1. 23-Sep-99: ?Free Web Services
bring profitable. None-the-less, most agree that the free access
will probably take a significant chunk of AOL?s market share before running
out of investor?s money.
2. 23-Sep-99: ?Visitalk.com Builds
White Pages for Web Phone Calls? – Visitalk.com has unveiled plans to simplify
directory service which will provide subscribers with a unique 12 digit
IP address and update their database, serving as a switchboard for Internet
phone calls which are routed over IP. This solves a major problem
3. 23-Sep-99: ?Cisco to But Software
This was Cisco?s 12th acquisition this year.
4. 24-Sep-99: ?Firm Agrees to Purchase
face in the marketplace with Broadcom Corp., which currently holds the
majority market share for cable modem chips.
5. 24-Sep-99: ?Qualcomm Pact Targets
with Qualcomm to product wireless networking equipment. Qualcomm
will give its CDMA technology, including chips and software to Lucent.
Lucent plans to have trial systems utilizing the technology in place next
6. 24-Sep-99: ?MCI Worldcom, Sprint
Ponder Merger? ? The world?s second and third largest long-distance carriers
are in talks are in talks over a possible merger. The deal would
give MCI it?s only nationwide wireless network. An obvious stumbling
block over such a large telcom merger would be close scrutiny by regulators.
It is also expected that regional Bell companies may soon have permission
to compete in the long distance market as well.
7. 24-Sep-99: ?Earthlink and MindSpring
Internet Provider second only to AOL. The combined company will have
3 million subscribers, still a far cry from AOL?s 18 million, but none-the-less
a viable competitor.
8. 27-Sep-99: ?Teledesic ?Sky Internet?
May Start Sooner? ? Teledesic chief Craig McCaw is attempting to raise
funds for his planned ?Sky Internet.? However, McCaw has also been
exploring partnerships with other wireless providers including Motorola,
of their planned system to prove viability.
9. 27-Sep-99: ?Microsoft Corp. Agrees
to Invest In Net Start-Up? ? Microsoft agreed to invest $15 million in
speeding the downloading of web pages. As part of this agreement,
Akamai will develop a version of it?s software to run on Windows NT, as
opposed to it?s current Unix based versions.
10. 28-Sep-99: ?Maker of Voice Software
for the Web Is Acquired? ? Mpath Interactive Inc. acquired Resounding Technology
to strengthen its position as a provider of Internet voice software.
Resounding Technologies? Roger Wilco software had been very successful
in providing Internet voice chat.
11. 4-Oct-99: ?BellSouth Makes Bid
to Acquire Sprint? ? BellSouth made a bid to purchase wireless provider
Sprint as Sprint & WorldCom came closer to closing their deal.
Spring is expected to go with the WorldCom offer, even though the BellSouth
offer if more lucrative. Regardless, either acquisition would
face regulatory issues.
12. 4-Oct-99: ?Paul Allen is Investing
$1.65 Billion In Telecommunications Firm RCN Corp.? ? RCN is planning to
RCN is one of several companies known as competitive local exchange carriers
(CLEC?s) trying to take a share of the local telephone business.
13. 5-Oct-99: ?Big Landlords Are
Joining Telecom Fray? ? Eight of the largest office space landlords are
joining venture capitalist Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Bryers to form
a new company, Broadband Office. The company is to provide high speed
Internet access to it tenants.
14. 6-Oct-99: ?Novell Plans to Create
Repository for Information on Internet Users? ? Novell brought online its
new service called Digitalme, aimed at providing a personal data repository.
This was a move to compete with Microsoft?s recently unveiled Passport
service. This was Novell?s first venture into Internet based services,
as the company is known for network management software.
15. 7-Oct-99: ?AT&T?s Top Cable
Executive Resigns Amid Internet-Access Fracas? ? After making public statements
denying that AT&T had been in secret talks with AOL, Leo Hindery resigned
as AT&T?s top cable & Internet executive. This was in response
to the fact that AT&T had, in fact, been talking privately with AOL,
and had not told Hindery.
16. 11-Oct-99: ?That?s a WAP; How
technology allows web based components to be brought to cell phones.
Motorola estimates that half of the estimated 200 million cell phones manufactured
next year will be shipped with WAP enabled browsers.
17. 11-Oct-99: ?Global Crossing Strikes
Deal With Racal? ? Global Crossing added another company to its portfolio
to strengthen its international undersea & land-based networks to handle
be the site of the next major telco rivalries, as acquisition gives Global
Crossing an additional 7,300 kilometers of fiber-optic networks in Europe.
