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

IP Communications

Open Source Education at ITEXPO/Digium|Asterisk World

January 22, 2009

Earlier today I noted that Camrivox' CEO was presenting at ITEXPO on February 3rd.   But the open source education doesn't stop there.   At the upcoming ITEXPO/Digium|Asterisk World Conference (is it really only 10 days away?), Digium will host a pair of new Asterisk training courses.   The collocated events take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center in beautiful Miami Beach, FL.   On Tuesday, February 3, 2009 they will present a one-day introduction/training seminar on their Switchvox system.   This course serves to: explain the role of a Switchvox system within a corporate IT/telephony infrastructure; familiarize the student with the initial setup and configuration of their Switchvox system; and more.   And, on Wednesday, February 4, 2009, Digium will present their newest educational offering, the Asterisk 123 course.   Asterisk 123 is a "gentle introduction" to the Asterisk Open Source PBX, introducing the student to the many roles that Asterisk can play and walks them through setting up Asterisk for the first time.   For both classes, participants receive a student kit, which includes:   ·         Digium TDM411B Analog card (1 FXO port + 1 FXS port) ·         Polycom SoundPoint IP 330 SIP Phone ·         Asterisk Tote Bag ·         Asterisk T-shirt ·         Asterisk SWAG Kit ·         Calculator, pen, mouse pad, etc.   If you are interested in either or both of these training courses, feel free to register online at the Digium|Asterisk World Web site.  

Polycom Q4 Results Announced

January 21, 2009

Polycom announced their quarterly earnings today and the results were a mixed bag.   The Pleasanton, CA-based maker of voice and video equipment announced adjusted Q4 EPS of 42 cents, which was ahead of analysts' estimates of 40 cents.   The company also announced growth from its video services segment which accounted for two-thirds of consolidated net revenues at $141.7 million (this includes video communications - 54% and networks systems - 13%). The voice communications segment of the company's business accounted for 33% or $87.1 million, which is down as compared to Q407 when voice generated 37% of consolidated net revenues or $98.4 million.   Robert Hagerty, the firm's chairman and CEO addressed Polycom's successes in 2008 as well as the challenging economic climate and his outlook for the company into 2009:   We are pleased to have surpassed the $1 billion revenue mark in 2008. As the largest company in the Unified Collaboration industry, Polycom generated year-over-year growth in our Video Solutions business, illustrating the resilience of our fast-ROI video offering. With our Voice business showing more sensitivity to the economic environment, Polycom proactively took action in Q4 to reduce our operating cost structure and, as we announced earlier this month, we have implemented a restructuring plan designed to optimize our cost structure as we move into 2009                                                   With our rapid pace of innovation and the full breadth of our offering, we believe Polycom is the best positioned in the industry to deliver the cost-savings benefits of video adoption to our customers.

Ifbyphone Offers Service Guarantee

January 21, 2009

Ifbyphone announced a new service guarantee today, saying that they will deliver their customers' voice broadcast calls on time otherwise those calls will be free.   According to CEO Irv Shapiro:   Our guarantee helps our business customers understand how important the delivery of their voice broadcast calls is to us. Moreover, our guarantee helps differentiate Ifbyphone's services because we are the first and only provider that stands 100 percent behind the delivery of voice broadcast calls.   The guarantee is simple: if any scheduled broadcast call to a U.S. or Canadian phone number is delayed by more than five minutes, Ifbyphone will reimburse customers for the call.   Shapiro is also on the schedule at the upcoming ITEXPO, which will take place in Miami Beach, FL, February 2-4, 2009.   On Wednesday February 4th, from 1:30-2:15pm Shapiro will be part of a panel discussion entitled: Contact Centers in a Web 2.0 World.   For more information on the show, or to register, visit   Just for the record, as I write this, it's 16 degrees in Connecticut where my office is located.   Florida sounds like a good idea.

Mobile Backhaul Certification

January 21, 2009

A new certification program, designed to act as a benchmark for mobile operators, backhaul providers and end users was launched by the IP/MPLS Forum today.


