VoIP Growth in Israel

VoIP is driving market growth in Israel according to a new study by Pyramid Research.

The company found that the Israeli markets would benefit from multiplay and and 4G services over the next five years as opposed to increased penetration rates. The wide availability of broadband is also a driving factor.

The sector is currently worth $6.9 billion US dollars but is forecast to increase to $7.1 billion US dollars by 2015.

Kerem Arsal, an analyst at Pyramid Research, said: “As the ability to offer multiplay services becomes more important in the Israeli market, operators look for mergers or partnerships that will allow them to expand their product ranges. Therefore differentiation through discounted bundles and value-added services becomes vital."
He added: “With 85 per cent of households having fixed broadband access and the proliferation of 3G networks by all mobile players, the market is ripe with opportunities for convergence and multiplay offers."
The report predicts increased opportunities for convergence once IP-based 4G and LTE networks roll out and data usage gains importance. Pyramid Research predicts LTE network subscriptions will increase to 12 per cent by 2015.

Israel has a highly competitive VoIP market both for vendors and operators. That is why multiplay offerings are particularly popular. Meanwhile impending licenses for MVNOs and WiMAX will provide further opportunities to virtual network enablers. Much depends on the Ministry of Communication timetable.

YouGov to conduct VoIP survey

YouGov, the British polling organisationis to conduct a survey of the broadband market which includes enterprise VoIP and video capabilities.

The idea is to find outwhat level those services are at and how much satisfaction United Kingdom customers are getting from said products.

A recent poll by BE Wholesale found that 72% of UK businesses thin they would be improved by having a more reliable and faster internet connection.

Marek Vaygelt, who is YouGov head of technology, consumer and telecoms consulting, said: "As consumers become more tech-savvy, Internet Service Providers need to manage network performance and subscriber satisfaction."

Helping YouGov will be internet speed measurement specialist Epitir. Meanwhile a consumer panel of around 300,000 people will also be involved in the study.

Users will be asked to give their opinions on issues such as performance, value and overall satisfaction of hosted IP telephony web-surfing and video streaming.

The findings of the Broadband Report will be published in the first quarter of 2011.

Guide to 3CX Version 9 Released

A new book is out to give guidance on the latest release of the 3CX VoIP phone for Windows.

Kerry Garrison, a 3CX Certified Professional who is vice president of Strategy for 888VoipStore, has written the book titled 3CX Version 9.

This is a comprehensive book on installing, configuring, deploying, maintaining, and even selling 3CX-based phone systems.

The chapter for resellers gives tips and techniques to close more sales and improve profitability. It is also good for end-users so that they think through deployment plans thoroughly.

Other chapters cover such topics as “Designing a good call flow”  and "Deployment Planning” as well as a look at best 3CX practices.

The 3CX Version 9 book is completely up to date with its material covering even the latest service pack 4 release. Until the end of November you can get 15% off the normal price

3CXPhone for iPhone Released

3CX, which produces the award-winning VoIP phone for Windows, has now released the 3CXPhone for iPhone.

After getting the go-ahead from Apple, the 3CXPhone for iPhone is available immediately via the Apple Appstore. It can also be used on iPad and iTouch devices which run iOS 4.0 or above.

The 3CXPhone for iPhone works as a SIP client and allows customers to make and receive 3CX Phone System calls by use of Wi-Fi or 3G Internet connectivity. Calls will work out cheaper thaan on an expensive wireless phone.

Using your existing extension credentials it can be operated in combination with a deskphone so that calls ring both on your deskphone and iPhone.

3CXPhone for iPhone also works with other SIP standards based PBXs, as well as numerous VoIP Providers.

It is easy to configure 3CXPhone for iPhone for use with 3CX Phone System so that extension settings are automatically provisioned.

3CXPhone for iPhone was tested in a limited beta program. You can contact 3CX with any feedback or questions.

China Drives VoIP Demand

The research analyst Infotech has said that China is a driving force in the VoIP market by increasing supply, which in turn lowers prices.  

The directing analyst for VoIP at Infonetics, Diane Myers, stated: "The number-one story in 2010 for the carrier VoIP  market is China, where conditions are driving volumes up and pushing prices down.

"Large network transformation projects are underway in China, so demand for equipment is very strong. But at the same time vendors are willing to push the pricing limits to get strategic accounts."

Looking at the third quarter of 2010, the report found that every product category except media servers was impacted by pricing pressures. Therefore even though shipments were up for most segments, total worldwide revenue was impacted negatively.

Infotech believes that solid VoIP growth will only come about through a migration to all-IP networks, such as Session Border Controllers.

