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Rich Tehrani
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Skype

Skype, FCC and Carterphone

February 23, 2007

The Carterphone ruling is what is responsible for opening up AT&T’s original phone networks to competition. Prior to this ruling AT&T had a monopoly on the devices attached to what it considered its network. AT&T even charged an electricity fee as I recall to light the lights on phones that hard plastic buttons representing phone lines.   In the US some think wireless providers are acting like monopolies as well by restricting access to their mobile networks to devices sanctioned only by the wireless provider. Verizon is famous for crippling devices – bluetooth for example -- and thereby driving revenue from services which require subscribers to rely on Verizon’s network.   Skype for its part is not happy with this situation and is subsequently asking the FCC to apply Carterphone principles to wireless networks allowing any device to be used on these networks.

Skype Pro: The Ultimate European VoIP Bundle

February 20, 2007

A few weeks back at ITEXPO there was a lot of buzz about Skype Pro and as it turns out the service goes live on Tuesday, February 19. I had a chance to speak with Skype’s Imogen Bailey and Stefan Oberg's the VP and General Manager of Skype Telecoms about the announcement and much more.   What is Skype Pro?   Skype Pro is basically a bundled package of services at a fixed price. The reason for this offering is to eliminate the one by one marketing of services customers would have to buy to receive similar functionality. In much the same way a cell phone provider gives voicemail, some SMS messages and a certain number of calling minutes, so too has Skype decided to make it easier for customers to buy a package of services.   Skype Pro’s subscription package costs €2 per month and includes:


  • Zero cents per minute calling to domestic (European) landlines in (country) previously €0.017* per minute
  • Free Skype Voicemail (normally €15 per year)
  • €30 discount on SkypeIn numbers
  • €5 Skype Credit included as part of the introductory offer
  • A €30 discount on a Philips VoIP 841 cordless phone.



TMCnet Mobile

February 2, 2007

If you are looking for the best communications and technology news on the go be sure to check out TMCnet Mobile which will display very well on most mobile devices. The service is in alpha at the moment but seems pretty stable based on my brief experience.   Any web browser can see this page by the way. Check it out now if you like.   One thing it does that I consider great about this new service but others may not like is that it allows you access to parts of TMCnet that are formatted for the mobile device.   In other words if a link exists in an article that is not formatted for the mobile device you can still get there. This is great depending ion your web device.   What is very frustrating to me about other sites is that when you click on a link in an article that is not formatted for a mobile device you get redirected to a page that is a mobile home page.

IMS: Are We There Yet?

February 2, 2007

Here is my unedited Publisher’s Outlook for IMS Magazine for February 2007.

I start this column thinking about the most recent TMC IMS Expo last week in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The takeaway for me from this event is that the market is somewhat confused about IMS.   Still, I can’t help but wonder if history is repeating itself. After all when I launched Internet Telephony Magazine – the sister publication to IMS Magazine, many service providers did not take the technology seriously.   Service providers first universally dismissed VoIP and then started to experiment with it when carrying their backhaul traffic. One would imagine the cable companies would have jumped all over VoIP quickly but they just didn’t.   There was early euphoria for IP telephony in 1998-2000 but from 2001-2003 virtually all service providers dismissed VoIP as something just not viable or worth discussing.

The Real Unified Communications Relationship between Microsoft and Nortel

February 2, 2007

The Real Unified Communications Relationship between Microsoft and Nortel   With all the IP communications industry focus on ITEXPO last week it was difficult to get a chance to share my thoughts on happenings from the prior week – especially between Nortel and Microsoft.   I really had a great time in New York listening to Steve Ballmer the CEO of Microsoft and Mike Zafirovski the CEO of Nortel talk about their collaborative Unified Communications strategy. What you may not know because you weren’t at the press conference is just how passionate Steve Ballmer is about communications. He is serious about our market and this could be a very good thing.   When I asked Steve about educating the market about Unified communications he got animated and his eyes lit up. He said, “When you show people this stuff, they get it.

ITEXPO Photos and More

January 30, 2007

Here is Ari Zoldan from Launch 3 based in Garfield, NJ. His company is in the investment business - they invest in communications companies worldwide.   On this day he walked away with a great education as well as a new SUV. Wow – now that’s a show.   About 30 minutes later when I accidentally saw him on the road he seemed elated. I think the shock wore off and it turned to happiness.       Note to self.

EarthLink/Vonage News

January 26, 2007

ITEXPO East Day 4: Harley Davidson, Toyota, Skype, IMS

January 26, 2007

I woke up at 3:30 am this morning after about 4.5 hours of sleep or so. I prefer to get more but it was tough to sleep with all that is going on this week in Ft. Lauderdale. I woke to memories of the previous few days which consisted of a packed exhibit hall and some of the most in-depth networking, deal making and buying I have seen in a long while.   The TMC team has really outdone themselves this week as they really put on a fantastic event.

Communications in 2007

January 16, 2007

Any look at the future of any industry would not be complete without analysis of recent events. In the case of communications, 2006 seems like the transitional year of all time for a number of reasons. Next week, Jan 23-26 marks this year’s first continental US communications trade show, Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. This article is intended to set up the debates and discussions that will take place during this event.   Money   There is more money floating around in this and every other market than at any time during recent memory. As long as the money keeps flowing, the transformation and consolidation of the communications industry will continue to take place.
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