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Rich Tehrani
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IP Communications

Crippled Mobile Phones

April 12, 2007

I have written in the past that the iPhone could be responsible for opening up the cell phone world by forcing carriers to give use better devices. Moreover it was my hope that cell phone carriers would see the light as Apple’s newest mobile phone would prove that by not unduly crippling a device you could sell even more of them and even more service as a result.   It seems sadly that my vision if it happens will be in the long term as Andy Abramson points out today that European carriers seem to be following the lead of the Americans by beginning to not quite cripple phones but at least make them less useful and less VoIP friendly.   I for one am not surprised by this but it is always a sad day when consumers loses out on the benefits of being able to communicate in the way they find most suitable. Instead, wireless carriers seem to be convinced they know what’s best for all.   Of course these carriers do make money from selling minutes. In addition, carriers in the US are pretty smart in subsidizing phones with less functionality and thus ensuring they boost minutes used.   When Verizon sold devices with crippled bluetooth they received a class action suit as a result.

Webinar Update

April 12, 2007

TMC’s marketing team is apparently very generous as I found out today they are giving away a TiVo Series2 Dual Tuner 80-hour DVR in a drawing to one lucky webinar attendee.   I would be remiss in my responsibility if I did not bring to your attention that you could be the lucky winner of this device. Personally I don’t have TiVo in my house (yet) as I am under the impression TiVo users watch more TV and I watch quite a bit already.   Enjoy the webinars and good luck in the drawing.     IP Media Servers and IMS: Key Enablers for Voicemail and Unified Messaging   April 19, 2007 2:00pm ET 11:00am PT   ---------   Securely Enabling VoIP Remote Users   May 1, 2007 2:00pm ET 11:00am PT   ---------   Also be sure to check out the webinar page for archived events and an upcoming schedule.

Vonage to Focus on Profit

April 12, 2007

Jeffrey Citron will replace Michael Schneider as CEO of Vonage. It seems Wall Street is happy with this move as the stock price has increased somewhat on this news.   In addition the company has instituted a hiring freeze and layoffs of 180 workers or about 10% of the workforce according to CNBC.   Vonage also says they are just shy of the 3 million customer milestone which is a fantastic achievement.   Having Citron back is CEO is great news for the company as he is responsible for building Vonage into the strong brand it is today. Unfortunately blame can be placed on him for building a market-share at all cost company.   Hopefully the layoffs could be a sign that Citron is serious about achieving profitability. Jeffrey has got to focus on profit now more than ever if he wants to gain Wall Street’s blessing and get the stock price to start moving in the positive direction.

Scala-700

April 11, 2007

Testing the Scala-700 Skype Bluetooth Headset



Behind my desk sits a mountain of boxes containing videophones, wireless headsets and unimaginable gadgets for me to look at, evaluate and consider writing about. My day job is running the largest communications & technology media company in the world with four print magazines with over 600,000 readers a month, three trade shows with over 15,000 attendees in total a year and a website – TMCnet, attracting about two million people a month. My night job is to share my thoughts on the industry… Where things stand today and where they are headed.   As TMC has grown I miss the days when I had more time to devote to sharing my thoughts. So yesterday I decided to delve into the pile and start a review of the Cardo Scala-700 headset which the company bills as the world’s only voice-controlled wireless headset for Skype and high quality cell phone communication.   About a year ago I mentioned seeing an earlier Cardo System’s bluetooth, Skype-enabled headset for the first time.

Skype for Mac Improved

April 11, 2007

Skype for Mac has a new beta version 2.6 available here and it’s brimming with new features. In addition you can expect improved sound quality and software stability according to the company. There is a nifty new call transfer feature allowing you to send a call to someone else. This is something you had to use an office PBX for and this is an unexpected bonus for Mac users.   The concept of having software come out for the Mac first used to be something we saw in the desktop publishing world all the time in the late eighties and early nineties.

Vanu

April 11, 2007

Software defined radio (SDR) systems are somewhat of a holy grail in technology as they use software to shift frequencies and modulation schemes while utilizing multipurpose underlying hardware. In a perfect world you could use software defined radio technology to receive cellular calls, WiFi, bluetooth, GPS, AM/FM, Sirius, XM, HDTV, etc.   Imagine if your smartphone used all the communications modes above with need for just a single processor – wouldn’t that just be amazing? Of course this will likely be possible some day but for now there are hardware components which handle each of the above functions.

Nice Systems

April 10, 2007

Stop IMing Me

April 10, 2007

Finding the Holy Grail of Unified Communications   We all have our peculiar ways of working and mine is e-mail centric. It is precisely this love of e-mail that enables me to really find a product like SpinmyVmail useful as it converts my voicemail to e-mail.   I am signed up for an IM client or two but I don’t use them that often. I do find them useful when I need to get a quick answer or as a means to schedule a quick conference call.   But IM is a pain for me and I wonder if I am alone.   The reason I don’t like it is the fact that what other people want is not always my highest priority at the moment. Sometimes I would like to respond to a request at night, on a weekend or on a plane.   IM does not allow me to easily accomplish the above.

The FMC Border Architecture

April 9, 2007

In 1999 I had an interesting discussion at a Lucent Technologies luncheon with Arun Netravali who then headed up Bell Labs for Lucent Technology. Netravali spoke of the future of communications being an all encompassing communications skin which would have all sorts of devices connected to it.   The idea made sense and wasn’t such a logical leap but at the time it was something that wasn’t really happening. Networks did not interoperate so well with one another. Arun predicted this would happen at around 2025 or so.   Although the concept seemed a bit far off, I decided to write about it in the January and February 2000 issues of Communications Solutions Magazine.   Here we are in 2007 and it seems like to concept of a communications skin is farther away and closer than it ever has been before.

Dialogic Does Video

April 9, 2007

When it comes to the world of communications, the development world used to revolve around Dialogic. Ten years ago you virtually had to buy a DSP resource board from this company or one of its smaller competitors if you wanted to develop an application such as unified messaging, voicemail, IVR, speech, recognition, ACD or just anything else.   In fact for a number of years VoIP gateways were sold almost exclusively based on DSP resource boards. Larger telecom equipment providers would repackage systems with these boards through an integrator and claim the resulting gateways as their own.   I have taken many plant tours at industrial computer companies where I had to promise not to disclose the logos I saw throughout the plant. These were typically gateways under construction with boards from NMS or Dialogic.   In the late nineties while Dialogic was enjoying a nice time atop the enabling technology perch, the company received an offer from Intel it just couldn’t refuse.
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