everything about the european voip market: trends, startups, news and reviews


Why you shouldn't do business with Lloyds Business

The friendly people at Lloyds Business a UK VoIP outfit have been comment spamming this blog and most likely other blogs as well.  The seemingly innocent comment goes like this "Kept hearing people talk about Voip and IP Telephony. Didn't know what it was but i found the Lloyds Business website and it shed some light. Not as exciting as i though it was gonna be" but is littered with links to the company's website.

Besides being simply annoying, this type of "advertising" is quite unprofessional and sheds some light on the company's business tactics.  I would certainly think twice before doing business with this company if I were you.


Sipcat 1.2 is here

I can't believe I haven't posted on this blog since our first release of the software over ten months ago. Time flies, because I can proudly announce our first major update to our VoIP software. I will continue blogging on our company blog. Hope to see you there.


Launching Sipcat IP telephony software

After just a year, we are proud to announce our Sipcat IP Telephony Software. The software, which can be downloaded from the site as an .iso file, contains a complete Linux distribution, web server, database, VoIP PBX and a web management interface.

You can download Sipcat and give it a try using our free license for up to 4 users. This license is not otherwise limited in time or functionality. Feel free to discuss the software in our forum.

Sipcat offers all regular features you'd expect from a PBX with a lot of additional features which can be easily managed using the web interface. Using any IP phone you can make telephone calls using your existing analog or ISDN lines or even via an Internet Telephony Service Provider.


VoIP features expected in Apple's Leopard

Software engineers at Apple Computer have been toiling away on a new set of features that will allow users of its next-generation Mac OS X operating system to place phone calls over their Internet connection, AppleInsider has learned.

People familiar with recent builds of the software say voice over IP (VoIP) Internet dialing is just one of several new features in iChat 4.0, which Apple is expected to bundle with the operating system overhaul, code-named Leopard.
I'll be looking forward to find out what Apple actually has in mind for this. Apple will only be able to get this thing to mass market if they provide support for Windows users. That, and they need to get the quirks with iChat worked out. As opposed to Jobs' iChat claim ("It just works") my experience with iChat (especially video) hasn't been very fruitful up until now.


taking up blogging (again)

It's been over 4 months since i posted anything new on this blog, and that's a shame really. I guess this isn't my first apologetic post about not updating this blog, but over time I have renewed my interest in maintaining it.

The past few months (more like a year actually), we've been working hard on a completely renewed version of our Packetbox VoIP PBX. This time around it is completely software based and can be downloaded and installed in under 15 minutes. Some of our resellers have already been trying it out, and the response has been great until now.

The software is ready for release actually but the site isn't, so I'm not going to be able to tell you much more about it until we go live. Suffice it to say that we're pretty ecstatic about it and hope you will be too. While I'm writing this I'm getting prepared to go to Singapore to discuss some VoIP opportunities with partners. If you're in that region in two weeks time and interested in VoIP solutions, drop me a note, perhaps we can meet up. If you're not in that region but still interested, drop me a note as well, perhaps we can setup a meeting to see if we can work something interesting out.

That's it for now, hopefully the next post won't take another 4 months.


20% of UK business have adopted VoIP

According to telecommunications and software consulting company Ovum, about 20% of British businesses have already adopted VoIP technology, about the same percentage as in the USA. Number two in Europe, is Italy, just short of 20%. What's interesting to see is that more companies are citing other benefits than telecommunication costs as reasons for them to switch to Voice over IP technology. Most notably strategic investments - integration with existing IP VPN's, employee mobility and increased productivity. It's good to see that companies are increasingly becoming aware of other benefits VoIP has to offer, except lower call charges. The entire article is available here.


Wanadoo's VoIP service falls over

Wanadoo, which claims to be the UK's largest VoIP outfit with more than 80,000 users, has apologised to punters after its broadband telephony service went on the blink. Its Wireless & Talk VoIP product went titsup on Tuesday morning resulting in calls from landlines or mobiles being unable to connect to Wanadoo's internet telephony service.

Technorati Tags: ,


VoIP as denial of service coverup solution?

The latest flurry of articles regarding VoIP being used by cyber criminals to cover their traces doesn't stop to irritate me. What a bunch of nonsense. Apparently a group of researchers at the UK's Cambridge University and USA's MIT have published a study, indicating how easy it would be for 'hackers' to cover up their traces using Voice over IP protocols. Traditionally, 'hackers' use IRC or - less frequently - instant messaging, to launch DDoS attacks from an enormous amount of computers at the same time. These IRC channels or IM servers are apparently monitored by law enforcement personnel to help them trace the originators of the attack.

According to the new study, hackers could theoretically use Voice over IP protocols that ... and here it comes ... by their very nature would make it a lot more difficult to trace the originator, because of (a) the sheer volume of packets, (b) the possible use of encrypted protocols, (c) the use of proprietary protocols and (d) the use of peer-2-peer technology ... Come again? I mean, are these traits unique for Voice over IP? And is there any seasoned hacker who has had to wait for VoIP to arrive to make use of this technology? Again a beautiful example of FUD being distributed by so called researchers who apparently have nothing better to do than find the new "security issue" or what have you .. to scare people away from a certain technology. And then, of course, it is shamelessly copied by every website online, because, security sells .. and telling scary stories sells even better!

I have absolutely no problems with people doing decent research and publishing decent reports of what may go wrong .. but please .. let's not overreact and try to find problems where there aren't any. I don't want to come across too negative, and the people who wrote this document probably had good intentions. But who commissioned this study, and why? I certainly see no value in it whatsoever.

Technorati Tags: ,


European VoIP demand booming

The demand for VoIP solutions is booming according to vendor Shoretel. They recently set up offices in Madrid, Munich and a reseller partnership in Benelux to support their European expansion. An interesting viewpoint in the article:

"The nature of Europe, as a set of countries that need to work together and interoperate on standards just to conduct business, lends itself to coming together around the IPT standards and adopting them across the continent. High toll rates make communications costly and so deploying an IP telephony solution not only reduces telephone bills but ensures gains in productivity.”
I never looked at it this way but it certainly is true. When I started this blog I planned to also highlight the differences between the USA and Europe on this matter and this is certainly one. The two markets are very different, and stuff that works in the USA might not necessarily work at this side of the ocean.

An interesting concept in the USA is the alliance between Avaya and AT&T. Although I'm sure similar initiatives exist all over the globe, this is the first one I've seen on such a large scale with both vendors actually pushing VoIP as the solution. Unfortunately still many incumbents partner with vendors of traditional telephony systems in order to protect their market share.
AT&T has joined up with Avaya in an effort to help companies smoothly transition to Voice over Internet Protocol telephone systems. The project is aimed at giving business customers a single point of contact for the design and implementation of VoIP deployments.
Still plenty room for opportunity here. If you are a telephony systems manufacturer, and everyone can be one these days thanks to Asterisk, try to partner with a local, small, alternative operator that supports VoIP. If you are a small, local VoIP operator, find a PBX manufacturer to partner with. If done properly, this relationship should be beneficial for both.

Technorati Tags:


Skype battles to stay ahead

Skype contributed a modest 25 million dollars to parent E-Bay's total net revenue of 1.5 billion dollars according to recent published results. The number of registered users skyrocketed in the last quarter of 2005 from 52 million to 74.7 million. Yet Skype is still battling to stay ahead:

"Skype is going to be challenged by a host of others, by services that live independently of the PC," said Steve Blood, vice-president of research at analysts Gartner. He said one of Skype's weaknesses was that it was still used primarily early adopters - people who know their way around a computer, rather than the person in the street.

Technorati Tags: ,