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Freeconferencecall.com

October 4, 2007

If you are interested in how services like Freeconferencecall.com make money be sure to check out this article in the Wall Street Journal (paid content). In short, large phone carriers like AT&T and Verizon have to pay 5.3 cents per minute to terminate calls in rural parts of Iowa due to the way the telecom regulations in the US work.   So free conference calling services, chat and sex lines were set up with numbers connecting to rural Iowa. The rural carriers split the incoming revenue with the internet companies.   The large phone companies started to block calls, the free conference calling services complained to the FCC and now the large phone companies stopped blocking calls and instead refuse to pay.   If nothing else this article shows just how inconsistent the telecom policies are in the US and moreover how technologies like the internet and IP communications have been able to open up large business opportunities.

Verizon Voyager: iPhone Killer?

October 3, 2007

With all the hoopla surrounding the iPhone it is not surprising that Verizon Wireless is touting a suite of new phones and one – the LG Electronics Voyager is being touted as an iPhone killer. The device runs on the faster Verizon Wireless data network (Probably EVDO Rev. A) and has a keyboard. These are the two Achilles heels of the current iPhone. The device is similar to Apple’s phone in that it has a touch screen and web browser built-in.   So will this device be an iPhone killer?

HTC Phones

October 2, 2007

It is times like this I get jealous of the smartphones the Europeans get. HTC makes a pretty good device in the 6700 and these devices are likely better as they are newer and have better processors and in some cases form factors.   The new smartphones—HTC Shift (available November), HTC S730 (available this month) and HTC P6500 (available November)—are aimed at the business user, featuring mobile computing features such as souped-up mobile messaging. HTC also announced a line of headsets intended for use with the new smartphones.   HTC described its Shift smartphone as a device that combines “the power of Windows Vista with always-connected 3G/HSDPA connectivity.” It features HTC’s new SnapVUE technology, which provides users with access to calendar, e-mail, SMS messaging and contacts without needing to boot up—thus extending battery life.

3Com and Digium News

October 2, 2007

If you haven’t been watching lately there has been lots of activity in the IP PBX and networking space from 3Com and Digium. Here is a recap.   3Com was recently purchased and a minority investor was China’s Huawei. This could be good for 3Com as having improved ties in China for manufacturing and distribution is a good thing. This is also good news for Huawei, a company looking to grow more quickly in the US.   In addition, Digium purchased Switchvox and the goal of this acquisition seems to be making Asterisk as easy to use as possible.

Hyperconnected

October 1, 2007

About a decade or so ago I ran across Tony Rybczynski (Tony Ryb to those who know him and/or cannot pronounce his last name) at the COMNET trade show in DC and was so blown away by him that I thought he would be a great writer for TMC publications. Over the past decade, Tony has written many columns that always captivated the TMC community and made me think. Tony spends much of his day trying to figure out what’s next. In my opinion, Tony really gets it and while I don’t agree 100% with everything he writes, I always stop and think when his point of view is different than mine.   More recently, Tony has been invited and has accepted to blog on TMCnet. We could not be happier.

Trixbox Training

October 1, 2007

If you are looking for open source communications training, Fonality Trixbox training is going worldwide and is likely coming to a city near you. If you are looking for a discount on this training, be sure to click on the links below to save $50 per person. This can add up to quite a substantial savings and shows TMC’s commitment to open source. It also shows Fonality’s generosity to help the TMC community get less expensive access to the vital training needed to become a reseller of these very popular solutions.

Switching to Optimum Voice

September 28, 2007

This was a big week for me personally as I switched service providers. I should mention I have free VoIP accounts coming out of my ears. I often test them but I haven’t switched to any of them because to be quite honest, what I have works fine. I have been using AT&T CallVantage for years and the service has been great.

Alcatel Lucent Emergency

September 28, 2007

Vonage Loses to Sprint Nextel

September 25, 2007

These are mighty difficult times for Vonage as the incumbent providers have ganged up against them and have decided to compete on patents as opposed to technology. A federal jury has ruled that Vonage has to pay $69.5 million in damages to Sprint Nextel for using its patents. This is ultimately terrible news for consumers. I continue to be amazed at phone companies who say they have patents for VoIP and related technologies yet haven’t rolled the technology out to customers.

Armani, Samsung, Google and Microsoft

September 24, 2007

I am traveling today – and most of this week in fact. As I get ready to go, there are a few stories that have caught my eye this morning and may be worth a read. The first is the collaboration between Armani and Samsung who together will design a credit card sized phone. Will this be an iPhone killer?
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