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December 2004

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Telic SIP Phone Trial

December 28, 2004

Just thought I'd share this email I received from Telic.net. THey're offering a free 100 minute trial using their platform based on SIP.
The email from them is as follows...


 

Use 's managed VoIP platform to roll-out a SIP Phone service in days. To demonstrate the advanced end-user features and ease of use our platform enables, we invite you to try it out for yourself.

Windows CE .NET VoIP Phones

December 28, 2004

There was one prediction I left off my 2005 VoIP Predictions list. While I did say Microsoft would try and get back into VoIP after previous failed attempts, I mostly talked about Microsoft's VoIP "software" plans, i.e. Longhorn perhaps with more advanced Live Communications Server (LCS) functionality. Well, I neglected
Microsoft's embedded hardware division.

VoIP Security

December 27, 2004

VoIP Security Lockdown

VoIP security is often overlooked.Too often us VoIP bloggers get caught up writing about the latest cool feature added to Vonage/Packet8/CallVantage, etc., or the latest VoIP gadget or toy.Unfortunately, VoIP security just isn't a sexy topic.

But as VoIP deployments continue their meteoric rise both in residential and business, VoIP security is going to become much more critical.

Here's a good primer on VoIP security that came out in the latest issue of Internet Telephony Magazine that you should go check out:
Internet Telephony Feature Article: How Secure Is VoIP?

p.s. If you don't subscribe to Internet Telephony Magazine, you should.It's free (in print form) in the U.S.And if you are international, TMC recently launched a digital PDF version that you can download.It contains all the same graphics, charts, architecture diagrams as the print magazine. It even includes the advertisements if you are so inclined to check those out.Actually the ads are pretty important. I learn about a lot of new VoIP companies that often launch their product within Internet Telephony Magazine, since it is the first VoIP magazine (launched in 1996).Seeing ads is also a gauge of the company's financial strength and well-being before you 'plop' down cash on a company that may not be around in a year or two.

VOIP Security Tips
- Encrypt VOIP traffic and run it over a VPN.
- Make sure that server-based IP-PBXs are locked down and protected against viruses and denial-of-service attacks.










Walmart and VoIP

December 23, 2004

2005 VoIP Predictions

December 22, 2004

I've been thinking about making predictions for 2005 for some time now. I had a few ideas jotted down back in November but just never got around to compiling everything together and then sitting down and writing my VoIP predictions. Well, with only 9 more days until New Years Eve and then 2005, I guess I can procrastinate no longer.

Here are my Top 10 VoIP predictions and ponderings for 2005.

Vonage and CompUsa

December 21, 2004

Vonage announced a deal with Compusa to offer Vonage's broadband VoIP solution. The funny thing is I thought Compusa ALREADY was offering Vonage. Could have sworn I already saw a press release about this. I guess so many retail stores are offering so many various VoIP providers it's hard to keep track!

Skype, Cable & Wireless deal

December 21, 2004

Cablevision Optimum Voice

December 21, 2004

I couldn't help but get a kick out of this release from Cablevision from yesterday...


Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) today announced that its Optimum Voice digital voice-over-cable (VoIP) service had surpassed the 250,000-customer milestone. The fastest-growing facilities-based VoIP service in the nation, Optimum Voice on average has been adding approximately 1,000 new customers per day within Cablevision's New York metropolitan area system.

"Optimum Voice has established itself as a value-priced and highly-reliable voice service in the New York metropolitan area, and the consumer response has been outstanding," said John Bickham, Cablevision's president of cable and communications.

French Protest VoIP

December 17, 2004

FTTH - Fiber and VoIP

December 16, 2004

FTTH Integrated Voice, Video and Data IP Gateway GW-282

I haven't seen any news about FTTH (Fiber To The Home) and VoIP solutions. If you think about it, most of the news about VoIP has been about VoIP over cable broadband or DSL broadband connections, not fiber. So I was pleasantly surprised when I came across Telco Systems, which has an Outdoor/Indoor IP Media Gateway for Voice, Video and Data services convergence and FTTH applications.

They claim that "the BATM/Telco Systems GW-282 series Integrated IP media gateway is the most efficient, flexible, and powerful device in its class." According to Telco Systems, it’s capable of supporting various combinations of 2, 4 and 8 analog voice lines (VoIP FXS ports), 8 or 16 10/100BaseTX Ethernet ports and optical Fast/ Gigabit Ethernet uplink.

