IP Telephony news wrap-up for May 7 – 2007

AMI Partners has released SMB Interest Perks Up in Hosted VoIP, a study of the hosted business VoIP market in North America that provides a 5-year market forecast, a vendor market analysis, player profiles, as well as actionable recommendations for vendors, service providers, channel partners and SMBs. Profiles are provided for Covad, XO, Packet8, Cbeyond, M5, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Nextel, Qwest, Aptela, Speakeasy, Bandwidth.com, and Apptix.

Revenue from hosted business VoIP services is expected to grow from $165 million in 2005 to $416 million this year to $1.56 billion by 2010. Revenues are projected to grow at a CAGR of 56.8% for SMBs, with the small business sector at 69%. Hosted VoIP installed seats in the North America SMB market are forecasted to rise from 393,967 in 2006 to about 3 million seats by year 2010. Market penetration of hosted VoIP seats is expected to increase from less than 2% in 2006 to over 7% by 2010, with a CAGR of 65%.

AMI identifies the the leading vendors (based on seats) in 2006 to be Covad Communications, XO Communications, Packet8, Cbeyond, and M5 Networks.

The publication is available for $2,995.

Atlantic ACM has recently published a study on the same market segment entitled Business VoIP Revolution 2007-2012: The Opportunity. The Market. The Players. The firm takes a less optimistic position, projecting the CAGR from 2006 to 2012 will be 29.7%. The study tracks a slighlty different set of service providers including AT&T, Broadwing, Covad, Cox, Global Crossing, Paetec, Qwest, Skype, Sprint, Time Warner Telecom, US LEC, Verizon, and XO.

Atlantic ACM’s report goes for $1,495.

AMI Partners
Atlantic ACM
AudioCodes has introduced its first new series of session border controllers since acquiring Netrake last year. The company has unveiled the 1000 and 4000 ncite model SBCs. The 1000 model, designed for peering and hosted VoIP applications and services, scales from 100 to 4000 concurrent sessions. It is offered in a 1U form factor.

The 4000 model SBC is designed for inter-carrier peering and large hosted business and residential VoIP deployments, supporting more than 20,000 concurrent sessions.

Both products feature virtual SBC partitioning, hosted firewall/NAT traversal and SIP/H.323 interworking. Support is provided for ENUM, DNS, CDRs, privacy headers, TCP/UDP/IPSec and TLS.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of KSR v Teleflex that favored the defendent in a patent case inspired Vonage to ask the U.S. Court of Appeals to send its patent infringement case brought on by Verizon back to U.S. District court to be retried on the basis that the technology it infringed upon is too obvious to warrant patent protection. The bid was denied.

The court will allow Vonage to include details of the higher court decision in its appeal brief, due on Wednesday, May 9. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled to begin on June 25.

In the case this litigation gets dull, Sprint Nextel’s lawsuit against Vonage is expected to go to trial this fall.

Vertical Communications has introduced Xcelerator IP, a SIP-based IP PBX system that supports up to 24 users. The system features voicemail, auto-attendant, a single interface voice and data management, multi-site networking, a Wi-Fi access point, WAN routing, and NAT and firewall security.

The IP PBX supports up to 8 VoIP SIP trunk connections via a single WAN/RJ45 port and 3 FXO PSTN trunk connections. LAN capabilities include 1 FXS port, 4 10/100 Ethernet LAN ports, and a wireless access point.

The system solely supports the company’s IP2007 desktop SIP speakerphone. The desktop phone features mutliple line appearances, a LCD for call status, features, and menus. The phone has 4 line keys and 4 softkeys for special call handling features. It supports PoE.

For power outage PSTN failover and e911 access, an analog line needs to be kept operational with Xcelerator IP.

SIP trunking services are offered separately. The vendor has affiliations with Bluemile, Quantumvoice, and Simple Signal.

Vertical Communications
The family that started Cablevision, a cable MSO that is one of the top VoIP service providers, is attempting to privatize the company again by buying back all of the company’s shares from public investors. The Dolans family has convinced the company’s board to accept a $10.6 billion, which represents a big achievement since the family has been trying to buy back the company since 2005. However, a special committee commissioned to overview the dealings is requiring a vote be held later this year by nonfamily shareholders.

Outside investors, such as T. Rowe Price (owns 2.5 million+ shares) and Gamco Investors (owns 20 million shares), are balking at the offer, which represents a 21% premium to a $30 share price. These investors claim that the company could be worth 30 or 40% more than $10 billion. Opposition to privatization is common. In most cases it is a ploy to get the buyer to increase the bid.

Based on the proposal, the Dolans would pay $2.1 billion in equity and borrow the remainder.

AT&T is planning to take its CallVantage marketing effort off of the shelf and begin promoting the VoIP service once again as a bundle with cell phone service. The initial campaign will be tested through 14 AT&T Wireless stores in Portland, Oregon and Central New Jersey. The campaign will include online ads, direct mail, and in-store kiosks. CallVantage will be offered to cell phone customers for $19.99 per monht.

AT&T hasn’t promoted CallVantage since 2005, when it was acquired by SBC.

As businesses are working on ways to get Skype out of their workplace, VoSky has introduced two gateways designed to add 4 Skype lines to an IP PBX. The vendor is offering both a model for FXO connectivity and a model for FXS connectivity, which supports extension dialing. Following the gateway deployment, the customer would be subject to standard SkypeOut call charges.

Currently, the gateways are available only in Ireland and the UK.

VoSKY Technologies
CableLabs has established a PacketCable 2.0 Applications lab where network equipment providers and application developers can test and demonstrate applications for voice, multimedia, wireless, and converged services across PacketCable 2.0 core networks from multiple suppliers. The lab additionally will be used as an interoperability test bed to help CableLabs and manufacturers prepare for PacketCable 2.0 certification activities.

Ericsson and Cedar Point are the first manufacturers to provide equipment and to successfully demonstrate IMS-based application interoperability. The initial application Ericsson and Cedar Point have demonstrated is SIP-based telephony using the Cedar Point Applications Server connected to the Ericsson IMS core network.

CableLabs plans to organize formal testing events for the lab as well as to make it available on an ongoing basis for participating vendors to use as a development and testing resource.

Vodafone and Orange have blocked the VoIP capability provided via Truphone on Nokia’s N95 cellular phones. Responses from both mobile phone providers were odd. Orange claimed that it is blocking the service because it hasn’t had time to test the application thoroughly and a Vodafone spokesperson simply stated that VoIP technology was not mature enough for the Vodafone to directly offer it. Truphone plans to file lawsuits against both companies.

The mobile phone operators were unable to block Fring, which enables users to run VoIP applications through Skype and Google Talk.


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