VoIP spy killed

A surveyor of electronic intelligence was murdered while trying to catch terrorists who were using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to plan their attacks.

The technology expert Gareth Williams had founded a programme called Echelon. Echelon was set up in the Cold war to sift through email and other communications information such as mobile VoIP. The idea was to look for phrases which might indicate a national security threat.

His murder has led to fears about sensitive intelligence leaking out from top level British and the United States computers. The programme intercepted over five billion communications every day using mathmatical geniuses and algorithms to crack codes.

Williams himself was posted with MI6 computer intelligence in Afghanistan, the NSA cryptology centre in Colorado as well as Fort Meade in Maryland where the US National Security Agency is based.

Extracting information from internet phone calls was one of his main projects. That is because technologies like Skype are not yet intercepted by government forces in the same way that normal phone calls are.

In 2008 the British Intelligence and Security Committee said: "One of the greatest challenges is to maintain intercept capability despite rapidly evolving communications technology. This especially concerns the growth of use by terrorists of voice over internet telephony and other internet-based communications."

Gmail to get Google Voice VoIP app?

Google likes to keep its cards close to its chest but rumours suggest that the search engine giant is playing around with the idea of integrating the Google Voice VoIP app onto Gmail.

It would mean that VoIP would become part of the Google Chat IM service on the browser so that ingoing and outgoing calls could be made without running any local software.

In July word was doing the rounds that a standalone desktop Google Voice softphone had been produced, only to be stopped at the developmental stage.

It is thought that head honchos at Google did not like the idea of software running outside of the browser as that would contravene their ethos.

If those rumours were true then they would fit in with plans for Gmail to get the Google Voice VoIP app.

Although the app would allow customers to make low cost VoIP calls with the Google Voice service, users would not be not required to have an existing account with the service. As per usual Google has no comment to make.

BlackBerry gets mobile VoIP connectivity

Mobile VoIP connectivity is the one of the most sought after apps for smartphones and now BlackBerry, which is produced by RIM,  is getting in on the action.

Although the Blackberry is a great enterprise smartphone, users who wanted Mobile VoIP must have looked on enviously as competitors like the iPhone and the Android accessed products such as Fring, Truphone and Skype.

But now the Mobile Voip service TringMe can be downloaded by BlackBerry owners as their first native VoIP client.

This third party program allows free phone calls over a Wi-Fi network which saves money and also makes business transactions that much easier, especially now that worldwide conference calling is also on the menu.

More than 100 million smartphone users are expected to be using mobile VoIP connectivity services by the year 2012.

VoIP helps Pakistan Flood Victims

A VoIP calling company has promised to dedicate half of its earnings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to Pakistan flood victims.

Tpad is making the generous contribution and it includes all VoIP credit purchases which are made from the Middle East.

Dr. Tariq, Head of Group Marketing at TPad, said: "Tpad calling rates are already among the lowest in the world and we felt it would be appropriate to help the disaster victims.
"The 50% contribution is unprecedented and higher than any comparable donations. We hope customers will get behind this offer to make cheap calls while also aiding others in the process."

Many Tpad customers are from Pakistan and this will allow them to support their compatriots as well as benefit from Tpad’s lowest ever calling rates of just three cents per minute.

Users do not need a PC to use Tpad. The service can also be set up with the popular Nokia mobile phones such as the Nokia E61 and N95 phones which can be easily configured to use the Tpad VoIP or SIP settings.

The donation pledge is valid from August 18 - September 12, 2010, from all Middle Eastern countries. All money goes directly to the Pakistan Floods Appeal UK Charity GT Foundation, Charity Registration Number 1063741.
Tpad also has VoIP videos which make the process of  purchasing of Tpad call credit easier for new users.

3G makes long distance VoIP calls cheap and easy

Now that an increasing number of consumers are getting 3G subscriptions which allow cheap VoIP calling the price of International Long Distance calls (ILD) will fall.  

At least this is what Sanjit Chatterjee, the Director Global of Marketing and Strategy for Reve Systems of Singapore, believes.

He said: "Cellular customers with 3G subscriptions will be able to make VoIP calls for one-tenth of the cost of ILD calls. This is because of the introduction of mobile VoIP applications by Internet Telephony Service Providers."

Reve Systems produces a 100kb application -  iTel mobile dialer - which allows customers to use mobile VoIP to make cheap ILD calls. It can use a mobile line or a fixed line. The call travels over Wi-Fi or a data line. It then terminates at its destination using the last mile connectivity of the service provider of that phone.

Mr Chatterjee added: "Using our new product calls from India to America which used to cost 10 Rupees per minute will now only cost 1 Rupee per minute. "
The company is expanding worldwide and has partnerships with Blackberry and iPhone among others.

