VoIP Pure Plays Should Be Worried About Cable Providers

May 3, 2007 by Garrett Smith
Cable VoIP Subscribers Nearly Doubled in 2006

Russell Shaw points us to an In-Stat study that shows cable providers nearly doubled the number of telephone subscribers. I for one, do not see this trend slowing anytime soon. According to the study, of the 9.4 million cable telphone subscribers in North America, 6.6 million are VoIP, that is an alarmingly high adoption rate, especially if you’re a residential VoIP pure play offering service through VoIP adapters.

According to Mike Paxon, In-Stat analyst, “In a growing number of markets around the world, cable TV operators consider telephony service to be an integral part of their telecommunications service bundle.” That means the triple and quadruple “plays” will continue to be heavily pushed and marketed to an existing customer base, and potential customers. With a “communications monopoly” the cable providers will be able to offer outstanding pricing, and the convenience of billing consolidation, which could spell big trouble for pure play VoIP providers, who other than offering an even lower price (and smaller margins for themselves) will barely have a leg to stand on.

Could the rest of 2007, and 2008, be the period that cable kills the pure play residential VoIP provider?

Polycom IP Phone Comparison Chart

Compare and Contrast the Complete Polycom IP Phone LIne-up

We thought this Polycom IP Phone Comparison Chart would come in handy for those of you who are interested in one or many of the Polycom IP Phones, but wanted to see how they stacked up against the rest of the Polycom IP Phone line.

Features Audio Features Telephony Features Power over Ethernet Support
Ethernet ports LCD Display Expansion Module Support Full-Duplex Speakerphone Lines Mute, Headset, and Hands Free Keys IEEE802.3af
IP 320
1x 10/100Mbps 102 x 33 pixel graphical LCD No Yes 2 Yes Built-in, autosensing

2x 10/100Mbps 102 x 33 pixel graphical LCD No Yes 2 Yes Built-in, autosensing

2x 10/100Mbps 132 x 46 pixel graphical LCD No Yes 2 Yes Built-in, autosensing

2x 10/100Mbps 160 x 80 pixel graphical LCD No Yes 3 Yes Yes

2x 10/100Mbps 320 x 160-pixel graphical grayscale LCD No Yes 4 Yes Built-in, autosensing

2x 10/100Mbps 320 x 160-pixel graphical grayscale LCD Up to 3 Expansion Modules Yes 6, up to 42 Yes Built-in, autosensing

2x 10/100Mbps 320 x 160-pixel graphical grayscale LCD Up to 3 Expansion Modules Yes 6, up to 42 Yes Built-in, autosensing

If you are looking for VoIP gateways, VoIP adapters or even IP phone systems, VoIP Supply has everything you need for business VoIP.

Skype For The Enterprise Concerning?

April 13, 2007 by Garrett Smith

Skype Looking For Beta-testers For Their Enterprise Offering

skypeSkype announced yesterday that they are looking for companies with a 1,000 or more employees to test an enterprise class version of Skype. According to the release, Skype Enterpirse Edition has all of the standard Skype features, in addition to:

  • Enterprise Network Compatibility
  • Company-owned Skype Name Creation
  • Customisable to Corporate Requirements
  • Direct Skype Technical Support
  • Maintenance

Although this sounds like an excellent proposition, I wonder about the load that using Skype will take on an enterprise level data network, especially one that, presumably, was built to only handle PC related traffic. While it seems that Skype *may* have built some sort of technology into the enterprise client to alleviate this concern via their “enterprise network compatibility”, I know of 50-100 person companies that use Skype, who struggle with issues related to to voice/video calling on their PC data network.

If the load can not be adequetely handled by the enterprise network, it is fairly certain that latency, jitter, and packet loss will occur resulting in a less than favorable calling experience, and more than likely poor results from the Skype for enterprise program.

Don’t Forget Your POTS!

April 12, 2007 by Garrett Smith

As More Companies Adopt VoIP, The Focus Remains on POTS

A recent In-stat report noted a trend that we at VoIP Supply have tried to make a best practice for all businesses making the move to VoIP – keeping POTS lines. David Lemelin, an analyst at In-Stat found in a recent study a persistent theme among VOIP adopters: They still hold onto traditional voice communications technology for a part of their operations. Traditional voice switching, known as Time Division Multiplexing, or TDM, still accounts for 44 percent of the voice lines in those 20 percent of U.S. business that have adopted VOIP, he said.

Why Should You Keep POTS Lines?

Here are just a few reasons why you should keep your POTS lines when leveraging VoIP:

  • Failover: This one of the most important aspects to consider when switching to VoIP; what is your plan for communications if your network, or Internet connection goes down? By keeping POTS lines, you ensure that if your Internet or network connections “goes down” your customers can still reach you and you can still reach them.
  • Quality of Service (QoS): There are numerous times that the QoS on your VoIP lines will not be acceptable or suitable for business communications. If you keep your POTS, you will be able to easily route calls over the PSTN, when and if that happens, ensuring a pleasureable calling experience for each party.
  • Local Calling: If your business makes a number of local calls each day, you will probably not realize a cost savings by using VoIP for these calls; in fact, they might actually “cost more” if the quality of the calls is sub-par. In addition, local providers are continuing to reduce their per minute charges to compete with VoIP providers.

