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Greg Galitzine

September 2006

You are browsing the archive for September 2006.

Zultys Soap Opera Plays On

September 29, 2006

Sometimes the best part of a blog -- and the least visited -- is the comments section. Right now, there's a veritable Zultys SOAP OPERA brewing in the comments section of Rich Tehrani's recent Zultys posting.

I urge you to check it out. It's an interesting gauge of what the reseller community is thinking about this whole mess.

In the end, it's a reminder that behind all the headlines and accusations being tossed about, there are real people, with real concerns.

Let's hope the situation resolves soon, with the best possible outcome for all parties.

Want to Learn About IPTV?

September 25, 2006

IPTV is one of the hottest, most talked about segments of the IP Communications industry. In fact it s so hot TMC has partnered with Fierce Markets to put together a full day conference track dedicated to covering the convergence of telecom and entertainment. It’s being billed as “The IPTV Evolution.”   Ahead of the Conference in San Diego (October 10–13) TMC is hosting a Webinar on the subject of IPTV titled Implementing Next Gen IPTV Infrastructure elements — B-RAS and SER — in AdvancedTCA tomorrow at 2pm Eastern Daylight Time.   There’s still time to register.   IPTV has emerged as the vehicle for service providers to get into the TV distribution game and many of the service providers are looking at architectures and infrastructure to offer these entertainment services based on their IP networks. Distributing video requires much higher bandwidths and higher performance network elements and AdvancedTCA is one of the architecture choices being considered by many manufacturers.

Zultys Files for Chapter 11

September 21, 2006

TMCnet Executive Editor Robert Liu covers the latest in the Zultys Technologies saga.   The high points:   Zultys founder Iain Milnes has filed for Chapter 11. A Bankruptcy judge has ordered an auction Wednesday, October 11, to conduct a sale of the company’s assets. Milnes is currently trying to assemble a management-led buyout team and is still in the process of securing financing.   …and the beat goes on…

WSJ: Yahoo In Facebook Deal for $1B???

September 21, 2006

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Yahoo! is in talks to purchase Facebook, with the price tag potentially approaching $1Billion.   Facebook is one of the more popular destinations on the Web, ranking among the top 100 most visited sites according to   The social networking site restricts access to those users who are members in an existing network using an e-mail address from a college, high school or selected companies and organizations.   Facebook has said it might offer membership to users beyond that restrictive list, which would open the floodgates to millions of users currently not able to access the site. Facebook currently has approximately 9–10 million subscribers. Social networking giant is open to anyone, and as such enjoys over 100 million users.   The report also mentions that Facebook has held talks with Microsoft and Viacom.   Stay tuned…

Probe Financial on T-Mobile's Spectrum Spend

September 19, 2006

Probe Financial is wasting no time in releasing an analysis of T-Mobile’s $4.2 billion spectrum acquisition that I noted yesterday.   According to the e-mail I received from Probe, “T-Mobile USA’s win in the FCC’s just-concluded AWS auction — acquiring $4.2 billion of new spectrum — foreshadows dramatic further initiatives by the number four mobile carrier in the U.S. market.”   “T-Mobile has been an also-ran in the U.S. mobile market,” states Al Boschulte, Chairman of Probe Financial Associates, Inc. “No more. Not only is it evolving into a credible player, it will soon have the ability to launch truly disruptive strategies.   “I look for T-Mobile to accelerate its network development plans, build on its leadership position in WiFi, and do an end-run around the dominant competitors, Verizon Wireless and Cingular,” Boschulte added.

Big Acquisition Day Today

September 19, 2006

  Motorola has agreed to buy Symbol Technologies Inc., for about $3.9 billion in cash in an enterprise push.   It looks like Motorola was interested in Symbol for its mobile computing product lines as well as their history in the WiFi space. Also keep an eye on what Motorola does with Symbol’s RFID business.   In other acquisition news, ATG (Art Technology Group) is set to host a conference call at 10 am to announce a definitive agreement to acquire eStara in a stock and cash transaction.   eStara's products include Click to Call, Click to Chat and Call Tracking solutions, which are being used by some of the world's most recognizable brands including Starwood Hotels, DaimlerChrysler, Dell, Apple Computer, and Continental Airlines.

Yesterday, Telecom Italia announced an agreement to acquire Time Warner's AOL Germany Internet access business for approximately $870 million in cash.




Spectrum Sale Sets Record

September 18, 2006

    The most recent U.S spectrum sale has apparently ended, with carriers dishing out a record $13.9 billion for advanced wireless services. Reuters is reporting that T-Mobile USA topped the bidding by offering almost $4.2 billion for 120 licenses.   Verizon Wireless has been second in the bidding, offering over $2.8 billion for 13 licenses that include the northeast and southeast U.S.   Cable companies too have been very keen bidders for the available spectrum.   The three largest U.S. cable operators have offered more than $2.3 billion for airwaves in an auction, a slice big enough to create a new national wireless network.   SpectrumCo LLC, a consortium of cablecos that earlier this year announced a partnership with Sprint, successfully bid for 132 of the licenses including those in highly populated areas in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.   Cablevision itself tendered more than $270 million in bids in its local area.   The newly available spectrum will help the cable companies to offer the so-called quadruple play of services, adding wireless to a bundle that already includes voice, video, and high-speed Internet access.        

