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November 2007

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IP Communications Week in Review November 30, 2007

November 30, 2007

This past week in IP communications was full of news from companies like Voxalot, iBasis, Vonage, Polycom and more. My favorite news is from Vonage where they announce they are improving their customer service via web chat solutions provider inQ.   Years ago I was a Vonage customer and had amazing service levels but I did hear many complaints about churn due to poor service after I switched providers.   I haven’t heard anything negative about the company’s service lately and to see Vonage make such an investment is a very good sign.   This news shows Vonage is still improving service levels and bodes well for the company’s shareholders and employees.   Here is more on the week’s hot stories from TMCnet’s Patrick Barnard.

XV6800: Why Verizon Wireless Opened Up

November 30, 2007

There could not be a happier person on the face of the earth than I regarding Verizon Wireless opening up its network. And while I thought I pegged some of the reasons for Verizon making this decision in a recent blog post, the actual reason is probably a great deal simpler.   My take? The XV6800 handset.   You see, the XV6700 handset while rife with problems such as slowdowns and freezes was a great product for its time. The comfortable mobile keyboard, the widescreen 320x240 view and the Microsoft Office compatible applications made this device a winner.

Online Advertising: a Problem of Plenty

November 30, 2007

I ran across this article from BtoBOnline which talks about how much data online advertising generates and discuses some ways of dealing with and tracking the data. Although the article is not terribly detailed, it does mention Quantcast, a company I have written about before.   Quantcast basically has a proprietary way of tracking traffic of websites, widgets and more. It is a free service which allows you to see the United States traffic of over 20 million websites.   The service also ranks all sites – the lower the number the better. For example TMCnet is ranked in the top 3,708 sites according to the service.

Google to Bid on 700 MHz Spectrum

November 30, 2007

While it is not really a surprise at this point, Google will be bidding on the 700 MHz spectrum auction and if the company wins, it will likely change the business model of many other service providers. The reason is simple. At least one service provider has expressed interest in leveraging their connections as a competitive weapon/advantage and more specifically as a way to exact a toll from Google!   As you may remember I referred to this situation in an article titled SBC Goes Trick-or-Treating which took an excerpt from a BusinessWeek article referring to an interview with SBC CEO Ed Whitacre*:

  The question posed was:   How concerned are you about Internet upstarts like Google, MSN, Vonage, and others?   And the answer was as follows:   How do you think they're going to get to customers? Through a broadband pipe.

The Second Sprint Merger That Wasn’t

November 30, 2007

Microsoft Billion Dollar Web Loss

November 30, 2007

I was reading an article from Internet.com explaining how Microsoft is losing over a billion dollars a year online.  
Directions on Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff said Microsoft's considerable resources lets it keep pushing forward with MSN despite failures in strategic areas that few other companies could afford. "Microsoft's consumer online initiatives are fragmented with a lot of different brands," Rosoff told InternetNews.com. "They're losing a billion dollars a year online. A lot of that has been due to investments, but this is an expensive business for Microsoft to be in.

Google Maps Simulated GPS

November 29, 2007

I could not have been more excited to learn I could use Google Maps on my mobile phone to simulate GPS by utilizing cellular tower triangulation. You should have seen my face. Before I shared the information with my readers I wanted to test the service to see how accurate it is.   It is now about 30 hours since I learned about this new software update and still the service does not work on my Verizon Wireless XV6700 Windows Mobile device. Every time I query my location, I get the message “Your current location is temporarily unavailable.”   Did I tell you this was a beta product?   I thought perhaps TMC’s office presented some sort of problem for the service so as I drove home last night I repeatedly retried the service as I drove, hoping for success.

iPhone Gets Real Network

November 29, 2007

Many current iPhone users will certainly say it is about time that in 2008, iPhones will run on a proper 3G network allowing true wireless broadband speeds. The reason the device does not currently support 3G is because the battery life of a power-hungry device like an iPhone just wouldn’t be acceptable on a 3G network.

Apparently technology has improved to the point where it is now possible to have the right blend of iPhone size, weight, broadband speed and battery life.

This new device will obviously be a killer as the major problem with the current iPhone is the slow speed of the current AT&T network. This new addition will push many potential “on the fence” customers over to the Apple side.

See Also:   AT&T boss says 3G iPhone in 2008 Apple, AT&T Plan '3G' iPhone for 2008, MarketWatch Reports - AAPL Slips, T Just Firm





Sprint Turns Down $5 Billion Offer

November 29, 2007

Sprint Turns Down $5 Billion Offer CNBC is reporting Sprint Nextel turned down a 5 billion dollar offer (according to RTTNews.com). It is not clear who made this offer as of yet. As you may recall I wrote a blog entry lately regarding the potential of Google purchasing the wireless carrier. Stay tuned.   Update:   According to the Wall Street Journal:  
Sprint Nextel Corp. rejected an offer by South Korea's SK Telecom and private equity firm Providence Equity Partners to invest $5 billion in the company and install its former chairman, Tim Donahue, as chief executive, according to people familiar with the matter.   Mr. Donahue and the investment consortium proposed the deal before Thanksgiving, sending its bid to Sprint's board in the form of a letter, these people say.

FCC: Worry about TVoIP not Cable

November 29, 2007

As the FCC vs. Cable struggle continues, I can’t help but wonder if Chairman Kevin Martin isn’t spending too much time worrying about a problem which will be irrelevant at some point in the future.   Martin is trying to get cable companies to inexpensively lease their lines to independent programmers. He is also trying to reduce the cost of cable service and ensure a la carte delivery of channels to consumers.   But I wonder if Martin is fighting the right fight at the right time.   You see, the cable lobby is very strong and they exert influence on politicians who in turn do their best to minimize the influence Martin has. In other words by taking on cable companies head on – even if this is best for customers, he will find himself losing prominence and having more of his initiatives second guessed in the future.  

Moreover it should be clear that soon, an Internet television revolution will take place allowing consumers to view programming over the internet and subsequently rely less on cable for distribution.   Voice over IP was rolled out rapidly with the advent of Vonage and others paving the way.

Avaya DevConnect 2007

November 28, 2007

As you may recall from a recent post, TMC has partnered with Avaya to promote its Developer Connection or DevConnect event which is taking place this week. Here are some photos of this standing room only conference which I hear is doing very well. My team is at the show and tell me things are going exceedingly well. Here are some photos and a great article written by Erik Linask about the conference.   Here is an excerpt:  
In addition to promoting the growth of SIP, Avaya is also simplifying its DevConnect program for 2008 — while enhancing the value membership provides. 

