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

Service Provider

8x8 Visit With Huw Rees

March 18, 2009

If it's Wednesday, it must be San Jose...   Or in this case, more specifically, Santa Clara.   My colleagues and I just stopped in to see our friends at 8x8, who were gracious enough to spend some time with us on this cloudy day.   Things are moving steadily forward at 8x8, and according to Huw Rees, Vice President of Business and Channel Development, the firm continues to execute on its strategy of selling their Virtual Office services into the small and medium sized business (SMB) market space. Rees told us that they are focused on ramping up sales of their virtual trunking products and Microsoft Response Point services, as well as expanding their channel strategy to build a larger channel to serve ever larger customers, working up to the "M" of the SMB.   8x8 serves customers from 5 employees to several hundred employees, but according to Rees, the average customer tends to the smaller end of that scale. The goal of the channel expansion is is to grow the number of larger customers.   Anecdotal evidence points to a trend where larger organizations are more comfortable with using hosted communications services, and 8x8 is certainly in a position to serve this market.   We also went on a tour of the 8x8 facility, and we saw the variety of elements that go into making a successful VoIP service provider, including the NOC or network operations center, the QA testing workspace, the higher-level support call center, and the shipping/receiving dock, which according to Rees sees such volume, that 8x8 is the largest FedEx customer in Santa Clara.   We also got a glimpse into some of the exciting things that will be coming down the pike from 8x8, and I look forward to sharing those with my readers as soon as I am able to.

XConnect to Certify NetNumber; Liverpool Wins

March 10, 2009

tw telecom's Herda Calls for National Business Broadband Policy

March 3, 2009

tw telecom Chairman, CEO and President, Larissa Herda, delivered a keynote at Comptel this evening, calling on the industry to engage Congress and the FCC in establishing a national Broadband Policy for Businesses that will spur innovation for enterprises and create jobs in what she termed, the New Broadband Economy.

Just hours before Herda's presentation, President Obama ended months of sepculation, and announced that he has nominated Julius Genachowski to head the Federal Communications Commission.   Herda urged the competitive carriers in attendance to fight for a national business broadband policy that includes three critical points -- effective regulation of Special Access, including Ethernet services, and UNE last-mile facilities; interconnection for IP voice and data services; and a reform or elimination of the forbearance process.   She noted that 2009 has been quite a year so far, with a new administration, a crazy market, and many challenges, but there is hope.   Herda described the industry as facing uncertainty, with treacherous market conditions, and sleepless nights, the likes of which many had never experienced before.   She told the audience that we need wisdom from government as well as business leaders, to navigate these treacherous waters.   "As an industry, we are at a cross roads," Herda said, "we face new challenges, and a long road lies ahead of us."   She got a good response from the assembled group when she likened the past decade to a popular reality television show. "The past eight years has been Survivor FCC, but with no immunity on the island," she said.   Herda called on government regulators to treat everyone fairly. "There cannot be one set of rules for only the most powerful and a different set of rules for everyone else," she said.   "We can continue down the same paths, permitting consolidation and deregulation to limit competition and forestall innovation," Herda said, "or we can unleash the power of competition for the good of the entire U.S. economy"   "We must enable the enterprise with technological solutions that will propel and accelerate growth," she said.   In the end it's about the customer.

Infonetics: Carrier VoIP Market Down

March 3, 2009

Infonetics Research has released the Q4 2008 edition of its Service Provider VoIP Equipment and Subscribers report.   And the news is not good.   According to Infonetics' Diane Myers, Directing Analyst, Service Provider VoIP and IMS: "The fourth quarter of 2008 confirmed what we started seeing in the previous two quarters in North America, with signs in Western Europe and some parts of Asia as well: the market for carrier VoIP equipment has stalled due to large deployments nearing completion and shifting strategic priorities. The global economic downturn will likely exacerbate the drop in VoIP equipment sales."   According to the report, the streak of double-digit annual revenue growth, which has characterized the worldwide carrier VoIP equipment market since 2002, has come to a close.   In fact, the market declined for the first time ever in 2008, dropping 6%.   According to Infonetics, large RBOCs and ILECs are putting the brakes on VoIP as major projects are (or have been) completed. Furthermore, the economic downturn is forcing operators to move their capital expenditures to other strategic priorities.   There were some bright spots in the report. On the plus side, the Infonetics research bears out the following:   ·         The number of residential and SOHO VoIP subscribers worldwide increased at a steady clip, topping 107 million in 2008, driven mostly by EMEA and Asia Pacific; ·         Nortel increased softswitch and trunk media gateway revenue, gaining share in both categories; ·         Sonus increased its trunk media gateway revenue 45% in 4Q08 from 3Q08.