18. 12-Oct-99: ?AT&T, BT to Accelerate
Expansion of Global Venture? ? AT&T & British Telecom?s joint venture,
Concert, has announced plans to expand its frame relay service by 50-60%
by early next year. This venture is structured differently than previously
failed joint telecom ventures. Concert will own nearly all the switching
and networking hardware, as opposed to relying on alliances for managing
19. 12-Oct-99: ?Norfolk Southern
Forms Unit to Aid Telecom Ventures? ? Norfolk Southern Corp. announced
it has formed a unit to develop fiber-optic and microwave systems.
The company said it will market it?s 21,600 miles of right-of ways for
use by telecom companies. This would relieve the telecom developers
of the high cost of easements required for network development.
20. 12-Oct-99: ?Five Firms Seek to
& Microsoft have announced plans to form a group to standardize security
for PC?s. The new group will be called Trusted Computed Platform
Alliance, and will embrace input from other companies. They plan
21. 18-Oct-99: ?Dragging Bill Payers
Onto the Internet Envelope by Envelope? ? Paytrust, an Internet startup,
is trying to transform the way consumers pay bills. The Yankee Group,
a technology consumer group estimates that 4.5% of households paid bills
online last year.
22. 18-Oct-99: ?In a Race to the
Web, Phone Upstarts Grab Turf? ? Covad Communications Group has announced
plans to provide local telephone service in addition to DSL service.
The regional bells now dwarf new entrants into the local phone service
market by 80%.
23. 19-Oct-99: ?Nortel Networks to
Acquire Clarify in $2.1 Billion Stock Transaction? ? Nortel Networks, seeking
to expand its customer management business bought software make Clarify.
Nortel, who primarily provides equipment & software for networks, says
on the Internet.
24. 21-Oct-99: ?Double Trouble: AT&T
W. Bush stated that if he is elected, he would urge AT&T to open its
cable plants openly. Bush?s stated choice for his Secretary of State,
Colin Powell, is on AOL?s board, and a close friend of AOL?s chief Steve
25. 21-Oct-99: ?Intuit to Integrate
Web Links Into Small Business Software? ? Intuit said it will be paid fees
by web sites providing business-to-business services to be included in
its QuickBooks product. This move was to consolidate small business
services as part of it?s offering. Intuit currently dominates the
market for small-business financial software.
26. 21-Oct-99: ?IBeam?s Desnoes is
Betting on Use of Satellites To Transmit Audio and Video Over the Internet?
? IBeam is building a $250 million network that bundles media traffic &
feeds it to a satellite link to ISP?s. This method allows faster
population of ISP servers when a high demand event such as a concert or
to media companies by half and improving the quality of audio & video
delivered over the Internet.
27. 25-Oct-99: ?AT&T?s Plans
for Cable Deals Suffer Setbacks? ? Since AT&T announced negotiations
with Time-Warner, plans for deals with other major cable players have slowed,
as the other companies wait to see the terms of the Time-Warner deal.
AT&T is betting that it will once again provide local phone service
along with high-speed Internet access. AT&T has also already
began talks with AOL & Mindspring for providing Internet content.
28. 25-Oct-99: ?Europe is Next Frontier
for U.S. Telecom Deals? ? As the major players become consolidated in the
U.S., the next telecom deals are likely to be in the European arena in
the form of major acquisitions. Major telecom players want to be
able to provide ?one-stop shopping? for their major corporate customers
and their global telecommunications needs. Major targets in Europe
include Mannesmann AG, and Deutsche Telekom.
29. 27-Oct-99: ?Nortel Tops Forecasts
as Net Rises 61%, Raises Revenue Expectations for 2000? ? Fueled by sales
to telephone and Internet service providers, Nortel Networks Corp. topped
analysts estimates, with a 61% increase in earnings over last quarter.
Nortel said it growth of fiber-optic networks was particularly strong.
30. 27-Oct-99: ?Microsoft Says Its
Windows 2000 System Won?t Reach Customers Until Next Year? ? Microsoft
formally announced the release date for it?s high end business computing
environment, Windows 2000, has slipped to Feb. 17, 2000. Windows
2000 is intended to compete head-to-head with large Unix based Internet
servers. Microsoft?s competitors, most notably Sun Microsystems,
says Windows 2000 won?t come close to the capabilities of Unix.
31. 1-Nov-99: ?McCaw to Invest As
Much As $1.2 Billion To Get ICO Global Out of Bankruptcy? ? Cellular phone
magnate Craig McCaw will invest as much as $1.2 billion in ICO Global Communications
Ltd. to rescue the satellite phone system vendor out of bankruptcy.
