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September 2006

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Art Rosenberg

September 30, 2006

I have been getting Lots of constructive feedback from Art Rosenberg for many years; probably longer than a decade. Way back to when we launched CTI Magazine in fact. As you may know Art is widely accepted as the person who coined the term unified communications. Art always has a great deal to say and I though this letter worth sharing.

IP Communications Research

September 30, 2006

Here is a page with consolidated research in the IP communications space. The goal of this page is to have a single location where all the articles about research findings are housed. I hope you find it useful and bookmark it.   Here are some examples of recent research:   ABI: Dual-Mode Handset Shipments Will Top 300 Million in 2011
ABI Research predicts that worldwide shipments of dual mode (cellular and VoIP over WiFi) handsets will exceed 300 million during 2011.
9/21/2006

Vonage & HP

September 30, 2006

Here is an offer that can't be beat. In this case it can't be beat by any cable companies. HP has teamed up with Vonage to give a special offer to purchasers of HP or Compaq computers. Why can't the cable companies match it?

Predatory Weed

September 29, 2006

I had heard plants could communicate with one another by emitting chemicals. So plants have signs or a primitive language of sorts. It now seems that predatory plants have learned this language and can use it to determine where the prey plants are. This information is used to guide the predatory plant in the direction of the prey.

NEC Hotel IP-PBX Win

September 29, 2006

VoIP Peering Webinar

September 29, 2006

iPod Vs. Zune

September 29, 2006

Is Apple scared of Zune? According to this article Apple has plenty of reasons to worry. What seems most innovative about the Zune device is its ability to support p2p WiFi as pointed out by Mike Elgan, this is the equivalent of MySpace in a handheld device.

The technology in the Zune is not revolutionary and one wonders why Apple didn’t come out with a p2p WiFi device. The answer in my opinion is the company’s obsession with form factor.

Amazon and Vonage

September 29, 2006

Dan York on Top 100 Voices in IP Communications

September 28, 2006

More SIP Trunking Details

September 28, 2006

I just came across this info on the SIP trunking conference at ITEXPO. Since I have been hearing about this more and more and we have been fielding questions about the event I thought sharing this entire document makes sense.

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SIP Trunking Events for Resellers – Realizing Rapid ROI Today

Are you attending the Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in San Diego? 

Then join us to learn how SIP Trunking can expand your business while helping your customers – fast.

We have several events planned just for resellers, distributors and systems integrators:

Tuesday Cocktail Reception at 6:00PM Room 6E
Attend an evening cocktail reception; meet with leading IP-PBX vendors and SIP trunking service providers and Ingate® Systems to learn more about how resellers can profit by offering all of the SIP trunking components. RSVP to anna.rosenfeld@ingate.com.

Wednesday Open House at 3:45PM Room 6E
Following Reseller Solution Day, you're invited to an Open House where you'll have a chance to meet with IP-PBX vendors, SIP trunking companies and Ingate one on one. 















Asterisk Training

September 28, 2006

Users have been clamoring for effective Asterisk training for quite some time. TMC has searched far and wide for the best Asterisk trainers to provide the best training to our conferees. While If you have been to any of TMC’s Internet Telephony conferences in the past you know how successful they are and in addition you know how this conference values objective, in-depth education. The goal of our events is to educate our audience as effectively as possible and we look to ensure the content we provide is unrivaled.

We have been running a very successful TMC University program for many years and at our last show we even had a full day dedicated to Asterisk training.

Sangoma News

September 28, 2006

Sangoma has made news the last few days with their support for PCI Express or PCIe line of cards based on its Advanced Flexible Telecommunications (AFT) family of cards. The company’s CEO David Mandelstam says the A108 card, which at 240 call capacity is the highest density PC voice card existing today, is well suited to support the new high performance PCIe servers used in large telephony applications.

Mandelstam says PCIe is the new standard in all PC motherboard designs. Sangoma will continue to produce standard 3.3v/5v PCI versions of the A102, A104, A108 and A200 cards for the foreseeable future to support legacy PC server designs. Similar to the PCI versions, the PCIe versions also support field upgradeable firmware to take advantage of hardware and software improvements as they become available.

ITEXPO Special Attractions

September 28, 2006

There are officially 11 days until Internet Telephony Conference & Expo West 2006 so I thought it made sense to let my readers know everything that is going on at the show. There is just so much fantastic content and the most amazing speaker list we have ever had.

Our biggest challenge at this year’s ITEXPO is the fact that we have more in-depth content than ever before and letting people know about it has become a tremendous challenge. The people who take the time to understand the content offering are truly blown away so I thought a brief summary of many of the exciting things happening at the show would help you understand the magnitude of this event and moreover it is my hope you se this unique content offering as a reason you must get to San Diego to be part of this event.

If I had to describe the education at ITXPO this year I would have to equate it to a full PHD in IP communications in less than week.

Where else can you learn about the quintuple play, SIP trunking, voice peering and so much more under a single roof?

To paraphrase Lee Iacocca, if you can find a conference with a more comprehensive, in-depth and objective content offering, go there.

One final point: After 2 years, ITEXPO remains the only conference program in the communications space with a guarantee.



Here are the details:



First off you should be aware of the new collocated IMS Expo & Call Center 2.0 events. These are conference offerings as well as exhibit areas on the show floor.

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Here are some other content areas in list format for easy reading:


New!














More on Femtocell

September 28, 2006

Comcast Knocks Out Google

September 27, 2006

AT&T Dismisses VoIP

September 27, 2006

I meet lots of companies that tell me they are in stealth mode. Generally speaking companies who believe they should run in stealth mode end up out of money and sold as distressed assets. Sometimes these corporations do get purchased at great multiples because they have great technology. But generally stealth mode means no customers means no future.

