Thursday, March 31, 2005

Telstra Launches Global VoIP Solution

News Release: Telstra Incorporated, a leading global provider of advanced communications services to multinational corporations, announced today the availability of T-VoIP, its global VoIP offering. T-VoIP provides multinational corporations with a quality solution to control, manage and reduce global telecommunications costs.
"T-VoIP is based on Telstra’s global IP VPN platform that is backed by our service level agreements (SLAs), delivering highly reliable, integrated IP packetized voice service," said Dan Kerth, President and COO, Telstra Incorporated. "Companies can combine voice and data traffic to maximize their return on investment and through lower off-net rates, reduce the cost once associated with sending on-net and off-net voice traffic over a public switched network."

Through the use of T-VOIP, companies are able to interconnect geographically dispersed PBXs over a "virtual private network", thus avoiding the high price of international toll calls between office locations. Companies with small branch offices up to very large sites can be supported with access speeds ranging from 128 Kbps through 155 Mbps. In a converged scenario, voice and data traffic share the same local access loop, reducing the number of access loops required to obtain services.

"T-VoIP has the ability to simplify a company’s network and streamline costs associated with voice and data," said Ilissa Miller, Product Marketing Manager."A monthly rate for the on-net calling plan provides customers with virtually unlimited intra-company calls. In addition, off-net is provided at a flat rate per termination country, independent of the country of origin."

To help companies realize the benefits of converged voice and data provided by T-VoIP Telstra is offering companies a free analysis of their networking needs to determine if a global IP voice VPN is right for them and if they are among the majority of companies who can save up to 40% by combining global voice and data service using T-VoIP.

VoIP + Content = Revenue Generating Possibilities

News Release: Viseon, Inc., a global developer of broadband personal communications solutions for VoIP, today announced the multimedia version (MM) of its VisiFone Digital Home Telephone for VoIP. The VisiFone MM enables users to view personalized content and information automatically at any time they choose, on the large 10.4 inch color
TFT/LCD screen in full motion video.

The new VisiFone is the first fully digital home telephone for VoIP services. It provides new features unique to VoIP, including digital wideband audio in the handset and speakerphone as well as TV-quality two-way video calling and on-screen VoIP feature management control. The VisiFone MM also empowers consumers to view new personalized content and information such as news, weather, sports and stock quotes. Consumers will be able to instantly view a variety of content from partners, including broadcast and cable TV networks and prominent web portals.

With the VisiFone MM, consumers will be able to view "what they want, when they want it" and even instantly interact with the content provider or sponsor on their VisiFone by audio or video call. Consumers can customize the content to be displayed on the VisiFone at chosen intervals throughout the day. For example, have the VisiFone display the local traffic report and live traffic cam feeds on demand every morning prior to their morning commute.

To aggregate content and sponsors for the VisiFone, Viseon previously announced the formation of ViseonMedia (VMN, LLC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Viseon, Inc. ViseonMedia has entered into agreements with various sponsors and marketing partners to deliver selected programming to VisiFone users throughout the globe. ViseonMedia will work directly with the VoIP carriers to develop content and information services for access by their VisiFone MM equipped subscribers.

"The VisiFone MM and ViseonMedia’s exclusive programming provides VoIP carriers with a compelling tool to attract new subscribers to the rich world of digital telephony," said John Harris, Viseon CEO and president.
"The VisiFone provides the best "telephony" ever experienced. Its multimedia features and two-way videophone capabilities will show consumers that VoIP is clearly better than plain old circuit switched telephone service."

The new VisiFone MM complements the initial 5.6 inch screen version of the VisiFone announced in January, which begins shipping to carriers in June. The VisiFone MM will be available to carriers later in 2005.

For further information, please see the company websites at www.viseon.com and www.viseonmedia.com, or visit Viseon’s booth # 5287 at The 2005 National Show, April 3-5 in San Francisco, Moscone Center.

Businesses Bullish On VoIP, But Consumers Remain Leery: Survey

'Voice over IP (VoIP) is gaining a foothold in U.S. businesses, even though consumers are still hesitant to commit to the technology, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive.

In its just-published "2005 Telecommunications Report," Harris Interactive found that 87% of business decision-makers are familiar with VoIP and, of that number, 12% currently use it in their organizations. In contrast, VoIP lacks mindshare among consumers. The survey found that only 35% of consumers as a whole are aware of the technology and only three percent of them currently use it.'

More at: Businesses Bullish On VoIP, But Consumers Remain Leery: Survey

Top Ten VoIP Predictions

The VoIP Weblog has their top 10 VoIP predictions - here's how it starts:
'10. You’ll give out your email address instead of your phone number. (Later)
9. Disparate telephone networks (cell, PSTN, etc.) will eventually migrate to VoIP. (Later)
8. Long distance calls will be free, as a rule. In fact, the concept of long distance will eventually disappear. (Sooner)
7. Wireless calls, even packet-based ones, will have quality of service comparable to wireline calls. (Later)...'

Continue reading Ted’s Top Ten VoIP Predictions - The VoIP Weblog

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Search Engines and VoIP

'You may have heard some rumors about major search engines becoming interested in VoIP. But VoIP is a telephony technology; it has nothing to do with search, right? Well...yes and no. Keep reading to find out the connection, and why those who advertise with search engines should sit up and take notice of the potential behind this technological pairing.

Rumors run rampant in any field where a lot of money is at stake, and that’s as true in technology as it is elsewhere. Some of the latest rumors in the SEO field say that Google and several of the other top search engines (Yahoo and MSN in particular) are looking to get into voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP), a growing field that already boasts a respectable number of competitors. The first question that comes to mind is, do these rumors have any basis in fact? This is rapidly followed by the second question: why?'

Continue Reading Search Engines and VoIP: Why?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Juniper buys into VOIP

'Juniper Networks has agreed to pay $67.5 million to purchase Kagoor Networks, which makes software to secure high-quality VoIP connections.
The deal was one of three acquisitions in the security sector. Computer Associates announced it will purchase a mainframe identity and access management product line from InfoSec, based in North Barrington, Illinois, for an undisclosed amount. Oracle said it completed the purchase of access management company Oblix, also for an undisclosed amount.

