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


VoIP carriers launch peering network

Internet calls to landlines could get even cheaper, following yesterday's launch of an international peering network of VoIP providers. Fourteen companies have signed up to the free-of-charge interconnection service including (Sweden), (Switzerland), Magrathea Telecommunications (Great Britain), (Denmark), MS Networks (Luxembourg), sipgate (Austria, Germany, Great Britain) and SIPphone (USA).

VoIP set for high-street boom?

A number of high-street names are making the move to voice over IP (VoIP) telephony with a rollout now underway at LloydsTSB and Virgin Megastores currently assessing the business benefits of a VoIP implementation across the UK and Ireland. The VoIP implementation being rolled out at LloydsTSB will see the bank install 70,000 Cisco internet telephony handsets in 2,500 branches and 1,000 other sites across the UK. The rollout represents one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

Skype launches free SMS service

A free feature that lets users send short text messages to mobile phones from internet phone service Skype was being made available for testing starting on Thursday. Prior to Thursday, people downloading the Skype software could only receive short message service (SMS) messages, which are text-only and a maximum of 160 characters.


astricon coming to europe

the second astricon conference will take place in madrid, spain 15-17 june, and will be the first european conference dedicated to the asterisk pbx. the three day event will include a conference and exhibition, asterisk tutorials and a developer's meeting. more details will be released soon. i will try to be there.

belgacom launches voip for home use

according to this article (in dutch), belgian incumbent operator belgacom will be launching voip services for home use this summer. it is responding to earlier intiatives from telenet and versatel. the pricing structure for the service is not yet known.

VOIP Gear Sales Soar

LONDON -- Worldwide service provider next gen voice product revenue totaled $1.71 billion in 2004, a healthy 36% gain over 2003, setting a new high, according to Infonetics Research's quarterly market share and forecast service ... "North America was a hot spot in 2004 as carrier adoption moved into the big time, and we expect Europe to start taking shape this year,"


€100 telco

mr. blog points to two very interesting projects running a small voip system on a linksys wrtg router. there's one based on ser and another one based on asterisk, both require you to run openwrt on the router. these small linksys devices are truly remarkable, and what people are doing with them even more so. i wonder if there's still some space left to put a dundi implementation on it. that would result in a people empowered telco (PET) without the need for a central infrastructure. perhaps jeff can use this as a ultra-cheap fwdOUT node, if someone finds a way to add an FXO port to it.


Free Papers on IP Telephony

More than 20 IEEE Communications Society journal and conference papers on IP telephony technology are available free online for a limited time. Topics include voice quality measurement and predication in the Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) environment, VoIP network admission control and VoIP network reliability.

Common Statement on VoIP and its regulation

following an earlier post regarding the eu urging its member states to take a light touch on regulating the voip industry, richard's blog has a nice follow-up summarizing the common statement published by the european regulators.


Skype callers: 'Customer service, please?'

He lives in the United States. His fiancee is in Great Britain. He uses an Internet phone service called Skype to keep romance alive and phone bills low. But there's trouble in paradise. The suitor says his cut-rate phone provider suddenly left him in the lurch, thanks to a billing glitch that's prevented him from using his account to place calls to his betrothed.


Wi-fi VoIP handset market: €35m in 2004

Worldwide wi-fi VoIP handset revenue totalled €35m in 2004 and units totalled 113,000, according to a report from market research firm Infonetics Research. Revenue and units are projected to show strong growth through 2009 as enterprises slowly but steadily continue to deploy voice over wireless LANs (VoWLAN). Worldwide dual-mode wi-fi/mobile handset revenue hit €5.1m in 2004, and units totalled more than 8,000.


Fixed voice revenues shrink as VoIP swells

Traditional voice telephony is on the decline while IP services, favoured by businesses for productivity gains, are poised to surpass it. Revenues for fixed-voice services in Europe are set to drop three per cent annually, from $108bn in 2003 to $95bn in 2008, according to market researcher IDC. The drop is due to the rise of voice over IP (VoIP) services, the uptake of mobile phones as a substitute for landlines and growth of broadband which has a set monthly fee, IDC said in a recent study.


EU spurs Internet phone market

The European Commission is seeking to promote the development of cheap long-distance Internet telephone calls, urging all 25 nations of the EU to take a light touch on regulating the new industry. The new technology, Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), is growing quickly in Japan and the United States but Europe lags behind, the Commission said on Friday. Telecommunications regulators from the 25-nation bloc and the European Commission met in Brussels to clear the way for the the industry to grow more quickly in Europe.


