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June 2007

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Free iPhone if...

June 29, 2007

Truphone 3.0 Released

June 29, 2007

Truphone, which I recently awarded a TMC Labs Innovation Award, has just released Truphone 3.0. The latest release adds a suite of advanced features to its beta VoIP service for mobile phones, and simultaneously extended until the end of 2007 its offer of free calls to 40 countries. The new SMS over IP capability brings unlimited free SMS messages between on-net Truphone users and a flat-rate tariff of GBP0.07/USD0.15 to all other regular mobile numbers worldwide.

James Tagg, Truphone's CEO, said:

We were the first company to demonstrate SMS-over-IP in our preview version at the beginning of June and we've been delighted at the feedback we've received. People love free and low-cost text messages.

AT&T Boosts EDGE Speed for iPhone?

June 29, 2007

AT&T customers are seeing a sudden boost in EDGE speeds - reaching 200kbps, seemingly coinciding with the Apple iPhone launch. EDGE users are ecstatic over the speed bump. In fact, I overheard some iPhone users saying "Prepare iPhone for 2.5G EDGE speed. No no no, 2.5G EDGE is too slow.

iPhone syncs with Exchange Server

June 29, 2007

Apple has stated that the iPhone can sync with Exchange Server using IMAP4. According to eWeek, Microsoft released Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Rollup 3 just in time for the Apple iPhone. Rollup 3 fixes several issues including issues that affect Apple Mac Mail when connecting to Exchange 2007. The issue supposedly fixes an incompatibility between IMAP version 4 and Exchange Server 2007 that affected Apple Mac Mail users and could affect iPhone users as well.

Mitel sues ShoreTel - What does it mean?

June 28, 2007

Some fellow TMCers were emailing back-and-forth about the Mitel lawsuit against Shoretel just before Shoretel launched their IPO. A few moments later, Jon Arnold emailed me, a bunch of TMCers, Om, VoIPCentral, Ken Camp, Russell Shaw, and a few other bloggers & journalists about this bit of news and what it meant. Go check out Jon's post here where he makes an analogy to the Verizon lawsuit against Vonage, another VoIP player around the time of their IPO.

As a result of the lawsuit, the ShoreTel IPO is up in the air.

My email response to everyone in the thread was "Interesting indeed.. -that is, for mid-tier IP-PBX vendors fighting over the scraps that tier-1 IP-PBXs such as Cisco are leaving behind."

And then you have up-and-coming whipper snappers like Asterisk and Asterisk-based solutions such as Fonality, trixbox, etc.

Skype on the Nokia N800

June 28, 2007

6GB and 8GB microSDHC memory

June 28, 2007

SanDisk announced 6GB and 8GB microSD High Capacity (microSDHC) flash memory cards one-upping their previous maximum capacity of 4 gigabytes announced in February.

SanDisk's Jeff Kost bragged, "any mobile phone with a compatible microSDHC slot will have just as much storage as the largest-capacity iPhone." The ironic thing is Rich Tehrani recently bought a 4GB microSDHC card for his Windows Mobile 5 phone (Verizon XV6700) and it only supports 2GB maximum, so he had to return it. So unfortunately, most existing phones won't support the new higher 6GB and 8GB capacities either. So buyers beware!

No Skype for Apple iPhone

June 27, 2007

With the Apple iPhone coming out Friday no doubt many people are wondering if you can install Skype or any other VoIP application on the iPhone. Well...

PIKA releases major enhancements to host-based media processing platform

June 27, 2007

PIKA Technologies today released major hardware and software enhancements to their host-based media processing platform. Two new PCIe boards are added to their hardware portfolio and support was added for high-volume fax and advanced conferencing. PIKA boards can run on Asterisk, so fans of PIKA hardware that happen to also like Asterisk will welcome this bit of news. Asterisk has never been known to do well with faxing.

Celebrate the 4th of July with Free Calls!

June 26, 2007

MOBIVOX is celebrating the U.S.'s 4th of July Independence Day with $10 of free international calls. MOBIVOX states, "Declare your independence from long distance phone charges this July 4th when MOBIVOX offers free international calls from the U.S this Independence Day! MOBIVOX, the only provider to enable Skype on ANY cell phone, just announced a new promotion to celebrate Independence Day and to thank their growing user base for choosing MOBIVOX by offering free international calls from anywhere in the United States on July 4th."

"The United States has one of the biggest expatriate communities in the world, and we are thrilled to celebrate Independence Day by giving something back to our user community," said Stephane Marceau, CEO of MOBIVOX. "We hope that many will celebrate Independence Day with MOBIVOX and get the opportunity to enjoy free calls to friends and family all over the world."

