Monday, May 31, 2004

Bells loosen their grip

Bells loosen their grip | CNET

By Ben Charny
Staff Writer, CNET

Some local phone companies are deciding that they don't need to sell local phone service anymore to some customers--a stunning reversal for an industry reeling from defections to cellular and Internet phone services.

Verizon Communications this week confirmed that it has begun letting some broadband customers drop local phone service without forcing them to abandon the company's DSL (digital subscriber line) plan. The move follows a similar announcement in February by Qwest Communications International and points to the fast-approaching day when the local phone line is just one more item on an a la carte telecommunications menu.

'Things are starting to change,' Gartner analyst Tole Hart said. 'There's cell phone substitution, people are dropping their second lines, and there's more competition. It adds up.'


Thursday, May 27, 2004

Comcast to offer phone service to 40 mln in 2006 UPDATE 2-Comcast to offer phone service to 40 mln in 2006

Reuters, 05.26.04, 12:55 PM ET

By Michael Learmonth

NEW YORK, (Reuters) - Comcast Corp. said Wednesday it will offer telephone service to more than 40 million households by 2006, as it follows a host of other cable operators challenging local telephone companies.

Comcast, the nation's largest cable television company, said it would begin an aggressive roll-out of telephone service with a technology known as VOIP, or Voice-over-Internet protocol, which allows phone calls to be transmitted using a cable modem over high-speed data lines.

Comcast follows rivals Time Warner Cable, Cablevision Systems Corp. and Cox Communications Inc. in making hefty investments to offer phone service over high- speed cable lines.


But with 21.5 million subscribers, Comcast is far larger than its cable competitors and analysts say it offers the biggest long-term threat to telecom carriers in the areas it serves.

"Comcast will likely become one of the biggest phone companies over the next decade," said UBS analyst John Hodulik.

Comcast's footprint encompasses large chunks of the markets of larger carriers, including 30 percent of SBC Communications Inc._, 27 percent of Verizon Communications_, 23 percent of BellSouth Corp. and 28 percent of Qwest Communications International Inc._.

"We expect these carriers to see accelerating pressure on residential access lines in 2005 as these deployments occur and sales efforts gain traction," Hodulik said.


Sunday, May 23, 2004

Talk Gets Cheap

Barron's Cover Story on VoIP


Barron's Online - Talk Gets Cheap:

Internet telephony is bad news for the Bells, but maybe great news for the cable guys

THE U.S. TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY is getting a wake-up call. And the companies that don't listen to it risk disappearing.


The story provides an excellent overview of the current state of VoIP.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Jeff - Nikolas - SkypeOut - SkypePlus

The Jeff Pulver Blog

Read the resumee Jeff gives about Nikolas Zennströms presentation at the VON Canada 2004. Remarkable the customer aquisition cost from Skype compared to Vonage and the announcement of the new services SkypeOut (calls to the PSTN) and SkypePlus (VoiceMail and Virtual Numbers).

I also like the annoncement that Nikolas will be a Keynote speaker at the VON Europe 2004 in London

Vonage vows to fight New York ruling

Vonage vows to fight New York ruling | CNET

Last modified: May 20, 2004, 10:36 AM PDT
By Ben Charny
Staff Writer, CNET

Net phone service provider Vonage has vowed to battle a recent ruling that classified it as a telephone company and thus subject to some of New York's regulations.

'We're disappointed, we're concerned and we're incensed,' a Vonage representative said Thursday.

The ruling, which was made by the New York State Public Service Commission on Wednesday, starts the clock ticking on a 45-day deadline for Vonage to file for a state telephone license.


California's Public Utility Commission is also on the verge of regulating Net phone providers, a source familiar with the commission's backroom dealings said. But other states, including Pennsylvania, are waiting for word from Washington, D.C., where federal regulators and lawmakers are trying to establish their own jurisdiction over the Net phone industry.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Skype signs deal with two carriers

Mercury News | 05/19/2004 | Skype signs deal with two carriers


By Dawn C. Chmielewski

Mercury News

TORONTO - As a waiter serves breakfast, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom puts his head down and starts tapping on his handheld computer.