This is one of several recent investments in satellite based networks by
McCaw. The company hopes to emerge from bankruptcy and begin providing
phone service by mid 2001.
32. 1-Nov-99: ?Nextel Eager to Buy
NextWave Spectrum? ? Nextel has announced that it will pay $6 billion for
radio spectrum that was bought by auction from the government in 1996 for
$4.7 billion by NextWave Personal Communications. The deal is at
a stand-still, though, as NextWave is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy
proceedings. Furthermore, the sale would require the FCC to rule
on several related regulatory issues.
33. 1-Nov-99: ?AT&T Is Blocked
In Plan to Raise Monthly Fee 50%? ? The FCC temporarily halted AT&T?s
plan to raise its monthly fee charged to residential consumers by 50%,
as it investigates the carrier?s pricing policies. Sprint raised
its fees recently by 18%, while MCI stated it plans to keep its rate constant.
34. 1-Nov-99: ?Tellabs Inc. Buys
Software Assets? ? Tellabs agreed to pay $35 million for some specific
proprietary digital signal processing software from DSP Software Engineering,
Inc. Tellabs, a maker of telecommunications hardware, plans to integrate
the software into its next generation switching system.
35. 4-Nov-99: ?Simon to Sell Net
of shopping malls in the U.S. announced plans to provide high speed Internet
access to its mall tenants. This is the second such move by mall
landlords to provide telecom services. The company has created a
subsidiary called TennantConnect.Net.
36. 8-Nov-99: ?Web Access Via Cell
Phones Is Expected To Be Introduced? ? Bell Atlantic Corp. announced plans
to introduce web access for cell phones and other wireless devices.
Users will need a special wireless phone which starts at $120. Bell
Atlantic?s move was in the wake of similar recent announcements by Sprint
& Vodafone Airtouch PLC.
37. 9-Nov-99: ?Arch Sets Stock Deal
for Larger PageNet As Firms Seek to Turn Page on Debt Woes? ? Arch Communications
Group, the second largest paging service, agreed to purchase PageNet.
The paging industry has faced troubles lately from wireless telephone players,
which can easily provide paging services in addition to telephony services.
38. 11-Nov-99: ?Information Appliances
to Nudge PC?s at Comdex Show? ? Information appliance makers including
Motorola, Cidco & Boundless will be introducing numerous information
appliances at the Comdex show. Boundless will be presenting a tablet
Motorola will be unveiling a pager with Internet & e-mail access, while
Cidco offers a device for handling e-mails only at a very low cost of $99.
39. 11-Nov-99: ?RCN Investment Casts
Corp., a company which specializes in building competing cable and communications
networks. RCN enraged Cablevision by teaming up with a local electric
utility to avoid the expense of constructing a competing cable network.
Allen currently owns stakes in cable, Internet and phone service providers,
poising himself as a communications Tycoon.
40. 11-Nov-99: ?Telecom Start-Up
to build a low-cost product to harness the existing infrastructure of copper
lines in providing a single set of equipment to link to access technologies.
ASC has developed a box which will convert data from DSL, T-1 and traditional
twisted pair wires and move it onto the Internet. The product is
fully scalable as additional bandwidth is needed, adding to its potential
as a viable alternative for consumer data access.
41. 16-Nov-99: ?Sony and 3Com to
Jointly Develop New Palm Products? ? Sony & 3Com struck a deal where
Sony will be able to use Palm?s operating system, while Palm will use Sony?s
flash-memory technology. The move represents a move by Sony to take
a stake in the rapidly expanding information appliance industry, which
connect to the Internet more easily than a PC. Sony has already introduced
two products for downloading music & video from the Internet and play
42. 16-Nov-99: ?AT&T Corp.? ?
AT&T is expanding its wireless service to Los Angeles, filling a large
gap in its coverage. Along with this move, AT&T launched PocketNet,
a wireless-data service which provides web services to cell phones.
Also, AT&T launched a separate agreement with OmniSky to offer nationwide
Internet & e-mail services to 3Com?s Pilot handheld device.
43. 17-Nov-99: ?Comcast To Buy Cable-TV
Firm Lenfest? ? After Comcast was outbid for MediaOne by AT&T, AT&T,
aimed at making peace with Comcast, agreed to sell Lenfest. The move
will firmly establish Comcast as the 3rd cable TV operator.
44. 18-Nov-99: ?The Search Continues
for a Single Wireless Standard? ? There are currently a half-dozen standards
in place for wireless service from Global System for Mobile Communications
to Time Division Multiple Access. Right now the force seems to be
a convergence between GSM & TDMA, creating a dominant standard.
