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September 2010

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Business VoIP Not Slowing Down - Revenue up 8% in 1H10

September 30, 2010

TMC's Internet Telephony Conference & Expo is next week. The exhibit floor is just about sold out, demonstrating once again that the VoIP sector of the economy shows no signs of slowing - even in this extended recession. Of course, ITEXPO covers not just VoIP, but also cloud communications, 4G wireless, and more.

Nevertheless, as confirmation of the growing VoIP/IP communications space, market research firm Infonetics Research today released its updated 2010 VoIP and Unified Communication Services and Subscribers market share and forecast report, which now includes an IP Centrex/UC Provider Tracker highlighting deployments by provider, region, service, and platform. In the report it shows business VoIP revenue up 8% in the first half of 2010.

Counterpath Granted Patent Covering Single Number Identity

September 28, 2010

Today CounterPath announced that it has been granted a key patent to assigning single-number identity across multiple devices and networks. Patent number 7,804,821 granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office enables CounterPath customers the ability to use the same identity across wireline and wireless networks. Wonder if this patent affects single number identity services such as Google Voice?

Obama Aims to Wiretap Skype, Facebook, Blackberry, the Entire Internet

September 27, 2010

Things just went from bad to downright scary under the Obama Administration. According to the


Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications -- including encrypted e-mail transmitters such as BlackBerry, social networking websites such as Facebook and software that allows direct "peer-to-peer" messaging such as Skype -- to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order.

Voxbone Adds SMS Support to their DID Phone Numbers

September 27, 2010

Today, Voxbone announced that it is adding an important feature to its wholesale, remote “local” phone number service - namely the ability to receive text messages. The SMS capability initially is available for phone numbers in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Voxbone explained, "Until now, service providers in, say, Australia could offer their subscribers one of Voxbone’s British local numbers, at local rates. Through Voxbone, this would allow those subscribers to give their customers, prospects, friends and relatives in the U.K.

Plantronics Voyager PRO+ Review

September 27, 2010

Today, Plantronics launched the Voyager PRO+ headset, featuring several improvements over the older but very popular Plantronics Voyager PRO headset. Improvements to the Voyager PRO+ include A2DP support, Battery Meter indicator for the Apple iPhone, and support for the Vocalyst speech-enabled hosted service offering. This is the second major headset launch today by Plantronics. Today, they also launched the Plantronics M1100 "premium class" Bluetooth headset (see review).

Like the M1100, the Voyager PRO+ supports voice recognition commands.

Plantronics M1100 Savor Review

September 27, 2010

The Plantronics M1100 is not your ordinary Bluetooth headset. This is Plantronics' high-end Bluetooth headset featuring 3 microphones. Yes, that's right - 3 microphones on a single Bluetooth headset, which Plantronics claims improves the audio quality over their 2 microphone product line, such as the Plantronics M100 (their mid-tier product). This is the first 3-microphone Bluetooth headset on the market.

ITEXPO Lands Some Spectacular Companies

September 24, 2010

Huawei Makes DSL Breakthrough with World's 1st 700 Mb/s Prototype

September 22, 2010

Some fascinating news from Huawei today announcing the world’s first 700 Mb/s prototype in Hong Kong. This is over PSTN copper! Finally the cable / MSO companies have some truly high speed broadband competition. DSL is notoriously slow, especially at far distances from the CO.

Check out the DSL breakthrough news:

Huawei Makes DSL Breakthrough with World's First 700 Mb/s Prototype

SuperMIMO technology enables operators to build high-bandwidth, cost-effective, and future-proof broadband access networks

Hong Kong, China, 21 September, 2010: Huawei, a leader in providing next-generation telecommunications network solutions for operators around the world, announced that it has showcased a 700 Mb/s DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) prototype in Hong Kong – the first of its kind in the world – that enables operators worldwide to build high-bandwidth, cost-effective, and future-proof broadband access networks with SuperMIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology. This prototype far exceeds the industry’s current DSL broadband wireline communications technology, which reaches a data rate of 100 Mb/s, and is better, suited to meet the needs of operators supporting ultra broadband services.

You Yiyong, president of Huawei's Access Network Product Line, said, "DSL technologies for broadband access are showing great market potential.

Mystic Aquarium Gets Political

September 22, 2010

I just received an email from Mystic Aquarium that is very political. Considering Sea Research Foundation, Inc., the owners of Mystic Aquarium, is a charitable non-political organization and one of my favorite destinations to take my family, I was a bit miffed. (Note: My wife and I have paid Mystic Aquarium memberships and have donated to them as well)

First let me point out that Connecticut currently has a Republican Governor (Jody Rell) and the email takes two direct swipes at the current Governor. The first salvo was, "As many of you know, this past year tourism in Connecticut has taken a major hit, particularly due to the fact we are the only state in the United States who budgeted no money for tourism marketing.

Grandstream GXP2110 HD Phone

September 21, 2010

Grandstream Networks today announced a new GXP series enterprise SIP telephone called the GXP2110. The GXP2110 SIP telephone offers HD audio quality and integrated Web applications, support for highly flexible XML customization and strong security protection.