Zennstrom's not checking the time of his next appointment or reading his e-mail. He's showing off a new version of Skype's free Internet phone service that will turn any wireless-equipped PDA into a no-cost mobile phone.

On Tuesday, Zennstrom revealed agreements with two telecommunications carriers that by summer will allow Skype calls to be made to standard phones anywhere in the United States.

Zennstrom would not name his telecommunications partners in advance of an official announcement. But the deal overcomes Skype's major shortcoming: Skype users only can call people who have Skype software installed on their computers.

Skype's greatest advantage is its peer-to-peer architecture, which draws on the power of each computer forming the network rather than expensive telecommunications equipment. That makes it an aggressive competitor because the cost of adding customers is effectively zero.

``That's why we cannot charge for calls,'' said Zennstrom. ``We don't need to.''

Richards comment: and now, with calls to the PSTN?

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Report from the VON and Canada by - Pundits sound off on VoIP's future:

Pundits sound off on VoIP's future 5/19/04

Stefan Dubowski,

Voice over IP (VoIP) technology may well usher in a new communication paradigm for the enterprise, but it could also be tough on telecom service providers. That was one of the insights provided by high-tech pundits at VON Canada, a communication technology conference held in Markham, Ont., from May 18 to 20 that gathered industry insiders and commentators to present their views on the telecom sector's future.

Among the crystal-ball gazers was Jeff Pulver, a VoIP advocate and VON Canada's organizer. He described a future wherein big businesses connect with each other directly, bypassing the public-switched telephone network (PSTN) and leaving carriers out of the loop.

'There's no reason why one large enterprise can't talk to another large enterprise peer to peer, IP PBX to IP PBX,' Pulver said, noting that in his estimation, IP presents an opportunity for businesses to have more control over their communication infrastructures.

However, Pulver also outlined some of the barriers that stand before this peer-to-peer vision. He pointed to regulations, saying that governments should not regulate IP-based telecom services. 'Give a window for things to grow,' he said, explaining that IP would mature in the market, and stagnate in a highly regulated environment.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is reviewing VoIP regulations these days. The Commission recently put out a public notice saying local VoIP service provided by incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) like Bell Canada and Telus Corp. should fall under the same rules as do PSTN-based local voice service.

According to Robert Barry, a telecom industry analyst at The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., VoIP could seriously disrupt Canada's communication landscape, including regulations. He pointed out that IP lets new kinds of carriers into the telecom game. Witness cable companies like Shaw Communications Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. These firms are chatting up VoIP as they plan to unveil their own versions of the service.

Barry said these newcomers make it difficult for regulators to segment services and service providers. He added that the CRTC might have to change the way it approaches telecom regulations to account for the new market entrants.

Mike Kologinski, executive vice-president of marketing at Allstream Corp., an IP service provider, presented the results of a survey that his company conducted in an attempt to understand what Canadian businesses thought of VoIP.

Kologinski said Allstream learned that among Canadian enterprises, 15 percent are already using VoIP in their communication environments. Allstream also learned that 21 percent of enterprises "definitely will adopt" the technology, 46 percent "probably" will adopt it and 17 percent are not very likely to adopt.

Kologinski also noted a trend among companies considering VoIP: enterprises that rely on IT to take care of voice communication are more likely to be interested in VoIP than are companies that employ separate telecom groups to manage the voice infrastructure.

John Yoakum of Nortel Networks Corp. told the VON Canada audience to expect a future of "hyper inter-human connectivity," wherein features coming into the mainstream today, such as find me-follow me, and presence, are the norm.

However Yoakum also said network equipment would have to smarten up somewhat, so the network would know to when send calls to a person's cell phone, for instance, without requiring that the person tells the system to do so. "Systems ought to take care of that for us."

Larry Shaw, director general, telecom policy at Industry Canada, a federal government department, said competition in the communication sector should change dramatically as cable companies turn on VoIP services, telcos turn on TV-type services, and even electricity companies crank up data access services. He also raised the notion of an "X over IP" future, wherein voice, data, video, wireless services et cetera all travel according to the Internet protocol.

