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November 2005

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Electromagnetic Fields

November 30, 2005

Blackberry Up To Their Neck

November 30, 2005

Gartner IT Predictions

November 30, 2005

Here are a few predictions Gartner makes for the future. Gartner’s pretty well-respected and their predictions carry a great deal of weight. My biggest concern is the point that is made in the report suggesting that companies are spending more on regulatory compliance and less on innovation. This is a chilling thought and should be a major concern for anyone concerned about effectively competing with companies from other countries.

If there is a bright side it is that smaller companies with less regulatory burden can still compete effectively as they have less paperwork and more time to be creative.

Here is an excerpt of the full story.

By 2008, 10 percent of companies will require employee-purchased notebooks.

No Israeli VoIP Blocking

November 30, 2005

Nokia 9300i

November 30, 2005

What can I say except that I desperately want one of these smartphones from Nokia.. I may even switch from Verizon to a GSM provider just so I have access to this phone.

I really want to ditch my Blackberry because while it does a good job at e-mail I need something that also lets me browse websites if needed. The 7750 is abysmal as a web surfing tool. The scroll wheel while great for e-mail just doesn’t do what you need when interacting with websites.

Enter the 9300i from Nokia that is taller and skinner than a typical smartphone but is packed with features such as a native e-mail client that supports POP3, IMAP4,SMTP and OMA data sync.


November 30, 2005

Russell on E911

November 30, 2005


November 29, 2005

Service oriented architectures are something I have been writing more and more about recently. Expect SOA and communications to become more intricately intertwined. Announcements like this are great because it shows the massive amount of collaboration SOA is bringing to an industry of once closed and proprietary standards.

Here is an excerpt:

The SOA Programming Model specifications include the Service Component Architecture (SCA) to simplify the development of creating business services and Service Data Objects (SDO) for accessing data residing in multiple locations and formats.

SCA provides an open, technology neutral model for implementing IT services that are defined in terms of a business function and make middleware functions more accessible to the application developer.  SCA also provides a model for the assembly of business solutions from collections of individual services, with control over aspects of the solution such as access methods and security.   Vendors working to create SCA include BEA Systems, IBM, IONA, Oracle,

SAP, Siebel and Sybase.

SDO complements SCA by providing a common way to access many different kinds of data.

Spanish TMCnet

November 29, 2005

We are really excited about our TMCnet in Español site. We are receiving much positive feedback on the content. For me, this endeavor is truly unusual as I cannot fully understand Spanish. I have a wonderful team of people that do of course speak the language but it is certainly exciting to be producing content in a foreign language that I can’t fluently speak.

What does this expansion mean for TMC?

Israel Bans VoIP

November 29, 2005

I was horrified to read on Tom Keating’s blog that Israel may soon be banning VoIP or doing its best to stop the progress of this technology. Israeli officials are not happy about the loss of revenue being attributed to VoIP but there are some things they aren’t taking into account.

For example, how much M&A activity in Israel in the past seven years has been a result VoIP and related technologies? How many VoIP engineers are working on VoIP products and services?

Everyone in the industry knows that armies of Israeli programmers are working VoIP. So many companies worldwide put their VoIP R&D labs in Israel in fact!

In my opinion if Israel takes on an anti-VoIP stance it will be disastrous for them from an employment perspective.

SER For Sale

November 29, 2005

Rumor has it SER is for sale and has $50 million in sales for the year. The sale makes good sense as a good part of the company’s inbound strategy was dependant on Aspect and now Aspect is owned by archrival Concerto (the company is now called Aspect Software).

SER has the absolute cream of the crop clients in the contact center space and this makes it a great buy. The downside is its overdependence on outbound which is seen as a negative.

Potential acquirers are likely Concerto of all people but don’t count out a fund who has investments in the call center space. Many funds are flowing with money and are looking for new places to invest.

Get a Free iPod Nano

November 29, 2005

I stopped in the Apple store yesterday and was amazed at how many iPod Nanos they are selling. For the record I was in the Westchester Mall located in White Plains, New York and was tasked with buying a nano as a gift. I stood in line of ten people who almost all purchased Nanos. The devices were stacked neatly under the counter at the checkout of the store.

I reached the counter and said I wanted a Nano. The cashier asked 2 gig or 4 gig.

