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Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone...

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Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and...

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Sonos BOOST, For Music in Tough to Reach Places

I’ve been using Sonos as an in-home streaming solution for many years and since it relies on WiFi it provides infinite levels...

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IOT tests do NOT tell the whole story

Service providers typically have infrastructure from multiple vendors installed in their networks.  Mostly this is by design since they don’t want...

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Notes from Connections 2014 Part Deux

More notes from BSFT Connections 2014 in the desert by friends of my at the show. These notes are from ANPI's...

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Juniper Buys Kagoor

March 31, 2005

You may have heard about the Juniper and Kagoor acquisition (article) already but I have the inside scoop on the whys and hows and the future of Juniper now that Kagoor is part of the company. Juniper touts its mission as assuring and securing all traffic over an IP network and its customers, the large service providers are increasingly seeing the need for voice to be among the more important applications they need on their networks.

This led naturally to Juniper needing a session border controller product in its arsenal to allow them to supply the needs of their customers more effectively. In addition, Juniper’s VP of Marketing, Christine Heckart tells me that there are over 100 shared customers between the companies and Juniper wanted access to the company’s talent pool and development base in Israel.

I brought up the rumors I had heard of Juniper looking at other companies in the space such as Jasomi and Christine shared with me that Juniper generally does an analysis of all companies in a space before acquiring one. In the end they want to purchase best in class technology and Kagoor had the best technology hands down.



Nortel VoIP Contract

March 31, 2005

According to Federal Computer Week, Nortel just won a $20 million dollar contract to supply VoIP equipment to the Defense Information Systems Agency.

The contract, announced March 29, will also allow DISA officials to migrate voice traffic from a network managed by MCI to a private network under total Defense Department control, a DISA spokesperson said. Pentagon officials expect the new switches to save money by allowing DISA to use the Defense Department's Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion network to replace leased services.

Voice over IP "that meets military requirements has a clear, positive future as a result of this acquisition," the DISA spokesperson said.

Nortel officials will upgrade six of their SL 100 switches at Air Force bases nationwide to handle IP traffic, including IP trunking, management of PBX systems and voice-over-IP traffic, said Chuck Saffell, president of the company's federal solutions division.

Handling voice calls as IP traffic via DOD's high-capacity fiber-optic network should reduce DISA's costs, said Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting. DISA's move toward voice over IP represents "a major technology milestone" for the agency, further cementing voice over IP as the preferred technology for voice traffic in government and industry, Suss said.

That the government is heavily deploying VoIP is no surprise to me. They have been exploring VoIp for quite some time now.









MSN Video Downloads

March 31, 2005

If you are Microsoft and you see what Apple has going on with the iTunes – some estimates say this service will generate billions in the next few years – you too will look for your cash cow. What if Microsoft were to one up Apple and come up with a video download service? But forget the per clip pricing you might expect from Apple… Microsoft has already taken that opportunity away by pricing its service a flat $19.95/year.

The MSN Video Downloads service draws on content from Microsoft partners such as CinemaNow, MSNBC.com, and TiVo, allowing subscribers to watch video on their smart phones, Pocket PCs, and Portable Media Centers reports PC Pro

Since the launch of the Microsoft Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Center last fall, more than 20 new content partners, including CinemaNow Inc., MLB.com, MSNBC.com, MSN Music, MTV Networks Music, Napster Inc., SnapStream Media Inc. and TiVo Inc., have agreed to make video available online specifically formatted for Windows Mobile-based multimedia devices.

The service requires Windows XP and Internet Explorer 5 or higher on the user's PC and Windows Media Player 10 and up. Users simply log onto the MSN download site, using a traditional laptop or desktop computer.





GoDaddy E-Mail

March 30, 2005

I just received this e-mail and thought it worth sharing.

 

Dear Valued Go Daddy Customer,

Today I have the unfortunate responsibility of informing you that there has been a decision made by bureaucrats of a Federal agency that takes away your right to privacy as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

This decision was unilaterally made by the National Telecommunications and Information Association ("NTIA") www.ntia.doc.gov without hearings that would determine the impact on those affected, and delivered without notice — in short, the NTIA decision was made without due process of any kind. This is exactly how our government is not supposed to work.

The effect of this decision is to disallow new private domain name registrations on .US domain names.





