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Posts from September 16, 2018 - September 22, 2018

Apple's eSIM Play for Truphone Could Be Game Changing

Longtime VoIPWatcher and close friend James Body and I were chatting this morning and he alerted me to an overlooked piece of news surrounding his former employer, and my former client, Truphone. The news surrounds Truphone being one of the chosen eSIM providers on the new iPhone.

This is both massive news for the UK based global mobile operator, but also very big news for the global road warrior or multinational. Already available on the Apple SIM for Data, on a pay as you go basis, the eSIM changes the game and makes so much possible. And, given Truphone's global network architecture, which is much like Facebook, AWS or Google's, traffic if very local, or as close to local as it can get. That makes voice and data traffic far less jittery. Less latent. 

But most of all, Truphone eliminates roaming in ways that T-Mobile only dreams of.

  • For starters, it's LTE, 4G or 3G around the world. T-Mobile is 2G.
  • Second it's on demand. That means I can land in Europe, activate Truphone on a Pay As You Go (PAYG) basis.
  • Third, the eSIM and Truphone just eliminated standing in line to buy SIM cards.
  • Fourth, for local mobile operators loss of "traveler" revenue on the retail side, but lots of revenue on the wholesale side.
  • Fifth, VoIP based calling and conferencing services like Skype, Telzio, Vonage, Dialpad, Hangouts, UberConference, Zoom, WebEx, JoinMe, GoToMeeting, Facetime, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, Signal, all of which work very well over Truphone on my iPad will be data vs. voice network, further saving money and being of far better quality than a PSTN call. 
  • Truphone's USA number means Google Voice rings it. Something Google Fi doesn't permit.

As a global road warrior, who has traveled often outside the USA I couldn't be happier..

Skype Over Echo is a Big Deal

Skype is coming to the Amazon Echo soon. This is a big win for Amazon, and also at the same time could have massive ramifications to the entire voice and video calling industry. And it may also be the biggest boost to Skype resuming being a force in calling. 

Here's why

  • Echo devices are becoming almost ubiquitous. They are also becoming dirt cheap. As low as $50.00 for the Echo dot. With the new in car Echo coming to mobile (2020) the ability to reach anyone, anywhere, will be easier.
  • Imagine if Amazon and T-Mobile put SIM cards inside Echos for data. Skype can call over the network. BOOM.
  • By connecting to Echos Skype now has millions of endpoints world wide.....That's a big number......
  • Video-Amazon has made voice control of a video call already possible between Amazon Show devices. But Show to Show is a limited market. Add in Skype and connectivity to mobile devices, Macs and PCs, and now Skype is the switchboard.
  • Apple hasn't done this with FaceTime yet. Google hasn't done this with Hangouts.
  • A Skype In or Skype Out call is like a phone call. Add voice control and it's no different than using your iPhone with Siri.
  • You know my name, you don't have to look up my number.-Just like you can ask Alexa to play a song over Spotify, Pandora, or Amazon Music, you'll be able to do the same thing with your Echo. So today, while you can Connect and call Echo to Echo, with Skype that audience just got really huge.
  • Even though Google Home can call over Google Voice, it doesn't receive phone calls (yet). Skype on the Echo is an full service endpoint.
  • This could eliminate the need for a voice plan as all you'll need in the car for calls

Calling on the Echo though isn't new. In it's infancy Telzio did the first integration ever as a VoIP player, followed by OnSip. Dialpad also has done one too. These though are edge cases and really proof of concept. Skype still has 300 million users worldwide. But it's the Skype In and Out capability that changes the game though. WhatsApp has 1.5 billion connected users but you can't call someone from WhatsApp that not a WhatsApp user. Nor can Facebook Messenger call out. 

Given the deskphone is going the way of the dinosaur, the Echo is the ideal replacement, and since Skype is like a switchboard, Microsoft's move to cozy up with Alexa, is a big, big move.


People - Comings and Goings

In the telecom world, people come and go from companies all the time. But this week three major forces who have shaped VoIP have chosen to depart their companies.

Longtime VoIP and Collaboration guru, and one of the fathers of SIP, Jonathan Rosenberg is leaving Cisco (for the second time). He'll be replaced by Cullen "Fluffy" Jennings....At Counterpath, CEO Donovan Jones has resigned and no successor has been named yet. His departure further makes Todd Carothers the go-to guy, while CFO David Karp will run the business day to day operationally.....and last but hardly least, Jeff Bonforte, one of the minds behind Gizmo Project, then Yahoo Voice, has left Yahoo again.....

Good luck to all and to all a good day!

Leaks Are A Strategy And Everyone Is Doing It

We hear every day about a news leak, a photo leak or a video leak. It comes across like someone "discovered" something, found an image, heard a report, saw something. The reality is that in most cases these "leaks" are part of a strategy to build up interest. It's a lead up to the big news day.

To give you background, I ran PR for the Upper Deck Company in 1991 and 1992. Granted social media wasn't around back then, but the so called "hobby press" was as aggressive about finding things out, especially about Upper Deck as we were the Apple of trading cards. And, nothing ever leaked about our cards (though our Trade Jordan outdoor campaign did get leaked by an outdoor ad company by accident.) 

When I say, NOTHING. I mean NOTHING. We kept everything IN HOUSE. Nothing made it to the media if we didn't want it to. That's why when I see all these leaks I know better. As a public rule, Apple will terminate a company that allows things to get leaked, yet, do you see Apple changing suppliers? No. You see them internalizing more. Google on the other hand plays the game very well. While they control everything, like Apple, the amount of information that comes out surrounding their products is far too detailed and too well orchestrated.

So the next time you hear about a product leak, know that they're not really leaks. Just another rung in a well thought out PR strategy.