The Mobile Backhaul Certification program will initially focus on certifying standards-compliant implementations of Circuit Emulation services over MPLS as defined in the IP/MPLS Forum's MPLS Mobile Backhaul Initiative (MMBI), which defines how MPLS can be used to backhaul TDM traffic for mobile operators.


The certification program will lay out a set of guidelines and test procedures and will be administered by Iometrix, the Forum's certified lab partner.


According to Andrew G. Malis, Chairman and President of the IP/MPLS Forum:


The Mobile Backhaul Certification Program represents a needed step in the evolution of MPLS solutions which have already proven in lab trials to be ready to meet the needs of operators around the world.


The first group of certified vendors will be announced at the MPLS Ethernet World Congress in Paris this February.

Backhaul Looks Good

January 16, 2009

Dragonwave's Vice President of Product Management Dr. Alan Solheim, author of The Middle Mile column that appears regularly on TMCnet, has a new column just out that offers up a hopeful message in light of the rest of the economic bad news that's out there these days.   According to Solheim, the outlook for the backhaul market is bright:   ...the opportunity in front of the backhaul segment in general, and that for packet based radios in particular, is relatively bright. If any networks get built, backhaul wins. If any backhaul gets built, packet radio wins. So while I wouldn't break out the champagne just yet I do believe there is a case for optimism amidst all the doom and gloom.

Motorola, Google Cut Jobs, Will Microsoft Follow Suit?

January 15, 2009

Nortel: Politics, Bankruptcy and Business as Usual

January 15, 2009

Rich offers some in depth analysis of the Nortel saga, with a look at the bankruptcy laws of both the US and Canada, and some history of what drove Nortel to this particular fork in the road.


Rich also shares his insights gleaned from a conversation with Nortel Enterprise president Joel Hackney, who in the face of all the bankruptcy reports wants to reassure customers that "Nortel is still very much in business."


This is obviously a very big story in our telecom world, but it extends out to the greater question of business and politics, and specifically business and politics in the Canadian landscape.


Our Ontario-based senior contributing editor, Brendan Read, has an article today, entitled, bluntly, Canadian Politics Would Kill Any Potential Sale of Nortel to U.S. Firms


Brendan writes of the struggles Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper would face if he allowed major portions of Nortel to be sold to companies south of the border, and he offers up that "Minister Tony Clement said Ottawa will provide financing to help Nortel restructure and emerge as a viable firm."


Brendan also provides a good amount of political background, which is useful for understanding the various angles that are in play with regard to the Nortel news.

Verizon Plays Down "No More Copper" Comments

January 14, 2009

On second thought, we will NOT be doing away with voice over copper in seven years.   We like VoIP, but we love copper.   Clearly our executive was not supposed to say what he said to that Bloomberg reporter. Either that or the reporter got it wrong.   It's all a misunderstanding.   Nothing to see here... Move along...     Apparently Verizon is backing away from comments that their CMO John Stratton made to a Bloomberg reporter in a story that was carried by the LA Times and that I touched on in my blog on Tuesday.   Eric Rabe, Senior Vice President -- Media Relations has a post today on the Verizon Policy Blog basically saying that no, neither Stratton nor anyone else at Verizon believes that we will move beyond copper in seven years.   I for one felt that seven years was much too aggressive a timetable to move away from that bread and butter transport mechanism, but it says a lot that Verizon would come out so strongly to correct the perception that they were somehow turning their back on the tried and true.   I've pasted Eric Rabe's blog post below in full:     There's been a bit of online buzz about remarks attributed to Verizon Chief Marking Officer John Stratton in a Bloomberg interview (carried in the LA Times) at last week's Consumer Electronics Show. The story says that Verizon plans to "do away with traditional phone lines within seven years as it moves to carry all calls over the Internet."   Here's the background.   First, neither John nor anyone else here thinks that the traditional, circuit-switched phone network will be a thing of the past in seven years. What's often called the public switched telephone network (PSTN) is the world's most reliable, high quality, landline voice communications system. The Verizon traditional phone system will serve customers for a long time to come.   John's point was, and there's not a lot of new news here, that we see that voice can and is becoming an application called VoIP on broadband networks.   VoIP is a logical platform for any company wanting to break into the voice services business, and hundreds of companies have seized on this technology to do so, including every major cable TV company. However, the quality of VoIP voice calls and the reliability of VoIP networks are in no way superior to the quality and reliability provided by the Verizon PSTN network. In short, there is no logical reason for a company like Verizon, with a terrific voice network already in place, to dismantle that network and replace it with VoIP.   At the same time, Verizon is the foremost provider of broadband networks in the USA and a leader in providing broadband around the world. We operate much of the Internet backbone, besides providing wired broadband to 8.5 million American consumers and businesses in the Northeast, and parts of the Northwest, South and Western U.S.   It is clear to us that some parts of the market are moving to VoIP. So the right move for Verizon and our customers is to support transition to VoIP as we have already for many business customers and as we will do as consumer customers evolve to VoIP. You'll see us offer new VoIP products for FiOS in the future, and over time we'll do the same for customers served by other wireline and wireless technologies. This is a logical evolution that we understand and will support.   But don't expect the landline circuit-switched network to magically blink out in seven years.

