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Greg Galitzine

February 2005

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Internet Telephony Conference: 100% Satisfaction

February 28, 2005

So, here I am, back in the office after a full week away at Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO. And what a full week it was. So full, I was unable to blog with any consistency, and thus ended up not blogging at all.

 

Level 3 Responds to USTA

February 28, 2005

Level 3 is defending itself against comments made in an advertisement placed by the United States Telecom Association.  I received a release on the matter this morning:



The following statement is attributable to Bill Hunt, vice president of public policy at Level 3 Communications, Inc.

"On February 23, 2005, the United States Telecom Association placed a highly misleading advertisement in Communications Daily regarding the forbearance petition Level 3 has filed with the FCC on Voice over IP. The ad accuses Level 3 of attempting to 'skip out on its bill' and avoid paying 'what it rightfully owes' when it exchanges VoIP traffic with incumbent local carriers.

Pingtel Launches Open Source Channel Program

February 22, 2005

There will be many news announcements made this week at the Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO here in sunny south Florida. One of the first releases to cross my transom is the news that Pingtel is expanding their global reach by launching a worldwide channel program.

Already over 20 vendors have signed on to promote Open Source SIP solutions to the global marketplace. The news release appears below.

VoIP 2.0 Arrives

February 22, 2005

So here we are. Miami. Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO. You can almost hear the orchestra tuning their instruments as the last-minute preparations are underway. I'm looking forward to the VoIP Peering Summit, which promises to be one of the more compelling tracks on offer today.

It's Go Time

February 18, 2005

Well, after months of planning and hard work, it's almost time to tidy my desk and set off for Miami. I'm looking forward to next week's Internet Telephony Conference and EXPO, which is shaping up to be one of the biggest and most exciting VoIP events ever.

I'm especially looking forward to several of the conference sessions, most notably the P2P VoIP discussion being moderated by our own Tom Keating. That's what I like most about this conference: we're always breaking new ground and presenting the top minds in the industry.

ABI Releases Telco TV Report

February 17, 2005

ABI Research takes a look at the burgeoning Telco TV market in their latest research report Telco TV Infrastructure & Service Integrator Opportunities.

The study examines the trends, market values, and penetration of the emerging medium of Telco TV, the infrastructure enabling it, and the main vendors in the space.

Top 3 Companies In The Space
According to analyst Michael Arden, “ICTV is number one: they have announced deployments that are significant, and they appear to have an aggressive sales force that is doing a good job. Their ICTV technology isn’t as good as the runner-up’s, but they hit all of the main requirements of a VOD system, and their product scales well to provide a cost-effective solution to any size service provider.”

nCUBE claims the number two rating. The company has a strong record in the CATV industry and should be able to draw on past customers for future sales. It also has a proven technology, giving it a strong score on the Innovation side of the equation.

Microsoft ranks number three.

NetHawk and ipNetfusion to Merge

February 17, 2005

The Finns are coming! The Finns are coming!

Well, they’re coming to test your VoIP networks at the very least.

According to the news release on Nethawk’s site, the Finnish provider of mobile network testing and measurement tools, has signed a Letter of Intent with ipNetfusion, a network simulation and load testing systems, concerning the purchase of the shares of the latter.

According to the letter of intent, NetHawk will acquire the shares of ipNetfusion by the end of April.

Armstrong To Ride in 2005 Tour de France

February 16, 2005

Lance Armstrong confirmed today that he would take part in this year's Tour de France.

Armstrong announced his initial 2005 racing schedule, which includes the Tour de France, next month's Paris-Nice classic, the Tour of Flanders and the Tour of Georgia in the United States.

Mar 6-13 — Paris-Nice
Apr 3 — Tour of Flanders (Belgium)
Apr 19-24 — Tour de Georgia (USA)
Jul 2-24 — Tour de France


This is exciting stuff. I’m glad Lance decided to ride in this year’s Tour, rather than put it off until 2006, when he would have had an even more difficult time defending his streak of six consecutive wins.

Verizon/MCI Commentary Part III

February 15, 2005

Peter Eisenhut is Principal, Eisenhut & Associates, and a member of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants. Here's his take on the subject of Verizon/MCI...

What will be the impact of the purchase of MCI by Verizon, and the purchase of AT&T by SBC ??  Anyone who has the answers could either become very rich or locked up for lunacy. Neither is likely in my case, but I do have some questions:

  • If the deals go through, SBC and Verizon will have bought up most of the competition they had for local exchange service.  At the same time, the requirement for SBC and Verizon to provided unbundled network elements (UNE-P) at discounted prices to competitors (CLECs) is also evaporating.

Verizon/MCI Commentary Part II

February 15, 2005

Michael J Thurston, Sr., is Vice President, Director of Operations at North American Communications, INC and he is a member of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants. Here’s his take on the Verizon/MCI deal:

 

Verizon’s Acquisition of MCI

One Consultant's View

 

I believe Verizon acquiring MCI will be a great step for customer service. This has nothing to do with the everyday user, but this will have a great impact in Corporate and Government agencies. For any consultant that has spent hours trying to explain to these vendors their responsibility to the demarcation point, bringing the old Bell System guys back into the business should solve this.