None-the-less, giants like Sprint & Bell Atlantic favor Code Division
45. 19-Nov-99: ?Privacy Concerns
Rise As Plans for Tracking Cell Phone Users Unfold? ? The FCC has mandated
that all wireless providers be able to pinpoint the location of a wireless
911 call within 100 feet by October 2001. Also, recently the agency
mandated that wireless providers be able to provide the beginning and ending
location of a phone call to law enforcement officials.
46. 22-Nov-99: ?Deal Would Give Vodafone
a Leg Up in A Heated Race? ? Vodafone announced a bid for Mannesmann AG,
in an attempt to build the first pan-European wireless network. This
would be a major benefit for Vodafone in being able to offer flat rate
plan over the entire European coverage area.
47. 22-Nov-99: ?Cabletron to Sell
Unit for Stock of $860 Million? ? In an effort to regain focus on high-end
networking hardware, Cabletron has agreed to sell an Internet equipment
business to Efficient Networks. Cabletron is shedding non-core businesses
in an attempt to make itself a viable takeover target. Efficient
Networks, which makes DSL modems, bought FlowPoint, which makes DSL routers.
48. 22-Nov-99: ?AT&T Expects
Delays In Closing MediaOne Deal? ? AT&T and MediaOne most likely will
not finalize their proposed deal until the second quarter of 2000.
The delay is largely due to a lengthy regulatory review by the Department
of Justice. The deal, which is none-the-less expected to go through,
will make AT&T into the nations? largest cable TV service provider.
49. 23-Nov-99: ?Nextel Sets a Deal
to Buy Phones from Kyocera? ? In a move marking the first time Nextel has
bought phones from a third party other than Motorola, Kyocera has agreed
to provide the next generation of phones for Nextel. Kyocera has
to receive streaming video.
50. 26-Nov-99: ?Court Overturns Ruling
overturned a bankruptcy ruling that valued NextWave Personal Communications
at $1.02 billion, less than a quarter the price it had bid. The ruling
marked a victory for the FCC which is hoping to reclaim billions of dollars
for spectrum licenses. The move also spelled good news for Nextel,
which is hoping to buy the troubled NextWave for $6 billion.
The Future of Telecommuters
The Future of Telecommuters
As the our global network known as the
more and more promising. Generally speaking, telecommuting is defined
as spending at least one day out of a five day work week working in one?s
home. In a growing number of companies, traditional office space
is giving way to home offices, living rooms and even kitchens as employees
work from home, from their cars or virtually anywhere. Until recently,
technology was the main barrier to telecommuting. Now the biggest hurdles
are cultural, organizational and managerial. Those organizations that have
introduced well designed and supported home-working schemes have benefited
Both companies and employees are discovering
the benefits of virtual workspaces. Businesses that successfully incorporate
them will be able to significantly cut their overhead costs. It would cost
much less to have a few people answering phones at home at 3 o’clock in
the morning than running a skeleton crew in a heated/air-conditioned, lighted,
and such office building. The employer can offer telecommuting as
by saving some ozone by curtailing traffic and commuters. They?re also
retaining key personnel whom otherwise might be lost to a spouse?s transfer
or a new child. Left to generally work on their own terms, employees most
often are happier, as well as more creative and productive.
How are employees likely to benefit? That
depends mostly to which particular employee we are referring. Telecommuting
allows someone with a physical handicap that could not actually commute
to the workplace to still function as a valuable employee. It would allow
to work is a factor that can induce great amounts of frustration and expense
who successfully embrace the concept are better able to manage their work
and personal lives. Allowing greater freedom and bestowing greater responsibility
can enhance job satisfaction. However, employees should be aware of some
of the pitfalls of telecommuting as well as the benefits. It is estimated
that telecommuters earn less overall then office workers.
Managers often fear that employees will
not get enough work done if they can?t see them. Most veterans of the virtual
office, however, maintain that the exact opposite is true. All too often,
employees wind up fielding phone calls in the evening or stacking an extra
hour or two on top of an eight-hour day. Not surprisingly, that can create
an array of problems, including burnout, errors and marital conflict.
Another potential problem with which virtual employees must deal is handling
all the distractions that can occur at home. As a result, many firms will
provide workers with specific guidelines for handling work at home. The
majority of workers will adjust and become highly productive in an alternative
office environment. The most important thing for a company to do is to
give suggestions that will help workers adapt.
