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Rich Tehrani
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AT&T

One More Reason To Vacation in the Bahamas

June 1, 2008

Recently the Bahamas Telecom Company (BTC) decided to migrate its existing countrywide wireline network to IP using Sonus and Calix gear. The move to IP will reduce the amount of equipment that needs managing and in addition, the Bahamian phone company expects to save over one million dollars a year in electricity as a result of this switch. Another million or more is expected to be saved in reduced upgrade and maintenance costs.

In addition to replacing the existing infrastructure, the plan includes a disaster recovery site in Miami which will enable the carrier to quickly recover the island’s communications network in case of a natural disaster or other emergency.

What is interesting about this news is that Hassan Ahmed, CEO and chairman at Sonus Networks mentioned that the Bahamas is ahead of many major carriers in its adoption of IP-based telephony. While most of us in the telecom field know this to be true, it is still baffling to me.



Of IP Communications and Broadband Reliability

June 1, 2008

I came across an interesting article in the New York Times by Randall Stross which discusses consumer VoIP services, the differences in quality between them and the general trend towards multiple services of lower reliability replacing a single service (PSTN) of extreme reliability.

What is interesting is comments by Comcast regarding the reliability of the company's service as compared to Vonage. The cable company stresses that their quality is better. They go on to say, because they have control of the network, they can provide better service. This is a true statement of course -- any internet telephony service can potentially be inferior to the quality of IP telephony -- where packets do not flow across the public internet.

Then again, as broadband speeds get better and better, the quality of internet telephony improves as well.



Vocaltec Sells Patents to Karo Millennium

May 29, 2008

In a way, I must thank VocalTec because it was companies like them that helped me realize how IP would revolutionize communications and further help me decide to launch a magazine dedicated to the market in 1997. VocalTec was one of the first to have a column in Internet Telephony Magazine and I will never forget my many interactions with the company over the years.

So it is with mixed emotions I witness the fact that the company is selling some of its VoIP patents to Karo Millennium J.P., L.L.C. It should go without saying that these patents will likely be used to get others in the industry to pay a "tax" for using VoIP and this is likely bad news for many in the market.

On the flipside, you cannot fault VocalTec for selling 11 patents -- or half its portfolio for $12.5 million. Why?



New Asterisk Community

May 29, 2008

In an effort to further educate purchasing decision-makers and influencers in the world of communications and technology, TMC has partnered with Digium to build an Asterisk Global Online Community.

The goal of TMCnet's communities (and channels which are micro-communities) is to educate purchasing decision-makers by providing them with news, opinion and analysis on a specific field or topic area.

The community just went live this week and already there are lots of informative articles worth your attention.

For example, by perusing the site, you can learn about Thirdlane PBX 6.0 which adds cluster management and CRM integration for hosted providers, enterprises and resellers.

In addition, here is an article discussing how Vitelity Communications has been selected by PBX in a Flash, an open source, Asterisk-based PBX downloaded up to 15,000 times per month.

There is lots more of course so be sure to visit the community and click on the gray tabs to see all the stories.

































WiMAX Research Launched

May 28, 2008

If you are interested in analysis on the ClearWire WiMAX deal and other facets of the exciting WiMAX industry, you are in luck as Sidecut Reports has a new report which goes into depth on all parts of the burgeoning market.

The growth of WiMAX is probably going to be like so many other technologies. It will be over-hyped, slow and then do well when we aren't looking. This of course is easy for me to say but what about the countless people who need to make investment decisions that turn into quick profit?

These people need actionable intelligence and they need it ASAP.

Is this report what you need?

I browsed the 39-page draft executive summary and liked what I saw. In addition, I know the author Paul Kaputska quite well and he is great writer -- knowledgeable and with good connections.

Some of the topics in the summary include why now is the time to launch WiMAX networks in the US as the threat of 4G looms; an iPhone discussion; LTE; cCompeting wireless timelines; A discussion of the players in the space; and WiMAX chips, costs and more.

I recommend this report to anyone who needs to keep up with the busy and often exciting wireless/WiMAX space.











SIP Forum Growth

May 28, 2008

The SIP Forum seems to be making some nice progress in attracting a broad swath of companies to its organization.

In case you aren't aware, The SIP Forum is a non-profit IP communications industry association that engages in numerous activities that advance and promote SIP technology, such as the development of industry recommendations, the SIPit interoperability and testing events, special interoperability workshops, and general promotion of SIP in the industry.

One of the Forum's recent technical activities is the development of the SIPconnect Technical Recommendation -- a standards-based recommendation that provides detailed guidelines for direct IP peering and interoperability between IP PBXs and VoIP service provider networks, and the SIPconnect Compliant Certification Program through which eligible companies can gain SIPconnect validation and the right to license the use of the SIP Forum's 'SIPconnect Compliant' certification mark.

What sort of progress are they making you ask? Well, they have recently told the world they are experianceing 100% 100% growth compared to the last quarter of 2007. The organization now has
46 Full Member companies and more than 5,000 individual members from around the world.

