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January 2011

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VoIP Fulfillment Launched by VoIP Supply

January 31, 2011

VoIP Supply is planning to announce the launch of "VoIP Fulfillment" at ITEXPO next week, but they gave me a sneak peak at this new offering which technically was a two-year quiet beta they've been working on. Their VoIP Fulfillment offering covers quite a few things, however one of the biggest is they have opened their infrastructure to VoIP service providers, including an API that lets service providers follow the package through the fulfillment process all the way to the customer's door.

VoIP Fulfillment by VoIP Supply is a suite of services specifically designed for VoIP service providers that increase operational efficiency, decreases costs and bolster customer experience. I spoke with VoIP Supply's Garrett Smith - Chief Marketing Officer, Mike Russo - Executive Vice President, and Donald Stefanie - VoIP Service Provider Program Manager to learn more.

ITEXPO Moves to Austin, Texas - The New Telecom Corridor

January 28, 2011

ITEXPO West moves from Los Angeles, California to Austin, Texas taking place September 13-15th 2011. This is a big move on TMC's part since ITEXPO has been in L.A. for many years.  Launched in 1999, ITEXPO is the world's largest and longest-running B-to-B communications and technology conference.

Sangoma Announces General Availability for NetBorder Express Gateway 4.0

January 27, 2011

Sangoma Technologies Corporation, a provider of hardware and software components that enable or enhance IP Communications Systems for both voice and data, today announced the general availability of NetBorder Express Gateway 4.0, a major upgrade of its TDM-to-SIP Gateway software. NetBorder Express 4.0 includes significant new functionality which extends the market reach of Sangoma channel partners in Europe, Latin America, Japan, Asia, and North America. Sangoma will be demonstrating the latest release of its NetBorder Express Gateway at ITEXPO East 2011, in Miami, Florida, February 2-4, 2011 in booth #401.

Enhancements that provide Sangoma partners with a greater coverage area for worldwide deployments include support for:

Basic Rate Interface (BRI), an ISDN configuration widely used by SME’s in European countries, particularly in Germany (when paired with the Sangoma A500 or B700 boards)MFC/R2 Signaling, used extensively by enterprises in Latin America, especially Mexico, Brazil and Columbia (when paired with any of Sangoma’s lifetime warranty A-Series of digital boards, A101/A102/A104/A108) INS 1500, a Primary Rate Interface (PRI) ISDN variant used in Japan (also supported by Sangoma’s A-Series of digital boards)T.38 Fax Over IP Support, enables reliable transport of fax traffic over a VoIP network

“NetBorder Express is an easily integrated TDM to SIP gateway component that can run concurrently with other software applications, inside a single server,” said Frederic Dickey, director of product management at Sangoma. “Alternate solutions require external gateways in a separate appliance.





BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) Adds Microsoft Lync Support

January 27, 2011

According to BlackBerry's BlackBerry Enterprise Server Add-on product website, support for Microsoft Lync is coming soon. In the footnotes it says "Support for Microsoft Lync Server will be available in an upcoming BlackBerry Enterprise Server Service Pack." It will be released as part of BES 5.0.3 which is still in beta. BES 5.0.3 was expected to be released in Q4 last year, so 5.0.3 should be released any day now. Notable new features include:

  • Support for Microsoft's Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and Lync Server 2010
  • Support for Microsoft Office 2010 file attachments
  • Support for Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2 virtualization platform
Microsoft is participating at ITEXPO next week and some Lync partners as well, so I'm sure there will be some Microsoft Lync-related announcements made at the show.

ITEXPO 2011 East Speaker List Grows

January 21, 2011

TMC added some more speakers to the ITEXPO 2011 East lineup this week to add to an already impressive list. Check them out:

ITEXPO

Bob Locklear, Director of Business Development-Enterprise Networks Division, ADTRAN

  • E-03      Vendor Panel: Responding to Today’s and Tomorrow’s Enterprise Requirements
Charles Krogram, Regional Vice President, ShoreTel
  • UC-04   Integrating Mobility and UC
  • MW-03  What Can Presence Do For You? 
Greg Maudsley, Director of Product Marketing, Juniper Networks
  • MW-06  Securing Tablets and Smartphones in the Enterprise

Wendy Moore-Bayley, Solutions Marketing, UCaaS, Mitel

  • E-03 “Vendor Panel: Responding to Today’s and Tomorrow’s Enterprise Requirements”

Katie Butcher (Moderator), President, B-Lynk

  • C-04 “Everyday Business Conferencing - A New User Experience”

Morgan Krenson, Wholesale Channel Manager, InterCall

  • C-04 “Everyday Business Conferencing - A New User Experience”

Ari Rabban, CEO, Phone.com

  • SP-03 “Maintaining Service Quality while Introducing New Next Generation Services”

Wendy Moore-Bayley, Solutions Marketing, UCaaS, Mitel

  • V-03 “Hosted vs.


