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October 2005

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Level 3 Acquires WilTel

October 31, 2005

I really don’t have any commentary on this deal yet except to say that Wiltel has been pretty quiet lately and Level 3 has been doing an admirable job promoting themselves. By combining networks, Level 3 gets access to more route miles and 50 new markets. This seems like a good move for Level 3 and Wiltel.

My only concern is that there are fewer and fewer companies who own the data pipes left. At the same time there is a proliferation of companies looking to distribute content on these pipes – whether they be voice or video.

Calysto on ITEXPO

October 30, 2005

Calysto Communications and Public Relations is a PR company that has perhaps the most customers in the VoIP space and they have a great team of PR people. Their clients are certainly almost all on the telecom "A" list. Since they attend a lot of shows it is worth listening to what they say when they evaluate one show or another. This is what they had to say about last week's Internet Telephony show in Los Angeles.

TelecomNext and Telecom 05

October 30, 2005

Calysto Communications and Public Relations is a PR company that has perhaps the most customers in the VoIP space and they have a great team of PR people. Their clients are certainly almost all on the telecom "A" list. Since they attend a lot of shows it is worth listening to what they say when they evaluate one show or another. This is what they had to say about the USTA Telecom 05 and TelecomNext shows.

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USTA TELECOM '05
Las Vegas

Venetian Resort & Casino
October 24-26, 2005
Attendees: Approx.








SBC Goes Trick-Or-Treating

October 30, 2005

Underestimating the RBOCs would be a tragic mistake. The CLECs learned this a short while back, and now many of them are out of business or about to be. Incumbent telcos have armies of lawyers and lobbyists and decades of experience in convincing politicians to do their bidding. This is why a Telecom Act in 1996 designed to allow competition was repealed in less than ten years.

Citrix Gateways

October 30, 2005

VoIP 2.0 Application Enablement

Many of us use Citrix Presentation Server but you may not know the company has been building up their access business to allow users to get access to their applications over the web and IP phones. This strategy has been announced for a while now but I wanted to share the news on how the company is making strides.

The company sees the IP telephony application market being the size of the voicemail market. In other words they see the need for applications to be sold with every IP PBX.

In order to facilitate their growth in this space they have launched a Voice Office suite of applications that allow customers to receive information on their devices. If you don't recall, Citrix purchased Net6 a while back and this division is now the Gateway division of Citrix.





Susan Kennedy Transcript

October 30, 2005

Here is the text of Commissioner Susan Kennedy’s speech at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo from last week in Los Angeles. She did an outstanding job and had the audience laughing at 8:00 am. This is no easy feat and she backed up an amazingly charismatic presentation with content that was second to none. If there is one theme I kept hearing throughout the show it was that regulators have an amazing challenge in a world where consumers use VoIP to communicate.

VoIP 2.0 Marches On

October 27, 2005

I am here in the airport on the way back from ITEXPO in Los Angeles . If you haven't seen the pictures of the event, please do. I haven't seen a busier show in VoIP and the hunger for knowledge was amazing. Crowds actually had to be pulled out of keynotes and sessions to go to the next session.

Asterisk Keynote Today

October 27, 2005

Mark Spencer gave a riveting keynote today where he discussed his poor experiences in international travel and tied it into how open source communications will allow customers to solve their own problems. Open source is most valuable for consumers as open source developers need to earn the business every day. Spencer addressed a lunchtime crowd of hundreds of domestic and international executives in a standing room only ballroom at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Mark went on to say that it would be great to apply open source principles to airline travel so instead of having to wait in line to change a cancelled a flight and subsequently missing other flights, you can make the changes yourself.

Spencer focused on the strengths of open source and mentioned that the community of developers and the resellers can improve upon their product if they like. For example, IBM has a version of Asterisk that is designed for extremely high availability.

Questions from the audience directed Mark to address what he thinks of router based Asterisk implementations.





Cisco Rick Moran

October 27, 2005

"14,000 IP phones a day is what Cisco ships," is what Cisco's Rick Moran mentioned to the audience as why he thinks the VoIP market is here and now. Moran says there is value in being the phone guy or gal. He mentioned this in his keynote at ITEXPO in Los Angeles.

As he discussed the VoIP market in general Moran said "We need to remove the "cuss" from customer service Rick." He went on to show how VoIP helps us provide better service levels.

"We have turned into human middleware Moran told the audience. We take things from one calendar and import it into another." "This does not seem logical." he continued.

The application and the network need to work together better and it doesn't make sense that cell phones ring at 3:00 am local time when you travel as the phone and network realize what time it is.

SIP, SIMPLE, SOAP and other standards are making it easier for these things to happen.







India Reporter, Editor Jobs

October 27, 2005

We are looking to hire Indian technology reporters and editors. Please make sure to send me a resume. Technology Marketing Corporation is a 35 year old company that launched the first magazine in the call center space and the first magazine in the VoIP space.

Our website, TMCnet is the most popular communications site in the world and we receive up to 800,000 unique visitors to our site every month.

We cover the most exciting technologies in the world and if you are a great writer and enjoy writing about communications and technology, you need to send me your resume to rtehrani@tmcnet.com.

If you don't live in India, that is fine. We are looking to hire the world's best writers and editors regardless of location.





Article on Michael Powell

October 27, 2005

ITEXPO LA Day 4 Start

October 27, 2005

This morning at breakfast Time Warner's Cable's Deane Leavenworth spoke about how he sees the future of telecom being limitless. He spoke for 20 minutes to a large group of conferees who came from as far away as Australia and Saudi Arabia to hear him speak.

Anoop Gupta from Microsoft then kicked off the keynotes and wowed the crowd with his vision for the future of technology and collaboration. Gupta thinks telephone numbers are like IP addresses and we don't want to remember these numbers. Communications needs to be people-centric in his opinion.

VoIP Madhouse!

