Wednesday, May 31, 2006

VoIP News: Microsoft Targets VoIP Market With LG-Nortel Deal

Microsoft is continuing its slow assault on the VoIP market by signing a new deal with LG-
By Preston Gralla
Networking Pipeline

Nortel to work together on VoIP products based on the next generation of WinCE. LG-Nortel is a joint venture between Nortel and cell phone manufacturer LG Electronics.

The deal between Microsoft and LG-Nortel is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) covering joint research and development, marketing, and licensing for WinCE 6. It extends an existing agreement between the two companies in which LG-Nortel developed a WinCE 5-based multimedia SIP phone.

The final agreement will be hammered out over the next several months, when designs for new WinCE 6-based IP phones will be announced. WinCE 6, code-named Yamazaki, is Microsoft's new development environment for the next generation of smart devices and smart phones.

The announcement is not getting much press, but this is a much more important deal than most people realize. Microsoft hasn't gotten a great deal of traction in the mobile phone market, and it's only just starting to make noise about VoIP.

But Microsoft has been quietly pursuing an increasingly network-centric strategy that focuses on data synchronization and collaboration, even in its desktop products. For example, Vista includes a Sync Center that will allow users to easily synchronize data across all their devices. That means that mobile phones and smart devices will be able to be synchronized with desktop PCs, making it that much more likely enterprises will opt for WinCE-based devices.

Iit's not just VoIP that Microsoft is after in this announcement. You can be sure that multimedia IP communications will be part of the upcoming product line as well.

For Microsoft, the stakes are sizable. The announcement came out of the company's Mobile & Embedded Devices/Communications Sector (MED/CS) group, which Microsoft calls "the fastest growing business line among the seven Microsoft business groups."

What Microsoft doesn't like to say, however, is that the group is also operating in the red, reportedly to the tune of a $14 million loss for the quarter ending March 31st. That's a drop in the bucket for Microsoft, of course. But that's where future growth is, and the company knows that it needs to gain a sizable share of that market.

How much this announcement will help remains a bit unclear. We'll know better when the definitive agreement is made public in several months.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

VoIP News: VoIP Advantages And Pitfalls For Small Businesses

From webpronews.com:

If you're just starting your business you may not have an office with a dedicated phone line, which can be an expensive hassle.

That's why small businesses, home-based businesses, and the self-employed have been turning to internet telephone service (also called broadband phone or VOIP) in droves.

I switched my business to internet phones early in 2005. Despite a few hiccups, I'm not going back to landlines. Internet phone service has too many advantages, which I'll describe for you. I also have some tips for avoiding possible rough patches.

VOIP Internet Phone Small Business and SOHO Advantages

VOIP Advantage No. 1: Look bigger.

Need your small business to seem larger? A virtual PBX (switchboard) with a dial-by-name directory might help. These systems cost thousands to install. But many VOIP companies let you rent this service for less than a hundred dollars a month.

Give each member of your team their own outside line. With most VOIP companies, each line costs around $10.


Get one or more 1-800 numbers at around $10/month.


VOIP Advantage No 2. Freedom of movement.

Freedom to travel. When I went to Sacramento to visit a friend, I ended up extending my stay to a whole month. I couldn't have done that without regular phone access. With VOIP, my Massachusetts number follows me wherever I go.


Tropical adventures. I regularly work with a virtual assistant company that takes phone calls on their Quebec phone number everyday. That wouldn't be so strange except they're in the Philippines. They're using the same small business VOIP phone service sold right here in North America. True, VOIP companies don't generally guarantee their services will work outside the country of purchase. But the internet is the internet, whether in Fargo or the South Pacific. With the growth of broadband to virtually every non-pariah nation on earth, your second office really could be in a tropical paradise--or year-round ski resort. Isn't that the freedom you hoped being your own boss would bring?

Telecommuting. Feel a cold coming? Work from home! With VOIP, even the receptionist may be able to telecommute!

