Friday, September 28, 2007
An interesting observation -- only women can do a mash-up (literally) of Latvia's three favorite brands -- Nokia, Laima confectionaries, and Hansabanka (Swedish-owned). How? Toss a Nokia phone, a Hansabank credit card and a half-eaten Laima chocolate bar into a ladies handbag and they will all mix and stick together :).
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Triatel, I think I have mentioned earlier. Their wireless EV DO based broadband service is what could be of interest to Lattelecom if the price is set right. Lattelecom needs some weapons in a coming war against both Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT) and Bite, who will surely move aggressively with higher speed HSDPA as a direct competitor to DSL and the only alternative where the optical/copper infrastructure doesn't reach. Bite has already announced it will boost its HSDPA to 7.2 Mbps and by next year, it will be pushing the envelope of the technology at 14.4 Mbps. LMT is a large boat that turns slowly, but expect them to announce a speed boost as well. Triatel is looking to be bought and Lattelecom has been working with them on "digitizing"the rural network using fixed wireless CDMA phones.
IZZI, the cable TV, internet and mobile services (an MVNO running on the Bite network) company, might be of interest for expanding Lattelecom's cable TV base, although they do not directly use IPTV technology to the home (they use it for backbone transmission of their signals, I think). It would be a way of getting over 100 000 TV customers and slowly switching them to Lattelecom's IPTV. IZZI resells Triatel's wireless internet and provides fixed line cable internet where its network is present. IZZI was owned by TeliaSonera (and known as Telia MultiCom) before being sold to private Latvian investors some years ago. Its name is derived from how East Europeans pronounce the word easy :), suggesting that IZZI is easy to use :).
More along the lines of a cooperation partnership, Lattelecom could also look at the wireless broadband network builder Unistars. It has a strictly business customer base and builds some application-specific networks, for retailers and construction projects. That is, these wireless networks are used primarily for running retailing applications (point of sale networks, retail accounting and inventory control applications, etc.) This is the sort of thing Lattelecom is moving into -- setting up IT solutions that run on mission-critical telecom networks. For some customers, the right solution for Lattelecom might just be to call in Unistars as a partner, in others (farmstead internet, small-town business internet access), Triatel may have the solution. Unistars also has some WiMax know-how and is closely watching the mobile WiMax market. Lattelecom CEO Nils Melngailis and Unistars honcho Aleksander Rutman should talk, if they already haven't.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
My talk with Fred Hrenchuk, the recently appointed CEO of Bite Latvija is here:
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
One of the things I did do in researching the unwritten longer piece was to send questions to TeliaSonera, since one of the points was that now that Lattelecom was doing an MBO, its most likely full-spectrum competitor would be Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT), which, when all the privatization deals are finished, will be 100 % owned by the Swedish telecommunications group. Helped by Niklas Henricson, the secretly :) half-Latvian member of the TeliaSonera press team, I did a kind of e-mail interview, which was answered by Anna Augustson, the head of communications for TeliaSonera's Business Area Mobility Services. Here is the e-mail "interview" in full, edited just to remove some explanatory links that Anna added:
TeliaSonera seems to have internally adopted extensive fixed wireless convergence with many /all of your employees carrying mobile phones that ring when their fixed line is called (via an inhouse wireless?) and apparently switch to the GSM/UMTS network outside the offices. Is this now the emerging/preferred solution for business in
The migration from traditional fixed telephony to mobile and Internet-based services in business and for residential customers is one of the clearest trends in telecommunications right now. Basic services like voice telephony will no doubt increasingly be replace by wireless access, regardless if it is an office environment or out in the streets, in the home etc. And to a large extent, we will see data go the same way as voice and be provided with wireless access.
First of all, it should be noted that negotiations regarding our ownership in Lattelecom and LMT are on-going and any comments in this respect would - before an agreement is reached - therefore be purely speculative.
It should be noted, though, that we do roll-out HomeFree also in our markets where we have a large market share in fixed communications (e.g.
Speed is a constantly moving target: Today we can enjoy access speeds which we could not foresee a couple of years ago. But both wireless and wireline/fixed access speeds are developing simultaneously and we do have a decent gap between the two access technologies.
What is the degree of adoption of totally wireless solutions in
What is the degree of adoption of totally wireless solutions in
Since you still own and run a fixed network, what will be its function in an increasingly wireless environment? Will it merely be a "backbone to the home/office" and carry. say, HD TV on demand, telepresence, other services beyond the bandwidth of wireless?
As stated above, wireline will increasingly be focussed on providing the backbone infrastructure, access to radio points and also the really heavy connections to e.g. offices.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I strongly recommend against flying with either of these bozos, except I guess everyone is bozos these days, US air travel being a default clusterfuck, so I suppose one simply has to travel light and carry on anything of value. Fortunately, I also wore my brand new Clark's shoes to break them in.
Later today we will have some preliminary news on the financial consortium financing the management buy-out. Am a little tired after a long trip back to Latvia from the US, (lost baggage, etc) but will try to get some video up on this (in English).
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Here is the video. Blogger's video upload did not work on several attempts. It sucks.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Wasted after 8 hours on the plane from Helsinki, but will try to stay up and sleep normally