Registered MOBIVOX users in the United States can make $10 worth of free international calls to anywhere in the world on mobile or fixed lines anytime from midnight EDT to 11:59:59 pm EDT July 4.

Free Wi-Fi on the Nokia N800

June 26, 2007

Yet another reason to bet the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet - free Wi-Fi? An agreement between Nokia and Earthlink will allow Nokia N800 customers to access EarthLink's municipal Wi-Fi networks free of charge.

Earthlink today announced that Nokia N800 customers will be able to securely connect to EarthLink's Wi-Fi network directly from the device. To get started users click on the EarthLink Wi-Fi logo in the connections menu or through the Tableteer portal on the Nokia N800, and upon signing up for an account, customers have immediate access to wireless broadband service with download speeds of up to three Mbps and upload speeds up to one Mbps. Earthlink has major Wi-Fi initiatives underway in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Milpitas and Anaheim, CA and Corpus Christi, TX.

The Nokia N800 is a pretty cool device which Andy sent me awhile back.

Toshiba laptops to Feature Skype

June 26, 2007

Skype today announced that Toshiba’s Digital Products Division will market Skype on Toshiba’s laptop computers, including the Satellite, Tecra, Portégé and Qosmio product lines. The Skype-featured Toshiba models will feature built-in webcams and microphones and customers will be able to see the branded offering with a Skype logo found adjacent to the units’ built-in webcam.

In addition, customers will be able to access a Skype icon available on the desktop to quickly and easily download the latest Skype client software from a co-branded Skype and Toshiba landing page. (I wonder how much Skype paid for this valuable piece of screen real-estate?)

Initially, Toshiba notebooks featuring webcams will include select configurations of the Satellite A215, Satellite X205, Tecra M8 and Qosmio F45 series.

Vonage Explains $3.99/month retention plan

June 25, 2007

It's only fair that I include Vonage's public relations response to my Vonage post on Friday where I discussed Vonage's $3.99/month for 1-year retention plan. :

Hope all is well. I saw your post on Friday about Vonage and just wanted to offer more information about the $3.99/month plan. Vonage has had this package for several years now (at least three, possibly four years), so this is by no means a new plan, and it’s used exclusively as a short-term retention promotion.

Google buys Grand Central?

June 25, 2007

Vonage offers $3.99/month to retain customers

June 22, 2007

Bloggers Start Young These Days

June 22, 2007

Microsoft RoundTable Review

June 22, 2007

Microsoft RoundTable is a very cool videoconferencing system featuring 360° panoramic views powered by its 5 built-in cameras. Microsoft sent me a RoundTable system for review. I figured I may as well install it in one of TMC's two conference rooms to have some "real world" testing scenarios. After plugging in the various cables, including a USB cable to the host PC, I then installed the Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 (LM 2007) beta software client, which was designed to handle the RoundTable's 360° panoramic cameras.

U.S. SMBs spending $30B on converged communications and managed services in 2007

June 21, 2007

According to a study by AMI-Partners, small and medium businesses in the United States have been slow to adopt converged/unified communications. They claim that this trend will change this year and estimate the total SMB U.S. IP communications and managed services opportunity to be over $30 billion in 2007 and growing at a CAGR of 15.6 percent through 2010.

"SMBs are migrating toward converged communications solutions over a single IP network for voice, data, video to support ubiquitous communications, and outsourcing processes which their internal IT staff are unable to manage, says Sanjeev Aggarwal, AMI’s New York-based Vice President for SMB Infrastructure Solutions.

Two interesting stats:

  • US SMB IP-PBX shipments now exceed traditional TDM-PBX (including key systems) systems.

Covad T1 Speed and Latency Test Plus Overview

June 20, 2007

As part of the Covad Blogger's program, Andy setup several industry bloggers with a Covad T1. Greg, Phoneboy, and Ken Camp, have all covered their experiences with using a Covad Internet T1 connection. On a related note, Rich Tehrani had an interview with Covad's Jeff Ahlquist, Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy that is definitely worth checking out.

Anyyway, last week, I had my T1 installed and configured. One of the first things I did was perform a bandwidth speed test.

fring coming to Windows Mobile phones

June 19, 2007

Some big news from fring, a popular free mobile VoIP software. fring will soon announce support for Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6.0 devices. Currently, Fring only works on Nokia phones which use the Symbian operating system. What, no iPhone support?

Staying up on the Latest Green Technologies

June 19, 2007

Genesis: And God said, Let there be light and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good.