Voicemail by email. You don't have to be by the phone to get voicemail. This is the perfect service for busy people and email addicts. Bonus: the message (in a file similar those used on MP3 players) can be stored indefinitely.

Internet Phone Advantage 3. Cost

Make lots of calls? Many VOIP providers' unlimited-calling plans cost just $20 to $80 a month.

Features such as call waiting, caller ID, hold, call forwarding, and multiple ring-to numbers are usually costly extras with landline service. With most VOIP services, those are built-in features.

SOHO VOIP: Tips for Making it Work for Your Business

SOHO VOIP Tip 1. Test internet phoning out before committing.

Yes, some VOIP connections are so scratchy and patchy they sound like cell phones. That's usually because of a problem in the internet connection. Such problems may not be apparent in ordinary web browsing and file downloading. Go with a service that has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Try VOIP out where you live and work. Make sure to try inbound and outbound calls.

Small Business Internet Phone Tip 2. Phoning from a laptop.

With VOIP telephones, you don't need a computer. But you can use your computer as a phone. A piece of software called a "softphone" uses your computer's speakers and microphone. If your laptop is running too many programs at once, calls will deteriorate. Higher-end laptops shouldn't have this problem.

Small Biz Internet Phoning Tip 3. Choose a provider carefully before putting the number on your business cards.

Switching VOIP companies is at least as much of a pain as switching landline phone companies. In fact, there is typically no outward number-portability. You can bring a number in, but good luck taking it with you. Researching in early 2005, I found no nationwide VOIP services officially offering outward number portability. However, you may be able to talk some carriers into letting you keep your number.

Choose a VOIP provider with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Test the service out thoroughly. One thing is likely: you may want to switch VOIP providers, but you won't want to go back to landline.

Friday, May 26, 2006

VoIP News: NEW VOIP SERVICE PROVIDER

A new voip service provider has hit the scene. ECR Voice was started by Copper.net a long time reliable ISP service. ECR Voice is currenly offering 2 months free with a $1 activation fee through VoIP discounts.

The early reviews continue to be great. It is an easy, reliable service that is backed by the same great U.S. based customer service that Copper customers have enjoyed for years. Give them a try and see for yourself.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

VoIP News : NINTENDO Wii may have VOIP phone capabilities.

New information from Nintendo's financial report indicates that the price of the Nintendo Wii will be not more than $250 in the United States.

The price in Japan is supposed to not more than 25,000 yen, which is around $220. Nintendo also says to sell about 6 million Nintendo Wii consoles until March 2007. Well, why not? If the keep the price below $250 it is possible.

On the Nintendo Wii rumor front the possibility that the Wii Remote could be used as VOIP phone is making its rounds on the web. The Wii remote already has a speaker, to add a microphone would not be that hard. On top of that it has the form factor of a handset.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

VoIP News: Council uses VoIP to back hotdesk plan

Tower Hamlets Council is using a voice over IP (VoIP) system and hotdesking technologies to reduce the desk space needed for employees by 25 per cent.


The London council is installing the technology to operate its new Anchorage House offices in the East India Docks complex on the edge of Canary Wharf.


Jim Roberts, Tower Hamlets’ service head for IT, says the aim of the new system is to alter how the council works.


‘The new accommodation is designated as a hotdesking environment, and IT’s role has been to support that in a number of different ways,’ he said.


‘We are giving the 1,800 staff in the new office roving profiles so they can log in at any desk, and IP telephony so they can take calls at any phone in the complex.’


The council plans to extend the VoIP technology across all its offices by the end of the year covering 5,000 staff.



Tower Hamlets has set itself ambitious targets for the move to the new office, and for implementing the IT to go alongside it, says Roberts.


‘It’s all about making the most appropriate use of the desk space, making sure all the desks are occupied all of the time, because the council has lots of people whose work takes them away from their desks at least part of the time,’ he said.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

VoIP News : Comcast's New VOIP Modems Offer Blackout Protection

VoIP service when the power is out.


