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Telecom Growing Nicely

December 5, 2007

It’s a good time to be in telecom. With all the housing gloom and doom it is nice to see that at least the telecom market is doing exceedingly well. Of course you have to pick your battles… Consumer VoIP is a rough space to be in (just ask Vonage) but companies focusing on the enterprise are as happy as pigs – well let’s keep this semi clean – Pigs in subprime mortgages.   Case in point, after a sluggish second quarter in 2007, enterprise telephony equipment manufacturers saw an 11 percent jump in worldwide sales in 3Q07 to reach $2.6 billion, according to a recent study.   “The Big Three (Avaya, Cisco, and Nortel) had excellent quarters, all growing well into the double digits,” said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research.   Worldwide sales of service provider next-gen voice equipment are up 5 percent in 3Q07 from 2Q07 to $956.4 million, says Infonetics Research in its "Service Provider VoIP and IMS Equipment and Subscribers" report.   “The bump this quarter was partially due to seasonal factors, as the third quarter tends to be strong, but also because of increased demand across the board, even in the TDM segment.

Titanium Watches? What about Headsets?

December 3, 2007

Recently I picked up a titanium watch. In fact I now am the proud owner of two titanium watches. I just love the stuff… More durable than steel and much lighter. What if everything in the world was made out of titanium…?

Open Communications is the Future

December 3, 2007

If there is one thing Avaya is doing exceedingly well it is courting developers. Out of all the PBX vendors, Avaya has decided they will be the leader in this space. Cisco and Inter-Tel (now Mitel U.S.) have also done an admirable job but no one has matched the six thousand plus members in the Avaya DevConnect program.   Why is this important you ask? In the computer industry the size of the developer program is what determined the success of a vendor.

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.

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.  

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

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.

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.

ITEXPO East 2008 Brochure Available

November 8, 2007

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.
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