Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

March 2007

You are browsing the archive for March 2007.

On Verizon's FIOS, Vonage Satisfies

March 30, 2007

I stumbled across a site featuring a blogger who goes by the moniker “Mr. Credit Card,” who bills himself as an expert adviser on topics like choosing a credit card. While I was not looking for any credit card information, I was stunned when I saw that the blog had a recent entry (this afternoon in fact) that reviewed Vonage’s VoIP service.   In lieu of what’s been going on these past few weeks with Vonage, (and my own previous post) I simply had to share.   I’m including the link to Mr. CreditCard’s Vonage VOIP Phone Service" href="">Review of Vonage VOIP Phone Service, and I’m only going to feature several notable quotes. For the full review (and for some pretty helpful credit card related advice), please click here.   It’s been a year since I signed up for Vonage’s service. And I have to say that I am very happy about it.

Another Rough Week for Vonage

March 30, 2007

Embattled VoIP provider Vonage began the week expressing confidence in its ability to win an appeal against Verizon and chastising the market for "over-reacting" to its legal set-backs.   And Vonage ended the week with the “bold” news that they have created a news hotline for those subscribers who are pressed for time. Apparently Vonage subscribers can simply dial 700-GET-NEWS at no extra charge to get the latest headlines from around the world spoken right over the phone from Reuters news service.   I don’t believe Verizon has laid any patent claims to this service yet, but I’m not willing to lay any money on the line.   The pitch for coverage came to me as follows:   “At cocktail parties, around the water cooler or over grande lattes at the local coffee shop, everyone loves a well-informed conversationalist. But who these days has time to catch the evening news or read the paper — or even boot up a computer — wait — log on and surf to an Internet news site? Your latte will be cold by the time you find the news you're looking for.”   Apparently the service will allow users to:   “…Call 700-GET-NEWS whenever it's convenient and brush up on global politics, finance, sports, entertainment and much more; now even PTA meetings and soccer practice will never be dull again.”   Tonight’s top news item on 700-GET NEWS?

More on Vonage v. Verizon

March 29, 2007

I received an interesting comment today on the ongoing Verizon vs. Vonage situation. “jay” writes that based on prior art — specifically Lucent’s MMCX — it’s a wonder Verizon was ever granted patents to begin with.   Phillip Wolfe opines that we need to have more transparency when it comes to the three patents at the center of this case.   Check out what jay and Phillip have to say as well as all the other comments on TMCnet’s Verizon vs. Vonage comments page.  

CTIA: Nuance Communications News

March 28, 2007

  Nuance Communications, Inc., announced a series of new solutions at CTIA this week. The company introduced Nuance Vocalizer for Mobile, a text-to-speech (TTS) solution designed to improve the sound and quality of automated speech on mobile handsets.   The solution is essentially a follow-on to Nuance’s RealSpeak TTS (text-to-speech) offering. According to the company, applications for the technology range from SMS or e-mail readout to spoken caller ID or verbal turn-by-turn directions for phone-based navigation applications, or screen readers for the blind and the animation of avatars.   “Nuance continues to deliver innovations in the speech industry that have the potential to impact the lives of everyone who uses a mobile phone,” said Craig Peddie, vice president, embedded speech solutions, Nuance.   Nuance Vocalizer will be launched in May 2007 and will be available on a suite of Nokia devices. The solution will be available in 35 voices for a total of 24 languages before the end of the year.

Nortel Microsoft to Enable Hosted Unified Communications

March 28, 2007

The Nortel/Microsoft Innovative Communications Alliance made news this morning, by delivering a set of solutions that will enable service providers to deliver comprehensive unified communications services to small and medium business (SMBs) and enterprises.   A.K.A. The Hosted Model.   This is not necessarily a surprise, as it was expected from the get-go that the Nortel/Microsoft alliance would offer carriers the ability to supply unified communications services to their enterprise customers.   The release follows below.     Nortel and Microsoft to Deliver Carrier-Hosted Unified Communications   New Converged Office Innovations Benefit Service Providers and Businesses Alike   ORLANDO – Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] and Microsoft Corp. are expanding their efforts to drive the widespread adoption of unified communications among businesses around the world. Building on their existing Innovative Communications Alliance (ICA), the companies plan to offer solutions that will enable service providers to deliver comprehensive unified communications services to small and medium business (SMBs) and enterprises.