Convergence of a Different Kind

February 15, 2005

Sony Ericsson is dusting off the Walkman, adding dial tone, and setting its sights on the mobile music market. I was but a young lad when I got my first Walkman. It was awesome. I should have bought stock in Duracell at the time too.

Verizon/MCI Commentary

February 15, 2005

As regards any major news impacting our industry, I try to reach out and solicit commentary from insiders and people who make a living thinking about telecom. Mike McCue of Schooley Mitchell Telecom Consultants is a member of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants. Here's what he had to say on the announced Verizon/MCI deal and its effect on VoIP:

During a recent client engagement I contacted Verizon to order some service changes.  During that process and the discussion about contract options, I asked about Verizon's IP Centrex plans and if their current contract would allow a mid-term transition to that service.  The customer service rep assured me that their VOIP service was not a reliable product and should be avoided.  Further discussion of the service made clear that she did not have any experience or training on VOIP products.



Will the acquisition of MCI by Verizon impact VOIP?  I expect the current trend to continue; profitable Telco's will offer it as a me-too product with limited availability and even more limited sales/support capability.  Meanwhile the greenfield companies (Vonage, Packet 8, VoicePulse, etc.) will build and refine this market then be acquired in a future consolidation.

Verizon Sends MCI A Valentine

February 14, 2005

Well, I guess it’s official. Verizon has acquired MCI for $4.8 billion in equity and $488 million in cash (total: $5.3 billion). The transaction also encompasses a special dividend payable to MCI shareholders, bringing the total to $6.7 billion for the number 2 long-distance carrier.

The main play here is Verizon expanding into the enterprise market and keeping pace with sibling SBC, who recently purchased AT&T.

Teleo Intros Personal, Portable VoIP Service

February 14, 2005

Teleo, a San Francisco-based VoIP provider, unveiled its new software and service at the DEMO@15! Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. The software targets mobile professionals and those who rely on cell phones and e-mail as primary communication vehicles.

Teleo is a personal, portable VoIP system that lets customers use their cell phone, regular phone, or PC to receive VoIP calls.

On VoIP Mobility & Security

February 10, 2005

I’ve just returned from the Voicecon trade show, where I met with a number of vendors serving the enterprise VoIP space. Among the many themes discussed this week, two seem to bubble up to the top: mobility and security.

In an earlier post, I wrote about the formation of the VOIPSA, or VoIP Security Alliance. In the first week of its existence, the total number of member companies has doubled to 50 and over 1,500 people have signed on to the mailing list.

VoIP in France???

February 8, 2005

If Vonage launched its personal VoIP service in France, would it be called Vonage a Toi? (Vonage for you...) Or would the added functionality of three-way calling be marketed as Vonage a Trois? 

VoIP Security Alliance Seeks To Identify, Address VoIP Risks

February 7, 2005


TippingPoint announced today that it has established the VoIP Security Alliance (VOIPSA) in conjunction with a group of VoIP vendors, providers, security researchers, and thought leaders. The goal of the alliance is to discover and reduce VoIP security risks. Some of the charter members include 3Com , Alcatel , Avaya, Codenomicon, Columbia University, Enterasys, Ernst and Young’s Guiliani Advanced Security Center, Insightix , NetCentrex, Qualys, Sourcefire, Southern Methodist University, SecureLogix, Spirent, Symantec , the SANS Institute and Tenable Network Security.

A complete list of members can be accessed at the VOIPSA Web site.

Cato Institute Offers Views on Who Killed Telecom

February 4, 2005

I just came across a release announcing a new Policy report from the Cato Institute.

I’ve come to learn that no matter how innocent my motives in simply shedding light on a particular report covering our industry, I stand equal chance of being taken for a liberal, a conservative, a leftie, a rightie, a commie, a fascist, a pink, a punk… whatever the prevailing opposite happens to be that day.

I’ll get over it somehow. Thick skin, you know.

Qwest Rings Up MCI. Is Verizon on Call Waiting?

February 3, 2005

The Wall St. Journal is reporting that Qwest is in talks to buy MCI for about $6.3 billion, which would make the second major telecom deal in less than a week, hot on the heels of the AT&T/SBC deal, which I’ve touched on "a little bit" in the past few days.

 Everyone in the world is reporting this news, so take your pick whose version you want to read.

MCI has some obvious assets that make it an attractive target. It has an impressive roster of clients, as well as a huge global network that is the envy of many. 

So attractive are these assets that Verizon is in line to talk with MCI as well.

SBC/AT&T Expert Commentary (Part 7)

February 3, 2005

Barbara A. Grothe is the owner of Telecom Resources in Indianapolis, IN. Here are her thoughts on the SBC/AT&T deal:

SBC & AT&T BACK TOGETHER AGAIN?