Furthermore the Asia Pacific region is the only region which is expected to post revenue growth in 2010 for service provider VoIP equipment.

Other points of interest:

 - The total service provider VoIP equipment market, including trunk media gateways and voice application servers, decreased by nine per cent from the second quarter to the third quarter 2010.

- Although revenue is down, shipments for almost all segments in the market are up sequentially

 - In the third quarter Genband leads the combined carrier VoIP and IMS equipment market for worldwide revenue

Early Xmas for Google VoIP Customers

Search giant Google has given an early Christmas present to its Gmail customers.
Google is offering free calls in North America until the of 2010 through the Gmail 'Call Phones' VoIP service.

The service is on view for users in the US and Canada when they log into the chat window, and all you have to do is click and accept the terms and conditions.

They are then presented with a phone number dial pad which is similar to the one found on VoIP services like Skype.

Until the end of the year they can make unlimited free calls within North America and purchase pre paid credits for international calls.

Initial feedback on the service has been excellent with no disconnections and clear quality reported. There were also comments on the ease of use provided through the Gmail contact book. However some users have had difficulty locating the offer which they claim disappeared.

Nortel and Genband VoIP Row

A row has erupted between Nortel and Genband about purchasing their VoIP solutions.

The Nortel carrier applications and VoIP solutions unit is known as CVAS and originally a deal was struck to sell CVAS to Genband 182 million dollars.

However although it is thought that the deal was finalised in February, Nortel has now claimed that Genband is trying to "improperly and drastically" reduce the purchase price by 40 million dollars.

A company statement said: "Genband has attempted to disregard the clear terms of the original sale agreement."

Nortel filed for protection from creditors nearly two years ago and is trying to maximise all business investments to keep up payments to them.
But on the other side Genband is asking the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware to arbitrate on the matter.

Genband initially offered 300 million dollars for CVAS. There was a 'stalking horse' deal which would have resulted in an auction but without any other bidders the unit fell to Genband by default.

VoIP App has Severe Bug

The Line 2 VoIP for the iPhone 4 and iPad has a serious bug which causes it to keep ringing even after the call has been answered.

That much has been confirmed by Toktumi when the firm sent a warning email to its customers. Toktumi, has made Apple engineers aware of the issue, which  they classify as severe as it affects all of their VoIP applications. They have apologized and vowed to fix the bug. One report from a beta tester has even said that the bug is now fixed.

On finding the bug Toktumi asked users not to upgrade to iOS version 4.2. This is because when Line2 is running in the background the continuous ring problem occurs. However if you do not use Line2 on any VoIP social calling apps the Toktumi service will not be affected.

Since the most recent iOS beta - GMSeed build - this issue was still not resolved, but the company has promised to email its customers with updates.

There have also been delays with the Apple golden master version of iOS 4.2. This is because Wi-Fi connectivity for the iPad is not what it should be.

VoIP Fuels Ashes Feud

Talk between Australia and England at the moment tends to centre around the upcoming cricket duel for the Ashes.

But while the cricket is being played out from Brisbane to Sydney, young people in Australia may be crowing to their English counterparts over cheap internet calls.

Research is showing that increasing numbers of young people are using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in Australia as well as fixed and mobile phone lines.

The ACMA Report showed that one in three young Australian adults aged between 18–24 choose not to connect a fixed-line telephone when they moved out of their parents home.

While that may not sound surprisingly the figure has risen by a third in only one year.

Although figures are much lower when you consider the population as a whole, 14% of people are now using mobile devices which is a 40% increase since last year.

Amazingly the figure for VoIP is slightly higher at 16%. That means that just under 2.9 million Australians use VoIP services such as Skype at home so they can make cheap calls.

But the transition towards a complete VoIP environment is still a long way off, at least while older generation are still around. 97% of Australians who are over 65 rely on a fixed line phone.

The ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman, said: ‘The increasing functionality of mobile devices and VoIP is underpinning the importance of technology to the lifestyles of many Australians. That includes handset innovations such as the smartphone,  internet-enabled mobile devices and tablets."

3CX and Phonzo offer complete VoIP PBX solution in Norway and Sweden

Nicosia, Cyprus and Oslo, Norway - 12 November 2010 - 3CX, the international developer of the award-winning 3CX Phone System for Windows has completed full interoperability testing with VoIP service provider Phonzo and announced today a strategic partnership providing a fully integrated VoIP solution for SMB markets in Norway and Sweden.

VoIP E911 Tax Increase

The US senate has just passed a bill to raise taxes on E911 in Washington. Hardly any surpirse there as taxes are going up left, right and centre around the world.

