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March 2005

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M5 on Hosting

March 31, 2005

I recently blogged about the hosting market growing slowly. At least that is what IDC is says in a recent report. I decided to get the perspective of M5 Networks a successful company in the hosting business. I asked Dan Hoffman, the CEO for his take on the article.

Juniper Buys Kagoor

March 31, 2005

You may have heard about the Juniper and Kagoor acquisition (article) already but I have the inside scoop on the whys and hows and the future of Juniper now that Kagoor is part of the company. Juniper touts its mission as assuring and securing all traffic over an IP network and its customers, the large service providers are increasingly seeing the need for voice to be among the more important applications they need on their networks.

This led naturally to Juniper needing a session border controller product in its arsenal to allow them to supply the needs of their customers more effectively. In addition, Juniper’s VP of Marketing, Christine Heckart tells me that there are over 100 shared customers between the companies and Juniper wanted access to the company’s talent pool and development base in Israel.

I brought up the rumors I had heard of Juniper looking at other companies in the space such as Jasomi and Christine shared with me that Juniper generally does an analysis of all companies in a space before acquiring one. In the end they want to purchase best in class technology and Kagoor had the best technology hands down.



Nortel VoIP Contract

March 31, 2005

According to Federal Computer Week, Nortel just won a $20 million dollar contract to supply VoIP equipment to the Defense Information Systems Agency.

The contract, announced March 29, will also allow DISA officials to migrate voice traffic from a network managed by MCI to a private network under total Defense Department control, a DISA spokesperson said. Pentagon officials expect the new switches to save money by allowing DISA to use the Defense Department's Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion network to replace leased services.

Voice over IP "that meets military requirements has a clear, positive future as a result of this acquisition," the DISA spokesperson said.

Nortel officials will upgrade six of their SL 100 switches at Air Force bases nationwide to handle IP traffic, including IP trunking, management of PBX systems and voice-over-IP traffic, said Chuck Saffell, president of the company's federal solutions division.

Handling voice calls as IP traffic via DOD's high-capacity fiber-optic network should reduce DISA's costs, said Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting. DISA's move toward voice over IP represents "a major technology milestone" for the agency, further cementing voice over IP as the preferred technology for voice traffic in government and industry, Suss said.

That the government is heavily deploying VoIP is no surprise to me. They have been exploring VoIp for quite some time now.









MSN Video Downloads

March 31, 2005

If you are Microsoft and you see what Apple has going on with the iTunes – some estimates say this service will generate billions in the next few years – you too will look for your cash cow. What if Microsoft were to one up Apple and come up with a video download service? But forget the per clip pricing you might expect from Apple… Microsoft has already taken that opportunity away by pricing its service a flat $19.95/year.

The MSN Video Downloads service draws on content from Microsoft partners such as CinemaNow, MSNBC.com, and TiVo, allowing subscribers to watch video on their smart phones, Pocket PCs, and Portable Media Centers reports PC Pro

Since the launch of the Microsoft Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Center last fall, more than 20 new content partners, including CinemaNow Inc., MLB.com, MSNBC.com, MSN Music, MTV Networks Music, Napster Inc., SnapStream Media Inc. and TiVo Inc., have agreed to make video available online specifically formatted for Windows Mobile-based multimedia devices.

The service requires Windows XP and Internet Explorer 5 or higher on the user's PC and Windows Media Player 10 and up. Users simply log onto the MSN download site, using a traditional laptop or desktop computer.





GoDaddy E-Mail

March 30, 2005

I just received this e-mail and thought it worth sharing.

 

Dear Valued Go Daddy Customer,

Today I have the unfortunate responsibility of informing you that there has been a decision made by bureaucrats of a Federal agency that takes away your right to privacy as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

This decision was unilaterally made by the National Telecommunications and Information Association ("NTIA") www.ntia.doc.gov without hearings that would determine the impact on those affected, and delivered without notice — in short, the NTIA decision was made without due process of any kind. This is exactly how our government is not supposed to work.

The effect of this decision is to disallow new private domain name registrations on .US domain names.





Not So Dumb Terminal

March 30, 2005

The cyclical nature of the computer market is intriguing. When I first got my engineering degree from UCONN, the computer than most of the school was an IBM system 360-370 and we had to program on an OS called MVS and use dumb terminals. My memories are a bit cloudy – similar to how some repress pain or anguish. As I write this article I get that feeling you get when you have that dream – you know the one, where you are running to get to a final but haven’t been to class all semester so you don’t know where it is.

The only thing worse than how you feel when you wake up from such a dream is using an IBM mainframe in batch processing mode.

Grokster vs. RIAA

March 30, 2005

Here is a good story on the ramifications of the Grokster, Kazaa and RIAA case. The issue at hand is if you sue inventors that produce products that can be used for illegal purposes, who will innovate? After all, the Xerox machine and iPOD can be used to break laws as well -- does that mean these products should be outlawed or Steve Jobs should be thrown in jail when an iPOD is used to steal a song?

Here is an excerpt:

"Copyright infringement is the only commercially significant use of file sharing," said Donald B. Verrilli Jr. an attorney for the entertainment industry. Acting Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, representing the government, said Grokster and its brethren were being allowed to "build a business model out of infringement."

Richard G. Taranto, arguing for the file-sharing companies, responded that the technology is used extensively for legal swapping of files and that the firms have no way of knowing when their users use the software illegally.

The entertainment industry wants the Sony precedent to allow for liability when the primary use of the product or service is illegal, or when the provider refuses to take steps to try to stem potential piracy.
But those notions provoked skepticism and sharp questioning from several justices, who wondered how inventors could know whether many people might use their products for illicit purposes.
"How do we know in advance on your test" whether the inventor is safe to go forward?









Juniper Buys Kagoor

March 30, 2005

Juniper just picked up session border controller company Kagoor Networks. In brief talks with company representatives I learned the two companies have similar customers and partners and don’t compete so the synergy was natural. There are many session border controllers on the market and one wonders if this move will lead to more consolidation or bring new competitors into the market.

Will competing with Juniper make it more difficult or less to be in the session border controller space? I hear that virtually all other companies selling SBCs are doing well so the market seems to have lots of life left in it.

WSJ on VoIP

March 30, 2005

There is an interesting VoIP article in the Wall Street Journal today that discusses the increased competition in the market and how the players may be able to find areas where they can specialize in. James Tobin the vp and general manager of advanced voice services at AOL sees VoIP as a reason for customers to move to broadband. This is something Niklas Zennström, Skype CEO and co-founder said to me in a recent interview as well.

The article then mentions that the battle will boil down to the relationships the existing phone companies have with customers today versus the ability of cable companies to bundle their services into integrated packages.

The article ends on the note I mentioned above and that is that VoIP providers will have to learn to differentiate themselves.

"The market is still so new, we'll be able to coexist," Mr. Tobin said. "Time Warner has 500 magazines but you wouldn't say that they're competing with each other; it also has two movie studios but they do different things."



I agree with this article wholeheartedly.





Telecommuting Tax

March 30, 2005

A pretty important case was just decided on in New York according to the Wall Street Journal. The New York Court of Appeals said computer programmer Thomas Huckaby, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., owed New York income tax for his full salary, not just the time he spent working at his employer's New York offices.

Mr. Huckaby, whose home state doesn't have an income tax, paid New York state tax on about 25% of his income over two years for the time he spent working there for the National Organization of Industrial Trade Unions.

Mr. Huckaby's attorney, Peter Faber, said the case is one of the first of its kind involving the income-tax liability of a telecommuter. He said he may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court because most states base income-tax liability on the residence of the taxpayer.

Marc Violette, spokesman for state Assistant Solicitor General Julie Mereson, said, "New York provides the job, New York provides the professional opportunity, and New York should be able to tax that income, even if the employee for his own convenience was working outside of New York state."

This case has dramatic implications for telecommuters everywhere and could potentially reduce the talent pool that companies in big cities have access to.







Alpha Telecom

March 29, 2005

Alpha-Telecom promises to get your company to VoIP without the forklift. Whether you are on Centrex or a Nortel or Avaya PBX, you can minimize you initial costs. The company’s Arion series of VoIP gateways migrate an enterprise's legacy telephones into the service provider's system, enabling the carrier to offer Centrex features over its IP backbone and to seamlessly provision, configure and manage VoIP service without user intervention; the service provider merely ships the Arion units to the customer for plug-and-play attachment to individual phones by the enterprise's IT department or by the users themselves. Your IT department can also deploy an Alpha Telecom element management system (EMS) for provisioning, mass configuration, troubleshooting and mass upgrades.

Tom Keating on Vonage

March 29, 2005

Tom’s Vonage blog is sure to jog your memory of that catchy Vonage jingle. While you listen you can learn about Vonage’s use of a direct mail newsletter to drive customer affinity and sell more product. If for no other reason than to wake service providers up, I am glad Jeff Citron is at the head of this company. What was the most interesting marketing ILECS have done?

Carol Mattey Joins Deloitte

March 29, 2005

Deloitte & Touche today named Carol Mattey a director in regulatory consulting practice for technology, media & telecommunications industry. This is the second Deloitte blog entry today

Ms. Mattey will provide a comprehensive range of consulting and regulatory compliance services to clients in Deloitte’s TMT practice, helping them to anticipate and address strategic and operational risks in the regulatory arena.

Prior to joining Deloitte & Touche, Ms. Mattey was the deputy chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau. She previously served as chief of the FCC’s Policy and Program Planning Division, Common Carrier Bureau. Prior to her 10 years with the FCC, she was with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration within the U.S.



AudioCodes Announcements

March 29, 2005

AudioCodes is announcing lots of new products including the Mediant 1000 VoIP Media Gateway which will fit in enterprise and service provider markets quite nicely. Think of this as the Bud Light (meant respectfully of course) of media gateway as it is cost-effective and compact. Having only seen the product briefly I am not in a position to opine on whether it tastes great or is less filling but it does take less rack space which is a plus in many of today’s enterprises.

The IP-PX companies really like this product because it allows them to add a Pentium CPU blade making an IP-PBX and Gateway combo. Resellers like the product as well because the can plug in a T1 or analog tray.

MCI Chooses Verizon

March 29, 2005

Xirrus Launch

March 29, 2005

With WiFi Growing so quickly, it was inevitable that companies would start to focus on the needs of the larger WiFi installations. A new company called Xirrus just launched their company and products in the high-density WiFi market.

Their WLAN array integrates a WLAN switch and 16 access points into a single device delivering gigabit class performance at an aggressive price point.

Here are some interesting features of this solution:

  • The Array Controller featuring a 2 Gbps switching fabric, controlling the packet flows of the Integrated Access Points and providing complete spectrum management;
  • A high-gain directionalized antenna system delivering increased rate and range in all directions;
  • Tri-mode 802.11 a/b/g support for existing and emerging mobile devices.

·         16x Greater Capacity: The WLAN Array introduces the industry’s first Gigabit-class Wi-Fi capacity, delivering up to 864 megabits of RF bandwidth to over 1000 clients;

·         4x Greater Coverage: The WLAN Array features a high gain multi-sector antenna system that increases rate and range in all directions yielding four times the coverage area of competing architectures;

  • 33% Lower Cost: Using less equipment to support more users, traffic and advanced applications than current architectures, the WLAN Array simplifies network design and lowers the costs of deploying and maintaining Wireless LANs. 

Xirrus offers a complete family of WLAN Arrays in 16 (XS-3900), 8 (XS-3700) and 4 (XS-3500) Integrated Access Point configurations to maximize deployment options.

Qwest, MCI, and Verizon

March 29, 2005

SPIRIT Supports Java

March 29, 2005

Voice Engine for Multi-Point IP Conferencing now Runs on Java

Spirit claims that the voice quality will not be affected, even if dozens of users participate in a conference.