The new GXP2110 SIP phone comes standard with HD handset and high performance full duplex speakerphone, a broad range of voice codecs, dual network ports with integrated PoE, 4 line keys, 3 soft keys, 18 programmable BLF keys, 5-way conferencing, large 240x120 backlit graphical LCD with 8-level grayscale, multiple languages, large phone book and call log (2,000 records), automated provisioning using TR-069 and encrypted XML file, extension module expandability, and a number of integrated Web applications such as real-time local weather, stock, currency, RSS news, etc. In the near future, more advanced Web applications will continue to be integrated via FREE firmware upgrade and an open Web service API will also be provided for advanced custom enterprise/Web application development. Grandstream plans to continue to expand the GXP phone series with new models during the rest of this year.
“The proliferation of Web applications from PC to mobile phones and now to desk phones is clearly gaining momentum,” said David Li, CEO of Grandstream Networks.

Facebook Phone? Who cares!

September 20, 2010

TechCrunch started a firestorm when they said Facebook was working on a "Facebook phone", resulting in denials by Facebook, and finally TechCrunch called Facebook and their PR outright liars. Everyone was in a tizzy that Facebook was purportedly building a phone based on Google's Android operating system. Even my boss, Rich Tehrani is excited about the potential.

I say "so what?" and "who cares?" Look, I like Facebook and I use it all the time, but there already exists Facebook apps for the iPhone, Android devices, and other mobile platforms. So why the need for Facebook to build their own Android-based mobile phone?

Dan Frommer over at Business Insider disagrees.

Tandberg Movi 4.0 Released Today

September 16, 2010

Today, Tandberg announced the release of Movi 4.0. (see my review of Tandberg 3.1) The biggest feature perhaps is the addition of Mac support. Movi 4.0 can be deployed on Macintosh computers using the Movi.dmg file in the zipped download file. Movi for Mac requires that the computer has an Intel processor and runs Max OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later.

Skype + Webcam Catches Shocking Abuse of 91-Year-Old

September 16, 2010

Skype isn't just a communications tool - it's a crime solver too. Enough in fact to put Batman out of a job? No wonder he's ticked off and hanging out with the Joker.

Cocoa (Chocolate) Genome Sequence Completed

September 15, 2010

Oh sweet joy! Mars, the company that produces candy favorites such as M&M's and Snickers announced that through a collaborative research team led by scientists at Mars, the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and IBM, they've successfully completed a preliminary cacao genome sequence - a map of the crop that supplies the majority of the world's cocoa for the manufacture of chocolate and other food products. The mapping of the cocoa genome is a crucial advance needed to improve farmers' ability to plant more resilient, more drought and disease-resistant, and higher yielding cocoa trees.

Plantronics K100 In-Car Bluetooth Speakerphone Review

September 15, 2010

The Plantronics K100 In-Car Bluetooth speakerphone was launched today and I have an exclusive first look / review. Ever wish your car had an in-built speakerphone with full Bluetooth integration with your mobile phone? Ever hop in a friend's or family member's Mercedes, BMW, or Audi and watch them make a full-duplex phone call over their car's stereo speakers? Now you too can have this capability without shelling out $30,000+ for a premium vehicle.

ooVoo and Wave2Wave Announce One-Stop-Shopping Hosted Web, Email, & Video Conferencing

September 14, 2010

ooVoo announced a partnership with Wave2Wave Communications this morning. The goal of this collaboration of two communication services is to give Wave2Wave customers a one-stop-shop capability for data, voice, web hosting, E-mail and video conferencing.

Here's the news:
New York, NY (September 14, 2010) --Wave2Wave Communications today announced a business partnership with ooVoo, a leading web-based video conferencing service, to provide its customers with value-added services in video and audio communication.   This collaboration of communication services will give Wave2Wave customers a one-stop-shop capability for data, voice, web hosting, E-mail and video conferencing.       
With ooVoo, users can meet from home, the office or the airport without being tied to a conference room.  The easy-to-use service is portable and flexible as ooVoo brings affordable enterprise functionality to employees' desktops and laptops.   
"This unique partnership in communication services is designed to benefit our customers large and small," said Lisa LaBonville, Vice President of Marketing & Product Development at Wave2Wave.  "This next generation service by ooVoo will help our customers connect with their key audiences and reduce travel expenses at a time when every business is looking for meaningful cost savings without sacrificing effective communications."    
This is an important bridge from traditional technology to next generation telepresence.  New and existing Wave2Wave customers will get enhanced services and capabilities to take their internal and external communications to the next level through innovation in audio and video communications.  With Wave2Wave joining forces with ooVoo, businesses will get a high quality, affordable video communications service that increases productivity and impacts the bottom line through reduced travel costs. 
"We're excited about teaming up with Wave2Wave as we continue to provide affordable, high quality video communications to entrepreneurs, small-to-mid-sized businesses and enterprise customers," said Rodger Wells, Vice President of Business Development at ooVoo.  "We believe the next evolution in business connections is video-driven communication powered by ooVoo delivered anywhere, anytime."        
About Wave2Wave Communications
Founded in 1999, Wave2Wave Communications™ provides managed services to businesses including point-to-point connections, Ethernet VLAN, Internet, VoIP, Wi-Fi build outs, networking services, E-mail, private data networking, and security solutions.  Based in Hackensack, NJ, the company is renowned for using state of the art technology in order to give its business customers the competitive edge they need to succeed in a demanding and ever changing global market.  For more information, call 866-wave2wave or visit  
About ooVoo
ooVoo is a New York based company that provides a high quality communication service to anyone with a computer, broadband connection and a web camera.  ooVoo's technology enables businesses and consumers to experience real-time video calls with up to six users simultaneously and face-to-face communication with people across the street or around the world.  Product features include high-resolution video, video conversation recording, phone calling from PC or Mac to landlines and cell phones, desktop sharing, video messaging, instant message chat and file sharing.  Download ooVoo at

