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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

Skype

Skype Serves up 100 Billion Minutes

February 20, 2008

What can you say about a company that has generated 100 billion minutes of telephone traffic. Skype has been around for 4.5 years by the way making this milestone an even greater accomplishment.

While these minutes were all free, it shows just how Skype has changed the way the world communicates.

I remember when long-distance calls in the US were about 25 cents. If you assume that Skype could charge this amount per minute of calling this would amount to a cool $25 billion in cash.

Of course this exercise is kind of ridiculous -- especially when you consider all these minutes of use are due to the service being free.

Then again, I use Skype video because it is convenient. I would pay may $10/month if I had to for such a service.

Many will look at Skype as the ultimate company that has brought the telecom companies to their knees but it is amazing to me that they are also the company with the most video users.

Why did it take a start-up from Europe to give us the most popular videoconferencing software in the world?

It goes to show you how disruptive companies are generally the greatest innovators as well.













Jon Arnold on Vonage

February 19, 2008

Jon Arnold has done a great job of analyzing how Vonage is doing and according to the Arnold, the latest quarter had some ups and downs. Jon spells out why Vonage may not make it into 2009 and I for one would be sad to see this happen as Vonage does a great job with its services and web interface.

In addition, if Cable becomes one of the few choices left for residential service, we all lose as Vonage allowed the ATA to move with the customer. In addition, the ability to block calls at certain hours of the day has not been widely matched by the cablecos, etc.

Here are some excerpts of an article which is worth a close read:

Vonage is trying to strengthen its value proposition with new features such as visual voice mail and virtual phone numbers, and planned features such as outbound fax and ContactBook, but it essentially remains a landline replacement service.






TMCnet Continues to Grow

February 19, 2008

Thanks once again to our loyal TMCnet readers. Because of you, TMCnet has broken more online records. In January of 2008 TMCnet experienced 38,368,961 page views (meaning total number of web pages viewed on TMCnet in January alone.

The total number of unique visitors on our site in January was 2,446,403 which is not an all time record but it is higher than recent months. Average Visit Length per person on TMCnet in January was 28 minutes and 59 seconds this past month.

Sony's VoIP Headsets

February 18, 2008

Intel's Skulltrail Motherboard

February 18, 2008

I just have to wonder if Intel's latest motherboard code named SkullTrail will be useful beyond the gaming market. The device can be outfitted with two quad-core processors and multiple graphics chips from AMD (yes, AMD) and Nvidia.

Obviously the gaming market is all over this news -- awaiting it like subprime borrowers wait for rate cuts.

But one has to wonder if the IP communications space won't be able to take advantage of this motherboard for serious call processing via HMP-based software. Hopefully Nick Jensen and Alan Pound are mulling this over already.

It will be interesting to see what applications are enabled by a motherboard which is expected in systems that cost no less than $6,000!

In addition I yearn for the days when parents had to shell out no more than a quarter for their kids who wanted to play video games.

Oh, and one last point.









Better than Free

February 16, 2008

In the world of VoIP, there is a serious problem... There are so many companies giving away telephony, how do you compete? Vonage sells service which is ridiculously cheap yet Skype gives their service away even cheaper and in some cases free.

In such a world, the companies in the space need to evaluate how they can add value to their service and products so that people will actually open their wallets and shell out their hard-earned cash.

For those vendors looking to monetize what many think is unmonetizable, you should check out this post by Kevin Kelley which focuses on ways to generate revenue in a world where everything seems to be going free.

Here is an excerpt:

Personalization — A generic version of a concert recording may be free, but if you want a copy that has been tweaked to sound perfect in your particular living room — as if it were preformed in your room — you may be willing to pay a lot. The free copy of a book can be custom edited by the publishers to reflect your own previous reading background.








Regulators Reshape the Internet

February 15, 2008

It is pretty amazing to see how many separate issues are surfacing that could affect the future of the internet. The FCC and government have their plates full deciding what to do with telcos and their potentially anti-competitive practices.

The first issue at hand is net neutrality. Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the  “Internet Freedom Law” this week.

Rather than detailing specific regulations, the new Markey bill calls on the FCC to conduct a “thorough inquiry” to determine “broadband policies that will promote openness, competition, innovation, and affordable, ubiquitous broadband service for all.”   Part of the commission’s task is to conduct an “Internet freedom assessment” to determine whether or not service providers are adhering to “the Commission’s Broadband Policy Statement of August, 2005,” which prohibits actions that might interfere with users’ ability to access or use lawful content and services over the Internet and to attach any legal device that does not harm the network.

Next up is the case of BitTorrent and specifically, the fact that Comcast has been caught throttling traffic from this peer to peer file sharing network often used to send and receive videos. Comcast says they are within their rights to throttle bandwidth as needed to ensure things like voice get the proper quality of service while others are concerned that throttling bandwidth relating to applications violates the concept of net neutrality.

Finally, the issue of short codes has surfaced once again as Verizon has denied the use of these codes to Rebtel, a competitive service provider and others.

This month could be looked back upon as a pivotal one in the world of Internet freedom and the shaping of the world's net policies.









HD Voice Community

February 14, 2008

As I have written about extensively, the advent of VoIP means that we are able to increase the quality of communications quite substantially. To that end, we at TMC are always looking for ways to educate you on concepts like HD Voice.

Why? because I truly believe that there is a tremendous opportunity to improve the quality of all telephone and video calls. In order to ensure the world knows about this concept, we have built an HD Voice Global Online Community in conjunction with Polycom, a leader in the space.

Increase Marketing Spend in a Recession

February 14, 2008

Corporate Phone Bills: $133 Billion in 2008

February 14, 2008



A staggering $133 billion dollars will be spent on communications services by businesses in 2008 according to Insight Research. 39% of this spending will be on cell phone bills. This staggering amount could be reduced if companies explore IP communications solutions that currently exist on the market.

If the economy is indeed slowing, a painless way to save money is to explore the world of IP communications more thoroughly and picking solutions which not only save your business money but they also increase flexibility and customer satisfaction.

Even if you have an IP PBX, be sure you also have SIP trunking so your calls are routed in the most cost-effective fashion possible. If you are a big user of telephony be sure to look at VoIP peering.





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