AT&T CallVantage New Features

December 16, 2004

Gary Morgenstern from AT&T sent TMC an email regarding AT&T CallVantage's new features.

The AT&T email states:
This is the single largest introduction of new feature and capabilities to AT&T CallVantage Service since its initial launch last March 29. With the addition of 'AT&T CallVantage Plus,' (the sub-account capability referenced), 2nd-line and Call Filtering, subscribers are able to configure a very sophisticated suite of customized capabilities that trump any competitive services to date. Taken in total, we have now matured AT&T CallVantage Service to a feature-rich offer in just 9 months.

Hmmm..."trump any competitive services to date"?

VoIP and WiMAX

December 15, 2004

Take the super-hyped WiMAX wireless technology and team it up with the super-hot VoIP technology and what do you get? A super-pumped hyped-up press release...

But hey, WiMAX and VoIP are a perfect match, so if WiMAX lives up to its hype, this bit of news could be important.

Wi-LAN and Quintum Technologies have teamed to provide VoIP via wireless broadband. Now enterprise.

Apple Blocks RealNetworks

December 15, 2004

As an iPod user myself, I found this bit of news a bit disconcerting. Basically, Apple Computer has updated its iPod software so that songs purchased from RealNetworks' online music store will no longer play on some iPods. Apple basically updated the iPod firmware to block the playing of songs downloaded from RealNetworks. The move could render tunes purchased by many iPod owners via RealNetworks unplayable on their music players.

RealNetworks has marketed its music store as the only Apple rival compatible with the iPod, following RealNetworks discovery of a method to let its customers play their downloaded tunes on Apple's iPod.

Apple criticized RealNetworks' workaround, called Harmony, calling it "hacking" and warned that songs purchased on RealNetworks would likely "cease to work with current and future iPods."

Interestingly, many rabid iPod fans have come to Apple's defense, essentially supporting the notion that you should only be able to download music from Apple's online music store using iTunes software.

Skype over Satellite

December 14, 2004

Some avid mountain climbers decided to do a test drive using Skype over a satellite data connection (RBGAN satellite modem). Since they were charged per megabyte and not per minute they did some rough calculations to see if there were still any price savings using Skype over a data connection over satellite as opposed to a voice connection over satellite. But regardless if they save any money, to think of a mountain climber wearing a bluetooth headset communicating with a Skype client on a PDA or smartphone is just too cool for words!

Although according to this article they were using a laptop, so I assume they made Skype calls from the laptop when they were camped in a tent.

Hotmail founder to Launch VoIP product

December 14, 2004

AOL Canada and VoIP

December 14, 2004

AOL Canada plans to launch Internet phone service in greater Toronto over the next couple of weeks. This will mark the first time AOL has entered the broadband VoIP market. The company said Tuesday that it plans to offer AOL TotalTalk, a residential VoIP service to all high-speed Internet users, whether or not they are AOL subscribers.

"High-speed Internet access is a commodity in Canada.

VoIP Trademark

December 14, 2004

I was just reading Russell Shaw's blog entry about his research on VoIP trademarks and patents here: AT&T will market VoIP | IP Telephony | ZDNet.com" href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/ip-telephony/index.php?p=133"> Exclusive: I visit the Trademark Office and get the scoop on how AT&T will market VoIP | IP Telephony | ZDNet.com and decided to do some investigating of my own.

While doing a keyword search on "voip" like Russell, I too came across AT&T's application for a service mark on "VoIP is Everywhere". I agree with Russell - could be a new catch phrase or marketing term by AT&T.

But then I noticed a really interesting application.

Leadtek Videophone

December 10, 2004

My previous blog entry, (VoIP Videophone War), discussed Vonage's and Packet8's videophones. I mentioned Leadtek is the OEM for Packet8's videophone.

Well perfect timing - I just got some pre-release news from Leadtek that I thought I'd share...

First, at CES, Leadtek will announce the Leadtek Videophone for TV set-top boxes, Leadtek Surveillance Camera, and Leadtek Videophone for France Telecom.

VoIP Videophone War

December 10, 2004

In case you didn't catch the news yesterday, Vonage plans to offer a videophone in 2005 via a partnership with Viseon. But there's much more to it than that. First, go check out Andy's blog entry about it. VoIP Watch: 'Vonage Goes VideoPhone Soon' as well as Aswath's thoughts on the videophone service provider model here.