SureFlap - first multi-format microchip cat flap now available in U.S.

September 14, 2010

Now cats get cool "gadgets"? A product called SureFlap lets your microchipped cat enter the SureFlap door while blocking those pesky Tomcats from sneaking in and stealing your cat's food. Check out the news that it's now available in the U.S.:

If lost, a microchipped cat is 20 times more likely to be returned to its owner and now there is another benefit, the chip can act as a unique door key for the pet. SureFlap, the first multi-format microchip operated cat flap is now available in the US.
SureFlap has proved popular with cat lovers in Canada and Europe.

Goodbye Microsoft OCS Hello Microsoft Lync!

September 13, 2010

Last week I wrote an article titled "Microsoft Lync 2010 - New Product? Or New OCS Name?" based off of a couple new downloads on Microsoft's site I found via Twitter. When I saw something called Microsoft Lync on Twitter I was intrigued. After reading the description of the downloads last week, I wrote, "I'll be damned if that doesn't sound exactly like the feature-set of OCS/MCS or whatever the heck the new name will be called." Certainly the name made sense, since I thought it was a combination of "link" with a "c" for communications.

ooVoo vs. Skype in the SMB Space

September 10, 2010

I recently had a video interview with Phillipe Schwartz, CEO of ooVoo, to discuss how they stack up against Skype, ooVoo's technical architecture, their target market, and more. One difference off the bat is that ooVoo started with a SMB-focus, while Skype started with a consumer-focus and then Skype recently started targeting small to medium businesses,i.e. Skype for SIP now called Skype Connect. Phillipe claims ooVoo has an impressive 14 million users and 2-2.5 million downloads per month.

Microsoft Lync 2010 - New Product? Or New OCS Name?

September 9, 2010

Today, Microsoft released some downloads for "Microsoft Lync 2010". Microsoft Lync 2010? What the heck is that? Is that the new name of the yet unreleased Communications Server "14"? I thought it was going to be called MCS (Microsoft Communications Server).

HP Launches "Just Right IT" Portfolio for Small Businesses

September 8, 2010

HP today introduced its "Just Right IT" portfolio, which empowers micro, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to better serve their customers by simplifying processes, reducing costs and improving productivity. I interviewed Mark Hilton, director of product marketing, HP Networking last week to learn more about this offering and HP's future direction after the acquisition of 3Com, including the NBX IP-PBX product line. 3Com was one of the earliest innovators of voice over IP PBX systems, so I was interested to learn if HP was going to go after Avaya, Cisco, etc. Listen to the podcast for more:

The portfolio includes new management, data protection, communications and connectivity offerings that are designed and priced "just right" to deliver affordability as well as value to SMBs. The expanded portfolio also provides new business opportunities for HP channel partners.

"While SMBs remain cautious about the economy, they continue to look for ways to simplify operations and prepare for growth," said Anil Miglani, senior vice president at AMI Partners, a strategy consulting firm.

XConnect Partners with Polycom, BroadSoft and Dialogic to Increase HD Voice Adoption

September 7, 2010

XConnect is announcing a four-company initiative to promote HD voice adoption among U.K. service providers. This follows on the news they announced at TMC's ITEXPO where XConnect announced the world's first HD voice peering federation, in the U.S., with the goal of incrasing global HD voice uptake.

In summary, XConnect is announcing that it is joining with Polycom, BroadSoft and Dialogic to launch an educational and marketing campaign to reach U.K. operators.

Clash Of The Titans (original) Is One of Favorite Movies of All Time

September 3, 2010

8x8 Virtual Office Pro Review

September 2, 2010

8x8 sent me a trial account of 8x8 Virtual Office Pro to review. What is Virtual Office Pro? Think of it as your web-based communications portal handling phone calls (auto-attendant, VoIP), internet fax, hosted conferencing and hosted application sharing. The only missing piece from the equation is email, however it does support direct integration with Exchange Server by leveraging Outlook Anywhere to pull in your Outlook Contacts.
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