Doug on IP Comm – An independent voice on VoIP, telecom, and IP Communication

Posts Tagged ‘VoIP

I am in the process of “transferring the flag” from to my own site at   As much as I like the ease of use for blog hosting,  I can do more in terms of customization and monetization if I’m on a stand-alone site.

If you are a frequent visitor, redo your bookmark now. At somepoint i”m going to take everything down from this location except a pointer to the new site.


There’s been a slew of announcements fluffing a second wave of anonymous-style phone calling via the web. Nobody made money on the first wave, so I’m not sure where the beef, er, green is the second time around.

Three and four years ago, it was all the rage to A) Give away free phone numbers for web usage and B) Provide anonymous phone calling between two parties over the web.   Two and three years ago,  smaller companies went into the tank while larger companies just ditched the idea of “free.”

Digitrad, making a big push at DEMOfall ’09, seems to be the latest of the guys marching down the old trampled path to doom, offering up a free “multimedia” phone number, a .tel domain name and “free call forwarding” and a flat fee to “free” dialing to locations around the globe.

If your business model is JUST providing voice via the browser, I can kinda sorta get it.  C2Call ( has got a app, but then it slips into the “Gee, you can also call phone number for only pennies (well, Euros) per minute” mode… which didn’t end well for very many of the Telecom 2.0/Phone 2.0 wave…

Vivox may have the most interesting play in the space, just having announced its beta launch in Facebook and using a wideband (but not G.722) codec for all of its logged minutes on SecondLife and multi-player games where part of the fun is talking smack in real-time.

Hmm, I’d love to leave short voice messages to certain people in “Mafia Wars”…

Skype is now going to be an independent company like it always wanted. Owner eBay “unloaded” Skype for $2 billion in cash, but still holds 35 percent of the company. (Remember this, we’re coming back to it shortly).

The buying consortium is made up of Silver Lake Partners, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.  According to word on the street, the purchasers anticipate a 2.75 billion IPO in the next 12-24 months.

Soo, let’s see, eBay gets $2 billion in cash ($1.9 billion now, and a note for the rest by the end of the year; easy enough to pay out of Skype’s cash flow and/or out of the investor’s pockets). It also holds 35% of I-Skype (Independent Skype), so it can get dividends and/or sell off public stock in bits and pieces, so there’s some pretty good upside there as well.

Net-net, eBay will likley come out neutral to black after the IPO and all the smoke clears. Kudos to eBay management for standing firm in the face of shilling by The Media and backdoor lobbying by Skype’s former owners to dump the company and run.

XO Communications bragged about its third major nationwide network capacity upgrade last week.  Using Infinera equipment, the company has “more than” doubled its inter-city transport network capacity.

According to XO, the upgrade will be completed later this year and is being done to continue to meet the increasing demand for high-capacity network services from its customers, including carriers, service providers, and large enterprise customers.  As a part of the upgrade, XO will be offering a “10 Gigs in 10 Days” carrier service guarantee, able to provision high-speed service (from 1 GBps to 40 Gbps, with up to 100 Gbps in the future) between any two points in the network in 10 days or less.

(And I remember when it took weeks to get a T-3 in…)

XO says it has invest more than $450 million to enhance and expand its network infrastructure and its network is now capable of reaching nearly half of all busiensses in the United States. This is a good sign for both IP communications and economic growth in general…

In a sign that life is good, IP communications “stack” provider D2 Technologies has split into two business units.

Doug Makishima, one of the hardest working guys in the biz, has been promoted to COO and will also be acting head of D2’s new Mobile and Personal Communications Business Unit (MPCBU).  Asian-based Paul Wu has been promoted to VP of the Fixed Access Business Unit (FABU… yes, there is a joke in here somewhere…)

You can find D2’s software on a bunch of mobile platforms, including Android.  Back in May, D2 said its vPort software was processing 40 billion minutes of VoIP traffic per month.

Over at his blog, Andy Abramson is reporting that Gizmo5 is testing a way for its users to make free U.S. outbound calls using Google Voice from any SIP device.

GizmoVoice is the latest mashup service that Gizmo5 has pulled together, leveraging its pieces with other people’s pieces/services for relatively no/low cost. Users of GizmoVoice should be able to have “ANY” SIP device, be it a WiFi phone, ATA, SIP client,  or even a PBX node, to make and receive (well, the make part is the key) U.S. calls without a monthly or per minute free.

But as that curmudgeon Jerry Pournelle said oh-so-long-ago, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL), someone is making a buck off this somewhere; it’s just not clear where at this point. I suspect this is part of  Mad Michael Robinson’s latest scheme to work the system to generate more minutes and more users.

Andy goes through all the permutations on how you can use Gizmo to receive Skype calls and pipe calls into GoogleVoice to get free voice mail, voicemail to email and free translation, plus a quick trick to make a call through an Apple iPhone to be IDed as a GoogleVoice number.

Skype can’t be that happy with these tricks. I really wish Skype would just suck it up and support SIP directly/natively out of its client, but if they did, it would break its walled garden concept too much and goodness knows where THAT would leave them.

Avaya and Aastra have made separate moves to get into the Nortel bankruptcy circus.  Avaya is offering cash for assets, while Aastra will offer migration incentives (i.e. a sale) to get customers to switch.

In a press release today, Avaya announced it has signed agreements to pick up Nortel’s enterprise solution business for $475 million.  The acquisition includes Nortel’s Enterprise Solutions voice, data and government systems businesses, but the transaction awaits clearing a competitive bidding process and approval by bankruptcy courts in Delaware and Ontario.

Avaya gets to scale a bit, expand its channel partner network, and add to its portfolio of products and services.   Nortel gets cash to pay off its creditors and some of its employees will land as Avaya employees.  Bell Canada and BT praised the move and BT went so far as to say it would “expand” its engagement with Avaya over the next year to offer a full unified communications portfolio.

Aastra’s move is less concrete, more ambulance-chasing.  For “a limited time” Aastra says it will offer “extraordinary incentives” to get Nortel large enterprise customers to move to its Clearspan UC solution. Discounts include free unlimited numbers of SIP integration trunks, “significant” discounts on Aastra 67ix SIP phones, free instructor-lead training for admins during the first year of deployment (up to 2 students per class) and free end user, web-based training for an unlimited number of users during the first two years of deployment.

Aastra says that a 3,000 user enterprise deploying 300 SIP integration trunks and 1500 new SIP phones to users can save $500,000.

Billy Mays, you passed too soon, my friend.  You could have made some serious coin off someone looking to rob Nortel of its customer base…