By Natali T. Del Conte

Comcast said Monday that is offering a new cable modem with a battery backup, providing some level of assurance that VOIP services will continue to operate in the event of a power outage.

Comcast has placed orders for an undisclosed number of Motorola SBV5220 modems, Motorola representatives said. The modems will be used in conjunction with Comcast's Digital Voice offering, which costs $39.95 per month including unlimited local and long-distance calling. Users will not have to pay to upgrade.

VoIP's reputation has generally suffered from two criticisms: first, that the service does not allow the use of location-based 911 services without configuration from the user, and second, that the service's modems and routers are susceptible to power outages. The SBV5220, a combination cable modem and phone adapter often referred to as an embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter (eMTA), solves that problem with its lithium-ion battery back-up, which provides up to eight hours of extended battery life.

"The rise in VoIP services and folks using VOiP to replace the primary landline [was the reason we created this new modem]," said Paul Alfieri, a spokesperson for Motorola. "Landlines have power already in the line so should your power go out, you can still make and receive phone calls. So this is just a way to deliver more comparable service."

Comcast will offer the new modem to customers later this year with Comcast Digital Voice, an IP-based service that uses the company's broadband network rather than the Internet to transmit phone calls. Comcast has offered Digital Voice since late 2004 but up until now has only provided modems made by ARRIS, a Canadian company.

"ARRIS and Motorola are our two eMTA partners that we've announced to date," said Jeanne Russo, a Comcast spokeswoman. "They both have the battery back up. It's an important requirement for our Digital Voice service."

Comcast's first-quarter earnings reported over 416,000 Digital Voice customers. Cox Communications, one of Comcast's main competitors, reportedly has over 1.5 million customers on their Digital Telephone plan but the company does not use eMTAs, instead installing a Network Interface Unit (NIU) to the side of customer's homes. Cox provides back-up power so that their NIUs are not susceptible to power outages.

Motorola currently sells modems without lithium-ion back-ups to all of the major cable companies but Comcast is the first to order the SBV5220. It can service up to two phone lines in the home using standard RJ-11 telephone connectors, as well as connect to a computer with either an Ethernet cable or USB data port.

Users must also own a phone equipped with its own battery backup to be able to place calls during a power outage. Some wired phones are also powered solely by the phone line

Monday, May 22, 2006

VoIP for Mac / Apples now

Mac-Skypers Delivered Dedicated VoIP Handset

By Erik Linask of IPCommunications.com

Now that Apple has joined mainstream computing — in the sense that it is now producing PCs powered by Intel chipsets — it also is looking to make inroads in other aspects of computing and communications. Indeed, with the multitude of third-party manufacturers unveiling various VoIP products, noticeably left out are loyal Mac users.

It may be but a single product, but it signals a new era for the Mac user community —VoIP products developer VoIPVoice has announced the release of its anticipated CyberPhone W for Mac, a Skype -compatible handset specifically designed for use with Apple’s computing products.

This release also signifies a new age for Skype, as it is now fully accessible to the Apple community. The VoIPVoice handset frees Mac Skypers from their headsets, allowing them to Skype via a handeset.

The CyberPhone W for Mac is the first Skype-certified device to be available in Apple stores universally, including its latest, which opened last week on New York’s famous Fifth Avenue. The handset delivers high quality sound features:

Leading edge design for visual appeal;
Skype integration to simplify VoIP calling;
Look and feel of a conventional handset;
Keypad-based Skype contacts management;
SkypeOut capability from keypad;
Built-in LED to indicate incoming calls, voice mails, status.

The Mac Cyberphone will be available exclusively at Apple’s retail outlets for a four-week period, following which it will also be available for purchase from the VoIPVoice online store and Skype’s online shop.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Toshiba to Add Wireless VOIP


Toshiba America will start selling wireless voice-over-IP phones and a wireless PDA to work with its Stratus CIX series of IP PBX equipment, the company said.

