Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions


OpenSIPS Forks OpenSER

August 4, 2008

Came across an announcement that OpenSIPS is forking from the popular open source OpenSER solution. OpenSIPS (Open SIP Server) became active today, with its first release (OpenSIPS 1.4.0). I found it a bit surprising that someone is forking OpenSER, since it's a very powerful SIP routing platform. I recently mentioned how OpenSER can be used to bridge Asterisk with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007.

The IP-PBX Energy Wars...

August 4, 2008

So today I get a new report from the Tolly Group stating that the ShoreTel Unified Communications system is significantly more energy efficient than the Cisco Unified Communications Manager. ShoreTel apparently topped Cisco in using less energy to drive VoIP communications in specific large, medium and small enterprise-class scenarios.

This energy usage comparison reminded me of Nortel's "The 'Nortel' Tax Relief Plan", which aims to "stop paying the 'Cisco Energy Tax' and save up to 40%". Tony Rybczynski who works for Nortel and writes a TMCNet blog called The HyperConnected Enterprise sparked some controversy with some of his blog posts promoting the fact that Nortel is more efficient than Cisco. He even cites one customer that put a stop order on a $2 million dollar Cisco order once they did the energy efficiency calculations.

Is that what it's come down to?

Level 3 & Packet8 major outage

July 31, 2008

A source is telling me that Level 3 Communications and Packet 8 are having a system-wide network outage for the last 30 minutes. Level 3 is a huge provider of VoIP termination and I believe Packet8 uses their network for termination. Other VoIP service providers (Vonage?) will also be affected if indeed Level 3 is having an outage. I'm trying to confirm this as I type this.

3CX Free SIP Softphone

July 31, 2008

3CX has announced the release of a totally free new VoIP softphone called 3CX VoIP Phone that allows users to make and receive calls from their computer using SIP-based VoIP providers or SIP-based IP-PBXs. This free SIP softphone client isn't the first "free" softphone on the market. That distinction belongs to Counterpath's popular X-lite SIP softphone. However, I'm glad to see more free SIP softphones on the market.

In fact, I'd like to see free SIP softphone clients for Windows Mobile and the iPhone. Counterpath, had one for the PocketPC but they discontinued it.

VoSKY launches T1/E1 PBX-to-Skype Gateway

July 29, 2008

VoSKY today launched a high-density T1/E1 PBX-to-Skype Gateway. Who needs SIP trunks when you can have 23 or 30 simultaneous Skype trunks?

Though I'd like to see a 100% software-based gateway solution for IP-PBXs, since like Skype, they run on the IP network already. Still for traditional PBXs with T1/E1 interfaces, getting a PBX-to-Skype gateway to migrate away from expensive per minute charges on the traditional PSTN makes a lot of sense.

Astricon, Win $100, and Party Hardy at ITEXPO

July 29, 2008

Came across DIDx (DIDXchange) CEO Suzanne Bowen's blog today, where she mentions that DIDXchange is sponsoring the Code Zone Reception on Tues PM Sept 23 at Astricon and also "giving a lightning talk with some of you on DIDX and IAX2."

She includes a sign up link to, but the link doesn't work.

Anyway, she's offering an interesting survey with the chance to win a $100 gas card or $100 American Airlines voucher.
"Whether you are using IAX2 or SIP or both, please reply to this survey asap. Just copy the Qs and paste them to me on email or on Facebook message with your name, company, if you have a DIDX account ... include that number, cell phone and email for contacting. Each person who uses IAX2, SIP, or a combination AND also DIDX who answers this survey fully with complete contact information to me on Facebook or my regular email will be entered in a drawing for $100 gas card or a $100 American Airlines voucher."

Considering it's $15 per checked bag, and $100 per piece for the 3rd, 4th and 5th checked bags, this $100 voucher won't get you very far if you're a heavy packer.

sipgate vs. T-Mobile Round II

July 28, 2008

Thilo Salmon of sipgate, makers of a SIP-based client that works on the Apple iPhone, wrote me today regarding sipgate vs. T-Mobile Round II, which was soundly won today by sipgate after a German court issued a preliminary injunction against T-Mobile Germany. (See Round I - T-Mobile VoIP Shenanigans - AGAIN!)

Thilo told me, "I thought you might like to learn the we did not go down, but fought back. T-Mobile Germany not only bans VoIP, IM and VPN usage, but also caps data on their iPhone plans.

VonagePro Launches

July 28, 2008

Vonage today launched their VonagePro service, their premium service offering that features a brand new softphone with single phone number identity, built-in contacts support, custom ringtones, and more.

Mary Grikas, Executive Director of Device Development for Vonage about the launch of Vonage Companion told me, "As far as the VoIP landscape goes, we feel strongly and we believe that the future of VoIP is not going just be based on price and bundling. Price our experience has told us, does not equate to loyal customers. Our customers are loyal if we help them communicate and if we offer them feature-rich offerings that fit into their lifestyles. Our product strategy is that everything we do is customer-centric and customer-focus."

She added, "VonagePro currently has about 1000 beta testers.

Vonage UK launches new low cost V-Plan calling plans

July 24, 2008

Vonage today announced two new low cost call plans for their Vonage UK subsidiary. According to Vonage UK, "Following customer research and reacting directly to consumer concern about increasing household costs and spiraling business overheads, Vonage has created two new fixed rate call plans."

They added, "Vonage subscribers report enormous savings on their monthly bills and comment on the speed and ease of swapping providers as well as installing Vonage. The new call plans fly in the face of increasing utility prices and the new £6.99 plan has been designed for the high percentage of Vonage consumers requesting more cost efficient plans for North America."

Vonage's £7.99, £14.99 and £18.99 plans incorporating up to 45 countries remain unchanged. The two new call plans offer Vonage's lowest ever rates and are called V-Plan UK and V-Plan US.

• £5.99 per month - unlimited calls to the UK (V-Plan UK)
- Premium features such as call waiting, caller ID, call diversion, voicemail, three way calling (normally billed as extras with other providers), are included as standard.

Packet8 675xi VoIP for the SMB

July 24, 2008

I missed the 8x8/Packet8 news on July 16th about its new hosted small office "key" system and plug-and-play IP phones. Joan Citelli, Director of Corporate Communications emailed me asking for a briefing, but apparently I never replied since her email was still marked as unread and nothing in my Sent Items. Email overload I guess. The news was about 8x8, working with handset maker Aastra Telecom to provide a key system to the SMB market,which is part of the new Packet8 675xi series.

I happened to come across Carolyn Schuk's article while surfing the web and came across her post about some 8x8 news that I missed.

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