So for all of you thinking about making the switch to VoIP or buying a new ip based phone system, there is absolutely no reason that you should forget your POTS, that is until VoIP is suitable for mission critical communications, which is still a ways away.

Vonage CEO Resigns

Michael Synder Lasted Less Than a Year

Not that this should be a surprise given all that has gone on wrong at Vonage during his tenure, but one has to wonder if Michael was thrown under the bus to “show investors” that Vonage was serious about cutting costs and making themselves into a viable, long term, profitable business. Seems that Michael is the “fall guy” here, especially since Vonage included a snippet in the press release about their plans to focus on reducing the company’s operational costs, and slashing marketing expense….signs of an investor driven move.

Although no reason was given for his resignation (so my thoughts are pure speculation), Jeffery Citron noted that, “Mike has made valuable contributions to the growth of our business and we will miss him. We thank him and wish him well in his future endeavors.” According to the press release, Jeffery Citron will act as interim CEO, as the company attempts to finds a new replacement.

This begs the question, “Who in the world would want this job?”

Rhino Equipment Analog Telephony PCI Cards With Echo Cancellation

April 11, 2007 by Garrett Smith

On-Board Echo Cancellation Decreases Server Workload

rhino equipmentRhino Equipment has announced the release of their plug-in PCI analog telephony card product line with on-board echo cancellation as a standard offering. The Rhino FXO and FXS analog telephony product line consists of fixed and modular offerings to fill the need of any analog requirement for Asterisk-based PBX systems.

What’s New With The Rhino Analog PCI Cards?

For their new analog telephony cards, Rhino has partnered with Texas Instruments and Adaptive Digital Technologies to help create the lowest priced analog PCI card echo cancellation solution available for Asterisk. All Rhino PCI analog cards offer standard features such as carrier-class ITU G.168 compliant echo cancellation with 1,024 taps, 128ms tail, complete with a fast converging non-linear processor with automatic comfort noise generation.

Non-Modular Analog PCI Cards From Rhino

R24FXS-ECThe non-modular line consists of three models: the R4FXO-EC, the R24FXS-EC, and the R24FXO-EC. The R4FXO-EC features four FXO channels in a non-modular design, with four female RJ11 jacks available at the PCI card bracket. The R24FXS-EC and R24FXO-EC both feature a single RJ21 female connector at the PCI card bracket, with a Velcro strap to secure the mating RJ21 cable to the connector.

Modular Analog PCI Cards From Rhino

R8FXS-ECThe modular line consists of two models: the R8FXX-EC and the R24FXX-EC. The R8FXX-EC features four female RJ11 jacks available at the PCI card bracket, with two lines appearing on the inside and outside pair of each jack. The R24FXX-EC features a single RJ21 female connector at the PCI card bracket, with a Velcro strap to secure the mating RJ21 cable to the connector. Dual FXS and FXO modules are easily snapped into place using a two point interconnection mechanical mounting method using enclosed, non-pin type connectors for smooth and reliable field upgrades.

Manufacturer list price for the R4FXO-EC model is $409; the R8FXX-EC base card model is $329; the R24FXX-EC base card model is $389; the Dual FXO daugtercard is $125; the Dual FXS daughtercard is $110; the R24FXS-EC model is $1,399; the R24FXO-EC model is $1,599.


More from: Asterisk Garrett Smith

Is Microsoft a Threat to SMB Phone System Vendors?

April 6, 2007 by Garrett Smith

Microsoft’s Response Point Platform Has Many Shaking In Their Boots…But Should They Be?

Iotum CEO and blogger Alec Saunders has an excellent post about the impact that Microsoft will have on smaller players in the small medium business phone system marketplace with their release of their Office Communications Server, Office Communicator, and the Embedded Microsoft Response Point PBX. Alec makes some solid points in regards to Microsoft’s moves into this space and why small medium phone system vendors should be worried. The two most important points to consider?

Voice as just another application, and Microsoft is the KING of software.

I could not agree more with Alec’s points, but if I was a small business phone system provider, I would not as worried about Microsoft, as would with hosted service providers. Think about this for a second. If voice is just another application, and the current trend with applications is to have them hosted in “the cloud”, it makes sense that eventually there will be no need for a premise based phone system. Furthermore, as unified communications transitions to become unified business, the hosted service providers become hosted solution providers, delivering every business application; voice, erp, crm, etc. over an IP pipe. That is true unification within your business.

With the aggressive decline in the cost of bandwith, and the aggressive increase in bandwith pipe size, the reality of this scenario is very real, and is very scary for premise based phone system providers.

Why is the Hosted Model So Scary?

Because business and the way we work, is changing. The idea of a nine to five day is no longer. We work when we can. We need to utilize the “working moments” wherever they may be (home, hotel, car, plane, etc.) and premise based equipment DOES NOT allow you enough flexibility to truly leverage these moments. However, when your business tools are all hosted in the cloud, your office, your desk, becomes wherever it is that you happen to be. The hosted model is one that better suits our emerging work culture. In many respects the premise based is already dead – I use Skype more than my desk phones.

So yes, Microsoft is a threat to phone system vendors, but the even bigger threat to phone systems vendors is our emerging work culture, which revolves around working moments, that are only truly leveraged with flexible, accessible, on-demand, solutions which are only truly usable when hosted in the cloud. If I was a phone system vendor, my strategy would be to fight off Microsoft Response Point, and hosted solutions, by offering hosted-hybrid solutions that leverage both the benefits of a premise base solution and that of a hosted solution.

How To Install trixbox Video

April 5, 2007 by Garrett Smith

New Video Shows Your How to Install trixbox

Pal Kerry Garrison just pointed me to this awesome video he created that show a complete beginner how to get a trixbox VoIP phone system installed (and installed correctly)for the very first time. I think the best part of the video is when Kerry points out the fact that although trixbox phone systems are relatively easy to install and achieve a basic set-up, it is not easy for someone without Linux knowledge to manage and maintain going forward. Sound advice, that many have not taken in the past, from the guy who wrote the book on trixbox.

Here is the video:

If you are looking for VoIP adapters, a VoIP phone or even complete VoIP systems, VoIP Supply has everything you need for VoIP.

More from: trixbox Garrett Smith

Asterisk Voice Prompts By PBX Prompts

Sayers Media Group Launches PBX Prompts

Our sister company, Sayers Media Group, announced the launch of PBX Prompts yesterday. PBX Prompts offers a variety of standard voice prompt packages for the Asterisk Open Source PBX and custom voice prompts for your IVR, Voicemail, or in addition to our standard prompts packages. Recorded in professional sound studios, PBX Prompts’ standard, advanced, and custom voice prompts give your company a voice that is representative of your business. With no minimums, and a quick 72 hour turnaround, PBX Prompts can meet the demands of any voice prompt project.

PBX Prompts true value is in the ability for a customer to have a complete set of prompts including all system prompts and more importantly matching custom menus and on hold commercials is something that would cost a company a lot more than a couple hundred dollars if done from scratch on a one time recording. This is something that many small medium business and solutions providers have needed, but until yesterday have not been able to find.

“Over the past two years, we have heard over and over again about the difficulties many small medium businesses and value added resellers have had finding high quality professional voice prompts for Asterisk Open Source PBX systems,” said Garrett Smith, Director of Sales and Marketing for Sayers Media Group. “Based on these experiences we have created PBX Prompts with the help of these very same companies in order to deliver on a simple, easy to use, ordering interface and installation process for those who want an alternative to the default Asterisk voice for their phone system.”

PBX Prompts is currently offering voice prompts packages for Asterisk systems featuring male and female voice talents in English, English, and Spanish languages. PBX Prompts plans on launching additional languages, such as French, German, and Japanese, in the coming weeks. Prices for the current voice prompt packages for Asterisk systems range from $49.99 for select standard voice prompt packages for Asterisk systems featuring over 500 voice prompts, to $129.99 for advanced voice prompt sets for Asterisk systems that feature over 600 voice prompts. From now until May 1st, PBX Prompts is also offering FREE VoIP prompt packages for Asterisk® systems that contain 100 of the most popular voice prompts for Asterisk.

VoIP Supply Named ONE of WNY’s Best Places to Work

April 2, 2007 by Garrett Smith

VoIP Supply Named One of the Best Places to Work in Western New York
Company Named to This Distinguished List Through Employee Nominations

wny best places to workBUFFALO, NY (March 27th, 2007) VoIP Supply, a leading Internet Retailer of Voice over IP equipment, including IP Phones, VoIP Adapters, and Wi-Fi VoIP solutions announced today that it has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Western New York for 2007. The Best Places to Work in Western New York Nominees were selected based on nominations and feedback from employees across the Western New York region. The award, sponsored by Buffalo’s Business First newspaper and Quantum Research, looks to recognize companies in the Western New York area that foster employee-centric work cultures.

“There is only one word I could use to describe the feeling of being nominated as a best place to work in Western New York by the staff here at VoIP Supply,” said Benjamin P. Sayers, President and CEO of VoIP Supply. “Awesome.”

“This nomination speaks volumes about the work Ben and Brett (VoIP Supply COO, Brett D. Crandall) have done to make the work environment, fun, exciting, rewarding, an welcoming for all VoIP Supply employees,” said Garrett Smith, Director of Marketing and Business Development for VoIP Supply. “With all of the growth and transitions we have gone through over the past few years as a company, they have continuously put their employee’s first – and that is what makes VoIP Supply such a great place to work.”

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