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Rich Tehrani
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WiFi not Secure – Clarified

August 6, 2007

I just received this e-mail from Francois Doremieux, Senior Program Manager, Product Group: Customer Experience in response  to my WiFi is Insecure post from last week. I thought it worth sharing.   ----   Hello Rich It was a pleasure meeting you in Redmond last month.   I just read your "WiFi is not secure" article and I wanted to add a brief comment.   As we discussed in Redmond, the notion of security and quality at the network layer is only one way to look at it. I agree that it’s possible to snoop and intercept the packets over WiFi. Therefore, one cannot trust the network layer alone for security (as we had discussed in Redmond that it is not possible to trust the network layer alone for management of quality). That is why the approach we have taken with Microsoft UC is to provide security at the application layer, with strong authentication, non repudiation, signaling and media encryption (in the same way we did it for quality with the adaptive media stack).   Transport is a very important element of the stack, but it can’t solve all issues (and its solutions tend to not have the flexibility software brings to the application layer).

700 MHz Setback

August 3, 2007

Just when youthought it was safe to jump into the 700 MHz frequency with your own device along comes the Federal Communications Commission's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) who says initial testing of the prototype devices showed they failed to swiftly track and avoid interference with other, licensed broadcasts.   The report stated the technology coalition behind the tests had hoped the use of so called white spaces - an unlicensed spectrum between TV channels -- would pass muster with regulators as early as October. The coalition effort is one of several efforts on the part of large companies offering Internet services and devices to expand options for consumer access to the Web.   The group includes companies such as Microsoft Philips, Google, Intel Corp., and Dell Inc. Members of the coalition want the ability to offer devices and services that don't have to be used on licensed networks operated by traditional telecom or cable companies.   But the OET’s test results put a damper on the group’s hopes, noting that "the sample prototype white space devices submitted to the commission for initial evaluation do not consistently sense or detect TV broadcast or wireless microphone signals."   Hopefully there will be a way to solve this dilemma. After all, the above companies represent some of the smartest technology minds in the world.

ITEXPO Weeks Away

August 3, 2007

I just can’t believe that Internet Telephony Conference & Expo is five short weeks away. I just can’t wait for September 10-12th in Los Angeles. Boy is the summer going by fast. Thankfully I read Ken Kamp’s blog where he talks about the show and it reminded me about the timing of this event.   Tom Keating too reads Ken’s blog and he beat me to writing about Ken’s post.   I am very excited about the show… It is just amazing how much the communications market has evolved in a few short years.

WiFi is not Secure

August 3, 2007

George Ou has an excellent write-up about how insecure Web 2.0 applications are over WiFi. The problem? Unencrypted traffic which can be recorded, analyzed and used against you. He starts with a basic example of a Gmail account getting hijacked. Even worse, using this technique you can potentially have your home address and your e-mail known to others who are lurking nearby and recording your traffic.

iPhone, U-Phone, Everybody G-Phone

August 2, 2007

This year has been the absolutely most tumultuous ever in terms of wireless communications and these changes can and will have a dramatic effect on your business. You can’t go anywhere these days without seeing Apple’s iPhone in action. Kids have them, Mac loyalists have them and most importantly, your coworkers have them.   The question is… How do you support them and what policies and procedures do you need in place to ensure you are ready for the onslaught of questions and interoperability issues this phone will bring to the market.   What about security? How will we deal with the potential for these devices to get lost without the ability to remotely wipe confidential corporate data?   If a single-industry changing phone wasn’t enough for telecom and IT managers to deal with, we now have Google’s G-Phone (or it could be called Google Phone… Time will tell) looming in the telecom wings just waiting to disrupt the service provider business model and potentially the way you plan and negotiate your wireless telecom contracts.   Then there is the 700 MHz spectrum with it’s potential to enable an army of devices on new wireless spectrum.

IP communications Earnings Strong

August 2, 2007

Let’s give a round of applause to 8x8, the parent company of Packet8 VoIP service. They have just announced a profitable quarter. For the first time since the Company launched its Packet8 VoIP service in November 2002, 8x8 posted GAAP net income of $508,000, or $0.01 per share, compared to a net loss of $2.9 million, or ($0.05) per share for the previous quarter and $1.8 million, or ($0.03) per share for the same period of fiscal 2007.   This news is important as the company had far fewer dollars to spend on marketing their service when compared to many others in the market; they still beat many others to this important milestone.   The company has focused on a methodical system of results-driven marketing and moreover recognized early that the hosted SMB space has plenty of promise.   This news is a great counterbalance to the management problems at SunRocket which caused their demise. The fact that SunRocket didn’t sell its company is somewhat mind-boggling actually.

Nokia N800 Question

August 2, 2007

I received the following question today regarding the Nokia N800:   I'm seriously thinking of purchasing the Nokia N800. Since it is strictly a wireless device is there really enough free public wireless to make the purchase worthwhile. I'd be using it in Central Florida (Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa)and Louisiana (New Orleans Metro)areas mostly. Also, along Interstate 10, between Jacksonville, FL and New Orleans.

SunRocket and Star Trek

August 1, 2007

If you like VoIP and Star Trek do I have a blog entry for you. TMCnet’s Tom Keating writes up (turn down your speakers) what is happening with the shut down of SunRocket. Somehow he gets numerous Star Trek references in the post.   One issue he discusses is how the company is or is not notifying customers. I personally don’t know any of the company’s customers so I am unaware of what the company has done in this area.

ShoreTel/Mitel Patent Lawsuit

July 31, 2007

Aastra Intecom/BroadSoft

July 30, 2007

The IP communications market gets more and more exciting by the day and if you aren’t paying attention it even may get confusing. Today’s big news comes in the form of a partnership between two companies who you may not think would work together.   Broadsoft is a company providing applications platforms enabling such services as IP Centrex to be provided. The company typically targets service providers who in turn target businesses.   AAstra Intecom sells call center and PBX systems to large enterprises that typically have 2,500-3,000 seats.   One would imagine these companies have little in common but the two have just come together to provide large enterprises with an IP communications phone system with the power of BroadSoft and Aastra Intecom in a single solution. Service provider solutions are always more reliable and robust than their counterparts in the enterprise so I can only imagine combining the best products from these two companies means an even better solution than either can provide by itself.   Other products which will be sold as part of this solution are IBM blade servers, EdgeWater Networks for remote access solutions, AudioCodes gateways, Extreme Networks for LAN infrastructure and Covergence for SBCs.   Aastra’s all IP solution is called Clearspan and if you want a hybrid solution you can go with their Pointspan product line.   Aastra Intecom now has a broad range of solutions for virtually every large enterprise need.
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