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Posts from June 2004

IpInferno On Peerio

Ted Shelton over at ipInferno which is one of the better blogs to follow, for like GigaOm, the approach is journalism first with informed and insightful opinion. Being that my agency represents Popular Telephony for their SuperComm efforts, offering others the oppotunity to tell the story. Ted, like Om Malik yesterday has proivided a very detailed and accurate perspective about Peerio and Popular Telephony. Read him...


Yahoo Adds Termination To Instant Messenger

As we reported yesterday on KenRadio's World Technology Roundup, Yahoo has added the ability to terminate calls into Instant Messenger, but with a twist, here in the USA.

Just like what they did with British Telecom (BT) they are doing that with carriers, rather than creating their own phone company using private labeled services from say, Level3.

Why? Because Yahoo knows what they know, and are smart enough to know what they don't. Becoming a telco is more than just offering termination. Plus, they don't compete by offering the ability to work with whichever carriers want to join in, and give the consumer or business user a choice.

Yahoo keeps making smart moves. This is just one more.


QWEST Goes OneFlex

QWEST, which has over the past three years been digging into the VoIP space, evaluating suppliers and building an all IP based network announced yesterday they have deployed OneFlex for the business market.

Given they are both a Regional Bell Carrier and a Nationwide long distance supplier on the telco side, and global carrier on the IP data side, they are ideally positioned to reach the business market in direct competition to Sprint and AT&T.

The question is, will they be able to sell it? As a longtime Qwest Long Distance customer I have seen my account experience go from a dedicated Account Executive down to that of dealing with a call center. This is how AT&T lost my business to QWEST, for as my telecommunications needs grew in the 90s, and continue to, I was getting less and less being presented to me and what's worse, put into a labyrinth of departments that were for the most part outsourced or seemed so.

The same sales leadership is in place at QWEST that used to be at AT&T. I don't have a dedicated account team, and my limited use of Qwest at this point (two toll free numbers) and one back up phone line's long distance is dropping each month as I use a combination of SBC for local with unlimited long distance on my home line, and AT&T's CallVantage or Vonage for IP calls and International.

I'm sure QWEST has its focus not on the small or SOHO, but the big fish of corporate America. But if their sales engine isn't in gear, and those folks are being treated the same way as my business is, well, OneFlex may need to be more flexible than planned before all of the USA is really thinking QWEST is the company that they originally positioned themselves to be.


The Skype Is Falling

Uber-tech blogger Om Malik on GigaOm has found a major crack in Skype, after talking with of Popular Telephony's Dmitry Goroshevsky. And the crack is no hack, it's a part of the software making Skype a more than mega security risk for networks large and small.

That's why Popular Telephony has a serverless peer-to-peer technology called Peerio.

In talking with Goroshevsky following his chat with the O-Mighty one, Goroshevsky explained that Peerio by nature is secure because of what it sets out to not do versus what Skype does in bypassing firewalls and NAT.


Its the Apps Baby

We've been saying, well I've been saying for months here that QoS, services and applications are what matters in VoIP. So, I'm not surprised to be hearing those words come out of people's mouths at SuperComm and in the traditional press.

So, while two of the true giants, Cisco and IBM echo those sentiments, the innovation does not occur with them. It occurs at events like VON, from companies that dare to be different, which fight uphill for media coverage against the giants, and worse, for sales of their new technology against the older technology of the giants.

No one gets fired for buying Cisco or IBM. They are safe purchases. But those who dare to go to the next level of thinking, and dare to experiment are the ones who change the way business is done. I will give creedence to both IBM and Cisco. As much as they are in the same operational mindset as Microsoft, letting others blaze the trails, then charge in like a battleship, they do end up leading the way with the corporate world. They understand timing, but in this wave of a telecom revolution, the timing is moving faster than Moore's Law due to how small a world the Net has made things.

Presence as a concept has been around for years. But it's only now, with enough broadband conectivity, and mobile access, has it really started to take hold. Add in VoIP, then GPS, then WiFi and location based presencen will be a very valuable tool, not so much for the idea of making calls, but more for information being relayed in Voice and text, moving over IP.

The referenced Goldman Sachs survey also needs to be read with a grain of salt, despite being referenced by InternetNews.com. There bent is public companies, not the startups and private firms. The innovation rests with them. So the numbers, that may be apropos for today, with respect to them, are only partially on target when looking at the whole scheme of things.


VoIP w Cable Bundle

Om Malik at GigaOm breaks the story about Cablevision creating a one price bundle of VoIPm cable and high speed Internet all for $90.00.

Compared to what I'm paying here in San Diego with Cox, plus Vonage or Call Vantage that is a 50 percent savings and worth serious consideratiion if Cablevision is your cable company and their IP telephony service is as good as CallVantage *AND* offers all the same features.

While the VoIP pure plays may offer more features and be the "second" line in many homes, the cable operators may start to seriously take a piece of the local Bell companies accounts.

I can hear Judge Greene more and more everyday, and this market sector will get very hot by the end of the summer nationwide.


Skype Goes Linux

Skype has released a beta of their Linux version as of today according to reports.

While this is a boon to those who prefer to not be on Windows, this certainly broadens the reach of Skype and goes deeper into the early adopter techie world. With Skype on a Lindows/Linspire PC who needs SipPhone once SkypeOut is working...seems like one disruptor just made a move against the other....


Peerio's Play Gets Much More in Focus

Peerio's parent company, Popular Telephony has updated their web site with what is clearly the first in a series of announcements they will be making at Supercomm 2004 this week.

What is clear is that Peerio is not simply a softphone application, and that Peerio is a technology that can be embedded into devices and existing media gateways, making them in effect part of a Peerio connected network.

I also had a chance to read their "Peeriodica" newspaper which they are distributing at Supercomm, which I received from one of their investors. It really helps tell the story about what Peerio is about. Right now it's not on their web site, but if you want a copy, send me an email to voip@andyabramson.com and I'll send it off to you when time permits.


Long Distance for 5 Dollars (Canadian)

Bell Canada, in what is an obvious pre-emptive strike to deter consumers from switching to newcomers to the telephony services game, can you spell VoIP Vonage or Primus, has taken a major step to keep customers talking over their lines.

Today they announced the lowering of the price to $5 dollars for 1000 minutes a month when customers sign a two year contract, possibly taking the consumers out of the game as new services come along. Consumers also have to buy into a bundle of satellite delivery of television and high speed internet.

Andy's advice to our friends to the north...WAIT, unless you know you have no interest in what may change.


Tiscali France To Offer VoIP

For 30 Euro a month, French residents will be able to add VoIP to Tiscali ADSL service.

As someone who has friends in France due to my passion for wine, I'm thrilled. Now if they only bring down the price for Wi-Fi over there....

The bottom line is Vonage has set the ball in motion globally, with their pricing plan last year. Now around the world other carriers are following suite.

While different than in the USA, the subscriber still needs to have a phone number from French Telecom, it also appears that a subscription agreement with a set length of time is required and that the service must be purchased as part of a bundle--cable tv, high speed internet and the phone service. Given how satellite had a lead in penetration in the countryside, and as the carriers are getting deeper into the rural areas of France with high speed---Montpeyroux here I come to visit my winemaker friend and expanded family soon, the announcement will change a lot. There are many French internet users who want high speed. They also want to save money.

The clunky google translation is here.