Why do people join the forum? Well Ken Kuenzel, Founder and CTO, Covergence, Inc. says his company joined the SIP Forum because of its efforts to build on existing IETF standards to define a standards-based approach that will enable seamless IP peering between IP PBXs and VoIP service providers.

Eric Swift, Senior Director of the Office Communications Group at Microsoft Corporation said We at Microsoft have long embraced SIP as an important standard and foundation for interoperability...










Of Cell Phones and Unborn Babies

May 28, 2008

Does cell phone use cause behavioral problems in children? A new study is out on the the matter and while it is not conclusive it did find increased cell phone use does seem to lead to children with more behavioral problems.

The study took place between researchers in Denmark and UCLA and as part of the process, more than 13 thousand women were questioned.

Over the past years, I have seen studies which show radio waves are harmful to people and other surveys which say just the opposite. What does seem obvious to me is that we are being hit with more and more radio waves as time goes on. WiFi, satellite radio and WiMAX are just a few of the new sorts of electronic radiation our bodies have to now deal with.

In case you are getting worried about this study, it should be noted that the people behind it do not think it is conclusive and moreover they think there many reasons why we shouldn't be too concerned with the results.

Here is an excerpt worth reading:

“I think this is a competently and well-done study, but I think there are enough red flags that this should probably not be something the U.S.










Post Memorial Day Communications Update

May 27, 2008

It has been a long weekend for many in the US as the weather these past few days was fantastic and based on the level of incoming e-mail I received, it seems many in the tech and telecom industries took the time off to barbeque and do whatever else they do with their families on long holiday weekends.

This week, TMC roars back to its super-productive non-vacationing self with an abundance of articles designed to help you get the most out of today's communications systems.

I have outlined a few of them here for your perusal and if you want a full list of original TMCnet articles as they happen, please visit this page and check out our services page for the latest and greatest TMCnet updates.

But getting back to the articles, if you are looking to bring the benefits of Microsoft OCS to your Nokia smartphones, you may be interested to hear what WebMessenger is doing to make this a reality.

If you are wondering what is happening outside the US with respect to communications you may not be surprised to hear that Asia and the surrounding areas are investing heavily in the latest in audio and video communications technologies. This article speaks of staggering growth rates in the region and is worth a read.

By the way, TMCnet has a dedicated communications and technology research page which you may be interested in checking out as well.

Many of you you in the communications market for some time are aware that NMS has been an early innovator in telecom and more recently the company has become a mobile player. This is why I read with interest the comments of Maggie Smith, NMS Director of Product Marketing in an interview she had with TMCnet.

Of special note were estimates she quoted about the size of the mobile video market. In fact, Frost and Sullivan estimates revenue from mobile video services in the United States are expected to reach $1.6B by 2011 and IDC has reported that revenues from mobile video and mobile TV applications in Western Europe are expected to reach nearly $2 Billion by 2009.

Another interesting part of this interview is how customers are using NMS technology to provide avatars in the communications mix.















Podcast: Zed-3's Iain Milnes Discusses The GS8

May 21, 2008




Zed-3 is the company most people have never heard of but it is backed by telecom veteran Iain Milnes who launched Zarak -- the successful testing company later sold to Spirent and Zultys -- the company which made a huge splash in enterpise telecom, went bankrupt and later emerged from bankruptcy and is now up and running.

Milnes shared the details of how he founded Zed-3 about a year ago and more recently he announced a brand new product which he was excited to tell me has no match in the market.

I got Milnes to share his enthusiasm on a podcast where he explained the company has developed a modular gateway called the GS8 Modular Gateway where you can plug CDMA, GSM and analog modules enabling you to connect your communications system into a variety of wireless networks.

This solution allows you to connect your network directly to the wireless network of choice without the need to connect with a traditional telecom carrier. This product fits into the suite of phones and PBX systems the company sells and Milnes thinks this gateway will not only be used with their SIP products but expect to see it communicating with other SIP boxes and even other telecom systems not using IP.

I could go on and on talking about how you could create a virtual gateway with these devices and so on and how you could save a ton of money in many countries by bypassing more expensive phone networks but I would ruin the podcast for you which you definitely want to listen to.










Podcast: Starent Networks Thierry Maupilé

May 21, 2008

As the wireless industry evolves, the level of complexity has evolved with it allowing companies such as Starent Networks to thrive by delivering technology which enables carriers to deliver rich content multimedia services.

We all have cell phones and it seems obvious these devices will be delivering TV, YouTube and a host of other multimedia services as time progresses. Those of you who have kids with cell phones know more about this than others of course.

As this transition takes place, carriers need to think about taking advantage of adding intelligence to their gateways so they are able to build the most flexible next generation network possible.

I had a candid conversation with Maupilé about wireless barriers to entry, Apple's iPhone, the latest generation of devices and the incredible opportunities ahead for service providers.

This podcast is certainly worth a listen and I hope you enjoy it thoroughly.







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