Juniper’s buy of San Mateo, California-based Kagoor Networks will strengthen its ability to route VoIP calls securely through its firewall products. Kagoor makes software that facilitates real-time IP traffic flow.

The acquisition will help companies build, “…IP-based infranets that deliver the quality and assurance of private networks,” said Juniper executive vice president Jim Dolce. Kagoor Networks had revenue of less than $5 million in 2004.'
Continue reading Juniper buys Kagoor

Empirix Tests Voice Bridging

'Empirix Inc., the industry's leading supplier of VoIP testing systems, today announced that multiple Hammer(TM) test platforms were used to verify the performance and interoperability of voice bridging and voice over wireless equipment in a multi-vendor test of enterprise "triple play" services, staged by the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL).

Hammer FX(TM) (functional), Hammer NXT(TM) (load), and Hammer Call Analyzer(TM) tools for testing voice traffic handling behavior were utilized as part of the March 21-25 UNH-IOL event, designed to simulate how voice, video and data would actually be deployed in a large wired and wireless corporate LAN, serving multiple offices on a distributed campus.'
Continue Reading Empirix Tests Voice Bridging

Monday, March 28, 2005

Everyone Fear Non-Existent Wireless VoIP

'You can't really go a month in the wireless world without hearing of the next big "threat" to some wireless technology. This month it's wireless VoIP that's going to take down just about everything else in the wireless space. That might be a tad optimistic.

There's just something about vaporware that makes people assume it's going to be a whole lot more than it actually will be. That's why there are always predictions about some non-existent technology "killing off" some very much existing technology. While it's a nice thought, it's usually not that easy. An existing technology isn't always easy to knock off its pedestal, and the ecosystem of support that it's built up tends to fight back against obsolescence. Furthermore, most of the technologies that are supposed to be "dead" have time to adjust before the new technology actually shows up. Meanwhile, the new technology actually has to come to market and work -- a challenge in its own way.

However, the latest such technology that's getting all the hype is "wireless VoIP" which seems to be a slight extension on the earlier concept of VoIP over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi). With wireless VoIP, that wireless connection can be anything from Wi-Fi to WiMAX (when that exists, too) to 3G technologies and plenty of others in between. However, the list of what wireless VoIP is suddenly expected to kill keeps getting longer. First, it's going to destroy 3G offerings. Then, apparently, wireless VoIP will move on to kill Bluetooth, which appears to be quite the apples vs. oranges comparison. Still, it's only fitting for Bluetooth, which is a technology that appears to have become the Kenny from South Park of the wireless industry -- killed every week, only to reappear looking healthy the following week.'
More at: Everyone Fear Non-Existent Wireless VoIP

The coming price war in the VoIP phone market

'In terms of enterprise VoIP deployment,I think much of the battle will be fought over the "form factor" - which type of device VoIP subscribers will use to access their services.

Specialized VoIP phones offer call configuration, control, management and data import capabilities that traditional phones tied in to the VoIP network via an Analog Terminal Adapter and a router cannot. Yet such phones are pricey.

According to a Reuters story, VoIP phone prices now average around $250 per set. For some budget-conscious enterprises, that could be a barrier to use.

But perhaps not for long. The same article foresees that aggressive price promotions from well-capitalized VoIP phone manufacturers such as Cisco Systems could push prices even lower. How low is a subject of contention.'
Read more at » The coming price war in the VoIP phone market | IP Telephony | ZDNet.com

VoIP Progress Can't Come at the Expense of Security

'Most people agree that e-mail spam is out of control. But since the e-mail network isn’t governed by a central authority for identifying and authenticating its users, there’s nothing that can be done about it. A massive shift in thinking is required in order to implement a solution that can eliminate spam—an all-participants-required authentication scheme of some sort. That means, in order to send an e-mail, you have to be who you claim to be.

Lots of proposals have been bandied about. Some rely upon extensions to the DNS system. This is the approach I prefer. That is, if you want to originate mail from a certain domain, you must provide an authentication token that’s congruent with the domain’s public key or security certificate. Suddenly, e-mail will be harder to use. Microsoft’s response has been to propose an elaborate, reactive solution that is more inclusive of SMTP’s software legacy. But in the long term, if we want to be free of spam, the system is going to need an overhaul, not an overlay.'
Source: VoIP Progress Can’t Come at the Expense of Security

Clearwire May Block VoIP Competitors

'Someday, customers of wireless broadband provider Clearwire Corp. may be able to use Voice over IP services. But right now, Craig McCaw's newest company is giving its customers the silent treatment by apparently blocking outside VoIP providers from its network.

In what the company claims is an effort to preserve the performance of its pre-standard WiMAX network, Clearwire says it reserves the right to prohibit the use of a wide range of bandwidth-hungry applications, a list that apparently includes VoIP as well as the uploading or downloading of streaming video or audio, and high-traffic Web site hosting. According to the company's terms of service, Clearwire reserves the right to restrict access or terminate service to customers who don't comply with its rules.

While a company executive claimed the restrictions were necessary to ensure network performance reliability, Clearwire could not explain how that issue would be resolved when it offers its own VoIP services in the near future. Earlier this month, Clearwire signed an agreement with Bell Canada under which Bell Canada will provide VoIP systems and services for Clearwire, at a date and price yet to be announced.'
Source Clearwire May Block VoIP Competitors

Skype v1.2 Released

'Skype, the Global Internet Telephony Company, today launched Skype for Windows version 1.2 (v 1.2) with enhanced user benefits including a centralized Contacts list, which allows users access to their list of contacts from multiple devices from wherever they connect to Skype, and a new ‘Getting Started Wizard,’ which makes finding friends, importing contacts and making test calls even easier.

Skype is the leading VOIP-category product worldwide, with more than 31 million registered users growing by more than 160,000 new users per day. More than 6 billion minutes of Skype calls have been made by users around the world who have enjoyed the instantly downloadable, easy-to-use software.'
Read more at Skype v1.2 Released

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Wireless VoIP Threatens Cell Carriers

'Wireless voice-over-IP poses a significant threat to cellular operators and likely could reduce their revenues, a study released Tuesday by U.K. market research firm Analysys claims.