October 26, 2005

If there is a single word I have heard over and over today about ITEXPO is that the show is a madhouse. There is a frenzy of buying activity on the floor and it extends into the meeting rooms and the hallways. It is organized pandemonium and mass quantities of ATAs are being purchased in front of my eyes along with DSP resource boards and just about everything else from session border controllers to softswitches and IP PBXs.

I cannot think of anything that would make this show better. The traffic is amazing as evidenced by the photos on the ITEXPO home page.

This is the largest gathering of VoIP buyers in the world and I can confidently say this is the one place you need to be if you are in the VoIP space.



Interesting Quote on Michael Powell

October 26, 2005

Mr. Powell Speaks

October 26, 2005

"Tin can and string," is how Mr. Powell referred to the PSTN in his speech - at ITEXPO, his first at a telecom event since he stepped down as chairman of the FCC. Powell made the speech in a standing room only session of over 800 people.

Powell discussed the power of Moore's Law and the rapid advancements in technology in cars, building systems and the medical field. Storage too has grown exponentionally in cost and dropped in price. Powell's first hard disk purchase cost $1,000+ and held 10 megabytes.

Brand X Keynote Today

October 26, 2005

Jim Pickrell started his talk by saying he didn't think being an ISP was going to take him down the lawsuit path.

As Jim mentioned his competition is also the company he needs to buy access from.

SBC as Jim says spends a fortune on lobbying.

His world famous lawsuit was an attempt to open the cable market up meaning cable companies should have common carrier obligations and open their networks.





The Standard Hotel

October 26, 2005

Amazing Show Day

October 26, 2005

Today has been an amazing day for me.

I have met so many people looking to deploy VoIP. Some service providers some resellers. I have seen a variety of people in all different markets.

Skype Keynote Today

October 25, 2005

Blogged from my Blackberry:

Niklas Zennstrom says his company is the only major player in VoIP that started with and is focused on VoIP. He also mentioned that eBay engineers are helping his company grow.

He works with equipment providers to help provide end to end quality. Niklas mentioned there is a Skype certification program and he sees the Skype ecosystem as growing nicely.

Polycom is a new partner announced today. Linksys is another partner that was announced recently.





Susan Kennedy

October 25, 2005

Blogged by Blackberry:

Commissioner Susan Kennedy gave an entertaining talk this morning and mentioned how VoIP erases everything we know about regulation. In the past we focused from a regulatory perspective on things like the length of copper and whether is something a telecom or information service.

These lines are the user manual for regulation. VoIP blurs these lines and regulators are scared about losing power.

Taxes on telecom services are up to 30 percent per bill.

22 billion dollars in tax revenue will be lost if we move 100% to VoIP.

40% of USF funding will be gone as we move to VoIP.

The FCC has stepped in to stop states from regulating VoIP.











Rumor Mill Yahoo!

October 24, 2005

Yahoo! Keynote at ITEXPO

October 24, 2005

Notes from ITEXPO posted from my Blackberry:

Brad Garlinghouse blew away the audience today when he talked about a quarter of a billion people having access using IM now that MSN Messenger works with Yahoo! Messenger. Every day there are 4 times more IM messages on the Yahoo! IM network as AT&T carries.

Brad does not think VoIP will kill the phone business like people predict. He thinks user behavior is tough to change.



The Energy At ITEXPO

October 24, 2005

VoIP URLs Oct 25, 2005

October 24, 2005

Here are the latest VoIP URLs. I haven't listed these in a while but a few of these caught my eye. p2pvoip.org and p2pvoip.org are the ones. I actually found our own URL on the list: TMC VoIP which will point to our new VoIP service. We are still in the process of setting this up.

Another interesting one is voipandwimax.com registered to a Lea V. Lauzon in Canada.


10voip.org
gonevoip.com
itsmorethanvoip.com
keepintouchwithvoip.com
magnavoip.net
newagevoip.net
onicomputertechvoip.com
p2pvoip.org
reviewvoipservices.com
starwebvoip.com
tmcvoip.com
tryxstreamvoip.com
ukvoipexchange.com
ukvoipexchange.net
umvoip.com
voip-antilles-guyane.org
voip-netzwerk.org
voip360.info
voip360.org
voipandwimax.com
voiparlate.com
voipdimension.com
voipdirect.info
voipledger.com
voipoption.com
voiproutecenter.com
voipsecurityforum.org
voipseo.com
vorwahl-032-voip-internettelefonie.com
vorwahl-032-voip-internettelefonie.info
vorwahl-032-voip-internettelefonie.net
zsvoip.com
mycuentavoip.com
seacomvoip.com
voip168.com
voipspares.com
webmailglobalvoip.com
wevoip.net









































Where Is VoIP Peering Headed?

October 24, 2005

I recently spoke with some of the leaders in the VoIP peering space about the market. As you know next year is the year of VoIP peering and some will say the year of VoIP peering may even be 2005. Either way, the market for VoIP peering is growing and growing quickly. I recently had a chance to ask some questions of Nextone's Dan Dearing and InfiniRoute Network's Gary Tauss about the market and where it is headed.

IPCommunications.com

October 24, 2005

TMC is very proud to have launched the world's most authoritative site on IP Communications. IPCommunications.com is the place to check for information on next-generation communications. From development trends to enterprise articles to information on IMS, VoIP, video and SIP... You won't find a better place to go every day to keep up to date on the most exciting IP Communications market.

Susan Kennedy to Address ITEXPO Breakfast

October 24, 2005

This Tuesday, October 25 at 7:30 AM California Public Utilities Commissioner California Public Utilities Commissioner Susan Kennedy will be speaking at breakfast to conferees at ITEXPO.

Focusing heavily on telecommunications issues, Commissioner Kennedy has taken on some of the most important cases before the Commission, including implementation of the FCC's Triennial Review Order and review of the New Regulatory Framework.