Will HP Get Off?

September 27, 2006

It appears that this article leaves lots of wiggle-room for HP to get out of the whole pretexting debacle. Why? There is no law in California preventing the use of pretexting. Sure they have privacy laws but they may not apply here.

Enterprise VoIP Peering Comes of Age

September 27, 2006

I recently had a chance to catch up with Hunter Newby of telx and speak with him about his newest initiative in the voice/VoIP peering space. Hunter has noticed an enlightening trend in the world of information technology. As companies have been looking for data center sites to comply with disaster recovery or SOX requirements, they realized the data center could become one of their data sites providing Internet and Intranet access.

In the old days, the company phone closet was where the interconnection to service providers took place. But now, if the data center is chosen carefully, you are able to connect to these providers in a much more effective fashion.

Maximizing Service Provider Revenue

September 27, 2006

How Today's Carriers Could Use Data Mining To Boost Revenue and Discover the Profits of the Service provider 2.0 World.

Every once in a while you get to look at an industry with fresh perspective and more importantly you get to share a great idea with your readers to help them generate more revenue with little associated cost.

I recently had a chance to talk with William "Duffy" Mich, Jr. Aperio CI's Chairman & CEO who tells me one of their mobile service provider customers (SPA) is using their FlashTrack solution to gain access to near real-time processing of event records. FlashTrack allows the carrier to know by 10:00 am today what happened yesterday.

The solution mines customer data in an effort to determine trends that are worthy of further analysis. For example the service provider recently realized that many customers were calling a non -published number quite often. There was a sudden call spike in fact.

So the provider called the number and -- guess what -- a competitive service provider B (SPB) answered.







Do You Have Any Liquids to Declare?

September 26, 2006

Cancelling Vonage can be fun

September 26, 2006

SIP Trunking Session at ITEXPO

September 26, 2006

Here are more details on the SIP trunking session at ITEXPO. I mentioned it recently in this article. This is a descriptive e-mail from Ingate:

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Ingate Systems and its partners invites you to attend a FREE SEMINAR at INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO:

SIP Trunking-Realizing Rapid ROI Today.
SIP trunking rapidly reduces telephony costs by leveraging SIP, eliminating redundant network connections and providing PSTN termination in the local area of the called party.

Join us for a free SIP Trunking seminar at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in San Diego, CA.








Zultys Reseller Update

September 26, 2006

I received a call from a Zultys reseller today who was discussing the fact that Zultys has filed for Chapter 11. The VAR requested to stay anonymous.

According to this reseller the entire channel is very dedicated to the company and the customers. Apparently the VARS are having trouble finding a Zultys replacement -- they love the native SIP support and built-in redundancy. According to this reseller, many dealers have lots of sales pending in the pipeline

"The channel got caught by surprise as sales were doing very well," this reseller told me.

The irony in the story is that according to this reseller, "There is enough money in the pipeline to pay for the purchase the company!" I am not sure how he would know this but perhaps the point s sales are doing extremely well -- better than ever it seems.

According to my source, Zultys is trying to come up with a management buyout and other PBX vendors are looking to buy the company as well.







Spanlink and Workforce Management

September 26, 2006

If you have ever driven to TMC’s headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut from I95 North you know about congestion. You see there are two exits that are a stone’s throw away from each other – 14 and 15 - and just before exit 14 is an on-ramp. Let’s just say that there is always some hold-up at this area of the Connecticut turnpike. People from the left lane are merging to get off exit 14 and 15 while others are merging.   If you aren’t careful you will have an accident and the whole mess pretty much delays the entire highway.

MetaSwitch, Cisco and Juniper Gossip

September 26, 2006

I spoke at a seminar hosted by Interactive Intelligence like I have been doing more and more lately. Today I was in Detroit, MI, a city and state I have never been to. I was a huge fan of Ford and GM cars in my teens and at that time I had a good friend who used to be from this area. I used to hear lots of great stories about this city and the great cars that were created here.

Of course we have all been hearing stories about the turmoil at Ford, GM and Chrysler as of late and I knew the economy here isn't great.

IVR Technologies

September 26, 2006

I met up with Barry Sher last week and hadn't spoken to him in a while. He used to work for Telephony Experts back in the good old days of the nineties when Computer Telephony and CTI were all the rage.

Barry now works for a company called IVR Technologies and we had a chance to go over what is exciting in the world of telecom and SIP.

His company develops SIP applications and one of their products is called Talking SIP which is a Software only service that calls anywhere -- any time via SIP. As Barry describes it, customers bolt up to Level3 or Teleglobe and they peer via sip.

Talking SIP is a real-time media server, billing server and application server in one box. One application it can handle is prepaid calling cards or a reminder service that performs wake up calls.

Talking SIP performs real-time call processing via SIP messaging and provides independent, script-controlled IVR prompting over RTP.







Google Earth Update

September 26, 2006

Google, Google Maps and Google Earth are separate services but I see them getting more closely aligned over time. This announcement about Google Earth now supporting multimedia features shows the search giant is not taking its numerous eyes off any of the balls it is juggling.

Google Earth now supports overlays from a variety of content providers which allow users to click on an area of the Earth to see more about the location.

Initial Google Earth content partners include the United Nations Environmental Program, which will provide an overlay including successive time-stamped images illustrating 100 areas of extreme environmental degradation throughout the world. Before-and-after imagery spanning 30 years will be included to offer users an online resource to learn about worldwide environmental crisis zones.