Android Sans SIP and IMS

November 28, 2007

Skype High Quality Video

November 27, 2007

Skype has teamed with Logitech to provide what they call a High Quality Video solution. I had a chance to test this new feature via a videoconference with Tom Keating who heads up TMC Labs.   In order to take advantage of this new software you will need Skype 3.6 or higher and a Logitech QuickCam 11.5 or higher (Currently: QuickCam Pro 9000, QuickCam Pro for Notebooks, QuickCam Orbit/Sphere AF). In addition, your broadband connection will need to be 384 kbps or better and your CPU needs to run at 2.0 GHZ or higher and be of the Dual Core variety.   In case you want to know if you have a Dual Core processor you need to press Control-Alt-Delete on your PC then click on Task Manager and then Performance. If there are two separate boxes under “CPU Usage History,” you have a Dual Core processor.

Verizon Wireless Opens Up

November 27, 2007

In the history of United States communications, this day ranks right up there with the day of the Carterfone (Wikipedia) decision allowing any device to work on AT&T’s PSTN network. Today, almost 30 years later, Verizon chose to tell the world they will open up their wireless network to devices other than their own.   The news may be even more surprising in light of the fact that Skype has been petitioning the FCC for this exact thing. How often does Skype agree with the carriers?   Another surprise is the fact that Verizon is the first carrier to make such an announcement. Remember, this is the same company that routinely cripples the current devices they sell consumers.   Amazingly, this development is exactly what I have been asking for.

Star Wars VoIP Phone

November 27, 2007

I came across a Star Wars VoIP phone this past weekend while perusing catalogues. I was going to write about it today but apparently either Tom Keating checks his mail more often than I do or he gets access to catalogues faster than me.   As part of the VoIP phone package, you can get an R2-D2 roving webcam. For the Star Wars lover this is a no-brainer gift and the only downside may be the $380 cost which is reasonable if you compare it to an iPhone – basically replacing the cult of George Lucas with the cult of Steve Jobs.   To get really geeky, I wonder if there will be bluetooth connectivity to the famous headphones Princess Vespa used in SpaceBalls by Mel Brooks.

Communications Webinars

November 26, 2007

I came across some webinars of potential interest coming soon from TMC. There are a bunch and they are quite varied so it would seem there is certainly something for everyone. I am certainly interested in the 10 myths of voice automation, reducing customer churn and multi service business gateways.  

Black Monday For Yahoo! Merchant Services

November 26, 2007

According to CNBC there is a problem with the Yahoo! merchant services and some merchants haven’t seen a single transaction go through since six this morning. Obviously this is not good news for Yahoo! or the companies depending on the service.

Latest Skype Problems

November 26, 2007

WiFi, Autism Link

November 24, 2007

For obvious reasons I became alarmed when I read an article linking WiFi and autism (article intentionally not linked). I told some friends and relatives about the report and they all seemed concerned and asked for links to the story.   I should point out that when I heard about the link I thought it odd that WiFi was singled out as there are so many wireless signals in our houses from electric cables, cellular base stations, FM transmitters, satellite radio and TV. The list goes on and on in fact. For example cordless phones should be roughly equivalent to WiFi signals.   In any event, I did some post-Thanksgiving research and came across this article in the Financial Post which says another website has debunked the study.

The Latest VoIP Security Threat

November 24, 2007

For years I have been covering VoIP security and throughout this time it has been a one-sided conversation as there have been few documented cases of VOIP security attacks. Companies are generally not too happy to discuss VoIP security breaches so this news shouldn’t be very surprising to anyone.   In the absence of news regarding companies who have had voice or video conversations compromised, vendors in the VoIP security market have been proactive. Some such as Sipera have revealed vulnerabilities of existing equipment and more recently one person has even released a proof-of concept program named SIPtap with the goal of showing how easy it is -- once a program is slipped onto a corporate computer via a Trojan horse or some other means, to record enterprise VoIP calls as WAV files for later analysis.   The person behind this proof of concept program is Peter Cox who co-founded and was CTO of BorderWare, a company in the VoIP security and session border control space. I first wrote about the company in August, 2005 in a blog entry titled Secure VoIP and I covered them more recently in an entry titled Borderware's SBC Strategy.   Cox left BorderWare and has his own VoIP Consultancy which will be up and running in 2008 according to PC World.   The issue of protecting VoIP calls is likely something corporate decision-makers gloss over all too often and just because companies are not reporting more security incidents, does not mean they aren’t happening.   In the end, if you are responsible for the IP communications infrastructure of your company you need to be 100% up to date on the latest solutions on the market.   For this reason it is essential you study the problem as thoroughly as time allows and network with others in the space.   One way to do this is to attend TMC's Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in Miami, January 23-25, 2008 where there is a session titled Security Challenges in the Enterprise, which takes place Wednesday – January 23, 2008, 1:30-2:15pm EST.   As more and more crucial information gets carried over internet protocol networks, the incentive to eavesdrop on these conversations will grow dramatically.

Skype Foiling German Police

November 23, 2007

VoIP has reduced the cost of phone calls worldwide allowing many the ability to speak with others at a low cost or even for free. Because of IP communications in fact, there has also been a business productivity renaissance. When you combine these gains with those afforded by mobility-enabling devices like Blackberries, it is incredible what has been achieved.   But there is a dark side to VoIP and it has to do with the ability to encrypt IP packets in a manner that precludes eavesdropping.   This is great from a security perspective but not great for law enforcement. Especially in Germany where Police are complaining vociferously about their inability to tap calls made via Skype and potentially other VoIP providers.   For more check out:   VNUnet: Skype encryption foils German police Register: Skype crypto stumps German cops Inquirer: Skype baffles German plod

Why Verizon Sued Vonage

November 23, 2007

I receive many questions about patents and why one company sues another. Patent portfolios are like nuclear weapons – if you have them, you are less likely to end up in a war. I was reminded of this idea as I read Ike Elliot’s Telecosm blog where he has an entry focusing on why Verizon is picking on smaller companies to sue.   Here is an excerpt:  
How does a patent holder decide who to target? They usually consider the following:
1.

Advertising 2.0: What it Shouldn’t Be

November 22, 2007

The internet has evolved to a point where there is almost no information you can’t find about someone if you really want it. Enter a phone number in some search engines for example and you can get a home address.   Over the years there have been many advances in technology which over time have raised concern by privacy advocates. Toolbars which track websites a user visits -- like those supplied by Alexa (now a division of Amazon), scared some in the nineties. A few years back, fears were raised when Google announced their new Gmail e-mail service would have the company’s computers “read” e-mails and match ads based on keywords in a message.   The latest privacy controversy has to do with social networking and in particular, Facebook.

Re-Kindle

November 21, 2007

I may have really screwed this prediction up. You remember yesterday when I said nobody wants the Kindle, the e-book reader from Amazon. Well apparently Amazon has announced today that they sold out of the units in stock. Normally this would mean I am way off with my prediction from about 24 hours earlier.