The products, two wireless phones and a wireless combination phone/PDA using Windows Mobile, are available through Toshiba dealers starting May 18. The company did not release pricing for the devices.
The phones are the Hitachi IP5000 and the SpectraLink Link 6020. The Hitachi phone will use a company's existing 802.11b Wi-Fi network, while the SpectraLink phone uses a private wireless network operating in the 900MHz band. The third device is the MC50 PDA, which runs Toshiba's SoftIPT softphone software and also uses Wi-Fi.

"It's the next evolution in communications," said Toshiba America Product Manager Greg Portis. "You can move without being tethered to a specific location." Portis said that at Toshiba, "wireless" refers to anything you can use to communicate and conduct dialogue through without being restricted to "a certain space."

Portis said the phones are designed to work with Toshiba's Stratus CIX, a PBX designed for SMBs (small and midsize businesses). "It's our converged system," he said.
Portis noted that no special software was required for the Stratus CIX, although he did say that some settings needed to be optimized. He declined to say exactly what form of optimization was required, except that it was needed to work properly with customers' WLANs (wireless LANs). The Stratus CIX and the wireless devices use SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) as their standard means of VOIP signaling.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Traditional Voice Service Revenues Declining

By David Haskin of TechWeb News

In a few years, incumbent telecom operators will no longer earn most of their revenues from traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) voice service, according to a study released Tuesday by U.K. market research firm Informa Telecoms & Media.

The precipitous drop in PSTN revenue will be caused by increasing use of voice-over-IP (VoIP), a trend the telecoms will need to continue to capitalize on, the study says. The study predicts a worldwide decrease in revenues from traditional PSTN voice service of about 16.7 percent between the end of 2005 and 2011. That percentage works out to about $100 billion in lost earnings from traditional voice service, the market research firm said.

The full story here.

Monday, May 15, 2006

TV Over IP

Could TV Over IP really happen. Jeff Pulver seems to think so. In the newest issue of Von Magazine, Editor-in-Chief Richard Grigonis continues his ongoing discussion with Jeff as the conversation leads to IP Video. There were three events last summer that make Pulver realize that IP Video is not too far away. Live 8 which was broadcasted ive on AOLMusic.om which over five million people experienced worldwide. The use of his Slingbox to watch American programming while in London. Third, Disney and NBC Universal cutting deals with Apple to sell some NBC series on iTunes. You can the entire article at Von Mags website.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Coming Soon: In-Flight VoIP Calling

Like it or not, airline passengers in U.S. skies are likely to be listening to their fellow passengers talking on phones in a year or so. An FCC frequency auction underway this week will likely pave the way for VoIP calls in-flight.

Nine companies ranging from Verizon Communications' Airfone to JetBlue Airways are bidding for the frequencies. Airfone already offers phone service on many flights, but its high cost has limited its use. JetBlue has declined to say what its LiveTV LCC unit would do with a winning frequency.

Although many frequent flyers and airline attendants favor a ban on the phone chatter, Connexion by Boeing, whose Internet service is already offered on nearly 200 international flights a day, notes that there have been no complaints of in-cabin incidents about the technology. The Connexion service is regularly used by passengers to make VoIP calls.

Connexion officials look the U.S. air-to-ground (ATG) frequency services as potentially complimentary to Boeing's satellite-based service.

"An ATG provider and Connexion by Boeing could work together to provide added value to airlines and their passengers by providing a common look and feel to the Web portal, billing, operational applications, etc." said Terrance Scott, a Connexion spokesman, in an e-mail. "That makes such services more broadly available to the traveling public."

Scott noted that airline economic reality may dictate that domestic U.S. flights use land-based frequencies while long-haul and international flights could utilize satellite links. While several international airlines have rushed to install the Connexion service, the FCC has withheld its approval for the service in the U.S.

The FCC ATG bidding for spectrum in the 800 MHz band got underway on Wednesday. Two winners are expected to emerge from the auction. Airfone executives have indicated that Internet service could begin in about a year if it wins some bandwidth. Other bidders have generally been playing their cards close to their vests and haven't said much about their plans.

