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Summary:

On the heels of yesterday’s announced victory cash settlement against spammers, EarthLink today announced it is launching a new business partnership with South Korea’s SK-Telecom. From the Press Release: Utilizing emerging 3G networks and harnessing the explosive growth of Wi-Fi, SK-EarthLink will take the wireless experience […]

On the heels of yesterday’s announced victory cash settlement against spammers, EarthLink today announced it is launching a new business partnership with South Korea’s SK-Telecom. From the Press Release:

Utilizing emerging 3G networks and harnessing the explosive growth of Wi-Fi, SK-EarthLink will take the wireless experience in the U.S. to a new level.”

Well, it would appear that somebody just might, one day, make my 2004 Xmas wish happen. Here’s another description of what this dream device ought to be, from BBB’s last article on SIP:

One day we will have WiFi SIP-capable Communications Devices. Imagine your computer and helper device being replaced with one wireless communications device, with a very simple interface which emphasizes the human beings we’re looking to reach, not the means by which we’re trying to reach them. Based on the environment the device lives-in, it should know whether to use SIP to save us money, or go through our GSM or 3G carrier. When using the SIP protocol, the device should be able to interact with other SIP devices that may or may not have Video capability, and adapt the conversation mode accordingly. Steve Jobs, this paragraph belongs to you.

There’s also a nifty video

News submitted by Chris Holland.

  1. COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Mike

    Where are you getting Sprint from? It’s not mentioned at all in that linked article.

    COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Om Malik

    Yeah, well fortunately i have it saved in my mail. not sure what happeend but looks like they made some kind of mistake

    COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Om Malik

    Via ZDNet

    EarthLink, SK to announce mobile deal

    Reuters January 26, 2005, 4:34 AM PT

    EarthLink, the No. 4 U.S. Internet service provider, plans to announce a $400 million joint venture with South Korea’s SK Telecom to offer mobile services in the United States, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

    EarthLink will sell phone services using the networks of Sprint and Verizon Wireless, while SK Telecom will be a technical partner in the venture, the paper said, quoting an executive close to the deal.

    EarthLink and SK Telecom, South Korea’s top mobile operator, will each contribute $200 million to the deal, the report said.

    SK, which reported a quarterly profit fall earlier Wednesday, declined to confirm the report. It said the issue will be discussed at a conference call with analysts at 1100 GMT.

    The company has sought overseas expansion opportunities, as growth in Asia’s third-largest mobile market has slowed, with three out of every four people having a mobile phone.

    Shares of SK closed down 2.4 percent at 185,500 won ($179), hit by an unexpectedly large 20 percent fall in quarterly profits.

    Story Copyright © 2005 Reuters Limited.

    All rights reserved.

    COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Charlie Sierra

    yep, it’s been confirmed by both Sprint and Verizon

    COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Jesse Kopelman

    Charlie Sierra: why not both? I think it is enlightened to admit one doesn’t have a flipping clue on how to market something. The truth is the business of making and maintaining a network has nothing to do with the business of selling use of a network and there is no inherent efficiency for one company to try and do both. It makes about as much sense as for UPS to manufacture its own trucks.

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  2. Earthlink and SK Telecom bring Wi-Fi and 3G

    Earthlink and SK Telecom (South Korea) have entered into a partnership to bring integrated 3G and Wi-Fi service to US…

    COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Charlie Sierra

    Jesse,

    Your followup is completely inane, and usually I’d just ignore it, but additional irony of your choice of UPS trucks is too rich to pass up.

    In fact UPS trucks are one of a kind and they own all the related industrial engineering IP in their design. So basically they do indeed control/own this compenent of their business, and for good reason.

    The larger, and I thought more obvious, problem with your followup was that you attempt to equate the outsourcing of a non-core operating element, with the outsourcing of the marketing function.

    I don’t know of many business’ where marketing is considered ‘non-core’, which was my original point.

    Furthermore, carriers hardly even operate their own networks, that responsibility has already been outsourced to equipment mfgs, etc., and lets not forget outsourced CC/BO.

    So if they already outsource what you consider their ‘core’, and then they choose to outsource marketing, what the hell is left to do?

    PS. If you wanted to make a relevant analogy, something closer to the mark would be if, FedEx or UPS, allowed virtual delivery firms to leverage/resell their large fixed cost backend distribution network. That would be a start.

    COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Jesse Kopelman

    Charlie I think you misunderstand me, as I feel your points support my argument. UPS — designing something is diferent than building and maintaining it. Carriers outsourcing Network Operations — my own experience in the industry is that Network Design is more heavily outsourced than Operations while the opposite would make better sense. Anyway, you and I agree on an important point — marketing is always a business core. What you are missing however, is that there is a diference between marketing a network and marketing a service. An MVNO markets a service. If a company has a really good network, but does not seem to be doing all that well selling services, perhaps it should stop and just market its network to those willing to sell services on it. While I wouldn’t stoop to call you inane, I think you lack mental flexibility.

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  3. I wonder what Earthlink thinks its bringing to the table when it comes to providing mobile services?

    When I think of Earthlink I think of the Internet not a phone call to relative or friend. I could possibly buy into the idea of Earthlink selling an EvDO Internet data card but not a cellular handset.

    Successful MVNOs need to bring something extra to the table. MVNOs that simple sell dial tone won’t be successful. Dial tone is a comodity, represented by the incredibly high mobile subscriber churn rate. MVNOs that Go Beyond the Dial Tone and create something unique for their customers will have a fighting chance.

    Unless Earthlink comes up with some killer service it can use to redefine itself as a company I don’t see how becoming an MVNO makes sense.

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  4. Earthlink finally just let go the last business sales reps for internet access & web hosting. So good luck trying to talk to someone American. I will be looking for another job. Proud struggling father wants to thank earthlink for cutting my financial expenses.

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