FCC to Cable: Offer Individual Channels

November 29, 2005

The big FCC news today is a Wall Street Journal story reporting that the commission will soon suggest that cable companies offer their channels individually. A recent FCC report says that consumers could save money if they have the ability to choose which channels they want. The FCC is also pushing for themed tiers of channels allowing a customer for example to opt for a family-friendly tier.

Of course the FCC is not able to impose its will on the cable industry but such suggestions could embolden politicians to follow up on these recommendations with laws.

The cable industry argues that if many viewers were to drop channels aimed for example at children, the cost for these channels would have to rise for other consumers. Furthermore it may be possible that less money is available for the programming of such channels.

The problem here is that the channels with less interest are being subsidized by others that people want.

Skype in the Enterprise

November 25, 2005

Two months ago, on September 26, 2005 I wrote an article titled VoIP Killed the PBX Star. This article received a tremendous amount of traffic and from what I am told was posted on quite a few PBX vendor intranets and became required reading at a number of communications companies. In the article I outlined various threats to PBX vendors and came up with ways to fight back.

One of the biggest threats I discussed was the establishment of enterprise Skype-like products. Coincidently, the day my article was posted, a company by the name of BlueNote Networks released what seems to be the first software designed to be like Skype for the enterprise.

Let's think about this for a moment.

Google Internet Booth

November 25, 2005

You may have seen an Intel WiFi demo area at an airport or in some major metropolitan areas. Microsoft too has set up these areas for people to come and use WiFi while simultaneously learning about the company's products and services.

Bearing this in mind it might not be so surprising to hear Google too has set up such areas in the Heathrow Airport in London. Since Google now gets the opportunity to see their customers live they can ask questions and take surveys. For example, they can find out what people do when they travel.

VoIP Around The World

November 25, 2005

David Sims is doing a great job keeping us posted on the world events in the communications space while most of us are shopping or just trying to digest our turkey dinners from yesterday. So while you sit down at the lunch table with your turkey sandwich and cranberry sauce be sure to check out his First Coffee column for today where he discusses VoIP around the world.

Sims serves up some Philippine appetizers where by the way, VoIP providers now need to post a performance-guaranteed bond in order to provide service. From there, Sim's inspired verbal cuisine offers up a selection of main courses from your choice of Germany or the rest of Western Europe.

For Dessert, Sims serves up a healthy serving of Indian growth. Well regurgitated dessert always losing something in translation so here are Dave's own non-genetically altered words:

According to India Business Insight, research firm Gartner, Inc. has said that India is the fastest-growing information and communication technology industry in the world.

Return Receipt Frustration

November 24, 2005

XBox 360

November 23, 2005

Cable vs. Phone

November 23, 2005

Now that cable and TV companies are beginning to compete with one another it is interesting to see how the battle is becoming perhaps 80% regulatory. The other 20% is competition based on price and features. At least that is how it is playing out in New York State. Cable companies are doing their best to stop the rapid ascent of phone companies in various villages and towns.

CableLabs VoIP Peering RFI

November 22, 2005

I expect the entire cable industry to adopt VoIP peering soon. Take a look at this VoIP Peering RFI from CableLabs. I imagine that I could be right on with my prediction of 2006 being the year of VoIP peering. Still, I want to be a bit cautious as I am still waiting for the year of videoconferencing to finally arrive.

Getting back to VoIP peering, it is exciting to see the major players in the market like cable companies getting into the game. I am equally excited about the world’s next VoIP Peering Summit happening in conjunction with Internet Telephony Conference & Expo East in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, January 24-27, 2006.

Hackers Targeting Programs

November 22, 2005

Pixel Ads

November 22, 2005

The concept is fascinating but if I have to choose between pixel-based ads being a fad or a trend I would have to say fad. I just checked out, one of the companies in this space and was fascinated o see so many ads. Some of the ads reminded me of messages I get in my inbox as spam, making me wonder if there is a need for legitimate advertisers to ever use such a service.

The cost is so low that I am sure advertisers are drawn to the concept just to see if it works. How low?

VoIP Santa Claus

November 22, 2005

In what is an excellent gesture of good will, Packet8 is providing children in hospitals videophones so they can call Santa Claus

According to Kitty O'Brien of the Child Life Department at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, which participated in the "8x8 / Packet8 Videophone Calls to Santa" event previously, "The program was enormously successful last year and we are looking forward to bringing Santa's cheer to our patients again this holiday season."

