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Andy Abramson
Interests: travel, wine, friends, blues, tech, music-jazz, dining, rock.
Recent Activity
What a great idea. Let international travelers have an option that saves them money when roaming outside the USA. That's the premise behind Verizon's new TravelPass. Unfortunately, as with any new product offering, there's always some teething pain it seems. In this case it's a clear lack of communications between marketing who told us all about it, the notification team, roaming team and billing team. Here's the scenario and the outcome, which was good in the end, but may serve as a warning to others who want to use it. Problem One-TravelPass isn't Automatic. You have to opt-in by checking... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2015 at VoIPWatch
I travel so much and as a result naturally have to address the many issues that can get in the way of "staying connected" while on the road. The biggest one has always been reliable cell coverage in hotel rooms, especially when I'm in a high-rise hotel that hasn't installed a neutral or carrier specific DAS system. The DAS allows for the cellular coverage to be extended, which is why at airports Boingo's other business, that of operating DAS systems is so important to travelers of all types. The second is reliable broadband. One that not only downloads fast, but... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Years ago Time Warner Cable exerted enough pressure on AOL that when the company was a part of Time Warner that the senior team forced AOL to kill their fledgling VOIP service and ultimately AIM phone line, a service which could have rivaled Skype in its era. Well it seems that Time Warner Cable which now is deploying WiFi hotspots that are under the TWCC Passpoint SSID are still down on VOIP. Basically their firewall prohibits calls via Cisco's Jabber or CounterPath Bria from working with hosted or cloud VoIP service. This experience mirrors what is experienced with their home... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Recently I moved into a flat in Los Angeles where I be, well, for a while. The network is supplied by Time Warner Cable, a company that has reportedly some of the worst customer service in the industry. Hopefully their acquisition by Charter will change that. Here are three examples. The landlord upgraded to the 300 meg service, something that not everyone usually signs up for. Time Warner had been under delivering to the landlord, so a quick call with him before I moved in revealed that the cable modem was one of the older types that wasn't capable of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Pal PhoneBoy, an uber, uber geek has penned a very descriptive piece on the new AT&T Wi-Fi calling functionality. Yesterday, I went to the AT&T Store here in Miami and updated my SIM to a xxxx27 version from an xxxx25 edition that dates back to my iPhone 5 era as I've been on NANO SIM's since the day they came out and nothing from AT&T ever came along suggesting an "upgraded SIM." (I guess this is one reason why Apple is pursuing the idea of a SoftSim concept.) My experience was fairly similar to my first day on T-Mobile Wi-Fi.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2015 at VoIPWatch
People who have been AT&T customers for a long time, like me, and who first received a Nano SIM with iPhone 5 or 5S (my case both) would not have needed a new SIM card with iPhone 6 so we kept using the same Nano. The SIM for the iPhone 6 was a newer SIM card with a richer set of capabilities. A similar replacement was needed when I started to use my Nexus 7 tablet with LTE vs. the prior version, but that was Micro, and some other Androids as LTE was being rolled out. Not a big deal but a point of information worth sharing, Kevin.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2015 on AT&T Adds Wi-Fi Calling, HD-Voice at VoIPWatch
I've been using T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling and HD-Voice since they rolled out the service on one of my iPhones. Now, AT&T has added the same features almost a year later. But there's a hitch. You need to have a newer version of an AT&T SIM card and that requires a visit to your local AT&T store. That's a point that the AT&T web site and media coverage fails to point out even though the web page lists many caveats, restrictions and limitations. I'm excited that AT&T is adding Wi-Fi calling, at least until more buildings and hotels become DAS equipped.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2015 at VoIPWatch
This is all about the sharing economy and focused on delivery services. Over the past year I've gotten excited about Amazon Fresh and the potential it has. I've learned to use Uber with great success and from the two have seen economical benefits of scale and at the same time seen how when mistakes go bad there's a utter lack of owning the problem in the field until you get to someone with authority. While many local governments are quick to condemn Uber these days, siding with aging taxi and limo fleets, they're avoiding a whole other set of "transportation"... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2015 at VoIPWatch