Nokia 810 Review

November 21, 2007

Europe Opens the iPhone Market

November 21, 2007

Recently I posted an article regarding the strategic advantage afforded the country with the most wireless device choice. In summary – if mobile devices increase productivity then having the best mobile device for your particular application means a higher likelihood of maximal productivity.   This recent post came to mind when I learned Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile unit said Wednesday it will offer Apple Inc's iPhone without a contract in Germany to comply with a court injunction issued after Vodafone challenged its exclusive lock on the device.   It seems this ruling will change the way Apple will be selling the iPhone in various countries as it will likely be impossible to lock these devices in many parts of the world.   While I think telephone companies should be free from as much regulation as possible I also know the more locks and other techniques phone companies use to eliminate competition, the worse it is for consumers everywhere.   There needs to be some balance between the needs of a society – to be as productive as possible – and the needs of service provider shareholders. In Europe it seems the needs of the citizens of the EU win out. I wonder if this will ever happen in the US.

Rumor Mill: Google Buying Skype

November 20, 2007

I have to be honest with you my loyal and devoted readers. I am disgusted with myself. Why you ask? Because I am an addict – I am addicted to writing about Google.

Google TV

November 20, 2007

If you think Android and the Open Handset Alliance are interesting, check out this article form TechCrunch about how Google may soon be in the set top box market and by doing so will be have the ultimate platform to integrate television and advertising.   Here is an excerpt of this very well-written article:  
Before Google announced Android, many people thought Google was developing its own mobile phone. But the point of Android is to get other companies to build the phones and a new set of applications for them. Google wants to supply the underlying technology to make it happen, and finally bring the mobile world into the Web age. It should be obvious by now that Google is much happier when it is creating technology platforms—for mobile apps, for social apps, for advertising— than one-off consumer products.

COTS to the Service Provider Rescue

November 20, 2007

There was a time when service providers had to purchase massively expensive proprietary equipment in order to deploy telephone service. Class 4 and 5 switches required enormous investment and could be justified as this equipment would be depreciated over many years in a well-known and slow-moving competitive environment.   Then along came VoIP and the market shifted into high gear. All of a sudden customers wanted more services and they wanted to spend less money for it all. Competition seemed to come from every direction with crazy “woohoo” ads from companies like Vonage and more sober ads from the cable companies.   Even worse, the wireless companies began to take share making it that much more difficult to pay for the massive iron sitting in central offices worldwide.   Just before VoIP became popular, new architectures such as CompactPCI and later Advanced TCA emerged allowing service providers to benefit from technologies being popularized in the enterprise and consumer markets.   As voice becomes a cheaper and cheaper commodity, service providers must look for other services to replace lost revenue.

Voice Peering Forum Winter 2007

November 20, 2007

If you are going to go to one voice peering conference in 2007 it needs to be VPF or Voice Peering Forum Winter 2007, New York City at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Here are some of the speakers you can hear at this conference:  
  • Dr. Judy Reed Smith, Founder & CEO, ATLANTIC-ACM
  • Jon Romm, COO, Avail Media
  • Mark Ericson, Director of Product Strategy, BlueNote Networks
  • Kevin P. Fleming, Sr Software Engineer and Co-Maintainer of Asterisk, Digium
  • Thanh Nguyen, Director for Business Development, France Telecom
  • Joseph Gillan, Economist, Gillan Associates
  • Christopher Lengyel, Director, Product Management, iBasis
  • Eric Hanselman, Network Protection Architect, IBM Internet Security Systems
  • Gary Kim, Editor-in-Chief, IP Business
  • Bill Binning, Vice President, Marketing, Jaduka
  • Joe Trainor, Vice President, Narrowstep
  • Georges Smine, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Nominum
  • Bernardin Arnason, Managing Partner, Pivot Media
  • Sanford McMurtry, VP - Strategic Operations, RNK Telecom
  • Shrihari Pandit, President & CEO, Stealth Communications
  • Bob Bradley, Product Line Manager, Sonus Networks
  • Pankaj Shroff, Chief Applications Architect, Sonus Networks
  • Stephan Beckert, Director of Research, TeleGeography
  • Rich Tehrani, President & Editor-in-Chief, TMCnet
  • Patrick Murphy, COO, The Thomas Howe Company
  • Hunter Newby, Chief Strategy Officer, The telx Group
  • Bhupender Kaul, Vice President, Business Services, Time Warner Cable
  • Jim Dalton, Founder & CEO, TransNexus
  • Rodrigue Ullens, Co-founder & CEO, Voxbone
  • Tom Schlatter, Director of Data Architecture, XO Communications
Oh yes, and I will be speaking as well. I hope to see you at the show…   This is the preeminent voice peering conference in the world and Shrihari Pandit the conference chairman has done an incredible job educating the peering market year after year and if you aren’t aware has held a peering conference at ITEXPO for many years.   You will definitely want to be in Miami in January 2008 as well to stay on top of this fast-moving industry

Ma Bell Strikes Back

November 20, 2007

Recently I wrote an article titled Ma Google which discussed how Google needs to do anything – everything it can to have a direct pipe to customers so they can bypass service providers who could block their access.   Now it is AT&T which is gearing up to take on Google head on. How you ask? By acquiring Ingenio the pay-per-call advertising company. Initially AT&T will integrate the service into its directory assistance products but it is easy to see how the company could try to build a huge advertising network similar to what Google has done with Adwords.   Just think about how many businesses AT&T already has as customers.

Avaya DevConnect

November 20, 2007

Over the years, TMC has worked closely with Avaya to host their DevConnect Developer Conference at TMC events such as Communications/VoIP Developer. I have always found these events to be extremely valuable as Avaya does a great job getting the world’s best and most knowledgeable speakers to be part of this show.   In a way I feel a special closeness to this conference because back in 2000 when Avaya hadn’t spun out of Lucent and their first ever IP-PBX was called the IP Exchange System – I was invited to be the first keynote speaker in Las Vegas. This event was being held concurrently with a TMC event as well.   So if you are interested in learning more about Avaya’s Developer Connection program or communications development in general, I recommend this conference.   The DevConnect Developer Conference is happening November 28, 2007 at Avaya Labs in Lincroft, New Jersey and is free for attendees who will benefit from great networking opportunities with Avaya professionals as well as the ability to connect with Avaya engineers and business development managers. Also, attendees will be offered hands-on demonstrations within the Avaya DevConnect Labs.   As an added bonus, attendees of the conference will also qualify to win an Apple iPod Touch.

