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Skype

Skype Developer Program Change

December 7, 2007

Andy Abramson reports that Paul Amery (interview) is no longer the Director of Developer Programming at Skype. I liked Paul a great deal and he had tremendous passion and enthusiasm for his work at Skype.   You may remember Amery was a keynoter at a past TMC event so I subsequently had the opportunity to spend a good deal of time with him.   I am not sure what the reason for this departure is but perhaps it was just time. Here is the statement the company put out:  
Change has always been a constant at Skype and will continue to be. We will keep re-shaping our business to take advantage of the immediate and short-term opportunities in front of us.

Voice Peering Forum Winter 2007 Kicks Off

December 5, 2007

At the Voice Peering Forum Winter 2007 conference the attendance is very good which indicates tremendous interest in this burgeoning market. So far it seems clear that Stealth Communications, the company behind this event has yet another successful conference under its belt.   Perhaps the best indication of how this market has evolved is the fact I am sitting in a session on wholesale VoIP meaning the Voice Peering Forum is not just about peering but has evolved to the point where it focuses on more general service provider topics – not just peering.   The session really focuses on international long distance growth and is being chaired by Stephen Beckert, Research Director at TeleGeography Research is speaking. Here are some of the session points worth noting:  
  • Aggregate wholesale revenues are growing 2-3% annually while traffic is growing 20-30%.
  • The impact on carriers net is not as bad as on gross.

Google to Bid on 700 MHz Spectrum

November 30, 2007

While it is not really a surprise at this point, Google will be bidding on the 700 MHz spectrum auction and if the company wins, it will likely change the business model of many other service providers. The reason is simple. At least one service provider has expressed interest in leveraging their connections as a competitive weapon/advantage and more specifically as a way to exact a toll from Google!   As you may remember I referred to this situation in an article titled SBC Goes Trick-or-Treating which took an excerpt from a BusinessWeek article referring to an interview with SBC CEO Ed Whitacre*:

  The question posed was:   How concerned are you about Internet upstarts like Google, MSN, Vonage, and others?   And the answer was as follows:   How do you think they're going to get to customers? Through a broadband pipe.

Skype High Quality Video

November 27, 2007

Skype has teamed with Logitech to provide what they call a High Quality Video solution. I had a chance to test this new feature via a videoconference with Tom Keating who heads up TMC Labs.   In order to take advantage of this new software you will need Skype 3.6 or higher and a Logitech QuickCam 11.5 or higher (Currently: QuickCam Pro 9000, QuickCam Pro for Notebooks, QuickCam Orbit/Sphere AF). In addition, your broadband connection will need to be 384 kbps or better and your CPU needs to run at 2.0 GHZ or higher and be of the Dual Core variety.   In case you want to know if you have a Dual Core processor you need to press Control-Alt-Delete on your PC then click on Task Manager and then Performance. If there are two separate boxes under “CPU Usage History,” you have a Dual Core processor.

Verizon Wireless Opens Up

November 27, 2007

In the history of United States communications, this day ranks right up there with the day of the Carterfone (Wikipedia) decision allowing any device to work on AT&T’s PSTN network. Today, almost 30 years later, Verizon chose to tell the world they will open up their wireless network to devices other than their own.   The news may be even more surprising in light of the fact that Skype has been petitioning the FCC for this exact thing. How often does Skype agree with the carriers?   Another surprise is the fact that Verizon is the first carrier to make such an announcement. Remember, this is the same company that routinely cripples the current devices they sell consumers.   Amazingly, this development is exactly what I have been asking for.

Star Wars VoIP Phone

November 27, 2007

I came across a Star Wars VoIP phone this past weekend while perusing catalogues. I was going to write about it today but apparently either Tom Keating checks his mail more often than I do or he gets access to catalogues faster than me.   As part of the VoIP phone package, you can get an R2-D2 roving webcam. For the Star Wars lover this is a no-brainer gift and the only downside may be the $380 cost which is reasonable if you compare it to an iPhone – basically replacing the cult of George Lucas with the cult of Steve Jobs.   To get really geeky, I wonder if there will be bluetooth connectivity to the famous headphones Princess Vespa used in SpaceBalls by Mel Brooks.

Latest Skype Problems

November 26, 2007

Skype Foiling German Police

November 23, 2007

VoIP has reduced the cost of phone calls worldwide allowing many the ability to speak with others at a low cost or even for free. Because of IP communications in fact, there has also been a business productivity renaissance. When you combine these gains with those afforded by mobility-enabling devices like Blackberries, it is incredible what has been achieved.   But there is a dark side to VoIP and it has to do with the ability to encrypt IP packets in a manner that precludes eavesdropping.   This is great from a security perspective but not great for law enforcement. Especially in Germany where Police are complaining vociferously about their inability to tap calls made via Skype and potentially other VoIP providers.   For more check out:   VNUnet: Skype encryption foils German police Register: Skype crypto stumps German cops Inquirer: Skype baffles German plod

Nokia 810 Review

November 21, 2007

Voice Peering Forum Winter 2007

November 20, 2007

If you are going to go to one voice peering conference in 2007 it needs to be VPF or Voice Peering Forum Winter 2007, New York City at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Here are some of the speakers you can hear at this conference:  
  • Dr. Judy Reed Smith, Founder & CEO, ATLANTIC-ACM
  • Jon Romm, COO, Avail Media
  • Mark Ericson, Director of Product Strategy, BlueNote Networks
  • Kevin P. Fleming, Sr Software Engineer and Co-Maintainer of Asterisk, Digium
  • Thanh Nguyen, Director for Business Development, France Telecom
  • Joseph Gillan, Economist, Gillan Associates
  • Christopher Lengyel, Director, Product Management, iBasis
  • Eric Hanselman, Network Protection Architect, IBM Internet Security Systems
  • Gary Kim, Editor-in-Chief, IP Business
  • Bill Binning, Vice President, Marketing, Jaduka
  • Joe Trainor, Vice President, Narrowstep
  • Georges Smine, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Nominum
  • Bernardin Arnason, Managing Partner, Pivot Media
  • Sanford McMurtry, VP - Strategic Operations, RNK Telecom
  • Shrihari Pandit, President & CEO, Stealth Communications
  • Bob Bradley, Product Line Manager, Sonus Networks
  • Pankaj Shroff, Chief Applications Architect, Sonus Networks
  • Stephan Beckert, Director of Research, TeleGeography
  • Rich Tehrani, President & Editor-in-Chief, TMCnet
  • Patrick Murphy, COO, The Thomas Howe Company
  • Hunter Newby, Chief Strategy Officer, The telx Group
  • Bhupender Kaul, Vice President, Business Services, Time Warner Cable
  • Jim Dalton, Founder & CEO, TransNexus
  • Rodrigue Ullens, Co-founder & CEO, Voxbone
  • Tom Schlatter, Director of Data Architecture, XO Communications
Oh yes, and I will be speaking as well. I hope to see you at the show…   This is the preeminent voice peering conference in the world and Shrihari Pandit the conference chairman has done an incredible job educating the peering market year after year and if you aren’t aware has held a peering conference at ITEXPO for many years.   You will definitely want to be in Miami in January 2008 as well to stay on top of this fast-moving industry
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