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Posts from November 2004

PDX Airport -- Free WiFi

The Portland International Airport offers free WiFi all through the airport. So while Jeff Pulver raves about the free access at Jet Blue locations here's one he would go nuts over. WiFi everywhere. In the shopping / restaurant arcade area, in the terminals...just about anywhere I can find...Now this is a great airport.

Touchdown SBC !

SBC scores and keeps Notre Dame's business with a hosted VoIP and WiFi capable system.

Clearly SBC has a going forward strategy for the marketing of VoIP to the large enterprise. Their PR effort is in high gear and like the Fighting Irish, they are on a roll.

In coming into the Enterprise space, SBC is following the already announced lead of AT&T which has a very strong, efficient and workable solution already out in the market. This is real gridiron for VoIP as the money is in the Enterprise market, not in the already marginalized consumer VoIP space.

VON Europe Sold Out

Congrats to all the gang at and their team working on VON Europe. Jeff has announced that it has sold out.

What we are seeing is that a conference, focused on a specific subject is a draw for the manufacturers. While the traditional trade show is still not yet back to their former luster, Pulver and his team have clearly restored the desire of companies to market.

Now the hard part begins. Getting the customers to attend who have the check books to buy the technology. Jeff knows how to get to them. Now they have to show up. I am betting they will.

Broadcom and Scientific Atlanta Hook Up on Chips for VoIP

Scientific Atlanta supplies many of the cable boxes to North American cable customers via the MSOs. With this announcement today it clearly tells me that VoIP will be embedded in the cable box at some point in the future, with carrier selection being a feature controlled either by the same remote control used by consumers today or by the MSO, the way the RBOC's provision a long distance carrier.

What this means is fewer devices that have to be plugged in at the home. I also imagine that SA will likely also offer a software upgradeable WiFi router/cable modem that is part of the cable box. The day of convergence on the hardware side is clearly dawning and it's only a few years before we hit a crest of the wave enabling users to buy one device and get all that's needed to really have a triple play capability realized. All this is on top of the service delivery aspects of a PVR/VOD player having Voice Over IP as part and parcel of it.

Global Crossing Promises Five Nines for VoIP

In an announcement today, carrier's carrier, Global Crossing promised the delivery of five nines Service Level Agreements (SLA's) to their customers.

This has to be viewed as good news for Vonage, which works with Global Crossing not for Voice Transport but for network operations management. If you recall an outage with Vonage was reported to be caused by an issue inside the Global Crossing NOC that knocked off customers from having service a few months back. With this announcement and commitment, Global Crossing is looking to position themselves to be a more worthy competitor to arch rivals Level 3 and AT&T.

How Many Customers Does Your Carrier Have?

ISP Planet has cobbled together a news account detailing how many customers some of the VoIP carriers have.

While one has to seperate free downloads and installed clients from paying customers (i.e. Skype vs. Optimum Online) what is apparent is that the cable companies like Charter and Cablevision are gaining significant marketshare in getting their customers to sign up for Telephony Service. How many of these customers are VoIP in a classic sense versus Digital Telephony is unknown, and overtime will likely all be VoIP.

This clearly means that the RBOC's have to worry more about the MSO's than they do companies like AT&T, Vonage, Packet8 and so forth at this time and that the cable friendly philosophy of Vonage and AT&T is a logical move on both their parts.

The list is far from complete and may not be totally accurate as Jeff Pulver pointed out on his blog.

I also wish that the upstarts who arrived on the scene this year would publish numbers. All AT&T has ever said to me on interviews is they are ahead of plan when pressed about CallVantage, while other companies like Broadvoice and VoicePulse have flat out declined to reveal numbers. Also missing are companies like Covad and Call Tower, both of which provide hosted VoIP based PBX replacements. While none of the companies that are keeping their numbers close to the vest have to report them to us, what is clear, as Jeff points out, is that VoIP is clearly installed and the numbers are far greater than anyone imagines.

VoWiFi Context Aware Application

A Voice over WiFi technology that becomes available when you enter a hotspot location was announced by a Sweedish firm with the concept behind it called "context aware."

The idea is simple. When you enter a hotspot, part of the authentication includes the installation of VoWiFi/VoIP software.

How this works and what corporate IT professionals concerned about security will say is a question in my mind, but this solution seems to be one more indicator that VoIP at WiFi hotspots is on its way to a laptop and PDA near you.

Powell Is Pissed. Om's On It

While I'm out checking out wine bars and tapas bars in Portland, OM-nipresent online Om Malik is on the case and grabbed the first post related to Michael Powell's pissed off response to SBC's plan to roll out TipTop.

From the very start I have felt that the SBC foray, as well as some other shots from Bell South are all geared towards harming, or at least slowing down the VoIP uptake by alternative access carriers. By his very measured retort it is clear that Chairman Powell is concerned and will have the FCC closely scruitinizing the situation when they return.

The best thing SBC could do is back off and let the work be done. But they are too monopolistic and have not learned from misteps by Microsoft. Perhaps the DoJ needs to dig into SBC and Bell South, look high enough and find who the super advisors are to both and figure out that divertiture is really a myth and that the 20 plus year plans drawn up by the Baby Bells in the 80's are still being implemented.