Digium's Danny Windham to Keynote ITEXPO East 2011

January 21, 2011

Mozilla Blocks Skype Toolbar - Crashes Firefox

January 21, 2011

Today, Mozilla announced it would be "soft" blocking the Skype toolbar, which auto-detects phone numbers on web pages and lets you dial them via Skype. The problem is that Skype Toolbar drastically slows down Firefox.

More details from the Mozilla team:
The current shipping version of the Skype Toolbar is one of the top crashers of Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13, and was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Firefox last week. Additionally, depending on the version of the Skype Toolbar you’re using, the methods it uses to detect and re-render phone numbers can make DOM manipulation up to 300 times slower, which drastically affects the page rendering times of a large percentage of web content served today (plain English: to the user, it appears that Firefox is slow loading web pages).


Former FCC Chief Kevin Martin to Keynote ITEXPO

January 20, 2011

Former FCC Chief Kevin Martin will be a keynote speaker at ITEXPO taking place February 2-4th in Miami, Florida.

Some background on Kevin Martin. In a resignation statement on his philosophy at the FCC he stated it "has been to pursue deregulation while paying close attention to its impact on consumers and the particulars of a given market, to balance deregulation with consumer protection." Martin added that he "approached his decisions with a fundamental belief that a robust, competitive marketplace, not regulation, is ultimately the best protector of the public interest and the best method of delivering the benefits of choice, innovation and affordability to American consumers."

The statement also included what Martin accomplished during his tenure, including one promoting broadband, and specifically wireless broadband, and protecting consumers from harm, by issuing $150 million in fines, or more than any other chairman. On January 15, 2009 Kevin Martin announced his resignation when the Obama Administration took over. In his letter of resignation to President Bush, Martin wrote, “I have had the privilege of serving at the Federal Communications Commission for almost 8 years, including 4 years as the agency’s Chairman. 



Google Voice Adds Number Porting - Carriers Cry

January 20, 2011

Arbinet to Feature Its Newest IP Exchange at ITEXPO East

January 19, 2011

Arbinet plans to feature its newest IP Exchange at ITEXPO East taking place February 2-4, 2011 in Miami Beach, Florida. 

Arbinet will participate in IP Communications Industry’s Leading Event at Miami Beach Convention Center in February. I'll be at the show covering the latest IP communications happenings. Just got my flight booked today, in fact.

ITEXPO Named Top 50 Fastest Growing Tradeshow

January 19, 2011

TMC's ITEXPO was named one of the fastest growing trade shows by Trade Show Executive in their Fastest 50 Awards. I've been with TMC since 1994 - right out of college and I've seen this company grow from 15 employees to over 65 employees. It's been an amazing ride. TMC's ITEXPO has had some stellar companies participate over the years, including Asterisk, Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, Packet8, ShoreTel, and Skype.

TMC CEO Rich Tehrani said, "Much thanks goes to all of TMC's readers as well as our sponsors, attendees, partners, vendors who supply us decorating services, audio/visual, etc and of course the tireless TMC team who works around the clock to over-deliver for customers.

Zipring VoIP Phone Service Launches

January 18, 2011

Erik Lagerway, who has worked at CounterPath (X-lite fame), blogged for TMC, and has other VoIP street creds to his name launched a new venture today called zipring. It kind of reminds me a bit of Google Voice, but I really need to delve into this further and see exactly how this compares. Might even be similar to the new TELTUB service I reviewed yesterday. Anyway, I thought I'd share the news:

Zipring Integrated VoIP Phone Service Launches for Consumers: Works with Every Phone and Mobile Device

Zipring delivers new open standards phone service unlike any other phone on the market



Netflix Drops Add to DVD Queue from Streaming Devices

January 18, 2011


Netflix today announced on its blog that it’s removing the “Add to DVD Queue” feature from streaming devices causing a revolt amongst Netflix users. Thus, you will no longer be able to add titles to your DVD queue from your iPhone, iPad, Blu-Ray player, PS3, etc.

Here's what Netflix’s Jamie Odell said:

We’re removing the “Add to DVD Queue” option from streaming devices. We’re doing this so we can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly.


TELTUB + Google Voice = $5 Unlimited Calling to U.S. & Canada

January 17, 2011

TELTUB is offering unlimited free calling to the U.S. and Canada for $5/month. Their gHome product takes a user's Google Voice account and converts it into a SIP-based VoIP service which can then be used as a cheap home phone-line using a SIP analog telephony adaptor (ATA) and your broadband connection. Users can use their own standard VoIP adaptor or order a pre-configured one from TELTUB.

ITEXPO East 2011 Up 52% in Attendance

January 14, 2011

I mentioned a few days ago that ITEXPO features some impressive companies participating at the show. ITEXPO is one of the leading expos on VoIP, telecom, 4G wireless, and unified communications (among other things). Well, some more good news to share courtesy of Rich Tehrani:

For those of you who attended the ITEXPO and related events last year in Miami, you remember it was a very strong show with great attendance. The conference usually draws from all over the world – especially Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Central and Eastern US and of course Canada.