"It's great to see the same 21st-century communication technologies that enable distant families and friends to instantly bridge gaps brighten the experience, even briefly, of hospitalized children this holiday season," said 8x8 Chairman and CEO Bryan Martin.

"This application of our Packet8 voice and video internet-based calling is a perfect example of how technology can enhance our everyday lives," Martin said.

"All you have to do is watch the smiles and hear the laughter and joy in these children's voices while they interact with our videophone Santa and his helpers to know that we are making a tremendous impact, even in the space of a five or ten minute call. This is something that would never be possible over legacy copper wires."

While the technology was in place to perform video conferencing and has been for years, the lower cost points possible due to the transmission of video over IP makes this solution inexpensive enough to deploy in hospitals.

The gesture here is wonderful and I am proud to be associated with an industry that gives back to humanity in such unique and novel ways.

Carrier VoIP Takes Off

November 21, 2005

According to Dittberner Associates the market for carrier VoIP products has grown at an astonishing rate of 67.8% in the third quarter of 2005 vs. the second quarter. Over 27.3 million media gateway, softswitch and integrated VoIP ports were shipped during the quarter.

New leaders emerged during the 3Q period. Huawei Technologies dominated the quarterly results shipping 12.36 million VoIP ports and displacing Nortel the consistent leader until now.

AT&T Logo

November 21, 2005

VoIP ICs Gaining Traction

November 21, 2005

China Skype News

November 21, 2005

The latest news on Skype in China is that Niklas Zennstrom is negotiating with China Telecom and China Netcom to allow SkypeOut services in China. This comes on the heels of the Tom Online joint venture the company inked. The simplified Chinese version of Skype the two companies collaborated on in fact have attracted 4 million registered Chinese users.

In China, Skype has made an effort to show its sensitivity to the concerns of operators. The Chinese-language version of the Skype software only permits calls from one PC to another; SkypeOut calls are not permitted.


November 20, 2005

Excessive Phone Charges

November 20, 2005

In 1998 I wrote more than one story about how you can be charged excessively -- in my opinion anyway, for calls you thought were local. Today I received this comment on that story: I hope this helps.


On 9/12/05 my mate called home collect from a hotel in Monticello, Arkansas. We talked 12 minutes.
On the October bill from Verizon was a third party billing labeled IntegreTel but with a second notice saying it was on behalf of OptiCom. The amount is $51.98.

Tax Cuts Coming

November 20, 2005

It sounds too good to be true but this article mentions that many states in the US have tremendous surpluses and may reduce taxes on food, business and property in response. New Mexico plans on sending tax refund checks of $140 each to 770,000.

Here are some details from the article:

State and local revenue rose 7.2% in the first nine months of this year, the biggest jump since 1990, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Spending is up 6%, the most since 2001.

Three years of strong revenue growth have left many states with large surpluses. New Mexico is looking at a $1 billion surplus.

The Future of VoIP

November 19, 2005

O Breakthrough

November 19, 2005

SIP and IMS Magazine Write-Up

November 19, 2005

TMC's new magazines titled SIP Magazine and IMS Magazine got picked up by the VoIP IP Telephony blog. We have received an amazing amount of feedback on both magazines and are excited about their respective launched this January and February 2006.

SIP continues to take the world by storm and is a technology that really bridges the VoIP world and information technology. IMS too is a bridging technology but in this case it bridges wireless and wireline. I am excited about both markets and I've been a SIP enthusiast since the standard came on the scene.

There was a time in 1999 to 2000 where I thought the endless spewing of new protocols in VoIP was going to choke the industry.

TMC Gets Some Press

November 18, 2005

New AT&T Is Here

November 18, 2005

Here is a release I received today from AT&T. Most of this is not new information but I was surprised to see the emphasis on entertainment. I didn't realize the new company was a leader in entertainment. I suppose this refers to triple-play services and is likely where the company is heading.

Cisco Enters The Living Room

November 18, 2005

Cisco announced today they are buying Scientific Atlanta a global leader in set-top boxes for $43 per share. Some of the reasons for this purchase are that video is becoming a bigger market for service providers and Cisco is responding to market conditions. Cisco CEO John Chambers says they have now filled in all the market spaces in the triple play space. Cisco is a leader in IP telephony and networking and now video according to Chambers.