Vocal Technologies VOCAL 1x0 ATA

December 10, 2004

Vocal Technologies VOCAL 1x0

This release came out Nov 30th, but thought it was still worth sharing since ATAs have become quite popular. ATAs, or Analog Telephony Adaptors are used to translate analog signals into digital signals that are then transmitted over IP. In fact, ATAs have become quite popular in the tech community, with rabid fans supporting one particular ATA over another ATA that I've seen some heated debates in the VoIP Forums as to which is the best ATA.

Here's the release:
VOCAL Technologies’ New 1x0 Offers Industry’s Lowest-Cost, Low-Power ATA Solution for VoIP Market

Leverages State-of-the-Art Technology for Reduced Design Overhead

BUFFALO, N.Y.——VOCAL Technologies, Ltd., today announced the VOCAL 1x0, the market’s lowest-cost configurable low-power analog telephone adapter (ATA) and reference design platform for VoIP applications.

Logitech LX-501

December 9, 2004

Logitech LX-501 Cordless Desktop Keyboard and Mouse
Web site: http://www.logitech.com

Price: $79.95 (retail), but I've seen it here for ~$50: Logitech LX-501

Logitech LX-501 Cordless Desktop

Ratings   Score Installation Documentation Features Usability/Ergonomics Performance Overall According to Logitech, the first "Cordless Desktop" (wireless keyboard & mouse) was invented by Logitech in 1998 and comprised simply a cordless (RF) version of a traditional keyboard and mouse. Keyboards and mice has come a long way since then -- volume controls on keyboards, special function keys to control DVDs/CDs, launch applications with a single key, horizontal and vertical scroll wheels on mice and more.

In fact, wireless keyboards and mice have gone from being simple point, click and type devices to being complete PC control centers, as well as a media center for controlling CD music and DVD movie playback, playing My Videos, or displaying My Pictures. Even the look of the keyboard and mouse has changed from boring and beige to the sleek and stylish.

Voiceglo TV Commercials

December 8, 2004

According to Voiceglo's release, "Voiceglo Becomes First in VoIP Industry to Launch National Direct Response Advertising Campaign Introduces Consumers to Unique Internet Phone Service through Television Commercials"

First in VoIP industry to launch a TV ad campaign? Huh? Say what?

How could they miss all those Vonage TV commercials?

DSL Statistics

December 8, 2004

Received an email today regarding DSL industry numbers that I thought I would share. They took a "swipe" at cable broadband as well. Interestingly, China and Japan lead DSL deployments over the U.S.

The DSL Forum would like to share the significant DSL deployment achievements with you and your audience - demystifying the myth about Cable while DSL deployment is actually much higher globally.

Adeptra

December 7, 2004

I have an interesting story to tell, along with a company whose technology I recently discovered, that may help prevent the embarrassment and inconvenience I suffered as a result of my credit card being declined. It all started just the other day when I attempted to use my Sony VISA card to make a purchase at a grocery store and the clerk told me that my credit card was declined. How embarrassing is that? (Embarrassment #1) I knew I had plenty of credit available, but rather than hold up the line I simply paid with another card.

SBC VoIP Woes

December 7, 2004

I recently wrote this blog entry: SBC VoIP Tariff Scare

Well someone posted a comment to my blog that if true is very very interesting. It would mark the first time that I have heard of that a U.S. company has deliberately discriminated against someone using a competing VoIP service. The accuracy/legitimacy of blog comments is certainly questionable, but for this person to spend the time typing this all up means he either has a lot of time on his hands or maybe it's true after all.

Intel and IConnectHere VoIP Offer

December 7, 2004

I received this email yesterday that had me befuddled.

deltathree, a leading provider of SIP-based VoIP solutions, today announced an agreement to offer Intel's Desktop Board customers the opportunity to experience the call clarity, robust features and cost advantages provided by deltathree's iConnectHere Internet telephony solutions.

Through the new offers, Intel's customers in the U.S. will be able to sign up online for 100 free VoIP minutes, with the option to purchase additional calling time at low rates to almost any country worldwide. iConnectHere allows customers to make and receive VoIP calls on a regular phone.