Skype VoIP software merged with cellphone

A new mobile cellphone made by i-mate and loaded with Skype Internet-telephone software is being unveiled today at the 3GSM World Congress in Luxembourg. Skype Technologies, S.A. and i-mate, which creates wireless device products, said the i-mate PDA2K and the i-mate PDA2 handsets will be produced with Skype's software preloaded, enabling i-mate owners to use Skype immediately on start-up of their device.


new p2p sip client

amidst all the fuzz about p2p voip, this company claims to be the first to release a peer-to-peer SIP compatible softphone. although i support the fact that they are using open standards, i doubt this one will catch on since consumers generally don't care what technology is being used as long as it works. it will be very difficult to take away market share from the hugely popular skype.

skype, the downside of p2p (part 2)

the skype p2p story continues, as mr. blog examines skype's privacy policy / eula, compares it to wikipedia's trusted computing definition and draws an analogy with microsofts next-generation secure computing base (formerly known as paladium).

Letting Skype use my computer to facilitate my own communications is one thing. But it is an entirely different matter to grant permission for Skype to use my private property to facilitate the communications of strangers, communications to which I am not a party. Forgetting this discrepency (which itself seems somewhat dubious), the fact is with Skype as it is today, your computer can become a hub (Supernode) and carry the conversations of others, without your explicit knowledge or active consent. The parallels to Palladium are many. In both cases, a big brother in the sky tells us whose computer we can trust, as well as when and how we should trust it. And all the protocols and algorithms are secret, not exposed to peer review or the kind of extensive public scrutiny required to affirm the security of the design.


skype, the downside of p2p

om points me to an interesting post about peer-to-peer and the question if skype is misusing your computer. as a reader points out, this is of course the nature of p2p networks and skype explains it on their website. however, it goes to show that not many companies have developed a policy on (dis)allowing p2p technology to be used for voip, even though corporate usage is increasing as eurotelcoblog points out.

skype siemens review

digital lifestyles has a review on the siemens skype handset that i reported earlier about. although it provides additional freedom of movement over a wired headset tied to your pc; it is unfortunately still limited because it requires your computer to be on all the time.

RIM and 3COM bring VoIP to Blackberry

3Com Corporation and Research In Motion (RIM) are working together to combine 3Com's Internet Protocol (IP)-private branch exchange (PBX) and wireless local area network (WLAN) switch with RIM's BlackBerry wireless solution for WLAN networks. The companies plan to offer a rich set of voice and data applications to on-campus enterprise users.

IP PBX VoIP Interoperability Initiative

A number of leading IP telephony vendors, including Avaya, BroadSoft, Cbeyond, Centrepoint Technologies, Cisco Systems, and Mitel, have developed a draft best practices document to guide interoperability between IP PBXs and VoIP service provider networks. The newly released, publicly available SIPconnect Interface Specification leverages the existing family of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and other Voice over IP protocols published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).


voip troubleshoot tool

apparently this company, launched an interesting product that allows you to assess your networks ability to handle voice traffic. i wonder what costs ...

VoIP Players Form Security Alliance

Nearly two-dozen Voice over IP industry players have formed a new group to ensure that VoIP security keeps pace with adoption. Spearheaded by 3Com's TippingPoint intrusion prevention unit, the VoIP Security Alliance (VOIPSA) will run discussion lists, publish white papers and sponsor research. Other VOIPSA members include network gear maker Alcatel, communications software developer Avaya, Columbia University and security software vendor Symantec.

busy times

we've been quite busy for the past few days working on packetbox, it's new rackmount version and the upcoming hosted solution ... in the mean time, here are some interesting newsbits ...


Call centres lag behind on IP adoption

IP telephony, or voice over IP, is now commonplace in many large enterprises. So why has it not been successfully ported to an area where it can offer great benefit - the call centre? IP-based call centre systems have been widely available since the late 1990s. In the intervening years, the technology has matured significantly and there are a number of high-profile reference sites that prove its scalability and reliability. It doesn't lack support from the vendor community - Cisco, Avaya and Nortel among others have put their full weight behind the tech. Yet sales of IP contact centres have been much lower than vendors and analysts expected. A mere eight per cent of all contact centres in the UK have deployed a pure IP solution ...

The Prague Post: Phoning For Free

Companies offering inexpensive international phone calls using the Internet are increasingly targeting the Czech Republic, and consumers are responding. These services, dubbed Internet telephony, follow the simple premise that voice is just another form of data on the Internet. Using technology known as voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP), these companies are revolutionizing the phone market and giving traditional fixed-line operators an earache.


skype for mac os x & linux

according to this press release, skype just launched version 1.0 for linux and mac os x platforms. with that, skype is now available for windows, pocket pc, linux and mac. you can download skype for your favorite os here or have a look at the screenshots.

offer voip in asia

james seng has an interesting viewpoint about offering voip services in asia. giving us an insight in the difficulties and problems you might encounter were you to start an itsp over there. some of the problems he mentions are quite similar to the ones we encountered when launching in belgium, especially regarding dealing with regulators and incumbents.