Features:

  • Any user can join an IP conference from any remote location with limited network access, i.e. Internet cafe or other public Internet access point with download restrictions.
  • Any user can connect to voice mail or another voice stream server (including RTSP and other media broadcast servers) from a remote location with limited network access. All features are accessible from the Web and provide maximum Web privacy.
  • To join a conference user simply clicks on the conference URL in the invitation e-mail (if any) or just types it in the browser address toolbar.

Domestic Travel gets Worse

March 29, 2005

More VoIP Domains

March 29, 2005

Another big day for VoIP domain names. I like samsvoip.com but I don’t think this is going to be a Sam’s Club VoIP offering. uwbvoip.com is interesting as well.

 

 

MultiService Market Rebounds

March 29, 2005

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 29, 2005 - The MultiService switch market rebounded in 2004 with worldwide sales of $2.3 billion, an increase of 9% from 2003, reports In-Stat (http://www.in-stat.com). Sales to service providers accounted for about 90% of total MultiService switch sales in 2004.

"2004 was a turnaround year as service providers began spending to replenish capacity in their networks, add capacity for broadband aggregation, and offer new services, such as MPLS IP VPN and Ethernet services," says Henry Goldberg, In-Stat analyst. "Wireless service providers were a growing, important market for MultiService switch vendors, as they purchased this equipment for Radio Access Network backhaul and other applications."

A recent report by In-Stat found the following:



  • In-Stat forecasts 7% growth in worldwide MultiService switch sales in 2005, and a CAGR of about 6% over the next five years.
  • The MultiService switch market is mature, and In-Stat expects growth rates in sales to gradually decline over time as the products face stiff competition from routers as service providers evolve to MPLS networks.
  • Nortel held the leading position in sales for the fourth consecutive year, attaining a market share of 34% of total MultiService switch sales.

Tech CEOs Hiring

March 29, 2005

95 percent of tech CEOs are planning to grow their workforce, according to Deloitte’s 2005 CEO Survey of the fastest growing technology companies in North America. The tech CEOs surveyed are focusing on internal strategies to grow their companies and are shrugging off economic and terrorism worries.

Key Findings of the Survey:

  • Ninety-five percent of the CEOs plan to grow their workforce, almost two-thirds by 25 percent or more
  • Nearly three-quarters of the CEOs are extremely or very confident about their companies’ future growth
  • Economic concerns are only an issue for 2 percent of the CEOs this year, down significantly from 16 percent last year
  • The necessity of a strong business strategy ranked higher in importance this year; having exceptional or unique products ranked lower
  • Twice as many CEOs as last year are concerned about competitive pressure on pricing and more are concerned with building strategic relationships

China Phishing Skyrockets

March 29, 2005

ActionTec and Skype

March 28, 2005

I was at the water cooler today – sounds like such a cliché, and Tom Keating asked me if I read his ActionTec Skype review. I explained to Tom that I am struggling to catch up with e-mail from just today. Tom laughed and nodded as if he understood.

I felt a bit guilty. Tom is an awesome reviewer and wouldn’t tell me to see his review unless it was important.

Food For Thought

March 28, 2005

Customers Get Revenge on Call Centers

March 28, 2005

Dial-Up Declines

March 28, 2005

BellSouth Awarded Favorable DSL Decision

March 28, 2005

Marc Cuban Vs. RIAA

March 28, 2005

A very unlikely champion of p2p networks may be the most important friend the young industry has. In a  recent blog entry, Cuban outlines some of the businesses he owns and why he feels the recording industry could seriously cripple innovation if they win the MGM Vs. Grokster case. Here is an excerpt from Cuban’s blog:

We are a digital company that is platform agnostic. Bits are bits.

Hosting Grows Slowly

March 28, 2005

Personalized Menus?

March 28, 2005

It is important to choose words carefully. This is especially true when you are Microsoft and hundreds of millions of people use your software everyday. I have had a minor dilemma for months. I keep getting shortened menus when I click on Start and the Programs.

Google Advertising at a Crossroads?

March 28, 2005

Is Google really in trouble? According to an article in the International Herald Tribune, Google is losing some high profile trademark cases around the world based on its system, of selling advertising based on keyword. Google has been sued unsuccessfully in the US before and by some huge names. Playboy, AXA and American Blind & Wallpaper Factory have all tried to stop Google from selling ads based on their keywords.

In the US the Google argument goes something like this.

Quintum Enables Vonexus

March 28, 2005

Vonexus (Vonexus News) is working with Quintum (Quintum News) to enable the Vonexus IP PBX known as the Enterprise Interaction Center to work with the Quintum SIP Tenor MultiPath switches. The switch in this case acts a gateway between the world of IP and the PSTN.

There are two important items worth discussing relating to the Vonexus and Quintum release. Vonexus is pushing ahead rapidly with announcements and they seem to be building momentum. The second item is Quintum’s unbelievable ability to partner with a wide range of companies.

CommPartners

March 27, 2005

Lots of companies are getting into VoIP by piggybacking on networks from Volo or Level 3. Few companies are actually building out nationwide networks but I ran into some people that are. CommPartners (CommPartners News) has filed for CLEC certification in 50 states and hopes to be done by summer. They will sell their network and applications as a wholesaler.

They are able to handle calls from IP to IP, IP to TDM or just TDM to TDM.

Emergent Network Solutions

March 27, 2005

A complaint I get often from VoIP providers is that the complexity of deploying VoIP is more than meets the eye. Getting disparate equipment to work together seamlessly is a challenge. Sure there are bakeoffs and other ways to get companies to work together but when you get into network deployment mode it gets complex and expensive to get all sorts of equipment to work together in one seamless package.

Before I can tell you what the company does in detail I need to define the 3 acronyms necessary to help understand what they do.

E-REV: ENTICE Residential/Enterprise VoIP
ELICIT: Emergent Local Integrated Carrier Internet Telephony
ENTICE: Emergent Network Telecommunication Infrastructure Control Environment

A quick note, the products have to be simpler than the acronyms.

OK, where was I? Oh Yes, the company execs I met with seem like good people and aside from the acronym soup above, I think they are on to something here.









Brooktrout and IBM

March 27, 2005

If there is one thing that's important in VoIP deployment these days it's scalability. Now that VoIP is being deployed, I keep hearing huge customer number projections. Cable companies and Vonage are all in the hundreds of thousands of VoIP users already and AOL has the potential to be in the millions. These are staggering numbers and require a new breed of product to deal with massive roll out numbers that are potential in the world of VoIP.

I recently met with Brooktrout and IBM to discuss how Brooktrout's SnowShore division is working wit IBM to make shore they can sell a solution to allow service providers to scale quickly, inexpensively and reliably.

SnowShore's IP Media Server is in release 1.3 and comes prepackaged on IBM's BladeCenter.



For the Love of Patents

March 27, 2005

Either you love patents or you hate them. InformationWeek had a comprehensive story on patents in the March 21, 2005 edition. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake or have already been paid at companies like Ebay, Microsoft, RIM and Symbol. Microsoft, one of the companies who files a tremendous number of new patents a year is asking for reform.

"It's too easy for a litigant to manipulate the U.S.

ZigBee Creates Buzz

March 26, 2005

Zigbee (Zigbee news) is a technology you should keep an eye on as it fills a nice niche of low cost and low powered networking. ZigBee gets its name from the zig-zag pattern of a bumble bee that it emulates when transmitting data over its mesh network. Thankfully they didn't decide to call it IEEE 802.15.4, the existing radio standard it relies upon.

ZigBee has some advantages over bluetooth and WiFi as it is less complex and uses less power. It is perfectly suited for applications such as monitoring and control of things like temperature sensors in buildings.

VoIP Domain Names

March 26, 2005

Here are the latest VoIP URLs. This is just a single day's activity. There are more than usual on the list. A few of these are pretty interesting such as 800gotvoip.com, getvoipedonline.com, voip-911.biz, and voip-blogs.com.



028voip.com

800gotvoip.com

800gotvoip.net

auvergne-voip.com

championvoip.info

citywidevoip.com

companiesvoip.com

dutchvoipexchange.com

freevoip.biz

freevoipmobile.com

freevoipmobilephone.com

getavoip.com

getvoipedonline.com

getvoipservice.com

globalvoipinc.com

harmonyvoip.biz

internetvoipphone.com

intlvoipsvcs.com

kcvoip.com

modernvoip.com

packetvoip.com

preferredvoip.com

qi-voip.com

qi-voip.net

torrentvoip.com

ukvoip.org

uuvoip.net

voip-911.biz

voip-blogs.com

voip-internet-phone-service.com

voip121.com

voipassessment.net

voipconnecter.com

voipconnector.com

voipdcarea.com

voipfonet.com

voipheadphone.com

voipip.net

voiptime.net

voiptorrent.com

voipwifiphone.com

worldvoipinc.com

ezivoip.com

pilotvoip.com

seevoip.com

voipprice.com

voipprovider.net

 

 

Bloggers Lose Out

March 26, 2005

A wonderfully put together editorial graces the pages of BusinessWeek on March 28, 2005. The title of the story is The Apple Case Isn't just A Blow To Bloggers (paid article) and it details the Apple Vs. PowerPage.com case where bloggers were ruled to no be journalists -- their confidential sources were proclaimed not to be confidential when a court ordered an ISP to turn over e-mail records.

The story discusses the needs for courts to balance the rights of bloggers with the needs of the judicial system to have access to information. The potential of 50 million bloggers claiming journalistic privilege is a scary notion for obvious reasons.

I believe courts will have to eventually recognize bloggers as journalists. We break news, provide perspective and perform all the functions of traditional journalists.



VoIP 911: Same as Cell Phone?

March 25, 2005

XTEN Dynamo

March 25, 2005

Xten Networks wowed me recently by striking some impressive partnerships. The first was with GN Netcom, allowing you to purchase a headset, soft client VoIP bundle with a neat hardware gizmo that is quite useful.

At the opposite end of the spectrum they work with Belkin enabling them to roll out a tremendous VoIP offering from retail to wholesale with integrated DSL modem devices, WiFi access points, etc.

They have positioned themselves as an ideal "go to" partner to get you into the VoIP space in a hurry. This must account for Xten's amazing growth. I recently gave a keynote speech in Dallas at an Interactive Intelligence/Vonexus seminar and when I mentioned soft clients with PBX functionality to the audience, someone in the front row held up an IPAQ with a telephone pad on the screen.



Octasic News

March 25, 2005

It is funny when I get asked by people why the VoIP market is growing so fast. I often have to stop and think about just how broad the VoIP space is. You literally have products for the military, education, salesforce automation/mobility, softswitches, session border controllers, etc. The list is literally endless.

Intoto Happenings

March 25, 2005

I recently learned that Intoto is working on some reference designs with AT&T that are pretty intriguing. In case you aren't familiar with Intoto, they are an ODM or original design manufacturer supplying OEMs and service providers with designs. From a time to market standpoint Intoto allows you to get your products out more quickly than if you wanted to deal with software stacks and other building blocks yourself.

The company is in the VoIP and wireless spaces and they are specialists in security.

Intoto is intriguing to me because they are working with AT&T on a business class VoIP device. The device includes provisioning technology based on a protocol named TLS or transport layer security.



Clearwire Blocks VoIP

March 25, 2005

In what has to be an April Fool's joke only a week early ClearWire, a wireless broadband service provider is telling its customers it has the right to block a bunch of their different bandwidth hungry apps. Sure enough, VoIP is among the top of the list.

Of course in case you think there is something fishy going on here, you are most likely right as just a few weeks ago ClearWire announced a VoIP Alliance with Bell Canada.

More interesting is the fact that the company plans on offering it own VoIP service in the near future as well. In my opinion consumers should run screaming from any service provider that wants to help us determine what applications are appropriate to run on a service we are paying for. See the story here.



Vibrant Media

March 25, 2005

You may have noticed a proliferation of underlined terms on websites around the web. I am referring to the double-underlined words that pop up ads when you mouse over them. These ads are called intelliTXT and supplied by a company called Vibrant Media. Perhaps others supply them as well but this company seems to be the only one supplying the ads to the sites I have visited.