Joe Rinde of telecom consultancy Rinde Associates talked about IP's "killer app," noting that there's no such thing, but in time a group of applications, a "killer collection," would rise to the top of the IP feature pile.

Rinde said the best way for businesses to learn the difference between a member of this killer collection and a feature that's dead in the water is by experimentation -- try the new equipment, test novel functions. Rinde also acknowledged, however, that experimentation can be difficult for many cash-strapped, over-worked IT departments that simply want tools that get the job done, and have little time for R&D.

New York State rules Vonage is a 'Telecom Company'

Earlier today the New York Public Services Commission announced their decision that Vonage is a telecom company under NY State rules.

Specifically the Commission determined that '...Vonage owns and manages equipment that is used to provide telephone service to Vonage's customers and to connect Vonage's customers to the
customers of other telephone corporations via their public networks and thus, like other owners of telecommunications-provisioning equipment, is subject to the NYS Public Service Law.'

This is interesting: New York State decided to apply legacy telephone regulation to Internet based communications while the FCC is in the process of figuring out the right regulatory treatment for VoIP.

Between this decision in New York and a pending decision in California, these new developments may lead to the introduction of new regulatory barriers that in fact could slow the adoption of IP Communication services and delay the extraordinary benefits available from such services.

How to Disrupt the World

Zennstrom: "Technology is just a tool, like a hammer or scissors. You don't know what people will use it for."

Globetechnology: "How to disrupt the world

Globe and Mail Update

One of the highest compliments you can pay an inventor is to say a creation is 'disruptive technology.' It means that the product is revolutionary because it disrupts or even derails the way things are usually done.
Niklas Zennstrom knows better than most engineers that being disruptive can also lead to big trouble.


Pulver: CRTC shouldn't treat VoIP like phone service

5/18/2004 5:00:00 PM - Vonage co-founder says regulators should hold off for five to 10 years

by Derek Abma

OTTAWA -- The guru of Internet telephony is in Canada, and he's talking revolution.
Jeff Pulver, president of and co-founder of Vonage, was in the nation's capital on Monday for a speaking engagement just before heading to
Toronto for VON Canada, a voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) convention being held at the Markham Conference Centre Tuesday through Thursday.


Saturday, May 15, 2004

Start-up brings Net telephony to cell phones

[print version] Start-up brings Net telephony to cell phones | CNET

By CNET Staff

Story last modified May 11, 2004, 11:18 AM PDT

Communications start-up i2 Telecom International announced a new gadget that will allow cell phone users to make calls using voice-over-Internet Protocol technology.

The product, called InternetTalker MG-3, is expected to be released next month. Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology is a cheap, Net-based alternative to traditional telephone service.

'Anyone with a cell phone can now take the power of our VoIP solutions with them and realize dramatic savings when making business and personal calls from anywhere to anywhere in the world,' Rick Scherle, senior vice president for marketing at i2Telecom, said in a statement.

InternetTalker MG-3 essentially acts as a bridge between customers' cell phones and their existing landline and Internet connection. By calling into the phone line, consumers can establish a VoIP connection. ....

Richards comment:

Put in simple words, this is a terminal adapter with FXO port recognizing your cell phone Caller ID (patent pending?). Nice try.

Friday, May 14, 2004

BellSouth Expands Voice Over IP Portfolio To Include Centrex IP With Advanced New Features For Businesses

BellSouth Expands Voice Over IP Portfolio To Include Centrex IP With Advanced New Features For Businesses

Leading Carrier Continues to Deliver Converged Communication Solutions with Comprehensive Voice Options

May 13, 2004

ATLANTA -- BellSouth (NYSE: BLS) announced today the availability of BellSouth Centrex IP Service throughout the Southeastern markets served by the company. This availability follows successful market trials and the service is part of BellSouth's plan to utilize voice over IP (VoIP) technology to provide innovative and diversified solutions for business customers.