In fact, decreasing cellular data prices could lead to use of VoIP over 3G networks, meaning that cellular operators will be losing voice revenues to themselves, the author of the study said.

"VoIP may look more attractive to those seeking to bypass mobile operators' voice tariffs, particularly if an opportunity to undercut those tariffs using VoIP arises due to significant falls in 3G data pricing," report co-author Dr. Mark Heath said in a statement. "A number of mobile operators have launched unlimited-use data tariffs that could make them vulnerable to customers using VoIP to cut their spend."'
Source: Wireless VoIP Threatens Cell Carriers

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Level 3 withdraws request for VoIP fee ruling

'One of the most important Internet telephony rulings of the year was expected from federal regulators Tuesday, but now it won't happen.

In a surprise move, an Internet telephony company that had asked the Federal Communications Commission for the ruling said late Monday that it was withdrawing its request.

Level 3 Communications had been telling the FCC that the company should be able to pay lower fees to local telephone companies to begin or end voice calls on their networks. The decision from the FCC was expected to have a far-reaching effect on the voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, industry. If Level 3 had lost, the prices for some VoIP calls could have jumped.'
Read more at Level 3 withdraws request for VoIP fee ruling

Phishing by phone--VoIP raises security concerns

'Internet phone services have drawn millions of users looking for rock-bottom rates. Now they're also attracting identity thieves looking to turn stolen credit cards into cash.

Some Internet phone services let scam artists make it appear that they're calling from another phone number--a useful trick that enables them to drain credit accounts and pose as banks or other trusted authorities, online fraud experts say.

"It's like you've handed people an entire phone network," said Lance James, who as chief technology officer of Secure Science sees such scams on a daily basis.'
Read more at Phishing by phone--VoIP raises security concerns

Texas sues Vonage over 911 problem

'The attorney general of Texas is suing Internet phone provider Vonage, charging that the company isn't clear to its customers about deficiencies in its 911 service.

Vonage 911 calls aren't routed in the traditional manner. Rather, most end up at the administrative offices of the 6,000 emergency calls centers rather than dispatchers. According to Abbott, the dangers of the circuitous route were exposed in early March when a 17-year-old Houston girl was unable to get through to police after dialing 911 on a Vonage phone after both her parents were shot by intruders.'
Source: Texas sues Vonage over 911 problem

James Crowe Comments on Withdrawal of Level 3 VoIP Forbearance Petition

'The following statement can be attributed to James Q. Crowe, chief executive officer of Level 3 Communications, Inc. :

“Today, Level 3 withdrew a forbearance petition the company had filed in December 2003 with the Federal Communications Commission seeking to clarify the regulatory status of Voice over IP.

”In the petition, we asked the FCC to reaffirm that legacy interconnection fees called 'access charges' do not apply to a certain class of VoIP traffic. By statute, the agency was required to issue a decision in the matter by March 22, 2005.


“Level 3 has withdrawn the petition in deference to the Commission. Given the appointment of new leadership only three business days before the statutory deadline for ruling on the petition, we determined it was inappropriate to ask the agency to resolve this important issue in the timeframe required by law. However, there remains a pressing need in the industry for clarity in this area, and Level 3 may elect to refile the petition or take other appropriate regulatory actions in the future.'
Read more at James Crowe Comments on Withdrawal of Level 3 VoIP Forbearance Petition

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Scam artists dial for dollars on Internet phones

'Some Internet phone services allow scam artists to make it appear that they are calling from another phone number -- a useful trick that enables them to drain credit accounts and pose as banks or other trusted authorities, online fraud experts say.

"It's like you've handed people an entire phone network," said Lance James, who as chief technology officer of Secure Science Corp. sees such scams on a daily basis.

The emerging scams underline the lower level of security protecting Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, the Internet-calling standard that has upended the telecommunications industry over the past several years.'
Read more at Scam artists dial for dollars on Internet phones

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Con artists dial for dollars on Net phones

'Internet phone services have drawn millions of users looking for rock-bottom rates. Now they're also attracting identity thieves looking to turn stolen credit cards into cash.

Some Internet phone services allow scam artists to make it appear that they are calling from another phone number — a useful trick that enables them to drain credit accounts and pose as banks or other trusted authorities, online fraud experts say.

"It's like you've handed people an entire phone network," said Lance James, who as chief technology officer of Secure Science Corp. sees such scams on a daily basis.

The emerging scams underline the lower level of security protecting Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, the Internet-calling standard that has upended the telecommunications industry over the past several years.'
Read more at Con artists dial for dollars on Net phones

Light Reading Webinar to examine VoIP and security

'As VoIP moves from the environment of cheap or free Internet calls into mission-critical enterprise telephony and carrier PSTN replacement, security matters are becoming more serious and attracting much attention.

Though few attacks have been reported, many vulnerabilities have been uncovered. Is this just poor new software implementation that will improve with real-world experience?

Will VoIP security be an easy addition to a comprehensive security policy?

Or are threats such as eavesdropping, replay attack, message integrity compromise, service theft, denial of service, and others significantly different from previous IP communications threats? And if VoIP security can be fixed, what will it cost?

A Webinar organized by Light Reading will address these issues including service provider and enterprise VoIP security issues, VoIP vulnerabilities and threats, VoIP equipment protection measures and network equipment protection measures.'
Read more at Light Reading Webinar to examine VoIP and security

Friday, March 18, 2005

ISPs Killing off VOIP?

'These are heady days for Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone services. From Vonage to Packet8 to Skype and a hundred more besides, several million people around the world are enjoying really cheap phone calls that are carried primarily over the Internet. But that fun may be diminishing soon because the big Internet service providers, which is to say the big telephone and cable TV companies, are about to start taking back that third-party VoIP traffic, leaving Vonage and the others at a distinct disadvantage.