ATCA Products

March 24, 2005

In my recent blog, AdvancedTCA Growing Quickly I talked about how Instat mentioned the OSC market and more specifically the ATCA market is advancing nicely. This post was based on some research by Instat. I had a chance to ask Eric M. Mantion, Senior Analyst at Instat about the OSC and ATCA market in particular. Here are his comments:

Why do you see AdvancedTCA gaining share over other standards?

The MVNO

March 24, 2005

The following is an except from an Instat newsletter I received today. I thought it worth of sharing.

CTIA's Number One Jeopardy Category: Ends in "O"

"Alex, what is an MVNO?"
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) seem to have caught the attention of CTIA goers (only five years late the way I figure it). The most astonishing sight was the impeccably dressed Sean "P. Diddy" Combs as he addressed the Monday morning keynote audience.

Yahoo E-Mail Compared

March 24, 2005

It was only a matter of time. Google’s Gmail let the genie out of the bottle and there is no way to compete in the free e-mail game unless you give a gigabyte of storage. According to Reuters, Yahoo! now matches Google’s Gmail and gives the same amount of e-mail storage away for free. What is most impressive to me about this announcement is that it took so long to do.

Was Yahoo!

Intrado, TCI and 911

March 24, 2005

Here is a great overview of what is happening in the world of VoIP and 911: Intrado and TCI to Address 911. I have written about how 911 over VoIP will eventually be much better that 911 over the PSTN. This article echoes my sentiments.

The problem is that Texas and perhaps other states are pushing for VoIP to be as good as the PSTN’s 911 service, today! This isn’t reality.

Some people will tell you that the incumbents haven’t made it easy for VoIP providers to have access to PSAPs and thus allowing their VoIP service to be on par with the PSTN.



Symbian and ActiveSync

March 23, 2005

Symbian will license the Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol for in Symbian OSTM. Symbian OS licensees worldwide can enable a range of mobile email solutions and other personal information management data using the ActiveSync "plug-in" supported by Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.

Why is this important? This is a crucial step in the right direction for the mobile market. Microsoft has the lion’s share of the e-mail market and with the ability to allow the entire Symbian family of products to seamlessly interoperate with Exchange Server, the question becomes why will Blackberries be needed?

This is an oversimplification of the market.



Small Business VoIP

March 23, 2005

Here is a great article titled IP Telephony for Small Business: When Failure Is Not an Option

The article is a good read because it points out questions worth asking such as:

  • What are the business goals of considering an IP telephony system – improved services, decreased costs, integrated network, for example?
  • What services will employees need today and in the future?
  • What type of training will be necessary to ensure employees use the system as effectively as possible?
  • Can the existing data network handle the increased bandwidth that are required from an IP telephony system?

Furthermore it discusses some of the approaches you can take.

  • Hybrid – An IP card is attached to an existing PBX and the user receives a IP phone. This approach allows the user to get phone calls over an IP phone, but not the other services available through IP telephony.

The Perception of Qwest

March 23, 2005

Aside from a grammar issue, I found this release titled The Perception of Qwest, discussing Qwest’s business model to be a good overview of why the carrier is forced to put together this huge deal with MCI.

Here is a key paragraph:

Qwest realizes they have to do something if they want to continue to grow. Their legacy markets are under attack on many fronts and they strategically are not positioned in the fast growing wireless sector. “Doing nothing” relegates them to managing a shrinking business and that is not why a man of Notebart’s stature took the CEO role.



Texas Sues Vonage

March 23, 2005

In December of 2004 I wrote the following about VoIP 2.0:



VoIP E911


I have said it before and I will say it again if we don’t get our act together soon as an industry we will have some serious headaches to contend with. The positive press friendly to VoIP that we witnessed for a year will vanish the moment someone is injured or worse because there is a problem with VoIP and E911 connectivity.

The current state of 911 over today’s VoIP providers is not good. The incumbents aren’t as much of an issue as the newer carriers who transfer 911 calls to lower priority administrative lines in PSAPs. E911 over VoIP can be much better than PSTN 911. We need to come together as an industry and discuss the challenges and standards issues and make sure that e911 over VoIP becomes a reason to adopt and not a reason to pass on VoIP.

I consider this a stumbling block that needs addressing on our way to achieving VoIP 2.0.




MCI Mulls Qwest Bid

March 23, 2005

According to the WSJ, the MCI board is meeting to weigh the Qwest bid. MCI said last week that it would respond to Qwest's latest bid by March 28, though a decision also could be announced this week, according to people close to the situation. Qwest's bid is $5.25 a share higher than the accepted offer from Verizon. The size of that spread makes it difficult for MCI to justify staying with the current Verizon offer, some investors and lawyers say.

MCI still eventually could go with a deal from Verizon, even with a deal that is nominally lower than Qwest's, since it would be seen as a less-risky deal.

VoIP Increases $6/Month

March 23, 2005

Cybertelecom.org

March 23, 2005

Hilary Clinton Wins Race

March 23, 2005

I bet I got you there for a second. No, not the presidential race. In this case the race was for her own name. Well sort of anyway. Her name online or HillaryClinton.com as it were.

Ruling in Senator Clinton's favor, National Arbitration Forum arbitrator Tyrus R. Atkinson, Jr. found that the other party, Michele Dinoia, registered the hillaryclinton.com domain name on October 22, 2001, and was using the disputed domain name to direct Internet users to a Web site that displays a generic search engine, links to commercial Web sites, and exposes users to pop-up ads and pay-per-click search results.

AdvancedTCA Growing Quickly

March 23, 2005

AdvancedTCA will make its mark in the steadily growing Open Standards Chassis (OSC) market over the next several years, according to In-Stat. The AdvancedTCA portion of the OSC market will grow steadily from $221 million in 2004 to multiple billions of dollars in 2009, the high-tech market research firm forecasts. There are several drivers pushing along the AdvancedTCA and overall OSC markets. A recent driver is telecommunications providers that are attracted to OSCs in networking equipment because of potential cost savings.

"When you look at which types of companies are advocating standardized chassis, you find that they are mostly either chipmakers or Network Equipment Providers (NEPs)," says Eric Mantion, In-Stat analyst.

Mio 136 GPS

March 22, 2005

Mio just introduced the Mio 136 GPS navigation system. This device is not only a GPS device but is also a MP3 player. The device comes with a million points of interest, and categories of restaurants, gasoline stations, lodging, ATM's and banks, airports, and more. In categories, users can filter by name or type.

Vonage Sued in Texas

March 22, 2005

RCN Joins Voice Peering Fabric

March 22, 2005

CompTel on Level 3

March 22, 2005

I had a chance to speak with CompTel/ALTS to get their comments on the Level 3 decision to withdraw forbearance petition. As you recall, the petition sought FCC clarification on the regulatory status of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).

According to Jonathan Lee, senior vice president, regulatory affairs CompTel/ALTS

"It is unfortunate for Level 3 and the entire community of VoIP service providers that the previous FCC leadership was unable to reach a consensus on this critical issue, despite having the full allotment of time allowed to consider the forbearance petition.

With the change of leadership at the FCC coming so close to the deadline for action on the petition, CompTel/ALTS believes Level 3 made a prudent decision to withdraw its petition at this time. With this decision, the new FCC will not be forced to rush to a hasty judgment and will have a fair opportunity to consider the various policy ramifications of the questions on which Level 3 seeks clarity.





Lingo Phone Problems?

March 22, 2005

Seems unusual that VoIP service wouldn’t work with certain phones but this is what I read in the VoIP forum today. The post is titled Lingo has problems with certain phones:

I found this the hard way, ordered the service only to find out that certain digital phones are not compatible with Lingo. I have a Motorola MD481 phone. They problems with certain Panasonic and Uniden phones.

Gryphon Tackles Do-Not-Call

March 22, 2005

Gryphon Networks, announced today its integrated management platform called the Integrated Compliance and Contact Management Platform (ICCMP). The platform is designed to help customers achieve regulatory compliance, increase sales productivity, improve marketing effectiveness and tap into new markets, thereby creating a competitive advantage. In this case the regulatory compliance has to do with the do-not-call list.

"The ability to maintain compliance and at the same time fully leverage marketing and sales investments to most productively implement direct sales campaigns has proven to be an enormous challenge for most companies in an increasingly restrictive and complex regulatory environment," said Keith Fotta, CEO and president of Gryphon Networks. "What we offer is a unique value proposition encompassing a fully integrated modular and network-delivered platform solution suite that achieves both objectives, while enabling companies to fully saturate existing markets and tap into new markets, thereby creating a distinct competitive advantage."

Gryphon Networks' platform solution eliminates compliance risk and enables companies to replenish lost qualified prospects with patented, automatic preference management technology.



IPCC Congratulates FCC's Kevin Martin

March 22, 2005

Veraz in Call Centers

March 22, 2005

Veraz announced it has a call center compression solution using VoIP. The solution is based on Veraz’s I-Gate 4000 family of media gateways that can compress at ratios up to 12 to 1 for voice, enabling major savings in bandwidth costs while maintaining high toll-quality voice expected by multi-national corporations. Moreover, internal redundancy features guarantees the continuation of voice calls, fax and modem traffic under any network or system failure offering with five-nines system availability demanded from carrier-grade systems. Finally, the in-band management of the multi-site I-Gate 4000 gateways from a centralized site allows for significant savings on operational costs.

Why this is important? Veraz is company that also focuses on service providers.

Vonage Blocked Again!

March 22, 2005

No details are being given but Vonage is being blocked again. I’ve mentioned this sort of problem as a major concern of mine in the past and I hope the FCC really gives it to service providers that play dirty. My bigger concern is service providers playing with packets just a bit. Not enough to block but to inherently affect the voice quality of Vonage, Skype and others.

Level 3 Withdraws Petition

March 22, 2005

Yesterday Level 3 withdrew its forbearance petition. As you may recall the petition was originally put forward as a way to ensure that Level 3 would not have to pay access charges for terminating certain types of VoIP traffic (read more on the Level 3 FCC Buzz Page).

Recently Kevin Martin (Kevin Martin buzz page) became head of the FCC and as such there seems to be a level of anxiety as  to what the response will be. According to Level 3’s CEO, Jim Crowe, "Level 3 has withdrawn the petition in deference to the Commission. Given the appointment of new leadership only three business days before the statutory deadline for ruling on the petition, we determined it was inappropriate to ask the agency to resolve this important issue in the timeframe required by law.

Moderating at NCTA

March 21, 2005

The NCTA or national Cable and Telecommunications Association was nice enough to invite me to moderate the following panel:

"VoIP Me! Marketing to the New Telephone Customer"
Monday, April 4 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Esplanade 305/307, Moscone South - San Francisco, California

SESSION DESCRIPTION:

It's part telephone, part Internet. It's a dash of the familiar punctuated with a bold take on the future. And it's among cable's most promising new businesses.







SBC to Chicago: Kill Rate Regs

March 21, 2005

Please read this article by clicking on the link. I posted much of it here because it is so good and to be honest, anyone in telecom needs to be aware of these issues. I have some contact info listed at the bottom in red if you are interested in having your voice heard on this matter.

SBC to state: Kill rate regs

Seeks to scrap phone price controls; sweetens offer with 3-year freeze





By Julie Johnsson
March 21, 2005

SBC Communications Inc. is pushing Springfield lawmakers to approve sweeping deregulation that would remove all price controls on local telephone service in Illinois.

A bill introduced by Sen. James Clayborne Jr., D-East St. Louis, would effectively gut the Illinois Commerce Commission's (ICC) oversight of the rates SBC offers customers and competitors. State regulators would still have the authority to penalize the Baby Bell for shortfalls in customer service, however.


To sweeten the deal, SBC proposes a three-year freeze on the price of basic phone service for consumers who purchase only a dial tone from the Baby Bell or minor add-ons, such as caller identification.