Kindle: Nobody Wants This Thing

November 20, 2007

OK, I have heard about Kindle and other e-book readers and in my opinion, no one wants one of these things. I could be more eloquent and wax poetic about how this device is not the same as a book and people will not warm up to it, etc but i won’t.   So in short, I am a huge fan of Amazon and this is a great idea for them to try but I think no one wants one. If they sell more than 100,000 of these things I think the earth will stop spinning.   I would love to be proven wrong but I am pretty sure I won’t be. Sorry Amazon.

Packet8 MobileTalk

November 20, 2007

Having seen invention after invention and new technology after new technology come along I can say I have begun to appreciate some of the more simple things in life. Don’t get me wrong, I like complex technologies such as the iPhone allowing one to surf the web in a fashion which comes close to a laptop browsing experience.   But I realize that some technologies are too complicated for mass adoption and as such I appreciate simple solutions like Skype which anyone can use.   Having said this, when I found out Packet8 has developed a new solution named MobileTalk which allows long distance VoIP calls to be made by mobile phones I could not help but be excited. Why? Well because I am very much aware of how difficult it is to call international numbers with a calling card.   I spend a good deal of time in the car and it is a nightmare to dial long international numbers including calling card while driving.

TMC Thanksgiving Pot Luck Luncheon

November 20, 2007

Today is Pot Luck Luncheon day here at TMC which basically means each person in the company brings in enough food to feed five-ten people. If you play this out, we will about five times more food than we can eat. I hear we have about seven pies, mashed potatoes turkey, carbohydrates of all varieties, muffins and of course I topped it all off by bringing the soda.   OK so I had an easy task but I did agonize over which sodas to buy early this morning. I did go off the beaten path and even pick up some Diet Mountain Dew as I am convinced at least one of my coworkers has this substance flowing through their veins and arteries.   The lunch starts at 1:00 PM EST so if we aren’t picking up phones, etc, this is why.

Mobility as Strategic Advantage

November 20, 2007

It is obvious that mobile device proliferation has had a dramatic increase in productivity for knowledge workers worldwide. In addition it is well known the US government and military functions more effectively because it relies on Blackberrys.   It goes without saying that the individual mobility needs of a users varies widely as some mobile workers need optimal web access while others primarily need e-mail access and others may need specific applications.   It is also well known that every mobile device today from Blackberry to iPhone consists of numerous design tradeoffs weighing size, keyboard, connection speed, processor speed and more.   The next point worth considering is consumer choice. For example, if using the best device makes users most productive, then having the greatest access to devices means the best potential fit of personal needs and device which in turn means the most potential productivity. After all, if a user needs access to the best browser, they need a device with sufficient resolution to allow for this.   As different users have different device preferences and needs, it seems obvious that having one dozen devices to choose from is better –from a productivity standpoint – than having four.   If we can agree that having the greatest access to mobile devices can make users most productive then we must further acknowledge that if a country such as the United States has access to the greatest variety of mobile devices it will in turn have a competitive advantage in the world market.   Unfortunately the opposite is true and I was reminded of just how far behind the US is when it comes to mobile phone choice as I read this MSNBC/Forbes article titled Coolest cell phones you can't get in the U.S.   While this article is focused more on consumer-friendly phones, the situation in the business phone market is similar and U.S.

Don’t Vote Until You read This

November 20, 2007

I am unhappy to hear that 24 House Republicans are delving into the FCC’s plan to regulate the cable companies more closely. FCC Chairman Martin is acting in the best interest of consumers by fostering competition in the cable industry and in doing so will likely lower consumer costs and allow more competition in the market.   While it is true that increased video competition is coming from phone companies and consumers can stream video over the internet, any support the FCC can give to increase the pace of video competition is good for all cable customers.   While House Republicans are in the information gathering phase at the moment, comments from Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, regarding her concern about the FCC moving away from light-touch regulation seems to show more concern for cable company shareholders than the citizens of the United States.   Recently I mentioned it would make more sense for the FCC to mandate network neutrality rather than get into the nitty gritty of regulating individual cable channels. I still think in the long run this direction makes the most sense.   However I must commend Chairman Martin for taking on cable companies and much of the government in an effort to increase the rate of competition in the cable business and subsequently help consumers.   I recommend voters keep an eye on the politicians and the party they represent in this dialogue and use this information when making voting decisions in the future.   See Also:   WSJ: FCC's Cable Plans Draw Fire

Ma Google

November 19, 2007

What will the communications market look like in ten years I wonder? It may be difficult to forecast incredible change and disruptive technologies but it is relatively easy to predict what will happen based on what we know today.   For example:   1)      We see more video being transmitted over broadband networks. 2)      Google is rolling out new services on a daily basis and using advertising to support many of them. 3)      AT&T and Verizon are not huge fans of the search leader as they are envious of the companies using their pipes to transmit services which make money for Google. 4)      The government does not seem to care that much about network neutrality.   So with these four points in mind let’s look at what needs to take place for Google to continue operating in a hostile service provider environment:   They need access to consumers directly.   It is that simple really. If the service providers continue to be the gatekeepers to Google the company risks its future. It is tough to see the US government stepping in and enforcing net neutrality at this point so this means Google must have a network -- and quickly -- to ensure it has a seat at the service provider table.   Of course Google does not want the messiness associated with becoming a service provider but they just have no choice but to protect themselves.   Many people have written me recently saying there is no way that Google will buy Sprint in response to a recent article on the matter.

Mobile Advertising Grows to $16.5 Billion

November 18, 2007

I was perusing some articles on mobile advertising recently and was absolutely stunned at how big some analysts think this market will be. According to this TMCnet article, Strategy Analytics predicts the global market for mobile advertising is slated to reach $14 billion by 2011.   ABI Research predicts the global market for mobile marketing and advertising will reach $3 billion by the end of 2007, and expand to $19 billion in 2011.   If we take the mid-way point between the estimates, the mobile ad market will be $16.5 billion in 2011. To put this in real-world terms it means that one-billion users will generate about $16 apiece.   It would seem to achieve this grand vision things will have to drastically change in the way we interact with mobile devices. One would imagine the path we are on at the moment cannot possibly get us to these numbers.   So as sit here looking at the gargantuan estimates above, I just wonder what would have to change to make these numbers achievable.

