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Originally published December 10, 2009 at 9:09 AM | Page modified December 10, 2009 at 4:24 PM

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Brier Dudley

Bellevue's Trilogy gets award for Haiti work

Excerpts from the blog Bellevue wireless company Trilogy Partners has received the Award for Corporate Excellence from the U.S. State Department, the first...

Seattle Times staff columnist

Excerpts from the blog

Bellevue wireless company Trilogy Partners has received the Award for Corporate Excellence from the U.S. State Department, the first time a Washington company has received the award for "exemplary business practices in the area of global citizenship."

Trilogy Chairman John Stanton was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to receive the award from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Stanton, in a phone interview Wednesday morning, credited the Trilogy team for its work in Haiti over the past decade.

"They didn't do this for recognition," he said. "The group's been doing the great work for about 10 years in Haiti and years before that in other markets, and worked hard because it's the right thing to do."

The company's Voila-brand phone service employs more than 500 Haitians and creates jobs indirectly for more than 15,000 through a micro-enterprise venture in which local entrepreneurs sell time on customized phones.

Trilogy also heavily supports education in the impoverished country, providing scholarships to more than 5,000 elementary schoolchildren in partnership with musician Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti foundation.

Stanton, his wife and his business partner acquired the Haiti business and networks in other international markets that were left from their sale of Bellevue-based Western Wireless to Alltel. In addition to Haiti, the company now operates wireless networks in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and New Zealand.

Besides making direct contributions, the company is also helping emerging markets by increasing access to telephony and wireless computing.

"For us it really is a great enabler of commerce," Stanton said. "It's also an enabler of freedom, democracy, if you will — but it's a great business growth opportunity as well."

U.S. ambassadors around the world nominated 42 companies for the award program, started in 1999. The list was narrowed to 11 finalists in October, including Chevron for work in the Philippines, Cisco Systems for work in Lebanon, Intel in Costa Rica and Oracle in Romania.

Finalists "are businesses that recognize the critical role our companies play globally in advancing good corporate citizenship, innovation and democratic principles," the October release said.

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Merger calling?

Citigroup analyst Michael Rollins said Sprint Nextel is likely to merge with Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA next year, according to Bloomberg News. The analyst report drove a surge in Sprint's stock during the day Wednesday.

Rollins said there's a 55 percent chance Sprint will merge with T-Mobile and raised his rating on Sprint to "buy" from "hold."

If that's the case, I'll bet there's a 55 percent chance the combined company takes a bigger share of Kirkland-based Clearwire, which is already part owned by Sprint and talking to T-Mobile about 4G services.

Sprint stock climbed as much as 13 percent Wednesday, closing up 5.6 percent at $4.13. Clearwire was virtually flat at $5.73.

Exponential increase

Americans' annual consumption of information is soaring, reaching 3.6 zettabytes in 2008, according to a new study from the University of California at San Diego's Global Information Industry Center.

It must have taken them until the end of 2009 to count it all up. Americans consumed information for about 1.3 trillion hours last year, an average of almost 12 hours per day, including 3.6 zettabytes of data and 10,845 trillion words.

A zettabyte (named for T-Mobile spokeswoman Catherine Zeta-Jones?), is "10 to the 21st power bytes, a million million gigabytes," according to the UCSD release.

Information consumed at work wasn't counted — this is just things like books, newspapers, computer games, online video and satellite radio.

"We defined 'information' as flows of data delivered to people and we measured the bytes, words, and hours of consumer information. Video sources (moving pictures) dominate bytes of information, with 1.3 zettabytes from television and approximately 2 zettabytes of computer games. If hours or words are used as the measurement, information sources are more widely distributed, with substantial amounts from radio, Internet browsing, and others," the release said.

Consumption is up from recent studies, including a 2007 effort that estimated "only 0.3 zettabytes were consumed worldwide in 2007."

But the outlook isn't good for words, even though Americans are now consuming about 100,000 of them per day.

"Taken together, U.S. households in 2008 spent about 5 percent of their information time reading newspapers, magazines and books, which have declined in readership over the last fifty years," the study said.

"From the perspective of the information measured in words ... printed media account for almost 9 percent of all words consumed. However, translated into bytes, they barely register: two-hundredths of a percent (0.02%) of (information consumed)."

Forget the hard drive. Maybe it's time for a break from the computer and TV.

This material has been edited for print publication.

Brier Dudley's blog excerpts appear Thursdays. Reach him at 206-515-5687 or bdudley@seattletimes.com.

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About Brier Dudley

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.
bdudley@seattletimes.com | 206-515-5687

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