Self-Service For Cable

March 21, 2005

Self-Service For Cable

Here is some news on the back-end of VoIP or the service side. Conversagent, (www.conversagent.com) a provider of conversational customer service software, has launched "AskTWC" with Time Warner Cable. Combined with current client Comcast, this gives Conversagent the top two US cable company customer self-service solutions.

Some highlights include:



  • Customers ask questions in their own words and get immediate, direct answers, not pages of search results or answers to FAQ questions
  • Available to customers 24x7
  • Serve a virtually infinite number of customers at once

This online self-service option will become available over the coming months to cable, high-speed Internet and digital phone customers.

Volo i-911

March 21, 2005

Volo made a splash today with its new service which is part of its VoiceOne Information Services (VOIS) product. The service is called i-911 and it uses the National Emergency Number Association or NENA's XML standards, the i-911 service emulates the wireline 911 environment with the delivery of accurate location information and call back numbers.

A key feature of the i-911 service is that it can route emergency calls for the customer whose location is constant and the customer who often moves the location of his VoIP device. Customers can update their new location information in real time, so that their i-911 call will be delivered to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in the new location. Also, the i-911 service provides PSAPs the information they need to dispatch emergency services in the event that an emergency call is disconnected or the caller cannot speak.

Envision Launches Business Consulting Group

March 21, 2005

The Weakest Link

March 21, 2005

I woke up sick this morning and fought myself to get up for a few hours. I finally threw in the towel and hoped to sleep it off. Something has been going around for a few weeks my doctor informed me. While in his office he prescribed me medication over a PDA which beamed the info to my pharmacy.

Intel VoIP Happenings

March 20, 2005

Lots of interesting things are happening over at Intel. They have a really interesting array microphone that allows more life-like conferencing. Diamondware has integrated with the microphone technology and their 3-d and stereo conferencing solutions. They're doing their best to further interoperability standards in areas such as SIP where there are so many different proprietary extensions.

Telchemy and TI

March 20, 2005

SIPquest, Nortel and Presence

March 20, 2005

Apple Changes Industry

March 20, 2005

Among the countless industry's Apple has changed over the years from desktop publishing to graphic arts/design, music and video... There could be a new one on the horizon. The company is responsible for a beautification of rack mountable computers in telecom and elsewhere. In the next few years, expect to see more rack mountable servers available in iPOD white.

Bezel design of all things is becoming a differentiator in communications and elsewhere.



Nuera's orca: A Pioneer



IMO this whole bezel design thing started in August of 1999 when I wrote about Nuera's Orca VoIP gateway.





Cisco Linksys Rumor

March 20, 2005

Belkin CallEverywhere

March 20, 2005

Having written about telecom for years, I must say I was excited about the opportunity to step into the voice-activated phone booth of the future. This is Belkin's (Belkin news, Belkin VoIP news, alert) idea of what it will look like and it is a high-tech wonder. Sure, they probably know that phone booths will never again have a place in our future due to the advent of the cell phone but hey, at a trade show, you need to do what you can to get attention.

The idea worked. At our ITEXPO show in Miami, the Miami Herald (free registration required) decided to take a picture of one of their phone booths and use it as a story that ran on one of the covers of their newspaper.



The phone booth was really amazing as it uses voice recognition and touch screen technology to allow you to connect with your party over VoIP.

GN 8120 USB

March 20, 2005

Sometimes the simplest of products are the most important. GN Netcom has invented lots of new products and technologies but perhaps their simplest one will become the most popular.

I recently witnessed their GN 8120 USB headset adapter, a simple 3-button devices allowing you to take advantage of some VoIP features without the need to interact with the computer. Buttons can perform different functions such as picking up the phone or hanging up. A two-button combo can stand for 911, and you can program the buttons as you see fit.

Skype Bluetooth Headset

March 20, 2005

I've been promoting bluetooth for years and it seems like the technology is finally catching on like mad in the states. That is why I got excited when I read this post on TMCnet that talks about a Skype bluetooth headset.

Dear All,

We have completed a two month trial for the SkypeHeadset, a plugin application for Skype that allow users of Bluetooth headsets to control accepting, terminating and muting calls in Skype from their headsets. It also comes with quick-dial and auto-dial features. This is the link to the previous announcement http://forum.skype.com/viewtopic.php?t=14703

This application was released to a group of Skype users to evaluate, test and report any usability issues.





AJaX: Two steps forward... Two steps back?

March 20, 2005

(From www.java.net)

Day one of TSSJS has been a mix of wow! and doh!


Like Ed, I've been intrigued by the promise of AJaX, but when I consider it in a wider context I'm a bit concerned.

The basic message of AJaX is that modern browsers, through a combination of JavaScript and XmlHttpRequest, provide an advanced client that allows you to write rich client interfaces without the need to deploy a plugin.

So far so good, but when you look at the mechanisms that are currently available to take advantage of AJaX, a boatload of JavaScript embedded in an HTML file, you will probably experience a sickening feeling of deja vu all over again.

AJaX totally blows the idea of seperating presentation markup and code snippets.



Dangling Broadband From the Phone Stick

March 19, 2005

I spent some time in Starbucks today and didn't have my laptop. Half of me felt about as guilty as a human being can feel because I have a T-Mobile hotspot subscription and I could actually feel the WiFi passing through me. I had lots of ideas to blog but I had no outlet.

So I did what other people seem to do when they have no broadband access, I picked up a New York Times and started reading. I came across a story that confirms something I have been writing about for a while.

VoIP Saves Lives

March 19, 2005

Kevin Martin Article

March 18, 2005

Is Ajax Our Future?

March 18, 2005

A lot of buzz is being generated by Adaptive Path, the company that invented the acronym Ajax to describe what could become the key technology that allows web-based software to overtake traditional desktop software in the long run. The implications for companies like Microsoft could be huge if the tremendous interest in this technology continues.

Content Directions MultiLink Dropdown Menus

March 18, 2005

I’ve met with Epygi executives on numerous occasions and have always been impressed with their knowledge of web technology… Not just VoIP but Internet technology like RSS feeds, etc. It came as no surprise to see that the company pioneered a new way of advertising. Before reading this release I happened upon their Selecting VoIP Solutions channel on TMCnet and noticed their ads are amazing. If you mouse over one, you have a window into what appears to be their entire website.

Florida VoIP Tax Killed

March 18, 2005

Palavon Hosted VoIP and CRM

March 18, 2005

VoIP Growth

March 18, 2005

Xten Record Growth

March 18, 2005

Here is an indicator of the strong sales growth being seen in the VoIP space. Interestingly in my keynote in Dallas yesterday I mentioned SIP connectivity to PBXs and someone in the front row held up his iPAQ with the Xten soft client on it as an example. Now I get this release:

Xten Networks, Inc. (OTCBB: XNWK), a provider of award-winning VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), Video over IP, Instant Messaging (IM), and Presence SIP softphones, today reported financial results for the third quarter ended January 31, 2005.

Lightyear Enters Wholesale Hosted PBX Market

March 18, 2005

Kevin Martin Good For VoIP?

March 18, 2005

Most people think that Kevin Martin is a good person to lead the FCC. This article suggests he may not be friendly to VoIP companies and interestingly the ILECS seem to be thrilled he is the new chairman. This article talks a great deal about the USF and reminds me that we really need an overhaul to the system that encourages rural carriers to continue to deploy non-broadband telephony. We further need to provide incentives for broadband providers.

Level 3 Forbearance Petition

March 18, 2005

Daffodil CRM v1.1

March 18, 2005

Here is more info on Daffodil. they seem to have some bells and whistles. I wonder how many companies would stake their companies on open-source CRM software.

Daffodil Software has released Daffodil CRM v1.1, with import and search facility, at SourceForge.net.

Daffodil CRM is an open source Customer Relationship Management software that seamlessly integrates all aspects of the customer life cycle - from identifying business opportunities to sustaining existing customers.

Daffodil CRM

March 18, 2005

New Dell Call Center in India

March 18, 2005

According to a CNET Story the contact center, like two others Dell is already operating in India, will handle telephone calls from consumers in the United States and elsewhere around the world.

The new facility, located in Mohali near the Chandigarh metropolitan area in India's Punjab province, will have 300 Dell employees at first, company spokesman David Frink said.

The center is being opened to support Dell's huge growth of late. The company is now the world's largest PC maker over Hewlett-Packard. But Dell has experienced growing pains in the recent past, causing some customers to criticize its service and support.

The company's India operation has, at times, been at the center of those accusations by both consumers and businesses, with each sometimes complaining of lackluster service. Dell responded by taking measures such as rerouting some tech support calls from businesses to its U.S. support technicians.





Phone+ Mention

March 18, 2005

CallVantage: Only 53,000 Customers

March 18, 2005

AT&T has been reluctant to share their customer numbers and I assumed that was because they were low. It turns out that 53k is the number of users they have while Vonage is going to break 1,000,000 by the summer. My perception is that Vonage is outspending AT&T 10 to 1 on advertising if not more. I actually purchased two science magazines to read on the plane on my most recent trip and both had Vonage ads in them.

Yahoo 360

March 18, 2005

Yahoo will soon introduce a new service called yahoo 360 that combines blogging and social networking. The service is designed to enable Yahoo's 165 million registered users to pull content from the Web site's discussion groups, online photo albums and review section to plug into their own blogs.

Participants can either choose to open their blogs to the entire world or restrict access to people invited through e-mail. Initially only those invited will be able to use the service which seems to be a page right out of Google’s Gmail service.

Blogging and social networking are areas of huge growth potential. If Yahoo!



Heading Back to NYC

March 17, 2005

I had a great time speaking in Dallas and I met some interesting people looking to implement VoIP in their companies. There was a healthy split between enterprise and contact center companies that I met with and the question that many of them are grappling with is when to switch to IP. As I mentioned in my keynotes, the time is now. There is widespread adoption of VoIP going on today from the contact center to the enterprise to the government...

Wireless Growth Stats

March 17, 2005

Here are some stats from the TIA on wireless growth:

Wireless handset spending in the United States will rise to $13.3 billion in 2008 from 10.1 billion in 2004, growing at a 7.0 percent compound annual rate. This growth is attributable to increased functionality as well as increases in subscribers. As overall subscriber growth slows and new users provide less of a boost than in the past, the replacement market will become the primary focus to increase subscribers.

Camera phones are one of the most popular features and are estimated to comprise 60 percent of shipments by 2006. Smart phones, which combine a phone with other applications such as an organizer, are an emerging segment of the market.



Vonexus VoIP Presentation

March 17, 2005

Interactive Intelligence contact center presentation

March 17, 2005

Qwest Boosts MCI Bid

March 17, 2005

Off To Dallas -- Almost

March 16, 2005

Rich Tehrani Applauds Selection of Kevin Martin as FCC Chairman

March 16, 2005

It is my belief that Mr. Martin is the best person to fill the role of FCC Chairman and as such we expect him to achieve great things for the country and consumers everywhere. I applaud his philosophy of light-touch regulation in broadband and believe he will be remembered as someone who has done great things for broadband growth while protecting consumer interest.

Chairman Martin is a person who understands telecommunications, politics and is a champion of competition and consumer choice. He is not afraid to be controversial if he believes he is right. In short he is an ideal leader at a time when we are at a crossroads in communications technology, media ownership, digital television and a host of other broad issues such as WiMAX proliferation and competition.

What will define Commissioner Martin is how he carefully balances the needs of the incumbent and competitive service providers while taking into account what is best for today's consumer and tomorrow's competitive landscape.

The VoIP industry hopes that Mr. Martin will continue the pro-voice over IP stance the commission has espoused for the past few years.





KEVIN MARTIN SWORN IN AS FCC COMMISSIONER

March 16, 2005

Washington, DC - Kevin J. Martin was sworn in today as a member of the Federal Communications Commission for a term that runs to June 30, 2006.

