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Greg Galitzine

November 2004

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On Technology In Developing Nations

November 29, 2004

Those of us who report on high-tech in the developed world often take for granted the role technology can play in developing nations. I recently came across an interesting case study from UNRISD, a United Nations agency dedicated to studying the social aspects of developing nations; in this particular instance the report focused on information and communications technology and its role in the Western African nation of Senegal. While not directly related to my usual fare of VoIP and related next-gen telecom news, I thought I would share this case study in the hopes of generating some thinking on the function that technology in general, and communications technology specifically, might play in the development of third-world countries.

If you have any insight or story ideas or questions on this matter, feel free to post a comment (see below).

Citrix Acquires VoIP Player Net6

November 24, 2004

Citrix Systems, Inc., has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Net6 Inc. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $50 million and is expected to close in Q4 of this year.

According to a press release announcing the acquisition, the Net6 deal gives Citrix:

• An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Access Gateway — a secure, always-on, single point-of-access that’s simple and cost-effective to deploy and is complementary to the existing Citrix access infrastructure portfolio;
• An Application Gateway and Voice Office Suite — proven products to tap the rapidly growing IP telephony and VoIP access markets; and,
• New competencies and domain experience in network appliances, application user interface transformation and VoIP technologies.

“This is an exciting day for Citrix customers and partners,” said Mark Templeton, president and CEO for Citrix. “This acquisition consolidates our leadership role in the access infrastructure market, simplifies access and access security, and gives us an opportunity to tap the potential of IP voice applications on IP telephones.

VoIP Posts Gains In Enterprise Market

November 23, 2004

A just-released report from Dell'Oro Group tells us that VoIP continues to gain ground in the enterprise PBX market. According to the Dell’Oro report, the number of VoIP lines shipped in Q3 04 grew to more than 2.1 million. These numbers represent a 14 percent increase quarter-over-quarter and a 39 percent increase over the same quarter last year. Traditional (non-IP) lines gained only four percent to 9.6 million, as VoIP is increasingly supplanting traditional lines in businesses.

FCC Rules That Vonage is Interstate Service

November 9, 2004

Today the Federal Communications Commission voted in favor of declaring Vonage’s form of IP-to-PSTN communications an interstate service, asserting their sole jurisdiction over its Internet-based service, and precluding individual States from levying taxes, fees or restrictions on the services provided by Vonage.

According to Vonage CEO Jeffrey A. Citron, “This forward-thinking decision from the FCC assures that competition from VoIP is here to stay. Now we can focus our resources exclusively on building an even better service — rolling out E-911 for all our subscribers, innovating new features and new devices for VoIP, and expanding aggressively around the globe. Because the FCC has acknowledged the reality of the Internet — which knows no state boundaries and no borders — more people will enjoy the benefits of Internet phone service.”

This is a big deal for the VoIP industry.

FCC Set to Rule On VoIP

November 9, 2004

Today, the FCC is expected to issue a ruling that VoIP phone services, such as those offered by Vonage, should be free from State regulations. The key here is that States would not be able to levy taxes, fees or restrictions on the new technology.

William Wilhelm, partner in the legal firm Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP had this to say when asked to comment on today’s pending ruling.

“Currently it appears as if the FCC will hold that states are preempted from regulating Vonage based upon a finding that the service is "interstate in nature". As a result, the states will no longer be able to subject VoIP and Internet applications to a patchwork quilt of state utility regulations.

The Rich Get Richer

November 1, 2004

According to a report from the Yankee Group alternative VoIP providers are set to lose 47% market share to MSOs and IXCs/ILECs by the end of 2005.

The report, titled Fighting Goliath: Can Alternative VoIP Providers Survive?, paints a rather bleak picture for alternative VoIP providers. As cable MSOs and incumbent local providers look to VoIP as a long-term strategy, the early-to-market leaders stand to lose ground in the race to offer VoIP services.

"While alternative VoIP providers such as Vonage and many of the Vonage-like providers have a first-to-market advantage, their lead will be short-lived," says Kate Griffin, Consumer Technologies & Services senior analyst.

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