It has always rankled the telephone companies, especially, to be carrying over their Internet backbones the seeds of their own telephonic destruction. Protected from both regulation and most regulatory fees, VoIP phone service providers have been able to easily undercut the long-distance prices of the Regional Bell Operating Companies and still make good profits. The phone companies -- always slow to react -- did not pay much attention at first to these outfits they collectively refer to as "parasites," but now, with several million lost customers, they are paying VERY close attention indeed.'
Source PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column

Actiontec's Internet Phone Wizard with Skype Review

'Actiontec's Internet Phone Wizard with Skype (IPWS) is essentially a reworked version of its discontinued (but still available) USB Internet Phone Wizard. Both products are used to connect good old analog telephones to Internet-based telephone services. But where the discontinued USB Internet Phone Wizard worked with an assortment of "traditional" VoIP service providers, the IPWS works only with alternative (and free) VoIP provider Skype.'
Read more at Actiontec's Internet Phone Wizard with Skype Review

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Web-based phone service could include 911 snag

'Imagine you wake to the smell of smoke to find your house aflame. You pick up the phone, dial 911 and all you hear is a message telling you that this number is incorrect.

This may be an unforeseen possibility for those who elect to switch their phone service looking for a cheaper, high-tech alternative.

VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is the one of latest trends in telecommunications and is a method of making phone calls via the Internet. The service has many benefits, the biggest being that it can be less expensive and is virtually a portable phone service. However, a potentially dangerous snag comes in the complexities of its 911 system.

The problem arises when a subscriber tries to call from a phone with Internet-based technology, Even though a family’s VoIP service may provide a basic 911 feature, subscribers need to realize that it has to be activated.'
Read more at Web-based phone service could include 911 snag

Square7 Launches First Cordless Skype VoIP Phone

'Square7 has launched the first cordless DECT phone that's compatible with the popular Skype VoIP service. The Olympia Cordless DUALphone is a cordless telephone that can be connected to a normal telephone socket and a USB port on a PC. The display shows whether your friends who also use Skype, are online. If they are, you simply have to press the appropriate green button and talk to them for free - no matter where they are in the world. If their PC is switched off, or you want to call someone who doesn't use Skype, you simply press the other green button and call via the standard telephone connection. The DUALphone is not the only Skype-compatible VoIP phone, though - earlier this month gadget site Firebox.com launched the Cyberphone £29.95 (inc. VAT), although the phone is corded and looks less conventional.'
Source: Square7 Launches First Cordless Skype VoIP Phone

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Ezmax adds VOIP Support to Flash-based MP3 Players

'A Korean MP3 Manufactured called Ezmax has added an interesting feature to their latest EZMP4200P MP3 player, when connected to your systems USB 2.0 port, the included software will allow you to make VOIP calls with the devices built-in microphone.

When connected to your PC a removable disk icon appears, within the disk is a dialing software icon which will enable you to make calls through third party VOIP providers. The current software only works on Windows 2000 and XP operating systems, Ezmax plans to release a Mac OS X version in the near future.'
Read more at Ezmax adds VOIP Support to Flash-based MP3 Players

Internet.com Launches Site Dedicated to VoIP

'Industry pundits and analysts say it; outgoing FCC chairman Michael Powell said it; Internet.com says it: Voice over IP (VoIP) is the future of telephony.

Accordingly, the seasoned technology journalists at the Internet.com network have launched what they believe is the first Web site devoted exclusively to IP voice technology in all its evolving forms.

Enterprise VoIPplanet will, of course, cover current industry News—again, with emphasis on enterprise-related topics.

A Solutions section will follow developing software, hardware, and systems, as well as engineering, architecture, and deployment strategies.'
Read more at Internet.com Launches Site Dedicated to VoIP

VoIPMDU.COM Completes Purchase of Online Live Sports Play-by-Play Streaming Video Website

VoIPMDU.COM announced today that it has completed its Letter of Understanding with INSINC, Vancouver, B.C., and has acquired a 100% interest in an online website providing live and on-demand sports events via streaming video webcasts.

The website, www.liveplaybyplay.com currently offers live webcast and on demand pay-per-view facilities to a wide variety of sports organizations, including ten junior hockey teams, nine horse racing venues, the Vancouver Whitecaps Soccer Team, the Coquitlam Adanacs Lacrosse Team, various university sports teams and several national events such as the Challenge Cup and National Baseball Championships.

"The acquisition of Liveplaybyplay.com fits perfectly into our original plan of offering comprehensive VoIP packages in voice, video and data to consumers and business owners in North America and around the world," stated Richard Kipping, Chairman and CEO of VoIPMDU.COM. "The strongest breakthrough sector within the VoIP industry is the sports subscription business where pay-per-view streaming has become the king," he added.

According to Stat/MDR Research, North American subscribership to online video services is growing at a rate of 50% per year, and by 2007, more than 9 million North American subscribers will pay monthly for digital services. In all, streaming video is projected to generate nearly $400 million in revenue this year and over $ 3.3 billion by the year 2007 in North America.

VoIPMDU.COM will expand its sports streaming video market into several levels of professional and amateur sports, with a focus on junior hockey, which is presently enjoying a massive new fan base with the NHL lockout providing a source of revenue to cash-strapped sports groups. The Company is now in discussion with several junior hockey leagues in western Canada, amateur boxing venues and regional baseball leagues that have virtually no media coverage.

VoIPMDU.COM's joint venture partner, INSINC (www.insinc.com) will provide all the backup services required including broadcasting setup, administration, tech support, help desk functions, customer contact and installation setup.

Skype is enjoying the hype

'Niklas Zennström made a name for himself as cofounder of the Kazaa peer-to-peer (P-to-P) file sharing service. Now the entrepreneurial Swede hopes to make his latest venture, the Skype P-to-P voice service, a household brand.

In recent weeks, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies SA has signed a string of deals with wireless handset manufacturers. Carrier Devices Ltd., for instance, has agreed to install proprietary Skype VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) software in its i-mate branded Pocket PC phones with Wi-Fi capability. Motorola Inc. is also on board to integrate Skype software into a number of its new wireless devices. Another big-name manufacturer on the list is Siemens AG.