Hard Times as Nortel Bankruptcy Looms

January 14, 2009

Rich is reporting in his blog that Nortel will file for bankruptcy today, ending the run for one of Canada's biggest corporations and one of telecom's storied companies.   This marks quite the fall from grace for a company that was once one of the highest-fliers of the tech boom.   According to a story in today's Globe and Mail:   Nortel easily qualified as the country's largest company at the peak of the tech boom in 2000, with a $366-billion (Canadian) market capitalization and 95,000 employees.   While still North America's largest telecom equipment maker, Nortel's shares were worth a total of just $192-million yesterday, and the company has 26,000 staff after a bruising series of layoffs over the past eight years.   Nortel stock that soared to $1,231 at the peak of the tech bubble - reflecting a recent consolidation in shares - closed yesterday at 38.5 cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange.   You can expect the vultures will all be out today, slamming the company's management, pointing to the series of accounting scandals that ultimately doomed this company. You'll hear all about the acquisition of Bay Networks and how that never really turned into the perfect fit that had been hoped for. Yes folks, all the news will be bad, and the blame game will be blown out of proportion.   Nortel still has some great technology, and a customer base and service contracts that will have the scavengers salivating.   Unfortunately for the many great employees of the company the end of Nortel as we know it spells something far worse.   The news reports today speak of breaking up the company and selling off the pieces to competitors. In such cases, some employees will be fortunate enough to stay on, but for too many others it's a time of great uncertainty and worry.   I have been fortunate to work with many wonderful people who represented Nortel over the past 12 years, and I hope that they fare well in the wake of whatever goes down.

Point Topic: UK Broadband Subs Down

January 13, 2009

UK researcher Point Topic sent out a release today stating they estimate that fewer than 200,000 new broadband lines were added in the UK in the Q4 2008, which results in less than half of what was originally predicted for the quarter.   Tim Johnson, Chief Analyst at Point Topic:   The main loser was BT Wholesale and its resellers who dropped almost 300,000 lines in 3 months according to our estimates. The local loop unbundlers, mainly Carphone Warehouse, Sky, Tiscali and Orange, did comparatively well in the quarter as consumers churned to their low cost bundles. LLU operators added over 420,000 lines in the period according to BT Openreach figures.   What does the future hold?   Johnson again:   The broadband market has been growing rapidly in the last few years and we project it will continue to add numbers through the recession, just much more slowly. In fact it is striking how falls in broadband growth have closely mirrored the UK's changing Gross Domestic Product.                                          By our calculations, even if the economy shrinks by a further 3% in 2009 then there still will be about 900,000 new broadband customers by next December. That would take the UK total to over 18 million.      
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