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February 2004
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Posts from March 2004

Money, Money, Money

It must be the week of reports on VoIP or something because now Juniper Research has said that VoIP will be the leading revenue generator for broadband. DUH!

The key is efficiency and utility. Telcos won't have the advanced services available over copper lines, and the cost to operate VoIP platforms will provide greater margin because they are more cost effective than analog switches.

Talk about writing the obvious. Did anyone think that only the consumer was going to be saving money with VoIP?

When Old World Thinking Just Won't Apply

The FBI and other law enforcement organizations world wide have a made VoIP a huge concern, wanting to have the same ability to "wiretap" that they have with standard telephone service.

While no one wants to stop them from having this ability, the Center for Democracy and Technology has issued a white paper on the subject.

From where I sit, unconventional issues require unconventional approaches. The goal of being able to tap Internet phone calls is not wrong. It is what will keep our world safer. The problem is in the thinking. The authorities and regulators have to approach the problem from a different viewpoint and not try and use old telco thinking with new technology solutions.

Skype Gets Touchy

First they raised more money, now Skype is getting touch with deals they are expected to announce at CEBIT in Germany this week, according to a CNET report.

What this means is Skype will provide an alternative method of connecting to regular PSTN callers. By combining SKYPE with PSTN at the handset or headset level they sure are making it interesting.

Level 3 Goes Residential

Level3 is going residential. Later this month they will begin selling their high end network via ISP and Cable operators.

It appears that their goal is to turn ISP and cable companies into resellers or private label the phone service and use the Level 3 network and infrastructure. There is no question they have the fibre and the Jaguar softswitch. They also likely have the ability to easily convert h.323 to SIP as well as PSTN. The big thing is how far they will go with MEGACO, which was created to work with cable.

VoIP and Europe

Analysis Reseach reports that VoIP in Europe will have more challenges than in the USA.

The reasons are manyfold. First, mobile phone penetration in Europe, and its usage is much higher than in other countries, but the big factor is that broadband to the home is much lower.

Given these two factors, companies like Vonage who have plans to enter the European market in a big way, will have to niche market, not mass market their service offerings in the early stages of growth.

AT&T's CallVantage

AT&T expects to sign up a million VoIP customers for their CallVantage service. Vantage was/is the name of a cigarette brand. Do you think they want to smoke the competition.

Given their pricing, they are less expensive for service than Vonage, and right now are, especially with the $19.99 a month for signing up now.

Their back end features seem very Webley like, and seem to make that service almost obsolete, as the call routing service is Webley's biggest plus.

AT&T though falls down on international rates compard to Vonage. My guess is they are using their own long lines, not IP for the international, so the IP service is really just a loss leader at this point for them.

Yahoo Takes IM Up A Notch

While Instant Messaging tools like Windows Messenger and ICQ have always had this ability, Yahoo has always had the best quality, least NAT related issues. Now, in working with BT in the UK it seems Yahoo, which also has VoIP with Yahoo BB in Japan, is taking the concept a step further.

What this means is Messenger, with its message center capability will tell you when you have a call, just like it advises you when you have an email. My guess is that you will have a store and forward like service built in so a call that goes unanswered goes to voice mail, and the message ends up in your inbox.Well, I hope it does.

META Groups Calls

Meta Group is yacking about the need for security. DUH. That thought has been around for a while when it comes to VoIP. The key is not that it is needed. The key is who is doing it.

There once was a company called ARAVOX out of Minneapolis. now out of business, which had developed a SIP Security platform. Sadly they were both ahead of their time and underfunded.