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Rich Tehrani
| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space


Of IP Communications and Broadband Reliability

June 1, 2008

I came across an interesting article in the New York Times by Randall Stross which discusses consumer VoIP services, the differences in quality between them and the general trend towards multiple services of lower reliability replacing a single service (PSTN) of extreme reliability.

What is interesting is comments by Comcast regarding the reliability of the company's service as compared to Vonage. The cable company stresses that their quality is better. They go on to say, because they have control of the network, they can provide better service. This is a true statement of course -- any internet telephony service can potentially be inferior to the quality of IP telephony -- where packets do not flow across the public internet.

Then again, as broadband speeds get better and better, the quality of internet telephony improves as well.

SIP Forum Growth

May 28, 2008

The SIP Forum seems to be making some nice progress in attracting a broad swath of companies to its organization.

In case you aren't aware, The SIP Forum is a non-profit IP communications industry association that engages in numerous activities that advance and promote SIP technology, such as the development of industry recommendations, the SIPit interoperability and testing events, special interoperability workshops, and general promotion of SIP in the industry.

One of the Forum's recent technical activities is the development of the SIPconnect Technical Recommendation -- a standards-based recommendation that provides detailed guidelines for direct IP peering and interoperability between IP PBXs and VoIP service provider networks, and the SIPconnect Compliant Certification Program through which eligible companies can gain SIPconnect validation and the right to license the use of the SIP Forum's 'SIPconnect Compliant' certification mark.

What sort of progress are they making you ask? Well, they have recently told the world they are experianceing 100% 100% growth compared to the last quarter of 2007. The organization now has
46 Full Member companies and more than 5,000 individual members from around the world.

Why do people join the forum? Well Ken Kuenzel, Founder and CTO, Covergence, Inc. says his company joined the SIP Forum because of its efforts to build on existing IETF standards to define a standards-based approach that will enable seamless IP peering between IP PBXs and VoIP service providers.

Eric Swift, Senior Director of the Office Communications Group at Microsoft Corporation said We at Microsoft have long embraced SIP as an important standard and foundation for interoperability...

Roku: The Apple of TV?

May 21, 2008

Without a doubt, the new Netflix Player by Roku set top box will become a serious contender for the title "iPod of the world of television." I haven't seen this device yet but based on what I have read on Tom Keating's blog and on the New York Times, it is a killer offering.

Here are the details... A $100 set top box, a sub $10/month subscription and a web-based interface which helps you narrow down movie selections from a total of 10,000 Netflix offerings which are ultimately made by remote control.

At these price points some could be tempted to give up cable TV service altogether and if the box gains traction, it can become the TV delivery mechanism of the future -- worldwide.

I am not naive enough to think Roku will easily take over the world as Apple, Microsoft, the cable companies and phone companies will be looking to do everything short of hiring hitmen (is hitpersons more PC?).

Expect the box to eventually support YouTube, streaming TV and perhaps newer movies.

Really, everyone should be gunning for Roku except for content providers (including Yahoo! and Google) and chip manufacturers who can benefit from lower cost distribution and the sale of product to this consumer electronics company.

It is not hard to see Roku becoming a telephony provider in the future by upgrading these boxes with ATA functionality.

Expect this company to be included in net neutrality discussions of the future and if they aren't purchased in six months I will be very surprised. If Vonage had the finances or access to capital -- their brand would be a huge help in getting this box in millions of homes as fast as possible. They should consider a merger.

Then there is Google who could get broader YouTube penetration.

CBS Picks up CNET

May 18, 2008

New WiMAX News Site

May 16, 2008

TMCnet grows daily with thousands of new news items and stories. As the site grows, we are always looking for ways to improve. One of these ways is to develop community pages which focus on a particular subject matter such as HD Voice, IP communications, IPTV, CRM and hosted communications or outbound call center.

Today we just announced TMCnet's WiMAX Today, a new site devoted to the WiMAX space. You probably already know TMCnet as a site which has more WiMAX news, information, opinion and analysis than any other site online.

Now you have a single place where you can go on the site to keep up with virtually every topic in this fast-growing wireless market.

I personally invite you to visit for more.

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.

See Also:

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.

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

Blackberry Voice Search

April 23, 2008

TellMe just launched a new application which allows people to use their Blackberry for voice search. utilizing the TellMe speech recognition engine and Microsoft Live Search, you can have search results automatically localized if you happen to have a GPS-enabled Blackberry.

This is a pretty big deal as it brings voice and local search together and shows where the search business is headed. It also shines light on what the real reason was for Microsoft to purchase Tellme. Not that any of us are surpised of course.

What might be worth discussion however is the fact that Microsoft would support RIM with an application which makes the Blackberry more attractive.

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