FaceFlow Video Conferencing Uses Just a Browser

January 11, 2011

Wouldn't it be great to have a free group video call using just your browser? Forget downloading Skype! Besides, Skype charges you for group calling. Well, look no further than FaceFlow, a new startup that offers P2P video calls leveraging Flash.

First, some background...

ITEXPO East Features Impressive Vendor Participation

January 11, 2011

ITEXPO East is just a few weeks away (February 2-4th) in sunny Miami, Florida. How is the show shaping up? Well, if ITEXPO West is any indication, ITEXPO East should be a great show. Vendor participation for ITEXPO West increased almost 50%, and 216 exhibitors issued almost 400 news announcements from the show floor, detailing new products, services and alliances that were announced at ITEXPO.

New Business Version of Skype for Windows Gets Group Video Calling

January 10, 2011

Last week, group calling for Skype's regular consumer client launched. This week, the same group calling feature is launching for their business Skype client. Most people don't know there are actually two Skype clients - one for consumer and one for business. Probably because many businesses deploy the regular consumer Skype version still.

Skype Group Calling Launches - Meh...

January 7, 2011


The group video calling feature is out of beta with the release of a new version of Skype and alas group video is no longer free. Just one more way Skype is looking to monetize before their IPO. As I wrote back in May 2010:

_______________________________

Here's the kicker though from Skype's blog:
Group video calling is just one in a set of new premium features you'll see us roll out during 2010. We haven't set prices for these premium features yet, but rest assured that we're still absolutely committed to bringing you free voice and two-way video calling.
I bolded the relevant portions.





Disqus Down

January 7, 2011

Tried to post a comment on a TMC blog but it appears Disqus is down. In the field where I would type my comment was the Disqus logo. I then tried to moderate a comment from the Dashboard and got this:


By the way, "Sorry, we're undergoing temporarily maintenance." isn't proper grammar. Should be 'temporary maintenance".


Yealink VP-2009 Review

January 7, 2011


Yealink sent me their Yealink VP-2009 color touch-screen videophone to review a few months back and I finally found some time to crack open the box and check out this very cool phone. Featuring a large 7" digital TFT-LCD with 800×480 pixels resolution, the VP-2009 is pretty slick looking and supports HD voice (G.722) and popular HD codecs (H.263 & H.264).

Installation
Installing the VP-2009 was a breeze. I registered the phone with a trixbox Pro system, which is an Asterisk-based IP-PBX. After connecting it to the network and acquiring an IP address, I went to the web portal and logged with the default credentials (user = admin, password = admin).



Skype acquires Qik

January 6, 2011

Some interesting news from Skype - they have acquired Qik, a provider of mobile video software and services that enable individuals to capture and, instantly share mobile video. Qik has 60 employees, and is headquartered in Redwood City, California and has an office in Moscow, Russia. The transaction is expected to close in January 2011. Terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed.

Panasonic Adds Skype Voice & Video Calling to New Panasonic Blu-Ray Players

January 5, 2011

Panasonic and Skype today announced that Skype Voice & Video calling will be added to new 2011 Viera CAST-enabled Panasonic Blu-Ray players. Skype already had a partnership deal with Panasonic to bring video & voice calling to Panasonic HDTVs via an external HD camera. This deal extends the Skype ecosystem a little further.

Social Networking 2.0 Brings Businesses Into the Fold

January 5, 2011

Social networking exploded in 2010 resulting in Facebook social networking traffic surpassing Google search traffic. What's the main difference between Facebook traffic and Google traffic? Facebook is about sharing content with groups - family, friends, and co-workers, while Google is a solo affair with individuals reading interesting stories and finding out information. People naturally want to build associations and connections with other people, which is why social networking has exploded.

Polar Bears + Not-so-indestructible Cameras = Pure Entertainment

January 3, 2011


The BBC's popular BBC show Top Gear collaborated with superspy James Bond's friend and co-worker Q to create not-so-stealthly spy camera gadgets masquerading as chunks of ice designed to spy on polar bears. One of the spy cams Blizzard Cam glides on skis powered by 2 propellers and can reach 40mph. You would think a cam that travels 40mph would have no problem outrunning a polar bear. Well, you would be wrong.

There is also Snowball Cam, a spherical camera designed to survive immense pressures and is designed to get in close to the polar bears.


Axvoice Offers Unlimited VoIP for $8.25/month

January 3, 2011

The race to zero/free calling continues with Axvoice dropping their unlimited calling to the U.S. & Canada to just $8.25/month or $99/year - under the psychological $100 barrier. They also offer a US/Canada 200 minute Calling plan costs for $5.99/month. For the really cheap, they offer Pay As You Go for $4.99 with outgoing calls costing 1.5c per minute and incoming calls are free.
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