Friday, April 29, 2005

D-Link Pocket VoIP Router

D-Link already makes a Pocket Router- something you can carry on the road with you. Priced at $69.99, It can connect computers to enable sharing of files and hotel Internet access, as well as wirelessly connect any Ethernet-enabled client to a 802.11b/g network.

But it appears that D-Link is also planning a Pocket VoIP Router. No word of such product is on the D-Link site, but from a read of the Trademark application, it sure looks like such a device is in the works.

From the Trademark application, we learn that this device would be an "electronic apparatus in small form factor for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications and communications over wired Ethernet-based and/or wireless networks, namely adapters."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Sipura Technology Acquired by cisco/Linksys

The move signals Linksys' and Cisco's intention to expand their support for VoIP. The company said it is acquiring Sipura Technology for about $68 million and expects the acquisition to close by the end of July.

Linksys has released a variety of wireless routers and other equipment tuned to support VoIP services. Much of the technology built into those devices was provided by Sipura, according to the company. In a statement, Cisco noted that it expected VoIP to grow rapidly, particularly on the consumer side.

"VoIP is a strategic segment for innovation and growth for Cisco and Linksys, Charles Giancarlo, Cisco CTO and Cisco-Linksys president, said in a statement. "The acquisition of Sipura will augment Linksys' leading position in the rapidly growing VoIP market and is an example of Linksys' strategy to increase internal R&D capabilities in specific product categories."

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Grid plug-in speeds Windows Media video editing

Microsoft Corp. and GridIron Software Inc. have partnered to offer a plug-in for Windows XP that uses grid computing to accelerate digital video encoding with Microsoft's Windows Media Encoder software.

Grid Computing: The Popular Threat

It's the end of corporate computing as we know it.

So says Nicholas Carr, the Harvard Business Review scribe who two years ago asserted that information technology doesn't matter. That point of view, which suggested there's no competitive advantage gained from IT investment, ignited a firestorm, particularly among IT vendors.
Last week, Mr. Carr added to the IT-doesn't-matter discussion by postulating that businesses will soon discover that it makes no sense to own and manage computing capability. In a nine-page discussion document called "The End of Corporate Computing," Mr. Carr contends that business is at a stage where technology as a built and owned corporate function will move to a service delivered by a utility provider.

What is the driving force behind VOIP?

Open Source! according to Mark Spencer, driving force behind one of the most popular open source VOIP project, Asterisk.
Asterisk is a PBX with its own protocol and interconnect system. But it interoperates with almost all the protocols available today.
n addition to traditional PBX services, Asterisk provides three-way calling, conferencing, voicemail with directory and caller ID. It's also a gateway for VoIP interoperability, handling SIP , H.323 and Media Gateway Control Protocol specifications.
"Open Source is really driving innovation," Spencer told the audience of VON (voice over net). He described the IAX Protocol as NAT (define) transparent (which is huge issue for other protocols) and is an efficient transport that can triple calls per megabit versus SIP G.729.

Spencer also discussed DUNDi, an open source peer-to-peer routing protocol. DUNDi brings the P2P model to call routing and even involves a new type of agreement for carriers for peering that's modeled on the GPL, called the GPA (General Peering Agreement).
Spencer told representatives of Canada's telecom industry that "open" concepts have a historical precedent as old as Isaac Newton. The 28-year old Spencer put up a famous Newton quote, "If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants," to help explain how open source uses the collective power of many to spur innovation.
In Spencer's view, manufacturers have only a few options in the new competitive environment. They can try and stay ahead of where open source is or embrace open source solutions through either productizing open source solutions or integrating open source tools into existing products.

"Or you could become a disruptive open source leader yourself," Spencer said. "Open source and business can co-exist. Open source and the GPL are about the customer first not the vendor, so you have to adapt to those things."

VOIP gateway market to reach 1 billion by 2009

The global service provider voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) gateway market will grow from $165.3 million in 2003 to $985.7 million dollars in 2009, according to a new report by Research and Markets.

The growth will be fueled by the replacement of digital proprietary voice switching systems with systems that can deliver VoIP reliably and clearly, according to the report, "Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Market Opportunities, Strategies, and Forecasts."

The report notes that VoIP can be implemented in two ways: Calls can originate from a traditional TDM circuit switched technology (TDM to IP), or instead can originate from an Internet protocol router (IP to TDM).