In a crowded booth with music blaring in the background, soft-spoken Zennström fielded a number of questions from IDG News Service.'
Read more at Skype is enjoying the hype

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The great open source VoIP debate

'Two weeks ago at the Internet Telephony Conference & Expo in Miami, I had the pleasure of moderating the open source and telephony roundtable discussion with some of the key players in the business. The panel included Mark Spencer, creator of Asterisk and CEO of Digium; Bill Rich, CEO of Pingtel; and Alan Hawrylyshen, CTO of Jasomi Networks. A debate, which was sometimes heated yet always mutually respectful, illustrated philosophical and methodological differences among the three men but left no doubt that each had an important contribution to make in open source and VoIP. The panel fell into two camps on open source VoIP–Asterisk and SIPFoundry.'
Read more at The great open source VoIP debate

VoIP: Targeted for Indecency?

'VoIP somehow made it into United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman Ted Steven’s Response to questions on decency last Friday. Stevens showed signs of including Internet decency regulation in legislation initially proposed to impose penalties for radio and live TV and syndicated broadcast. The chairman was asked if he was still planning for the Commerce Committee to markup the Broadcast Decency bill and if he knew when that would be and also if he was considering expanding that to include cable.

“Why should cable insist that you have to call them because your children have already seen something that you don’t want them to see? Now, we are going to mark it up and I hope cable comes to its senses and understands that I think the American people mean business. I’ve got a thousand e-mails, what not, spurred by the cable industry. We got 10,000 from the public and I believe the public is with us. We ought to find some way to say, here is a block of channels, whether it’s delivered by broadband, by VoIP, by whatever it is, to a home that is clear of the stuff you don’t want your children to see,” responded Stevens.'
Read more at VoIP: Targeted for Indecency?

Emergency networks warn consumers about Internet phones

'The Greater Harris County 911 Emergency Network and other emergency networks across the nation want Federal Communication Commission regulation and changes to the Telecommunications Act that would require so-called Voice over the Internet Protocol providers to offer enhanced 911 to all users.

The FCC announced late last month that it would develop rules for VoIP. FCC Chairman Michael Powell said the FCC would make sure that public safety is protected, either by the industry as it develops the new technology or by the FCC.

Unlike traditional phone technology, VoIP converts the sound of a voice into small packets of data _ about 50 packets for every second of conversation _ scatters them across the Internet, and then reassembles them into sound on the other end of a call.'
Source: Emergency networks warn consumers about Internet phones

Businesses Bullish On VoIP, But Consumers Remain Leery

'Voice over IP (VoIP) is gaining a foothold in U.S. businesses, even though consumers are still hesitant to commit to the technology, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive.

In its just-published "2005 Telecommunications Report," Harris Interactive found that 87% of business decision-makers are familiar with VoIP and, of that number, 12% currently use it in their organizations. In contrast, VoIP lacks mindshare among consumers. The survey found that only 35% of consumers as a whole are aware of the technology and only three percent of them currently use it.

On the whole, businesses are attracted to VoIP primarily by the expected cost savings the technology can provide. According to the Harris Interactive survey, some 72% of businesses that are likely to deploy VoIP this year expect telecom savings of between 11% and 40%. Customer satisfaction is high; some 88% of businesses using VoIP are either somewhat or very satisfied with their service and, of those consumers using the technology, 40% expressed satisfaction.'
More at Businesses Bullish On VoIP, But Consumers Remain Leery

First Nations ISP to offer VoIP through Vonage Canada

'A broadband phone service company and an ISP targeting Canada’s Aboriginal communities have joined forces to deliver affordable Internet phone service to First Nations peoples who have traditionally had limited access to communications infrastructures.

Vonage Canada and Nations Sphere, an Aboriginal company based in Ohsweken, Six Nations of Grand River, Ont., have reached an agreement whereby the ISP will sell Vonage’s broadband phone service under the MetHawk Telenet brand. The deal means that Nations Sphere will be the first Aboriginal ISP to offer broadband Internet and Internet telephone service powered by Vonage’s voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.'
Read more at First Nations ISP to offer VoIP through Vonage Canada

Motorola Announces Development of Canopy WiMAX Platform for International Markets

'Motorola, Inc. used the CTIA exhibition and trade show as the backdrop this week to announce the development of its Canopy WiMAX platform for the licensed 3.5 GigaHertz band, which is available worldwide outside the United States. Planned for general availability in early 2006, the platform includes infrastructure, indoor and outdoor customer premise equipment (CPE) and various management components.

Prototype Canopy WiMAX CPE will be on display at Motorola Booth #3145 during the March 14-16 event in New Orleans.'
Read more at Motorola Announces Development of Canopy(TM) WiMAX Platform for International Markets

AOL: You've got VoIP

'America Online is expected to launch an Internet phone service in the United States next month, leapfrogging rivals in a fast-growing market as it seeks to evolve from an also-ran provider of dial-up Internet access to a broadband services powerhouse.

Like Yahoo and Microsoft, AOL already offers voice chat on PCs as a free feature of its instant messaging services. AOL's new phone service, by contrast, will take a different path, charging customers a monthly fee to make calls over the Internet using an ordinary handset and a small analog-to-digital telephone adapter.

AOL has been testing a U.S.-based phone service with volunteers since last summer, and it launched a similar service in Canada in December. The online giant plans to introduce its VoIP, or voice over Internet Protocol, product to U.S. subscribers in mid-March and then offer it to nonmembers later this year, according to sources familiar with the plan.'
Read more at AOL: You've got VoIP

VoIP to Fuel Plague of 'Dialing for Dollars'

'Voice over IP (VoIP) promises to radically change the way companies do business, but one side effect of less expensive communications threatens to give the whole ecosystem a black eye.

Overseas telemarketers are quickly learning that they can use IP voice calls to “dial for dollars,” getting around both traditional long-distance cost constraints and U.S. Do-Not-Call regulations to flood Internet traffic with phone calls that would make even the most egregious spammer blush.