November 17, 2005

Of Apple And Oranges

November 16, 2005

I hear more and more about the new video iPod and how it will change the world. In my opinion with the small screen size the device is little more than a fashion accessory -- at least for those of us with aging eyes. I am sure students will love the video capabilities but mainstream acceptance is a while off.

What is amazing is the concept of iTunes and the ability for this service to be a central clearinghouse for distributors of video content.

Now Apple isn't needed to distribute content but they seem to be the best chance the market has for organizing said content. That is of course until Google gets more aggressive in this space.

Points Of Interest

November 16, 2005

I am up very late putting finishing touches on my presentation tomorrow for Interactive Intelligence and Vonexus. It is cold in Overland Park, Kansas. I think I saw some flurries when I left the airport. It was hot in Vegas so my body is adjusting a bit.

IMS and SIP Print Magazines Debut in Q1, 2006

November 15, 2005

Please feel free to start signing up for SIP and IMS Magazines. SIP Magazine already has 28,000 subscribers and will be available in print in the US and digitally elsewhere. I assume if you read my blog you know SIP stands for session initiation protocol and is a superset of VoIP. The target audience for this publication is developers, enterprise decision-makers and service providers.

IMS Magazine is a newer publication and stands for IP multimedia subsystem.

Nuvio Denied By Federal Court

November 15, 2005

The U S Court of Appeals, DC Circuit today denied Nuvio's Emergency Motion for a Partial Stay of the E911 Order for VoIP Service Providers. According to Jason Talley, president and CEO of Nuvio, "While I'm greatly disappointed in today's decision by the U S Court of Appeals, I am heartened by the fact that the court's decision did not address the substantive issues in this case. We will still proceed with our appeal and still believe that the FCC's E911 Order for VoIP Service Providers is arbitrary and capricious."

Talley continued, "Although the FCC decided not to force Nuvio to disconnect its customers, that does not ameliorate the impact of the forced withdrawal of our VoIP service from the marketplace. The fact of the matter is this: the FCC's E911 requirements will translate into less choice for consumers and less technological innovation for our country."

My Travel This Week

November 15, 2005

I visited IP4IT this week and met old friends from Sphere Communications. They told me about me about their new relationship with Ingate systems allowing secure SIP trunking in the enterprise. This is important because dedicated SIP trunks are the future of telecom as they reduce the need for large amounts of proprietary hardware to connect to the phone network. Using Metro Ethernet you can connect directly to your SIP provider.

Just in Time Communications is Close

November 15, 2005

We are getting closer to realizing the dream of Just in Time Communications or JiTC. As you may recall, JiTC is the concept of squeezing inefficiency out of communications. It is very similar to real-time communications but different in one essential way. Communications shouldn't be real-time.

Speech And Audio Codecs

November 14, 2005

Linksys Teams With MCI

November 14, 2005

NY Times Goes Offline

November 13, 2005

Killing Backlights

November 12, 2005

I have learned a valuable lesson as of late. Perhaps the most fragile component in a laptop -- while it is off anyway is the screen backlight. The way I know this of course is because I have recently killed 2 or 3 on the same laptop. Coincidence?


November 11, 2005

TMC’s Bob Liu and Tom Keating wrote an excellent article on Microsoft and Cisco collaborating on the ICE standard, a technology used to enable VoIP traffic to more easily permeate firewalls in a secure fashion. Currently, session border controllers (SBCs) are useful but not standardized and punching holes in firewalls is not secure. The ICE standard can work with SBCs to allow more easy VoIP deployments in enterprise networks.

ICE isn’t a new protocol. It actually makes use of two other protocols called STUN and TURN, respectively, but it does require additional signaling capabilities to be introduced into the multimedia session signaling protocols.

Google Calendar

November 11, 2005

Russell Shaw points out that Google is likely contemplating a calendar service. On the surface this makes sense because Google is becoming a portal and the calendar is an essential part of the portal. But what Russell did to back up his hypothesis is type in to see if anything came up. He was redirected to the Google home page.

So this confirms the company probably has such plans and they will likely be announced shortly.

ITEXPO Exhibitor Survey

November 11, 2005

I am so grateful to all the Internet Telephony Conference & Expo Exhibitors that filled out surveys for our last show that took place just two weeks ago in LA. In just under 80 days we have our next show in Ft. Lauderdale Florida and we can’t be more excited.