While on the topic of educational overlays -- the Discovery Networks World Tour overlay will enable users to virtually visit major world attractions, natural wonders and cities. It offers streaming video segments in which users may learn about the history of world landmarks, national parks, a number of African locations and American and European cities.

The National Park Service overlay allows users to learn about natural recreation opportunities including detailed park descriptions, visitor facilities information and more than 10,000 miles of trails within the 58 US national parks.







Primal Solutions

September 25, 2006

Consider a typical tax return. If you own a home and have a mortgage you may be able to deduct interest payments -- at least in the US (oh and by the way this article is not meant to provide you with advice on doing your taxes. Please don't expect it to help you with the IRS at your next audit). If you made interest you must pay tax on it and of course on other income.

NetSapiens

September 25, 2006

 Big VoIP Revenue for Small Potato Providers

Located just a few miles from the San Diego Convention Center the home of the upcoming Internet Telephony Conference & Expo is NetSapiens a company making the lives of smaller service providers much easier.

I spent some time with Anand Buch, Co-Founder & CEO of the company and learned more about what they are up to. I last saw Anand in June of this year at the IMS Party TMC had at Globalcomm in conjunction with Siemens and the IMS Forum. Anand picked up where we left off but before we got into business talk I got to discuss the good old days of VoIP when Nuera was in its heyday. Much of the NetSapiens team came from Nuera and we discussed what the future of the company might be under their new AudioCodes parent.

According to Anand, company simplifies the delivery of voice and multimedia services for smaller providers.





Fluids on a Plane

September 25, 2006

New rules go into effect tomorrow – you can now carry some liquids on planes. Travel-size toiletry containers of 3 ounces (90 ml) or less that are placed in a “quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag.” That includes items like lip gloss and hand lotion. The bags will be screened and returned if they are cleared.

“We now know enough to say that a total ban is no longer needed from a security point of view,” said Kip Hawley, head of the Transportation Security Administration, at a news conference at Reagan National Airport. “We have also taken additional security measures throughout the airport that make us comfortable allowing passengers to bring beverages and other items purchased in the secure area onboard,” he said.

Those measures, the TSA said in a statement, include: “more random screening of employees, additional canine patrols, stronger air cargo security measures, more rigorous identity verification standards and deploying more trained security officers in bomb appraisal and screening by observation techniques.”


The new security regimen is for an indefinite period, officials said. “It is unlikely that further adjustments to the ban on liquids, gels and aerosols will be made in the near future,” the TSA said.

“Obviously, there’s been a lot of unhappiness,” said Richard Marchi, senior adviser to the Airports Council International, an airport trade group.






Disaster Recovery at ITEXPO

September 25, 2006

I just got off the phone with Andy Mercker at Sphere Communications and he was telling me how much success and interest they generated at the last ITEXPO when they had a demo of their disaster recovery equipment in action.

This year they are taking it up a notch and are partnering with PacStar Communications who builds communications systems for the U.S. DoD and Emergency Management Agencies, built on the SphereCSE Communications Services Engine

I am really jazzed to hear this demo will be coming to Internet Telphony and I just can’t wait for the show.



Update:

Rodopi Software

September 25, 2006

Recently I had a chance to travel to Southern California and see the many companies that make up the IP communications market of the state. Two things I noticed about Southern California are the food is still great out there and the traffic problem isn't getting any better. Thankfully the carpool lane was available and this made traveling much more effective.

In all my trips to California I never driven on a toll road and I found these highways to be great ways to minimize traffic. What I didn't realize is some of these roads require you to have exact change and unlike every other toll I have ever seen in my life, if you don't have exact change you are left without many options.

Bandtel

September 25, 2006

Out of the many areas in the IP communications space worth watching, I think SIP trunking (see TMCnet's SIP Week in Review for lots more info on the SIP trunking market) is among the more interesting. I say this because for as long as PBXs have been around so have hardware-based PBX interfaces.

SIP has changed this (subscribe free to SIP Magazine to learn more) and now telephony has a lot less proprietary hardware and a lot more flexibility. Ironically as so many IP-based call centers and IP-PBXs are being sold worldwide, they aren't all connecting to SIP trunks -- they still use the PSTN. By some accounts less than half of IP PBXs are connected to SIP trunks.

So the benefits of putting voice over IP are only partially taken advantage of.



The Cancelling Vonage Story

September 25, 2006

Tom has been getting tons of traffic on this blog entry regarding his call to cancel Vonage service and he posted it less than 24 hours ago! However where Tom sees a problem, I see intelligent business. Doing everything possible to keep a customer is smart business. It may be a sign of trouble but does not necessarily indicate trouble.

Marcelo Rodriguez on Corruption

September 24, 2006

Marcelo Rodriguez has some very interesting commentary over at Voxilla. He observes a great deal of behavior in the US that smells of corruption. This is in response to a blog post that Russell Shaw posted and I picked up on. Russell spent most of his blog post talking about the attack on VoIP in third world countries.