Before joining the FCC, Martin was a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. He served on the Bush-Cheney Transition Team and was Deputy General Counsel for the Bush campaign. Prior to joining the campaign, Martin was an advisor to FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth. He has also served in the Office of the Independent Counsel and worked as an associate at the Washington, DC law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding.

DSL Evangelism

March 16, 2005

Here are some DSL adoption stats from the DSL Forum. The report seems one-sided but if the stats are accurate it marks impressive growth for the DSL market in general. I eliminated all but the salient points of their news.

  • DSL Subscribers Worldwide Sail Past the 100 Million Mark
  • 35.5 Million New Global DSL Subscribers in 2004
  • North American DSL Surpasses 16 Million in 2004 While DSL Subscriber Base in Latin America Grows More Than 100%

Global DSL subscribers sailed past the 100 million mark in February 2005, according to the latest data produced for the DSL Forum by industry analyst Point Topic.

VoIP MP3 Player

March 16, 2005

You have heard me talk about the VoIPOD for a while now and that is why I was excited to read on MacWorld that a South Koprean company will unveil an MP3 player with VoIP in May. The company is Ezmax and the model number is the EZMP4200P.

The device is 70 millimeters long, 24mm in diameter, and weighs 24 grams without the AAA-size battery. As well as MP3 music files, it plays a number of other formats including WMA (Windows Media Audio), ASF (Advanced Systems Format) and Ogg. The device is capable of voice recording, comes with an FM radio and has a two-color (blue and yellow) 128-x-64 pixel OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) screen.

The device is available in three models, each with a different flash memory-based storage capacity: 256MB, 512MB and 1GB.



Harris Interactive VoIP Study

March 16, 2005

Harris Interactive just released a new telecom study and they say consumer attitudes and technology drawbacks are barriers to adoption. This seems in  line with where the industry is. We still have some work ahead of us in educating the world on why they need to adopt voice over IP in their home and business.

Salient points:

  • While nearly nine in 10 (87%) business decision makers are aware of VoIP (76% at least somewhat familiar), one-third (36%) of consumers are aware of VoIP (56% at least somewhat familiar).
  • Furthermore, while 12 percent of business decision makers familiar with VoIP currently use it, only three percent of consumers familiar with the technology use it.

See You in Dallas Thursday

March 15, 2005

Here are the details of the Interactive Intelligence Seminar I am participating in this Thursday in Dallas. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 17

 

8:00 – 8:30 am

Registration & Complimentary Interactive Breakfast

Foyer

8:30 – 8:50 am

Welcome – Interactive Intelligence Corporate Introduction and Best Practices in an IP Contact Center

Joe Staples, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, ININ

8:50  – 9:20 am

Keynote – Industry Direction

Rich Tehrani, President of Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC®)

9:30 – 10:00 am

Best Practices in the IP Contact Center 

Network/IT Planning; Clear Plan for Workforce Optimization and Customer Driven Applications  

Peggy Gritt, Senior Director, Global Market Solution, ININ

9:50 – 10:00 am

Break

10:00 – 10:30 am

Customer Interaction Center® (CIC) Live Demo

Tim Passios, Team Lead, Technical Sales, ININ

10:30 – 11:00 am

Change Management

Ivy Meadors, Founder and CEO of High Tech High Touch Solutions, Inc.

11:00 – 11:15 am

Customer Success Story

John Andrews, Effective Teleservices

11:15 – 11:30 am

Hitting Home: Keys to Success

Joe Staples, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, ININ

11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Complimentary Lunch

Crystal Palace 

12:00 – 1:00 pm

Registration

Foyer

1:00  –1:20 pm

Welcome – Vonexus Corporate Introduction and the Microsoft®-based IP PBX 

Joe Staples, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, ININ/Vonexus

1:20 –1:50 pm

Keynote – The Future of IP Telephony

Rich Tehrani, President of Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC®)

1:50 –2:20 pm

Maximize your Microsoft Investment 

Leverage your communications into your Microsoft Business Solutions

Joe Adams, Advanced Technology Evangelist, Vonexus

2:20 – 2:30 pm

Break

2:30 – 3:00 pm

The Microsoft-based IP PBX: Enterprise Interaction Center® (EIC) Live Demo

Learn how the EIC IP PBX boosts worker productivity with a full Microsoft integrated solution 

Tim Passios, Team Lead, Technical Sales, ININ/Vonexus

3:00 – 3:15 pm

Case Study – Access Technologies

Joe Adams, Advanced Technology Evangelist, Vonexus

3:15 – 3:45 pm

Vonexus LiveConference

Meet your full conferencing needs with an audio solution integrated with Microsoft LiveMeeting 

Joe Adams, Advanced Technology Evangelist, Vonexus

3:45 – 4:00 pm

Hitting Home: Keys to Success

Joe Staples, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, ININ/Vonexus

Packet8 Services

March 15, 2005

Packet8 has on fire with announcements lately and the newest one talks about their business class features. Here are three new features the company will offer: Virtual Office VoIP-hosted PBX service – Virtual Extensions, Metered Extensions and Toll Free Local Number Portability (LNP).

With the Virtual Extension feature, businesses can customize any number of specific extensions to function as information-only mailboxes for items such as driving directions, special promotional offers and other customer service announcements. While Virtual Extensions are not associated with a physical Virtual Office telephone, they can be forwarded to remote numbers anywhere in the world for 3.9 cents per minute in the U.S. and Canada plus applicable international rates when calling overseas. Virtual Extensions can be reached from the auto attendant, through direct inward dial (DID), and an extension call, and may be added to Virtual Office plans for $9.95 per extension per month plus a one-time activation fee of $19.95.

Drop That PDA

March 15, 2005

If you break your PDA you are out of luck, right? You have to send the device back to the manufacturer and wait for a while and hope that your data is backed up, etc. A company called AX Micro has already shipped 30,000 replacement screens in 2004 and if your device has a broken screen, working with this company could be just the ticket.

Here are the details of what they can do:

Units Repaired

Digitizer/GlassTop Repair

Price Includes Labor & Part

Complete Screen Replacement

Price Includes Labor & Part

Battery Replacement

Price Includes Labor & Part

General Diagnosis

Includes General Diagnosis

Palm Units

Palm IIIe, IIIx & IIIxe

$35.00

$45.00

N/A

$20.00

Palm VII & VIIx

$35.00

$45.00

N/A

$20.00

Palm m100 & m105

$40.00

$60.00

N/A

$20.00

Palm IIIc

$40.00

$60.00

$45.00

$20.00

Palm m500

N/A

N/A

$45.00

N/A

Palm m505

N/A

$80.00

$45.00

$20.00

Palm m515

N/A

$90.00

$45.00

$20.00

Tungsten T & T2

85.00

N/A

$50.00

N/A

Tungsten C & W

85.00

N/A

$50.00

N/A

Tungsten E

85.00

N/A

$60.00

$20.00

Palm Zire 71

85.00

N/A

$60.00

N/A

Palm Zire 72

85.00

N/A

N/A

N/A

Treo 600

N/A

N/A

$60.00

N/A

Palm V & Vx

(Click Here)

(Click Here)

(Click Here)

(Click Here)

Visor Units

Visor Deluxe, Neo, Platinum & Pro

$40.00

N/A

N/A

$20.00

Visor Prism

(Click Here)

$70.00

$45.00

N/A

Symbol Units

Symbol SPT-1500 & SPT-1550

$35.00
NOT FOR SPT-1550

$45.00
OK FOR 1500 & 1550

N/A

$20.00

Symbol SPT-1700 & SPT-1800

$70.00

N/A

N/A

N/A

Symbol PPT-2700 & PPT-2800

$70.00

N/A

N/A

N/A

Sony Clie Units

Clie S300, S320 & S360

$50.00

N/A

$50.00

$20.00

Clie 700/610 Series

(Click Here)

(Click Here)

(Click Here)

(Click Here)

Clie T, SL & SJ Series

(Click Here)

(Click Here)

(Click Here)

(Click Here)

Dell Axim Units

Axim X5

$70.00

N/A

N/A

N/A

Axim X3, X3i & X30

$80.00

N/A

N/A

N/A

iPAQ Units

iPAQ 36xx Series

N/A

$160.00

$50.00

N/A

iPAQ 38xx Series

N/A

N/A

$55.00

N/A

iPAQ 39xx Series

N/A

N/A

$55.00

N/A

VoiceLogger Becomes Davacord

March 15, 2005

Ebbers Guilty

March 15, 2005

VoIP Service Out

March 15, 2005

Yesterday my CallVantage service died. I know this because I called my house from work and every time I tried, I went into voicemail. I spoke with my wife later and she told me the Internet wasn’t working fo some reason. I started to get mentally ready for calling Cablevision that night and waiting on hold for hours as they diagnose and (hopefully) fix the problem.

When I got home I noticed the pause light on the cable modem – I think it was called pause, was on.

Charlotte Observer VoIP Article

March 15, 2005

I was pretty excited to see that the Charlotte Observer thought the recent Boston Globe VoIP article quoting me was good enough to run again. A few people forwarded me the link to the site. One challenge of speaking with a reporter is you never know what they are going to use in their article. If you go off on a tangent, they could take the tangent and run.

Case in point, I discussed the opportunity for a VoIP consumer electronics device to blow away the terrible cordless phones we are stuck with today.

Miami Herald VoIP Article

March 15, 2005

There is a great VoIP article in the Miami Herald today and they were nice enough to quote me. Here is an excerpt:


----------------------

Matrimonial attorney Herman H. Tarnow lives in Naples and practices law in New York City. He uses the telephone like a cellphone but avoids roaming charges by using VoIP.


Two other attorneys in his firm also telecommute across state lines, including a pregnant lawyer who is able to keep working while visiting New York once a week, Tarnow said.

iPOD Shuffle Clone

March 15, 2005

The LuxPro Super Shuffle is a digital audio player from a Taiwan based company. Similar in looks and function to the Apple iPOD Shuffle (news) it adds an FM music player but lacks the famous apple AAC support. Instead it supports the Windows Media digital rights management format or DRM.



The LuxPro Super Shuffle (photo taken from site)





BT and Tatara

March 14, 2005

BT chooses Tatara Systems Inc. SIM Authentication technology to form part of a ground-breaking voice-over-WLAN trial in the United Kingdom.

BT is making an aggressive bid to capture marketshare in the dual-mode market for GSM and WiFi. Trial participants will be issued with HP iPAQ 6340 personal digital assistant (PDA) devices, enabled for WLAN and GSM voice connectivity. Initially the trial restricts Wi-Fi access to Adastral Park only but ultimately users will be able to make voice calls over WLAN networks at the office, at home, or at a public hotspot. When out of range of a WLAN network, the user will make voice calls over the standard GSM network.

The Tatara Subscriber Gateway and the Tatara Service Manager Software Developers Kit (SDK), elements of the Tatara Mobile Services Convergence Platform, form a key part of the technology infrastructure that BT is deploying to enable the trial.

W800i and W800c

March 14, 2005

If the future of consumer devices is convergence then take a look at what SonyEricsson is doing as a guide to what the future will look like. Let’s start by saying you’ll want to have lots of memory handy because we are at a point today where you can generate a tremendous amount of megabytes from the camera on one of these babies.

The Sony Ericsson W800 which comes in variants for GSM – W800i and for GSM in China – W800c will be some of the most powerful devices out there and most interestingly they hark back to the heritage of the Sony Walkman. Sony is positioning this device a s serious music player. It plays 15 hours of music while the phone is on or 30 hours when the phone is off.

Wayport and Cingular

March 14, 2005

This in my opinion is the beginning of WiFi telephony taking hold in a so called dual-mode configuration allowing GSM and WiFi telephony calls to be made via a single device. I may be reading into this a bit but this seems inevitable and Wayport is the biggest competitor to T-Mobile hotspots. T-Mobile of course competes with Cingular a fellow GSM network in the US.