I wanted to share the results of our latest exhibitor survey with you.
  • 75% of these exhibitors had exhibited at 3 or more shows in the past year
  • 100% percent of exhibitors said the exhibit hall traffic was equal to or better than anything they had seen in the past year!
  • 84% of exhibitors felt they got more leads at the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo than any other show they had exhibited at in the previous 12 months
  • 83% said that the target audience was exactly what they were looking for.
Thanks to all who made this show a success. - The Business Web

November 10, 2005

Thank You Marc Benioff for making my job more interesting. Compared to so many other CEOs who are reserved and diplomatic this guy just doesn't belong. I suppose when you have the track record of success Benioff does by launching an ASP with thousands of others and are the only major one left standing, you can be a bit -- well you can be anything you want I suppose.

Ban Skype

November 10, 2005

Info-Tech Research says you should ban corporate Skype usage ASAP. Should you? Well they cite a few reasons you should such as:
  • Skype is not standards-compliant, allowing it and any vulnerability to pass through corporate firewalls.
  • Skype's encryption is closed source and prone to man-in-the-middle attacks. There are also some unanswered questions about how well the keys are managed.
  • Enterprises using Skype risk a communication barrier with countries and institutions that have already banned the service.
  • Skype is undetectable, untraceable, and unauditable, putting organizations that are subject to compliance laws at risk.


November 9, 2005

For some reason when I learned of this website I thought of MC Hammer and Too Legit 2 Quit (Hey Hey) but LooksTooGoodToBeTrue is a real honest-to goodness site that is worth visiting before you get a computer for the first time. Who am I kidding, the site is intended for novices but can help those using PCs for a decade or more. In fact I know someone who recently gave away their entire identity online when they answered an e-mail they thought was from an online site. Ouch!

Anyway for those of you reading this blog you are probably experienced enough to not get taken advantage of online.

Sell New Services

November 9, 2005

Recently Verizon Wireless is impressing me more and more. They started to catch my attention when they started working with Palm and Microsoft on a Microsoft based Treo. The latest thing the company has done is solve a problem I have had for a while.

I hate calling Information or 411. I think it is a terrible waste of money as the same information is available for free virtually everywhere.

Nine out of ten times I call information from my mobile phone as my car is a place that doesn’t easily lend itself to looking up phone numbers online. The mobile companies do something smart in connecting you directly with your party when you call information.


November 8, 2005

A lawyer friend of mine detailed a court case he was involved in years ago involving ownership of gas lines criss-crossing the country. He explained how complicated the gas infrastructure of the country is and told me charts of these gas lines would make your eyes blur.

Now it seems these pipelines can be used to transmit and receive broadband via intra-wideband technology. A new technology called Broadband-in-Gas or BiG could become the savior of telecom competition in the US and elsewhere.

A research company called West Technology Research Solutions has a report on this market and if you would like more information, please contact them directly:

For more information, contact:

Contact: Karin Hall
Company: West Technology Research Solutions
Title: Senior Analyst
Phone: 650-940-1196

FCC VoIP E911 Public Note

November 8, 2005

I received this today and thought it might be helpful. (Please consult your lawyers on any matter pertaining to this blog entry and do not take this as legal advice. I am passing on an e-mail I received that was not directly from the Swidler Berlin LLC and may potentially be incomplete, etc.):


FCC Enforcement Bureau Releases Public Notice Concerning the Nov. 28, 2005 Deadline

FCC's Enforcement Bureau released a Public Notice that, among other things, provides guidance on the disconnection of current VoIP customers where full E911 compliance is not reached by November 28, 2005.  The Public Notice also lists information the Bureau requests that interconnected VoIP service providers include in the required compliance statements (due November 28, 2005) detailing the steps interconnected VoIP providers have made to comply with the E911 requirements of the Commission's VoIP E911 Order.

The Bureau specifically clarifies that VoIP providers need not discontinue service to current VoIP subscribers where fully compliant E911 service is unavailable, but also expects that VoIP providers will not market or accept customers in areas where they do not have a FCC-compliant VoIP solution in place. Specifically, the Public Notice provides “[a]lthough we do not require providers that have not achieved full 911 compliance by November 28, 2005, to discontinue the provision of interconnected VoIP service to any existing customers, we do expect that such providers will discontinue marketing VoIP service, and accepting new customers for their service, in all areas where they are not transmitting 911 calls to the appropriate PSAP in full compliance with the Commission’s rules.”

