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Deeper analysis of VoIP

Archive for March, 2007

Finally an acquistion that makes sense!!!

Posted by tggokul on March 30, 2007

After a truck load of acquistions that made analysts go ‘huh?’, Cisco has finally bought a company closer to its core competency,Networking!!! Cisco has announced its intentions to acquire SpansLogic, a provider of packet speed enhancing processors. The report quotes a senior executive of Cisco saying

It is imperative that the network be tightly integrated with very high speed processing capabilities eliminating bottlenecks,said Tom Edsall, Senior Vice President, Datacenter Business Unit (DCBU). With SpansLogic, Cisco will be able to improve overall traffic efficiency and throughput across the network

Cisco had its own set of network processors which it was experimenting with a couple of years ago. Very curious to know whether they are still in the works or Cisco has given it up and decided to buy this company. Also, I am sure I read about the speculation regarding this acquistion atleast couple of months before. So it is safe to say, this has been on the cards for sometime now.

Networking folks, in case you were losing hope that Cisco was going to buy only Social Networking companies, this is a good enough reason to stick with Networks ūüôā

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Sonus goes Wireless

Posted by tggokul on March 28, 2007

Sonus has agreed to buy Zynetix Ltd, a wireless technology company for $ 13.2 billion. Sonus’ core business has been to provide infrastructure to carry IP traffic over fixed line and now with this acquisition they will be adding wireless to their portfolio as well.

This is a good move for two reasons. Being just in the wired-line segment makes no sense since a whole lot of carriers around the world are aiming to carry the cellular voice traffic over IP and even the existing wired-line carriers are are looking towards the convergence of wireline and wireless networks. And to enable both these kinds of carriers, it would be mandatory for Sonus to start servicing the wireless operators as well.

From my understanding of Zynetix’s technology, it¬†sure¬†is different from¬† the commonly used (atleast talked about) dual-band mode i.e you can use the wireless network indoors and the mobile network elsewhere. But the main problem with this is that most of today’s handsets don’t support it. What I believe Zynetix’s technology does is, it amplifies the cellular signal using the ip backbone. A different kind of base stations¬† (picocells/femtocells) need to be used for this, but the advantage is that you can use your regular mobile device in such a network.

With convergence of networks being the ‘In’ thing these days thanks to IMS and NGN, this would be a great foundation for Sonus to launch its IMS suite.¬†Didn’t I tell¬†you guys before? Sonus is pretty innovative¬†yet under-rated!!!!

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Funny Videos

Posted by tggokul on March 27, 2007

I normally don’t use superlatives, but I strongly believe that Russell Peters is the funniest Indian (ok he is Canadian Indian). Go to Youtube and search for his videos and enjoy. Check out his outsourced videos because they are arguably the best stuff.

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Is India going to have more Ld/ILD players?

Posted by tggokul on March 26, 2007

Atleast that is what we can assume from the speech of Dayanidhi Maran, the current¬† IT and Communications Minister. While inaugurating the BT’s 21 CN service in Chennai he said

We need to have more National Long Distance and International Long Distance players. USA has more than 600 NLD and 350 ILD operators, Australia has 20, even Korea has double-digit operators. In India, we can count the number of ILD operators in a single hand.

This has been on the cards for sometime. VSNL has had a monopolistic control on this and this is slowly wading with the entry of few other entities. But if we take the Minister’s statement literally, we can expect to see lot¬†more of these¬†LD/ILD players.

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British Telecom in India

Posted by tggokul on March 26, 2007

British Telecom has been very active the last few days in India and have come out with a whole lot of announcements ( This is to be expected considering some of BT’s top brass were¬†in India for the last one week).

One such important announcement¬†was BT’s intent to offer low powered GSM in India, which they hope shall decrease the cost of mobile calls inside an office.What is really interesting is that this is a very grey area where there are no specific laws that allow or disallow such a service.¬† Andy Green, CEO of BT Global services remarked

Low-powered GSM is part of our 21st century network solution and we are ready to explore, if it is allowed, in India.

I guess BT is hoping that they can get the licenses to implement this just like they did in UK early last year.

Now low powered GSM, technology as such is pretty similar to the normal GSM. The only real challenge is when the user in an office travels outside the office network and session handoffs have to happen in a seamless manner. Low powered GSM works fine as far as it is¬†intra-office but the session handoffs are still quite an issue. But it does make a lot of sense (atleast cost-wise)¬† in large offices or airports etc (where most¬†people remain in the “office” network)

It will be very interesting to see how the already existing operators ( Airtel,BSNL) react to this and would they follow the same route as well.

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BT launches 21 CN Capability in Chennai

Posted by tggokul on March 21, 2007

I just got an invite to attend the launch of British Telecom’s 21CN capability in my city, Chennai. Some¬†of the top dogs¬†are going to be present. It includes Andy Green, CEO, BT Global Services and the MD of BT India C.S.Rao. The invite says

The Chennai Node is part of BT’s 21 Century Network. BT is dedicated to helping Indian customers capitalize on the power of convergence for global success through the digital-networked economy. With the latest technology and local and international expertise, BT can help your business grow in India and across the world.

