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Posts from April 2005

1100 VoIP Providers Today, How Many Tomorrow

Om, who has taken a Blogging Break from eating his mother's cooking this week (gosh i wish I was there it has to be awesome) found an interesting statistic about VoIP providers. According to the report there are now 1100 providers out there.

Thank god they all haven't asked me to trial their product. I'm way behind on those things due to my traveling. HINT--Softphones get priority, which is why I've become such a fan of the XTEN and BroadVoice combo as well as Skype where my Skype Address is andyabramson.

Anyway, as Om points out the DSL and Cable operators control the pipe, which means what? I actually think the carriers will begin a "toll" type of service to the VoIP providers. While it may not be as easy to decipher carriers like AT&T and Verizon which own their own networks, and peer with other networks like Level3, SBC's and Bell South will always get the best and "free" ride on their peer's networks. But for hanger ons like Vonage and others the service will need to be paid some type of access fee.

What does this mean? Well the MSOs in cable also have their own on ramps, while they have created their own "local loops" via SONET rings, most of the traffic they have that goes outside their own "metro" area moves on carriers like AT&T, so they will get the same type of preferred top of the peer treatment.

It's the unaligned and non-network parties who will have to pay, either that or they will get swallowed up whole by the big guys. While they hope to be acquired at some high multiple, my guess is the carriers will buy technology, not customers. I mean, if no one buys Vonage from Jeffrey Citron and Pals or any of the other upstarts, are those customers going to head back to PSTN? I don't think so. They will just switch to a company that they know will be around somewhat longer for their VoIP service.

Evlsin on Skype Pay Services

I'm becoming a fan of Tom Evslin in the same way I've been a supporter of Jeff Pulver's. While some folks seem to like to take pot shots at him to me privately, I'm not buying into that line of thinking.

He's smart and more importantly, his "let me make it easy" writing style will go a long way to making things better understood.

Of late he's been writing a series about telephony. His most recent post about Skype will go a long way to making non-users better understand the Skype Value Proposition.

Emergency Response Anyone?

Jeff Pulver makes a rallying cry for help around the subject of Emergency Response Using IP Based technology.

This is very timely as I'm trying to convince the City of Solana Beach to go WiFi or WiMax with a WiFi downlink throughout the town to improve public safety and public works communications, as a member of one of the city commissions.

One of my points is that as IP technology advances is that cities will be able to keep their work forces and managers in the field more, resulting in faster communications and better face to face dealings with the public.

Certainly VoIP will be a large part of this type of thing in the future.

Verizon Will Make Their E-911 Open To Others

Obviously with their E-911 efforts announced today Verizon could be accused of looking to coddle favor with the regulators should they successfully acquire MCI and have smartly taken one of the "chips" off the board which could have been a thorn with some.

But boardroom and political gamesmanship aside, there is no room to mess around when it comes to E-911. Verizon is to be applauded for rapidly working to come up with a solution that provides access to to the PSAPS for all VoIP carriers who want the access.

Verizon, in doing this clearly sends a message to all the VoIP and other RBOC's that there is a solution, it can work and can be used.

For the VoIP providers who are not thinking E-911 this is one of the differentiators that separates the men from the boys in business and is clearly the only call to make, as it is only in the public interest to make it happen.

Verizon. Well done.

Cisco's Linksys Buys Sipura

For the founders of Sipura, this is a sweet victory. Originally they developed the first ATA that was used by Vonage that was sold under the Cisco brand, before Cisco acquired Linksys.

Then they went on and under contract worked with Linksys to develop the smaller and newer styled Telephone Adapter's that are now sold by Linksys, while continuing on with their own highly regarded products.

With the acquisition, Linksys and Cisco gets a team of former Cisco engineers who figured out how to leave, make their mark and now come home to lead the R&D of new products in the VoIP space.

Do The Math

If GPRS for Data is so expensive, then why would anyone want to use it, especially for large files, video, music. This is exactly why the hybrid GSM/WiFi phones are so crucial. Go to a Starbucks hotspot, suck down your coffee and your content at the same time.

Why do I say Starbucks? Well they already have the music, the relationship with T-Mobile. The customer base and the technology elements to make it happen.

Netgear Adding Carriers

Netgear, who was somewhat late to the VoIP game is playing catch up quick. First they came out of the box, pun totally intended with AOL and now they have spread their wings across to Europe.

Based on testing, some other VoIP players are likely also due to release like version of the VoIP/Wireless Gateway. This surely will put the pressure on Linksys and D-Link, two of the larger players already in the space.