VoIP Blocking 3rd World Style

September 24, 2006

Press/Analyst List at ITEXPO

September 21, 2006

I have been hearing quite a few positive comments in the industry about how the press/analyst and Wall Street lists have grown at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo. This event in a few weeks in San Diego is well on its way to being not only the best attended show in the IP communications space (with real buyers -- not just exhibit staff) but in addition we are extremely excited to be host to so many influential industry movers and shakers.   ----   Al Senia America's Network   Lance Leventhal ATCA Newsletter   Jay McCall Business Solutions Magazine   Ed LaBanca CollabGen   Andy Abramson Comunicano, Inc.   James Burton CT Link   Alan Gardner Ctech News   Bruce McGregor Current Analysis   Marc Velasquez Verson Deaf Network News   Andrew Garcia eWeek   Kim Cooper Exceed LLC   Dan Rosenbaum FierceMarkets   Dan Rosenbaum FierceMarkets   Will Strauss Forward Concepts   Ronald F. Gruia Frost & Sullivan   Joslyn Faust Gartner   Stan Marder High-Tech User News   William Stofega IDC   Norm Bogen In-Stat   Norm Bogen In-Stat   Barry Marks IntelliCom Analytics   Mark Ricca IntelliCom Analytics   Ken Camp IP Adventures   Gary Kim IP Business   Jon Arnold J Arnold & Associates   David Yedwab Market Strategy and Analytics   Mike Myshrall Mercator Capital   Steve Kruschen Mr. Gadget   Mark Miller Network World   Charlotte Wolter New Telephony    Bruce Stewart O'Reilly Media   Howard Lubert SafeHatch LLC   Marla Ellerman ScreenPlays Magizine   Carolyn Moody Security Technology International   Phil Wolff Skype Journal   Bernardo Schneiderman TBC/Satmagazine   Art Rosenberg The Unified View   MIchael Huang ThinkEquity   Daniel Berninger Tier1 Research   Erik Linask TMC   Rich Tehrani TMC   Richard Grigonis TMC   Greg Galitzine TMC   Melissa Blasnig wjuv radio   PAULA BERNIER XCHANGE   Russell Shaw ZDNet     Additional Investment, Market Research, Media Firms Attending:   Arbor Advisors LLC Best Diversified Holding Inc. Blue Beacon Capital CB Capital Partners, Inc Dimension Funding Mercator Capital Mericom AG MERRIMAN CURHAN FORD & CO. Newport Federal Sanford Bernstein, LLC. SILVERWOOD PARTNERS Windes & McClaughry

Macedonia Country #55

September 21, 2006

Around the IP Communications World

September 21, 2006

Microsoft Nortel Deal

September 21, 2006

Steve Guthrie

September 20, 2006

Sonus Caribbean News

September 20, 2006

Adtran

September 20, 2006

If you haven't been watching Adtran lately you may have missed how seriously they are taking the VoIP market. Certainly the company is a well-known name in the networking equipment market having been making data centers products for so many years.

The company has a new series of multi-service routers that are designed for use in small businesses. They allow for things like PoE -- perfect for VoIP phones.

Even though the products in this line are being targeted at SMBs I found it encouraging that they support 500 VPN tunnels.

Every networking vendor is taking VoIP seriously -- I just get the feeling Adtran is trying to be the better IP communications networking company.

For more details on what Adtran is up to check out Patrick Barnard's article.







Sleep Number Bed

September 20, 2006

The hotel I am staying at has a sleep number bed and I am convinced it got that name because you wake up at random numbers on the clock throughout the night. OK that may not be totally fair because a coworker is staying at this hotel and apparently he slept very well two nights ago. Me -- I woke up right in the middle of my sleep -- so I am probably not a good reference for the bed.

So the important question is what number is the best. I slept at 70 the first night and 40 the second.

IMS Magazine October 2006 Publisher’s Outlook

September 20, 2006

The IMS GPS

Navigation. That is the one word that seems to be the most appropriate for what I need to help IMS decision makers with this issue. The reason for my focus on navigation is that the market is becoming more challenging to understand and figure out. Part of the reason for this is the sheer number of announcements that are IMS related.

Apple TV

September 20, 2006

I used to think Yahoo! would be a major threat in the broadband TV space but lately have come to believe Apple is must better positioned because of their overwhelming breadth of products in the consumer entertainment space. Apple is now in an enviable position and if they play their cards right they will be a formidable competitor in delivering next-gen TV.

We know Google's aspirations in this space as well so at this moment Apple, YouTube and Google are three of the companies to watch in the Internet TV market. Here is an article that delves a bit more into this topic -- specifically as it relates to Apple.

Although this just hit me, it is worth sharing.



PASATA

September 19, 2006

Depending on what research you subscribe to you will hear that 40-60% of all calls either end up in or are checking voicemail. Now I am no expert on productivity and how it correlates to GDP and work output but it seems to me that even shaving a percent off the above numbers is a major improvement.

Certainly I am a big believer in a world of presence enabled applications and technologies and devices. This is one of the reasons my company launched SIP magazine in fact. I know in the future we will have intelligent networks that will know where we are and what we are doing and these agents will be able to forward our calls to the correct phone depending on where we are, what our presence information is and who is calling.

So I am happy that IBM has teamed up with Telenor to develop Presence Advanced Services for Telco Applications or "PASATA."

The technology holds great promise not only because of its applications in the enterprise, but also because it can streamline call routing efficiency for wireless networks, thus easing network congestion.





Lower Broadband Customer Service Costs

September 19, 2006

Sorry for the self-promotion here but I haven't had a chance to share this with you --the news of a webinar teaching service providers how to lower the costs of broadband customer service. It takes place tomorrow so feel free to forward I to colleagues now so they don't miss it.

Rolling out new technology to your customers is great but you need to make sure that if you are deploying new triple play services you are aren't taking a bath on support costs.

As the complexity of services increases so does support cost. This webinar will help you lower your costs over time by planning early. Enjoy.