In addition to Airfone and JetBlue, other bidders include AC BidCo, Acadia Broadand, AMTS Consortium, Intelligent Transport & Monitoring Wireless, Space Data Spectrum Holdings, and Unison Spectrum.

The FCC has withheld the in-flight use of cell phones to date.

Boeing, responding to a recent Carnegie Mellon University study on the safety of in-flight calls, said that it has taken steps to ensure that passengers can't interfere with aircraft navigation systems.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Do you have security system and want VoIP?

The security industry seems to becoming to grips that they are going to need to work with VoIP systems to stay with the times. This article was off of securityinfowatch.com.

Coming to Terms with What VoIP Means for the Alarm Industry

VoIP isn't going away. And the more the alarm industry learns about it, the more reasons our industry must be careful when working around it. But we're going to have to work with it, because VoIP is taking over from POTS.

That's the gist of a new report from the NBFAA that was released Monday on the association's website, www.alarm.org.

The new NBFAA report addresses the issues that the alarm industry is facing with VoIP. It comes after a March meeting that brought key industry players, including SIA, NBFAA, CSAA, Honeywell, Bosch, Telular, DSC, ADT, Guardian and Vector Security, to the table with cable company representatives from Cox, Charter, Time Warner and others.

SecurityInfoWatch.com recently caught up with NBFAA's Executive Director Merlin Guilbeau to discuss what the industry has learned about VoIP.

"I think the issue of VoIP is becoming more prevalent," says Guilbeau. "I think there were initial thoughts that a fix or a filter would come along like there was in DSL, but that is not going to be the case."

Guilbeau added that the pace that the cable companies are installing VoIP services is much faster than the pace at which customers were switching to DSL. In fact, industry numbers from Time Warner say that by the end of this year, 2 million customers will have signed up with VoIP service. That number will be 8 million at the end of 2008 according to the company's estimates.

Those kind of growth numbers certainly mean that a change of business is in store for the alarm industry. But it's not just the alarm industry that will feel the pinch.


You can read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

VoIP on Cell Phones: Read the Fine Print

Sounds like a dumb idea to me. Unless they all follow suit chances are people will just switch to the company that will let them.

John Blau, IDG News Service

As low-priced Internet phone services for mobile devices emerge, users should first check the fine print in their cell phone contracts to see if they can take advantage of such offerings. There's a chance they can't.

T-Mobile International, which has mobile phone operations in Europe and the United States, is among the first companies to ban the use of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol, or Internet-based telephone service) over its networks. Its Web 'n' Walk professional service expressly prohibits such usage, and the company reserves the right to terminate contracts.

Like many other mobile phone companies, T-Mobile wants to protect its cash-cow telephone service from new providers of VoIP-over-mobile services, such as Mino Wireless USA.

Last week, the Sunnyvale, California, company launched one of the world's first commercial VoIP-over-mobile services, offering fees as low as US$0.02 per minute for international calls.
That's cheap--really cheap--compared to the $1 per minute or more mobile phone users in many countries currently pay to make international calls.

VoIP-Over-Mobile Providers

To use Mino, customers need to install the company's mobile VoIP application on a Java-enabled mobile phone.

Mino joins other VoIP heavyweights, such as Skype Technologies, a unit of eBay. Earlier this year, Skype announced a VoIP partnership with Hutchison 3 Group, which operates IP-based mobile broadband networks in several European markets. The Skype mobile VoIP application runs on Microsoft's Windows Mobile software.

Mobile VoIP startup Iskoot, which is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is also working with Skype to allow users to make or receive Internet calls with their mobile phones
.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Phishing Leaps to Next Level With VoIP

Same old scams, new technology to use to do it. BEWARE!!

A security firm on Tuesday reported discovering a phishing scheme in which the scammers used spam disguised as coming from a small bank in a large East Coast city, Cloudmark Inc., a messaging security firm, said. The message asked the recipient to dial a telephone number to talk with a bank representative.