IP to TDM will quickly dominate the market, the report says, because TDM to IP call origination is outdated and far more expensive that IP to TDM. In addition, the growth of broadband in the home will fuel IP to TDM growth. IP to TDM will be the engine that drives market growth.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

China Network Systems launches cable-based VoIP

China Network Systems Co (中嘉網路), a multiple-system operator, yesterday officially launched its voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) phone service, becoming the first operator to integrate digital cable broadcasting, broadband Internet access and VoIP in one cable modem.

With the "Triple Play" service, subscribers of China Network can pay NT$299 per month for a cable modem with a speed of 384/128k, the same rate charged by Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) for its 128/64k Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) broadband service.

The service is now available in Taipei County, and a trial was launched on month ago for about 3,000 of China Network's cable broadcast service subscribers in the region, said Gary Tsai (蔡俊榮), vice president of China Network.

Currently, there is no per-call charge on top of the monthly fee.

The firm's rate policy for calls will be made in accordance with feedback from users, and will be revealed in the next three to six months after a significant amount of customers have signed up, Tsai said.

China Network plans to invest NT$5 billion to build infrastructure throughout the nation for the three-in-one service, and targets expanding it to southern Taiwan, with a goal of acquiring 200,000 subscribers by the end of the year, he said.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

VoIP Alumni Gather To Revolutionize the Future

Jeff Pulver and an all-star cast of VoIP VIPs from North America and Europe will be celebrating the first commercial VoIP solution that was developed in Israel and introduced in 1995 when the VoIP Mission to Israel takes place June 14-15.

During the past ten years, VoIP technology has revolutionized telecommunications as we know it, VoIP has become a multi-billion dollar business and it's time to recognize Israel's role in its birth and future.

"Israel is home to many of the companies commercializing the innovations first developed in Israel," said Jeff Pulver. "We're going to bring the industry together to celebrate the past, review the present, and envision the future."

For two days in June, the hosted VoIP Mission to Israel will feature speakers and presentations focusing on new and emerging VoIP technologies, as well as regulatory, financial, and market issues. Jeff Pulver will deliver the Keynote Address, following an awards presentation recognizing Israel's VoIP pioneers.

VoIP for Business show

Imago Communications, organisers of the VoIP for Business show, are pleased to announce that Avaya, BT, Cisco, MCI and Tiscali Business Services - five industry leaders in VoIP* (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology and services - are to be the Founding Sponsors of this year's event., The Internet Telephony Service Provider Association (ITSPA), iDesk,, NextiraOne, Red Box Recorders, Saiph Broadband, Telappliant, TeleWare Hosted Services, Zultys and other VoIP specialists have also confirmed their participation.

"Many experts are saying that "VoIP will be THE technology of 2005" and the fact that such major industry names are supporting the VoIP for Business event lends extra weight to this statement" said Adam Malik, Commercial Director, Imago Communications.

Monday, April 18, 2005

XO Launches XOptions® Flex (National Biz VOIP)

XOptions Flex is an integrated VoIP services solution that gives business customers enhanced features, functionality and value for their voice and Internet services, all in one simple package. It is the industry's first VoIP services bundle for businesses that combines unlimited local and long distance calling, dedicated Internet access and web hosting services for a flat monthly price.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The California Public Utilities Commission voted to give up its fight for VoIP regulation

California's was the first of several state utility commissions to appeal the FCC order, leading to the combining of the cases in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Its decision to withdraw is likely to cause delays and a move to another circuit.
The state Public Utilities Commission voted 3 to 1 behind closed doors late last week to pull out of its appeal of a Federal Communications Commission rule designating so-called voice over Internet protocol as an interstate service beyond state control.

Friday, April 15, 2005

VOIP CheatSheet

Just some pointers for voip

8x8 Slashes Price of Packet8 Broadband VideoPhone to $99

Packet8’ve temporarily lowered the post-rebate price of their Packet8 Broadband Consumer VideoPhone from $250 to $99, and cut their monthly unlimited North American dialing plan from $29.95 to $19.95

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Comcrash Internet service outages a bad omen for VoIP customer support?

As our Jim Hu reported late yesterday, Comcast’s Internet access service has experienced two major national outages in the last six days. Page requests would repeatedly time out. Problem with Comcast’s Domain Name Servers.

Seemed to be a bit sluggish last night as well.

What’s this got to do with VoIP, and the prospects for Comcast’s Digital Voice service?