E911 is the emergency phone provisioning which allows people with problems to be quickly located by the emergnecy services by address. However the tax increase, effective on january 1, 2011, will also effect Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.

VoIP is defined as real-time, two-way voice communication that requires a broadband connection and Internet protocol-compatible customer premises equipment. VoIP permits users to receive and terminate public switched telephone network (PSTN) calls.

The Substitute Senate Bill 6846 authorized a 5-cent increase of state E911 tax and a 20-cent increase of county E911 tax.

These taxes usually apply to land lines and cell phones but have now been extended to interconnected VoIP phone services. Subscribers will pay the taxes to their telephone providers.

The tax applies only to the number of VoIP lines on an account that are capable of simultaneous unrestricted outward calling to the PSTN.

Only Clark and Yakima counties in Washington are not applying the full increase to the county E911 taxes, charging 50 cents instead of 70 cents, while Yakima is not applying the tax to VoIP services at all.

VoIP Cuts Down Commuting

A study has suggested that unified communications technologies such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are helping to cut down on commuting times.

One of the beauties of VoIP is that it allows people to work remotely as they can make cheap calls from any location and be consistently accessible.

The amount of commuters in the United Kingdom is now lower than at any time in the last decade according to statistics compiled by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "After years of increasing journey times it is great to see that the number of hours spent commuting to work is finally falling."

The Labour Force Survey shows that on average British people spend just under 48 minutes getting to and from their place of work every day. However in 2006 this figure was 52 and a half minutes.

As the Internet becomes faster and VoIP communications constantly improve there is less need for employees to be at their desks in the office.

That is why between 2006 and 2008 there was a 291,000 increase in employees working from home. By working remotely the commuter travel hours were cut down by 232,000 hours of travel per day in 2008 alone.

At the same time as the study came out research by unified communications provider Cisco Systems showed that 60% of employees think it is no longer necessary for them to work from the office.

3CX & Phonzo provide VoIP solution

3CX has gone into a strategic partnership with Phonzo to provide a fully integrated VoIP solution for SMB markets in Norway and Sweden.

The integrated solution gives two different calling plans to fit customer needs. One plan is based on low monthly costs and pay-per -call while the other plan allows free unlimited calls within Norway, Sweden, the European Union and the United States. Call prices to other international destinations are among the lowest in Norway and Sweden.

The 3CX CEO, Nick Galea, said: “3CX is pleased to work with a leading VoIP provider in Norway in order to offer our customers an exceptional end-to-end VoIP solution.
He added: "Existing 3CX Customers can use our IP PBX with Phonzo internet telephony services safe and knowledge that the solution has been tested and comes with full support from both companies”.

While 3CX is known as the international developer of the award-winning 3CX Phone System for Windows, Phonzo is a leading next generation telecommunications service provider in the Scandinavian countries of Sweden and Norway.

The two companies have now completed full interoperability testing with Phonzo becoming a 3CX Supported SIP Trunk provider. Therefore the Phonzo SIP Trunk configuration is built into the latest of 3CX software.

That means that businesses which are already using 3CX VoIP phone branch exchange (PBX) for Windows can now have an integrated solution, making use of Phonzo’s high quality IP telephony services.

The CMO at Phonzo, Petter Tidemand, said: “We are proud to partner with this leading software developer of VoIP PBX’s.
"Together with 3CX we will increase awareness of VoIP business benefits in Norway and Sweden, while offering a reliable and cost-effective solution which is easy to install and manage”.

3CX Releases VoIP Update

The Microsoft phone system for Windows 3CX has just released the service pack 4 for version 9 of their VoIP product.

Service Pack 4 will upgrade your 3CXPhone System V9 to build 14901. It can be downloaded in around 10 minutes from the 3CX Winforms Management console / Service pack updates, depending on the speed of your server.

The update allows consumers and enterprises to perform all IP phone management functions from within the 3CX Management Console.

Features include a new IP Phone Provisioning node with improved provisioning templates to provide better support for the IP Phone features.

Furthermore there is the ability to upload new firmware to IP Phones with service Pack 4. The idea is to save on administration time, especially if you using different phones in the network.

Just follow some simple instructions for the update -

1) Add the firmware you want to deploy in the IP Phone Provisioning > Firmware node.
2) Go to the Phones node to select the phones firmware upgrade.
3.Select ‘Upgrade Firmware’ and click OK to start the upgrade.
4.The firmware will be uploaded the phone will be rebooted after the upgrade.

For further information on the service pack 4 visit 3CX.

Imperfect Skype VoIP Android App

Skype has acknowledged some of the faults in its original VoIP app for the Android by releasing an update.

