Alcatelecom versus Alcatelstra

Sol and the Three Amigos' corporate cost chopping at Telstra was revealed this week, and we've been picking over the details of it with a fine tooth comb. What happens to the Australian telco incumbent is important to New Zealand as well, you see.

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- Alcatelecom versus Alcatelstra

- All your base are... Google?

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“I've been attending CivAnon meetings for approximately 18 months now. Partly because I began to get a perverse thrill out of wiping out entire civilizations with atomic intercontinental ballistic weaponry, and partly because they serve cake at the meetings. I like to kill, that's true. But I like cake even more.”

- Civilization Anonymous

Optimised for broadband

Lazyboy was created by Aqua’s Soren Rasted and Kylie Minogue’s old producer Jon Douglas – whodathunkit? This stuff couldn’t be more different to fluffy bubblegum ‘lectro so click around the room and explore. Yes, yes, I know it’s about a year old. Still good though.

The video on channel 1 on TV made me think of my dear PC World editor for some reason.

- LazyboyTV

Alcatelecom versus Alcatelstra

Sol and the Three Amigos’ corporate cost chopping at Telstra was revealed this week, and we’ve been picking over the details of it with a fine tooth comb. What happens to the Australian telco incumbent is important to New Zealand as well, you see. Thanks to Trujillo reining in expenditure, there will be no third mobile network in New Zealand from TelstraClear. This is, as Ernie from TUANZ says, extremely bad news for mobile phone users. Not so for Vodafone and Telecom of course, both of which now can breathe out and carry on with their cosy duopoly and continue to charge Kiwis some of the highest mobile call rates in the world.

Telecom may still be affected by another Telstra mobile decision, incidentally. Telstra has decided to can its CDMA network after only six years of use, and move to GSM/UMTS (the technology used by Vodafone and many other large mobile telcos) instead, over the next three years. This leaves Telecom as the sole CDMA provider in the region and kills off its roaming in Australia on Telstra’s network. An analyst I’ve talked to reckons this means Telecom will have to shift to GSM/UMTS soon, and abandon its CDMA network. Such a move would cost Telecom a pretty penny – but on the flipside, gives it access to cheaper and more plentiful GSM/UMTS equipment and handsets.

Kevin Bowler, who heads up Telecom’s mobile marketing and new media, is optimistic about the future nevertheless, and says there’s no need to panic. He thinks Telstra won’t just kill the CDMA network, but will sell it off to another operator that’ll continue running it. That’s a definite possibility.

Ultimately though, it looks like Telecom’s gambling on WiMAX or a similar technology to come on stream to replace the CDMA network. Combined with “converged handsets” that automatically switch to Wifi or similar wireless connections when inside, and to WiMAX outside, the gamble could pay off. WiMAX will perform better than UMTS or any 3G technology, and with electronics giants like Intel backing the technology, the equipment cost should be lower as well. Whether or not mobile WiMAX will be ready in three years' time is another question however.

It was interesting to note that Trujillo’s grand vision of the future is very similar to Alcatel’s. The French telecommunications equipment giant already manages Telecom’s entire fixed network and has won the A$3.5 billion contract to build much of Telstra’s next-generation IP network, with Cisco and Ericsson getting big look-ins as well. Alcatel is probably busy writing the Telstra Triple Play Tune at the moment and the Aussies have already got a headstart on Telecom in that respect thanks to better broadband uptake, courtesy of competition and downloadable movies from Sony Pictures next year (non-rootkitted, I hope).

Still, you have to wonder what it means for competition having a single entity managing the networks of the two biggest telcos in Australia and New Zealand. Won’t this “Alcatelification” of our phone networks lead to less diversity and options in the long run?

- Jobs massacre announced at Telstra

- No cellphone network for TelstraClear

- Telstra inks IT contracts worth billions

All your base are... Google?

Passively indexing and making as much of the internet searchable as possible wasn’t enough for Google. Instead, Google is now actively soliciting information to be published and of course, indexed and searched, on its Google Base site. So, if you want to share stuff but don’t have a website for it, upload it to Google Base. It’s free and you can do bulk uploads with XML files in RSS 1.0, 2.0 and ATOM formats.

Anything goes too - Google says: “Item types accepted: All types of online and offline information and images.”

If Google Base takes off, it could have huge implications for web hosters. Anything put into Google Base will naturally enough show up in Google Search. And Froogle plus no doubt other Google services, so why would anyone want to host content elsewhere?

In other words, the transformation of the internet into the GoogleNet has begun…

- Google Base debuts for hosting all content

- Google Base beta

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