Enjoy Thanksgiving - See a Parade

November 18, 2007

China and the Busy Weekend

November 17, 2007

It has been a busy weekend so far and it is about half-way over and I didn’t even get a chance to blog. Believe it or not there hasn’t been too much blog-worthy material and writing for the sake of writing makes no sense.   So after spending about thirty minutes focusing on something exciting to share I thought it better to refer you to a couple of MSNBC articles which could be of interest.   Believe me I would like to provide some insight on these stories but I am devoid of strong opinions worth sharing at the moment. Oh Well… Tomorrow is another day.   Both of these focus on telecom in China. I hope you find them interesting.   ·        Apple, China Mobile discuss China iPhone ·        China tests Mt. Everest cell station

Starbucks Advertising

November 16, 2007

I find it funny that Starbucks has chosen now as a time to start advertising its coffee on television. The company has advertised before but just not for the coffee according to CNBC. As you may know the company released poor earnings, slower traffic levels at stores and basically a full year of negative news.   From a marketing perspective the company is late, very late to the party. The time to start marketing is when things are good – ahead of the slowdown.

Google in Wireless

November 16, 2007

More discussions regarding Google getting into the wireless game were sparked today by a Wall Street Journal article focusing on Google’s wireless ambitions.   In summary:  
  • Google will likely bid on the 700 MHz spectrum or lose good will in Washington
  • The company’s bid will be $4.6 billion or more.
  • Google has a test FCC license and has cell towers at its campus which it uses with Android-based phones.
  • The company has been in semi-serious discussions with Clearwire regarding building out a WiMAX network.
  • Google has invested in femtocell maker Ubiquisys
  • Everyone and their brother is on record explaining how difficult it is to build a wireless network.
  • Wall Street is enthusiastic about lending money to Google to bid at the auction
  • Google will think about bringing in partners after the auction is over and it sees what happens.
  • The company has brought on game theory experts to help it in the bidding process.
  There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the rumors of Google acquiring Sprint with many thinking the idea is farfetched. It would seem however that since Google is working on its own wireless network, they are very serious about getting into the wireless space.   As we discussed in my recent post on the matter, Google likes to build everything itself from scratch. This is just the way the company operates. However if you are going to go into the wireless business it will take years to put towers around the US and then the world.   Think about the layers of negotiation which need to take place… City by city… Neighborhood by neighborhood -- the company has to place base stations with antennas on tall buildings, water towers and hilltops as far as the eye can see.   Sure this can be done, but it will take such a long time… Let’s say five years to cover the U.S.

Vonage Loses Again

November 16, 2007

On-Screen Caller-ID

November 15, 2007

Living in Connecticut, quite often I get to see the rest of the country or world get exciting new technologies before I do. It seems Connecticut is not the leading place for companies to roll things out. AT&T for example rolled out its triple-play offering in Texas – more than a stone’s throw from my house.   So imagine my delight in letting my readers know about a new technology being rolled out which I can actually try out very soon.   What is this technology you ask? Simply, on-screen Caller-ID.

Outsourced Personal Assistant

November 15, 2007

Some years back at TMC, we installed a large flat screen TV in one of our conference rooms and the person handling the job was ANDY OnCall. At the time I was not aware that ANDY OnCall was actually a franchise and the person installing our TV was not Andy at all. I was surprised but in the end it didn’t really matter as the TV did get installed.   I started thinking of this experience as I have started to see a wave of new offshore personal assistant services pop up in India and elsewhere. Obviously when you outsource a personal assistant it becomes a lot less personal but does it matter if the job still gets done?   The services being provided by firms such as Brickwork and GetFriday are things you could hire an administrative assistant in the US to do… Book plane tickets, research the competition, or really anything else.   Not all customers are happy with these services based in India and subsequently at least one company has launched a similar serviced staffed by US college students.   This trend is just another example of how technology boosts productivity and allows tasks to be outsourced on a quite granular level.   Check out this New York Times article for more. Photo courtesy of the NY Times.

How does he do it?

November 14, 2007

U.S. House Passes E911 Bill

November 14, 2007

As many of you know, in 1997 TMC decided to launch Internet Telephony Magazine because we saw the power of IP communications changing the communications worldwide. Over the past years we have seen this in action as entire network backbones have been rebuilt from circuit-switched to packet-switched.   Yesterday’s news regarding the House passing an E911 bill which not only accommodates IP but leverages it, gives me great personal joy as it shows the power of IP communications will now transcend the consumer and business space and change the way the nation’s emergency networks function.   I further expect other countries to follow suit meaning increased safety for the world population.   I commend US politicians for seeing the value of Internet Protocol and leveraging it in a manner which will no doubt save many lives over the years.

Skype WiFi Phone Outage Details

November 13, 2007

Skype experienced its first publicized outage of WiFi phones this past weekend. TMCnet’s Tom Keating broke the news and has been posting a play by play on his blog.   Skype recently put out a statement as to what happened with the outage. Here are the details:  
Skype’s engineering team has concluded their investigation into the outage that Tom Keating alerted you to yesterday and I wanted to share their findings with you:

Users of some Skype Certified devices experienced login problems on Sunday when a server-hosting location experienced network connection difficulties. As a result, some services became temporarily unavailable.

Android Developer Contest

November 13, 2007

Question: What is the best way to get your mobile platform to be adopted by developers and subsequently end-users?
Answer
: Pay off the developers   And that is just what Google is doing with their Android SDK. A total of $10 million dollars will be awarded to the best applications in a contest Google recently announced..   Having lived through the application wars of Apple vs. PC and then Microsoft Windows vs. IBM OS/2 I can recall just how important it is the have the application developers behind your platform.   For example in the publishing industry a popular software package for desktop publishers was Quark Express and the company was a loyal Apple developer.

Skype WiFi Outage

November 12, 2007

Facebook to Compete with Digg

November 11, 2007

Some of the more popular sites to go to when voting on technology news are digg and Techmeme. Digg actually allows you to vote on more than just tech news and both are great places to go when you are looking for news put together by a large community of users.   Having said that, these sites may be vulnerable to competition as there are rumors that the social networking sites want a piece of the user-driven news aggregation market as well.   To set the record straight, there are lots of companies out there looking to compete with a site like digg but few have made much of a dent so far.   Perhaps the biggest threat would be Facebook, as the social networking behemoth has just so many active users. In case you are wondering just how popular Facebook is, you should know the company’s site has about 24 million unique US visitors each month and is ranked in the top 22 out of all websites – according to Quantcast.

Disney Japanese MVNO

November 11, 2007

How Network Neutrality Solves the Cable Competition Problem

November 10, 2007

It is obvious to me the cable companies are getting the short end of the FCC stick. In fact I am not sure the FCC will be giving any sort of stick to the cable companies this Christmas. Even the lump of coal Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Comcast were expecting may not be in the stocking – don’t they know how bad coal is for the environment?  

The cable companies are in deep trouble because FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has decided to regulate cable and in so doing ensure there is more competition. They will for example make sure access to spare channels by other content providers is done at a reasonable cost.

