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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.







Roku: The Apple of TV?

May 21, 2008



Without a doubt, the new Netflix Player by Roku set top box will become a serious contender for the title "iPod of the world of television." I haven't seen this device yet but based on what I have read on Tom Keating's blog and on the New York Times, it is a killer offering.

Here are the details... A $100 set top box, a sub $10/month subscription and a web-based interface which helps you narrow down movie selections from a total of 10,000 Netflix offerings which are ultimately made by remote control.

At these price points some could be tempted to give up cable TV service altogether and if the box gains traction, it can become the TV delivery mechanism of the future -- worldwide.

I am not naive enough to think Roku will easily take over the world as Apple, Microsoft, the cable companies and phone companies will be looking to do everything short of hiring hitmen (is hitpersons more PC?).

Expect the box to eventually support YouTube, streaming TV and perhaps newer movies.

Really, everyone should be gunning for Roku except for content providers (including Yahoo! and Google) and chip manufacturers who can benefit from lower cost distribution and the sale of product to this consumer electronics company.

It is not hard to see Roku becoming a telephony provider in the future by upgrading these boxes with ATA functionality.

Expect this company to be included in net neutrality discussions of the future and if they aren't purchased in six months I will be very surprised. If Vonage had the finances or access to capital -- their brand would be a huge help in getting this box in millions of homes as fast as possible. They should consider a merger.

Then there is Google who could get broader YouTube penetration.

















AT&T Webinar Focuses on Hosted Market

May 20, 2008

Remember when hosted communications was called Centrex? Those were the days. Life was slower back then. We didn't have smart phones -- really we didn't even have mobile phones. Heck, we didn't even have e-mail or voicemail...

My, how things have changed...

MindWireless Podcast

May 20, 2008

MindWireless is focused on the wireless expense management space which as you might imagine is an area of growing importance inside telecom expense management. Just think about how complicated it is to manage wireless gadgets as employees have become obsessed with having the latest and greatest devices and moreover, many consumers pick the provider they want as they need to have cell phone service at home, etc.

MindWireless helps companies organize and optimize their wireless devices. In addition, they help with outsourcing and client engagements.

One of the areas of change in the wireless device space is obviously the iPhone... This and other smartphones have changed the face of wireless device management but are users getting smarter?

In reality, users are getting devices which are more and more complicated and they are oftentimes confused about how to best use them.





Cisco EMC Merger Rumor

May 19, 2008

With a majority stake in VMware and a commanding lead of the storage space, what's not to like about EMC. If you are Cisco, it makes sense to pick up EMC now because the stock is down a bit and moreover Cisco would be able to immediately expand its product line beyond networking, telepresence and networking.

Overnight, Cisco could become a leader in storage and a very strong security player.

Remember that Cisco was an early VMware investor and they likely want to expand their ownership of the company.

Remember also that Cisco is doing some amazing things with virtualization in their routers and owning a premiere name in the virtualization space can only help their core offerings.

At this point the rumor is just that but I have been pretty amazed at just how many of these speculative discussions have become reality.

One of the exceptions was the Microsoft/Yahoo merger and even that one seems to be happening in some capacity again.

I think there is little room for complaint if this rumor is true as shareholders may be better off with Cisco stock and customers would likely want to consolidate their purchasing with less vendors. At this point such a deal -- even if hypothetical, makes sense for most involved.











CBS Picks up CNET

May 18, 2008

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