Who would have dreamed up that in 1984 when AT&T settled a Justice Department lawsuit by agreeing to spin off the Regional Bell companies, i.e.

SBC/AT&T Expert Commentary (Part 6)

February 3, 2005

I received a few more comments on the AT&T/SBC situation.

Robert Lee Harris is president of Communications Advantage, Inc., a telecommunications consulting firm. He specializes in strategic technology acquisition and implementation. He is a member of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants and here's what he had to say:

SBC/AT&T Expert Commentary (Part 5)

February 2, 2005

Matthew P. McCormick is President of Technology Decisions, Inc., a Chicago-based global technical consulting firm specializing in: Telecommunications, Information Technology, and Business Strategy with respect to technological investment. Areas of practice include VoIP, Wireless Communications, and Computer Networking.

I particularly like the company's tagline: It's not that bad. We can help.

Good stuff.

SBC/AT&T Expert Commentary (Part 4)

February 2, 2005

Martha Buyer is currently Principal, Law Offices of Martha Buyer as well as an officer (vice president) of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants.

She has written numerous articles addressing a variety of legal and regulatory issues affecting telecommunications professionals and decision makers industry wide. Topics included cable, wireless, common carrier and copyright issues, among others. Here is her take on the SBC/AT&T acquisition:


With the added market force of VoIP looking traditional voice providers straight in the eye, the writing is on the wall for those traditional long distance providers.

SBC/AT&T Expert Commentary (Part 3)

February 2, 2005

Richard Kuehn is president of RAK Associates, a telecom consulting firm in Cleveland, OH, and is also a founder of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants.

Here is his take on the SBC/AT&T situation.


Someday we will have one big monopoly telephone company!! This is certainly a benefit to SBC in two ways.

Report Finds 900% Cable VoIP Subscriber Growth

February 1, 2005

Infonetics, an international market research and consulting firm covering the data networking and telecommunications industries, is set to release a research report tomorrow covering the cable VoIP market.

According to the report, Cable VoIP Equipment Market Outlook, the number of cable VoIP subscribers in North America jumped 900% between 2003 and 2004, from less than 50,000 to close to half a million, while cable broadband subscribers grew 26%, from 17.7 million to 22.4 million.

The latest Infonetics report posits that North American cable companies increased their investments in VoIP equipment to keep up with surging subscriber growth, nearly doubling their spending between 2003 and 2004, from $63 million to $123 million. The company’s forecasts indicate continuing strong growth.

SBC/AT&T Expert Commentary (Part 2)

February 1, 2005

William A. Morgan is Managing Partner, W and J PARTNERSHIP.

Here are his thoughts on the SBC acquisition of AT&T.

The acquisition of AT&T by SBC means:
(1) SBC now has the means to compete at will, using today's technologies and minimal additional capital, in all ILEC territories, especially such as those of Verizon, BellSouth, and Qwest. If SBC were to choose to use IP Converged Networking with the AT&T backbone, many competitors' top accounts and areas would be instantly vulnerable.

SBC/AT&T Expert Commentary (Part 1)

February 1, 2005

In my never-ending quest to keep my readers informed on the important issues of the day, I have issued a call for commentary in the hopes of adding some much-needed flavor to the SBC/AT&T hullabaloo.

David Grill is Principal over at Telecom Management Services, LLC
Montclair, NJ, and is also Senior Vice President at the Society of Telecommunications Consultants.

Here's what he had to say:

Stanley Kubrick got it wrong. The technology in '2001, A Space Odyssey' still looks current, but the corporate icons in the film are toast.

Level 3 Submits VoIP Intercarrier Compensation Model To FCC

February 1, 2005

I just received this release from Level 3 , regarding their having submitted a financial modeling program to the FCC showing the likely impact of VoIP on ILEC access revenues.

The release follows:

Level 3 Submits VoIP Intercarrier Compensation Model To FCC

Findings Indicate Voice over IP Is Not a Significant Threat To ILEC Access Revenues Over Next Two Years

BROOMFIELD, Colo., February 1, 2005 -- Level 3 Communications, LLC today announced that it has submitted a financial modeling program to the Federal Communications Commission that demonstrates the likely economic impacts of Voice over IP on access charge revenues collected by local phone companies. The submission was made in support of Level 3's December 2003 forbearance petition on Voice over IP, which is pending before the Commission.

The model, using industry-based assumptions, indicates that the growth of VoIP traffic will not have a significant impact on access charge revenues collected by non-rural local carriers over the next two years.

Comment on My Recent Blog: Public Policy Group Rings In On SBC/AT&T

February 1, 2005

I received a comment on my post yesterday regarding the Competitive Enterprise Institue and their position vis a vis the SBC/AT&T situation. My goal was not to promote any particular agenda or groups. I was just sharing something I found interesting. I'm a sharer.

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