  There is an arcane law on the books called the 70/70 rule which is being used as the basis for the FCC to get involved in regulating this market.   The rule says that if 70% of households in the US have cable access and 70% of those that do use cable, the agency can step in and regulate it.   This is great for consumers in my opinion but is also coming at a time which is incomprehensible to me.   If you want true cable competition, it seems to make more sense to ensure network neutrality is enforced.

Google Database Patent Lawsuit

November 10, 2007

Apparently today is “Write about Google” day as I thought it worth sharing that the company is facing a patent infringement lawsuit due to the database technology the company employs. Who is suing you wonder? Northeastern University and a start-up company cofounded by an associate professor.   According to an article on boston.com, "This particular patent has to do with the fundamental database architecture, which they use to serve up every single result they serve to you," said Michael Belanger, president of Jarg Corp. in Waltham. Jarg is a privately funded developer of advanced search technology.

Rumor Mill: Google Acquiring Sprint

November 10, 2007

Recent news that Sprint is not going to work with Clearwire to build out a WiMAX network only added to the rumors I have been hearing about Google acquiring Sprint Nextel. On the surface it seems like this would be a bad move for Google but in reality the world’s leading search engine has become so much more than just a website to go to when you want to find a trinket of information… The company now needs a wireless network to allow it to grow in the mobile search and related spaces such as watching YouTube videos on the subway.   Let’s look at Google from a philosophical level. The company has built almost everything from scratch in its past and present. Computers, operating system, web server software and more.

PR and Marketing Done Right

November 10, 2007

Oftentimes companies in the communications space ask me how they are doing compared to their competition in the areas of marketing and PR. They generally do this by asking me to take surveys about their company’s standing in the market. In addition, I often get calls from organizations on Wall Street asking about specific companies. These analysts typically want to know if target companies are worth investing in, etc.   While I am not a financial analyst myself I feel I am in a pretty good position to discuss a communications and or technology company’s standing in a market.

Cisco VARs Feeling Microsoft Pressure

November 10, 2007

I saw an article in CRN titled Cisco VoIP VARs Feeling Microsoft Pressure and I found it interesting that Cisco VARs are having to deal with customer doubt regarding selling unified communications solutions.   Imagine this news is coming less than a month after I wrote Microsoft’s Big Unified Communications Launch which discussed Microsoft’s official entry into the space with a Bill Gates cameo appearance in San Francisco.   What amazes me most is that Cisco has shipping products and is such a dominant player and the threat of Microsoft entering the Unified Communications space is slowing down the networking giant’s telecom sales.   One wonders if Cisco VARs are having such problems are the VARs of other PBX players feeling the pain as well? Many of the other players in the market are doing their best to embrace the Microsoft Unified Communications strategy so perhaps this challenge is unique to Cisco and Avaya.   Why do I throw Avaya into the mix? Only because they haven’t tied themselves closely to the Microsoft UC strategy as of yet.   At the last ITEXPO this past September in Los Angles, CA, approximately one in five VARs I spoke with said Microsoft’s entry into the space would change the competitive landscape. Most were not concerned.

Pandora Competes Handily With Satellite Radio

November 9, 2007

In the past I have written about not allowing the XM/Sirius satellite merger take place. I figured it would be bad for consumers. However a single website changed my mind a few months back. That website is actually a streaming radio station which allows you to play the customized music you like.

The Future is UnClearWire

November 9, 2007

TMCnet’s Russell Shaw reports in his Regulation blog that Clearwire and Sprint Nextel are not going to work together on a nationwide WiMAX network. Citing a story in the Wall Street Journal, Shaw says:  
A letter of intent to build such a network was signed in July, when Gary Forsee was still CEO of beleaguered Sprint Nextel. But that was before Forsee- who had championed the deal- lost significant support among his company's Board of Directors, resigned his position in early October.   Forsee's departure, as well as what the Journal sources termed the "complexities of the transaction," were apparently too much to convert the letter of intent into a signed, sealed commitment with a firm go-ahead.
  Obviously this is not good for Clearwire or WiMAX in general. It is also not good for Sprint whose strategy seems to shift more than the wind as of late.   One reason this deal fell through could be that Sprint has thrown in the towel and decided to sell.

Ballmer on Android

November 9, 2007

Pen Phone

November 8, 2007

Encryption Vs. Recording Industry

November 8, 2007

In p2p sharing networks the latest weapon the file sharers are deploying is encryption. Sure encryption has been around for years but it seems the file sharers are now using the technology coupled with services like BitTorrent.   According to The Register, a large UK ISP says the number of encrypted files being shared has risen tenfold in the last 12 months. Obviously this is nothing to sneeze at.   As the article points out, files which are encrypted draw more attention and law enforcement agencies spend more time on these files than more theoretically innocuous ones.   As always happens in these electronic espionage wars, one side finds a new weapon and the other responds with something else more sophisticated. The record labels have found their business has turned more into a Spy vs.

iPhone Hits UK

November 8, 2007

ITEXPO East 2008 Brochure Available

November 8, 2007

A Date-Rape-Drug-Free Christmas

November 8, 2007

Mobile News From iPhone to Business Intelligence

November 8, 2007

The mobile market continues to generate massive amounts of news… It almost seems we have crossed over the critical mass border where everyone on earth has one of these devices and now we need to find ways o force them to upgrade or provide them better access to information while on the road.   For example, Information Builders now provides a mobile-ready business intelligence dashboard. With merely a couple of clicks, content can be effortlessly added or eliminated from the Mobile Favorites folder in Information Builders’ standard BI Dashboard. The procedure closely resembles the method for adding content to the favorites folder in a Web browser.   In addition, Broadcom and Electronic Arts have teamed up to provide high-performance gaming on mobile phones. A direct quote from the release is as follows: “The Broadcom BCM2727 processor continues to set the bar for low power, extreme mobile multimedia performance and is receiving significant recognition within the mobile device and gaming communities.”   For those of you who already have a device – like let’s say a smartphone, you can now turn it into an iPhone with a little help from TransMedia.

Ditech Networks

November 8, 2007

In the many IP communications demos I hear each year I am consistently amazed at just how good the quality of VoIP can be. With today’s wideband codecs the sound is remarkably better than the PSTN. This is especially true when I listen to 3D stereo VoIP.   The first issue of Internet Telephony magazine which was the first publication in the world focusing on IP communications came out in February, 1998 and in all the years since we have seen the IP communications space explode with growth. Sure there have been ups and downs but we can safely say at this point the technology behind internet telephony has changed the world for the better.   But this does not mean every VoIP call today sounds fantastic.