CTIA: Disney Mobile

March 28, 2007

What would a wireless show be without an MVNO? And what would Orlando be without Disney?   I had the opportunity to touch base with Disney Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that is geared to meeting the needs of parents and kids from the ages of 5–14.   Disney Mobile preannounced a series of services and enhancements to its suite of entertainment and family friendly features including an application featuring hooks into content featured on the Disney channel. They also announced a new Samsung handset, which sports a clamshell design and features a VGA camera and is Bluetooth enabled.   Some interesting forthcoming features and services that I discussed with Disney Mobile’s VP of business development strategy Mark Young, included the addition of a Photo application and a Family Calendar application that will be added to an existing set of apps (including a pervasive broadcast IP alert that can be sent to up to six phones; a GPS locator and parental call control options).   Disney Mobile is definitely playing to the company’s heritage with their entertainment applications with strong links to classic children’s content via a variety of media including Radio Disney, the Disney Channel and hooks into the company’s redesigned Web site at    

CTIA: DragonWave's Horizon Compact

March 27, 2007

I first met DragonWave at their offices in Kanata, as part of a whirlwind tour of that telecom heavy suburb of Ottawa. We were visiting a number of the so-called Terry Matthews companies and we had very little time to discuss wireless backhaul with the good folks at DragonWave.   Well today at CTIA, I had the good fortune of spending some quality time with Greg Friesen, director of product management at the Canadian company.   We spent the entirety of the meeting discussing DragonWave’s latest offering, the Horizon Compact. The first entry into the planned line of products that will wear the Horizon name is a single-unit, native gig-E microwave transmission system with a 400MB capacity (800 MB in full-duplex deployment) for enabling wireless backhaul/carrier Ethernet services.   Generally available in April, the Horizon Compact is billed as a ‘quick-payback’ solution designed to offer a full evolution path to all-IP networks as well as being a low-delay solution perfect for 4G deployments.   Key to the design is the Compact’s all-in-one configuration, which combines all the IDU and ODU functionality in a single 9-inch square outdoor device that can be outfitted with either a standard 12-inch antenna, or a custom designed 6-inch dish. According to Friesen, the device is easy to deploy, with a full suite of network management options.   According to Emmy Johnson, founder and principal analyst with Sky Light Research, “Horizon Compact helps solve the growing backhaul problem for carriers wishing to deploy WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) or other 4G personal broadband solutions.”   DragonWave can be found online at  

CTIA: PriceWaterhouseCoopers

March 27, 2007

Today at CTIA Wireless, PriceWaterhouseCoopers released a study entitled How To Realize The Full Potential Of Enterprise Mobility.   I met with Christopher Isaac, principal with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and we discussed, among other things, the fact that many companies in the enterprise mobility (EMobility) space are possibly focusing too much on technology and not enough on the business impact of adopting an enterprise mobility strategy.   Isaac also told me that increasingly the C-suite of enterprise decision makers needs to be involved in making the choice to seek out technologies that will help their businesses.   According to the report, PriceWaterhouseCoopers believes the overall market for enterprise mobility (including services, consulting, equipment, handsets, etc…) will reach $100B by 2009.   “The status quo will change significantly by 2009,” said Isaac, “As the industry evolves, there is a limited window of opportunity for market participants to reposition themselves. In order to maximize this opportunity, EMobility participants need to move quickly and open their business models to alliances and innovation. The most successful EMobility businesses will have an open, agile model that encourages innovation via alliances and partnerships and also demonstrates a willingness to cede short-term control for the sake of long-term growth.”   After 2009, the report concludes the market may experience a more intense boom as standardized applications become widely available over high-speed networks.   According to the research, PriceWaterhouseCoopers believes that large-scale industry cooperation and collaboration will be essential to the success of EMobility.   The report concludes several recommended actions for various industry constituents:  
  • For the enterprise customer: Take control of business transformation.
  • For enterprise mobility suppliers: Cultivate a portfolio of alliances.
  • For infrastructure and device manufacturers: Manage risk through collaboration.
  • For software providers: Collaborate to exploit horizontal opportunities.
  • For system integrators and business consultants: Focus on business processes.