A few months ago CNET's Senior Writer Stephen Shankland interviewed me about business travel and how to "Stay Connected" on the road. That was back in the late winter/early spring and well before "The Workcation" was even envisioned, let alone a reality, and now feels like a distant memory given I'm back on the west coast. Well, little did I know that not only would my information prove to be useful background for his story, and that I may get a quote or two, but now that the story is out in CNET's hard copy magazine, that i would "be... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2015 at VoIPWatch
My fellow San Diego pal in VoIP Andy Voss, founder and CEO of what was really the first Linux based Session Border Controller (SBC) company, seems to be on a roll that seems to equate with customer success. The role, is being the SBC to companies which seem to get bought, something I'm somewhat familiar with also as pal Alec Saunders once pointed out five years ago (the number is now 39.) Let's look at some recent history where a Sansay powered company has been acquired: Sansay customer M5 acquired by Shoretel, now branded as Shoretel Sky. Sansay customer Simple... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily Today's a run and gun day. Already had morning meetings, errands, walked the hills of Lisbon, had an amazing burger and am now into the "second" day. That's what's great about the concept of a WorkCation. That's where you can blend the idea of working someplace that some would want to be vacationing. I'll be writing more on that concept soon. Now into the news. T-Mobile is defying everyone, adding more customers and growing handset subscribers. The defections are coming from all other carriers, but the big war is at the bottom with Sprint and the pre-paid... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily My co-founder, along with Josh Baylin, in VelocityGrowth, Jeff Belk was one of the key executives who put Qualcomm on the map. There Jeff, who rose to CMO and CSO, instilled a marketing culture amongst a group of inventors, IP attorneys and engineers. Jeff retired from Qualcomm eight years or so ago, but he remains close to many there. His perspective, as someone close to everyone from Paul Jacobs on down provides him the unique insight to author this piece on the recent news and explain why it may be the best thing to happen to San... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily It's the end of July and looking at the news last week surrounding Apple and Wall Street and one could think that the investors are just being greedy. What we're seeing is why guidance, the method of providing where a company expects to be at the end of the accounting work for the quarter, and how the analysts interpret that is much like the sports oddsmakers predicting who will win the SuperBowl. And, when Apple outperforms on revenue but says that sales of iPhones will slow down, the company gets dinged after turning a massive profit. What... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily Amazon is hot and turned a profit but the real story is how they are growing in their cloud business and at getting people to buy into their Prime service. Why investors suddenly want a piece of Amazon Amazon's stock just skyrocketed 18 percent in after-hours trading. Here are three reasons why investors are happy right now: Amazon surpassed analyst expectations by a landslide. The company was expected to generate losses per share of $0.14 - it instead delivered earnings of $0.19 per share. That's huge. [continue...] If you are wondering why the venture market is so... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily Personal note Today I honor my late father, USMC Master Sergeant Bernard Abramson, retired. Dad served in WWII and the Korean Conflict. During World War Two he was based in Guam and staged the Marines who captured Iwo Jima and planted the US flag there. As he once said to me, I sent a lot of people away who never came home. He would have been 102 as he was born in 1913 and was a pre-recession baby. The first in his family and the first to pass away now 24 years ago in 1991. Dad taught... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Let's face it. Ever since the smartphone has come along, other than a very few frequently called numbers, we all tend to use the contact directory more than dialing. In our cars we often use speech activated calling, basically making the phone number less relevant. If I know your name, I can call you. It's that simple. But with the rise of Skype, FaceBook, WhatsApp and Viber as the calling mode, who even needs to know the number let alone have one. Today i had a call with a close colleague who happens to be attending meetings in Shenzhen, China.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily The rain and humidity in San Diego wasn't the only thing causing the locals to be irritable. Employment giant, sponsor of the football stadium and pretty much the heart of the county's economy, Qualcomm announced there are going to be changes. I am not surprised as the writing has been on the wall since Paul Jacobs moved out, or was moved out of the CEO role about two years ago. The company has been in transition, laying off people in San Diego, offering exit packages to some senior folks, and then hiring on people elsewhere, where costs... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at VoIPWatch