Skype entry of Stock Market is good for VoIP

Skype, the market leader for worldwide VoIP services will float $100 million on the Stock Market.
IT Business Edge reported that this was big news for Skype and the VoIP market in general.

In an interview, VoIP blogger Andy Abramson said that while the figure was not a huge investment in financial terms it would allow Skype to do the necessary marketing to turn free service customers into paid customers. While half a billion people use Skype around the world it is thought that only around nine million of these are actually paying for the service.

The IPO, as stock market entry is also known, would also help to tackle one of Skype's main bugbears - regulatory compliance and issues such as E911.
Mr Abramson added that Skype SIP technology would be a big step forward in helping Skype to present enterprise voice while they could "build a massive scalable solution for video conferencing."
Although telecoms companies are not making use of IP telephony, cable companies are and companies such as Truphone and Google Voice are also following Skype into the cloud.

Time Warner struggles to market VoIP

Media giant Time Warner is struggling to market its VoIP services which have seen a marked decline recently.
The world of Voice over Internet Protocol is very competitive and Time Warner is having to compete against telecom network services such as AT&T as well as Skype and Vonage among others.
The numbers are not looking good with experts estimating that the share price could fall by as much as 4%.
On the other hand Time Warner Cable’s digital subscribers grew in the second quarter of 2010.
Yet with sales down, Trefis commented: "The VoIP market is crowded and fiercely competitive. The major telecom providers are using new fiber-optic networks to gain VoIP subscribers via bundled offerings.
"Meanwhile, dedicated VoIP services like Skype have grown tremendously in popularity.
"Time Warner Cable lags behind chief rival Comcast in terms of geographic reach, thereby limiting its ability to leverage growing VoIP demand in the US."
Although they expect Time Warner shares to stabilise by the year 2012, it is thought that they will fall from 17.1% to 15.7% by the end of 2010.

Free VoIP Calls between Facebook Users

A VoIP company is allowing you to make calls to your facebook friends. The app was produced by Vonage and is available for both the iPhone and the Android.
The amazing thing about this app is that you don't even need a phone to make calls, you could make them from devices such as the iPod Touch.
The VoIP connection can be established between the callers as long as both of them have the app. It is free to download and it works on both Wi-Fi and 3G networks.
This app is actually only in its preliminary development stages and later versions are expected cater for the iPad with features like SMS, instant messaging and much more. However as the Guardian puts it so succinctly: "The release of this new app provokes an unavoidable question: how many of your Facebook friends would you feel comfortable calling your mobile phone?"

Facebook was quick to stress that the app would comply with privacy concerns. Michael Tempora, senior VP at Vonage, said: "You always have ability to decline a call. Incoming calls will ring your phone and users will still have the option to decline or accept.

He added: "Future releases will also add a call blocking capability. A consumer can always choose not to download the application or de-friend someone on Facebook. This app adheres to all Facebook's rights and responsibilities."
Methinks he doth protest too much?

V9 of the popular Windows Phone system adds video support, android client and enterprise capabilities
3CX has released version 9 of its popular phone system for Windows. Version 9 is a significant upgrade that adds video support as well as enterprise features such as the ability to monitor remote PBX installations via 3CX Assistant and automatic remote installation and configuration of 3CXPhone and 3CX Assistant.
“3CX Phone System 9 is now a complete Unified Communications solution –We have added standards based video and support for smartphones as clients. At the same time we have added key enterprise features that widen 3CX’s appeal to larger companies”
“3CX continues to take market share and now has over 20,000 server installations worldwide. I expect that with v9 this number will grow dramatically.”
Video support
V9 allows single click set-up of video calls with other 3CXPhone users or with standards based video phones such as from Xlite, Yealink or Grandstream.

To read more on this article, please click here.

20,000 Lines Shows Success of VoIP

There could be no surer sign of the health of the Voice over Internet Protocol market than the news this week that Vox Communications has installed 20,000 VoIP lines.

The American company, based in Florida, was keen to get news out once it had reached this milestone of internet Linux-based server clusters. It only served to highlight the rapid growth which it has been so proud of, and aims to continue in the future.

Chief information officer, Mark Richards, said: "We feel that our technology has evolved to the point where large scale customer acquisition can be handled by our highly automated systems. We are beginning to find distribution channels that are moving to an internet-based marketing strategy."
He added "Vox Communications is expecting further growth due to the mobile VoIP offering Fring which allows users to make cheap Wi-Fi and 3G calls."

Another strong VoIP performer is communications firm Comcast which added 230,000 VoIP users during the last three months.