The number went to an automated voice system that asked for an account number and personal identification number, or PIN, in order to access the caller's finances. The number was obtained through a regular provider of voice over Internet protocol services.

There was no indication that the VoIP provider was aware of the scam, said Cloudmark, which declined to name the company and the spoofed bank.

The incident reflected a mutation in the tactics used by phishers to snare victims. More traditional schemes involve spam asking the recipient to visit their bank's private branch exchange, running an automated telephone information system. The voice system sounds exactly like the bank's phone tree, directing the caller to specific extensions, Adam J. O’Donnell, senior research scientist at Cloudmark, said.

O'Donnell believes it's likely the phishers were using virus-infected computers that had been commandeered to take calls over the Internet.

The use of VoIP is a natural mutation of phishing, since it involves Internet technologies that crooks operating on the Web are familiar with, O'Donnell said. In addition, obtaining a VoIP telephone number is easy and inexpensive and calls can be directed to any IP address. In the latest attack, the phishers used the same pitch in the emails, but used three different telephone numbers.

"Through the economics of using VoIP, phishers reap the same benefits of any small business," O'Donnell said.

It's not known how popular VoIP technology will become with phishers. That would depend on how successful it is at trapping victims "This is very early on, and we haven't seen a spike," O'Donnell said.

"Our main purpose at this point is to tell consumers before they fall victim."

By
Antone Gonsalves

Monday, May 08, 2006

Jeff Pulver was here

Although there was no comment left with the answer of G, apparently Jeff Pulver was indeed here and read the entry.

Friday, May 05, 2006

VoIP Quality of Service

So how do you keep from getting dropped VoIP calls in a buisness place where there is demand for bandwidth for email, large data transfers and VoIP calls. By protecting your VoIP bandwidth with QoS (Quality of Service) Mae Kowalke, of TMCnet explains in a recent article:

You may know that Quality of Service, or QoS, is an important part of keeping your networking running smoothly. But do you know what types of applications benefit most from QoS?

In a recent application note, Kentrox provides an answer to that very question: “QoS becomes necessary when Voice over IP (VoIP) capable phones are to be added to what is currently a data only network infrastructure.”

Sounds simple enough. Here’s why that’s true.

Without VoIP, networks are used to send data using IP packets. Some networks now support server-based infrastructures that require access to the Internet.

Supporting e-mail, Internet access, file transfers, server backups, streaming video, video conferencing, and other applications takes quite a bit of bandwidth.

So, what happens when VoIP is added to the mix?

Kentrox’s answer: “A few data packets carrying a voice conversation will probably be lost among those large data applications running on a network originally designed for data. The end result is a scrambled or difficult to hear conversation.”

The human ear is a very sensitive instrument, and will quickly pick up on the loss of quality.

Luckily, there’s a way to prevent that quality loss. And it’s called, you guess it, Quality of Service.

In the application note, Kentrox explains that modern networks are designed to handle both voice and data traffic. “These networks also have the ability to prioritize traffic streams based on QoS parameters.”

Now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of how Quality of Service works. In a nutshell, it’s all about prioritization.

“QoS is a set of algorithms or policies that are created by a network administrator to assign different levels of quality (or priority) to different types of network traffic,” Kentrox explains.

Anything that interferes with the timely delivery of voice or video packets can cause problematic losses in quality. A QoS policy marks these packets as high priority, allowing them to be delivered prior to unmarked data traffic.

This concept is illustrated in Figures 1 and 2 below.






There’s more to Quality of Service than that, of course, but it’s all you need to know. Kentrox’s Quality of Service products, like the Q1300 QoS Appliance, make it easy to ensure high-quality VoIP on your network.