The information requested by the Bureau includes:

1) A technical description of the 911 solution being deployed, including quantifications of the number of subscribers to whom the provider is able to provide 911 service in compliance with the VoIP 911 Order, the use of selective routers and other elements of the Wireline E911 network, the use of ANI and Registered Location information, and a description of the areas of the country where, by November 28, 2005, where it is in full compliance with the VoIP E911 Order and where it is not.  The Bureau also requests plan for coming into full compliance for those non-compliant locations, including anticipated timeframes.

2) A detailed description of all actions the provider has taken to obtain subscriber Registered Location information, including relevant dates and methods of contact with subscribers and a quantification, on a percentage basis, of the number of subscribers from whom the provider has obtained the Registered Location. 

3) The statement should contain a description of the method(s) the provider has offered its subscribers to update their Registered Locations, including whether the provider is offering its subscribers at least one option for updating their Registered Location that permits them to use the same equipment that they use to access their interconnected VoIP service. 

4) The statement should contain a detailed description of any technical solutions the provider is implementing or has implemented to ensure that subscribers have access to 911 service whenever they use their service nomadically.  The Commission also requests that providers detail whether any automatic detection mechanism (that enables the provider to identify when a customer may have moved his or her interconnected VoIP service to a new location) is being used.

E911 Note by: Ronald W. Del Sesto, Jr. , Swidler Berlin LLP

Grokster And RIAA

November 8, 2005

I have always thought the amazing thing about p2p networks is the inability for them to be shut down as users connect with each other without the need for a centralized host. This week Grokster, the parent corporation who makes the p2p software was forced to shut down and while the company is in talks to sell their assets to a legal file sharing service to launch soon, they can’t stop users from continuing to use the service.

What they can do however is display a message to new users encouraging them to upgrade to a new version that may allow a few listens to a song before you have to pay.

The reason for the shut down of course is the Supreme Court ruling which also says the company has to pay $50 million to the Recording Industry of America.

People will still share files illegally of course by perhaps over time people will be encouraged to listen to music legally. For VoIP providers looking for alternative ways to generate revenue, streaming music and subsequently video are two such methods they employ. Teltel for example has a radio player built into their p2p SIP client.

Perhaps more people will listen to music via their VoIP software now that other p2p networks will have less of an incentive to launch new software and networks for illegal file sharing.

Either way, I expect Apple’s iTunes to benefit from this incident.


AP: Grokster Downloading Service Shuts Down

WSJ: For Grokster, It's the Day the Music Died (paid registration required).

Aswath on SBC

November 7, 2005

Here are Aswath’s comments on the whole SBC/Ed Whitacre debacle. If you understand cricket you will enjoy this post immensely. If not you may learn a thing or two about cricket.

It is my sincere hope that regulators are reading what the bloggers are saying about Whitacre’s comments. Still SBC has to make money in this brave new world and I can understand the frustration in watching competition poaching your customers on lines you supply.

I hope Mr. Whitacre reads this post and also looks at today’s earlier post on ringback tones.

BayPackets Does Ringbacks

November 7, 2005

If there is a genius idea out there it is putting ringtone and ringback capability into the US telecom market. It is not a new idea but we in the US seem to be the last in the world to be making money in this space. Ringtones are making a fortune for mobile providers in Europe and Asia and in the states it has been slow to catch on. Part of the slowness in my opinion is less marketing of the concept here and the fact that the US is generally behind most of the world when it comes to mobile and other sorts of telephony.

I mentioned the lack of domestic wireline carriers getting into the ringtone business just this weekend and I am blown away that wireline carriers are acting so slowly in getting into this market.

I saw a good sign that the ringback market is evolving here as BayPackets just announced they are leveraging RealNetworks to provide multimedia ringback tones for service providers.

In 2003, ringtone revenue topped $2.3 billion worldwide, according to telecom consultancy Ovum. According to Ovum, the worldwide market for "ring backs" is projected to grown from US$148 million in 2003 to US$2.4 billion by 2008.


November 7, 2005

I have written about an imbalance between the vendor market and businesses when it comes to hosting. I see more interest in hosting from the vendor community than I have from businesses. I wonder if all the new hosted communications companies will eventually drive more awareness of the market and subsequently more interest in subscribing to hosted services instead of purchasing equipment.

I recently met with the management team at GotVMail a hosted communications provider. They are focusing on the SMB market and offer a virtual account which enables you to have calls forwarded to a corporate division or any telephone number based on rules you define.