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Keeping a Lid on Broadband Customer Service Costs

Date: Sept. 20th (tomorrow)
Time: 11:00am PDT (2:00pm EDT)
Register

===============================================
Customer support costs can balloon quickly when rolling out new broadband services.














Internet Telephony October 2006 Publisher’s Outlook

September 19, 2006

Please enjoy this column. It is certainly self explanatory.

---
Blog only teaser version

Publisher’s Outlook

By Rich Tehrani

Our 100th Issue of IP Communications Thought Leadership

100 issues - wow - it has been an amazing ride. If you can believe it, the magnitude of this issue didn’t hit me until I sat down and started to write this column. As many of you know, in 1997 when we decided to launch a magazine titled Internet Telephony most people thought we were crazy.










T-Mobile Wins Advanced Wireless Spectrum

September 18, 2006


Looks like T-Mobile has won the bid for some valuable advanced wireless spectrum -- the largest block of 120 licenses for $4.2 billion.

Bidding on the wireless spectrum located in the 1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz bands began in early August after changes were instituted last summer. The agency announced its intentions to auction off the spectrum back in December 2004.
 
In a press statement, T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert), said the licenses cover the continental U.S., Hawaii, Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands, Alaska and major markets including New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.




FBI on VoIP

September 18, 2006

Paris Hilton DUI Ringtone

September 17, 2006

Newest Channel: PBX

September 17, 2006

I would like to welcome FacetCorp to TMC’s channel family. FacetCorp will be sponsoring the PBX channel and together our two companies will objectively educate you on what is happening in the communications market. The channel will be located at www.tmcnet.com/channels/pbx/ and you can feel free to bookmark it now if you like.

Here is a glance at some of the latest news from the channel today:

The CRM Week In Review
Assurant Solutions Makes Matches Between Customer and Agent
Sales in the Mobile Handsets Market Increased to Over 800 Million Units
It is Predicted that Japanese Mobile Subscribers Will Reach 107.9 Million by the End of 2010
With Around 20 Million Users and a Penetration Level Above 95% the Australian Mobile Market Is Heading Towards Saturation







Breath Like a Nabooan

September 17, 2006

HP like OJ

September 16, 2006

Pretexting and Washington

September 16, 2006

HP executives will be testifying in Washington over the pretexting debacle. Now there is more recent news: The House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters Friday requesting that HP Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and General Counsel Ann Baskins appear at a Sept. 28 subcommittee hearing.

But pretexting has been around for ages. Why now? Why the investigation?

V2oIP Quality Alliance

September 15, 2006

The V2oIP Quality Alliance launched this week -- the goal of which is to increase the quality of voice over IP phone calls. Many of the people I spoke with in the organization would prefer the organization be called the Voice, Video Quality Alliance but regardless, that is what the V2oIP acronym stands for and the association's goal is to improve voice  and video quality over IP networks.

You might imagine that today, voice quality has improved so much that we don't need such an organization. But video quality can still improve and this (link fixed) blog entry shows that voice quality may not be as good as you think.

One last point worth considering is that with all the talk of voice peering, we must realize that quality has the potential to get worse. There are a few reasons for this -- increased latency as calls go from one provider to another and transcoding which basically means converting from one codec to another.

Of course when using peering we eliminate the PSTN so we should see gains in voice quality but like everything else over IP -- you need to ensure the network is set up correctly to ensure maximal voice quality.

I think the V2oIP Quality Alliance is a positive step towards improving quality in the IP communications world and as more vendors join the cause I hope we can expect higher quality levels in VoIP and video calls.

This release will give some details on who is participating but suffice it to say there is a smattering of IP communications companies represented from across the industry.









Vonage E911 in Los Angeles

September 15, 2006

I will be speaking next week in Los Angeles and Irvine, California and am happy to know that the city will be much safer now that Vonage has turned up E911 in the city. In addition to Los Angeles, Vonage recently turned up E911 at more than 125 local run emergency call centers across the U.S. in less than one month, bringing the total percentage of Vonage U.S. subscriber lines that have E911 to over 89 percent.

In addition, Vonage has been pretty busy enhancing its business model by partnering with Endeavor Telecom.

VoIP Peering is Exploding

September 14, 2006

Well exploding may not be the term I would have picked but peering continues to gain massive traction as evidenced by this article by the same name as this blog entry. Companies mentioned in the piece are XConnect, IPeerX, Nextone, NeuStar, Arbinet, Columbus Communications Jamaica, nexVortex, Orbitel, Telecom Argentina (News - Alert), Telefonica Argentina, Telefonica Chile, Telefonica Peru, Telmex Chile and Verizon (News - Alert) Dominicana.

More and more companies will be breaking voice peering news at ITEXPO next month. I have inside info on a few of these announcements (I hate those darn press embargos) and you can be sure that the entire voice peering community will be well represented next month in San Diego.

If you have any interest in peering be sure to come to these voice peering sessions that will be the best way to catch up on all the potential peering has to offer.



A-IMS to NGMN

September 14, 2006

I haven’t had time to analyze the latest IMS news on NGMN. In case you aren’t aware, like the A-IMS group, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) initiative, which includes China Mobile (News - Alert), KPN, NTT DoCoMo (News - Alert), Orange, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and Vodafone, will work with existing standards bodies like 3GPP and ETSI. But unlike the Verizon Wireless-led initiative that predominantly focused on the tight-knit CDMA world, NGMN plans to develop next-generation mobile technologies that will take the industry beyond the HSxPA as well as EV-DO.

The reason for this new initiative is that the 2G and 3G operators feel they don’t have a voice in IMS – or a loud enough voice. I am currently analyzing this news and will have more analysis on this matter at a later date.

