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Vonage

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.









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.





Telco 2.0 - the Microsoft way

February 14, 2008

The following are comments from Ovum SVP, Brett Azuma on Microsoft and what they are up to in service provider communications. I thought this was worth passing along.

Microsoft provided an update on its Telco 2.0 vision. The analyst telebriefing indicated that Microsoft's revenues for the Communications Sector exceeded $2bn in 2007.

8x8 Patent Reissued

February 14, 2008

8x8 the parent of Packet8 has been reissued a patent 6,483,532 entitled, "Video-Assisted Audio Signal Processing System and Method."

The patent relates to an arrangement for controlling audio signal transmissions for a communications system that includes a microphone and a video camera.  The reissued patent is dated February 12, 2008 and contains eleven new claims which strengthen the company's intellectual property rights related to this invention.

The company has been awarded over 71 patents so far in the fields of voice, storage and video. This portfolio probably did not seem so important a few years back but today it is crucial to have as we have found that telcos are beginning to wield their patents as weapons and smaller companies like VoIP Inc. are using them as a way to generate revenue.

Patents are like sports. The best defense seems to be a good offense.

Blogged via wireless handheld







Vonage: Good and Bad News

February 14, 2008

Intellectual Property, The Other Defition of IP

February 11, 2008

It's funny... I have been writing about the enhanced services made possible via IP communications for over a decade. To some degree, these services are here and while I think there is a great deal of room to go in this area, it seems that companies find it easier to use patent litigation as their preferred enhanced services revenue generator.

Basically using the other definition of IP, intellectual property.

Case in point is Verizon who is suing cable companies now. First there was Cox and now Charter.



Mobile World Congress Key Terms

February 10, 2008

As you may know, Mobile World Congress kicks off this week and to get the ball rolling the event has put out some of the key terms you will be hearing more about this week. I have posted them here with their definitions in case you need to brush up on your acronyms.

Also be sure to check out the Mobile World Congress News Page to stay up to date on the show.

3G

3G, or third-generation, is loosely defined as offering high data speeds, always-on data access and greater voice capacity, enabling operators to offer customers fast internet access, live, streaming video and other multimedia or "converged" applications over a wireless network. There are several 3G technology standards.





Is AT&T a Runaway Winner?

February 6, 2008

Is AT&T going to win the IP services wars? I get the feeling they are really doing a fine job in this regard and will only do better over time. Jon Arnold agrees and in a  recent article he talks about how well AT&T is doing but also explains how in the new world of Internet Protocol communications, there will be mistakes and successes along the way.

He discusses, events that took place at ITEXPO and explores standalone versus bundled services while mentioning Verizon, Covad, XO, 8x8, Cbeyond and many others. There is good insight here and this article is worth a read.

Here is an excerpt:

Moving further along the spectrum, however, these two pieces begin to diverge, and the incumbent carrier must share the pie with competitors and over-the-top operators.






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