Skype Continues Rapid Growth

November 6, 2005

Sender Verification Goes Mainstream

November 6, 2005

Challenge-response technology has been around for awhile and it is one solution to block spam. I sent an e-mail to someone yesterday in response to a press release they sent me. In response I received a challenge e-mail. This e-mail requested I respond to the e-mail to make sure the sender knows I am a real person and not an automated spam blaster.

VoIP Business Opportunity

November 4, 2005

In case anyone is interested in this opportunity, please contact Steve directly.


Hello Rich,

My name is Steve Holmes and I own and operate a Telecom consulting firm up here in Maine that serves the business community here in the Northeast and a little beyond that as well.

A few months back, I had acquired the following domain names:

Along with this, I have also applied for Trademark protection through A LOGO has been designed.  And lastly, I have acquired a couple of "800" version Vanity toll free numbers that spell "VOIP" and "FAX" within each number.

I am explaining this to you to portray the fact that I have wanted to launch a VOIP telephony business in a very bad way but am now running slim in the financial department. My question to you is, would you know of any company or individuals that may be interested in joining me to run with this endeavor?

I am sure you receive MANY solicitations weekly, if not daily and I apologize in advance if this e-mail is a nuisance.  A reply from you would be greatly appreciated and respected.

Thanks for all of your time.

Steve Holmes

VoIP Fuels Web 2.0

November 4, 2005

A new beta of Yahoo! maps was recently released and I am impressed. Google has garnered much attention recently with it s new maps service and I am sure the pressure was felt by Yahoo! to one-up the company.


November 3, 2005

SBC seems to be moving along with their Project Lightspeed rollout but some are saying the project is much further behind than planned. A trial of the technology is set for Texas and 40 SBC employees will be able to get this triple-play service which includes VDSL in the range of 20-25 Mbps.

This level of bandwidth is sufficient for one HDTV channel and three regular channels. Expect 18 million households to be reached by the first half of 2008.

The question I have is why the bandwidth limitation? One HDTV channel shouldn’t be enough for most households.

Latest ITEXPO Photos

November 3, 2005

CMP Layoffs

November 2, 2005

VoIP Providers Win Major Victory

November 2, 2005

The FCC may have been a bit too hasty in requiring VoIP providers a short window to provide nationwide E-911 compliance. The original deadline was in August of this year. Not only did the FCC have to subsequently push back the deadline for compliance but the Senate Commerce Committee today pushed back the deadline for full 911 compliance to up to four years. The deadline will be pushed in one year increments based on waivers granted by the FCC.

Free iPod nano

November 2, 2005

My favorite iPod at the moment is the nano. I just think the form factor is amazing. I don't have one yet. I am too busy blogging and enjoying putting on conferences to get one.

Nuvio Fights For VoIP Fairness

November 2, 2005

I have heard nothing but complaining from VoIP service providers about the lack of response from the FCC on questions regarding implementing E911. I have heard it here at the Voice Peering Summit today and at Comptel at an IPCC meeting. The FCC according o some just doesn't have the bandwidth to deal with all the technical issues such as is Skype going to have to provide E911. What about SkypeOut or SkypeIn. The levels of complexities in VoIP are staggering and I feel for the FCC.

VoIP Box

November 2, 2005

Dr. Christian Stredicke has launched a new company called PBXNSIP which is short for PBX and SIP. As you may recall Christian also founded SNOM. The new company has a very slick product I just witnessed today called simply VoIP Box which is essentially a PBX which is about the size and weight of a deck of cards.

The device has a CompactFlash slot, USBconnectivity, two Ethernet connectors and a line in and out for music on hold.

At $1,295 you can have up to 50 extensions and 10 simultaneous lines. The two Ethernet connections can be allocated to public extensions and private -- allowing you to keep your internal phones off the open Internet.

Some of the benefits of the device are no moving parts, amazingly small form factor and no noise.

Voice Peering Summit Live Today

November 2, 2005

Shrihari Pandit, the founder of Stealth Communications, kicked off the conference this morning here at the Voice Peering Summit in the Wall Street Area of Manhattan. He had some interesting things to discuss, such as how the Voice Peering Fabric or VPF allows interconnection with SS7 networks and advanced services such as connectivity to PSAPs and ANI databases. Shrihari mentioned that 17 billion minutes have passed through the VPF this year. What he didn't say (but I discussed it with him recently) is that this number is in less than two years since the inception of the VPF.