Telephone history: lessons for today

from: Marginal Revolution: Telephone history: lessons for today
Posted by Tyler Cowen on May 10, 2004 at 07:50 AM

Have you ever wondered how America became a world leader in mass media and telecom? Paul Starr's excellent The Creation of the Media addresses this question.

Here is one good bit from the book:

"French policy was...unfavorable to the telephone. Unwilling to spend public funds on the medium, the French government, beginning in 1879, granted local concessions for telephone service lasting only five years. The idea was to let the private sector assume the risk of a new business, giving the state time to see if it was worth taking over. Private capital could lose money on the telephone, but if the medium proved profitable the government would step in: a policy nicely designed to depress investment. In 1885, the government itself began building long-distance lines but limited construction so as not to cause too rapid a depreciation of its investment in the telegraph. Four years later, it nationalized the local telephone carriers as well, not so much because of a positive commitment to improve telephone service as because of a defensive concern about the erosion of the state's telegraph monopoly..."

"By 1895, while the United States had one telephone for every 208 people...France [had] one for every 1,216...In 1927, while Bell was reporting an average delay of 1.5 minutes in placing long-distance calls, it took, on average, more than an hour to put through a call from Paris to Berlin."

The bottom line: Keep this story in mind the next time you hear politicians talking about the regulation of VOIP.

AusCERT - AA-2004.02 -- Denial of Service Vulnerability in IEEE 802.11 Wireless Devices

This does not sound good :-/

AusCERT - AA-2004.02 -- Denial of Service Vulnerability in IEEE 802.11 Wireless Devices:

Date: 13 May 2004
AusCERT Reference #: AA-2004.02

A vulnerability exists in hardware implementations of the IEEE 802.11 wireless protocol[1] that allows for a trivial but effective attack against the availability of wireless local area network(WLAN) devices.

An attacker using a low-powered, portable device such as an electronic PDA and a commonly available wireless networking card may cause significant disruption to all WLAN traffic within range, in a manner that makes identification and localisation of the attacker difficult.


ENUM on its way to maturity

The SIP Center - Redefining Voice and Data Convergence Based on SIP:

By Adrian Georgescu
AG Projects
May 7th, 2004.

ENUM, a convergence tool for translating telephone numbers into Internet addresses used by IP telephony and next generation mobile networks like UMTS, is a key ingredient for the transition to the Next Generation Networks.


RIPE (Réseaux IP Européens), the collaborative forum open to all parties interested in wide area IP networks and responsible for technical delegations under ENUM top level domain, has recently (at the RIPE48 meeting) transformed its activities on ENUM, that were conducted in various BoF sessions so far, into the more formal ENUM Working Group.

IETF, the protocol engineering and development arm of Internet society, has produced last week the final version of the documents describing ENUM (RFC 3761) and the way ENUM is used with SIP and H323 Voice over IP signaling protocols (RFC 3762 and RFC 3764).

Most importantly, both standardization bodies from Telecom (International Telecommunications Union’s ITU-T Study Group 2) and Internet (IETF’s ENUM Working Group) joined together the efforts lead by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to put ENUM platforms to the necessary interoperability tests that will make ENUM gain the acceptance from vendors, providers and regulators alike. Roadmap for ENUM Workshops and Plugtests in ETSI (

5 and 6 October 2004 - 2nd ETSI ENUM Plugtests Workshop
29 November to 3 December 2004 - Plugtests for IP Communications (SIP/H323/ENUM)
1Q 2005 -3rd ETSI ENUM Plugtests Workshop

Following the ETSI proposed roadmap, the first interoperability tests “Plugtests TM” will be taking place in November and December 2004 at ETSI headquarters in Sophia–Antipolis, France. Commercial deployments of ENUM are likely to follow as soon as early 2005.


Thursday, May 13, 2004

New "Numbering" Ordinance in Austria (KEM-V)

Includes Number Ranges for VoIP and ENUM

Alte Ortsnetze, neue Rufnummernbereiche und effektive Mehrwertdiensteregelungen fuer Oesterreich: Verordnung KEM-V tritt in Kraft:

The new ordinance on communication parameters, tariffs and value added services (KEM-V) released by the Austrian Regaulatory Authority (RTR) May 12th, 2004 makes two new number ranges for VoIP and IP Communications available. One of these number ranges is specifically designed for use with ENUM-driven numbers.

