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


ENUM Heads for Primetime

After some months in the wilderness, ENUM (electronic number mapping), the protocol that maps telephone numbers to IP addresses, is once again a hot topic as VOIP providers look for ways to charge customers for new services and keep their calls off the PSTN.

ENUM, or, uses a lookup system for routing that’s similar to the domain name system (DNS) for Web addresses. It can allocate a single number that can then be used for multiple IP services, such as VOIP, email, instant messaging, and so on.

Then, if you enter a phone number into your cellphone or PDA, the ENUM software delivers information about all the possible ways to contact the owner of that number (call, email, instant message, and so on). The user would then choose one of those connections and be charged appropriately.

Telenor Launches VOIP Service

OSLO, Norway -- On Wednesday, Telenor introduces its broadband telephony product to the consumer market. Telenor now provides a full range of telephony services, and customers are offered traditional fixed telephony, mobile telephony and broadband telephony.


IP telephony picking up in Europe

IP telephony is taking hold in businesses across Western Europe - and its spread shows no signs of slowing down this year. The IP telephony market grew in terms of both revenue and shipments during the fourth quarter of 2004. Revenue rose 13 per cent over the third quarter to hit $77m while the number of IP handsets shipped rose 14 per cent, according to IDC's Western European IP Telephone Tracker.


new zyxel wifi voip phone

om malik has the scoop on zyxel's new wifi voip phone, the p2000w v2. thanks to the inventive naming, i haven't been able to dig up more information on the device. the handset looks much better than the p2000w's previous incarnation, but that's about all i can say about it right now.


VoIP caps

Just as broadband customers discovered that "unlimited" really means "limited", subscribers of Packet8 VOIP service discover that having teenagers can push them over a hidden 3000 minute per month boundary, and trigger an automatic change to a more expensive business level service plan.


Asterisk – a star of the future?

Larry Ellison has his super yacht, Bill Gates has his humanitarian fund. For Mark Spencer, the symbol of his success is a hot tub. It may not be the most expensive trophy, but Spencer’s achievement may well prove to be just as revolutionary - turning the world of enterprise telephony on its head. The tub, now installed at his Huntsville, Alabama home, was bought for him as a token of gratitude by 150 software developers who work on the platform he initiated - Asterisk, the Linux-based IP private branch exchange (PBX) software. Spencer started work on Asterisk when he was running a Linux support company. “I was still a college student,” he says. “I wanted a phone system and I wasn’t going to buy one for several thousand dollars.”

zennstrom interview

techworld has an interview with skype ceo niklas zennstrom. skype currently has 29 million users - 1 million (or 3.5%) of which use skypeout - adding 155 000 users each day, they also have around 1.3 million pocket pc users.


Ezmax adds VOIP to Flash-based MP3 Players

A Korean MP3 Manufactured called Ezmax has added an interesting feature to their latest EZMP4200P MP3 player, when connected to your systems USB 2.0 port, the included software will allow you to make VOIP calls with the devices built-in microphone. When connected to your PC a removable disk icon appears, within the disk is a dialing software icon which will enable you to make calls through third party VOIP providers.


to ata or not to ata

i'm a bit confused now. according to om malik the ata is dead, they are clearing the way for ip phones. on the other hand inside c (via eurotelcoblog) is all raving lunatic about the actiontec internet phone wizard, which is essentially an ata for skype. i'm not a skype fan, but i fail to see what all the buzz is about. this adapter still requires you to run skype on your computer. so instead of just using your computer, you now buy an additional adapter, and get less functionality than with the original skype (no buddy list, ...). how is this any better than a sip adapter and an account with any other sip provider?


skype news bits

okay, so the news is all over the blogosphere, so i'll stick to the official press releases. skype has reached one million paying subscribers (skypeout), and recently introduced skypein which allows you to get a real geographic number and accept calls on it. numbers are available in the us, france, uk and hongkong at €34.5 per year, including a free voicemail subscription.

cebit 2005

so, i was at cebit on friday. as usual there's a lot to see when you're only there for one day. but i did manage to talk to a few people at junghanns, snom and 2n. other than that it was more of the same you get every year. hundreds of asian booths trying to get "new products" on the market, which mainly consists out of usb sticks, ipod knock-offs and other mp3 players, all kinds of cameras and of course computer cases.

one of the few innovating new products i managed to find was the new zyxel p5000w video phone. it's a sip based device, running linux which allows you to make video-over-ip calls but also sports an agenda, address book and many other nice applications which can be accessed using the 5" touch screen. it has a removable bluetooth keypad that also doubles as a handset. i couldn't get a lot of information but it should be available at the end of the year with a price tag around €500. here are some pictures.

german provider freenet also introduced a new mobile/voip phone. the freenet ip1 clamshell handset is developed in cooperation with alcatel and allows you to make calls at home within 100m of the base station. the base station is a dsl modem & wlan router which also supports bluetooth. apparently it uses bluetooth and not wi-fi to connect the voip calls to the base station, which is kind of a missed opportunity in my opinion. when you leave the so called 'phone zone' the handset automatically switches to the 900/1800mhz gsm network. although it's unlikely you'll be able to switch your current call without disconnecting, this device is sure to generate quite a stir in the current mobile market. no news on price and availibility yet, but i will post more here as soon as i find out.


voip pbx's

snom has introduced their new voip box at cebit. it's a 50 user sip ip pbx in a compact appliance. it doesn't look like there's any place for expansion cards, but it has no moving parts and a very small footprint. we will be publicly demonstrating our packetbox appliance at telecom city. it's a larger device, also available in 19" solution based on asterisk. it offers many additional modules such as groupware, ipsec, anti-spam and anti-virus solutions. i'll also try to attend von europe and astricon europe this year although only as a visitor.


QoS for Tiscali VoIP

Tiscali is offering quality of service (QoS) guarantees for it's ADSL broadband for VoIP which were announced back in February. Lance Spencer, product director for business services at Tiscali, said that traditional leased lines were far too expensive for most companies to use them to connect to remote offices and home workers, but Tiscali's QoDSL service provides an alternative for "low-cost, cost-effective, low-volume data applications".


Skype launches free WiFi calls at hotspots

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Internet telephony company Skype and wireless broadband operator Broadreach will offer free telephone calls over the Web from laptops and handheld computers at 350 locations in Britain, including major train stations.

VoIP to save fixed line telcos billions

While VoIP is most often painted as a threat to mobile operators - snatching away vital voice revenues from mobile operators and fixed line firms alike - new research has found that VoIP might yet prove a help rather than a hindrance to the telcos.



KPN CEO Ad Scheepbouwer believes 2005 will be a big year for his carrier in terms of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and broadband. “Starting in 2005, we intend to have a big push in broadband and VoIP. This will have consequences for short-term profitability, but will position us strongly for today's market and deliver greater benefits in the future,” he comments. “In the all-IP world things will become simpler and cheaper, offering the opportunity to achieve significantly lower structural costs.”


Telcos told 'you're no better than the gas board'

Incumbent telecoms providers have been told to start falling into line with utilities companies as bandwidth and connectivity become commodity products, piped into customers' homes like gas and electricity. Consumers are now entitled to pay "utility prices for a utility product", said Morten Singleton, director of telecommunications equity research at West LB. ... Ironically it was the incumbents' provision of broadband bandwidth which has brought about the most rapid period of decline due to convergence and the arrival of free, or very low cost internet telephony (VoIP)