As CPUC Commissioner, Ms. Kennedy has become a leading voice for regulatory consistency, infrastructure investment and promoting economic development. She is a strong advocate for competition and regulatory restraint, particularly as it relates to emerging technologies in the area of telecommunications. She was among the first utility commissioners in the nation to speak out against regulation of Internet telephony, and has proposed that competition in the telecommunications industry be allowed to drive the development of new technologies and services without regulatory constraint

We are excited to have Commissioner Kennedy speak this week.





Konrad Trope

October 24, 2005

Konrad Trope (bio, topic) is now speaking at ITEXPO as a lunch keynote this Wednesday. I am really excited to have him here. His topic will be the security risks of VoIP and we are excited to have him as part of our event.



More On Konrad Trope

As the managing shareholder of Novo Law Group, Konrad L. Trope brings 20 years of experience to legal issues involving all aspects of E-Commerce, Cyberspace, Intellectual Property, Technology, Entertainment, and Telecommunications. His national practice covers litigation, transactions, and regulatory counseling for technology and telecommunications corporations.

Russell Shaw on ITEXPO

October 24, 2005

IPCC Meeting at ITEXPO IMS and FMC

October 24, 2005

Join the Wireless/Wireline Convergence

Working Group Meeting

Fixed-Mobile Convergence, IMS

And VoIP E911 update

Why: IMS and Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) have taken front stage in the industry over the last 12 months as a means to tie higher layers to transport, allowing operators to deliver richer services while maintaining control of the network. This session will explore how FMC has become a lead driver for IMS deployments, and look at the latest technical and architectural developments to bring converged services to market using an IMS approach.

 

When: Tuesday, October 25, 2005, starting at 10:15 a.m. Where: Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 501 C Who: Introduction and E911 update, Michael Khalilian, Chairman & President IPCC. Speaker: Kevin McCracken, Director, Product Management, NewStep Networks.

Sphere Communications ITEXPO News

October 24, 2005

Emergency IP Communications

October 23, 2005

How To Make Money Selling VoIP

October 23, 2005

Microsoft Not To Force Media Player

October 21, 2005

Surveillance Over IP

October 21, 2005

There will be a focus on security and surveillance over IP at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo next week. Well at least we will have a session devoted to the topic. I had expected the market for these products and services to grow faster than it has. You would think that just as IP is changing the way we transmit voice and video, the same change would have to happen to the security market as primarily voice and video are what this market transmits today.

The benefits in going IP are huge.

VoIP Peering Keynote

October 21, 2005

While I am getting ready to head out to Los Angeles for ITEXPO this weekend, I just leaned I will be a keynote speaker at this new event and I can’t be more excited to be there. I will speak at 10:00 am. As you know I have proclaimed 2006 as the year of VoIP peering. This is one of the last opportunities I will have to discuss the topic until 2006 kicks off.

FEMA E-Mails

October 20, 2005

Blackberry Thumb

October 20, 2005

Intelligent Design In Australia

October 20, 2005

India Vs. China

October 20, 2005

Converged Contact Center Webinar Today

October 20, 2005

I am involved with a webinar today _ I will be one of the speakers. The seminar is very interesting as it discusses how SOA, contact centers and multichannel integration all come together.

The company who is co-presenting the webinar with TMC is called M1 Global and I am pretty impressed with all they do. They have a different perspective on contact centers and tie together disparate elements more neatly.

Using drag-and drop visual modeling tools you have access to a carrier class contact management system that lives in the cloud. Well at least in this case the cloud is equipment collocated in the MCI network.

I would write more but I have to go practice and proof my slides.





Surf Communications

October 19, 2005

The market for video and triple-play products is doing well and companies supplying this market with products are expected to see sales increase nicely going forward. SURF Communications is one of the companies in this space and they make high-density media processing boards based on TI microprocessors. While Intel and others are promoting the use of HMP or host media processing as the future, Surf is very happy to use TI DSPs to process both video and voice (for now at least). By the way, fax and modem processing can be done on the same DSPs dealing with voice and video.

Surf offers its products on variety of platforms, including a DSP farm on AMC (Advanced Mezzanine Card).

Google and China

October 19, 2005

Gmail Dies

October 19, 2005

Well not really. I have to work on those headlines. They can be so dramatic sometimes. Perhaps my recent reading of supermarket tabloids has negatively influenced me. Those tabloids can be so full of fluff.

ECI Triple-Play News

October 19, 2005

ECI Telecom introduced on Wednesday the Hi-FOCuS MiniCAB, an Outside Plant (OSP) system that can fully replace a complete street cabinet. The size of the system allows broadband deployments for triple-play services at any location, including rural areas, by reducing the installation impediments associated with traditional street cabinets.

The system supports ADSL2+ and VDSL2-based capabilities, and is the latest addition to the Hi-FOCuS family of OSP solutions.

The triple-play market is certainly heating up and service providers are scrambling to find efficient ways to roll these services out to their customers. In terms of availability: the Hi-FOCuS MiniCAB ADSL2+ version is currently available. The VDSL2 version will be available in Q1 2006.

Check out the Triple-Play/IPTV sessions next week in Los Angeles for more information on this burgeoning field.





ITEXPO East

October 19, 2005

Check out the conference brochure for Internet Telephony Conference & Expo East which takes place in Ft. Lauderdale at the convention center January 24-27 2006. This will be the first time this show is in a convention center on the east coast and if you were at the Miami event last February you know we couldn't even feel all the attendees we had -- let alone all the new attendees we expect next year.

You might have also noticed the shows are now referred to as east and west.

Remember this is the first show of the year in VoIP. Florida in January is not a bad place to be after all.



Skipping 3G

October 19, 2005

Marc Zionts

October 19, 2005

StarVox VoIP Funding

October 19, 2005

The funding in the VoIP market is not letting up. Chalk up another $9 million. To its credit StarVox has 300 POPs meaning they have significant control over their network. It also means high costs which of course leads to the need for funding.