This new work environment is designed around
in an office. Sometimes, it?s done in a conference room with several people.
think, to create an environment that is stimulating and rich in resources.
Employees decide on their own where they will work each day, and are judged
on work produced rather than on hours put in at the office. Because workers
aren?t in the same place every day, they may be exposed to a wider range
ideas and concepts.
Technology is obviously the driving force
behind the shift to telecommuting. Technology can be relatively straightforward
- a good PC with licensed office software and a modem or DSL connection
to the central systems. These must in turn be designed to enable remote
to minimize workstation bandwidth requirements. For many home-workers a
combination of email, file-transfer and intranet/internet access is sufficient.
Some Internet service providers are offering secure gateway services into
corporate systems, an advantage being national and international access
for the price of a local call
A broad range of information and communications
technologies is beginning to enable better organizational effectiveness,
efficiency and customer service:
 High speed computer and phone
system networking allows staff to use any standard desktop, independently
of location – main office, other office, home or on-the-move
 Intranets (high speed internal
internets) are easy to implement and maintain and can offer simple, standard
interfaces to most corporate applications including legacy mainframe and
 Integrated desktop applications,
such as Microsoft Office, can streamline and automate a wide variety of
office tasks with minimal programming effort
 With computer-telephony integration
(CTI) the IT and phone systems (fixed and portable) can work in harmony
to deliver advanced messaging and call-center solutions
 The Internet is already widely
used in the technology sector for customer service and support – use will
extend to other sectors as networks improve and consumer and business usage
grows, especially with the advent of Internet-enabled televisions
 Document image processing
(DIP) and optical character recognition (OCR) support the elimination of
paper and streamline associated processes, for example by scanning incoming
mail and other documents.
Companies maintain links with the mobile
work force in a variety of ways. Employees access their E-mail and voicemail
daily; important messages and policy updates are broadcast regularly into
the mailboxes of thousands of workers. When the need for teleconferencing
arises, it can put hundreds of employees on the line simultaneously. Typically,
the organization?s mobile workers link from cars, home offices, hotels,
telephony has become, and will continue to be a powerful driver in the
virtual-office boom. Satellites and high-tech telephone systems, such as
DSL lines, allow companies to zoom data from one location to another at
light speed. Organizations will link to their work force and hold virtual
The trend is being bolstered by growing
it is mutually beneficial for them and their employees. The strong
economy coupled with high employment rates has created a positive environment
for alternative workstyles and has prompted employers to use the telecommuting
option to lure highly sought-after, skilled employees.
Joanne Pratt, president of Joanne H. Pratt
Associates cited three factors that are driving the growth of telecommuting:
 Internet growth
The Internet has created a demand for
PCs and provided an incentive to set up a home office.
 Technology has reached a
Cell phones, notebook computers and other
technologies have resulted in the workforce that is equipped to work anywhere.
 Work/life balance
Employees are paying attention to work/life
choices and even conditioning their acceptance of new jobs on pre-approval
In its first major study of telecommuting
the office. That’s a 30% jump from two years ago and a 175% leap from 1990.
FIND/SVP expects U.S. telecommuting to swell another 3 million by the year
2001. Another research company, The Yankee Group, agrees the telecommuting
workforce is growing at a brisk clip (18% per year). The American Management
Association forecasts a 171% growth in telecommuting over the next five
years. The rapid technology adoption was also noticed by the FIND/SVP survey,
which discovered that an estimated 31 percent of telecommuters use the
Internet, more than double the average rate for home users, and 75 percent
of telecommuters use personal computers.
Looking ahead, it’s just a simple matter
of mathematics. Computer and networking equipment is getting better and
cheaper. Office space is getting more expensive. Highway traffic is becoming
more congested. It’s only a matter of time until home workers become as
numerous as office workers. Eventually, this will mean that IT departments
have to become as adept at supporting these remote workers as they are
at supporting LAN-based users in company offices. Keeping a fleet of temperamental
laptop computers up and running is part of the headache. Keeping the connection
to the Internet up 24-by-7 will also loom large, as will volume purchases
of personal fax machines and printers.
Society is on the frontier of a fundamental
change in the way the workplace is viewed and how work is handled. In the
future, it will become increasingly difficult for traditional companies
to compete against those embracing the virtual office. Clearly, many considerations
must factor into a decision by a company to implement a telecommuting program.
However, companies that embrace the concept are sending out a loud message.
They?re making it clear that they?re interested in their employees? welfare,
that they?re seeking a competitive edge, and that they aren?t afraid to
rethink their work force for changing conditions. Those are the ingredients
for future success.