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Posts from April 2008

Business Week About Yahoo and Jajah

I woke up this morning and found VoIPWatch being cited in Business Week's TechBeat by Olga Kharif. This made me think back to one of the reasons to start VoIPWatch, which was to always be a helpful source of information to the media and to provide a perspective that offers insight and viewpoint.

Right after that I read a post from our client ifByPhone's founder, Irv Shapiro offering his take on the same deal as he details how the future of telephony rests in the applications, a viewpoint that I have agreed with for a long time.

With minutes dropping to almost zero, or being at zero in many ways, Irv's business is based on delivering the new services to business in the same vein as Jajah and how they're bringing services to Yahoo.

Its the apps baby. Its the apps.

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Who Needs Paper Boarding Passes?

For years there have been services which let you receive all your flight data via your cell phone, but none have been approved as boarding passes. Now Lufthansa, which experimented with in flight WiFi with Boeing, is making the paper go away on two routes in Germany.

This is great for those of us who are connected. It means you can be SMS'd your flight details, run the screen past the bar code reader and get on your flight.

That said, don't expect it to happen anytime soon here in the USA.

Jeff Pulver on Travel Times

Having spent a considerable amount of time in Europe the last year I can relate to Jeff Pulver's comment about travel time and the need for in flight WiFi, especially here in the USA. That said, needing access to broadband on the go is key to this mobile/portable/nomadic lifestyle.

I for one miss the Boeing Conexxion service that I used on Lufthansa and SAS in 2005 and 2006. It has made it almost essential that I have broadband access on the ground at airports and access to mobile data and low priced voice calling while on the go.

Here are some of my tips, both old and new that keep making the working life on the road easier.

1. If you're going to one of the Hutchison 3G serving mobile countries invest in the Skypephone. Buy a prepaid card, toss in the extra money for a pay as you go data plan and make all the calls you want to back home. Every time I'm in the UK I toss 20 pounds on to my phone and buy a top up for the same amount before I leave. The credit doesn't expire. Figure 15 pounds for unlimited calling back to the states and elsewhere if I need to dial someone, and five pounds for the month or as low as 50 pence a day for the data connection.

2. Client Truphone and a travel router on a Nokia N or E Series phone. Okay, so both companies are clients. And you know what, the combo can't be beat. I had to spend over 90 minutes last Friday when I was in London on the Nokia E90 with Apple Care over a self inflicted wound caused by a bad install of Meebo/Tokbox and Adobe Flash audio/video that hosed my audio settings so bad a trip to the Apple store had to be booked in Philadelphia on Sunday. Cost. Zero as it was a Truphone WiFi call over my E90's speakerphone via Truphone.

3. MAXroam--if you're going transborder this is much easier than flipping SIM cards in and out.

4. CradlePoint-I got turned onto this by MAXRoam's Pat Phelan. Yesterday Alec Saunders and I had a Skype call over my EvDO connection using Sprint from my house. Basically you create a hot spot anywhere you are and can share with friends. Word of warning, it works best when you have only one data transfer intensive action if you are having a VoIP or Skype call. It won't easily support video though and that is a factor of throughput and the network.

5. Plantronics Internet Phone Booth 480 Headset. Day in and day out this is the best headset and mic combo to use. Its light and sounds great. Need a speakerphone. Nothing beats the Polycom Communicator. When I need a conference call I turn to client VAPPs and their High Speed Conferencing. The sound quality can't be beat.

Speed Bumps Coming To A BroadBand Near You Soon

Om's post about better speeds from your broadband provider is music to my years. As a home based teleworker and global traveling nomad speed is my connectivity lifeline. Bad broadband for me is the equal to a bad hair day.

But it's his closing paragraph which really nails what the important part of having better pipe is all about. The upstream path.

Broadband 2.0 is all about collaboration and sharing, and that requires just as much upstream bandwidth as it does downstream speeds. Regardless, this coming year is going to be fun as the cable companies and phone operators will do unnatural things to entice new subscribers, starting with offering faster connections at lower prices. Nothing wrong with that.

Basically for client companies like Vapps with their HiDef Conferencing, Yugma, SightSpeed, Truphone, Junction Networks, iotum, and their competitiors, the upstream improvements will really help make for a much better user experience.