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Posts from August 2004

Nintendo Get VoIP

In a sector that has to be closely watched, the home video game market that is, a second significant player in the game has tipped their hand about their plan to go VoIP.

Nintendo, which caters heavily to the youth target audience has signaled the industry that they will be adding VoIP via a headset port on the Nintendo DS gaming device.

While initial thought is that the service will be so gamers can chat between one another, what's not to let it be a full fledged phone service sometime in the future. Look at what Skype did.

AOL Level3

Keith Bare tipped me of to this story about AOL's VoIP play which I somehow missed yesterday, but follows up on an earlier post.

AOL is clearly able to make a strong run. When you think about it, not only can they offer a typical VoIP like experience, but the ability to integrate with Instant Messaging, Games, Chat Rooms, gives them a market advantage over say, Yahoo which has not really gone further than to add VoIP to their Yahoo Messenger.

Microsoft, with XBox Live, another Level3 customer, is a great test bed. Now integrate the business services Microsoft wants to be able to sell--conferencing using PowerPoint, the connected Office, etc, which is why they bought Placeware and they are a big business customer opportunity too.

Remember, AOL is all about simple and their VoIP service will be simple to use. AOL also has a history of selling phone service. They resold AT&T back in the early 90's with great success.

I Agree With Pulver

Jeff Pulver is so right when he talks about Level3 being an Enzyme that will bind together VoIP in his blog today.

I just finsihed an interview with The Boulder Daily Camera's Matthew Branaugh (I used to live in Boulder back in 1988) about the rise of VoIP in the USA. In my interview I said that when you break things down Level3 and AT&T are going to be the big players in VoIP. You have to bet on horese to win. Level3 and AT&T are mine. Why? It's the network. Both AT&T are in the game of supplying the guns and bullets. The differentiator is that AT&T has a branded product for consumers, while Level3's 3Tone product is geared for resellers.

Level3 is working with cable companies, like Charter. Skype. AOL and others.

Based on the interview Dave Dorman gave on ZDNet and the story it appears that AT&T is moving along the same path as Level3 when it comes to a reseller strategy. Smart. They leverage their most important assets. Network. Network management.

Keep both companies on your radar !

Covad Uses Cisco for VoIP

Covad is using Cisco. The big benefit is that Cisco offers very rapid replacement, usually within 24 hours when their systems go down.

The second big advantage for using Cisco is the ability to have a standard managed network across all of the Covad facilities and to find Cisco qualified engineers.

When you look at Cisco you have to admire how they market IP the way Starbucks markets coffee. The ability to build an organization that is so homogeneous and has been able toscale is very impressive. While their tech is often bought in to the fold, they do one of the best jobs of integrating emerging technology into their network hardware architecture.

By choosing Cisco, Covad has pretty much cast their lot with them as they did with data in the past. I don't think anyone should be too surprised.

The Game Continues for Sonus

Sonus, which has been in the past suspected of playing the hype game to manipulate the stock market price seems to have cleaned up their past and is now poised to become a real player once again.

No one can fault their technology, and given the state of both Lucent and Nortel having had a share of problems organizationally, technologically and with regulators, Sonus is poised to be a real challenger.

At the same time keep an eye on Alcatel too.

Gartner Says Thou Shall Adopt VoIP

Gartner Group, one of the larger research groups in the IT and Telcom space says that despite all the hurdles VoIP shall be adopted by telco users saying 90% of all new corporate telephone systems will be IP-enabled.

The hurdles which range from security to corporate in-fighting, will be overcome is the feeling of Gartner and VoIP will begin replacing older forms of corporate telephony.

Make Me Laugh...All The Way To The Bank

Over on Broadband Reports the discussion about AOL entering the VoIP world is nothing short of good comedy.

Maybe there's a reason God made AOL and has kept it alive.

AOL and VoIP makes total sense. Why? Audience. If 10 percent of the AOL customer base comes on board in the first year that are able to because they have the ability to, i.e. they have access to broadband, then they become the largest VoIP player in the game.

Second, imagine all those AOL IMer, Gamers, etc., all moving to broadband. This is great for the cable players and great for Level3.

It is not that different than AT&T doing what they did, with one exception. All the moving parts with AOL and only one big engine with AT&T. Having Level3 in the mix makes this a very interesting development, but given the intercine warfare with AOL and Time Warner, who knows what the end result will really be.

AOL likely will get spun back off, or sold off. Hmm..AT&T and that would be a interesting combination...