Free translation:
Location Independent Numbers for fixed networks - (0)720

This number range enables the usage of location independent numbers for telephony services in fixed networks or on the Internet. Mr. Serentschy (Head of RTR) said in the press release: 'This number range is also designated among other things for the usage with VoIP, a service getting more and more importance. Of course also geographic number ranges may be used with VoIP in fixed networks implemented with IP-technology, provided the corresponding legal requirements are met. We are trying to be as much technology-neutral as possible. But IP-based telephony services often include also location independent (nomadic) usage, therefore this number range (0)720 has been opened for these types of services.

German Original:
Standortunabhaengige Festnetznummern - (0)720

Der Rufnummernbereich (0)720 ermoeglicht mit den neuen Regelungen eine Nutzung als ortsunabhaengige Anschlussnummer fuer Telefondienste im Festnetz oder Internet. 'Dieser Nummernbereich ist unter anderem fuer die Verwendung von Voice over IP vorgesehen, ein Dienst, der stark an Bedeutung gewinnen wird', so Serentschy. 'Bei Einhaltung der entsprechenden Nutzungsauflagen koennen aber grundsaetzlich auch geografische Rufnummern an Festnetzanschluessen, die auf Basis von IP-Netzen realisiert werden, genutzt werden - wir bemuehen uns hier um weitestgehende Technologieneutralitaet. Weil IP-basierte Telefondienste aber oft ortsunabhaengige Nutzung beinhalten, stehen dafuer nunmehr die Rufnummern im Bereich (0)720 zur Verfuegung.'

Free translation:
Numbers for convergent services (ENUM) - (0)780

The number range (0)780 is intended for innovative services going beyond plain voice communication and are realised using ENUM (see IETF RFC3761). The ENUM-System associates E.164 numbers unambigously with well-defined domain names and allows among other things the reachability on the Internet without detour via the conventional phone network. Serentschy "We are exited to see which additional services in conjunction with ENUM will be created in the future. The Austrian ENUM Activities - currently the ENUM Trial is still running - are leading worldwide. I expect the launch of commercial ENUM service this fall, and then also the official Austrian Tier 1 Registry for the delagation of Austrian ENUM domains will be operative"

German Original:
Rufnummern fuer konvergente Dienste (ENUM) - (0)780

Der Rufnummernbereich (0)780 ist fuer innovative Dienste gedacht, die ueber einfache Sprachkommunikation weit hinausgehen koennen und die unter Einbeziehung von ENUM realisiert werden (mit Hilfe des ENUM-Systems werden Rufnummern eindeutige Internet Domain Names zugeordnet; damit ist unter anderem die Erreichbarkeit aus dem Internet ohne 'Umweg' ueber das Telefonnetz moeglich). 'Wir sind gespannt, welche Dienste im Zusammenhang mit ENUM in Zukunft noch entstehen werden. Mit den oesterreichischen ENUM-Aktivitaeten - derzeit laeuft noch eine ENUM-Trial - sind wir weltweit ganz vorne dabei', so Serentschy. 'Den Beginn kommerzieller ENUM-Dienste in Oesterreich erwarte ich im Herbst, dann wird voraussichtlich auch die offizielle Vergabestelle fuer die oesterreichischen ENUM-Domains operativ sein."

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Net2Phone Wades Into WiFi


Net2Phone Wades Into WiFi :: :: A user's guide to the VoIP revolution

Net2Phone, a turn-key hosted VoIP telephony service provider, has announced plans to deliver a suite of wireless VoIP solutions globally, enabling Net2Phone resellers to offer residential and business customers mobile VoIP applications.

Building on its recently announced unbranded VoiceLine broadband telephony offering, Net2Phone's wireless VoIP solutions will offer service providers SIP-based hosted wireless telephony services that can be sold as an enhancement to existing products.