Vonage in Settlement Talks with AT&T

November 8, 2007

Tellabs CEO Steps Down

November 8, 2007

Symbian CEO Disses Open Handset Alliance

November 8, 2007

Symbian may be the closest competitor to Google’s Open Handset Alliance and not surprisingly the head of Symbian had nothing flattering to say about this latest open source mobile handset initiative.   Symbian’s CEO Nigel Clifford said, There's 10, 15, 20, maybe 25 different Linux platforms out there. It sometimes appears that Linux is fragmenting faster than it unifies." He continued, “Symbian recognizes Google's commitment to ‘openness’ and sees that as a good thing, but I probably would say there is no such thing as free software."   The problem for Clifford and company is the fact that many companies already working with Symbian have become part of the OHA. What this means for Symbian long term is unknown but the competition has not put a dent in Clifford’s resolve as he said, “We're the market leader, and we aim to remain the market leader."   For more, check out this well-written piece from InfoWorld.

Comcast Gets Beat up

November 8, 2007

Wireless Cemetery

November 7, 2007

Picketing Steve Jobs

November 7, 2007

Apparently the proper place for striking writers to be picketing is in front of Steve Job’s house, office and perhaps anywhere else he happens to be. So says Michael Eisner according to this CNET news report.   In reality, Steve Jobs should more likely be heralded as a god as without him the content the writers produce would be distributed free through p2p networks and there would be no money to be made. At least now the studios get something that will grow over time.   Having said that we should all acknowledge that iTunes is not needed for distribution of all content. The networks have websites that make a successful business distributing programming without any help from Apple at all – Thank you very much.

ITEXPO Discount – Act Fast

November 7, 2007

Sometimes I think I have the best job on earth as I get to meet with the real thought leaders in the communications market and see the latest products and services in the industry. Then I get the distinct pleasure of writing about my meetings.   Now there are times – don’t get me wrong – when I am on deadline and I can’t seem to type a cohesive sentence. But other than these few times each year, I have a great job made even better when I get to meet my many readers in person at trade shows and events around the world.   Each year, thousands of service providers, enterprise decision makers, resellers and developers come to TMC’s Internet Telephony Conference & Expo to learn about what is happening in the world of IP communications and to make purchasing decisions   In an effort to get to meet more of my readers in person, I would like to offer something I have never offered before… A major discount to attend ITEXPO, the world’s best-attended IP communications event drawing attendees from over 100 countries.   As you can see from these photos and videos, this is the world best attended IP communications event. We are very excited to have you come to this show.

Open Handset Alliance Partners and More

November 7, 2007

Some of the more interesting news as of late has to do with the Open Handset Alliance as it seems everyone wants to be a part of it. That is, everyone except the largest carriers.   For example, Wind River and Nuance have joined the alliance while HTC is working on a Google Phone prototype if not a production version.   It seems mobile phone makers are never happy with mobile carriers as the latter exerts too much influence on the former. This is what I hear over and over again when speaking with the device makers.   Certainly this infighting between suppliers and service providers is likely to intensify as a result of Google entering the space. But then again, AT&T really gave an unprecedented amount of latitude to Apple when launching the iPhone and even Nokia and Vodafone are working more closely than ever.   In unrelated news you may want to see this video of people discussing a cow falling from the sky and hitting a car.

Productivity Increase

November 7, 2007

I just came back from root canal part 2. Without getting into too much detail I have this one tooth that has been refilled 3-4 times and then a crown was put on and then a root canal done. Each time the pain was supposed to go away and it just didn’t.   Today wasn’t the second part of my root canal oral surgery and I will need a permanent crown in a month but for today I am done.   What blew me away about the day’s surgery however is the Doctor’s office. He had Sirius radios and noise cancelling headphones in each office so I was able to listen to financial news while the surgery was taking place.

Fun at the Dentist

November 7, 2007

Mobile News November 7, 2007

November 7, 2007

Hurry up developers as Nokia’s “Mobile Rules!” contest is coming to an end in eleven days and if you are a worthy developer you likely want to get involved. The grand prize for the applicant coming up with the winning business plan is a business contract with Nokia, and could also include other competition sponsors as well. An alternate prize is $20,000 and the right to use the title ‘Mobile Ruler! 08.   As mobile devices proliferate I am sure many tech people feel that these gadgets are indeed ruling the company.

Nortel is Back

November 6, 2007

Recently it is has been a mixed ride for communications companies as those relying on tier-one service providers for the majority of their growth have been battered. Case in point is Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent who each have lost over $15 billion in market capitalization in the last three months alone.   On the other hand companies like Cbeyond and ShoreTel have been fantastically well as they focus on the small business market exclusively.   Enter Nortel, who has a mix of products in its portfolio serving enterprise customers as well as service providers in the wireless and wired spaces. The company’s shares have been decelerating since early in 2004.   So Nortel’s prospects for beating earnings this quarter were less than clear. Would they have a great quarter like so many technology names with worldwide exposure or would they have a terrible quarter like both Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent?   Well the results are in and the news is very good as the Toronto-based company said it had net income of $27 million or 5 cents per share in the third quarter.

IP Communications News November 6, 2007

November 6, 2007

What are some of the interesting things happening in the wide world of communications today? For one, Excel telecommunications and Allworx have partnered to provide SMBs with SIP trunking and a PBX solution respectively (check out the SIP Trunking channel for more news on this segment).   The SMB space seems to be brimming with choice as Cisco too has decided to focus more energy on this are with a series of new additions and upgrades to the company’s product line.   In a more patriotic move, ReCellular has launched a program allowing people to donate their old cell phones so the proceeds can be used to provide calling cards for US troops around the world.   Moving to the software world, Aspect Software has moved up on the Software 500 list at 76 overall – a nice 6 place increase from the prior year.   Moving right along into the service provider market, Pactolus Communications has recently announced a quarter million session benchmark translating into upwards of 8-10 million subscribers served on an ongoing basis.   From their lets discuss the consumer market where Packet8 has done something new by updating the firmware on its Tango Video Terminal Adapter in order to allow it to also be a digital picture frame when not engaged in an IP communications call.   Priced at $99 after mail-in rebate this is one of the greatest IP communications values around. Having recently spent around $700 myself for two digital picture frames n the past few months I can tell you this price is good.   As always, the TMC team is diligently writing more articles for your perusal so check back often for more exciting developments.

Quantcast

November 6, 2007

You are likely familiar with Alexa, a division of Amazon that measures website traffic. I have written about the site a number of times before. A while back I discovered a site called Quantcast which is becoming a well respected third-party way to measure web traffic in an accurate manner. Currently Quantcast allows you to see how many unique visitors any site has.

Apple Tablet PC

November 6, 2007

Think of it as an iPhone but with more of it to love.   Sure you love your iPhone, iPod and other Apple devices but something is missing. You want a single device which gives you the power of the MacBook with the portability of an iPhone but you just don’t know where to turn. Perhaps you could buy an iPhone and iPod and put one in each hand. Or you could use a laptop while you use your iPhone.   If only – if only, Apple was working on a Tablet PC – something with the power of an iPhone – the great and intuitive interface, coupled with a powerful dual-core processor and a huge screen, allowing web browsing of the most sophisticated pages with ease.   Wouldn’t it just be nifty?

