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VoIP / Featured Blogs

Verizon: Voice is Dying

Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon CEO, saying "voice is dying" is a defining moment in telecom history. He didn't use those words, but his comments at Goldman Sachs are clear "we have to pivot and make a shift from the voice business to the data business and eventually to the video business. ... we must really position ourselves to be an extremely potent video-centric asset." more

Skype Takes a SIP of Cisco With UC500 Skype For SIP Certification

It's been a busy month for the folks in the Skype For SIP project. First, back on September 9, Skype announced ShoreTel interoperability. Then last week on September 17, Skype announced interop with the open source SIPFoundry sipXecs product. Today, though, is Skype's biggest announcement yet... more

Skype’s End User License Agreement

I was looking at the End User License Agreement to which Skype wants people to assent. I noticed the following odd provision (Section 3.2.4): You hereby grant to Skype a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable and transferable licence to Use the Content in any media in connection with the Skype Software, the Products and the Skype Website. more

Google Voice Dispute Highlights an Opportunity for Mobile Network Operators

The recent row between Google, Apple and AT&T concerning the removal of Google Voice from the Apple iPhone store highlights the friction existing between network operators and so-called over the top (OTT) application providers. Most observers believe that AT&T initiated the blockade because Google Voice (which offers free or highly discounted calling rates) is a direct threat to AT&Ts call revenue (Google Voice users need only pay AT&T for access to the Internet). more

Seeing the Opportunity for IP Communications Within the Smart Grid Space

Having followed IP communications as an analyst since 2001, I've seen a few cycles come and go, and Smart Grid reminds me a lot of VoIP. Telcos and utilities both operate large, complex and costly networks, and prior to 1984, both were heavily regulated. Following the deregulation of telecom came a wave of unprecedented innovation and disruption built largely around IP technologies. We all know what that's done for telcos -- and communications in general. more

The Google Telephone Company?

Google has undertaken a beta-test of a telephony platform that includes the opportunity to route incoming calls to multiple devices and telephone numbers as well as free domestic long distance service. Google offers a service that fits somewhere between computer-to-computer, Internet telephony and Voice over the Internet Protocol telephony with access to and from the public switched telephone network. These service categories present polar opposites for U.S. regulatory purposes... more

Google Wave: Good News or Bad News for Carriers?

The recent launch of Google Wave generated a lot of attention, and for good reason. It's recently crossed my path in a few different settings, and while the news is still fresh, there is a lot here for service providers to be thinking about. At a high level, Wave is Google's entry into the real time collaboration space, and being Web-based, is poised to disrupt the status quo, not just for vendors, but service providers as well. more

Tinkering Without Tampering: Wrestling With Convergence and Communications Policy (Transcript)

Our world finds itself at a critical juncture. Both trillions of dollars and the future of human communications including fundamental access to it are at stake. For telecom operators and media outlets there is not a migratory way from where we are to the future. There is a clear consumer shift underway that runs in the opposite direction to that of telecom and media incumbents; emergent social practice is increasingly clashing with the very structure and desires of incumbent players... It was for these reasons that one of the six keynote speakers invited to Spring 2009 Emerging Communications Conference (eComm) in San Francisco was Richard Whitt, Google's Washington Telecom and Media Counsel. His keynote was entitled, Tinkering without Tampering: Wrestling with Convergence and Communications Policy... more

HD Voice Really is Great

Listen for half a minute to a demo of a high-bit-rate codec and you expect they will transform our industry. The difference is like a CD with great headphones versus a little transistor radio. Suddenly, you realize just how awful the sound is on your regular telephone. Who wouldn't want their call to sound dramatically better was my first reaction. When Thomson and some of the cable folks discussed plans, I was enthusiastic. Years later, nearly no one is taking advantage... more

What to Do with Skype?

Without rehashing the mainstream headlines, it's clearly on the table now that eBay has given up trying to create synergies with Skype, so the focus now is on making the best of things as distinct entities. The preferred route for eBay would be to keep Skype and recoup their investment via an IPO sometime next year. That would certainly bring an end to things with both parties leaving on a high note. Of course this hinges heavily on the state of capital markets... more