CTIA: Day 1

March 27, 2007

Today was a busy day of briefings at CTIA.   Amazingly enough I was able to stay on schedule throughout the event, even stumbling upon a vendor who was delayed due to other members of the media who could not make it from meeting to meeting across the vast expanse of the convention center.   And my worst scheduling nightmares came true this afternoon when I had a series of meetings that alternated between the vendor briefing center in Hall E and the exhibit hall. Suffice it to say the distance between the two areas is vast.   Nevertheless, I got a bunch of good information, including some scoop in the unified communications space that I’ll be able to share in the morning.   I haven’t attended a trade show in the wireless space in quite a while, and it was nice to catch up with the vendor community serving this market. It was also great to see some old faces, including a former colleague (Matt Vartabedian) who now works for wireless analyst firm IGR.   In any event, I plan to report on my experiences here this week, so stay tuned. I’m about to post a story on what PriceWaterhouseCoopers is doing at CTIA.

Microsoft Announces IP Phone System

March 19, 2007

 Today (Monday 3/19) at the company’s annual Small Business Summit, Microsoft unveiled a small-business IP phone system, code-named “Response Point.”   Yes that’s right, Microsoft has announced an IP phone system, and they say it will be generally available later this year. The Beta 2 release of “Response Point” is scheduled for early April.   Now in beta testing, the system is being hailed as being easy to install and manage. “Response Point” will be available in three models based on hardware from D-Link, Quanta, and Uniden.   According to Xuedong Huang, general manager of the “Response Point” team at Microsoft, “I am proud and honored to work with leaders in the computing, telephony and networking fields to bring ‘Response Point’ to market.

Follow-up: Samsung's OfficeServ 7100

March 15, 2007

  A couple of weeks ago I promised to share with our readers some more information on the Samsung OfficeServ 7100, the company’s converged IP PBX for small businesses that soft launched at the beginning of March. At the time, I met with Samsung Business Communications’ director of marketing and business development Ann Irwin, who told me a bit about the latest product offering from Samsung.   Well I’ve since received a bit more information on the product, which is set to make its debut on April 19 at the upcoming Graybar technology summit.   I asked the Samsung team to describe some of the key benefits of the forthcoming OfficeServ7100 solution, and they echoed their comments from our earlier meeting with regard to simplicity and flexibility.   According to Samsung, the primary takeaway is that the smaller end (25 employees and under) of the SMB marketplace finally gets a product designed for them that is affordable, simple, and quick to install, with full converged IP power in a pre-packaged/pre-labeled/pre-programmed system solution.   They also pointed out to me that the solution is designed to grow with the user, allowing reuse of all the phone sets and modules, which would allow users to buy the resources they need today and reinvest it in the future when the situation calls for it.   I also asked them about their distribution plans for the new product. Here’s what they said:   “Samsung’s distribution Plans for the OS7100 will maximize strengths in both direct and two-tier channels, utilizing the wide-scale penetration of our new national distributor Graybar including Graybar’s Call Center, and also Samsung’s current established Regional Distributors. And of course, the 7100 will also be available from Samsung’s Certified Direct Dealers.”   Lastly, I’d heard so much about Samsung’s commitment to quality in previous conversations with the company, that I thought I would share some of what I learned.

Verizon v Vonage What Say You?