Avaya and Verizon

December 7, 2004

Release to share regarding Avaya and Verizon. I actually recently tested and did a review of Avaya's IP Office for the November issue of Internet Telephony Magazine, which Verizon will now be reselling. Avaya IP Office is a very good product for the small office/home office.

here's the release:

Avaya (NYSE: AV) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) have agreed to collaborate in offering to small and medium sized businesses a suite of communications solutions that include systems, applications and services from both companies.

Cisco and IBM

December 7, 2004

According to the Yankee Group, "Cisco and IBM Are Preferred Internet Protocol Telephony Solution Providers".

The Yankee Group released results of a new study that show internet protocol telephony (IPT) solution providers need to focus on the basic features that make IP telephony work in corporate environments. The Yankee Group IP Telephony YankeeBrandMonitor indicated that attributes such as stability, reliability and quality outweighed "future" benefits, such as technology leader and innovator.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) ranked number one and number
two, respectively, in the study for deployment preference in the next 2 years.

Level 3 and Comcast

December 7, 2004

We can put the Level 3 & Comcast rumors to bed. Comcast has indeed chosen Level 3.

Excerpt:
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA - News, CMCSK - News) today announced a long-term agreement with Level 3 Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT - News) to provide inter-city and metro dark fiber as part of Comcast's extension of its fiber footprint.

This backbone is principally based on 20-year dark-fiber IRU's (indefeasible rights of use) from Level 3 and other sources.

Voice over IP Search

December 7, 2004

It is self-evident that "voice over IP" is a hot search term, but this is just more proof in the pudding.

Voice over IP Online Awareness Grows

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Dec. 7, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Awareness of VoIP (Voice over IP) is rapidly growing on the Internet, according to VoIPAction.
VoIPAction conducted an analysis of 10 keywords that are in the mainstream of public awareness and that were searched for by people at the Yahoo-owned Overture search engine.

'Voice over IP' as a search term beat out the keywords 'Nintendo', 'Mac' and 'Bluetooth' in popularity of the number of search requests made for the month of October 2004, and was close in performance to some other household words: 'Oprah', 'Pokemon' and 'iPod'.

The results, which can be confirmed by visiting http://inventory.overture.com/ were:


Harry Potter: 705,005 requests
Pokemon: 369,885 requests
Oprah: 365,336 requests
iPod: 327,507 requests
Voice Over IP: 311,210 requests
Nintendo: 156,683 requests
Mac: 97,374 requests
Bluetooth: 62,753 requests
Skype: 54,526 requests
Vonage: 47,253 requests









Unlimited VoIP

December 6, 2004

As the VoIP service provider space becomes more and more crowded, you are going to see more and more creative pricing schemes. For instance, Greg Galitzine sent me an email with a press release stating that RNKVoIP would be rolling out "Phone for Life" that would allow consumers to pay a one-time fee of $999 for a lifetime of unlimited VoIP phone service. Yeah, you read that correctly.

Let's put that $999 in perspective.

TalkISP Unimessaging

December 6, 2004

Hmmm, new virtual PBX? Saw this posting to the VoIP Forums this weekend claiming to be a new virtual PBX which they term VPBX. Why not call it "hosted IP-PBX" like most people? Anyway, the posting was here:
New VPBX Product : Forums
It says:

Talkisp (http://www.talkisp.com) has a product called Unimessaging (http://www.unimessaging.net) that is a full featured VPBX.

Global IP Sound GIPS iLBC Codec

December 6, 2004

In the February 2003 issue of Internet Telephony Magazine, I wrote about Global IP Sound's excellent GIPS VoiceEngine codec, which can be integrated into VoIP applications. In August of this year, Nortel bought a 5% stake in Global IP Sound. Longboard also announced they would license the GIPS VoiceEngine which is being integrated into the LongBoard OnePhone Application. Now, Global IP Sound's GIPS iLBC First Speech Codec is to be standardized by the IETF for IP Telephony Solutions.

Net2Phone Lands Millennium Digital Media

December 6, 2004

Voiceglo Beta Testers

December 3, 2004

Another Voiceglo release - two days in a row! Boy, it's hard to keep up with these guys. I wasn't going to include this since I like to spread the "wealth" around with the VoIP coverage I do. However, they are calling for beta testers, so I thought I'd share this as well.

Cheap Phone Service

December 3, 2004

Here's an excerpt from Phone Service at $199 per year.

A start-up company will use Internet technology to offer flat-rate phone service for $199 a year.