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StarVox Raises $9 Million in Series A Financing
 
--- Provides working capital and funds for acquisitions ---
 
San Jose, CA – October 19, 2005 – StarVox Communications Inc.(StarVox), a facilities-based next generation Infrastructure and Applications Service Provider, announced today that it has raised $9 million in its first round of financing led by Novus Ventures, Trinad Capital Master Fund and Deutsche Suisse Asset Management.







Avaya And Global Crossing SIP

October 19, 2005

Ring Tones

October 19, 2005

I was speaking last night with Gene Retske of Prepaid Press while taking part in the Excel Switching user Group meeting and during the course of our conversation he mentioned tattoos. He explained how he sees the customization of telecom being similar to the customization of the body. Good point and this probably explains the billions being spent on ring tones.

The topic of ring back tones came up and I estimated in the conversation that this market will be perhaps 15% of the ring tone market.

TMCnet In Top 2,500 Sites In world

October 19, 2005

The Irony

October 19, 2005

Excel Switching User Group

October 19, 2005

This is a pretty nice event so far. Very intimate and I got to speak with some old friends and I made a few new ones. I am actually most surprised at how professional the people who work for some of the other publications in the telecom space are. There are some very nice people out there.

Southern California Hit By Phone Outage

October 18, 2005

In what may be one of the most amazing blog entries ever I get to tell my readers that Southern California was just hit by a phone outage meaning that not only regular calls couldn't get through but 911 calls as well. This is just one week before Internet Telephony Conference & Expo hits the Los Angeles Convention Center.

It seems historic that with all the talk of the FCC regulating VoIP and making sure our industry is secure from outages such as these; Verizon has an outage of its own. It seems the PSTN is not as perfect as we think.

Perhaps this is someone's way of telling us as an industry that we have alternatives to the status quo.

With today's distributed architectures using VoIP is actually a more secure way to communicate as VoIP is IP based communications and as such is able to easily offer the same levels of reliability the Internet gives us. Remember that the Internet was designed to be able to work during a nuclear attack!

With properly designed redundant VoIP systems it is possible for VoIP to exceed PSTN levels of service quality.

I think of all the places for phone service to fail the fact that it went down in Southern California is telling.









Excel Switching User Conference

October 18, 2005

AVST CallXpress 7.71

October 18, 2005


In 1995-2000 the industry was convinced that unified messaging was going to immediately sweep the corporate desktop. The whole idea of uniting fax, voicemail and e-mail together made too much sense to not happen quickly. Sometimes logic and what you think is common sense just doesn't happen and now we live in a world where a $10/month VoIP service provider can give you unified messaging and most enterprise users still don't have it.

My take? The advent of VoIP service providers will make corporate executives wonder why they can't have the flexibility of UM in the office yet their $10/month service offers it.


Huge News Next Week

October 18, 2005

Betrayed By The Laser Printer

October 17, 2005

Pennsylvania Asks For 911 Fees

October 17, 2005

CORMAN’S LEGISLATION SAYS VoIP PROVIDERS MUST SEND 911 FEES TO PENNSYLVANIA

(HARRSIBURG) -  In the wake of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling which mandates that voice over the internet (VoIP) providers provide E-911 services to customers, Sen. Jake Corman (R-34) has introduced legislation requiring these companies to forward those 911 fees to the Commonwealth.

In May of this year, the FCC issued an order requiring E911 service from interconnected VoIP providers.  These companies are similar to traditional telephone providers in that they enable customers to receive calls from and terminate calls to the public switched telephone network.  Examples of VoIP providers include Vonage, Packet8, AT&T’s CallVantage, Broadvoice, SunRocket and Voicepulse.

Corman noted that many of these companies already collect fees for providing 911 services to customers.  However, Pennsylvania currently has no law that compels them to forward those 911 fees back to the Commonwealth like traditional and wireless phone companies must do.

This week Corman introduced Senate Bill 936 to update Pennsylvania’s Public Safety Emergency Telephone Act.







BrandX at ITEXPO

October 17, 2005

I am pretty excited to meet Brand X’s Jim Pickrell as he speaks at ITEXPO next week. As the head of a small ISP Jim Pickrell fought to open up cable networks to competing ISPs. He lost his case in court but that hasn’t burned out the fire in him. He remains vehement that smaller ISPs should be able to have the same advantages as the big boys. Quoting Mr. Pickrell, he says “Without a ruling in their favor, these smaller ISPs and telcos will have no way to survive”

------

BrandX Internet CEO to Keynote at INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO Fall 2005

Company at the Center of Battle vs.





At The Dentist

October 17, 2005

The freedom to blog from anywhere has compelled me to send a note to my readers from the dentist's chair as I wait for the dentist to come speak with me. I always feel like I am lucky after a cleaning at the dentist. With all the scraping of those sharp tools in my mouth I always wonder how they don't slip and cut my gums. Thankfully the cleaning is over and I will have nice shiny teeth at ITEXPO next week.

SonyEricsson Earnings

October 17, 2005

I blogged about SonyEricsson this weekend and today they announced their net profit rose 6 percent in the third quarter. Funny thing is that this article points out that the company is the sixth largest mobile-phone maker. At some point shouldn’t we be counting from the smallest. No disrespect intended of course to SonyEricsson as they make great products and are a relatively new phone player.

Bird Flu Now In Romania

October 16, 2005

Aspect Software Buys Sivox Technologies

October 16, 2005

Apple iBerry

October 16, 2005

I have been complaining about how terrible Verizon Wireless phones are for a long time. And they really do stink. GSM phones are far superior. Of course I am referring to the selection and features of GSM phones not the quality of the GSM network.

Old McDonald Had Some WiFi

October 16, 2005

Fred Ziari seems to be the rural WiFi hotspot pioneer. By hotspotizing (did I just make up another word?) farmland he is pioneering efforts to put hotspots where they aren’t today and where they may never be if it was up to the local phone companies who see no profit potential by adding WiFi to areas where there are few customers.

How does Ziari make money? Well he doesn’t. You see his hotspot is free.

Didx.org

October 16, 2005

Didx.org is a service I just learned about allowing DID number trading and peering. The service allows a VoIP service provider to provide national and international numbers from their website and only pay for the number when a customer buys the number from them.

The company plans on adding new features such as e911 and CALEA support. Next month it will have ENUM and regular peering service similar to the VPF.

Update:

I had a chance to speak via e-mail with company management and found some more interesting facts about DIDX.





Packet 8 Does Europe

October 15, 2005

There is a pretty amazing thing happening in VoIP. Vonage is spending oodles of money on marketing and other service providers are reeling when trying to go head-to-head with them. Two of the other major players in VoIP are AT&T and Packet8. One would imagine AT&T could keep up with Vonage on the marketing front but alas the New Jersey-based telecom giant has gone dark for a long while and their pending merger with SBC as a new parent will eventually give us some idea of where they are headed.

Does Speech Technology Work?

October 15, 2005

During the birth of any technology that replaces people with automation there is a high level of frustration until the technology gets to a level where it is ready to be accepted by the majority of consumers.

When the first ATM machines appeared many people complained that banks were losing their personal touch. But when you needed $500 cash at 8:00 p.m. in the evening there was no personal touch to be found. Yes, convenience trumped the teller and I will never ever go back to a bank teller – except possibly at gunpoint.

Similarly when the first voicemail systems were produced most corporations said they were too impersonal and they would never use them.



Google Earth Complaints

October 15, 2005

VoIPeering

October 15, 2005

Check out Hunter Newby’s VoIPeering column in the November 2005 issue of ITMAG where he will focus on how VoIP peering ties into the SS7 network. Here is an excerpt:

There is no doubt that the data that is accessed via SS7 is critical, so there is no chance of eliminating the need for it and given the legacy architecture of SS7 not much chance of eliminating the TDM loop between the switch and the database - if the switch and the database keep speaking the same old language in between. Recently SNET DG and VeriSign became the first two telco database managers to enable IP access to their data for look-ups. This solved one half of the problem.

Evolve Or Die

October 15, 2005

I was speaking with an investment banker friend of mine who shared with me his tales of listening to the management of many companies in the VoIP space and how immensely screwed up they were. You see he tells me these companies are generally lead by people who don’t understand they are running a business.

Yes he mentioned, the majority of companies in VoIP are still focusing on things like trying to dress up their companies for acquisition by focusing exclusively on partnerships instead of focusing on customer wins.

He analyzes balance sheets for a living and says most VoIP companies still don’t get it. He says everyone thinks they are Skype and in reality well – no one is. Perhaps except Vonage he said.

In other words start focusing on getting in front of customers.





Contact Center Turnaround Webinar

October 15, 2005

Hope to see you on the web in the near future at this webinar. I am looking forward to it. I recently spoke with the M1 management team and was impressed with their knowledge of contact centers and how to make them more productive and intelligent. This is definitely not going to be a webinar with info you can get anywhere else.

Just Reboot It

October 15, 2005

The mentality I see more and more of from product designers is that they don’t need to design bullet-proof products as long as they can be rebooted. Is it the complexity of today’s devices that make it necessary for cell phones and cable set-top boxes to need restarting? Or is it the designer that needs to meet impossible deadlines and cuts corners to get the product onto the market quickly?

The good news about Microsoft getting into more areas of the consumer electronics market is they can be a standardizing force and cause prices to drop. The bad news ?

More Mini Microsoft

October 15, 2005

My Mini-Microsoft blog entry has become a mini-mini-Microsoft blog. Thanks in part to a long-time employee of the company who recently posted a lengthy comment about the woes he sees in the corporation. He/She blames much of the company’s troubles on Bill Gates. Take a look at this excerpt:

Who is to blame for this debacle?  First BillG himself, for pushing the Windows group to take on huge, extremely difficult technical projects that destabilize all the core parts of the OS, and hold shipping hostage.  Even worse, in some cases these efforts seem to be little more than ‘pet’ ideas of Bill’s, with little clear customer value, at least to my understanding.  Second, the very top handful of execs in the Windows group are to blame, for placating Bill and not applying the most basic good judgment on engineering and project management.  From my perspective, it was clear to nearly every engineer in every product group at MS that Longhorn was badly screwed up, for far too long.  But no one at the top would admit it or come to grips with it for far too long.  For top product execs as MS, there is a long history of a culture that Bill is right, do what he says, always stay in his good graces no matter what.  If you do that, you will likely make a huge fortune.  If you don’t, your career at MS is over.  I understand the pressure on execs to behave that way and always say ‘Yes’ to Bill.  But that’s not the leadership we need.  We are not helping anyone with this game, neither customers nor ourselves. 


First of all I must say that Microsoft – from my perspective has slowed its innovations greatly.


Michael Powell

October 14, 2005

I had a great discussion with Michael Powell today as he prepares for his discussion at the upcoming Internet Telephony Conference & Expo. Wow! It was great to speak with him. He was about as cordial as a human being can be. After the conversation someone in my office commented that he could have been Carly Fiorina’s cousin as he was abut as cordial and nice as she was on the phone.

Productivity Skyrockets

October 14, 2005

Productivity is so important to companies everywhere and in my opinion we may be on the verge of seeing it skyrocket? How you ask? Rich, is there some new VoIP gadget that I will see at ITEXPO in a week that will change my life? Is it that funky Linksys/Skype phone that Tome Keating blogged about a week or so ago?