March 15, 2007

If you haven’t seen it yet, TMC has created a Verizon vs. Vonage Comments page, where the industry’s thought leaders are submitting their thoughts on the case and how the ruling might shape the industry in the weeks and months ahead.   The most recent comment is from Matthew Schulman, a Regulatory Consultant with REGNUM GROUP, INC., who believes the ruling has far greater implications than the fines levied against Vonage. He recommends that the VoIP industry examines the “benefits of laissez-faire policies” in order to “seek protection from the entities that it initially wanted to avoid.” Schulman fears that this case may have a tremendous impact on the entire telecom industry.   To check out Schulman’s full comments and to see what the other industry leaders have to say, check out the Verizon vs Vonage Comments page.   And if the spirit so moves you, I invite you to submit your own comments, either via the “Add to this discussion” tool at the bottom of the page, or by sending e-mail directly to me.

Done Deal. Microsoft Acquires Tellme

March 14, 2007

  It’s official. As was alluded to yesterday Microsoft will acquire Tellme after all. I’m pasting the full text of the press release I just got from the Microsoft team.   Of note: Financial terms were not disclosed.         Microsoft to Acquire Tellme Networks Combined expertise will bring the power of voice technology to everyday life.   REDMOND, Wash. — March 14, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it will acquire Tellme Networks, Inc., a leading provider of voice services for everyday life, including nationwide directory assistance, enterprise customer service and voice-enabled mobile search. Microsoft and Tellme share a vision around the potential of speech as a way to enable access to information, locate other people and enhance business processes, any time and from any device.

Scott Coleman on Lawful Intercept

March 13, 2007

Scott Coleman has a new post on his Demystifying Lawful Intercept and CALEA blog today.   In today’s entry, Scott answers the question: How Long Do I Get To Implement A Wiretap Request?   Scott discusses the requirements and the expectations that go hand in hand with requesting a wiretap as well as the start & stop dates, the duration of the wiretap, etc…   You should definitely check it out.   Just a reminder for those VoIP providers who might have their head planted in the sand: The May 14 CALEA compliance deadline for “facilities-based broadband” and “inter-connected VoIP” providers is just around the corner. Only two months remain.

Report Has Tellme to Microsoft for $800 Million

March 13, 2007

Tellme? Try sell me.   The Wall St. Journal is reporting that long-rumored talks of Microsoft purchasing Mountain View, CA-based Tellme Networks might be inching closer to becoming a reality.   Tellme, which specializes in Web-based voice by combining Internet data and a voice interface is said to be worth upwards of $800 million to the Redmond giant, which if true, would make it one of the most expensive acquisitions ever carried out by Microsoft.   According to Om Malik’s blog, Microsoft is willing to place such a huge bet because the stakes in voice-activated mobile search are so high. Malik refers to a May 2006 quote by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, where Ballmer tells the Wall Street Journal, “The leading edge battleground between us and Google in local search really will come on the phone.”   According to Malik, “…on mobile phones the search business is still up for grabs… and  with Windows Mobile growing like crazy… Tellme’s technology could make Windows Mobile phone infinitely more user friendly.”   Tellme is led by CEO Mike McCue, who is one of the original founders. Prior to founding Tellme, Mike worked at Netscape as Vice President of Technology.

Vonage Hangs Tough

March 12, 2007

The aftershocks of last week’s Verizon court victory over Vonage are still being felt throughout the VoIP industry.   Last week, a federal court found that has found that Vonage Holdings Corp. infringed on three key patents owned by Verizon Communications, Inc.   An eight-member jury found that Vonage must pay Verizon $58 million in past damages. The jury also declared that Vonage must pay a 5.5 percent royalty rate on any sales going forward.   Immediately after the verdict was issued, Verizon requested an injunction that would prevent Vonage from using the technologies covered by the patents.   Jan Dawson, VP of the U.S. Enterprise Practice of Ovum believes the lawsuit and the subsequent request for an injunction are designed with an end goal of shutting the Holmdel, NJ-based Vonage down.   According to Dawson, “Verizon is asking for an injunction which will effectively close Vonage down, so if that goes through, it would affect any other VoIP provider that has the same technology,” said Dawson.   “This case could have a ripple effect across the whole VoIP market. There are lots of other, smaller players who stand to be hit,” he went on, citing in particular 8x8 Inc., the company behind the Packet8 Broadband Phone Service, and SunRocket, Inc., which operates the SunRocket Internet Phone Service.

