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Posts from August 2008

Business Week on Mobile VoIP

Business Week's Olga Kharif writes a very good summary article about Mobile VoIP, which includes client Truphone.

Olga's points about Mobile VoIP and who the players are makes a nice compendium. What this means is that Mobile VoIP has gone well beyond the blogosphere and is now going to become more mainstream.

Sadly, the carries chose not to comment. That could mean one of two things.

1) They are concerned, or starting to become concerned.


2) They have their own Mobile VoIP plans.

Why Aircell's Attempts To Block VoIP Are Futile

Dan York has a very lengthy post about the VoIP packet traffic that Phweet and Tringme uses.

In his very knowledgeable way describes why long term the attempts to block VoIP are futile.

I agree, especially since it took me, a non-hacker, using a regular application called Flash from Adobe.

Instead of all this we need to focus on the potential ways the airlines can create talking zones, ala the smoking sections of the past, while at the same time think hard about what calls are essential and need to be made, and how to behave when on a packed plane with someone sleeping, or trying to work.

Give Dan's post a read.

More Free Calls With Asterisk via Gizmo Project

I've been a fan of GizmoProject for a very long time, and while I'm using it less and less, and other apps more, I still never forget how much innovation resides inside their team.

Many people forget that Gizmo was birthed out of SipPhone, and SipPhone has a ton of standards based capabilities and relationships, one of which their approach to peering with eNum, and their concept of an open federation. As a result of their approach, Gizmo Project is a neat way to connect quickly and easily, over IP, to many carriers directly.

If you're an Asterisk user or administrator, check out this very detailed post on Nerd Vittles and see how many different networks you can reach for free via the Gizmo eNum capability.

CallVantage Watch

I'd hate for AT&T to simply cut off CallVantage for those of us who have it. Today Network World recaps something I wrote earlier in the month, and which has been on DSLReports/BroadbandReports as well. Simply put, AT&T is not putting any new customers on the CallVantage platform.

This comes at a time when the cable operators like giant Comcast are beginning to innovate with new features as well as seeing daily growth every day from customers wanting to go triple=play, while, as Network World reports, Vonage and Packet8 are seeing slow downs.

Why is this happening?

For starter, AT&T under the SBC leadership has pretty much stopped innovating. Vonage and Packet 8 continue to sell basically the same thing to consumers and small businesses that were their offerings when I started VoIPWatch back in late 2003. What they offer is really Voice 1.5, where the only difference is the wire that connects to the phone now being Ethernet vs. twisted pair, and who bills the customer. That's not innovation.

AT&T had/has the AT&T Labs, perhaps the world's most innovative think tank for technology. But over the last five years or more AT&T has not innovated, something they did when they launched CallVantage, the service that has spawned many "me too" offerings from the likes of AOL, Earthlink and others. Even the Verizon VoiceWing product is a "me too" as they simply copied the offering from Vonage and rolled out a VoIP service using Delta Three's platform. YAWN.

This lack of innovation though really only resides with the big telcos and some of the VoIP players. Many other companies are innovating, and those are the companies that are offering Voice 2.0 and those are the companies you find here in VoIPWatch.

Is AT&T Having Network Issues, Did Apple Make More Changes or is It Google?

All of a sudden, over the last 24 hours, once again, GMAIL is not working on the iPhone via the native Mail app. The problem is IMAP authentication and its not fun.

The last time this happened, it was a Google change to the authentication process, and it impacted the PAID Google APPS mail accounts with a hosted domain. But I've also been unable to access Twitter via any of the iPhone apps like Twinkle or Twitterific.

On the other hand, GMAIL is working perfectly on the Nokia E71-2 (North America Edition) using the new Nokia MAIL service that is in beta, as well as the native mail client. That makes me think its the Apple Mail authentication problem which previously existed on the Apple Mac Mail client.

Bottom line, something is wrong (AGAIN) with the iPhone and AT&T when it comes to passing key password data. While I think I know how to fix the issue with GMAIL, if lessons learned from the paid apps, which means changing the password to an 8 character or more mixed letters and numbers one, there has yet to be any notification to users about that.