Ancient Writing Discovered

September 15, 2006

  The New York Times is reporting on a discovery of a stone slab which bears a heretofore unknown example of writing dating back almost 3,000 years. According to the story, the writing might possibly be the oldest script ever discovered in the Western hemisphere   According to the Times, the discoverers reported that the order and pattern of carved symbols appeared to be that of a true writing system and that it had characteristics strikingly similar to imagery of the Olmec civilization, considered the earliest in the Americas.   The report continues… “Now, scholars are tantalized by a message in stone in a script unlike any other and a text they cannot read. They are excited by the prospect of finding more of this writing, and eventually deciphering it, to crack open a window on one of the most enigmatic ancient civilizations.”   I had the opportunity to inspect samples of the writing myself, and I am convinced that the symbols are actually a secret code, which when deciphered, will identify — once and for all — VoIP’s elusive killer app.

Convergence Alive and Well in Italy

September 15, 2006

Fastweb and Vodafone have announced an agreement to offer converged fixed and mobile services to customers.   Under the terms of the agreement, customers subscribing to the mobile giant’s existing Vodafone Casa service will have access to broadband Internet access, via high-speed ADSL modem to access Fastweb's broadband network.   As TMC’s Erik Linask reported in August, Vodaphone Casa offers subscribers the opportunity to pay only one monthly phone bill (i.e., discontinue use of their landline phones), cutting monthly costs substantially. Customers will continue to pay for cell phone usage in most areas, but, in their self-defined ‘home zone,’ will pay lower-cost landline rates. While subscribing to Vodafone Casa will slightly increase monthly rates, consumers will still pay less overall for their monthly telephony service. They will also have the added benefit of being having a single number and a single handset for both home and mobile use.   Vodafone is deploying Lucent’s SurePay Real Time Rating and Charging Suite to determine where a call is originated.

Packet8 Intros PC-based Softphone

September 14, 2006

I had the opportunity to speak with 8x8, Inc., CEO Bryan R. Martin at the recent voice on the net conference. We spoke about a number of things including the recently launched Packet8 Softalk Office, a PC-based softphone designed for use with Packet8’s Virtual Office hosted PBX business phone service.   The new solution gives subscribers access to a full-featured softphone extension directly from a PC without the need for a separate Virtual Office telephone. An easy-to-use graphic keypad functions as the main user interface, allowing for quick access to both basic and advanced Virtual Office calling features.   Softalk Office users have access to all of the same corporate-class PBX calling features offered with the Packet8 Virtual Office service.   The service is priced at $9.99 per month and includes 200 minutes of calling in the U.S. and Canada and 3.5 cents a minute thereafter.   For more on 8x8 or the Packet8 VoIP Services for SMB and Residential, check out their online Community.

XConnect Acquires iPeerX

September 12, 2006

As Andy confirmed yesterday, X marks the spot.   XConnect is set to announce news that it has acquired IPeerX, a U.S. based VoIP peering company.
Founded in 2003, IPeerX was developed around the more than 100 VoIP companies that peer with Free World Dialup.
The acquisition of IPeerX comes on the heels of XConnect’s acquisition in May of, the Germany-based Carrier ENUM Exchange. This brings the total XConnect membership to approximately 300 service providers in 30 countries, together contributing over eight million active VoIP numbers to XConnect’s ENUM Registry as well as a further 120 million numbers registered for future use.

Open Source Whitepaper Offer

September 8, 2006

My good friends over at Sangoma Technologies have made available a new Whitepaper called:   The Evolving Role of Hardware as a Key Enabler of Open Source Telephony in the Business Market.   Here’s a brief synopsis:   The business telephony market is undergoing radical transformation due to the advent of disruptive technologies such as Internet Protocol and open source software. IP-based alternatives are now gaining acceptance, and open source-based telephony solutions are opening up new markets for the functionality that previously required an expensive PBX system. Open source telephony solutions are largely software-based but require a hardware component for PSTN connectivity.   Authored by Jon Arnold & Associates in conjunction with Sangoma Technologies, this Whitepaper addresses the drivers behind open source telephony and how open source solutions are evolving.   If you are interested in downloading this whitepaper, just click here.

Join Me For a Webinar!

September 6, 2006

Hi folks. I’ll be moderating a Webinar on September 20, 2006 at 2:00 pm EST titled   Keeping a Lid on Broadband Customer Service Costs   The event is being hosted by Supportsoft.   And, you are all cordially invited to join me for that. In fact, if you sign up and attend the event, you’ll be in the running to receive a copy of Chris Anderson’s book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.   Here’s a brief synopsis of the Webinar:   Customer support costs can balloon quickly when rolling out new broadband services. And with the growing adoption of triple play offerings, problems are even more acute.

Testing VoIP via BlackBerry

September 1, 2006

For starters they’re small. They’re also pervasive, addictive, and frankly ever more applicable to most any use: e-mail, voice, and now apparently VoIP Testing! I’m talking of course about the BlackBerry.   Minacom, a leader in VoIP test systems for telcos and cable MSOs, today introduced residential VoIP service quality testing using BlackBerry wireless devices, which now support Minacom’s PocketDQ Web-based VoIP testing client.   Using PocketDQ on their BlackBerrys, technicians can initiate VoIP tests and review results that benchmark the existing phone service under replacement, verify Multimedia Terminal Adapter (MTA) installation, validate VoIP service quality, and identify inside wiring problems. Results are presented in a simple pass/fail on-screen report.   Tests are conducted by Minacom’s PowerProbe 6000 Service Level Test Probe.
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