I spoke after Shrihari and I think my presentation went well.

Tomorrow's Brooktrout Webinar

November 2, 2005

Check Out Tomorrow's Brooktrout Webinar

As an industry professional, we wanted to let you know that a Complimentary Webinar will be occurring on Tomorrow November 3rd, 2005 - 1:00 p.m. ET. Please feel free to register for the event by the link given below.

Enhance your business with Microsoft Speech Server

Date: Tomorrow!!!! November 3rd
Time: 1:00pm ET
Register here:


November 2, 2005

The PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) consortium has released specifications to enable interconnection of AdvancedTCA (ATCA) backplanes with RapidIO, one of the most popular architectures used in embedding systems, both trade groups announced on Monday.
The release, specifically known as PICMG 3.5 RapidIO for ATCA, was recently approved by the PICMG's membership of about 400 or so companies and is available immediately, the trade organization said in a press statement. The PICMG 3.0 specification defines the detailed characteristics of AdvancedTCA form factor, which is widely used in the telecommunications market.

If you haven't been following what is going on in the AdvancedTCA market and development in general you may benefit from bookmarking and frequently visiting the site. Topics covered on this site range from VoIP to video to anything else in the next-generation communications field.

This site is designed to be a global online community catering to the needs of the IP communications market. Having launched for just over a week we are thrilled to announce that many tens of thousands of unique visitors have already visited this site.

Off To The VPF

November 2, 2005

An End To Spam

November 2, 2005

VoIP Peering Keynote -- Reflections

November 1, 2005

One has to think of Metcalfe’s Law when discussing VoIP peering. Metcalfe’s Law states that the value of a network increases exponentially with the number of users that are added to the network. So n2 would represent the value of the network. Since you can’t connect to yourself the value becomes (n-1)2.

What does this mean to you?

VoIP Peering Keynote Tomorrow!

November 1, 2005

I am giving a keynote at the Voice Peering Fabric or VPF tomorrow at 10:00 am. I am so excited as I will be educating hundreds on the future of VoIP peering and how it factors into the overall communications landscape. These are indeed exciting times. I hope to see you there.

I am getting up extra early as the last time I went down to the Wall Street area I got lost.

Windows Live

November 1, 2005

The smartest thing Microsoft can do to combat Google is to come up with ways to quickly get as much Office application performance into a suite of web-based services users will love. Google has just hinted at encroaching on Microsoft’s application space and the media and financial analysts have turned on Microsoft saying they will potentially be the victim of the Google juggernaut.

The last time the industry went through this sort of change, the analysts and reporters were saying Microsoft was going to get steamrolled by the Internet. They didn’t because they reacted quickly and retooled the company. The same thing seems to be happening now as Microsoft has reacted quickly to the Google threat by launching Windows Live which is currently in Beta.

The service in its current incarnation reminds me a bit of the Google Sidebar application in that it is a flexible way to view lots of information.

Song Airlines Gone

November 1, 2005

Tom Ridge & Ron Insana at ITEXPO in Florida

November 1, 2005

After the tremendous success of ITEXPO this past week, TMC is on a roll and VoIP 2.0 has definitely started to arrive. Of course I don’t think we are 100% there yet but we are at the start. I am just beginning to see the applications that will make companies jump to deploy VoIP not because of cost-savings but because the applications are so compelling.

Yesterday I wrote about Citrix and their new technology that will enable the next generation of VoIP 2.0 applications to be enabled. Of course Citrix is just one company striving to help the world get to VoIP 2.0 – there are countless others.

The industry’s leap from 1.0 to 2.0 is essential as we need to ensure that everyone understands that the power VoIP extends way beyond saving a buck on long-distance.

Break Dancing Yoda

November 1, 2005

Earthlink on VoIP

November 1, 2005

I just saw Earthlink’s statement about applauding the FCC’s decision to require SBC/Verizon to offer stand-alone or naked DSL service. The statement is entitled “Victory For VoIP.” The full statement is as follows:

"We applaud today's Federal Communications Commission decision that requires SBC and Verizon to offer Stand-Alone DSL as a condition for their separate merger approvals.  As a result of this decision, more than 80 million consumers will now be able to take advantage of emerging Internet voice and data applications without also having to buy legacy wire-line local telephone service from their phone company.

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