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September 2007

Posts from August 2007

Why Anyone Would Buy A Locked VoIP Phone

It's one thing to buy service from a VoIP provider that gives you a router, usually now with WiFi, but if you're a serious VoIP user and want to pick and choose your SIP services the last thing you want is a locked VoIP phone that can be configured easily if it was unlocked.

PhoneBoy and VoIP Supply's Garrett Smith both are on the job telling the whats and the whys.

As someone who has invested in VoIP phones I'm amazed that more people aren't using them. I have one from Linksys and I connect it to my Gizmo account. All I'm missing is E911, something Mr. Blog has a perspective on, and why that may need to change.

Welcome Back-Alec

After a family holiday break Alec Saunders is back from vacation.

His first post shows he to suspects something is rotten with the Skype spin job on their outage.

As my old lacrosse playing mate with the Philadelphia WingsJohn Grant from Peterborough, Ontario used to say circa 1974 about things when the team hit a losing streak "Changes...Lots and Lots of Changes" are likely in the future cards at eBay and Skype.

Time Warner Cable Tells Former Comcast Customers-Move Your Phone Service

According to customer service representatives at TimeWarner Cable servicing Los Angeles, customers who were migrated from Comcast and had Comcast phone service are being told to switch telephone carriers.

Due to an FCC requirement, the customers must be given a choice (i.e. Cable guys are under equal access rules). So while Time Warner also offers Digital Phone service, the switch from Comcast is more than a brand name change. This means TWC customers affected have to make the switch to another carrier, including TWC or the usual VoIP suspects like Vonage, Earthlink, Broadvoice, Lingo, VoicePulse etc. My guess is most will opt for Time Warner's offering of a triple or even Four Play with their new mobile service, Pivot (based by Sprint) that will eventually offer dual mode capabilities.

Lypp Service

Erig Lagerway reports that Lypp is getting ready to start moving..

Lypp, will work with regular and mobile phone, plus the major IM players to create instant and free group calls. Lypp is launching in September.

Comcast May Be Watching You So You Get What You Pay For

One of the hottest comment threads over the weekend seems to be the allegation of Comcast using Sandvine technology to packet sniff and traffic watch for BitTorrent seeds and streams.

My gut instinct says there is a lot to this story.

Here's why (IMHO).

DOCIS 3.0 will be rolled out sometime in the next 18 months by the MSOs. Their goal with 3.0 is to begin offering faster speeds. Those speeds (up to 150 megs I hear) will allow the MSOs to offer more enhanced services and as such really begin to offer tiered pricing. All of this is in response to FIOS and UVERSE from Verizon and AT&T.

The tiered services will at first look similar to the difference between the current consumer offerings vs. the business offerings from them today. Really most of the difference is in response time for service outages, higher upload speed caps, and because you're paying as much as between twice to six times as much for the service, less concern about how much traffic, or the type of traffic you may be running (i.e. server, MS-Exchange, FTP, etc.)

To be able to offer the tiered pricing services just like they have to monitor who's hijacking cable from the pole, or stealing Premium services like HBO or Pay Per View with decoder boxes, the MSOs need to be able to monitor IP traffic the same way. And I don't see anything wrong with it, especially if you're one of the many people who has nothing to hide.

I'm also the kind of person who agrees with my friend Esme Vos on wanting better speeds and higher levels of transport and with less packet loss and less jitter. If making sure my neighbor isn't gumming up the works with something they're not supposed to be doing for the price they are paying means those of us who can pay do get to do just that, all the better.

This is too easy a story to tell....oh..I think I just told it.

Vringo Grabbing Headlines

Client Vringo had a pretty good week with two very nicely written stories.

Business Week and Download Squad.

The Business Week story has a very homeland feel, written by their correspondent in Israel tells how the company was started and what the future looks like. This is great for potential partners and for carriers to read as it tells how Vringo can fit into their plans.

Download Squad's piece, written by Ted Wallingford, gives a very easy to grasp consumer's understanding of what Vringo is about.

Both are great reads and very timely.

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Is Text Messaging Heading Away?

Since Skype now has SMS support, and since other easy to SMS interfaces now abound in the Web world I'm finding Paul Ruppert's post about Text Messaging very timely and thought provoking.

While for years various modalities of messaging have been Balkanized islands (IM, SMS, EMAIL, etc.) and where interoperability only now starting to really appear in some form or fashion we see a lot of new companies on the horizon who all have their own spin on short form voice messaging.

With services like Twitter, Jaiku and others now exporting hybrid IM/SMS type communications to the mobile world and SMS becoming two way back to PC we're heading towards realizing the POTENTIAL of unified message delivery. But I say potential because of all the following hurdles:

1. Need to be on one delivery standard (i.e. SMS) vs. each service having their own format

2. Need for universal carrier acceptance of standard and a revenue and settlement model

3. Need for standard device interface that will work on PDAs, mobile phones and keyboard based PC's and UMPCs.

While I still find it hilarious that we have to have multiple IM clients running to stay in touch with all of our friends and colleagues, I am more concerned that unless interoperability is addressed early on we will have choices that perpetuate division, not uniformity.

With each new client my agency adds, we find that different platforms are used to interact with the teams for a variety of reasons. The same approach rings true with the people we all reach out to who are part of our circle of contacts. When you add in all the new so called "social media" communication tools that Ruppert mentions the multiplicity makes me think of needing a Michael Keaton like creation. Each tool works on its own and is a closed society. We need more open and cross network tools out there. The concept of a switch board is needed for the same reason the ITU made it possible to call internationally without operators. When this all happens, then Ruppert's position really grabs hold.

Add in voice SMS or Voice Messaging and even more does this reasoning sound on the mark.

I think Ruppert's assessment is right and look forward to his follow up post.

Update--> Mark Evans has a similar riff on the same idea in a similar vein.