The service, from a company called SunRocket and started by former MCI employees, includes unlimited local and long-distance calls as well as two new cordless phones.

Serving about 50 markets--including the Chicago area--with fewer than 50 employees, SunRocket illustrates how easily entrepreneurs with little money can start a phone company using what's known as voice over Internet protocol.

Ok, $199/year works out to $16.58/month. I'm not sure why they are offering a "yearly" charge as opposed to monthly.

Level3 News

December 3, 2004

Cox Communications Inc., a customer of Level 3 Communications Inc has increased its purchase of long-distance minutes on Level3's global broadband network recently as it rolls out VoIP. A Level3 official, declined to give specifics, however did state that traffic from Cox on Level3's network has roughly doubled over last year.

"Every month, we continue to get a nice growth rate, which indicates to us something is going right over there," said Kevin Dundon, senior vice president of wholesale VoIP services with Level 3.

Level3, still under heavy debt after building out one of the largest fiber optic deployments, has had several major wins in the VoIP space, including AOL, Skype, Charter, and last I heard, they are in talks still with cable giant, Comcast.

Holy Toledo, Batman!

December 3, 2004

Lucent is claiming they have a new technology for 3G UMTS networks that will rival the speed of DSL or cable? It will support data speeds of up to 3.6 Mbps, and future upgrades of HSDPA will provide theoretical maximum peak data speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps. Holy moly, Holy Toledo, that's fast wireless!

And look at this quote, "Because it dramatically expands the data channel on UMTS networks, HSDPA also lays the groundwork for operators to introduce voice over IP (VoIP) and more advanced multimedia services on their mobile networks. VoIP over 3G gives operators the ability to support a greater number of voice users at a lower cost, in turn helping to ensure that voice services can continue to be delivered profitably.

BT Call Center Goes VoIP

December 3, 2004

IBM and VoIP Solutions

December 3, 2004

I've blogged, VoIP - Where are you IBM? as well as IBM and VoIP - two blog entries asking myself "Just where is IBM in the VoIP space?".

Basically, in my mind, IBM has been notable absent from the VoIP space, which is why it was worth blogging twice.

Well, here is an excellent read about IBM's VoIP plans. According to this article, it appears that right now IBM in Australia & New Zealand is focusing on bringing VoIP to their 40,000 Australian & New Zealand employees.

Minnesota Backs Off VoIP Regulation

December 2, 2004

Pac-West PSTN On Ramp

December 2, 2004

Pac-West PSTN On Ramp

Pac-West Telecomm, Inc. (Nasdaq: PACW), a provider of communications services to service providers and enterprise customers in the Western U.S., contacted me about their "PSTN On Ramp" product which they recently launched. PSTN On Ramp enables Pac-West to expand its service offerings to its existing customer base, as well as reach new customer segments. Targeted at carriers and providers of enhanced services such as unified messaging, calling cards, conferencing, Fax over IP, and Voice over IP (VoIP), PSTN On Ramp provides 2-way connectivity between the service provider and the PSTN (public switched telephone network) through Pac-West's SuperPOP network.

A Pac-West spokeman told me, "We are best looked at as IP agnostic, if you are providing VoIP, FoIP, or any IP applications that need traditional PSTN access, Pac-West will enable the provider with TDM services that assist with the transition." He continued, "Pac-West provides local DID numbers as well as local presence in every Lata within CA and 16 Latas within the Western US. Our greatest value proposition is Pac-West's coverage, DID presence, and our ability to deliver services like no other CLEC in California."

He also espoused the benefits of Pac-West's PSTN On Ramp by stating, "Thousands of local DID's, termination rates as low as .003, along with free origination.

Voiceglo VoIP Numbers

December 2, 2004

Some VoIP numbers to share from Voiceglo.
2.7 million consumers? Voiceglo has done an impressive job marketing themselves, but I am a bit skeptical over this number. Nevertheless, I thought it was worth sharing...

Presence, Instant Messaging, Conferencing for Desktop and Mobile Phones

December 1, 2004

Interesting release to share. This combines HotSIP's SIP technology with HP's OpenCall Media Platform and Movial's Connect applications for IMS. It's essentially a converged solution that works with mobile, broadband or a fixed user and includes presence, VoIP, conferencing, and more.

check it out:

Hotsip, HP, and Movial unleash Converged Presence, Instant Messaging, and Instant Conferencing for desktop and mobile phones.

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