WAYPORT AND CINGULAR ANNOUNCE WI-FI ROAMING AGREEMENT IN HOTELS AND AIRPORTS


Cingular to Package Wayport Wi-Fi High-Speed Internet Access with its EDGE High-Speed Data Service

New Orleans, March 14, 2005 – Wayport, the nation’s largest provider of Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) wireless and wired high-speed Internet access to mobile travelers in nearly 7,000 locations, announced today that it has reached a strategic Wi-Fi roaming agreement with Cingular, the nation’s largest wireless carrier.




ITEXPO Praise

March 14, 2005

We received these nice comments about our Miami ITEXPO recently and I thought they were worth sharing. My sincere thanks to the attendees, exhibitors and TMC team for helping to make this a record-breaking industry event.


"From the time that I first contacted the sales rep (about 6 weeks before the show) to see if there was room for us to exhibit I was impressed with TMC.

Once the conference started, and the exhibit hall opened, our expectations were exceeded on attendee quantity and quality. There were several times that we were overwhelmed by the number of people passing our booth and stopping to talk to us.


P2P VoIP Aastra VentureIP 480i

March 14, 2005

You’ve no doubt heard me praise the concept of p2p VoIP. This is an area of tremendous growth potential in my opinion. One of the players in the space, Nimcat Networks is supplying technology to Aastra Technologies, enabling them, to sell a p2p SMB phone system. The first product of this partnership is the VentureIP 480i.

P2p technology allows these phones to recognize each other and each phone is designed to do some of the work of a traditional PBX, eliminating the need for a central telephony server.

Here are some of the features of the system:
  • Low-cost IP-based telephony system - P2P, VoIP
  • Complete PBX telephony features including : voice mail, intercom / page and auto attendant
  • Eight-line graphic display with six dynamic context-sensitive softkeys
    Premium speakerphone performance
  • Automatic start-up with no configuration required
  • Systems scales set by set - no need to purchase a minimum number of units
  • Completely automated for adds, moves and changes
  • Call control
  • Conferencing
  • Auto-Attendant
Some say this concept will really take off when p2p is embraced by the larger PBX manufacturers.



Keynote in Dallas

March 13, 2005

Interactive Intelligence was nice enough to invite me to keynote at their dual seminars this Thursday, March 17 in Dallas. As you may recall the company is focusing on contact center products while their new wholly owned subsidiary Vonexus will focus on enterprise solutions.

Here are the details of the morning session:

Best Practices for Migrating Your Contact Center to VoIP

Time / Agenda:
8:00 am – 8:30 Registration and Interactive Breakfast
8:30 am – 8:50 Conference Open
8:50 am – 9:20 Keynote – Industry Direction
9:20 am – 9:50 Best Practices
10:00 am – 10:30 Demo
10:30 am – 11:00 Long-term Vision
11:00 am – 11:15 Customer Success Story
11:15 am – 11:30 Hitting Home: Keys to Success


This is how the afternoon shapes up:

The Microsoft-based IP PBX

12:30 – 1:00 pm Registration and Lunch
1:00 – 4:00 pm The Microsoft Based IP-PBX Seminar


Where:

InfoMart Dallas
1950 N Stemmons Fwy
Dallas, TX 75247

As always I look forward to seeing you at the event. I love Dallas, the people are friendly and everything is just plain bigger.






























TMC is Growing

March 13, 2005

The growth rate our company is experiencing is unlike anything I have ever seen in the last 35 years TMC has been in business. Advertising sales in Internet Telephony Magazine doubled last year. They could double again this year. Our most recent Internet Telephony Conference & Expo was an amazing hit...

Bloggers Buy iLawsuit

March 13, 2005

The ruling below is bad news for journalists and bloggers everywhere or just common sense? Is this the first step towards journalists losing their freedom to do their jobs effectively? An even worse scenario is one in which more people will be afraid to share important information with journalists for fear of legal action. The following came from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Court Crushes Online Journalists' Rights

EFF Asking California Appellate Court to Intervene
Santa Clara - Today Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg ruled that an online journalist's Internet service provider (ISP) can be required to reveal the identities of the reporter's confidential sources to attorneys from Apple Computer, Inc. The court rejected a request for an order to protect the confidentiality of these sources and other unpublished materials.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), along with co-counsel Thomas Moore III and Richard Wiebe, is representing the journalist, and will be asking the California Appellate Court to intervene.
"We're disappointed that the trial court ignored the Supreme Court's requirement that seeking a journalist's confidential sources be a 'last resort' in civil discovery," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl.







George Ou on ITEXPO

March 12, 2005

ZDNET’s George Ou was nice enough to moderate one of the sessions at ITEXPO a few weeks back titled The Great Open Source VoIP Debate. His open source VoIP article details the session. The panel included Mark Spencer, creator of Asterisk and CEO of Digium; Bill Rich, CEO of Pingtel; and Alan Hawrylyshen, CTO of Jasomi Networks. As George points out, these are some of the key players in the industry.

I attended a dinner with Digium’s founder Mark Spencer where he mentioned IAX is a much simpler protocol than SIP allowing the signaling and payload in a single packet.

Verizon Wireless

March 12, 2005

Is it too much to ask for a Blackberry with bluetooth access? Today I read Tom's blog and I see that T-Mobile devices are improving at lightning speed. The new Blackberry 7290 in fact is an amazing device because it has a brighter screen, has bluetooth and works in 175 countries.

The best Verizon offers is the 7750 which is a good device but it is slow and has no bluetooth. It needs better battery life, a brighter screen and bluetooth that isn't crippled by Verizon. I recently switched to Verizon because their wireless network is superb.

Skype Hits One Million Paid Users

March 11, 2005

Amazingly Skype sets new records almost daily. Here is my recent interview with Skype’s Niklas Zennström. Now this… Skype hits one million paid users! More amazingly there are 155,000 users per day.

VoIP 2.0 is Happening

March 11, 2005

Having attended a whirlwind four tradeshows in six weeks I have never been more excited about the future of VoIP -- It's VoIP 2.0. The market is growing so quickly and there are dozens of new product categories and paradigms popping up all the time. Disruptive technologies like VoIP allow markets to go in new directions that aren’t always obvious. I am excited like never before about TMC conferences in general.

Conferees tell me TMC has the best conference offering show after show.

Adtran NetVanta

March 11, 2005

Adtran was synonymous with the CSU/DSU market and in fact they had a virtual monopoly on the space for years. As markets change however companies need to evolve and as the CSU/DSU market slowly eroded, Adtran looked to other areas in which to thrive.

One of these areas it turns out is VoIP. Adtran has a number of products that complement IP PBXes nicely -- their NetVanta series 1000 managed layer 2 Ethernet switches.

Teleo Crash

March 11, 2005

Powell Joins Aspen Institute

March 11, 2005

FCC CHAIRMAN MICHAEL K. POWELL TO JOIN ASPEN INSTITUTE

Washington, DC, March 11, 2005-The Aspen Institute announced today that Michael K. Powell, outgoing chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is to become senior fellow of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program for a three-month period effective upon his departure from the FCC. Powell, who was honored last year by the Institute with the Henry Crown Leadership Award, is the third consecutive FCC Chairman to join the Aspen Institute following his chairmanship. He will advise the Communications and Society Program on leadership, communications policy, and program activities and operations. Judith Mann will also move from the FCC to the Institute as Powell’s confidential assistant.

“Michael Powell exemplifies the type of leader that the Aspen Institute seeks to attract to our various program and leadership activities,” said Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute in announcing the appointment.  “He will add an important perspective to planning our non-partisan forums in communications and information policy – and beyond.”

Shortly after announcing his departure from the FCC, Powell noted: “The Aspen Institute has been an important part of my life, both in its influential communications policy work and in the Crown leadership program.  I look forward to serving as an adviser to this distinguished organization.  I am also grateful for the opportunity to take some time to think about the future.”

Charles M. Firestone, executive director of the Institute’s Communications and Society Program, welcomed Powell’s appointment: “Michael Powell has been an excellent participant in Aspen Institute forums for many years, both as commissioner and as chairman of the FCC.  We are fortunate to have the benefit of his advice and insights in developing new activities and in reinvigorating our ongoing projects.”

Mr. Powell can be reached through his confidential assistant, Judy Mann at judy.mann@aspeninstitute.org or 202-736-1492.

The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, one of 18 policy programs at the Institute, convenes non-partisan roundtable forums for leaders and experts to address the foremost policy challenges facing societies around the world as a result of the communications and information revolutions.











Website Slammed

March 11, 2005

SEC Vs. Nacchio

March 11, 2005

Andy on Shows

March 11, 2005

VoIP not Parasitic

March 11, 2005

I hear often that many of today’s VoIP providers are parasitic and I take offense at the term as I believe a parasite is an organism that feeds off a host and offers no benefit. Here is what the good people at Merriam-Webster have to say about the definition of a parasite:

Pronunciation: 'par-&-"sIt
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French, from Latin parasitus, from Greek parasitos, from para- + sitos grain, food

Something that resembles a biological parasite in dependence on something else for existence or support without making a useful or adequate return

Is this accurate? I know many people that have gotten broadband so they could use VoIP.

For those of you who are biology majors, don’t you agree that symbiotic is a better term for VoIP providers?

Here is what Webster says about the term symbiosis:

Pronunciation: "sim-bE-'O-s&s, -"bI-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural sym·bi·o·ses /-"sEz/
Etymology: New Latin, from German Symbiose, from Greek symbiOsis state of living together, from symbioun to live together, from symbios living together, from syn- + bios life -- more at QUICK

1 : the living together in more or less intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms
2 : the intimate living together of two dissimilar organisms in a mutually beneficial relationship; especially : MUTUALISM
3 : a cooperative relationship (as between two persons or groups) <the symbiosis... between the resident population and the immigrants -- John Geipel>

Notice how in this term there is a relationship where both parties benefit.






















Vertical

March 11, 2005

I recently met with Vertical's Bill Tauscher recently. You may recall I interviewed Bill Tauscher a while back. He gave a great presentation as a keynoter at ITEXPO in Miami a few weeks back and I am always impressed with his passion for the business. Bill was telling me about how he purchased Vertical Networks and the process of talking with other PBX companies in the space before making the acquisition.

Aspect and Asterisk

March 11, 2005

Many of you have witnessed me debating Mark Spencer of Digium onstage at ITEXPOs over the years. It's always a fun debate/discussion and from what the audience shares with me, our sessions are very educational. Amazingly, Mark launched Asterisk, the open-source PBX but that wasn't his initial intent. He started his company to support Linux systems.

Merril Lynch on Wireless

March 11, 2005

Yet another Merrill Lynch research report. Hey, where were these guys in 2002? Either telecom is hot or covering oil companies is just plain boring

Telecomm: Conference Highlights - USA


On March 7-9, Merrill Lynch hosted its Communications Forum in Dallas, with over 40 telecom services and equipment companies. Key takeaways from the conference included: confirmation of our view that wireless growth remains solid, the equipment provider implications of FTTx and HSDPA rollouts, that handset inventory is above Qualcomm's desired level, and that the status quo remains likely for the telecom regulatory environment in the intermediate term.

First, we think that underlying wireless growth remains solid, within the context of an improving market structure.






Merril Lynch on Wireless

March 11, 2005

Yet another Merrill Lynch research report. Hey, where were these guys in 2002? Either telecom is hot or covering oil companies is just plain boring

Telecomm: Conference Highlights - USA


On March 7-9, Merrill Lynch hosted its Communications Forum in Dallas, with over 40 telecom services and equipment companies. Key takeaways from the conference included: confirmation of our view that wireless growth remains solid, the equipment provider implications of FTTx and HSDPA rollouts, that handset inventory is above Qualcomm's desired level, and that the status quo remains likely for the telecom regulatory environment in the intermediate term.

First, we think that underlying wireless growth remains solid, within the context of an improving market structure.






