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VoIP Advocate Rich Tehrani Awarded Nobel Prize for Telecommunications
[October 25, 2011]

VoIP Advocate Rich Tehrani Awarded Nobel Prize for Telecommunications

TMCnet Contributing Editor

At the Stockholm Concert Hall yesterday, TMC President Richard Tehrani was awarded the inaugural Nobel (News - Alert) Prize in Telecommunications for his contributions to Voice-over Internet Protocol telephony.

Presented by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, the 2006 telecom prize was created in an effort to 'make the Nobel more relevant to the breathtaking technological advancements which contribute so much to world prosperity,' according to the King's presentation remarks.

'Rarely do we see an idea, an invention, a technology so completely change the face of the modern world -- for the better,' King Gustaf said to the glittering assemblage of past winners, international jet-setters and dignitaries. 'And of course it's primarily thanks to the individual we're honoring here today.'

Information technology has become one of the world's most dynamic fields, and Tehrani is responsible for the founding of the Technology Marketing Corporation, or TMC (News - Alert), which has been at the forefront of cutting-edge trends within the industry. 'This is the future, plain and simple,' Tehrani, resplendent in a salmon-pink tuxedo with ruffled shirt, told the audience during his acceptance speech. 'I'm overwhelmed and honored by this award.'

Laureates welcomed Tehrani into their company. 'Is this one of those Skype (News - Alert) deal guys? I save beaucoup bucks on that puppy,' said Wislawa Szymborska, the 1996 Literature honoree. Belgian chemist Ilya Priggone, the recipient of the 1977 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his contributions to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, said he hoped Tehrani could come over to his hotel and show him how to get the microphone hooked up. 'Ever made a call on hotel international rates? Hoo boy,' he said to a reporter.

French actress Audrey Tautou, star of the upcoming film The Da Vinci Code and in attendance, told reporters she would be interested in doing a movie based on Tehrani's life. 'VoIP is the most exciting meme in the world today,' she said. 'I am very fascinated with the possibilities of this technology for creativity, for business and for passion.'

Other attendees offered mixed opinions on the award. ' I think the guy who invented Velcro should have gotten one of these, that's the greatest thing I've ever seen -- that and duct tape,' said Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama and the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. And Canadian honoree Robert Mundell, winner of the 1999 laureate in Economics, said VoIP was a 'passing fancy' that would 'play havoc' with his 'telecom investments.'

Overall reaction, however, was positive. The VoIP industry is certainly growing in popularity as a personal convenience and business tool, a fact Tehrani emphasized in his after-dinner comments at the Nobel Banquet in the famed Blue Hall of the City Hall of Stockholm.

Long time Nobel observers said it was unlikely more categories would be added in the foreseeable future. 'Alfred Nobel established physics, chemistry, literature, medicine and peace,' said Ole Danbolt Mjos, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the prizes. 'The Bank of Sweden established an economics prize in 1969, so we think this is quite enough innovation. Those who want a Nobel Prize for Planes That Actually Land On Time will have to wait. Get it? Have to wait? Ha ha. And people think we are too stuffy here. We show them.'

Strict confidentiality rules ensure that no nominees other than the winners of the prize are ever disclosed by the nominating committee, although it's rumored that former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell was in the running, as were American author Toni Morrison, Irish rocker and political activist Bono and the film Brokeback Mountain, all of which by law must be shortlisted for any award ever given out anywhere.

Disclaimer -- Please read the first letter of each paragraph in order. Happy April Fool's Day! :-) 

David Sims is contributing editor for TMCnet. For more articles please visit David Sims' columnist page.

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