Stolen Smartphones, Tech M&A, and More on SDN Precon

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Stolen Smartphones, Tech M&A, and More on SDN Precon

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  July 29, 2013

Recent stories in the press about the cellular carriers and their position on smartphone theft brought to mind Clairol’s famous hair color slogan “Does she or doesn’t she?”

The reason why is because, on the one hand, cellular service providers including AT&T (News - Alert), Sprint and Verizon (among others) have aligned with the to FCC to create a stolen phone database – which will allow operators to identify and block service to stolen devices. Some of these same carriers also have their own stolen phone databases. But, on the other hand, reports now indicate that wireless service providers and handset makers are not particularly gung-ho about preventing smartphone theft.

A story published in early May sites law enforcement and legal sources who indicate, in the words of The New York Times, “that carriers and handset makers have little incentive to fix the problem.”

It would seem that this is referring to the fact that carriers and handset manufacturers benefit by selling replacement handsets with smartphones are stolen.

Here is one excerpt from the article:

“The carriers are not innocent in this whole game. They are making profit off this,” said Cathy L. Lanier, chief of the police department of the District of Columbia, where a record 1,829 cellphones were taken in robberies last year.

Another source noted by The New York Times, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, added that smartphone theft could easily be significantly lessened if handset makers built anti-theft features into the devices.

And Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the nonprofit group Police Executive Research Forum, told The New York Times: “The cellphone industry has for the most part been in denial.”


In another recent development, PricewaterhouseCoopers (News - Alert) in its Q1 2013 Technology M&A Insights report said that tech M&A decreased 38 percent to 40 deals closed compared to 65 deals closed in the last quarter of 2012. But it expects more robust deal activity in this space going forward.

“Driven by the global macroeconomic uncertainties, the first quarter of 2013 saw technology deal volume and values drop unexpectedly to a four-year low as businesses prioritized operations above M&A,” said Rob Fisher, PwC’s U.S. technology industry deals leader.  “Nevertheless, strong fundamentals, record cash levels and high equity valuations as well as promising recent announcement make Q1 M&A seem more like a ‘pause’ than a trend.”’

Meanwhile, we saw seven technology IPOs in the first quarter of 2013 with total proceeds of just under $1 billion, according to PWC. That’s still below the volume and value of IPOs in the fourth quarter of 2012, the firmed reported, but it’s nonetheless a strong start to the year.


I wanted to use the remainder of this space to again encourage INTERNET TELEPHONY readers to join us at SDN Precon.

SDN Precon will take place Monday, Aug. 26 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. This TMC event precedes ITEXPO (News - Alert) Vegas.

Programming at SDN Precon will include a talk by Ovum’s Mike Sapien, who will present his new study on SDN’s impact on enterprise services; analysis on various aspects of SDN by Frost & Sullivan’s (News - Alert) Ron Gruia; an update on SDN work at the ONF; and presentations and discussion from startups like Pica8 to industry giants like Cisco (News - Alert) (among many others) on their own SDN strategies as well as SDN’s relationship with NFV, with applications, with network visualization, with network programmability and automation, and with overall network –and network provider ­­– transformation.

To check out the SDN Precon agenda visit:

The SDN Precon speaker lineup is at:

You can also register via the area on TMCnet.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi