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China's telecom giant, the China Mobile Communications Group, is planning to build a cloud computing base in north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region to upgrade its online data management services.

Wang Jianzhou, board chairman of China Mobile, said recently that the company has signed a memorandum with the regional government to construct the cloud computing base in the city of Hohhot.

Avaya's big bet on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) technology will define its future, said Avaya President and CEO Kevin Kennedy, who recently argued that customer embrace of SIP in this decade is a story playing out much like how the growth of TCP/IP boxed out proprietary networking protocols like AppleTalk and Novell IPX in the 1990s.

Cisco, AT&T launches Wi-Fi IPTV service

Cisco this week announced it launched a wireless IPTV service with AT&T. Cisco said it is the sole provider of the wireless IPTV system, including receivers and access points, for AT&T's U-verse service. The Cisco gear will be deployed across the entire U-verse footprint starting November this year.

Startup Republic Wireless expects to offer unlimited cell phone plans for $19 per month, providing a cheaper alternative to more expensive plans for budget-conscious customers.

Republic, a division of enterprise VoIP provider, Broadband.com, will launch its hybrid cellular voice and VoIP service on November 8 and offer unlimited talk, text and data for a low monthly fee, with no contract required and no termination fees.

Wireless phone companies Leap Wireless International Inc. and MetroPCS Communications, Inc. have now released their quarterly earnings report, and their results place a dimmer on the proposed US$39 billion merger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA, currently owned by Deutsche Telekom AG.

The location-based social network, WNM Live, beats both Tango and Microsoft's own Skype in being the first to offer free VoIP calls in a Windows Phone 7 platform. WNM Live from SynergeTech Solutions was updated recently for the Windows Phone 7 platform. The social network's latest upgrade adds a number of new features that further allows WNM Live's users to meet and connect with other people nearby.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously adopted a radical changeover Thursday to the US$4.5 billion Universal Service Fund, created by a fee attached to telephone bills, and will now channel most of subsidies to expand rural broadband use, rather than rural phone service.

The long overdue change is pitting traditional phone service provider AT&T against Comcast, which provides calling services over its broadband network, and is exposing the FCC’s intellectual confusion over how to regulate communications in the internet age.

Minerva Network develops software for operators that want to roll out TV service over IP networks. That includes those that want to enhance traditional TV services with on-demand IP video, as well as ISPs who are searching means to build out greenfield video deployments without investing heavily in traditional TV infrastructure.

The xTVFusion 5 platform is designed with that latter case in mind, and was made specifically to enable live and on-demand video services to be deployed over low- and high-bandwidth IP networks. Specifically that will enable new entrants to take advantage of their existing networks to roll out new services.

Appia’s SIP trunking cancels call-path restrictions

It’s been a busy lately for Appia Communications. Not long after introducing a new hosted VoIP offering, the managed communications and network services provider announced that SIP trunking will have no more call-path limitations.

"Call path restrictions don’t adapt to customers' changing requirements," said Victor von Schlegell, Appia's president. "Customers need their IP phone services to support marketing campaigns, seasonal changes in workforce levels, cyclical call volumes, and so forth. SIP trunks should allow – not limit – customers as these demands arise."

Researchers have devised a stealthy and cheap way to track the IP addresses of tens of thousands of Skype users, and link the information to their online activities such as peer-to-peer sharing. The method, which is explained in a recently published academic paper, works even when Skype users have reconfigured their accounts to accept calls only from people in their contact lists. It also works against Skype users who are not currently logged in, as long as they have used the VoIP client in the past three days.

While Apple’s iPhone 4S are selling like pancakes for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile is the only U.S.carrier that can’t sell iPhones. They are left with only Android, Windows, and Blackberry-based smartphones to market.

Australia-based Internode has formed a partnership with unified communications technology company, Mitel and systems integrator, Tie Networks, under which Internode will host the virtualized version of the Mitel IP telephony platform with Tie Networks configuring and customizing the platform for individual users.

EBay plans to add image recognition technology to mobile offerings

Online shopping giant, EBay, plans to add image-recognition technology to its mobile offerings. The innovation will allow shoppers to snap photos of items they covet - such as a cute dress a friend is wearing. And then an eBay app will match up with similar items for sale on their site.

Speaking at eBay Inc's X.commerce conference in San Francisco last Wednesday, CEO John Donahoe said eBay plans to release the feature by the end of the year.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given U.S. cable operators time, flexibility and the potential for waivers in implementing disability access legislation governing advanced communications services.

The federal agency, though, declined to exclude voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) and advanced devices that employ VoIP technology from the new rules. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association had requested for that exemption.

Cisco and Citrix Systems have announced recently that they have entered into a strategic alliance to develop and bring solutions that help customers simplify and speed up large-scale desktop virtualization deployments. Through this milestone alliance, Cisco and Citrix will drive innovations that streamline the deployment of high-definition virtual desktops and applications and enhance end-user experiences over a highly secure Citrix HDX-enabled Cisco network.

T-Mobile USA recently launched a mobile version of its Bobsled web-based calling app. The application will work on any iOS device, from the iPhone to the iPad, as well as Android smartphones and tablets. Aside from mobile devices, the new Bobsled functionality will also allow users benefit from a seamless way to call Facebook friends from most desktop browsers.

Antitrust regulators in the European Union have granted its approval today of Microsoft's US$8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, the VoIP giant.

"In the area of consumer communications, the investigation found that the parties' activities mainly overlap for video communications, where Microsoft is active through its Windows Live Messenger," the European Commission, the EU's antitrust agency, said in its ruling.

Study predicts US$76 billion growth for VoIP services in 2015

The combined business and residential/Soho VoIP services market will grow to some US$76.1 billion in 2015, according to a study by Infonetics Research. Revenue from SIP trunking services to businesses will increase at a phenomenal 52 percent from 2011 to 2015.

The number of seats for hosted business VoIP and unified communications services is also predicted to double between this year and 2015. Due to continued demand for cloud-based services, IP Centrex and hosted unified communication service revenue increased 22 percent and seats grew 25 percent in the first half of 2011 compared to the second half of 2010.

Avaya announced through a press statement that it has acquired Sipera, unified communications (UC) infrastructure supplier with a portfolio that includes session border controller (SBC) functionality and UC security applications. Avaya bought the company to help them accelerate development of integrated, SIP-based security capabilities for unified communications and contact center environments.

Smartphone manufacturers in Asia have a chance to exploit a rare letdown from market leader Apple Inc after the new iPhone 4S botched to impress fans and investors, leaving Android competitors better placed to grab market share.

When the massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack last March brought down the voice-over-IP (VoIP) call processing supplied by TelePacific Communications to many of its customers, it prompted the local-exchange services provider to enhance its security.

An Italian VoIP service provider is asking European officials to block Microsoft’s US$8.5 billion purchase of Skype, the world’s leading VoIP service, unless it is removed from Microsoft’s Windows Office platform. Messagenet wants to prevent Redmond from bundling Skype with Windows.

Good news for users of Apple devices, VocalTec has recently released the magicJack APP, a free application now available for download in Apple App Store that allows users to make free calls to numbers within the U.S., Canada and to all other magicJack numbers around the world. The app essentially turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod into a free mobile phone and it will never use mobile minutes and does not require a voice plan.

Wireless chipset maker, DSP Group, announced today that its XciteR chipset solution designed for converged home communications is powering the base station of the recently launched Gigaset flagship phone SL910 / SL910A as also the DX800A high end IP phone developed and manufactured by a European DECT cordless phone maker, Gigaset Communications.