News of the week, of course, was the fact that the biggest deal of the year is off. The acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast has been canceled. The two cable operators will soldier on alone and look for other deals – which may not take long.
Never a dull moment in technology news, there was other news and good commentary this week. Here are the highlights:
The Comcast and Time Warner merger’s end was slow, then fast. Of course, there is always uncertainty about the fate of big deals. Usually with these mergers, however, there is a delay and then they are Okayed – perhaps with some conditions – and life goes on. Bloomberg broke the news that the deal was dead on Thursday.
The slow part of the arc of the now aborted Comcast acquisition of Time Warner Cable was that there seemed to be no momentum toward that finalization during the 14 months after it was announced. The sense was that not too much was happening. The fast part was that once the tea leaves started saying no deal, the end came quickly.
The New York Times’ post mortem on the now dead deal suggests that it was the wrong time to make the deal from a political perspective:
The government’s verdict on the merger and its stance on net neutrality were separate issues, but they were very much intertwined. At the end of the day, the government’s commitment to maintaining a free and open Internet did not square with the prospect of a single company controlling as much as 40 percent of the public’s access to it. All the more so given the accelerating shift in viewing habits, with increasing numbers of consumers choosing streaming services like Netflix over traditional TV. In this sense, it didn’t really matter if Comcast and Time Warner’s cable markets overlapped. The real issue was broadband.
One clear conclusion to all this: The cable deal making is not done.
Not So Safe After All
I posted last week on the opinion put forth by Verizon that worries about mobile security are exaggerated and that things are more or less under control. Apparently, the hackers didn’t get the memo.
Network World reported that researchers Yair Amit and Adi Sharabani presented information on a potentially dangerous hack to iOS at the RSA Conference this week in San Francisco, and it sounds like trouble:
Amit and Sharabani, who both work for the mobile security firm Skycure, note that the security flaw exists in iOS 8 and can be triggered via manipulated SSL certificates sent to a device over a Wi-Fi network. What's more, a previous iOS bug disclosed by Skycure, dubbed WiFiGate, enables attackers to create their own Wi-Fi network and ‘force external devices to automatically connect to it.’ Taken together, attackers can effectively create what is referred to as a ‘No iOS Zone.’
Skycure says that the hack can crash any device within range and prevents the victim from exiting what it calls “the reboot loop.”
Comprehensive Hosted and Cloud UC Sector Available
Frost & Sullivan’s press release on the publication of its 2015 cloud and hosted unified communications buyer's guide begins with a reminder that it is the fastest growing market segment in the UC sector. It is expected to grow to more than $9 billion in North America by 2020.
The area is hot, and the buyer’s guide seems to be a good place to learn about it. The release says that the report compares the 20 top providers on the basis of offerings, price, strengths and weaknesses. It offers recommendations, according to the release.
Facebook Is a Mobile Company
The last numbers from Facebook, according to RCR Wireless, show that the company now really is a mobile entity. The story says that it has 1.44 billion active monthly users and 936 million active daily users around the globe. Of the monthly users, the company reported, about 1.25 billion – or 87 percent – are mobilized. The story notes that the company’s acquisition of WhatsApp has helped its push in mobile.
Facebook’s first quarter earnings fell short in the eyes of some users, though. Revenue was $3.54 billion, which was not quite the $3.56 billion that was expected. Ad revenue from mobile was 73 percent of the total, which was 4 percent higher than the figure at the end of 2014.
Details Emerge on Project Fi, Google’s Wireless Initiative
And, finally, comes a story about the latest ploy by an industry instigator. Google made waves with Google Fiber and aims to do the same as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with Google Wireless.
This week, the company provided details on the project, starting with its name. Bloomberg has that – it’s called Project Fi – and nine more highlights. Project Fi will start at $20 per month, data is priced on an as-used basis, it’s only on the Nexus 6 for now and there are no contracts.
The company also said that Project Fi will be run on Wi-Fi and LTE spectrum leased from T-Mobile and Sprint, it will switch between the Wi-Fi and LTE networks seamlessly, messages will be sent via Google Hangouts and be accessible on PCs and tablets, it will be available in many countries, and those interested must send a request to the company.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.