“If you thought spam was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet,” Burton Group analyst Fred Cohen told internetnews.com. “The average enterprise or household could see as much as 150 calls a day from these telemarketers. It has to happen, because it is a market force that takes the market feedback and makes it into a profitable approach.”'
Source: VoIP to Fuel Plague of 'Dialing for Dollars'

ZDNet Make the Case: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

'Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is one benefit of the convergence between data and telecommunications. Companies today are seeing the value of transporting voice over IP networks to reduce telephone and facsimile costs and to set the stage for advanced multimedia applications and services such as unified messaging, in which voice, fax, and e-mail are all combined. This business case explores the opportunities and benefits that can be realized in the deployment of VoIP product(s) or solution(s), as well as the costs and associated risks involved. However, the template may need customization. Each organization is likely to have unique challenges and opportunities that the business case should address.'
Continue Reading ZDNet Make the Case: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Wireless: NewsFactor Network - Wireless Networking - In Search of Mobile VoIP

'2005 may be the year when wireless consumers finally get their hands on new smartphones that incorporate Wi-Fi Voice over IP ( (VoIP)) capabilities.

The convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular already has gained some traction in the private enterprise world, where business users can take advantage of access to broadband VoIP while in the office, and enjoy wireless cellular coverage when out and about.

But how will the major cellular operators handle the introduction of a new technology that could skewer their existing rate structures? Moreover, when will the long-promised cost savings of VoIP materialize in the mobile enterprise world?'
Read more at In Search of Mobile VoIP

Monday, March 14, 2005

VoIP Poised to Take Flight?

'If everything goes as projected, VoIP (define) penetration will increase from 10 percent of U.S. businesses and organizations in 2005 to 45 percent by the end of 2007, according to the findings of a study conducted by Osterman Research.

The study was based on two online surveys of IT professionals conducted in December, 2004 and January, 2005. The first survey polled 106 respondents selected from Osterman's online panel of approximately 1,000 members, the second polled 103. All were at the manager or administrator level, or "hands-on operations professionals below the CIO level", said Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research.

"Our study basically found two things," Osterman said. "VoIP is definitely gaining traction in enterprise, and the primary reason is the perceived cost savings that comes from the technology."'
Continue reading VoIP Poised to Take Flight?

The Cellphone of the Future - A World of Radios

'Today's mobile phone includes the components and software for multiple cellular standards such as GPRS, EDGE and UMTS. In addition, there is usually a personal area technology such as Bluetooth. But according to ABI Research, the number of radios in the cellphone is set to rise exponentially, in the quest to make the handset a multifunction, multimode communications, information and entertainment device.

It will incorporate GPS for location based services, FM radio and broadcast/satellite based television for entertainment, various flavors of Wi-Fi and eventually WiMAX for data and VoIP communications. It may also include Near Field Communications (NFC), Ultrawideband (UWB), radio frequency identification (RFID), and maybe even Zigbee. The challenges of including the circuitry to support all these functions in the limited size of a handset are obvious.

Alan Varghese, the firm's principal analyst of semiconductor research, asks, "Do some of these technologies solve the same problems, and will they consolidate? Can they work within the handset's small form factor and limited battery capacity? What about heat dissipation, antenna placement, interference and last but not least, price?"'
Read more at The Cellphone of the Future - A World of Radios

Enterprise VoIP Solutions

'If you've yet to launch even a VoIP (voice over IP) pilot, you might feel like the classic lonely guy knocking around his empty apartment while a wild bash rages one flight up. Only instead of missing out on loud music, iffy shrimp cocktail and a screaming morning-after headache, your company is doing without productivity enhancers such as GUI-based soft phones that can integrate with desk phones and address books. The same application may also communicate presence information about the availability of others on the system. In addition, a number of IP PBXs have a "find me, follow me" feature that lets you contact a cell phone if, for example, the office phone doesn't answer. Some will ring an office phone and a cell phone at the same time.'
Read more at Enterprise VoIP Solutions

AOL to Launch Internet-Based Phone Service

'In another sign that Internet telephony is headed for the mainstream, America Online Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to launch a Net-based phone service for some of its members within the month.

The AOL offering will compete with traditional telephone companies, cable firms and the dozens of up-and-coming firms that transmit calls over high-speed Internet connections rather than the traditional telephone network.

Customers will continue to use their traditional phones, but they will plug them into adapters connected to their broadband source rather than the jack provided by the telephone company. Calls are received and placed just like on the old telephone network.'
Read more at AOL to Launch Internet-Based Phone Service

Search Giants Consider Internet Telephone Service

'As the Net phone business starts to take off, can Web portals such as Yahoo be far behind?


That's one of the big questions that will be on the minds of Internet and telecom luminaries as they gather Monday in San Jose, Calif., for Voice on the Net, a conference dedicated to promoting and exploring VoIP, the fast-growing technology for delivering voice calls over Internet Protocol.

Signs of activity in the space are growing, with America Online planning to enter the crowded VoIP arena later this month with its own phone service. That move has heightened speculation that on the horizon are similar announcements from AOL's biggest Web rivals--Yahoo, Microsoft's MSN and Google.'
Read more at Search Giants Consider Internet Telephone Service

Web-conferencing application Reviews

'If your business requires frequent one-on-one meetings, say for brainstorming sessions, yet lacks a sufficient travel budget, you might be wise to cancel those expensive plane and hotel reservations and invest instead in one of these online Web-conferencing services. According to Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, his company will save nearly $40 million in travel expenses this year using Live Meeting, for example. However, even small businesses can benefit from these services.

What you can expect from these Web-conferencing services varies with the price, of course. The most affordable, Citrix GoToMeeting, is a bare-bones presentation service that uses conventional teleconferencing centers for the audio portion while presenting PowerPoint and shared desktop presentations via desktop PCs. Convoq ASAP Pro 2.0 takes Web conferencing a step further, adding one-to-one video and Voice over IP (VoIP) to allow participants to both see and hear content over their desktop PCs. There's also a free version of Convoq that's limited to two users.'
Read more at Ditch those tickets: we review five Web-conferencing apps - Internet

How to take advantage of Skype

'Skype recently added a service that lets you talk to non-Skype users, but it isn't free. Skype, now in version 1.1, still lets you make free PC-to-PC calls to other Skype subscribers. But you can now add money to a SkypeOut account that will let you call any number in the world, whether it's a landline phone, a cell phone, or a VoIP service phone such as Vonage or CallVantage--at low per-minute rates. It works the same way as the free service: You use the same interface, but instead of choosing another Skype user from the contact list, you enter a number to place a call. And you use a headset or a microphone and speakers connected to your computer as you would with the free Skype service.'
Read more at How to take advantage of Skype

VoIP revolutionises business operations in the growing Middle East economy

'The emergence of convergence technology has resulted in significant cost savings and improved levels of efficiency for an increasing number of companies in the region, said Bashar Dahabra, CEO and Managing Director, Info2cell.com, a leading wireless application service provider in the Middle East.