Demand for wireless IP local area networks or Wi-Fi (802.11) continues to grow. According to Pyramid Research, Wi-Fi penetration will grow to about 700 million users globally by 2008. Wi-Max, an extended wireless broadband network reaching as far as 25 miles, is becoming a viable alternative for customers to receive high-speed Internet access in rural areas and in areas where wired broadband is not an option because of low high-speed data availability.


"Net2Phone's wireless solutions remove the tether associated with VoIP, delivering the flexibility of a cellular phone anywhere in the world there is a Wi-Fi hotspot, without the need to be tied to a cell phone carrier, " said Stephen Greenberg, CEO of Net2Phone. "Net2Phone is well positioned to ride the burgeoning Wi-Fi network explosion to offer consumers and businesses affordable mobile telephony solutions."

Net2Phone routes all calls over wireless IP networks to its SIP-based platform, which performs call management, provides Class 5 features, billing, provisioning and enhanced services and distributes the infrastructure required for interconnecting onto and off of the PSTN network. Net2Phone offers service providers an affordable mobile telephony solution together with a complete set of features and functionality, including inbound and outbound calling with phone number selection, call waiting, caller ID and voicemail.

The company also announced that its first customer, IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT), a leading multinational carrier and technology company, plans to deploy commercial Wi-Fi phone service in a series of locations throughout the United States. The Ironbound area of Newark, New Jersey will be the first area covered.

Friday, May 07, 2004

VeriSign Launches MSO-IP Connect VoIP Routing Service

VeriSign Launches MSO-IP Connect VoIP Routing Service

VeriSign service allows seamless, secure VoIP interconnection for cable operators and VoIP carriers

NEW ORLEANS-NCTA THE NATIONAL SHOW-MAY 3, 2004-VeriSign, Inc. the leading provider of critical infrastructure services for the Internet and telecommunications networks, today announced the introduction of VeriSign MSO-IP Connect, a new service that provides cable operators (MSOs) and VoIP carriers with end-to-end voice over IP routing. The VeriSign service removes the need to route IP calls over the Public Switched Telephone Network, thereby allowing MSOs to connect IP calls securely, and avoid incurring costly toll charges from third-party carriers.

'Cable operators are increasingly driving the growth of converged voice and data services,' said Neil McGowan, senior vice president of VeriSign Communications Services. 'VeriSign MSO-IP Connect provides the missing link that allows cable operators to interconnect their voice traffic over a robust and secure IP network. This allows MSOs to offer customers both cost competitive voice services, and a comprehensive set of content and data services.'

VeriSign has a rich heritage in providing connectivity, interoperability, and security services for both Internet and PSTN networks. Through its operation of both the world's largest independent SS7 network and much of the infrastructure for the global domain name system, VeriSign securely and reliably supports over 12 billion Internet and telecommunication transactions per day. VeriSign leverages this dual expertise to help communications service providers deploy interoperability solutions for new technologies such as VoIP.

The MSO-IP Connect Service offers many benefits that differentiate it from others available today. The service provides a centralized call routing and discovery database based on the ENUM and PacketCable SIP-based Call Management Server Signaling (CMSS) protocols. Unlike other services that only allow ENUM connectivity, VeriSign's standardized interfaces also support the PacketCable SIP-based CMSS protocol, allowing maximum flexibility in obtaining public route information. Through perimeter security management and protocol inter-working, VeriSign's new service also helps secure MSO networks - even with high volumes of telephony transactions. In addition to security, the service also draws on VeriSign's billing and payments expertise by providing complete inter-MSO billing and settlement services. The VeriSign MSO-IP Connect service is available internationally and pricing is based on an annual subscription model.

"The cable industry is poised to add more than 6 million new VoIP subscribers by 2008 to the existing base of circuit-switched cable telephony customers," said Patti Reali, principal cable analyst at Gartner. "Cable operators will benefit from simple, flexible and secure solutions that will help them execute the connection of millions of new customers."

AT&T plans overseas drive for VoIP
By Paul Taylor in New York
Published: May 3 2004 19:26 | Last Updated: May 3 2004 19:56 / Business / US:

AT&T, the US long distance telecommunications carrier, is planning to launch its consumer broadband VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service in overseas markets, possibly including the UK and other European countries.

