Supercomm Blues

Well, I woke up this morning
An' my triple play was gone.
I felt so mean and low down,
I barfed on my cellular phone.
Somebody be doing my voice, video, and data wrong

Everybody and their mother wanted to cover themselves in Triple Play glory at the Supercomm show in Chicago this year.

For those of you not in the know, triple play is a new name for those old friends: voice, video and data. The concept behind the marketing hype is that all three can be offered by service providers as a bundle and delivered over high-speed wired and wireless networks. You couldn't turn around on the show floor without being assailed by ads showing smiling teens getting their (wirelessly networked, multi-player, natch) game on.

Even some wireless vendors were trying to catch the buzz. Unstrung encountered WiMax wireless metro area players on the show floor trying the triple-play marketing cap on for size. We don't think it really fits yet. You can't buy WiMax-certified kit at your friendly neighborhood reseller yet and probably won't be able to 'til sometime in 2005. So good luck bundling anything over that particular wireless technology. But hey, a thumb up for optimism, folks.

As luck would have it, the true meaning of triple play was not to be found in the exhibit halls but at the bottom of a martini glass.

Attending a massive party held by networking firm Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) with former Unstrung editor Ray Le "Otter" Maistre, your correspondent decided to try the special "J-Tini" cocktail that had been concocted for the evening (it was a bit like a margarita, but with vodka rather than tequilla).

"He's put at least three shots in there," cried a somewhat worse-for-wear Le Maistre. "That's the real triple play!"

It should be noted that the "real triple play" comes with a sore head the next morning as a compulsory part of the bundle.

— Dan "No bright lights, please" Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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