Yesterday Ofcom announced that it had released BT from it’s shackles preventing it from selling discounted fixed line, broadband and TV – effectively letting the other providers such as Virgin Media, Talk Talk and BSkyB out compete.
BT has 14 million installed lines into UK homes versus 12 million for the others combined. In my view that would still remain a significant amount of the market share, especially given that BT Openreach’s services including local loop unbundling at the exchange is utilised by all the 400 service providers who do not have their own network.
I would now expect a price war – which is great for consumers, assuming all other factors, such as quality, customer service and fault resolution remain the same. My fear would be that in order to turn a profit with lower tarifs being offered those very services will suffer. We will see a balancing of the networks where they attempt to balance the service against the cost to optimise consumer take up.
BT’s share price rose nearly 5% yesterday on the announcement and nearly 2% today.
There must be more to this BlackBerry malarkey than just email and a few other features of Microsoft’s Outlook such as the Calendar and Contacts. Isn’t there?
There is, in fact, a plethora of useful applications and gizmos which can extend the use of your BlackBerry beyond the irritation of those around you. For example, Impatica (www.impatica.com) produces a way to convert your PowerPoints into a format that can be shown on the BlackBerry. This is useful for both intimate presentations over a cup of coffee, and also for reviewing on the train home. It also produces a handy piece of kit that sits on the back of a projector and connects using the BlackBerry’s Bluetooth to present direct from the BlackBerry. The BlackBerry itself becomes the means of delivering the presentation, and because of its size it is a natural pointing device and becomes the means of scrolling through the slides.
Idokorro makes a number of handy pieces of software useful for both architect and IT manager alike. This Canadian company produces Mobile File Manager, which lets you browse and manage files on your network shares and intranet. You can even email files to yourself for editing and forwarding on.
|“Impatica can convert your PowerPoints into a format that can be shown on a BlackBerry”
Idokorro also produces a client for Citrix — this will allow you to connect to your practice’s Citrix server to access applications that have been published there. Obviously some applications will work better than others such as office productivity tools, where screen size is not so important. Some will not such as cad or graphics tools, but it may be useful to get a feel for what is going on, like a quick review of a concept. Other tools, for example PDF writers, can be used this way, extending options for working away from the office.
Finally Idokorro also produces a Mobile Desktop client which can use either virtual network computing (VNC) or the connectivity found in Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server, called remote desktop protocol. The VNC cannot use encryption, but this is tempered by the fact that you are accessing PCs while effectively being inside your network. Remote Desktop is a lot smoother, and both have features to allow easy scrolling of a desktop on a small screen. This is a very useful tool for those who work in IT or other support functions as it allows the management of servers, as well as other important PCs.