VoIP or IP telephony as it is known, helps users make phone calls that travel over the Internet in bits and pieces of data, like e-mail or a web page over a telecommunications infrastructure. '
Read more at VoIP revolutionises business operations in the growing Middle East economy

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Vonage says broadband provider blocks its calls

'Internet phone provider Vonage said it's asked U.S. utility regulators to investigate allegations that a "major" broadband operator is deliberately blocking Internet phone calls.

Any investigation and its findings will add more tension to the relationships between providers of high-speed Internet and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), software that lets Internet connections double as inexpensive phone lines.

Vonage recently met with Federal Communications Commission representatives, said Vonage spokeswoman Brooke Schulz, to discuss an instance of "egregious, alarming and harmful port blocking." Port blocking is when Internet providers prevent traffic of certain kinds from traveling through their Internet Protocol (IP) networks.'
Read more at Vonage says broadband provider blocks its calls

Skype Bringing Wi-Fi VoIP to Smartphones

'Skype CEO Niklas Zennstrom said the move fit with Skype's goal of "working with like-minded companies to innovate and expand platform choice and communications mobility for all our users." "Our partnership with i-mate is a step forward for offering Skype on a variety of wireless-enabled devices," Zennstrom said in a statement.

Building on its strategy of making voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) calling as widely available a possible, VoIP firm Skype has struck a deal to have its Internet calling software installed on versatile line of mobile smartphones

The i-mate PDA2 and PDA2K handsets will be pre-loaded with Skype's VoIP software, making it possible for the devices to place calls in two ways -- GSM/GPRS wireless standards and through Wi-Fi hotspots.'
Read more at Skype Bringing Wi-Fi VoIP to Smartphones

Fixed voice revenues shrink as VoIP swells

'Traditional voice telephony is on the decline while IP services, favoured by businesses for productivity gains, are poised to surpass it.

Revenues for fixed-voice services in Europe are set to drop three per cent annually, from $108bn in 2003 to $95bn in 2008, according to market researcher IDC.

The drop is due to the rise of voice over IP (VoIP) services, the uptake of mobile phones as a substitute for landlines and growth of broadband which has a set monthly fee, IDC said in a recent study, Fixed Telephony Services in Western Europe, Forecast and Analysis, 2003-2008 .

To fight this downward revenue trend, fixed-line telephone companies need to embrace the new technologies.'
Read more at Fixed voice revenues shrink as VoIP swells

VoIP Phone Service Advantages and Drawbacks

'VoIP phone service providers offer many advantages to the residential and small office/home office user. If you have a high speed internet connection then choosing a VoIP phone service might be right for you. But before you run out & buy the 1st thing you see….arm yourself with a little education 1st. The benefits must make sense to you or you are just following the crowd.

Lower Monthly Fees - The price of a VoIP phone line is a fraction of the cost of a traditional telephone line, the long distance calls are much less expensive if they are made via a VoIP provider, and applicable taxes are far lower with VoIP phone service than with a traditional phone service. Some VoIP phone service providers offer a phone line for around $9 U.S. dollars per month and will charge you for calls you make at the rate of 1-3 cents per minute depending on the provider. Most VoIP phone providers offer a bundled service offering unlimited incoming calls and unlimited long distance calls to anyone in the U.S. or Canada for one small fee. VoIP unlimited calling plans currently start at $19.95 per month. As with the traditional long distance market trend…expect even this low cost to drop over time as technology and competition matures.'
Read more at VoIP Phone Service Advantages and Drawbacks

Friday, March 11, 2005

SkypeIn

'With SkypeIn, you can get your own, regular phone number. So if your friends who aren’t using Skype want to call you by dialing a regular number, you can still receive the call in Skype. No matter where you are.

So, if you have a Chicago-based SkypeIn number, but you’re living somewhere in the suburbs of Paris, your Chicago area friends - or anyone! - can just dial your SkypeIn number, and your Skype on the other side of the world starts ringing... and your friends are only paying whatever their phone company charges them for making a phone call to Chicago.

Of course people from everywhere in the world can call your SkypeIn number; but if your SkypeIn number is in the United States and they call from another country, they pay for the international nature of the call. And if you have friends in many countries, you can get up to three SkypeIn numbers in a couple of countries and keep them guessing as to where you really are!'
Read more at About SkypeIn

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Future is Mobile VoIP

'Operators have a $200 billion opportunity staring them in the face, but only if they use mobile Voice over IP (define) to rethink their end-user services and networks, according to one research firm.

According to an upcoming report by Pyramid Research titled “The Future of Mobile Voice,” voice over wireless LAN (define) and convergence technologies are the key to improving growth in a $500 billion market that analysts claim is grinding to a halt. Report author Svetlana Issaeva surveyed the overall mobile voice market, which she said is at risk of commoditization due to extreme competition and price drops.

“In developed markets, mobile minutes are often given away for a pittance in the heat of competition, decreasing voice ARPS [Average Revenue Per Subscriber], while mobile data adoption remains weak,” Issaeva said in her report. “Voice ARPS -- whether at $45 per month in Japan or $9 per month in China -- has nowhere to go but down.”'
Read more at The Future is Mobile VoIP: Report

Airspan Unveils WiMAX Portfolio

'Airspan Networks, Inc. a leading provider of broadband wireless solutions, today unveiled the world's first self-installable indoor WiMAX products that link Desktop PCs, Laptops, Internet-ready telephone sets and other broadband devices directly to operator networks. The AS.MAX family of WiMAX base stations and end-user devices includes support for residential and nomadic internet access, corporate data networks, and Voice-over-IP. The AS.MAX portfolio was demonstrated at stand E09 in Hall 13 at CeBIT and will be commercially available in the third quarter of 2005.