It is going to be held at Taj Coromandel at 5.00P.M on the 23rd of this month. I still have¬†not made up my mind as to attend this since I believe it is going to be more of a marketing exercise and I expect very less time (if not none)¬†to be spent on BT’s technology initiatives. Andy is going to be talking about BT’s leadership position in Global Enterprise Services and DNE. That might tempt me. [Update : Since I was caught up in other work. I could not make it to this event. Did any of you guys make it?]

You can register for this event here.

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Forum to push for Standards

Posted by tggokul on March 20, 2007

This is atleast a week old news., but I just couldn’t¬†not comment on this¬†information.

The TeleManagement Forum (TM Forum) announced today that the world’s largest telecom, cable and entertainment service providers will form a group within the organization to help drive the availability and uptake of standards for end-to-end management of converged services. This move is necessitated by growing complexity of offering content-based services that involve numerous players to collaborate in order to deliver a seamless customer experience.

The participant list is pretty impressive, boasting of big names like BT, Vodafone, AT&T.

The key agenda for this group of telecom operators is to identify the necessary set of key standards required, and then work within the TM Forum to accelerate their development, as well as their adoption by system and software suppliers. They will be using and supporting the Forum’s Prosspero program to drive this uptake. Prosspero delivers a range of technical standards that aim to bring ‘plug and play’ capability to the software used by service providers to enable them to automate their business processes. These help service providers cut costs, increase flexibility, reduce time to market for deploying new services, and improve customer satisfaction responsive by standardising the way that service delivery, billing, and assurance systems from different suppliers interact.

Standards to enable faster service delivery?¬†Isn’t that one of IMS unfulfilled promises?. Would this be the real first step in the IMS direction?¬† I am a little bit cynical about this. I don’t think the service providers are the right people to make this push. It needs to be the equipment/software providers who¬†have to¬†be actively¬†involved in this. But on the other hand, it is these telecoms that drive the road map of the above said companies and if these Telecoms¬†decide¬†some things¬†needs to be done, it SHALL be done.

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British Telecom : Thinking ‘Out of the Box”

Posted by tggokul on March 19, 2007

BT has released¬†an “Out of the Box” VoIP platform that caters to the needs of ISPs outside of United Kingdom. The report goes on to elaborate

The BT IP Voice Managed Service is a fully redundant globally distributed IP network that simplifies the delivery of IP telephony services  for providers outside the United Kingdom, the company said. Featuring an advanced multilayered security system, the service has session border controller functionality and VoIP firewall capacities. Call flow is monitored and expenses are controlled by a single Internet-based interface.

Sounds interesting and from the accolades it has been receiving, looks reliable as well.

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Who will buy out Vonage?

Posted by tggokul on March 16, 2007

Andy believes Vonage will be bought out soon and he thinks the likely suitors are Earthlink, Cisco and Vodafone.

I would never question Andy’s judgement normally, but I disagree with him on two of his choices. First Vodafone; Yes, Vodafone is increasingly getting into VoIP and there has been news that they have been experimenting with Skype as their VoIP¬†client. From a technology point of view and even to some extent business point of view, it makes a lot of sense for Vodafone to acquire Vonage. But they are currently in a big soup. They have acquired¬†an Indian mobile operator Hutchinson recently for nearly 17 billion and sources say that the board of Vodafone has been very concerned with this acquisition. And even before this acquisition, there were concerns about M & A policies of Vodafone which in turn led to strict rules being laid by the Board of Directors. So, I really don’t think Vodafone will go for an acquisition any time soon.

Cisco – What definitely is in favour of Cisco buying out Vonage, is the new philosophy of Cisco that preaches being more consumer-facing ( Human Networks et al). But trying to go the service provider route would mean changing their very essence of business. They would never want to antagonize the other telcos who are their major customers.

Earthlink – I agree with Andy on this pick. Lot of synergies between the two, and it would be a good match.

But I personally believe that another company is a serious contender. Verizon!!! I believe the whole Vonage-Verizon legal battle¬†is just Verizon’s way of getting Vonage under its fold. Sounds conspiratorial but plausible. It might not be too bad¬†for either parties if this happens.

Having said these, funnier things have happened in the M&A world ( The latest being Cisco buying Tribe.net). Andy probably has information that I am not privy to and I could be totally wrong in my analysis. But hey, greater ones have got it wrong before!!!

Posted in Cisco, Voice 2.0, VoIP/IMS | 5 Comments »

Guest Blogging in Smith on VoIP

Posted by tggokul on March 15, 2007

I have been a great fan of Garrett Smith’s blog“Smith on VoIP” for some time now. His writing is very intuitive and it was no surprise that he was named¬†as one of The 50 Most Influential People in VoIP.

So it was a no brainer when Smith was looking for people to guest blog in his site, I jumped at that opportunity. I will be posting simultaneously here and on his blog from now onwards and my first post is already up there. Update * : I have three posts there now.

I hope to learn a lot from this experience and hopefully live up to the standard set by Smith.

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