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Skype

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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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.





NET has Record Quarter

May 1, 2008

Good news in the communications space from from NET who announced their highest level of profitability in 10 years. According to the company, total revenue in the fourth quarter was $33.4 million, a 15 percent increase from $29 million in the third quarter, and a 34 percent increase from $25 million in the fourth quarter of the prior fiscal year.

I have written about NET before -- specifically their military systems and unified communications solutions.

More recently, Quintum was purchased by the company allowing NET to have a more balanced product line including smaller gateways.

It is worth pointing out once again that many companies in the communications space are doing better than last year -- even in a slowing economy.

Yesterday I wrote about how rising gas prices could boost UC spending and the day before it was record results from Interactive Intelligence. Sure there was negative Shoretel news as well but there could be other problems at the company besides the economy.

Heading into Q2 it seems most communications companies are optimistic and as I have said before the companies who have consistent branding and marketing are doing better than those who do less.

Consistent press releases, media outreach and messaging is what needs to be done in a slowing economy. Communications products and services can help companies greatly if we are indeed in the "dreaded R word".











Interop Bound and Thanks

April 27, 2008

Another year, another Interop. I am off once again across the country to Vegas where I will likely spend more time standing in line than I will sleeping. How amazing is the fact that you can build a city in the middle of nowhere and after fifty years get people from all over the world to come visit your city and spend their precious time waiting. Waiting to gamble; waiting to eat; waiting for a hotel room; waiting, waiting, waiting.

Thankfully I will have all my gadgets and gizmos and will continue to blog and email away while I wait, wait for everything.

Having said all that, although I do despise the cab line that comes with the Vegas airport I do like the fact that the airport is not too far from the strip and moreover, at least Vegas is closer to Connecticut than California is.

How is that for turning my lemons into lemonade?





PhoneTag, The New Simulscribe

April 25, 2008

New Skype Unlimited International Plans

April 20, 2008

I recently wrote about how I thought Skype should be sold to Google and in response I received a very well-worded response from Skype PR representative Chaim Haas. Here is an excerpt:

[On] yesterday's eBay Q1 earnings call, where it was announced that Skype earned $126 million in revenue (it's 5th straight profitable quarter) and added another 33 million new registered users in the quarter (there are now 309 million registered Skype users around the world). Keep in mind that, after 4.5 years in business, Skype's entire revenue for 2007 puts it just about where Google was at the same stage of its growth.

In addition, Skype's new CEO is on the job for just over 3 weeks (he started on March 24th), so his vision for the company has not yet been shared publicly.




The point was basically, my comments may be premature. It is very tough to argue with logic like the above so I want to go on record saying I was likely too harsh on Skype and we should give the CEO more time.

Having said that, this past week I did get a chance to speak with Don Albert, VP and GM of Skype North America about a number of new initiatives at the company. In the conversation, I learned a great deal about the company's new initiatives.

In fact, Skype is now offering flat-rate international calling… This announcement marks the first time Skype has offered a single, monthly flat rate subscription for unlimited international calling to 34 countries worldwide.

In case you are wondering - like many other service providers - the word unlimited has a definition as it equates to fair use.








SMS Saves Lives

April 18, 2008

Why Skype Should be Sold to Google

April 16, 2008

There are now rumors circulating that Google will buy Skype. These rumors are not new -- I wrote about this as recently as November 20 of 2007.

But they did die down for a while and have been renewed. I have heard wild claims like the evaluation of Skype is in the multibillion dollar range, etc.

I should mention that I have tremendous admiration for the people at Skype who developed software that tens of millions of people use. I am frequently blown away when I use the software myself and see over ten million people online at one time.

Having said that, Skype is a poster child for IP communications.





Callwave Fuze, Unified Communications Plus

April 16, 2008

In the race to provide the best Unified Communications solution, there are just so many approaches. The various ways to achieve UC are staggering in fact. Companies like Microsoft have partnered with many companies to achieve seamless UC - with special emphasis on Nortel and Aspect. IBM has partnered with virtually all UC players - including Aspect and Nortel while companies like Avaya are thriving by not only offering their own solutions but a bewildering assortment of integration options.

But is it fair for only the largest players to get a seat at the UC table?

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