As for the other apps, it would seem that since they require some type of authentication, that perhaps the way the password is being sent over the network may be the cause. Bottom line. It's a problem.

Who Says You Can't VoIP on Aircell, I just Did It

This post is dedicated to my father, the late Master Sergeant Bernard Abramson, who in the USMC fashion taught me that "the impossible we do right away, but miracles take a little longer."

He would be proud.

Tonight I got an email from Laptop Magazine's new News Editor (recently promoted) Joanna Stern, asking me to get on SightSpeed while she was flying on an Aircell equipped American Airlines flight to New York.

We actually saw each other for about ten seconds on SightSpeed, before the voice and real time video sensing technology cut the connection off. Bummer as that was the supposed "impossible."

Then I thought what Dad had always taught me, about "miracles." So, faster than I could figure out my HOSTEL TAKEOVER Ambush Wedding at a hotel that shall remain nameless, that many of the VoIP crowd witnessed last year, I realized how to have a VoIP call with Joanna. It took about 10 seconds to suggest we try Flash Audio. And guess what? It worked.

Phweet. Yup, the unfunded brainchild of pals Stuart Henshall and Mr. Blog David Beckemeyer (who I consider one of the true great minds in VoIP) made it happen.

I invited Joanna, she replied and once I figured out how to get Phweet to answer (I had to use Safari, not Firefox) Joanna and I were having a lovely conversation while she was on an Aircell flight. I don't mean a five second hi, hello. I mean, a real conversation, as she held her Lenovo UMPC up to her face. I even heard the announcement from the flight attendants as she was about to land.

Here's the logic. Flash audio is embedded inside Flash. Unless Aircell wants to block all Flash traffic, this is the way to talk.

So, if you want to talk in the air, just Phweet.

Voxeo Shows Growth, Another Sign that VoIP Is On the Way Up

A few weeks after BT grabbed Silicon Valley startup, Ribbit, Voxeo, located out of the usual tech belt in Florida, has shown us once again that the business of VoIP is on the way up, not down.

In his post, Voxeo resident social media maven, Dan York, highlights details of the way things are going there.

So, beyond the obvious, what does this mean:

1) There is a great deal of interest in Voice XML and voice driven technology.

2) That people in the space like Thomas Howe who have been evangelizing the arrival of voice mashups are seeing their vision unfold before our eyes.

3) That IT and telecom engineers are looking beyond the usual suspects of integrators for new, novel and breakthrough ideas that can deliver a difference for their companies and their customers.

4) That innovation is clearly here once again in the telecom world.

5) With broadband proliferation, lower costs for storage, faster networks, bigger processors with more power, that processes which used to take massive amounts of computing power are now done from anywhere and can be used anywhere.

For a company like Voxeo, all of this is coming together at a time when telecom is changing.

Wall Street Journal Catches on To Alternative Long Distance Mobile Calling

Today's Wall Street Journal has a story highlighting client Truphone and a few others in the alternative mobile Long Distance biz.

Jajah, Mobivox, Gizmo project and a few others are mentioned in the well researched and thorough must read on the subject of Mobile VoIP.

From my position Truphone is really much akin to being an alternative long distance provider, but unlike MCI and Sprint of days gone by they have figured out how they can be both carrier cooperative in that they do drive minutes to the mobile operator, as well as user friendly in how they approach long distance and International calling via VOIP and when available, a WiFi connection.

While they remain WiFi calling first, and the best at it, their iPhone clients uses the iPhone's real phone number, while calls back to it go over the cellular network. Their Truphone Anywhere plan means that calls when not in range of a hotspot use minutes from the in place calling plan. In the Call Center

This acquisition by shows how far reaching their efforts to bring cloud computing to the epicenter of business really is.

For companies and developers in the Mashup and Voice XML space this will provide a lot of opportunities, and mean that's AppExchange becomes a key driver and promotional vehicle for companies that can combine phone, databased information support and call completion.