the next BlackBerry? PayPal must update, or it will lose to new competitors like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, CurrentC and Square, whose intention is to reinvent the e-commerce and mobile payment space. PayPal was a great service when the Internet was young and consumers had no other choice.
The Changing Faces of the Wireless Industry
June 11, 2015
There seem to be two distinct sectors forming in the wireless industry. One side is wireless as part of a bundle of services. The other is wireless as a standalone product. This is not a case of one side being a winner and the other a loser -- they're just different. The rules for success seem to be changing as well. That means how we measure and track companies on both sides may have to change.
Catching the Next VoIP Growth Wave
June 4, 2015
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, started out being a very low-quality and clunky way to make free calls using an Internet-connected computer. As it has evolved, most of its growth has been on the consumer side, but that is now slowing. Growth is starting to come from the business side. So, what will the VoIP industry look like going forward? To predict its future, look at the ISP business.
Charter, TWC Approval May Not Be Enough to Revitalize Cable
May 28, 2015
Will the Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable merger be approved? Comcast and Time Warner Cable decided to merge last year, but that deal eventually was blocked by regulators. After it fell apart last month, we all wondered what big deal might be next. Now we know. So will the Charter, TWC deal be approved? It's way too early in the process to know for sure one way or the other.
Smartphones Can't Be Trusted to Run Our Lives
May 21, 2015
There is so much buzz around the smartphone becoming the remote control for our lives. Enough already! While the promise is enticing, there is a dark side to this story that is never talked about. After reading this, see if you are still convinced. Don't get me wrong -- I am as excited as everyone else around the future potential for the smartphone. However, something happened to me last week.
AT&T Spreads Rollover Data Cheer to GoPhone
May 14, 2015
AT&T Mobility introduced Rollover Data early this year. The offering is very similar to its successful Rollover Minutes for voice calls, which began a few years ago. The question is, will it be just as successful for data? It looks like the answer is yes, as it is now expanding the perk to GoPhone. GoPhone is an AT&T Mobility prepaid brand, and prepaid is a rapidly growing wireless segment.
The Next Big Split in Wireless
May 7, 2015
The wireless and wire line telecom industry completely reinvents itself every few years. Right now, everything seems to be changing. Seven years ago, the handset leaders were BlackBerry and Nokia. Today, those companies are struggling to stay on the charts. Today's handset leaders are Apple and Samsung for hardware, and Apple and Google for operating systems.
Is Comcast, TWC Dead or Just Sleeping?
April 30, 2015
Now that the Comcast, Time Warner Cable merger deal has failed, what's next? I think it's likely that if Time Warner Cable is still around, the deal might be tried once again in a few years after the industry has transformed itself. Comcast obviously is still interested in expanding with Time Warner Cable and will try this merger dance again in a few years. This has worked before.
The Growing Robocall Menace
April 23, 2015
Automated telephone calls, also known as "robocalls," used to drive me crazy. Then they stopped, and life was quiet, peaceful and beautiful once again, but just for a few short years. Those disturbing calls have started once again, and now they are worse than ever. Why? And how can we stop them? Robocalls typically are for telemarketing purposes. The calls are placed by automated systems.
GE Catches the Industrial Internet Wave
April 16, 2015
General Electric made some important news last week, when it announced it was leaving the finance industry. It attributed its decision to recent changes that it characterized as less cyclical and more transformational. At the same time, GE is focused on newer ideas like its "Industrial Internet." If it executes this the right way, it could be a blueprint for growth going forward.
Comcast Joins Ultra-High-Speed Internet Race
April 9, 2015
Comcast has joined the ultra-fast Internet race, starting with the rollout of its Gigabit Pro service. It looks like ultra-high-speed Internet services are really starting to catch on. The trend started a few years ago with Google Fiber and AT&T Gigapower, and it is spreading among carriers and locations from coast to coast. Comcast's new 2-Gb service is starting in the Atlanta area next month.
When Internet Speed Kills Reliability
April 2, 2015
What's more important when it comes to an Internet connection -- quality and reliability, or speed? This is a question I'm pondering as I sip a latte at Starbucks. I have come to the conclusion that while speed is sexy and sells, quality and reliability are more important. Like countless others, I spend an hour or two every day working in Starbucks -- just me, my latte and my laptop.
Google Glass Should Stay Gone
March 26, 2015
Here we go again. Most everyone who thought Google Glass crossed the privacy line was happy when it appeared the new technology was being shelved. Not so fast. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt says Google is not giving up on Glass. Like everyone else, I love new technology. However sometimes companies and their tech staff cross over the line and don't see it the way the rest of the world sees it.
SXSW Runs on Wireless Carriers' Well-Oiled Machines
March 19, 2015
At this year's South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals in Austin, Texas, more than 150,000 new people have entered the major wireless carriers' network space. Nearly every one of them has a phone for making voice calls or using the Web. How do wireless carriers handle such a demand surge? That's one of the big challenges facing AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile.
The Apple Watch Will Take Its Own Sweet Time
March 12, 2015
The wearable technology marketplace is already in place and growing. Now, enter the Apple Watch. Although it will speed up growth, this new space will be very different from the iPhone and iPad markets. Large companies like Google, Samsung and Sony, and smaller companies like FitBit and others have already thrown their hats into the ring and seen limited success.

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