Sip2Go

October 14, 2005

DRAM Price Fixing

October 14, 2005

Imagine how much cheaper computer prices would be if there wasn’t rampant price fixing in the DRAM memory markets! Excerpt:

Samsung Electronics Co. and its U.S. subsidiary Samsung Semiconductor Inc. have agreed to plead guilty and pay a $300 million fine for participating in an "international conspiracy" to fix prices on dynamic RAM (DRAM), the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Samsung's fine is the second-largest criminal antitrust fine in U.S. history and the largest criminal fine since 1999, the DOJ said.

Resolving the investigation was "paramount" to Samsung, said Chris Goodhart, the company's director of marketing communications.





Need a VoIP CTO?

October 14, 2005

Michael Khalilian

October 14, 2005

Mike Khalilian is the chairman of the IPCC, the group that has partnered with Internet Telephony Magazine to award the VoIP Service Provider Awards in a week or so in LA at ITEXPO. I bring this up because Mike was just quoted in this article about how CLECs need to immediately embrace VoIP.

Excerpt:

So Khalilian wants to emphasize to the CLEC community that VoIP does indeed work, and that the technology costs for VoIP are below $100 per subscriber. That number was inflated only because of the large amount of money pioneering VoIP service providers spent advertising through major media outlets, he says. “Some of our friends spent over $100 million in the last couple years” on marketing, he adds.



Air Canada Pillows

October 14, 2005

You will now have to pay for pillows on Air Canada flights. I think this is a great idea. I have suggested since 2002 that airlines charge for food and now some are. I would rather pay for the privilege of having food or a pillow than not have the option to have it.

The problem is with the payment system.

VoIP in Hollywood

October 13, 2005

Back To Avant Browser

October 13, 2005

OK. I respect Tom Keating’s technology acumen a great deal. He is probably one of the smartest and most knowledgeable in the space. So when Tom tells me how good Firefox is and how well it works for him.

Will BellSouth Buy Vonage

October 13, 2005

I got my head handed to me by the mere mention of the fact that BellSouth might buy Vonage for a whole hunk of cash. Bloggers can be so moody sometimes . Anyway now it seems some of the same bloggers that basically told me I was insane to suggest that BellSouth was in talks with Vonage are pontificating on this actually happening.

More interesting is the fact that the valuation I put out there seemed insane even to me and by Skype standards today may have been too low!

I don’t mind getting slammed by bloggers. It is kind of fun actually.



Today’s Webinar

October 13, 2005

ITEXPO Press List Posted

October 12, 2005

Leaving Comptel

October 12, 2005

I am really enthused about the market in general. As I leave Comptel, I spoke with many service providers who are excited about coming to ITEXPO in about a week and a half in LA to learn about how they can implement VoIP into their business plans to become competitive and to have a sustainable business model.

If anything it just motivates me more when I hear how people come to TMC expos and leave with valuable information they can implement in their businesses.

In this case the CLECs are struggling to come up with models that will launch them into the world of VoIP and in some cases video/triple play.

What is great about Comptel is the deal making. There is more networking in the hotel lobby and outside the exhibit hall than in. Much of the reason for this is that this event is primarily an association driven gathering.

Contrast this to ITEXPO where every show brings hoards of new buyers.







Microsoft LiveMeeting

October 12, 2005

Linksys/Skype Review

October 11, 2005

Vonage In A Box

October 11, 2005

Everyone it seems wants to be Vonage. The company has attracted almost as many competitors as it has customers. The market for Vonage-In-A-Box products is booming. There are many companies that will help provide you with everything you need.

IPCC Meeting Today

October 11, 2005

I got to sit in on an IPCC meeting which discussed how CLECs can transition into VoIP. Staci Pies had a great talk on 911in which the issue of liability came up. Who is liable when service providers lose broadband service? For example some VoIP providers lost access to the Internet recently due to the Cogent and Level 3 dispute.

Much of the discussion centered around whether you need to protect yourself from the FCC or from liability from consumers or both.

Global Touch Telecom

October 11, 2005

I just me with the energetic management team of Global Touch Telecom (GTT)and was pretty impressed with what they are up to. They sell hosted platforms for VoIP -- be it residential or commercial. They purchased a company called Xcast Labs that built their own hosted platform including a session border controller and softswitch. Why build your own when these products are available on the open market?

Orlando World Center Marriott

October 10, 2005

This is the second time I have been at a hotel at a telecom show and found there is no Internet access. Well there is access mind you, it is just that the network is so congested that it is absolutely impossible to get an IP address or worse you get one and the speed doesn't even compare to dial-up.

Andy Abramson has some great views on this topic and they are that hotels need to have on-demand bandwidth capable of handling the traffic their guests put on the network. I am paraphrasing a bit here but that is the general idea.

I for one cannot stay disconnected and EVDO while great is no substitute for real broadband. Hotels, especially those touting themselves as world class resorts need to focus more on the broadband access they supply guests.

Soon, the web will make it easy for traveling executives to screen out the hotels with lousy Internet access meaning poor bandwidth will equal less revenue.

The Internet is the greatest disseminator of information and trust me, people who have terrible broadband experiences in hotels after paying for access will complain loudly and frequently.

If you disagree, start reading once again at the top of the page.













eBay Acquisition Spree

October 10, 2005

Arrived In Orlando

October 10, 2005

Arrived In Orlando

October 10, 2005

Liberty Bell Telecom Picks VoX

October 10, 2005

VoX Communications is doing very well in the wholesale VoIP market. I think the dual strategy of wholesale/retail is very smart. Disclaimer: I’m a shareholder of eLEC. Still the combination of wholesale and retail means you can make more money without the need for doubling equipment and staffing cost.