WiMAX in Japan

March 11, 2005

ITEXPO Criticism

March 11, 2005

Wireline Shakeup

March 11, 2005

Here are some excerpts from a Merrill Lynch report.

Telecom Equip-Wireline: Vendor Shakeup Likely in Next 12-18 Months

Verizon FTTP Evolution Could Challenge Tellabs, Ciena (Incumbents) in 2006

• Verizon outlined its Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) network evolution plans at the Merrill Lynch Communications Forum held earlier this week in Dallas. Similar to SBC and BellSouth, Verizon plans to adopt the IPTV standard to offer advanced video services in mid to late 2006. We believe the move to IPTV would require new equipment, thereby challenging the incumbency of current vendors, primarily Tellabs (AFC) and Ciena, who have ATM-based equipment.

Spirent Distributed Abacus

March 11, 2005

Testing Goes Virtual

Spirent Communications announced availability of the Distributed Abacus IP Telephony Rollout Platform designed to assess and validate signaling performance and call quality in pre-production networks. The single system links distributed, live network test devices and enables IP and Hybrid IP/PSTN call quality assessment before a VoIP service launches. Think of this as a “virtual” test platform based on the Abacus 5000.
|
Spirent’s Distributed Abacus IP telephony Rollout Platform provides network statistics such as jitter, delay and packet loss; call measurements statistics such as call setup time, percent of call completions, and call termination reason; and voice quality metrics such as MOS, PESQ and R value. Spirent’s Distributed Abacus can be used to test end-to-end or at any combination of IP and PSTN points on the network.



CrystalVoice and HP

March 11, 2005

TELETRUTH ALERT

March 11, 2005

I thought this worth passing on.

TELETRUTH ALERT --- March 9th, 2005

Teletruth, with New Networks Institute, Exposes the Bell Phone Company Skunkworks, Sock Puppets and Astroturf Groups that have Harmed the Public Interest --- (Phone companies: SBC, Verizon, BellSouth)

VISIT: http://www.newnetworks.com/skunkworks101.html

If you care about broadband, the Internet, Wi-Fi and wireless, municipalities wiring cities, the cost of phone service, VOIP, open access to content, or anything else related to your Digital Future, you need to read this.

Then check out the materials and take actions to call for investigations.
You've already been harmed.

WHAT'S BEHIND THE CURTAIN: There is an underground network of political deceit in the telecom and broadband industry. It is made up of very well funded fake or co-opted consumer groups, research firms, lobbying groups, politicians and PR firms throughout the United States, that are out to fool reporters, state legislatures, Congress, the public and the FCC that they represent the public interest.

In fact, many are controlled or have been co-opted through Sam Simon's Issue Dynamics and paid for by SBC, Verizon, BellSouth and the other phone and cable companies. The list of groups includes APT, TRAC, USIIA, Connect USA, New Millennium Research Council, League of United Latin American Citizens, and American Association of People With Disabilities, among others

It is also the co-opting of well known groups, from the Gray Panthers and NAACP, to the National Council of La Raza, the National Consumer League and others.

Call it skunkworks, (the phone companies' black-ops groups) call it astroturf, call it sock puppets, a consortium of groups -- run by Issue Dynamics, includes a host of non-profits directly funded by the Bell companies to wield undo influence --not in your favor.
















iPOD Phone

March 11, 2005

Broadband: Not Exactly

March 10, 2005

With all the talk of EVDO lately, one wonders if we are fooling ourselves, touting such technology as a savior for those that need access on the go. On a recent trip to Silicon Valley the show hotel "broadband" was slow beyond compare and working on EVDO was a torture I wouldn't wish on my enemies (not that I have any. I hope :-).

We keep hearing about how broadband is pervasive and getting cheaper and the same stories apply to EVDO. This is all true of course until people try to use these technologies on a large scale.

FMC or Fixed Mobile Convergence

March 9, 2005

As much as I would like to go, I won't make CTIA this year. I have been deluged with product pitches since I am on the press list and most of the pitches seemed boring or just not a fit for my various beats. This pitch seemed exciting so I decided to pass it along. I hope I have some time to touch base with the company because this seems really interesting.

I will be honest, I never heard of fixed-mobile convergence but am happy there is a new telecom acronym for my IP Telephony Dictionary BTW if you purchased the new edition released at ITEXPO Miami expecting this term to be in there, no refunds.

Tekelec and Siemens optiPoint

March 9, 2005

Blogging Panel

March 9, 2005

I had a chance to see the blogging panel at VON. I briefly heard Andy Abramson moderating -- he seemed to do a great job and was dressed as a referee. Talk about playing the part. Very smart idea.

CeBit VoIP News

March 9, 2005

Some CeBit VoIP news. If you can believe it, I have never been to CeBit. I hope to go one day.

M5T's Leading Standards-Based Security Module Integrated into Mindspeed's Comcerto™ Enterprise VoIP Processor to Create Complete Solution

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., and CeBit, Hanover, Germany - March 9th, 2005 - Mindspeed Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSPD), a leading supplier of semiconductor solutions for network infrastructure applications, and M5T, Inc, a leading provider of customizable SIP and secure software solutions for real-time multimedia-over-IP communications, announced today the integration of M5T's Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) secure software into Mindspeed's Comcerto integrated voice-over-IP (VoIP) processors to create a complete system-on-chip voice processing solution with carrier-class quality, performance and secured real-time communications.

M5T will be demonstrating its M5T SIP SAFE software on Mindspeed's Comcerto enterprise processor at CeBit 2005, Hall 13, Stand E58 at the Convention Center in Hanover, Germany, from March 10 through March 16.

"Mindspeed's Comcerto processor provides an ideal platform for running M5T's software," said Stefano Genoni, vice president of business development for M5T. "Comcerto provides superior processing power for implementing all of the robust features of our comprehensive solution, and enables our customers to achieve the secured convergence of voice, video and data traffic onto a high-performance IP network."

"The combination of the Comcerto's carrier-class voice quality and scaleable performance with M5T's robust and comprehensive security software creates a superior solution for our customers building next-generation networks," said Steve McClure, executive director of marketing for Mindspeed. "Comcerto's integrated encryption processing engine delivers the speed and horsepower necessary to fully exploit M5T's security software stacks and create a sophisticated, low-cost telecommunications system that is capable of making VoIP calls even more secure today than calls carried over traditional phone networks."

Mindspeed's Comcerto architecture is optimized for VoIP applications with separate signal and packet processors.











Verso and Baypackets

March 9, 2005

Verso Technologies announced that it has selected BayPackets as the provider of IP-based voicemail and unified communications solutions for its service provider customers. Key to the relationship is the scalability of BayPackets' solution, enabling Verso to cost-effectively deliver advanced VoIP services and enhanced applications to tier one, as well as tier 2 and 3 carriers.

Here is a key quote from the release:

"During the vendor selection process, BayPackets demonstrated its ability to support a variety of end points in a multi-switch configuration, a key requirement for Verso's existing customer base," said Steve Langion, Sr. VP of Engineering at Verso Technologies. "In addition, the robustness, scalability and openness of BayPackets' service delivery platform are critical for Verso's customers around the globe. We needed a product that seamlessly integrates with our Class 5 Call Manager, offering an economically viable solution for tier one as well as tier three carriers.



Verisign Financial VoIP

March 9, 2005

I am meeting with VeriSign today at VON and am looking forward to discussing this release. It is amazing to me how vertical companies are getting. This is a solution that could be used in a number of markets but financial was the one VeriSign chose to go after. This is a smart move and it signals to me that the market is maturing enough for companies to start staking claims in subsets of it.

VeriSign® Launches VoIP Solution for Financial Services Industry

Partnership with KGM Circuit Solutions Offers Turnkey Voice and Disaster Recovery Solution for Financial Markets

San Jose, CA.





Quoted Again in the Boston Globe

March 8, 2005

Rich Tehrani Quoted in Boston Globe

March 8, 2005

Sennheiser PXC 300

March 8, 2005

I just purchased -- yes purchased a Sennheiser PXC-300. You see I was sent the PXC 250 for a review and I loved it. Sennheiser asked for it back and as a result I literally suffered on my next plane trip. I can't explain how much more relaxed and alert I was after using Sennheiser's noise-canceling headphones on the plane.

The Killer Service

March 8, 2005

In case you missed the release, here are the official numbers from ITEXPO in Miami. We have officially outgrown every hotel and are now moving the event to convention centers after selling out three shows in a row. To be honest I was caught off guard at not only how fast the exhibitors grew but the attendees. I can't fathom how people from 70 countries found their way to Miami for the ITEXPO Miami show.

March 7, 2005

The hosting market is making a huge comeback as witnessed by this release.

Optivon Selects Tekelec's Application Server to Deploy VoIP Services

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 7, 2005--Tekelec (NASDAQ:TKLC), a leading developer of telecommunications products for next-generation fixed, mobile and packet networks, today announced  that Optivon Inc. has chosen the Tekelec 6000 Application Server (formerly the VocalData Application Server) to deploy Voice over IP (VoIP) hosted services in the United States and Latin America.




Optivon's hosted VoIP service, enabled by the Tekelec 6000, provides nationwide coverage including a robust and flexible set of next-generation features and applications. Using Tekelec's robust application server, the operator will create differentiated, value-added VoIP services such as unified communications and personal agent applications that give businesses consolidated control of calls, voicemail and e-mail.
"We reviewed other competitive solutions, and the Tekelec 6000 was the most robust and reliable solution to support the high-impact needs of business customers," said Luis G. Romero, Optivon's CEO. "Tekelec's advanced VoIP applications and superior customer support enables us to offer innovative services to better serve our current customers and attract new clients."


Tekelec's market-leading application server supports the largest number of calls per second and is one the most cost-effective solutions on the market today.

Pingtel SIPxchange

March 6, 2005

VoIP on the Trading Floor

March 6, 2005

It may be a bit early for VoIP to be the primary communications medium on trading floors according to this article. This has been an interesting weekend in VoIP history as Vonage had problems with their network yesterday (an article from last summer on a Vonage outage) and today there are reports that Lingo may be having trouble with their service. Generally speaking when multiple service providers have network issues around the same time, you look to a common provider that both companies rely on as the culprit. That doesn't seem to be the case in this instance as Vonage blamed the outage on a software upgrade.

VoIP by its very nature is more complex than the PSTN and I'd venture to say that most VoIP service providers are less than 40 months old.

RSS/XML VoIP, Cisco, Etc

March 5, 2005

Even though TMCnet has probably the most flexible RSS feeds I have seen allowing you to get a feed on any term you want, we decided to put up an RSS page that encompasses some of the areas we cover. There are XML feeds on IP telephony, IP PBX, VoIP, Avaya, Cisco, Speech Recognition, etc. We picked some of the more popular terms that people choose.. Admittedly there are some companies on this page that probably shouldn't be here but consider this a beta and feel free to send us suggestions on how we may improve the page or our site in general.

Vonage Service Down

March 5, 2005

TMCnet in Spanish

March 5, 2005

LNP Issues

March 5, 2005

I received this e-mail today and I unfortunately don't have any answers regarding LNP. It is a problem that I hear many complaints about. At our last ITEXPO in Miami many people asked me the same question. I think the FCC should ensure that numbers port quickly or impose fines like the one they recently levied against a phone company restricting VoIP calls.

IMO the fines should be levied after seven days of a number not porting and cost the provider $50 for every day the consumer has to wait.

Over 6,000 at ITEXPO Miami

March 4, 2005

If you want to see the massive crowds at ITEXPO – the talk of the industry, please check out this video. Yes the video quality stinks but its optimized to play quickly. We may improve the quality next week. We had over 6,000 people at the event making this the largest Internet Telephony Conference & Expo TMC has ever produced.

March 4, 2005

VoIP mobility Is a hot theme these days and you can see how companies are coming together to make it happen. I am hearing about this trend from Nortel, Avaya and others. It is also the theme of the March Issue of Internet Telephony Magazine which is in the mail.

