Top Stories of the Week – December 31, 2011

Sprint sues four cable operators for VoIP patent infringement

Sprint Nextel is suing Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox and Cable One, claiming the service providers infringed on a dozen of its VoIP patents.

The suits, which were filed individually against each operator in U.S. District Court in the District of Kansas, cite some of the same patents it successfully used in its fight with Vonage last 2007, a fight that eventually brought Sprint some US$80 million when Vonage was forced to pay to license the technology from Sprint.

NetTALK posts big increase in revenues

Miami-based netTALK.com, a public company engaged in the design, distribution and sale of consumer electronics products and low-cost Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, recently reported record revenues for the fourth fiscal quarter and full-year period ending Sept. 30. For the fourth quarter, revenues increased 711 percent to a record $1 million, compared to $139,849 in the prior year fourth quarter. The majority of the revenues resulted from initial sales of the netTALK DUO, with additional revenue resulting from international traffic and telecommunications revenue and service renewals in the fourth quarter, the company said.

NetTALK significantly expanded the retail distribution of its patent-pending netTALK DUO device, and the netTALK DUO is now available at 2,348 locations across North America, the company said. The company also added Enhanced Call Plans (low cost and flat rate international calling) for the netTALK DUO telephone device and VoIP service.

Charter hires ex-Cablevision exec Rutledge as CEO

Charter Communications has hired former Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge as its chief executive, taking the helm of a cable company that's aggressively transitioning its business in an attempt to return to profitability.

Rutledge, whose sudden resignation set off a whirl of conjecture about his next landing place–including rumors that he was headed for the St. Louis-based MVPD– replaces Mike Lovett who in October announced his resignation. He'll join Charter immediately and step into the new role Feb. 13; he also will become a member of the board. Lovett will stay on to assist in the transition.

Karel & Intellicon unveil security and surveillance products

Karel Electronics, a company providing electronics and telecommunication services and Intellicon, an India-based player of enterprise communication and data capture solutions have jointly introduced new security and surveillance products and new generation IP PBX products to the Indian markets.

Karel has developed a converged solution to integrate IP PBX and surveillance products to capture and communicate information to remote place in emergencies as well as monitor the live environment remotely.

2012 said to be a year for IP telephony

A staggering 18 percent of respondents said that they plan on implementing an IP telephony solution within the next year, according to a survey. A further 13 percent have it in the pipeline for the year after. That's on top of the 33 percent that already have a system in place.

Virtually all of those with plans to implement IP telephony over the next year intend to facilitate Unified Communications (UC) at the same time. UC has been around for years, of course, and its meaning seems to change every year — these days, insiders suspect that it relates to the common functionality of IP phone systems, such as presence, messaging and shared directories.

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