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Posts from February 2004

The Old Guard is Getting Scared

When stories like this start appearing, you know that the old guard is getting nervous.

In PR parlance we call it "depositioning." The art of trying to shift attention away from the competition and to your position when the other company is "hot."

If VoIP was so far off, why are all of the Telcos and Cable companies being so anxious to announce there plans, begin the sell in process and start talking about it? Are they getting scared an nervous that with a much smaller investment, almost any ISP with a national backbone, global peering relationships and eventually some true QoS from softswitches that manages call flows to maintain POTS level quality or better. You betcha they are.

Stay connected,

Andy Abramson


Walt Mossberg Like Vonage

Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal may be the most influential newpaper writer when it comes to technology. Why? Because when he writes it means volumes in business if he gives it a thumbs up. He did for Vonage. (registaration required)


Telecom In The USA

Converge Digest has an excellent recap on this week's Senate hearings on reforming telecommunications in the USA.

What is great to hear and read is the number of officials saying....hands off. It appears that the telcos are still wanting regulation, laregely so they can play catch up on one hand, but on the other, they know they have the cash to acquire, and don't want to stifle themselves.

The cable operators seem to be the ones with the most to gain, while upstarts are where investment money, with a fast return, will be made.


Patent Time

The New York Times has a very nice write up about patents being awarded in the VoIP realm.

It's good to see invention is not dead, and that taking ideas that worked in the past, are going to impact the future.

My question, what's so different about a switchbox in VoIP and one used by Ham radio enthusiasts or to toggle between a VCR and a cable box....I realy wonder sometimes if the patent office thinks this stuff through.


Here Come The Lawyers

In streaming media Acacia Research in California is seeking the courts help to get their piece of the action.

Now we're seeing the same thing happen in VoIP, with a lawsuit filed by another company.

The big issue here is more than what was filed. It has to do with both the patent office and the judges understanding just what technology really is all about.

For example, SIP which did not exist, but may have been thought of, when one of the patents was filed is the key to many of the next generation networks, so, while the concept or process may have been viusalized, the ability to actually deploy the vision was not.

But cases like this get heard by judges, and not all judges are as current on the latest technology. It's time to overhaul the entire patent process, especially when it comes to tech and pharma, for that's where the lawyers will get rich. Maybe it's time for the law firms to go public !


When Are There Too Many?

It looks like the idea of private labeling telephone service is upon us. Now Morpheus is jumping into the VioIP space with their announcement earlier in the week, which I somehow missed.

What we have here is once again histroy repeating itself. First the railroads came along then Ma Bell strung telegraph wires. Well today, fiber runs along side those rails, and there is lots of it to be lit. Companies with switchboards were the phone company, thus the importance of a network that can switch calls between networks. Sound familier?

The playing field will be filled with many companies. In ten years time, most will be gone, VoIP will have some form of regulation, or at least structure, but now, it's the wild west time. Companies are panning for gold. So, while the long term money will be made on the value of the companies with the most customers, the short term money is with the companies selling picks and shovels. The networks, the underlying carriers, the switch and gateway manufacturers.


Serial Disruption

Uber Blogger Stuart Henshall writes about the upcoming SKYPE conferencing capabilities in his blog, Unbound Spiral.

Earlier in the week I thought about the concept of Serial Disruptors. Who are they. Well certainly the folks who invented SKYPE, as before they did the same to the music industry with Kazaa. Michael Robertson who first founded MP3 and now is at it with both Lindows and Sipphone is another, as is Jeffrey Citron of Vonage. First he rewrote how people day trade now he's striving to rework how people talk.

May they live long and prosper!


Skype on Your PDA

I don't spend enough time writing about SKYPE, what I call the ICQ for VoIP.

Muniwireless.com has a good summary of what having SKYPE on a PDA can mean. I've played with other VoIP clients on my HP iPaq and, even with the 400 mhz processor, the voice quality still is lacking.

Until more powerful PDA's come along, these tools are more hobbyist in nature than carrier grade. But, in the future, and I suspect, the not too distant one, we will be using PDA's in lieu of a cell phone in some locations, and, for an enterprise or campus network, it sure will be a way to cut down the cell phone bill.


QOS QOS QOS

Techworld has a nice write up on why VoIP is becoming more accepted. While likely not news to readers of this blog, it does point out a lot of essential facts and presents a good case as to why the usage and the number of minutes are heading northward.

Andy