Sentito News

October 10, 2005

Off to Comptel. Here is some early morning news from the show:

Wholesale Carrier ETN Singapore Selects sentitO ONX System 3 to Deliver Voice Over Broadband Services

sentitO ONX System 3 Key Element of ETN’s IP Migration Strategy and Service Expansion for its Asian and African Carrier Customers

ORLANDO, FLA., October 10, 2005  - sentitO Networks, a leading provider of open and distributed VoIP switching equipment and service delivery solutions for global telecommunications service providers, announced today that wholesale carrier ETN Singapore has selected sentitO to deliver wholesale network and subscriber based voice-over-broadband services (VoB).  ETN will deploy sentitO’s new ONX System 3, its intelligent IP switching and service delivery solution, to provide seamless and secure delivery of VoIP services in Singapore before rolling out sentitO systems into its key telecom markets in the Philippines, Vietnam, Pakistan and South Africa.

ETN Singapore is one of Asia’s fastest growing wholesale telecommunications carriers deploying advanced VoIP and TDM technologies to its carrier customers in Singapore, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Vietnam, USA, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.  ETN chose sentitO’s ONX System 3 in September after a rigorous 9-month test and evaluation process featuring several industry leading vendors. 

“sentitO ONX System 3 blends high capacity, purpose-built hardware with an open, SIP-based architecture that provides ETN with mission critical flexibility and reliability to rapidly integrate and scale a broad array of innovative, VoB services across diverse network topologies,” said Richard Tang, CEO of ETN Singapore  “This integrated signaling and media gateway solution ensures seamless inter-working between new SIP based networks and the legacy PSTN switches within our various Asian and African markets that use diverse SS7 variants and media codecs in their networks.  sentitO’s solution will provide us with a significant competitive advantage to grow and evolve our VoB services mix to adapt to the ever changing demands within these telecom markets.”

Each ONX System 3 system features sentitO’s Intelligent Voice Gateway, Proxy 7 signaling gateway, and PreVision Network Manager, providing ETN Singapore with the critical TDM-IP conversion, secure SS7-SIP inter-working and call control functions required for the scalable and secure delivery of advanced IP services.  The sentitO solution blends a uniquely open and distributed standard-based architecture with custom, carrier-grade hardware to deliver unmatched reliability, voice quality and application innovation with assured performance at scale. ONX System 3’s distributed processing architecture enables service providers to scale cost-effectively and support both low-and high-density deployments, while delivering carrier-class features such as 1:N line card protection and a full suite of voice compression options.











Off To Comptel

October 9, 2005

Tadiran America

October 9, 2005

Tadiran America is a company that always had great technology but was pretty quiet in the last few years. I expect to see this company become a bigger threat to the PBX establishment in the near future. Company execs tell me they will be aiming to go from 3% to 5% market share in the US. Perhaps higher.

Jobs Go to India

October 8, 2005

Half of Silicon Valley's outsourced jobs go to India according to this study.

"Outsourcing as a drain on area jobs seems to have leveled off," said Mario Belotti, the W.M. Keck professor of economics at the Leavey School of Business. "This leveling off is consistent with the latest monthly increases in the county labor force and civilian employment," he added. "Recent gains in both of these economic variables have been somewhat higher than similar gains for the U.S. as a whole."

The survey also gauges business optimism by asking senior managers and executives to compare conditions six months prior to the survey, and to project conditions six months from now.



Bird Flu

October 8, 2005

I have been hearing from some that the bird flu hoopla we have recently heard about is a publicity stunt. Others say the threat is very real. Perhaps what settles the argument is this article.

Take a look at these excerpts:

"Most bird flus emerge briefly and are relatively localized," said Dr. Andrew T. Pavia, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah and chairman of the pandemic influenza task force of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The most worrisome thing about H5N1, Dr. Pavia said, is that it has not gone away.

"It killed tigers at the Bangkok zoo, which is quite remarkable because flu is not traditionally a big problem for cats," Dr. Pavia said.





SugarCRM Contest

October 8, 2005

One of the more amazing aspects of open source software is the open source community. SugarCRM recently announced the 100th extension to its Sugar Suite open source CRM platform as well as a contest for developers with prizes totaling $2,500 in cash and prizes.

Over 2,000 developers have joined SugarForge.org in the last 14 months. This is quite an accomplishment.

In any open source project there is always a handful of developers that do most of the work.



REI Communications Triple Play

October 7, 2005

REI Communications is getting serious about triple-play as they are going to use Pannaway Technologies to deliver the service in Central Florida. 200,000 residents will have access to the service. REI Communications CEO Karl Burgess says one of the reasons they picked Pannaway was because the New England-based company helped deliver affordable service to their customers and Pannaway is working around the clock to deliver the solution.

The best thing about the deal? Pannaway is located in New Hampshire and the service calls in January are awesome!

VoIP URLs for October 7, 2005

October 7, 2005

Here are some recent VoIP URL registrations worth sharing. I like the first one 1800voipcall.com. It is registered to Ben Youngblood in California. Karaokevoip.com is kind of a cool concept as well.

Level 3/Cogent Peering Dispute

October 7, 2005

I wasn’t aware of the Level 3 and Cogent peering dispute until I read this article. This seems to be a legitimate problem for those companies relying on the services of either of the above named organizations. Shrihari has a good point when he says, “One way to circumvent the problem (and improve performance in general) is to establish direct Layer 2 Ethernet connections such as Stealth’s Voice Peering Fabric.” Of course he is biased as he runs the VPF. I am hearing more and more interest in the VoIP Peering Summit at ITEXPO later this month.

Qualcomm VoIP

October 7, 2005

Perhaps the most exciting news in VoIP yesterday was the little-covered announcement of Qualcomm supporting the Philips electronics WLAN module meaning the marriage of WiFi and cellular is coming. The integrated system will connect to WLAN networks as well as to existing cellular networks, featuring compatibility with 802.11b and 802.11g protocols on CDMA2000 and WCDMA (UMTS) networks.

At least the technology for dual-mode devices is falling into place. The question now is whether there will be a way for us to get at it. Will cellular providers help us in acquiring devices that allow us to speak not only on cellular networks but WiFi as well?

