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Posts from February 2004

Consumer Press on Two Carriers

I always chuckle when the consumer press writes about what we in the early adopter world know is already fact as if it's news. But, when an article gets it all correct it's worth at least recognizing. Today's piece in the San Francisco Chronicle gave a very accurate perspective on the state of VoIP and why it is now a legit alternative to traditional POTS/PSTN service.

The big credit has to go to the reporter for finally recognizing that Vonage has some competition, in 8x8 networks' Packet8 service.

Stay connected,

Andy Abramson

VoIP In The News

You're likely wondering why I've been so quiet. Largely it's because the news around VoIP seems to be a rehashing of what has been posted here. The stories that have come out continue to revolve around issues we already know about.

For example, the FCC is getting ready to rule of Jeff Pulver's petition that VoIP is not the same as regular telephony. That's a great starting point.

Primus, who we have mentioned before, is making noise, and may pose a threat to Vonage. The big issue with their technology remains the need for a static IP address, something the USA cable broadband providers moved away from a few years ago.

At the same time Vonage keeps pushing for no regulation, and drives head on for more subscribers, especially for their all you can talk plan. Coming on top of their raising more cash from two VC firms, CEO Jeffrey Citron has to produce results. Much of the money came from funds looking for late stage investment, meaning almost ready for IPO.

Interoperability is the key word with ITXC. Loaded with bandwidth and connections in different countries. Operatiing SIP and h.323 connecting points, ITXC is pushing their ability to do switching between protocols, in session (meaning during the call).

San Diego based Viper Networks, maker's of the vPhone, keep expanding. They acquired a bunch of termination points meaning they now have more direct access and thus lower cost to place calls internationally. One guess is they are going first after the exPat market that resides here in the USA.

In Africa it seems VoIP is on the rise. Illegally in some places. Seems eveyone wants some kind of regulation. But where they start, nobody knows.

Stay connected,

Andy Abramson

Feds Say Slow Down Powell

The FBI and a few others in the law enforcement sector are saying "slow down" to Michael Powell.

As we said on January 22, 2004, there are some different views on how VoIP shold be regulated so the Feds can listen in.

This all means that we can expect some regulation, but more on the technical side first, and that means what is privacy vs. what can be cracked. What no one seems to recognize is that encryption over the network is already possible and scramblers running through a VPN will mean it will be a lot more difficult than simply, tapping a phone line.


Vonage Hits 100,000

While this news came out earlier in the day, it's still deserves recognition. Given Vonage's growth one has to give credit to aggressive marketing, public relations and the refer a friend program.

Vonage is not doing anything special in marketing terms. They're just working smartly and being aggressive. Their staff is youthful, stays on the mark of getting new customers.

One thing we have not heard yet from them is churn rates. Time will tell.