And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And man did indeed be fruitful and multiply and gained dominion over all the Earth. Man gained in knowledge over the centuries.

T-Mobile blocks VoIP - again!

June 19, 2007

What's up with T-Mobile UK? First T-Mobile banned instant messaging and VoIP, as I wrote about last year. And now T-Mobile UK is at it again blocking Truphone, a mobile VoIP operator. Apparently, T-Mobile is blocking calls in a dispute over interconnection fees.

Red Hat Targets Carrier-Grade Telecom

June 19, 2007

Red Hat, makers of the popular Red Hat Linux distribution, is expanding their footprint in telecommunications with the acquisition of Mobicents technology and its new membership to the SCOPE alliance, an alliance dedicated towards building carrier-grade platforms.  Red Hat will work to provide the infrastructure software, platforms and tools to enable a next-generation service creation environment, and advanced delivery and management within the telecommunications industry.

“As the telecommunications industry undergoes fundamental transformation, traditional Telcos must prepare for a new competitive environment that demands greater innovation, faster time to market, responsible investment and new ways of thinking,” said Joanne Rohde, Executive Vice President of Verticals Marketing at Red Hat.

“Open Source is becoming strategic in Telecom, not only as a means to reduce costs, but as a model to inspire collaboration, inclusion and reuse – and to drive innovation.  Today, Red Hat software is routinely deployed in mission-critical Telco IT and Network environments around the world.  Through our investment in Mobicents, our alignment with the SCOPE Alliance and strong commitment to standards, we look forward to establishing Red Hat and open source software as fundamental building blocks for the successful Telcom companies of the future.”

Mobicents adds a Service Logic Execution Environment (SLEE) to Red Hat's technology portfolio.

Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV

June 18, 2007

Microsoft today announced that they have renamed Microsoft IPTV to Microsoft Mediaroom to more accurately reflect the comprehensive "media" functionality of their IPTV platform. In conjunction with the name change to Mediaroom, Microsoft announced several new features to its Internet Protocol television (IPTV) software platform, including in-home personal music and photo sharing and dynamic MultiView (multiple picture-in-picture) capabilities that will allow you to have up to 16 Picture-in-Picture (PIP) windows in a single screen.

Though unless you are Data, the android from Star Trek TNG, there is no way anyone can process that much video input!

Also, their API will allow multiple camera angles, which could be a huge boom for sports channels. Imagine for instance if you can subscribe to an NFL Plus Channel that allows you to see multiple camera angles within PIP windows.

How to distribute VoIP in your house

June 15, 2007

VoIP Lowdown has the lowdown on distributing VoIP thought your house. He covers all the bases and all the stuff you will need to consider if you want to deploy VoIP thoughout your home using your existing wiring. When I had Vonage, I spliced my Vonage line (analog port from the Cisco ATA-186) into my house's wiring, so all of my RJ11 phone jacks would have an analog signal. This way all of my corded phones could make and receive calls using my VoIP line

In order to do this, I had to disconnect my outside wiring from the telco since I didn't want any voltage coming in via the telephone company.

Asterisk Hardware - Which would you choose?

June 15, 2007

Last week, I posted a blog entry about how Slacht, an Irish company offering a wall-mounted Asterisk-based PBX chose PIKA’s hardware. I also posted a 'teaser' when I stated, "I have some further thoughts on this news, which I can't get into right now, but I will post a follow-up blog post hopefully later today. Trust me, it will be interesting..." Well, it took me longer than I thought to write about my "further thoughts" but finally I found some time. What I find interesting about this news is that there are now several hardware choices when deploying an Asterisk-based PBX.

Skype 3.5 adds Call Transfer

June 15, 2007

I missed this bit of Skype news from a couple days ago that announced Skype had added Call Transfer functionality, which allows you to transfer a call to another Skype user OR to a PSTN number. At first glance, many of you may be thinking, "so what?"  Well, it is big news and I should have blogged about this earlier, but I was busy playing with Microsoft RoundTable, a 360-degree videoconferencing system. (Stay tuned for a full-fledged review on that.)

The big deal about call transfer is that now businesses can use Skype as a practical business phone solution. Operating your business's voice communications without call transfer, is like tying the proverbially hand behind your back.

TomTom lets users share map updates

June 13, 2007

Out-of-date maps suck. As a huge GPS fan I've encountered my fair share of inaccurate GPS map data. But TomTom’s new Map Share software combines cartography with community features that allow users to update maps on the go and then later share the map data with other TomTom users. This still isn't direct P2P GPS functionality with automatic traffic data sharing, but it's a start.

So when is this useful?