The AS.MAX family comprises two customer premises equipment (CPE) devices: the EasyST and ProST. The EasyST, which uses Intel Corporation's “Rosedale” wireless broadband system-on-chip, connects IP-enabled devices directly to WiMAX networks and can be installed indoors by end users within minutes without the need for costly truck-roll deployments by the operators. Designed for the residential and small enterprise markets, the device is also the world's first integrated voice and data WiMAX product, supporting two voice lines and an Ethernet connection. It can also act as an 802.11 Wi-Fi Access Point. The ProST CPE will serve larger enterprises and is designed for outdoor professional deployment. Both CPEs are designed to work on any WiMAX-Certified(TM) base station.'
Read more at Airspan Unveils WiMAX Portfolio; AS.MAX Offers Network Operators a Range of Services Including Self-Installable Customer Applications for Voice over IP and Data

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Vonage says broadband provider blocks its calls

'Internet phone provider Vonage said it's asked U.S. utility regulators to investigate allegations that a “major” broadband operator is deliberately blocking Internet phone calls.

Any investigation and its findings will add more tension to the relationships between providers of high-speed Internet and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), software that lets Internet connections double as inexpensive phone lines.

Vonage recently met with Federal Communications Commission representatives, said Vonage spokeswoman Brooke Schulz, to discuss an instance of “egregious, alarming and harmful port blocking.” Port blocking is when Internet providers prevent traffic of certain kinds from traveling through their Internet Protocol (IP) networks.'
Read more at Vonage says broadband provider blocks its calls

Users cite VoIP's convenience, cost savings

'During sessions at VoiceCon 2005, IT managers described the hunt for the killer voice-over-IP app in many different terms. But convenient messaging, especially for on-the-go workers, was cited as a strong selling point for VoIP by multiple attendees.

For example, Janet Selinske, vice president of technical resources at Paramount Pictures Corp. in Los Angeles, said the film studio's executives “absolutely love” using PC-based softphone technology with VoIP because they can travel to a foreign city, plug a headset into a laptop and make calls over an IP network without incurring the typical calling costs.

“They can be traveling, and people think they're at home,” she said. Paramount has also seen an increase in usage of videoconferencing over IP, replacing an older ISDN connection, at tremendous savings and convenience to users, she said.'
Read more at Users cite VoIP's convenience, cost savings

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Hybrid phones hold promise of cellular, VoIP

'Put them together, a growing number of industry insiders think, and you could have the hottest thing in telecom since touch tones: a cellphone that becomes a cordless phone for super-cheap Internet phone service when you get within range of a wireless Internet connection.

Don't expect to ever see this acronym smashup in a television advertisement, but it's a cellphone that can also do ''VoIP over WiFi" -- voice over Internet protocol, using a ''wireless fidelity" high-speed Internet connection.'
Continue Reading Boston.com / Business / Personal Technology / Hybrid phones hold promise of cellular, VoIP

Skype Targets Wireless Market

'The VoIP software firm Skype has reached an agreement with U.S. telecom firm Motorola that should help it to increase its penetration of the wireless market.

The Luxembourg company plans to load Skype software onto some Motorola Wi-Fi or third-generation mobile phones in the future.

This would enable mobile subscribers to make free national calls and cheap international calls by using the internet to carry calls, rather than standard mobile networks.'
Continue Reading Skype Targets Wireless Market

Vonage Complaining Of VoIP 'Blocking'

'Leading Voice over IP service provider Vonage Holdings has complained to the Federal Communications Commission that competitors are blocking the use of its service, according to FCC chairman Michael Powell and others close to the company.

"We're very actively on this case and we are taking it pretty seriously," said Powell, during an interview Monday here at the Silicon Flatirons conference. In a speech at the conference Sunday, Stanford law professor Larry Lessig said that Vonage has been telling the FCC that other service providers are hampering Vonage's VoIP service by "blocking" it from reaching certain SIP addresses for end-user devices.'
Continue Reading Vonage Complaining Of VoIP 'Blocking'

Vonage Complaining Of VoIP 'Blocking'

'Leading Voice over IP service provider Vonage Holdings has complained to the Federal Communications Commission that competitors are blocking the use of its service, according to FCC chairman Michael Powell and others close to the company.

"We're very actively on this case and we are taking it pretty seriously," said Powell, during an interview Monday here at the Silicon Flatirons conference. In a speech at the conference Sunday, Stanford law professor Larry Lessig said that Vonage has been telling the FCC that other service providers are hampering Vonage's VoIP service by "blocking" it from reaching certain SIP addresses for end-user devices.'
Continue Reading Vonage Complaining Of VoIP 'Blocking'

More hype from Skype?

'Internet telephony’s enfant terrible Skype Technologies said yesterday that it had signed its first co-branding agreement with a fixed-line telecommunications company, Hong Kong’s Hutchinson Global Communications (HGC).

Given that Skype’s software is already easily available from its own web site, is the new agreement more than just hype? Perhaps. Deals with fixed-line service providers like HGC could position the company for possible windfalls in pricing agreements, said analysts, allowing Skype to offer its 735,000-plus SkypeOut users even cheaper rates than particular networks. While calls within the Skype network are free for registered users, the company makes most of its revenues from SkypeOut, the premium pre-paid service that allows users to call conventional phones for as little as $0.02 per minute.'

Continue Reading -
More hype from Skype

Telco Agrees to Stop Blocking VoIP Calls

'Madison River Communication, a Mebane, North Carolina phone company, accused of deliberately blocking Internet phone traffic has reached a deal with federal regulators to to stop blocking VoIP traffic.

The FCC said Thursday that Madison River will "refrain from blocking" VoIP calls and will pay a $15,000 fine to the government.'
Read more at Telco Agrees to Stop Blocking VoIP Calls:


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New legislation in Costa Rica could make Net phone calls a criminal offence

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) telecommunications monopoly sees VoIP as a value-added telecom service and says it should be regulated. "At its most Draconian, the proposal would make Internet telephoning a crime,” reports TechWeb.com.

But an anonymous Costa Rican official of an agency “seeking to promote” the country's software industry said ICE's proposal would be "disastrous" to efforts to grow its software development and outsourcing businesses. The official noted that Costa Rica has been rapidly growing its outsourcing business and low-cost telephone service is crucial to the growth of that business.

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