Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

Problems at the Post Office

January 29, 2009

I heard the story on the radio coming in to work this morning, and I noticed that Rich has a post today about the Downward Spiral of Snail Mail as well.   Seems that the United States Postal Service, citing a precipitous drop in the amount of mail it carried last year, is facing a severe cash flow challenge and reported a net loss of nearly $3 billion last year alone.   Postmaster General John Potter appealed to a Senate committee yesterday, asking for among other things, the ability to cut back postal delivery to five days from the current six days a week.   Potter is asking Congress to amend a 1983 Postal Service law that mandates mail delivery every day but Sunday.

Might not seem that significant, but it would be a fundamental change to a basic service that we've all grown accustomed to. I doubt most people would complain or even notice, but for seom this may be a major inconvenience. Certainly businesses that depend on the timely delivery of certain information (periodicals, bills, etc...) would be affected.

I guess change is in the air.   Did you know that the lightest day for mail delivery is Tuesday?   Neither did I.   I know in Canada, for example, their postal service does not deliver on Saturdays.   And while I love most things Canadian, I hope that this isn't a small first step towards a giant leap in moving our government to a more Canadian model, particularly when it comes to things like taxes, national healthcare, new shoes on budget day, and a couple of other odd laws, such as:   ·         You may not pay for a fifty-cent item with only pennies. ·         Citizens may not publicly remove bandages. (maybe this is a good thing?) ·         It is illegal for clear or non-dark sodas to contain caffeine. ·         In British Columbia, it is illegal to kill a Sasquatch. ·         In Toronto, you can't drag a dead horse down Yonge St. on a Sunday.   Maybe the last two aren't so bad, but I think you see where I'm coming from.    



Report: Consumers Willing to Pay for Citywide WiFi

January 28, 2009

An interesting report came across my desk; especially noteworthy in light of the economic conditions plaguing the landscape.   According to the "Devicescape Wi-Fi Report" consumers say that they want citywide WiFi and they are willing to pay for it.   The official announcement of the study will be out tomorrow, but I was fortunate enough to get advance notice.   The report was conducted by Decipher, Inc. on behalf of Devicescape and several other players in the WiFi space, and quizzed more than 2,700 WiFi users for their opinions about the technology.   Key findings from the report include:  
  • An overwhelming number of WiFi users expect WiFi while traveling (91%);
  • Most respondents (84%) want citywide WiFi, and many (56%) are willing to pay for it as they would a utility;
  • When traveling, the most-often used device for accessing Wi-Fi was the smartphone, such as an iPhone (vs. laptops);
  • The overwhelming majority of smartphone users (81%) prefer using WiFi over 3G for browsing Web sites, downloading data, Google searches and sending e-mail;
  • 86% of respondents want OEMs to build Wi-Fi into their handsets;
  • 82% of respondents want the service provider to provide an overall 3G/WiFi data package
  The study also found that consumers often find it difficult to get and stay connected to a WiFi network when using a smartphone. The report found that "complicated login screens" were among the most common frustration consumers had when attempting to connect to a WiFi hotspot, and that nearly 90% of handset users want their service provider to offer seamless roaming between 3G and Wi-Fi networks.

Femtocells in the News

January 28, 2009

The femtocell is indicative of much in the technology world these days.   Analysts are generally in agreement that the market opportunity is large, and yet fits and starts - typical of early days in any sector -- abound. Verizon's newly released Network Extender has met with mixed results. T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home service was well received, but ran into a bit of a patent issue late last year. And Ars Technica is reporting today that AT&T slipped up and released details of their offering into the space:   The new offering will be called 3G MicroCell, supports voice and 3G data, and allows 4 simultaneous calls or data sessions.   The product details reported on a new AT&T page, since pulled, were discovered by Engadget and SlipperyBrick.   Adding to the femtocell conversation, IntelliNet Technologies today announced the development of a new integrated femtocell gateway, which combines a femtocell access point controller with a carrier grade security gateway in an industry standard AdvancedTCA platform.   The idea behind this offering is to give service providers and wireless operators the ability to manage thousands of femtocells at once.   Anjan Ghosal, president and CEO of IntelliNet Technologies said:   Cellular phone service is now in line with traditional wireline as a subscriber's primary mode of communication.