Aepona enables Fixed Mobile Convergence

June 13, 2007

Aepona announced today their new "Voice Call Continuity" for wireline and broadband service providers. Their solution integrates with the service provider's existing services, leveraging standard such as SIP, IMS, and SS7 to deliver intelligent rating and charging. Aepona goes beyond mere call handoff to provide a VCC solution that integrates with the service provider's existing services and OSS/BSS systems. Its VCC solution provides wireline and broadband IP service providers with the capability to seamlessly implement their fixed mobile convergence strategies by assuring scalability, service interaction, and intelligent rating and charging.

Predictive Dialing on Asterisk?

June 13, 2007

With PIKA Technologies's latest version of MonteCarlo SDK, PIKA Technologies new software development kit speeds development of predictive dialer applications. Since PIKA's boards work on Asterisk, in theory, this SDK could be used to develop predictive dialer applications on the open source Asterisk platform. Having predictive dialer functionality on Asterisk is one of the features sorely lacking in Asterisk, which makes Asterisk not suited to call center environments that require this functionality.

So in theory, PIKA's SDK could add predictive dialer functionality to Asterisk - but more on that later - first the news. Today, PIKA Technologies announced it can help application developers more speedily build predictive calling applications for call centers thanks to today's release of its latest MonteCarlo software development kit.

Asterisk Termination and ENUM

June 13, 2007

I discovered this interesting Asterisk termination post saved as "unpublished" dated 6-20-2005. I must have put it aside to work on some other projects. I thought I would publish it now since it still has some pertinent thoughts. Reading my article, I couldn't help but notice that it is two years later and there still isn't a sizable intra-enterprise VoIP peering network that I am aware of (with one exception - VPF).

Wibree joins Bluetooth

June 12, 2007

The ultra low-power Wibree wireless standard founded by Nokia will become part of the Bluetooth specification. Once the spec is integrated into Bluetooth, low-power PAN (Personal Area Network) devices such as watches, toys, consumer health care devices and sensors will benefit from the extra battery life.

Wibree makes minor changes in the media access control layer of Bluetooth to deliver data rates of up to 1Mbit/second while requiring just 10 to 40 percent of Bluetooth's power consumption. Both Bluetooth and Wibree serve a similar range of around three meters, however Bluetooth can deliver up to 3 Mbits/s. 

Later it will follow up with a dual-mode spec that will require minor hardware modifications to the classic Bluetooth spec to support the lower-power Wibree.

Hilarious VoIP Promotion!

June 8, 2007

I noticed some interesting Google Adsense ads on my blog. It piqued my interest, but I'm not supposed to click on my own ads. Fortunately, I noticed it elsewhere and clicked through. The website shows two traditional PBXs complaining how they are going to be replaced by voice over IP.

Slacht - Asterisk-based PBX chooses PIKA

June 7, 2007

PIKA Technologies today announced a reseller partnership with Slacht, a division of Irish software and telecoms services company, Tuxenergy. Slacht will utilize PIKA boards in its Asterisk-based PBX (as opposed to Digium, Rhino, Sangoma, or other Asterisk compatible hardware).

Slacht spent over two years developing a wall-mounted Asterisk-based IP-PBX phone system  PIKA worked closely with Slacht to assist with integrating the InLine, PIKA's low-density analog board, and the company's Digital Gateway Board, which provide Slacht's customers a reliable integration to the PSTN, with solid echo cancellation.

"We could see right away that PIKA offered solid technology," said Kevin Buckley, Managing Director, Slacht. "It supported our open-source technologies of choice, Asterisk and Mandriva Linux, and it offered echo cancellation, something the other vendors we looked at did not feature. Best of all, the price was right."

I have some further thoughts on this news, which I can't get into right now, but I will post a follow-up blog post hopefully later today.

Movable Type vs. Wordpress War Heats up

June 6, 2007

A day after Movable Type announced that Movable Type 4.0 would be GPL open source, Movable Type has stopped their retreat from Wordpress and the battle lines have been redrawn. "Are you ready for a war!!!!"

Wordpress fans have been quick to attack Six Apart's latest move. Technosailor has a funny post titled Five Things Movable Type Learned from Bilbo Baggins, where he compares Movable Type with characters from the Tolkien Trilogy.

Mark Evans gives a nice synopsis of the history of Movable Type and ponders how MT lost its first-mover/early-mover advantage. Mark says, "In the tech world, all you need is one small, but crucial, mistake to find yourself going from the penthouse to the outhouse.