ITEXPO Attendance Update

September 12, 2006


I had a chance to look at the attendees from the last 2 days who signed up for ITEXPO and remain amazed at the global reach of this event. As you know TMC has a global reach with a North American trade show strategy meaning we believe in having large US-based shows ad inviting the most important decision makers from around the world to come join us.

The strategy has been extremely successful and – surprise!! – it turns out the international market likesto come to venues like San Diego and Florida :-)

Here are the countries represented in the registration database from just today and yesterday:
Germany
Philippines
USA – Obviously but didn’t want to leave it out
Taiwan
Canada
France
Korea
Trinidad and Tobago
Brazil


Here are some of the titles:
Network operations Manager
Chief Strategy Officer
Dir IMS Solutions
Chief Architect
Senior Applications Manager
CTO
Network Specialist

Hope to see you next month in San Diego at ITEXPO: October 10-13th.





























Pretexting in Context

September 11, 2006

I had a chance to get the opinions of Joe Sanscrainte on pretexting -- this is the topic that seems to be captivating consumers and regulators alike. Joe happens to be an attorney who is also a privacy expert. Here are Joe's comments which are worth a read:

Remember that what's happening right now with telephone records is really just one skirmish in the overall war over privacy.  The fact remains that data brokers only get telephone records from telephone companies because they are able to provide other people's identifying information, including name, address, date of birth, mother's maiden name and most importantly, social security number (or even just the last four digits.)  From a privacy perspective, it therefore isn't enough to go after just the telephone records, there has to be more focus on protecting all elements that identify us.

Right now, under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Section 222 of Title 47, US Code), it is the duty of telephone carriers to maintain the privacy of telephone records.  However, this law, in and of itself, has not prevented data brokers from basically creating a business model to obtain this information under false pretenses.  Eleven states have passed laws over the past year to specifically make pretexting in order to obtain telephone records a crime (interestingly, in CA where the HP case takes place, no such law is currently in place; however, such a bill is currently awaiting signature.)  The telephone companies most certainly welcome these new laws criminalizing the procurement, sale and purchase of fraudulently obtained telephone records, because this enables them to better meet the requirements of Section 222.

The FTC has not been oblivious to these developments - in May of this year, it filed a suit against five web-based operations that obtained and sold consumers' confidential telephone records to third parties.

Lydia Parnes, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, opined that "trafficking in consumers' confidential telephone records is outrageous; it robs consumers of their privacy and exposes them to everything from snoops to stalkers."  For more information, visit http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2006/05/phonerecords.htm.







Bandwidth Glut

September 11, 2006


We have received some nice comments about the following article regarding the Cisco 4-Slot CSR-1 Router from Zippy. I have to share this excerpt and a specific quote which I bolded below.

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"As we start to see the abilities of the consumer rise, we start to see the huge impact that video will have and currently has, particularly in the U.S. but also in other markets worldwide," says Milinkovich. "Let's look at a typical home with one high definition TV, which, using MPEG-2 compression, uses around 19 megabits per second per stream.




Pretexting – The Good, Bad and Ugly

September 11, 2006

In recent days pretexting has become a mainstream term in newspapers and blogs around the world. Admittedly pretexting is a term that most people are not familiar with and most are shocked when they learn what it is. Pretexting is pretending to be someone else and obtaining personal information about that person under the pretext of being them. What most people don’t realize is how easy it is to get a hold of information like phone records with a person’s phone number and last four digits of their social security number.

The reason pretexting has been in the news so often lately is that Hewlett Packard used this technique to obtain phone records of journalists and board members in an effort to determine the source of leaks of confidential information to the press.

You may recall that Carly Fiorina had dealt with the problems of leaks to the press years ago and obviously things haven’t changed at HP and leaks continue to plague management.

In order to get to the bottom of the leaks HP Chairwoman Patricia Dunn ordered an investigation into the leaks and in doing so hired at least one outside firm to find out who was responsible letting confidential information out.





Speaking at ITEXPO Ft. Lauderdale 2007

September 11, 2006

More on Pretexting

September 8, 2006

This Education Will Be Computerized

September 8, 2006

I remember my days at the University of Connecticut where we learned about the latest in technology in buildings that were fit for prisoners. That may be a bit harsh but before I left a new engineering was built – UTEB for United technologies Engineering Building. It was amazing equipped with state of the art SUN workstations instead of a decades old mainframe. It even had air conditioning – which was a big step up from most of the other buildings I had classes in.

By the way -- the UCONN campus is beautiful now – it looks like a country club compared to what us old-timers saw.

But even UCONN can’t hold a candle to the school of the future – 750 lucky Philadelphia students are able to take advantage of a state of the art facility with a MERU Networks wireless LAN and even self-flushing toilets.

Microsoft partnered with the 278 school District of Philadelphia to make this a reality.





Busy Day

September 8, 2006


It has been a pretty hectic day with meetings and everything else going on around TMC. Don't get me wrong --I am having a fun time -- I just didn't get a chance to finish up any thoughts -- at least not to the point where I would have something bloggable or article-worthy.

So I thought instead I would link you to articles of interest I have seen today. Some are IP communications related and some are not. Enjoy:

To start off with you should read Tracey Schelmetic's Vishing, Phishing And Wishing Scammers Would Be Crushed By Meteors which is educational and funny.