More Google Phone Speculation

November 6, 2007

FonalityCRM

November 5, 2007

Fonality has made quite a splash in the open source communications market and the most recent news coming out of the California company is an acquisition of Insightful Solutions Pty Ltd, one of the world’s largest SugarCRM development houses.   I had an opportunity to have a podcast interview with Fonality CEO Chris Lyman about the acquisition, the future of telephony, CRM, unified communications and the market in general.   As part of the transaction, Fonality will also begin selling Insightful’s SugarCRM managed service offering called FonalityCRM. The solution is integrated with PBXtra and trixbox Pro and provides click-to-call dialing, agent screen pops, telephone campaign management for outbound sales teams, and a host of other features. It is hosted at one of the six Fonality data centers and available immediately to PBXtra and trixbox Pro customers worldwide. The underlying FonalityCRM managed service platform was developed by Insightful to provide a complete on-demand offering that is updated, maintained, backed-up and available 24x7.   As you may expect, Fonality will leverage Insightful’s knowledge and experience when supporting SugarCRM deployments, as well as support of its other solutions.

This acquisition is infinitely logical and also provides a tipping point in the open-source market.

Communications News -- What a day!

November 5, 2007

The day’s communications news doesn’t stop it seems and it is worth sharing some nuggets since my last report on the Open Handset Alliance where we discussed Google’s mobile strategy. But as we focus on mobility it is worth pointing out most companies don’t focus enough on mobile security.   In fact according to a CompTIA survey of 1,070 organizations, 60 percent said handheld device security issues relating to data access and transfer have increased over the past 12 months. Also, 55 percent of the respondents said that security issues with WiFi networks are on the rise.   The study also surprisingly uncovered that of the almost 80 percent of the organizations allowing their mobile employees to access data remotely, only 32 percent of them have implemented security awareness training for employees, with only 10 percent having plans to offer such training in the next year.   But when you consider mobility, consider IMS and whether in fact we need IP multimedia subsystem technology at all to provide QOS to mobile networks and devices. Fred Goldstein from Ionary Consulting thinks not.   In even more mobile news, it seems our phones are all going to be video-enabled soon.

Open Handset Alliance and More

November 5, 2007

Another week and other massive avalanche of news in the communications space. The first item worth sharing is regarding Google shaking up the foundation of the mobile phone market. The funny thing is, editors and bloggers have been looking to find the Google phone for months and instead of it being somewhere, it will be everywhere.   If you missed it the company has launched an Open Handset Alliance which aims to open things up in the cellular communications space. Specifically the alliance is a total of over 30 companies working together to produce low-cost phones whose development is supported by advertising.

Google’s Free Mobile Phone Software

November 5, 2007

Can Google pull it Off -- is the question worth asking when realizing the search leader is looking to open up the mobile phone industry. The cellular market is legendary in its ability to lock in customers. In the US the phones are subsidized and locked. In Europe the phones are unlocked but when you go from country to country your rates skyrocket.   In the US the situation is even more interesting as carriers typically cripple devices making them less useful.

Google Phone OS

November 5, 2007

IP Communications News Week of November 3, 2007

November 5, 2007

What’s new in the world of IP communications? Well, as it turns out, quite a bit. For example, Allworx has just released version 6.8 of its software which includes follow-me functionality as well as allowing specific callers to be forced into voicemail. The latest update also has the ability to do some fancy things with messages which you can read about here.   Radisys who just had a blow out quarter recently introduced a new media processing blade.

IMS in a Box

November 5, 2007

In the IMS space perhaps one of the most controversial concepts I hear is IMS in a box. You see, some vendors tell me the whole concept of IMS in a box is counter to the concept of why the IP multimedia subsystem framework was developed.   My two cents? I like the concept from a marketing perspective and in the real world we all know IMS scales so the term “box” shouldn’t be a deterrent. So I was happy to hear that HP has teamed with Tekelec and BEA Systems to provide such an “IMS in a Box” system which combines applications and third-party software vendors with HP’s OpenCall Home Subscriber Server, BEA Systems’ WebLogic Session Initiation Protocol Server and Tekelec’s TekCore Session Manager.   As you may have guessed by now these components interoperate seamlessly to create a complete IMS solution and this is why I like it.

Pakistan in Chaos

November 3, 2007

Fluke

November 3, 2007

In the world of advertising the expression commonly used is “perception is reality.” Moreover companies are often branded by customers. If I say IBM, you will say mainframes. Oracle? Databases.   Sometimes I feel it is my job to help uncover companies who have a broader portfolio of products than is generally appreciated.

How to Beat Your Wife Saudi Style

November 3, 2007

Although I try not to stray too far from communications and technology in this blog, I couldn’t help passing on these words of wisdom from Saudi author and cleric, "Dr." Muhammad Al-'Arifi on the proper methods and techniques on how to beat your children, animals and especially your wife.   According to Al-‘Arifi, “Beating in the face is forbidden, even when it comes to animals," he explained. "Even if you want your camel or donkey to start walking, you are not allowed to beat it in the face. If this is true for animals, it is all the more true when it comes to humans. So beatings should be light and not in the face."   As I read this article on Fox News, I kept waiting for a punch line like April Fools.

Voxalot

November 3, 2007

Obviously getting into the VoIP provider space is a tough proposition with all the competition out there. An interesting approach to entering the space is to partner with other providers. Certainly this is not a totally new concept but I thought it was impressive to hear Voxalot allows connectivity to 2,000 other SIP service providers.   I wonder if the next logical step in service provider evolution is to do what the banks did when ATMs became popular. As you may recall, in the early days you could only use an ATM card at your own bank.

NBA on your Cell

November 2, 2007

Say you are in a meeting – like the one I am in now (shh! ), and you feel you are out of the basketball loop… What do you do? Well one option is to take out your cell phone and hide it under the table and tune to Verizon Wireless V CAST Mobile TV.   There are more than 70 games you could be watching under the table, right now!   If there is a downside, it is that you can only access the service in 40 cities including some of the larger ones, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.   The question worth asking of course is why Vegas… Every time I go to a Vegas hotel, there seem to be more flat screen TVs with basketball games than even Best Buy! I guess Vegas citizens don’t want to miss these important games when they are in the rest room.

Keating on Plagiarism

November 2, 2007

I am Gphone, You are Not

November 2, 2007

iPhone as Invention?

November 2, 2007

Polycom is Everywhere

November 1, 2007

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