VocalTec Announces Customer Wins

February 24, 2009

For those who have been around the VoIP industry for some time, the name VocalTec is synonymous with the industry's earliest days. VocalTec is a true VoIP pioneer and many even credit them for creating the first commercial products that put VoIP on the map. As with anything, origins are often debatable, but there is no denying that the company played a pivotal role in the first days of this industry.   Having gone through its own financial troubles, amid regional and more broad economic downturns through the years, in addition to the evolution from H.323 to SIP, VocalTec saw its star dim and went through a period of restructuring, but is slowly and steadily making its way back into the limelight of the IP communications space.   Just today the company announced that VMB, a carrier in St. Petersburg, Russia, has selected VocalTec solutions for its VoIP network rollout.   And, last week, VocalTec announced that Amatole Telecoms, a South African USAL (Under-Serviced Area License) service provider, had selected VocalTec's Essentra VoIP solutions in a VoIP deployment over Amatole Telecoms' WiMAX carrier-grade, converged IP network. 
  According to the announcement, VocalTec's Essentra solution will support Amatole Telecoms' requirement to provide customers with innovative residential and enterprise services, over a next-generation network architecture, enabling the provision of subscriber services at reduced cost, while enhancing service flexibility as well as the rapid deployment of value-adding services and applications.   It's good to see the name of a one-time high-flier back in the news, announcing customer wins no less.   The company will be releasing its fourth quarter and full year 2008 results on Monday, March 2, 2009 at 10:00am ET. Mr. Ido Gur, the President & CEO of VocalTec will lead the call, and management will review and discuss the results, and will be available to answer questions.   Details, including dial-in information of the call can be found here.   Looking back to VocalTec's last reported numbers, for the third quarter (2008) we see that revenues for were $1.4 million.

Dittberner Data Shows Increase in Router Revenue

February 18, 2009

According to DITTBERNER's "Service Provider Switch and Router Market Analysis", overall carrier grade market router revenue posted a 21% annual increase for 2008, surpassing $11 B.

The top five router vendors in order were: Cisco, Juniper, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson.   Here's what the report authors had to say:   Even with the expectation of a decline in fixed line broadband access shipments this year, Dittberner had originally expected a 30% increase in router revenue for 2008. This was because flat growth in new broadband subscribers would be offset by an increase in bandwidth per user due to the growth in video traffic. Router revenue came in at $11.3 B, a 21% annual increase, which was less than the forecast, but a healthy increase none-the-less.   Dittberner expects 10% revenue growth for CY 2009, based on forecasts of higher fixed broadband port shipments than in 2008, and a definite increase in bandwidth per user.

Paving the Way for Voice over LTE

February 12, 2009

Great. Another acronym.   I guess in the world of tech that we inhabit, that's to be expected.   This one's not so bad provided it's pronounced volt and not volt-EE.   What am I talking about? I'll tell you.   Nokia Siemens Networks has reportedly come up with an approach for providing voice service over LTE networks that:   ...operators can implement with simple and cost-effective software and hardware upgrades* to their existing 3GPP circuit-switch core network. The "Fast Track VoLTE" approach provides a cost-efficient way to offer voice over LTE (VoLTE) in any mobile network architecture.   Note the asterisk.

Juniper, Nokia Siemens Networks in Carrier Ethernet Deal

February 12, 2009

The Carrier Ethernet space got a bit more competitive today with the announcement from Juniper Networks and Nokia Siemens Networks that they are teaming up to offer their carrier customers an end-to end Carrier Ethernet solution designed to "provide resilient access and aggregation for service providers worldwide." According to both parties, the joint effort will "bring the vision of a unified Carrier Ethernet solution supporting all services on a single network."  
The solution comprises Juniper's MX-series Ethernet Services Router, NSN's A-series Carrier Ethernet Switch and the ASPEN "single click" network management system. The companies hope to enable service providers to enhance their mobile backhaul, enterprise and residential services.   Juniper and NSN say the solution will be available in the second half of 2009.   Earlier this week, Alcatel-Lucent announced their own Carrier Ethernet solution in response to continued growing demand from the enterprise for more (and more affordable) bandwidth for richer services and applications over Carrier Ethernet, together with high levels of quality of service.   According to John Mazur, Ovum Principal Analyst for Switching and Routing:   The adoption of carrier Ethernet is accelerating, especially for mobile backhaul and enterprise access applications. Still, network and element management across systems manufactured by different vendors is a major concern for network operators.

Fanfare at ITEXPO

February 3, 2009

I had a pleasant meeting with Fanfare's vice president of marketing David Gehringer, who was in Miami this week topresent a session at ITEXPO.


An avid TMCnet blogger, Gehringer told me that his firm has been able to weather the ongoing macroeconomic storm by realizing a big swing in sales towards service providers. The company has traditionally been selling to network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) but has done very well as they have expanded their customer base to include carriers, picking up 6-7 new customers  in Q4 of last year.


They're still rolling out to NEMs, Gehringer said, but the trend is that more service providers and the size of the deployments at these carriers is growing.

The Bell Has NOT Rung on WiMAX

January 30, 2009

So there's been quite a bit of buzz this past few weeks about the potential demise of WiMAX.   First Nokia stopped production of their WiMAX device, then there was some news about Intel writing off their entire investment in the venture with Clearwire... It was covered all over TMCnet, but Rich summed it up nicely in his post: The Trillion Dollar Question - Is WiMAX Dying?   Now, LTE has its proponents and WiMAX has its detractors, but Carl Ford, writing on the 4GWE blog points out the following:   While many want me to point to LTE as the clear winner, I don't think this would be a sign of WiMAX's apocalypse. I instead see this as a prudent move on Nortel's part to emphasize the pieces of the solutions they own. Partnerships in Telecom are pretty easily forced by the carriers, and the real story is that no carrier is forcing Nortel to support WiMAX.   This maybe proof that WiMAX is in trouble, but it's more likely proof that the legacy Nortel customers are not looking for Nortel to go into new areas with them.   So I asked Scenna Tabesh, director of marketing communications for the WiMAX Forum, for some insight into the Nortel situation as well as the future co-existence of the two 4G approaches, LTE and WiMAX.
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