To learn more, visit www.kentrox.com.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Quick Survey For Today

How much do you know about VoIP? (Leave a comment with the corresponding letter to your answer)

A. What the heck is VoIP???
B. Just found out.
C. Learned about it in the past couple of weeks.
D. Have known about it for a awhile now.
E. I use VoIP.
F. I am in the industry.
G. My name is
Jeff Pulver.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

First VoIP E911 Call-Handling Solution in Texas Implemented by Galveston County Emergency Communication District

GALVESTON, Texas, /PRNewswire/ -- The Galveston County Emergency Communication District (GCECD) recently implemented the first IP-enabled Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in the state of Texas. All eight PSAPs and the 21 dispatchers in the GCECD service area, along with the La Marque Police Department, the Galveston Police Department and Galveston County Sheriff Department, are utilizing the new IP-enabled Enhanced 911 call- handling solution, which brings a variety of benefits, including integration with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), automatic crash notification, on- demand conferencing, group paging capabilities, remote log-in and encryption of all 911 calls for increased privacy.

It also provides increased networking capabilities and lets the Galveston 911 centers receive pictures and video sent by people at the scene. This will enable the dispatchers to better determine which emergency personnel are required at the scene, as well as allow the responders to more thoroughly prepare for the emergency en route.

The GCECD believes the new system's ability to quickly network PSAPs together is one of the most critical benefits of the new system. Networking allows less busy call centers to provide assistance for centers that are experiencing spikes in call volume.

"Now the PSAPs within the service area of GCECD will be in a much better position to back up each other if needed," said Bobby Wright, executive director of the GCECD.

Two years ago, the GCECD began its search for a PSAP call-center solution that would centralize the control equipment, be easier to maintain and be cost-effective. It also wanted a next-generation solution that would utilize less proprietary equipment, and could quickly accommodate future technologies and operate over an IP network.

The district selected the Synapse call-handling system from Huntsville, Ala.-based Tel Control, Inc. (TCI). Synapse is an open-architecture, VoIP- ready solution that integrates technologies from Avaya and TCI.

"IP telephony provides far more than just the ability to accommodate the increase in call volume and accept text messaging, images and OnStar data," said Jeff Robertson, TCI's president and a former policeman. "It lets call centers consolidate their hardware and systems for cost efficiency, while delivering added redundancy across the network. It also provides nearly unlimited paths for calls to get through, and makes it far easier to link together call handlers, emergency personnel and offsite staff."

Robertson continued, "It's forward-thinking people such as Bobby Wright, Jack Wilkins and the other leaders at GCECD who will ensure that the emergency community nationwide has the networking capability to handle the dramatic increase in 911 calls and large-scale emergencies, whether they are caused by people or the environment."

Industry experts point out that the IP-networks used by 911 centers are not what consumers and corporations use. "VoIP-based PSAP systems use secure, private data networks -- not the Internet," said Lee Moore, founder of 911Consult, Inc., a consulting group specializing in IT services for the E911 community. "These private network providers allow the PSAP to define the quality as well as the quantity of service needed to deliver full, uncompressed voice to the PSAPs. In comparison, residential Internet service is delivered as a 'best effort,' and bandwidth can be a problem during peak usage times."

AT&T is acting as the integrator for this project. The mapping application is provided by GeoComm.

About TCI

For more than 20 years, Huntsville, Ala.-based Tel Control, Inc. has been specializing in 911 telephony solutions. More than 700 Public Service Answering Points across North America rely on TCI's technologies and solutions to provide reliable and nearly instantaneous response for the citizens in their areas.

TCI's mission is to continually improve public safety 911 communications by remaining the industry's most innovative and responsive provider of Enhanced 911 solutions. With the installation of the first IP-enabled system in Texas, as well as the first IP-enabled system in the U.S. (Elmore County, Alabama in 2004), TCI is cementing its reputation as a leader for next- generation E911 solutions.

For more information, visit http://www.tci911.com .

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

VoIP Mentioned on 24

Apparently VoIP was mentioned on the hit show 24. Tom's blog has a clip of the scene where it is mentioned on the show. Voice over IP is beginning to really hit the main stream. Don't be left behind. 24 seems like a good choice for the type of show for VoIP to be mentioned on. Anybody have a guess of what show will be next to mention VoIP with in the context of the show?