Global IT tariffs eliminated? WTO wakes up?

“Mr. Praline: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now. Owner: No no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn’it, ay? Beautiful plumage!” – Monty Python Based on a press release from the World Trade Organisation, and tweets from its Director-General … Read more

Why bring your own device (BYOD) is not just an IT issue

I was fortunate this week to be both a speaker and a panellist at Questex Asia’s ‘BYOD and Mobile Security conference held in Singapore. It turned out I was the only lawyer in a room of 200 plus IT people, which was an interesting experience. Having made my presentation (Olswang_Asia_BYOD_presentation) my conversations with delegates brought home … Read more

‘White-spaces’ wi-fi trial in TV spectrum

A consortium including Microsoft, BBC, BT and BSkyB today announced a trial of the use of white-space spectrum for wireless broadband. The trial, mirroring a US trial on Microsoft’s Seattle campus, will start on Wednesday. In contrast to existing licence exempt wi-fi networks that use 2.4 GHz spectrum, the trial’s use of sub-1GHz ‘sweet spot’ spectrum (currently used for … Read more

Internet regulation: building consumer trust?

Today’s FT article by Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone, highlights the importance of regulation for all the players in the on-line ecosystem – those building the pipes and plumbing of network infrastructure, those creating compelling content and services and those who provide search, aggregation or other services. His central thesis is that both regulators and market players should … Read more

Microsoft buys Skype: comparison with eBay deal logic

The big story yesterday was the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft for $8.5 billion. It was only 6 years ago that eBay bought Skype for $ 2.6 billion. I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast the publicly announced rationales for the deals. First, here is Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer yesterday: “Skype is … Read more

RIM and Google compete to acquire Nortel’s patents

Readers with long memories will remember Nortel’s glory days of the 1990s, when it expanded rapidly by supplying equipment on the back of significant investment in competitive telecoms networks unleashed by the first wave of telecoms market liberalisation. It was badly hit by the dot.com crash, but managed to struggle through the noughties before filing for creditor protection … Read more

Commission maintains its softly, softly approach on net neutrality (whilst carrying big stick)

Net neutrality. A topic that stirs strong emotion and strident commentary that sometimes bears little resemblance to the underlying issues. The European Commission today published a remarkably thoughtful, balanced and considered Communication on the open internet and net neutrality in Europe. It concludes that the current rules on transparency, switching and quality of service that … Read more

AT&T and T-Mobile USA merger to face regulatory scrutiny

The biggest news this weekend was the announcement of the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA by AT&T from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. The deal is conditional on regulatory approval, and I’ll be watching with interest as the other US mobile networks seek to gain advantage through the regulatory process. AT&T is the second largest US network and … Read more