Digital TV Transition Put on Hold

January 26, 2009

Analyst: Netbooks to Surge

January 26, 2009

I bought a netbook, then I returned it without even opening it. It was a good deal, but even still the price was so close to the cost of a full-fledged laptop (with optical drive, bigger hard drive, bigger screen, etc...) that I thought I would either continue to live without or simply wait until the next generation of netbooks arrived.   I have always believed that the holidays are the worst time to buy technology as the stuff they announce at CES a month later is always more exciting. (I take buyer's remorse to extreme levels when it comes to gadgets and tech...)   Maybe waiting was a good thing.   ABI Research just released its forecast for a "market explosion" of netbooks, estimating that in 2009 we can expect to see 35 million netbooks shipped, growing to 139 million by 2013.   ABI Research Practice Director Kevin Burden describes the evolution of the portable computing tool, from the PDAs of "old" to the latest ultra-mobile PCs or UMPCs:   PDA's began our reliance on instant accessible data while traveling. When PDA functionality converged with cellular voice, smartphones became the new darling of mobile professional technology that many expected to evolve into the hub for all data and communication needs for travelling professionals.

SIP Trunking Podcast: Avaya's Alan Klein

January 26, 2009

With only one week to go before ITEXPO, it's an exciting time as we make the final preparations ahead of "The World's Communications Conference."   One of the elements of the show that has been very successful in the past is the SIP Trunking seminar, organized by Ingate Systems with sponsorship from the likes of Avaya, BandTel and others. The seminar is taking place at this year's ITEXPO as well.   Last week we ran a couple of interviews with BandTel's Joel Maloff, including a Q&A and a podcast.   We also published an interview with Avaya's Alan Klein.   Well we just posted the podcast interview with Alan. Give it a listen.   And when you're done, please cruise on over to the ITEXPO site and sign up for the SIP Trunking workshop. You'll be glad you did!      

Rich on Microsoft's Response Point

January 23, 2009

TMC Blogs: The Week in Review

January 23, 2009

What was the big story this week? No doubt it was the inauguration of Barack Obama, as the 44th President of the United States and the first African-American to hold that post. Truly a historic day for our nation: a day when many people put politics aside to welcome our newest leader to his job, and judging by the crowds in Washington, D.C. this past Tuesday it was quite a welcome indeed.   Rich is excited.

SIP Trunking Podcast: BandTel's Joel Maloff

January 23, 2009

Last Friday I published an interview with Joel Maloff, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at BandTel, the SIP Trunking provider.   Working together with Ingate, BandTel is a Platinum Sponsor of the "SIP Trunking: Everything You Need to Know" seminars at ITEXPO East 2009, which take place February 2-4, 2009 in Miami Beach, Florida.   Well I just concluded a podcast interview with Joel, and so I invite you to listen to that audio interview as well, to get some more information ahead of the seminars.   The seminars have traditionally been a big draw at ITEXPO and all forecasts point to another successful installment at the show, which takes place in Miami Beach in just 9 days.   Sponsors of the SIP Trunking: Everything You Need to Know workshop include:   Platinum Sponsors: Avaya, BandTel Gold Sponsor: Cbeyond Sponsors: AireSpring, BBTelesys, Bandwidth.com, Digium, Iwatsu, J Arnold & Associates, ShoreTel, SIP Forum, and VOIPSA.   For more information, or to register for the show, please visit the ITEXPO home page.

Copps Named Acting FCC Chair

January 22, 2009

President Obama has named FCC commissioner Michael J. Copps Acting Chairman of the FCC.

  In a written statement, Copps expressed his gratitude and pledged to serve:   I thank President Obama for his confidence in me and for this opportunity to serve. I know that I have a truly gifted and terrific team to work with. I pledge every effort I am capable of to help steer the Commission through its current transition to new leadership.   Copps, who has been on the Commission since 2001, previously served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1998 until January 2001.   His colleague, Commissioner Robert M. McDowell shared his thoughts in a statement as well. McDowell, a former FCC lobbyist was previously Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of COMPTEL, an industry organization.   According to McDowell:   I am pleased that President Obama has announced that my friend and colleague, Mike Copps, will serve as acting chairman of the Commission. I appreciate the sacrifices Beth, Mike and the Copps family have made during his distinguished public service career. I look forward to continuing to work with him at this unique time.

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