Not So Dumb Terminal

March 30, 2005

The cyclical nature of the computer market is intriguing. When I first got my engineering degree from UCONN, the computer than most of the school was an IBM system 360-370 and we had to program on an OS called MVS and use dumb terminals. My memories are a bit cloudy – similar to how some repress pain or anguish. As I write this article I get that feeling you get when you have that dream – you know the one, where you are running to get to a final but haven’t been to class all semester so you don’t know where it is.

The only thing worse than how you feel when you wake up from such a dream is using an IBM mainframe in batch processing mode.

Grokster vs. RIAA

March 30, 2005

Here is a good story on the ramifications of the Grokster, Kazaa and RIAA case. The issue at hand is if you sue inventors that produce products that can be used for illegal purposes, who will innovate? After all, the Xerox machine and iPOD can be used to break laws as well -- does that mean these products should be outlawed or Steve Jobs should be thrown in jail when an iPOD is used to steal a song?

Here is an excerpt:

"Copyright infringement is the only commercially significant use of file sharing," said Donald B. Verrilli Jr. an attorney for the entertainment industry. Acting Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, representing the government, said Grokster and its brethren were being allowed to "build a business model out of infringement."

Richard G. Taranto, arguing for the file-sharing companies, responded that the technology is used extensively for legal swapping of files and that the firms have no way of knowing when their users use the software illegally.

The entertainment industry wants the Sony precedent to allow for liability when the primary use of the product or service is illegal, or when the provider refuses to take steps to try to stem potential piracy.
But those notions provoked skepticism and sharp questioning from several justices, who wondered how inventors could know whether many people might use their products for illicit purposes.
"How do we know in advance on your test" whether the inventor is safe to go forward?









Juniper Buys Kagoor

March 30, 2005

Juniper just picked up session border controller company Kagoor Networks. In brief talks with company representatives I learned the two companies have similar customers and partners and don’t compete so the synergy was natural. There are many session border controllers on the market and one wonders if this move will lead to more consolidation or bring new competitors into the market.

Will competing with Juniper make it more difficult or less to be in the session border controller space? I hear that virtually all other companies selling SBCs are doing well so the market seems to have lots of life left in it.

WSJ on VoIP

March 30, 2005

There is an interesting VoIP article in the Wall Street Journal today that discusses the increased competition in the market and how the players may be able to find areas where they can specialize in. James Tobin the vp and general manager of advanced voice services at AOL sees VoIP as a reason for customers to move to broadband. This is something Niklas Zennström, Skype CEO and co-founder said to me in a recent interview as well.

The article then mentions that the battle will boil down to the relationships the existing phone companies have with customers today versus the ability of cable companies to bundle their services into integrated packages.

The article ends on the note I mentioned above and that is that VoIP providers will have to learn to differentiate themselves.

"The market is still so new, we'll be able to coexist," Mr. Tobin said. "Time Warner has 500 magazines but you wouldn't say that they're competing with each other; it also has two movie studios but they do different things."



I agree with this article wholeheartedly.





Telecommuting Tax

March 30, 2005

A pretty important case was just decided on in New York according to the Wall Street Journal. The New York Court of Appeals said computer programmer Thomas Huckaby, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., owed New York income tax for his full salary, not just the time he spent working at his employer's New York offices.

Mr. Huckaby, whose home state doesn't have an income tax, paid New York state tax on about 25% of his income over two years for the time he spent working there for the National Organization of Industrial Trade Unions.

Mr. Huckaby's attorney, Peter Faber, said the case is one of the first of its kind involving the income-tax liability of a telecommuter. He said he may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court because most states base income-tax liability on the residence of the taxpayer.

Marc Violette, spokesman for state Assistant Solicitor General Julie Mereson, said, "New York provides the job, New York provides the professional opportunity, and New York should be able to tax that income, even if the employee for his own convenience was working outside of New York state."

This case has dramatic implications for telecommuters everywhere and could potentially reduce the talent pool that companies in big cities have access to.







Alpha Telecom

March 29, 2005

Alpha-Telecom promises to get your company to VoIP without the forklift. Whether you are on Centrex or a Nortel or Avaya PBX, you can minimize you initial costs. The company’s Arion series of VoIP gateways migrate an enterprise's legacy telephones into the service provider's system, enabling the carrier to offer Centrex features over its IP backbone and to seamlessly provision, configure and manage VoIP service without user intervention; the service provider merely ships the Arion units to the customer for plug-and-play attachment to individual phones by the enterprise's IT department or by the users themselves. Your IT department can also deploy an Alpha Telecom element management system (EMS) for provisioning, mass configuration, troubleshooting and mass upgrades.

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