ITEXPO Still on Fire

September 7, 2006

Microsoft Patents

September 7, 2006

Pretexting

September 7, 2006

Telecom Timeline

September 7, 2006

VoiPod is Coming

September 7, 2006

TMC Google Toolbar Button

September 7, 2006

I have some very exciting news. If you have the latest edition of the Google Toolbar, you can now have a button for TMCnet that gives you access to the latest TMCnet news and analysis. This is really exciting. I have been using this toolbar button for a few weeks and it allows immediate access to TMCnet from the toolbar and in addition I get a dropdown box with all the news.

The toolbar is in Beta right now and a number of us here at TMC love how it works.

Taking Sirius Aim at iPod

September 7, 2006

Pocket-Sized Electric Car

September 7, 2006

For a mere $108,000 you too can have a state of the art electric car. It goes 120 M.P.H though making it fairly sporty. Also it has a zero to 60 time of 4.0 seconds which beats all but a handful of exotics. Looking at the car reminds one of a mini-me sized double-decker bus out of a Harry Potter movie and makes you wonder if Consumer Reports will have a ball talking about how easily it rolls over.

Alcatel and Lucent Approve Merger

September 7, 2006

The Alcatel and Lucent merger was just approved despite rumors to the contrary. The price -- 10.8 billion dollars.

"As we have said from the start, the primary driver of this combination is to create long-term value for shareowners, customers, and employees," said Lucent Technologies Chairman and CEO Patricia Russo. "Today we received approval for the merger from Lucent's shareowners, and as a result, we are another step closer to creating the first truly global communications solutions provider with the broadest wireless, wireline and services portfolio in the industry."

Alcatel and Lucent expect to complete their merger transaction by the end of calendar year 2006, within the six- to 12-month timeframe originally announced on April 2. The companies have already cleared several key regulatory and antitrust milestones, including antitrust clearance in the United States and the European Union.



VoIP Killer App

September 7, 2006

Dialogic Repairs

September 7, 2006

I just got this e-mail and since I wasn't aware of companies that make Dialogic repairs, I figured others aren't aware either. So I decided to pass along this e-mail. I hope this information helps you. Good Luck.

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Just read your article on Dialogic and Eicon.



Nortel’s Future

September 7, 2006

With the rumblings in the market and out Alcatel and Lucent possibly calling things off, it might be a good time to look to Canada and see how Nortel is doing and what they plan for their future. I just came across this great article on the future of Nortel. The company believes Next-Generation Mobility, Enterprise Transformation and Services & Solutions will be the heart of the new Nortel.

Here is my take on the news.

Mobility

A super-hot area – productivity will skyrocket as mobility gets better. There is lots of money to be made in this space and it will become more competitive as smartphone makers including Blackberry, wireless carriers and Microsoft (who could be in the smartphone category but are so large they deserve their own) all jockey for leadership position.



Google Open Source

September 7, 2006

TMC Picnic Photos

September 6, 2006

Skylook 1.5

September 6, 2006

Positive Terremark News

September 6, 2006

To Catch a Spy HP Style

September 6, 2006

VoIP Peering and Metcalfe’s Law

September 6, 2006

For years now I have been writing about VoIP/voice peering (Where Is VoIP Peering Headed?, CableLabs VoIP Peering RFI, INTERNET TELEPHONY Magazine Declares 2006 Year of VoIP Peering, Peering Into The Future), , ) and discussing how this concept is changing the way voice calls are being transmitted. Using VoIP peering, you can reduce cost while increasing voice quality. This is possible because typically when a caller using one VoIP provider calls someone on another VoIP network the call must travel over the PSTN – increasing fees and latency in the process.

VoIP peering eliminates the need for this transition to the PSTN altogether. Calls stay native VoIP from end to end.

The latest news in the world of VoIP peering is that SunRocket has joined the VPF meaning the company could in essence have their customer’s calls stay native VoIP from end to end, never touching the PSTN.

I don’t want to get ahead of this announcement but assuming SunRocket provided customers with stereo headphones and other VoIP providers decided to peer with SunRocket, all VoIP callers could make stereophonic conversations between one another.





Number Portability

September 5, 2006

It is a challenge these days to get number portability sorted out. In fact in this case it was easier to go back to the PSTN than to use VoIP and try to port your number. See Tom's blog for details.

Number portability seems to still be a major problem in the world of VoIP and one of the first stories about the topic was by yours truly. In this article I mentioned I am switching from Vonage to AT&T CallVantage because I couldn't port my number.

Now it seems that AT&T CallVantage is the poor stepchild of AT&T -- who knows if this service will even last.



Alcatel and Lucent No Deal?

September 5, 2006

Crocodile Hunter Dead

September 4, 2006

Few people in this world have changed the way millions view and appreciate wildlife. With his love of animals and unmatched enthusiasm, Steve Irwin went everywhere, did anything and attempted the impossible -- every day.

This man was fearless. He handled venomous snakes in the wild like Black Mambas with nothing more than a slightly bushy branch as protection. He removed a deadly brown snake from the inside of his car with aplomb.

Zultys/Shoretel Analysis

September 3, 2006

Catch me in LA

September 3, 2006

Hurricane Ernesto

September 3, 2006

Oh by the way – power is out all over Connecticut thanks to Hurricane Ernesto and I have been without power for over 24 hours now and the power company anticipates about 24 more hours till power is restored. I begged and pleased – I even told them I am a good customer – always paying my bills on time. It didn’t help much. I have called twice for estimated repair times and the second time the estimate became eight hours later than the first!

I am not sure if I should call again or perhaps I will have to wait even more.