View in web browser The Comunicano Daily Hello from Lisbon where the temperature is 84 degrees/29 degrees Celsius and sunny. The weekend was one of those "catch up" weekends flying back from London Gatwick to here, finding the apartment A/C was off but getting it to work as the breaker had blown, and having to contact the owner vs. calling the front desk is an example of the difference between AirBnB and a hotel. The net result was the same. It was fixed, but that's why planning where you stay when using AirBnB is so important, and establishing up front,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily Yesterday was a day in motion. Meeting with clients as early as 830 AM in Paris. Getting packed, and out of my hotel, over to lunch to catch up with uber Wine Bar and Restauranteur Mark Williamson of Willi's and Maceo fame, then literally a mad dash to Gare du Nord to catch the 1423 (243 PM) Eurostar to London so I could be back on west coast calls starting at 9 AM there and 5 PM here in London for what I call my second day of the day, a fast Indian dinner in London at... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily Today is one of those two city/two country/two train days for me. I feel like I'm back in Philadelphia where I started my day there and finished there after a day trip to New York City. Today I head to Brussels for a meeting on the Thalys train, which will zip along at 300 km/hr and has Wi-Fi that I can put to the test. As for the news, on the topic of speed and the Internet, Comcast has announced their high speed, high priced 2 gigabit service. It comes with a lot of catches so it... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily There is no question that technology is changing civilization, life and the law as we know it. All one has to do is realize that services like AirBnB back when they were just BnB's were tolerated and operated under the radar of most regulatory bodies and hotelier rarely were concerned. In New York "gypsy" cabs operated, and when there was something wrong, someone would do something about it, but they pre-dated Uber, and in many other cities there were networks of drivers who worked for cash taking late night partiers home safely, all without cab/hack licenses. What... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily The VC world is on a authoring trend this week around content, the story and the deck. To me, this is all one big world and further underscores the concept that Bill Ryan is espousing around the brand narrative. As someone who thinks more like an ad guy mashed up with an ambush marketer and publicity pro (everyone knows I hate the term PR guy) the whole idea of content being king is nothing new here. But it's nice to see content now getting its day inside the sacred halls of Venture Capital firms... Why Is Every... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily Business Rockstar host Ken Rutkowski dubbed Comunicano's Senior Strategist, Bill Ryan, "The Master of the Message" and I often refer to Bill as "Senor Story" as Bill has refined the art of the story with his 20 plus year deployment of "The Architecture of Identity" to a razor sharp focus around what today is known as the Brand Narrative. That's how "the story" can be told and retold by others as if you told it yourself over a variety of mediums. But it doesn't start or end with "the deck." To us, there's the "deck" which is... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at VoIPWatch
The Comunicano Daily It's always fun to watch the moves in big business. A few years ago Microsoft acquired Nokia, largely to help them with their hardware business. At that time, Nokia then was also partnered with Siemens to form NSN on the infrastructure side of the house. Now NSN is all owned by Nokia, and the handset division is owned by Microsoft. But as our first story tells us, that's coming to an end or sure looks that way. Major Job Cuts Expected at Microsoft Microsoft plans to announce a major new round of layoffs as early as Wednesday,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2015 at VoIPWatch
Wine Bar Do Castelo R. Bartolomeu de Gusmão 11/13, 1100-000 Lisboa I am the first to admit that every since my first wine bar experience at Willi’s Wine Bar in Paris, my fascination with wine bars has been forever altered for the better. Years back in New York City there was this awesome wine bar down on Spring Street that offered wines by the glass and a placemat to take notes on, complete with crayons. Long gone now, it was a favorite of mine and some dear friends who loved to tip a glass or two. Visiting Wine Bar Do... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2015 at WINESCENE