CDW offers's SIP Trunking Service

June 5, 2007, today announced that CDW, one of my favorite places to order PCs, printers, office supplies, laptops, and much more, is now offering's Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking VoIP solution as a part of its suite of telecommunications products and services.  I should point out that CDW is one of the largest online retailers for purchasing computer technology, so for them to provide SIP trunking is big BIG NEWS!

“Innovation and opportunity to reduce costs are driving VoIP adoption among small and medium-sized businesses,” said Ian Kieninger, general manager of carrier sales at CDW. “We chose to offer’s SIP Trunking solution for VoIP because it provides our customers with a powerful way to centralize telecommunications management and reduce costs while adding features and flexibility.”

“CDW is an extremely valuable part of our channel program and it is a huge step forward in our relationship for them to offer our SIP Trunking product along with our other telecom solutions as a part of their comprehensive portfolio of services,” said Henry Kaestner, CEO of “We are uniquely positioned to help any business maximize their existing IP PBX and experience the cost savings and enhanced features offered by a business-class VoIP solution.

Movable Type 4.0

June 5, 2007

Movable Type just announced Movable Type 4.0 beta. The big news about this announcement is that Movable Type 4.0 will be open-source. TMC's blogs run on the Movable Type platform, so I am very excited over this news. First, a brief history lesson...

Packet8 Outlook Toolbar

June 5, 2007

Packet8 launched some new features today, including Virtual Office Outlook Integration. Virtual Office Outlook Integration lets you call your Microsoft Outlook contacts. The way it works is that when placing a call through Microsoft Outlook, Outlook contacts the Virtual Office server and triggers it to ring the Virtual Office phone on the user's desk.In addition, incoming calls are displayed with screen pops based on your Outlook Contacts and it culls the contact info from any mailbox and any field (Business/Home/Mobile). Outlook Integration also places a button on your Outlook program so you can place calls directly from your address book.

All Virtual Office customers can download Virtual Office's Outlook Integration software at no extra charge.

CommuniGate takes on Microsoft in Unified Communications

June 5, 2007

The ink isn't even dry on my Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 post (22 min ago) and I just read an email from a CommuniGate rep with the Subject line "Communigate and Adobe take the pants off Outlook Exchange".  Hmmm interesting. The email explains that CommuniGate Systems is launching their unified communications platform based on Adobe Flash technology, called Pronto! on Tuesday. Hmmm, Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 is in the unified communication space and so is Pronto!

Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 First Look

June 5, 2007

Today, Microsoft announced a "private preview" of Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007, which Microsoft deems a "complete event management solution" and they also announced the core feature-set for Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007. This month, a "private preview" of Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 will be available to current customers (Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2005).

Microsoft is offering both a hosted model for Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 as well as a CPE (customer premise equipment) solution, namely Office Communications Server 2007. In addition to Microsoft directly hosting Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007, hosting partners will also offer Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 as a fee-based service. Whether attendees use the Live Meeting service or the Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007) to power their web conference, they will use the same client to deliver a seamless meeting experience.

Skype cuts SMS rates again

June 4, 2007

Just received word that Skype is temporarily cutting in half the cost of sending SMS messages using Skype. Skype had this promotion going on last month, but this time SMS messages being sent between June 4th and June 10th to recipients in more countries than before are being included in the promotion. Last month, only 10 destination countries were included, but this time around, there are 15 destination countries – including the US and UK. (Click here for the half price campaign page)

Here's the release Skype sent out:

In deciding to repeat the promotion, the company is building upon the success of a similar week-long promotion last month which led to a significant spike in SMS message volume sent via Skype.

Google Acquires Feedburner

June 1, 2007

Google has just acquired Feedburner. Financial terms of the acquisition were not immediately available, however rumor has it that it's north of $100 million.

Feedburner blog was quick to point to this FAQ link which includes some "reassurance" about user privacy. Specifically it says, "Google has a long-standing commitment to protecting the privacy of users' personal information. FeedBurner users can expect the same high standards of privacy protection following this acquisition. We believe that notice and choice are the foundations of privacy.

Private Caller Hack

June 1, 2007

Caller ID spoofing (faking your CallerID) is a very easy thing to do, especially if you have an Asterisk IP-PBX (see Nerd Vittles' how-to). While CallerID spoofing can be used for harmless pranks, it can also be used to fool customers into giving confidential information, such as their bank account or credit card info. I came across a new website called The Zero Group (TZG), which claims to offer several "interesting" services, including Caller ID spoofing, telephone "tap" (eavesdropping) detection, "BackSpoof" (*67 killer), and a real time voice changer.

They also have SupaSMS which allows you to sent text message to mobiles through the web - but with a twist. You can configure who the message appears to be from.

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