Disaster Recover Survey

September 3, 2006

Brockmann.com

September 3, 2006

Samsung MP3 Service

September 3, 2006

TMC in Stamford Advocate

September 3, 2006

TMC was featured on the front page of the business section of the Stamford Advocate newspaper today. It was also in the Hartford Courant (at least online – I am not sure if it made the printed version on Sunday) The article was great and we are humbled by the nice coverage of TMC. One thing I am glad the piece focused on is how much we value our team and what they have helped build. It has been a wild ride and the last 7 years have been so exciting – from ideal telecom times to rough ones and then massive growth once again.

No, We Have the Fewest Dropped Calls

September 3, 2006

New technology will allow us to truly take advantage of less dropped calls. Article excerpt: With Dynamic Optimization, networks can "borrow" unused capacity from areas where it isn't currently needed and redirect it to areas of high use, van Smit explains: "It's a completely new approach that results in fewer dropped calls and better service for customers." One would imagine this research would be done in the US but no – new Zealand which I can't imagine has the same capacity problems we have here in the US. But alas, I have no reason to go to New Zealand and have never been there. I figure if I write about this fine country enough I may get an invite from their tourism agency to come visit and write a story or something.

SanDisk takes on the iPod

September 3, 2006

I am impressed that SanDisk has come out with music player after music player. Each seems to be a better value than the last. The question is whether the American market and others will care much about the value difference between an Apple and SanDisk music/MP3 player. I would imagine in some markets where it isn't so important to be trendy the SanDisk models will do well.

SalesForce.com Meet Google AdWords

September 3, 2006

Please enjoy my September, 2006 High Priority column from Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine. It was a real rush meeting Marc. As you may recall I blogged about meeting Marc Benioff a few days back.

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Over the years, I have had many terrific opportunities to interview Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com, and write about both him and the company he leads. So it's funny though not unusual in these days of 24-7 digital media that I had never met him in person. This fact surprised not only me, but many individuals at Salesforce.com.



Lawyers and CRM

September 3, 2006

AOL’s VoIP Retraction

September 3, 2006

My take on AOL’s decision to eliminate its TotalTalk VoIP service is that Vonage and the cable companies have raised the bar very high and it is very tough to compete in the consumer VoIP telephone replacement market unless you are looking o spend a fortune on marketing.

This article surmises that the VoIP market is too immature to support multiple players but doesn’t take into account how fast Vonage, Packet8 and the cable companies are adding VoIP customers. If you have a big enough wallet you can add customers briskly in my opinion. The question is does it make sense to do this at a loss like Vonage is doing? You are likely aware that I think Vonage still has lots of potential and they shouldn’t be discounted.

Named to the Smith Top 30

September 1, 2006

I am truly honored to be part of the Smith Top 30 blog. Who is Smith you ask? Well Smith is a highly esteemed VoIP blogger of course. Actually I wasn’t too familiar with him before the list but it seems the best way to get in the good graces of bloggers is to give them some much-needed recognition.

Of course I am not sure how much Smith knows about my blog as he erroneously ranked me at #3 when somewhere around 31 or 32 might be more appropriate.

Sure Google ads are great and all but industry or peer recognition makes this job so much more fun.



Call Center Training

September 1, 2006


The field for call center training is expanding rapidly - perhaps because there are so many new call center agents being hired on a daily basis. It is staggering that even in the US the pace of call center growth is brisk. As these agents are hired, call center training becomes a more important issue as some call centers have had turnover rates in the hundreds of percent range.

This subject came up recently as I was discussing Call center training with a coworker who told me Ulysses Learning wants to be known as the call center training company.

Certainly there are many companies looking to be leaders in call center training and with thousands of new agents being hired each day there is lots of opportunity out there. Hopefully companies like Ulysses are targeting Dell and other companies who are getting slammed for hiring untrained call center agents.

One can only hope companies take call center agent training more seriously as the world becomes more competitive and people like Lou Dobbs begin to berate companies who not only use overseas agents but who take a customer service hit for doing so.

See also:

Dell: More, Not Better, Call Centers The Answer!
The CRM Week In Review
Dell Call Center Deja Vu
Sales slump prompts Dell to rethink strategy













Right on Russell

September 1, 2006

VoIP Services

September 1, 2006

One of the more exciting things we do here at TMC is build communities. If you haven’t checked out what TMC is doing in this area you really should as there are lots of very exciting things happening as the world of communities collide with the world of the Internet and Web 2.0.

The most recent Global Online Community TMC has produced was in conjunction with Packet 8 and is titled VoIP Services. So what is a community? It is an area online or portal that is focused on a specific topic.

VoIP Phone Systems

September 1, 2006

Tier One Service Providers Worldwide

September 1, 2006

I have never seen so many registrations form Tier one service providers at any previous TMC event. This Internet Telephony Conference & Expo this October will have a massive showing of Tier 1 and smaller providers. In addition we are getting major decision makers – the technical people. We are still on track for about 9,000 total attendees which will be split – not exactly equally - between service provider, enterprise and reseller.

Layoffs at Network Computing

September 1, 2006

Alcatel Acquires 3G Assets from Nortel

September 1, 2006

Today Nortel announced it has shed its 3G UMTS radio access assets and sold them to Alcatel. On a conference call with financial analysts and the media, Nortel President and CEO Mike Zafirovski was quick to point out that his company remains committed to next-generation mobility through its remaining GSM access and core business, Long Term Evolution (LTE), WiMAX as well as its CDMA businesses.

This seems to make sense for Nortel and Alcatel. On the one hand, Nortel is shedding a division that doesn’t make money and in an area where it has less than 20% market share. The 20% mark is where Zafirovski draws the line.

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