Lincoln U Deploys Alca-Lu...

March 7, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent announced that Jefferson City, MO-based Lincoln University has deployed Alcatel-Lucent’s higher education solution, for a complete network transformation of its entire campus with the help of two business partners, CT Innovations and Melsernet.   Lincoln University’s new converged network includes a full range of voice, data, wireless and security services, supported by a 10 Gigabit backbone to accommodate additional applications and capabilities in the future, such as video conferencing, lectures or learning outside the classroom.   This deployment is in keeping with Alcatel-Lucent’s recently articulated message that they intend to continue building their enterprise business with a goal of becoming a “heavier hitter” in the North American enterprise space. This of course includes their historical focus on vertical markets, which includes education.   The new network includes over 700 IP phones for staff and faculty, 750 analog ports for students and nearly 3,000 data ports across its campus.  

Nortel News Update

March 7, 2007

Nortel announced some big things this week. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Paul Templeton, GM, Enterprise Voice and Sanjeev Gupta director of Nortel's Ethernet business.   Among the things we spoke about was a new version (Release 5) of the CS 1000, which is designed to provide improved reliability and redundancy, enhanced network and voice call security and new E911 capabilities, This new release will deliver unified communications capabilities as part of the Innovative Communications Alliance with Microsoft that was announced last year and built upon this past January.   A key feature of the new release is that it will be offered on industry standard hardware platforms such as those offered by IBM and other suppliers.   Additionally Nortel announced a new release of the Multimedia Communication Server (MCS) 5100. With this new release, Nortel hopes to improve users’ productivity by offering integration of telephony and multimedia applications within IBM Lotus Notes. The revamped MCS 5100 also features improved and simplified collaboration capabilities and enhanced mobility capabilities designed to provide a rich communications experience for mobile workers.

Skype Hits Half Billion Download Mark

March 7, 2007

Skype announced today that its software has been downloaded more than 500 million times by users around the world.   It took them slightly over 42 months to reach this milestone.   The release quoted CEO and co-founder Niklas Zennstrom:   "The entire Skype team owes its success to the global community of registered users we have today who tell their loved ones how much they enjoy using Skype. We’re absolutely delighted that so many people are embracing Skype and speaking to friends or family all over the world for free or very little cost."

FCC Recognizes VoIP Provider's Rights

March 6, 2007

Looks like the FCC is recognizing the rights of VoIP service providers to be granted access to incumbent local phone companies’ lines.   A petition brought by Time Warner after  attempts to access local lines were denied in Nebraska and South Carolina  set the process in motion.   Said Thomas Navin of the FCC wireline competition bureau, carriers "…are entitled to interconnect and exchange traffic with incumbent local exchange carriers when providing services to other service providers, including VoIP service providers."   Granted the rules in most states already allow VoIP carriers access to the lines of local phone companies, so this is not as earth-shattering as it may seem up front, but nevertheless it can serve as a victory for VoIP providers.

Monday Highlights: Sipera, Samsung, Aspect

March 6, 2007

I’m down in Orlando this week at VoiceCon, and I’ve already had some interesting meetings with several companies.   Sipera Systems made a couple of announcements. I spoke with director of marketing Brendan Ziolo, who told me that the company released the latest in their IPCS family, the IPCS 210. Key takeways include the fact that this product fills a need at the lower end of the scale, as it is designed to serve up to 200 users. Previous IPCS offerings were designed for 1,000 to 10,000 to 100,000 users.

Joost, YouTube Announce Content Partnerships

March 2, 2007

Joost has announced a deal to carry content from global video carrier JumpTV, Inc. that will will bring a whole slate of international or ethnic programming to the fledgling Internet TV provider. JumpTV owns the rights to television shows from networks in 70 countries. The company’s business model is to pipe the shows over the Internet, and sell advertisements and subscriptions. The programming is geared towards expats and ethnic communities.   Joost, until recently operating under the code name ‘The Venice Project,’ is the brainchild of Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis.
Featured Events