The company launched its consumer VoIP service, dubbed CallVantage, in the US at the end of March. The service enables consumers with a high-speed cable or DSL internet connection to make and receive calls over the internet using an ordinary phone.

Vonage, one of the pioneers of broadband VoIP services in the US, has also announced plans to expand overseas. It has begun to roll out its flat-rate service in Canada and plans to launch its service in the UK and Switzerland later this year.

Two months ago the small New Jersey-based company raised an additional $40m in a financing round led by Britain's 3i group to fund its international expansion.

The launch of broadband VoIP services by both Vonage and AT&T could put pressure on incumbent phone carriers such as BT in Britain, which launched its own consumer broadband VoIP offering in December.

While AT&T's plans are at an early stage, AT&T planners are understood to be examining options to launch the discount phone service in countries where broadband penetration rates are relatively high and the market opportunities for VoIP services are thought to be large.

David Dorman, AT&T's chairman, describes CallVantage as "a global service offering" and has signalled AT&T's intention to launch the service overseas. "We are examining the possibilites," he said.

The AT&T chief executive sees the opportunity to launch the service in markets outside the US where AT&T has the necessary telecommunications licences as an way to expand AT&T's revenues at a time when the company faces highly competitive and difficult market conditions in the US.

AT&T has telecoms licences in about 55 countries and is understood to have already approached regulators in some of them about launching the service. The service could be particularly attractive in markets where domestic call rates are high.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Wireline operators flock to WiMAX

By Wireless Watch
Published Friday 30th April 2004 11:49 GMT

The WiMAX Forum has made a major step towards its goal of winning over key carriers this year, signing up BT, France Telecom and Qwest as members. The three wireline giants - along with Reliance Telecom of India and XO Communications - join three months after AT&T blazed a trail by becoming a member of the body, which promotes the 802.16 standard and provides the interoperability testing program.

Although some mobile operators are taking a keen interest in WiMAX as a complement to 3G, the most obvious fit is for wired carriers that have no wireless arm, like BT and AT&T, or that want to increase their presence in boom markets such as residential last mile services and VoIP, in areas where it is not economic to invest in cable or ADSL. AT&T, BT and France Telecom are all carrying out trials with pre-standard WiMAX gear and others such as Qwest - to date the quietest of the US long distance carriers about broadband wireless - expected to follow suit this year. ....

Wireline operators flock to WiMAX | The Register:

North Americans Plan ENUM Directory

Moves are being made in the U.S. to create an organization that will be in overall charge of a directory that will link phone numbers to URLs, and thus IP addresses.

The so-called Tier 1 North American ENUM (electronic number mapping) directory promises to play a key role in the development of VOIP services -- and hasten the day when users won�t need different phone numbers and email addresses to access services over different networks.

more ...

Light Reading - Networking the Telecom Industry:

Saturday, May 01, 2004

RFC3761 ENUM finally released

The E.164 to Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI) Dynamic Delegation Discovery System (DDDS) Application (ENUM)



This document discusses the use of the Domain Name System (DNS) for storage of E.164 numbers. More specifically, how DNS can be used for identifying available services connected to one E.164 number. It specifically obsoletes RFC 2916 to bring it in line with the Dynamic Delegation Discovery System (DDDS) Application specification found in the document series specified in RFC 3401. It is very important to note that it is impossible to read and understand this document without reading the documents discussed in RFC 3401.

At the same time the enumservices for h323 (RFC3762) and sip (RFC3764) have been released. Together with the enumservices defined in ETSI TS 102 172 "Minimum Requirements for Interoperability of European ENUM Trials" ENUM commercial implementation can be launched.

ETSI is currently working on Version 2 of TS 102 172 "Minimum Requirements for Interoperability of ENUM Implementations", taking the current developments and also the experiences of the various trials into account.

The last cornerstone missing is now the replacement of the "Interim Procedures" of ITU-TSB for delegations within by an ITU-T Recommendation. This could be done in the May 2003 SG2 Plenary in Geneva by finalizing the draft AENUM.

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