Sources tell me some service providers are warming to the idea while others are not so happy with it.



Deutsche Telecom VoIP

October 6, 2005

Not bad for Europe I suppose. 30 Euros -- well 29.95 to be exact may not fill up your gas tank but it can be how much you pay per month for Tier one VoIP in Germany. In fact Deutsche Telecom just rolled out an Internet telephony service for this precise monthly amount.

This article mentions Deutsche Telecom spent too much time fighting VoIP and not enough time promoting it. What it fails to say is the fact that this phone company was ahead of virtually all others as they were the only one to invest in VocalTec years ago.

In fact they made this move in 1999!!!



ITEXPO Gains Tremendous Momentum

October 6, 2005

What I just can't get over is the quality of attendees and press coming to ITEXPO later this month. When I tell you the press that will come to this event cannot be seen at any other VoIP show in the world, believe me. The people who are calling our office don't go to other IP telephony shows and in fact I am not sure they go to tech shows in general.

Not only will the trade press be there, we have business press, business radio and television networks coming to the show.

Having the most qualified attendees of any VoIP event was not enough for us. We wanted to make sure we had such a compelling event that the general media would salivate.



IPTV Future

October 6, 2005

I agree with this report that IPTV is the future. Furthermore that Internet delivery companies such as Yahoo! like organization are more of a threat to established players than the telecom companies. The scary thing is if cable and phone companies are really monopolizing bandwidth delivery...

PPLive

October 6, 2005

SIPTHAT

October 5, 2005

Google And Sun

October 5, 2005

Last night I arrived at my house just before sundown and witnessed two male deer having a sparring match 15 feet from my front door. They weren’t fully grown males – it seemed like they were adolescents and their antlers were each perhaps a square foot or so in size.

I wish I had my camera to take a good picture. Perhaps I will have another opportunity this weekend. The deer seemed only mildly phased by the presence of my car.

Sprint Nextel Sues Vonage

October 4, 2005

Who would have thought being able to hear pins drop would involve packetized telephony? More amazing is why Sprint Nextel would choose today to launch a patent infringement suit against Vonage and others.

I guess now that Vonage is a real company with a multibillion dollar IPO approaching, Sprint Nextel decided it was a good time to get a piece of the action. Also being sued is Voiceglo Holdings, a company already in pretty dire straights.

Was Packet8 one of the companies on the target list as well? Maybe.



VoIP Peering and XO

October 4, 2005

XO has joined the Voice Peering Fabric which means the company will be able to share VoIP traffic with other service providers without having to travel over the PSTN. The benefits of peering are many-fold allowing service providers to have better quality, lower fees and less taxes when transferring calls between one provider and another.

Another benefit of joining the VPF is the ability to get access to the VPF ENUM registry allowing XO subscribers to easily communicate with subscribers of other service provider networks with general ease.

Be sure to be at the VoIP Peering Summit at ITEXPO this month in LA if you are a service provider or enterprise interested in gaining the benefits of peering for your organization.



Jumping On BPL

October 4, 2005

If broadband over power line technology takes off, the world will be a much better place., Sure the technology works in trials but there have got to be a hundred variables making this a difficult concept to pull off on a large scale. I remember back in he late nineties I wrote articles about VoIP over cable and cable engineers used to send us letters to the editor telling us it would never happen.

Obviously these engineers were wrong. Similarly many people tell me BPL has many hurdles to overcome. They are probably right but if there is money in it, perhaps it makes sense for electric companies to look for new revenue opportunities such as voice over BPL.

I just read that Manassas, VA will be one of the first cities to roll out this exciting new technology and I wonder how well it will work.



The Hole In The Wall

October 3, 2005

Power Outage

October 3, 2005

TMCnet hosts it’s own servers and with our growing traffic, I feel like we are a service provider as we need to ensure the site is always up, we have the bandwidth necessary to deal with massive traffic spikes and we work to make sure all our visitors have a positive web experience.

In fact our web growth which can be seen in this chart has been a dream. Still, we aren’t perfect and occasionally things happen to bring your site down.

Recently in fact we found that our main UPS had a failure where the power outlets on the unit itself died.

This brought some serious grief to our MIS department as you can imagine.

As more organizations deploy applications like VoIP on their networks they need to be aware of the pitfalls of a poorly designed network. This is why TMCnet is working with APC to sponsor a web seminar titled The Road To Reliable, Available VoIP and IP Telephony.

I would love to see you on the webinar which takes place the day after tomorrow – on October 5th at 1:00 PM EST. Register here.









Live TV Comes To Cell Phones

October 3, 2005

It will be a pretty exciting day when you can watch live TV on a cell phone. That exciting day may be much sooner than you thought as an article by Reuters points out that Verizon may the first service provider to roll such a service out. Just yesterday I wrote about how Verizon is leading the pack in providing video via their VCAST service.

Hopefully this initiative will mean faster adoption of IPTV and more importantly will signal a new era in en entertainment where movie studios will realize they can make a good deal more money if they allow consumers to watch their content wherever they are and on whatever device they choose.

When Apple makes an announcement in the space, expect widespread hysteria by the mainstream media about the changing future of broadcasting.



VoIP Helps The Needy

October 3, 2005

If you think VoIP has had quite a run in the past few years and it is time for the phenomenon to wind down, think again. The biggest barrier to communicating via Skype, for example, is the cost of a computer. Once you have one connected to the Internet, PC to PC calling is free.

While VoIP is hot among students, it is generally students in developed parts of the world that are able to take advantage of it.

Just in Time Communications in Video

October 2, 2005

The music industry missed the music revolution. Back in 1998 when they should have been selling songs inexpensively online they instead waited for years while Napster allowed millions to download entire music libraries. Service like iTunes and the new Napster seem to be doing well these days and it is about time the record labels started to embrace the digital revolution.

But what about video? There is potentially as much demand for video content as there is for audio.

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