Nortel and SIPquest bring SIP-based multimedia services to wireless devices

Phase-one to add Presence, Instant Messaging, and network-based directory and call logs.

ITSP in a Box

March 4, 2005

How do you know the market is getting competitive? When you can buy an ITSP in a box. Take a look at this release. For under $40k you’re up and running.

AccessLine Hosted VoIP

March 4, 2005

FCC Fights for VoIP

March 4, 2005

I have been a critic of the FCC because of my concern about broadband competition. One important reason for this concern was that without broadband competition, service providers are in a position to “tinker” with VoIP packets. They can stop them, slow them, disrupt them, etc. At the last ITEXPO in Miami, many other people in the industry shared the same concern.

Beyond the VoIP issue, broadband competition is necessary for a variety of reasons.

From Tupperware to VoIP

March 3, 2005

Forget Tupperware parties baby, the future is VoIP parties. Remember the good old days where women (now I don’t mean to be sexist but it really was almost all women, right?) would come together and buy Tupperware? Well now that Tupperware is commoditized – you can buy it cheap in any grocery store. Well not Tupperware perhaps but something similar.

Technology Projections

March 3, 2005

Here is an e-mail I received today. My comments are in red.

Please find below The Radicati Group, Inc.'s bi-monthly "Radicati Market Stats & Industry Commentary". Here you will find some fast facts from our various reports and analyst quotes on recent industry news which you may feel free to use for citing in upcoming articles. 

DSP-Less ATA

March 3, 2005

Reducing chips from designs lowers cost, reduces failure rates, reduces electricity usage and heat dissipation. Most importantly it reduces cost. This is especially true when you are eliminating a DSP.

D2 TECHNOLOGIES AND ALPHA NETWORKS LAUNCH FIRST DSP-LESS ATA

The production version of a VoIP Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) module

is the first without a DSP chip.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., March 2, 2005….. D2 Technologies, Inc. and Alpha Networks, Inc. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) announce the availability of the first production version of a VoIP Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA), incorporating a MIPS-based processor chip, with embedded D2 VoIP software, without use of a DSP chip.

Traditional ATAs incorporate a DSP chip/core or special ASIC for voice processing functions like echo cancellation, voice compression, tone detection/ generation, etc.  However, D2's vPort software implements the voice functions as a "softDSP" on the MIPS processor.









IP-PBX Growth

March 2, 2005

Here is an excerpt of a release on how fast IP-PBX sales are growing. This segment of the market is doing better than ever.

PBX Market Jumps 11% in 2004, Fueled by Hot IP PBX Segment

BOSTON, Massachusetts, March 2, 2005--Boosted by blazing hot sales of IP PBXs, the worldwide PBX/KTS market grew 8% to $1.7 billion between 3Q04 and 4Q04, and jumped 16% between 4Q03 to 4Q04, according to Infonetics Research's Enterprise Telephony quarterly worldwide market share and forecast report.

Annual PBX/KTS system revenue broke the $6 billion barrier this year, growing 11% between 2003 and 2004, from $5.5 to $6.1 billion, and is expected to grow to $9.1 billion by 2008, representing a five-year CAGR of 10%. The number of PBX/KTS lines shipped worldwide grew to 26.6 million in 2004, 19% higher than in 2003.

"2004 was a great year for the PBX market," said Infonetics Research's Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data.





Skype Interview

March 2, 2005

I was recently fortunate enough to interview Niklas Zennström, Skype CEO and co-founder. There are lots of amazing comments in this interview such a staggeringly large number of daily downloads as well as the low cost of adding new Skype users. Perhaps most interesting is Mr. Zennström's dismissal of service providers interfering with Skype's call quality. While he has a point… VoIP is driving broadband adoption, many service providers will be happy to sell their own VoIP service and cripple those of others.

Skype recently had 50 million downloads.

Thank You Irwin

March 2, 2005

Workforce Management News

March 2, 2005

InVision Software, workforce management software specialists, sign Compeer -- Sweden's leading call centre provider

InVision Software has won a major contract with Compeer, one of Sweden's leading call centre provider. InVision has been selected to implement their Staff Planning System (SPS) for a workforce of five hundred Compeer agents. The InVision system will optimise staffing schedules across various departments within the company, including customer service, technical support and telemarketing. The Compeer call centres operate a demanding schedule, running a 24-hour service, 365 days a year.

Compeer has over 20 customers in different industries, including names such as ICA Bank, Boxer and Statoil.



VoIP Funding

March 2, 2005

Cisco Leads in VoIP

March 2, 2005

Cisco rules Q4 Enterprise VoIP

A quarterly research report Enterprise VoIP Equipment: Q4 2004 Update published by iLocus today reveals that Cisco dominates the IP Phones, IP PBX, and Enterprise VoIP gateway segments.

In Q4 2004, Cisco had market shares of 37%, 27%, and 57% respectively in IP Phones, IP PBX, and Enterprise VoIP gateway segments. 

According to the report, an estimated 1.29 million desktop IP phones were shipped in Q4 of the year 2004, thereby generating a revenue of about $193.66 million worldwide.

In Q4, migration of enterprise voice networks towards IP systems had a major boost accounting for a high volume of IP PBX shipments. Vendors shipped a total of about 2.03 million IP PBX end user licenses in the quarter, thereby generating revenue of $205.59 million.

The report also estimates market size and market shares in segments including Enterprise VoIP Gateways, Voice-enabled 802.11 Chipsets, VoIP-over-WiFi Handsets, and ATAs.

For further details on the report please visit http://www.ilocus.com/enterpriseq404.htm











WiFi GPS

March 2, 2005

I spend so much time talking about VoIP killer apps, I figured I would share some info on a WiFi killer app with you. Large enterprises need to track all sorts of things and this is a way for them to inexpensively (relatively anyway) achieve this goal.


Ekahau Announces New Wi-Fi Tag and Positioning Engine Versions

Ekahau Positioning Engine 3.1 calculates more locations per second and supports Ekahau's new T201 Wi-Fi location tag.

Dallas, TX - March 2nd, 2005 - Ekahau, Inc., the leading provider of accurate Wi-Fi positioning solutions and site survey tools, today announced the general availability of the Ekahau Positioning Engine version 3.1, and the second generation Wi-Fi Location-tracking Tag T201.

With these new enhancements, Ekahau can now provide large enterprises a turnkey Wi-Fi RTLS (Real Time Location System) solution, with industry leading accuracy, performance and reliability. The Ekahau RTLS system can be deployed over any standard Wi-Fi network and provides real-time location information of mobile enterprise resources, assets and people.

Large enterprises adopting Wi-Fi for data and voice purposes are creating a natural enabling infrastructure for Ekahau's RTLS solution.

Unlike competing location-tracking systems, Ekahau technology can be easily deployed wherever there is Wi-Fi coverage, without disrupting the facility's daily operation.










Speech and the W3C

March 2, 2005

Big news in speech and standards. Loquendo is working with the W3C or the Worldwide Web Consortium to bring a higher level of standardization to speech technology.

Loquendo TTS Powers W3C Standardization Activities

Loquendo, the global speech technology company, today announced that as part of ongoing commitment to W3C standardization activities, it has donated its world-class speech technologies, including the Loquendo TTS text-to-speech engine, Loquendo ASR automatic speech recognition and the VoxNauta(tm) speech platform to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for creating speech-enabled demos, especially in the Multimodal Interaction field.

The W3C Multimodal Interaction Activity seeks to extend the Web to allow users to dynamically select the most appropriate mode of interaction for their current needs, whilst enabling developers to provide an effective user interface for whichever modes the user selects. Depending on the device, users will be able to provide input via speech, handwriting, and keystrokes, with output presented through displays, pre-recorded and synthetic speech, audio, and tactile mechanisms.

The first Multimodal Interaction Group demo powered by Loquendo Technology will be presented today during the W3C Technical Plenary in Boston.







Spirit Conferencing

March 2, 2005

Conferencing is something that VoIP does with ease. CoIP or conferencing over IP will be a killer app, one of many in the VoIP world. The cost of doing conferencing using VoIP is so low that it makes no sense to conference any other way. We are already seeing conferencing proliferate in video games and soon we will see widespread use of conferencing in a myriad of apps aimed at teens as well as business people.

I have often said that "Ambient Telephony," is a part of VoIP 2.0 and is how families will communicate in the future.

Costa Rica VoIp

March 2, 2005

You want to go to jail? Try using VoIP in Costa Rica. At least that is what the future could hold. Here is a great article from TMCnet's David Sims titled Is VoIP Illegal in Latin America?

Yahoo! Free Ice Cream

March 2, 2005

If you are addicted to blogs like I am there is a chance you leave a somewhat sedentary life and like me the last thing need is a free scoop of Baskin-Robbins. Still, I am trying to serve the public interest here and as such I feel compelled to let you know that Yahoo! Is celebrating its ten year anniversary, which is pretty amazing if you stop and think about all the controversy this company helped create.

Ten years ago, Yahoo! was THE dotcom. We all talked about them They really helped shape the direction of the Internet over the years and showed that an Internet company with an advertising based revenue model could be very successful.

Video on Demand

March 2, 2005

There is still investment money to be had in the video market. Look closely at the investors below. Two of them are cable companies, which should tell you something about how cable companies view the success of the VOD market. The companies are Time Warner Investments and Comcast Interactive Capital.

Arroyo Closes $12 Million to Accelerate its Growth in Advanced Video Services

Funding Led by Matrix Partners, with all Prior Investors Participating Kim Kelly Steps Down as CEO, Remains on Board of Directors; Paul Sherer Named Interim CEO

PLEASANTON, Calif.





Leaving UNE-P

March 2, 2005

Dealing with UNE-P. This is how one CLEC is doing it:

Verizon and New Rochelle Telephone Sign Long-Term, Multi-State Commercial Agreement for Wholesale Services

Agreement Will Replace New Rochelle's Current UNE-P Leasing Arrangement With Verizon's Wholesale Advantage Program

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - March 2, 2005 - New Rochelle Telephone Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of eLEC Communications Corp. (OTCBB:ELEC), a CLEC and integrated packet communications service provider, today announced the signing of a long-term, multi-state wholesale service agreement with Verizon that will replace New Rochelle's existing wholesale network leasing arrangement known as the Unbundled Network Elements Platform (UNE-P). 

New Rochelle Telephone's wholesale advantage agreement with Verizon, which includes restructured pricing and a number of high-value services not offered under the previous government-mandated UNE-P plan, provides New Rochelle Telephone with the continued availability of wholesale services through at least December 2009. New Rochelle Telephone has been a purchaser of Verizon's wholesale services under the UNE-P service offering for more than three years.  New Rochelle Telephone has always served all of its customers under the UNE-P service offering and will now be able to continue to service its customers under the Wholesale Advantage Program with Verizon.

"We are extremely pleased with our new wholesale service agreement with Verizon," said Paul Riss, New Rochelle Telephone's CEO.  "This agreement removes the regulatory uncertainty of our core business and gives us the ability to continue our rapid growth in providing local access services.  We can now move forward without the distraction of UNE-P regulatory developments because our new agreement with Verizon provides us full access to the same features and functionalities that we have always relied on to provide service to our customers.









Back From Miami

March 2, 2005

I got to spend a few days in Miami after ITEXPO and got some much needed rest. Miami is becoming more like LA every time I visit. For example there is lots of money in Miami and the desire to showcase it seems to grow every time I head south. Driving through the streets at night, Aston Martins and Lamborghinis dot the street like spots on a Dalmatian.

CrystalVoice Customer

March 1, 2005

Here is a release that doesn't tell you who the customer is. Normally I would delete this sort of release as there isn't much news if you don' know the customer. I am only sharing because I have met with CrystalVoice and know them. Not too well, but well enough.

CallVantage Upgrades

March 1, 2005

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