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Digium Picks Integrics to Power Carrier Solutions

May 13, 2008

Perhaps one of the biggest misperceptions among those who dabble in communications is that Asterisk is only used in small business environments. The reality is that Asterisk is being used in service provider environments as well.

Of course this doesn't mean that a product which happens to work great in a small to medium business is also able to simply flip a switch to become the heart of a service provider install.

In other words Asterisk + "a variety of additions" is what Mrs. or Mr. service provider needs to use this popular open source product to power services to their customers.

In an effort to simplify the process of adding Asterisk to the service provider environment, Digium -- the company behind the world's most popular open source communications software has partnered with Integrics, the maker of Enswitch.

According to an article on the subject by TMCnet's Susan Campbell, Enswitch allows service providers to use Asterisk in order to provide, full-featured, telephone management and billing solutions, calling card integration, toll free and number translation services, voice mail, call queuing, ACD, fax to e-mail, and multi-level IVR.

I am pretty impressed with the feature-set of Enswitch. For example, they provide XML and PDF invoices for customers, wizard-based activation, simple sales tax management, web-based administration, sophisticated authentication mechanisms, shared speed dials, .csv integration, dial by name, unlimited classes of service, etc.

In fact you may be hard pressed as a carrier to find a feature that Integrics hasn't thought of.

So what does such an announcement mean to the market? Well first off, service providers are likely to feel more comfortable working with products from Integrics as they now have the Digium brand, muscle and market power behind them.

In addition, we can expect the service provider market to embrace open source at an even more rapid pace than they are already doing.















UMAThought Leader Steve Shaw on TMCnet

May 9, 2008

Cablevision's WiFi Network in New York City

May 9, 2008



WiFi is not new and providing WiFi to a city is not new. What is new and worth noodling on is the fact Cablevision will soon have a WiFi network in New York City -- well over the next few years really.

The network will be voice-ready -- supporting WiFi telephony/VoWLAN and speeds could reach 1.5 Mbps.

Over the decades, Ethernet technology has always evolved to kill the competition. Although LTE and WiMax will be viable options, one wonders what would happen if WiFi continues to evolve -- like Ethernet to eventually cover more and more areas of the world.

Of course this scenario seems unlikely based on the fact that most companies haven't figured out how to make money in the WiFi ISP space. Still, it will be worth watching to see how this all plays out.

After all, I still don't have a WiMax or LTE radio in my cell phone or laptop.

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PAETEC: Success Under the Radar

May 8, 2008

Recently I traveled to San Francisco to PAETEC World, the largest of annual meetings that PAETEC has with its customers. During this cold San Francisco week, over 350 customers and well over 100 PAETEC employees spent a few days in a downtown San Francisco, CA hotel learning, exchanging ideas and networking at evening receptions.

To my knowledge I am the first analyst or reporter ever invited to this event and this fact coupled with my desire to learn more about the company made me jump on a plane to meet with the company's execs and customers.

In a keynote speech there were slides showing how much farther ahead the Company is than the competition in terms of service. At the same time, PAETEC was frank in recognizing they still have room for improvement, admitted their imperfections, and shared their plans for growth. They frankly want to change the dynamics of the industry.

Now let's sit back and think about that for a moment.





Vonage Record Quarter: Jeff Citron Interview

May 8, 2008

Vonage has done a great job this last quarter --  posting growth numbers in a slower economy. I just had a podcast interview with Jeffrey Citron where he talked about the company's growth rate and the number of new initiatives at the pure-play VoIP service provider.

Citron explains that they are pleased with their financial performance as their revenue was $225 million and this is a 15% increase from the previous year. One great bit of news is that expenses increased and adjusted operating income is now $8 million.

These results were ahead of expectations and in addition to the news on earnings, Citron was proud to explain how well-received his new  products have been. Visual voicemail and unlimited international calling are some of these new items.

Moreover, the company has a new prosumer product and another called Companion which installs on your computer and works in conjunction with your phone service.

Perhaps most importantly, Vonage is becoming a double-play provider by reselling Covad broadband DSL service.







SkyFire: The Cure for iPhone Envy

May 8, 2008

Do you have iPhone envy? I do. In fact, just this past Sunday I walked into the AT&T store and I browsed TMCnet on the iPhone and was blown away at how easy it was to surf on this phone compared to a Windows Mobile 6 device. I then asked if there was a firm ETA on the 3G iPhone (there isn't) and as I walked into the nearby Starbucks with my family I debated with my wife the pros and cons of switching to the Apple device from my HTC 6800 on Verizon.

I was close to deciding to switch to Apple (you already know I hate the soft keyboard) when I received my text message invite to the Skyfire Beta 0.6 release of their new browser.

Skype as David, Telcos as Goliath

May 7, 2008

OK, now I have heard it all. Large, incumbent telephone companies are going to launch a competitor to Skype.

But before I proceed with my thoughts, as often the case with such amazing speculation, it is good to air out the details before dismissing them outright. After all, an informed reader may think they know better than me and I have been wrong in the past. Pobody's nerfect as they say.

The Details

Apparently ThinkPanmure, a research firm has been speculating for years that incumbent telecoms from around the world will work together to make a software package that will interoperate on various networks and leverage 3G and wired broadband investments.





Google Pushes Verizon on 700 MHz Open Access

May 6, 2008

Many of us thought the open access provisions of the 700 MHz auction were taken care of and this was the reason Google got involved in the auction in the first place. It seems now that Verizon is saying that open access means open access to any application on their approved devices.

This as opposed tot he concept of bring whatever device you want to the party and it will work fine.

Google's attorneys are writing letters tot he FCC about the matter and this debate underscores the different points of view held by carriers and and Internet companies.

Matthew Lasar over at  ars technica has a great article on the matter.

See Also:

Update: Google concerned about Verizon's open access









Blackberry Outage

May 3, 2008

Nortel's Joel Hackney Discusses Earnings

May 2, 2008

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