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Greg Galitzine

October 2005

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FCC Approves Telecom Mega-Mergers

October 31, 2005

The Federal Communications Commission has approved the mergers of SBC with AT&T and Verizon with MCI.

According to the Commission's Web site, [the FCC]... concluded that consumers will reap the rewards of the public interest benefits that will flow from these mergers. These benefits include integration of complementary networks, which will increase efficiency and provide consumers with new services and improved network performance and reliability. The mergers will create stable, reliable U.S.-owned companies that will provide improved service to government customers and benefit national defense and homeland security.

I'm Back

October 28, 2005

I apologize to regular readers of my blog that I’ve been out of pocket these past few weeks, but I was faced with a series of personal matters that among other things, precluded my ability to discuss VoIP.

Well, I’m back.

Much has happened in the last two weeks, including the regulatory approval of a pair of telecom mega-mergers (AT&T/SBC & Verizon/MCI).

There was also the just completed Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO, which attracted approximately 7,000 people to the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Skype Teams With IPEVO

October 13, 2005

Skype has teamed with IPEVO, a Silicon Valley-based subsidiary of PChome Online specializing in Skype-enabled devices, to offer affordable Skype devices in the US through IPEVO’s Web site.

IPVEO designs and develops a wide range of easy-to-use and affordable Skype devices, including corded and cordless USB phones, speaker phones and mobile devices. PChome Online launched the first co-branded website with Skype in July 2004 in Taiwan. This collaboration helped make Taiwan one of the most successful markets for Skype. PChome-Skype has attracted 7.5M downloads and 2.4M people have registered with Skype. PChome also offers Skype’s premium services such as SkypeOut, Skype Voicemail and SkypeIn and has attracted around 200,000 paid customers throughout Taiwan since November 2004.

Google, Comcast & AOL??? Oh my.

October 12, 2005

This just crossed the wire. Oh my.

These are interesting times indeed.

Google Inc. and Comcast Corp. are in "serious discussions" to buy a minority stake in Time Warner's America Online, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

AOL has been in discussions with both parties separately, the source said. But in recent weeks, Google and Comcast have had discussions to possibly make a joint investment in the online unit of Time Warner Inc.

AOL is also separately in talks to create a joint venture with Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft, Yahoo! and VoIP? Oh My.

October 12, 2005

Microsoft and Yahoo! announced that they will make their instant-messaging programs work together, a partnership ostensibly designed to give the combined companies more heft to compete against AOL.

The partnership, which would allow users of the two services to exchange messages seamlessly, gives the companies almost as many users (combined) as AOL has on their own. AOL’s AIM, has over 50 million unique U.S., compared to about 27 million for MSN Messenger and 22 million for Yahoo’s Messenger.

The companies said that they expect the service to start by June 2006.

Global IP Sound Sets Sights on VoIP Hardware

October 12, 2005

Global IP Sound (GIPS) announced Q3 licensing deals with three leading chip manufacturers and a major handset manufacturer.

The three semiconductor companies, which include Waveplus Technology Corp. and Marvell Semiconductor, have set their sights on the rapidly growing IP phone, mobile handset, ATA, and gateway segments of the VoIP market

“We are currently on the cusp of unprecedented growth in the VoIP hardware market. If semiconductor companies and ODMs are to succeed in capturing the early market share, they must deliver products that not only provide the highest and most consistent call quality available, but also exceed the expectations of end users.

Internet Root Server Battle UNfolds

October 6, 2005

I came across an article on The Guardian Unlimited Web site entitled Breaking America’s Grip on the Net, which reminded me of the situation currently unfolding regarding the future of control over the Internet’s root servers. It seems that during a series of preparatory meetings, being held ahead of the World Summit on the Information Society, a group of countries including the likes of Iran, Cuba and China — bastions of freedom all — have seen fit to complain about who controls the Internet.

Apparently at issue is the stated position taken by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) that they would retain indefinite control of the Internet's foundation — its "root servers" — which act as the basic directory for the whole ‘Net.

XO Joins Voice Peering Fabric

October 5, 2005

XO Communications, Inc. has announced that it has interconnected with Stealth Communications' Voice Peering Fabric (VPF), the world's largest peering network that allows members to exchange voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) traffic without relying on traditional telephone networks. The VPF is a distributed Ethernet network that functions as an exchange or meet-point for VoIP traffic by allowing enterprises and service providers to establish peer-to-peer connections in a secure, quality-of-service environment.

By joining the VPF, XO will be able to take advantage of the fast growing VPF ENUM Registry and exchange VoIP traffic directly with other VPF members. In addition, for VPF members that need to deliver VoIP calls to the PSTN, XO will be able to offer VoIP Origination and Termination services nationwide through the VPF. By handing off VoIP traffic directly to XO, VPF members' traffic will be routed across the XO IP network at the highest priority and terminated to the PSTN at destinations across the United States.

The potential ramifications are huge.

OpenPBX.org Project Announced

October 4, 2005

OpenPBX.org is announcing a fork from the Asterisk software PBX on their web site.  The OpenPBX.org software PBX builds on the solid foundation created by the developers of Asterisk.

The OpenPBX.org community plans to develop a robust offshoot from Asterisk building on its strengths, flexibility and user community.  Some of the planned features include modular architecture, native support for Sangoma TDM cards, integrated faxing and eventually integrated messaging.

OpenPBX.org will be community driven and released under the GPL.

Initial release of OpenPBX.org is slated for October 10, 2005.

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