Tech reps to frustrated VoIP user: it’s not my department

Same old, same old.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Your own VoIP “radio station”

Slashdot article;

shashark writes "Technologically savvy users are merging these technologies to "Skypecast", using Skype's service to distribute recordings across the internet for free. This allows expert users to run their own mini-radio stations, which can be accessed by any Skype user. Skype does not actively support these uses, but encourages its users to find new applications for their service. Other possibilities discussed by Skypecasters at Unbound Spiral or Moodle are to turn an MP3 player into a radio station for any of Skype's 29 million registered users to dial up using their Skype line. Instructions also are available on how to record a personal soap opera and use Skype to distribute it en masse. Even more ominously, some Skypecasters record Skype calls and post them on the Internet."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

AOL launchs VOIP in 40 cities

America Online will launch its new Internet phone service in more than 40 cities, offering prices as low as $13.99 per month as part of an aggressive rollout, the company said Thursday.
With this launch, America Online is offering new AOL customers a special introductory package rate of $29.99 per month for the first six months for the AOL Internet Phone Service and the AOL service. This offer includes unlimited Local and Long Distance calling within the US and Canada plus unlimited access to the AOL service over a broadband connection. At the end of six months, the price of the package will be $39.99.
For the AOL Internet Phone Service alone, current AOL members can choose from three convenient price plans with introductory offer rates:

-- Local Plan: $13.99 per month for the first three months for unlimited local and regional calls and $0.04 per minute for long distance calls anywhere in the US and Canada ($18.99 per month thereafter);

-- Unlimited Calling Plan: $24.99 per month for the first three months for one flat fee for local and long distance calls within the US and Canada ($29.99 per month thereafter); and

-- Global Calling Plan: $29.99 per month for the first three months, including unlimited local and long distance calls within the US and Canada and low international rates ($34.99 per month thereafter).

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Verizon's VoIP

Verizon has gone to market with a lower-priced version of its VoiceWing VoIP service, coupled with an aggressive nationwide marketing plan. The new offering is a $19.95 per month plan, available anywhere in the United States, that offers unlimited incoming calls and 500 minutes of domestic outgoing calls.

Verizon’s only plan until now has been a $34.95 plan with unlimited calling. Verizon DSL customers get a break and pay $29.95 for that plan. The pricing, at $5-$10 per month more per month than competitors such as Vonage, had left Verizon in a weak competitive position outside of its home service area. The new $19.95 plan is priced the same for all users nationwide.

In addition to the new lower-priced plan Verizon has also spiffed up its VoIP service with faxing capabilities, the ability to block up to 20 pre-designated phone numbers and to reject calls from anonymous callers. It’s also become the first major VoIP provider offer 411 residential 411 directory assistance listing for VoIP phone numbers, although that feature is only good within Verizon’s own service area.

The new faxing capability requires a Linksys PAP2 telephone adapter, and Verizon said that it will trade out the Cisco adapters it had been providing customers at no charge.

Michigan Raises VoIP 911 Alarm

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has issued a warning to consumers in that state about the inability of VoIP suppliers to provide 911 services. The warning follows on the heels of the Texas lawsuit, where Vonage is being charged with not providing consumers with adequate disclosure of 911 limitations, and the decision in Canada this week that all VoIP providers doing business in the country must have some sort of 911 service available within the next 90 days.

Monday, April 04, 2005

3 mln residential VOIP users by year-end 2005, 27 mln by 2009

Residential voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) has clearly come into its own in the US as major telecommunications carriers begin to roll out VOIP service offerings to give themselves a competitive edge. Fueled in part by consumers looking to add value to their telephony service, IDC expects that the number of US subscribers to residential VOIP services will grow from 3 mln in 2005 to 27 mln by the end of 2009.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

As hackers threaten Internet telephony, vendors ally to fight back.

The Voice over IP Security Alliance announced Monday it will define the threats to IP telephony and discuss what can be done to lock down the next generation of telephones.
According to Insight Research, the global market for VoIP will reach $82 billion this year and $196.5 billion by 2007. Much of this growth is driven by businesses, but Gartner predicts that by 2008, almost one in five U.S. homes will have VoIP telephones.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Bell Canada Launches VoIP without Reg Approval

In a move that could put it head to head with Canadian regulator CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Council), Bell Canada (BCE Inc.) has launched its consumer voice-over-IP service, Bell Digital Voice, in one of its local service areas without waiting for approval by the regulatory authority.

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