Based on user feedback a number of changes were made to Skype for Android 1.0. These included support for 240x400-pixel and 320x240-pixel (QVGA) screen resolutions and for the hardware back button. One of the major changes has been to make the app use less battery when it is inactive.

Yet the new Skype VoIP telephony app for Android smartphones is far from perfect according to CNET.

"The response to changes based on user feedback has been lukewarm overall. Although Skype
has done work to improve stability, some known issues remain. For instance, Skype links do not open automatically in the native browser for Android 2.0 and 2.1 phones. Moreover speakerphone issues still exist for some phones in the Galaxy S series."
For a full list of the known issues with the VoIP app for Android look on the Skype website.

VoIP Cheers Britons

With another cold winter setting in t he British are firmly under the weather at the moment.
Unemployment is soaring and so are taxes, while trains are predicted to get even more crowded than usual.

Yet there are reasons to smile as the cost of phone calls continue to get cheaper. VoIP provider Skype is using the UK Internet week festival (which started on November 8) to offer free access to its low-cost call service for as many people as possible.

While there are many technology conferences in America, this is the first to take place in the UK and the tech heavy hitters will all be there including Google and Yahoo.

As part of their access pay-as-you-go, Skype is providing free WiFi access. Normally Skype users have to pay to top up their accounts in order to make calls which are not just between PCs, i.e computer to landline. But right now such calls are free as long as you are in a Skype WiFi hotspot.

This may be part of Skype's bid to attract more users as they look to prepare an initial public offering (IPO). Currently only 8 million users of Skype pay for the service even though there are more than 100 million users worldwide.

There is also good news for Brits who live in the Channel Islands with the roll-out of new fibre-optic broadband.

The Jersey Telecoms Group is investing £11 million on upgrading the Channel Islands infrastructure in order to double the broadband speed over the next couple of years. Fast broadband means better VoIP.

Graeme Millar, the CEO of Jersey Telecoms, said: “We hope to make the Channel Islands a world class telecommunications hub for Europe, which in turn will create new job opportunities and boost the economy of the Islands.”

Justice Department on to VoIP Fraud

The United States Justice department is trying to stay one step ahead of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) fraud even though the constant development of new technology makes this almost impossible. 

Through the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Justice department is formulating forensic tools to analyse VoIP,  mobile devices and the cloud computing system as a whole.
This is because the FBI details has recently reported a number of VoIP scams as criminals use the technology to remain untraceable.

Stephen Riley, a forensic examiner for the FBI Computer Amalysis Team said: "Forensic tools for cell phones are in their infancy. There are lots of different phones, carriers and cables so it is a nightmare trying to keep up."

Nowadays a frightening amount of information can be kept on smartphones in the form of emails, SMS and VoIP conversations. Although VoIP networks are secure if properly protected, this can be difficult for law enforcement officers who need to access that information, especially in the case of planned terrorism attacks. 
Therefore the NIJ is now looking for forensic tools for mobile cellular devices, VoIP communications and Vehicle Computer Systems as well as data forensics for the Cloud Computing Environment.

Their funding for this project is not likely to exceed half a million dollars, though in the case of long term projects one million dollars may be allocated to help fight against VoIP and mobile device crime.

Vopium Offers Free Worldwide SMS

The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service Vopium is now offering free SMS messages worldwide.

Vopium is providing the app in an effort to promote their low cost calling and messaging services to more international markets.

A number of Asian counties are now served including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Pakistan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

You can send a free text to any of these countries from anywhere in the world using Vopium. Although they are not free you can also make cheap VoIP international calls to these countries and others.

You just download their application from the Android Market Place and follow the easy installation process.
Vopium works on any personal computer or mobile device using Wi-Fi capability. If you are on a mobile network your provider may charge a small subscription fee, but otherwise the service is free.

More Men use VoIP Apps than Women

Men are more likely to use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps than women, according to a new study by Harris Interactive.

While 30% of men said that they would use a VoIP app on a personal computer to make low-cost international calls, the corresponding figure for women was only 19%.

While 10% of men say that they use VoIP apps to make calls on a mobile device, the figure for women is very low at only 2%.

The figures between men (16%) and women (11%) for video calling are not so disparate. However 42% of men were here pay for video calling on services such as Skype, compared to only 24% of women.

Does the study actually have any practical use? Well it may confirm that men are still geekier and more comfortable with technology on the whole. If that was the case then companies would do well to try and target their VoIP apps and VoIP app marketing towards women.

However I am less inclined to read anything into it. That is probably because my girlfriend and my sister are both far better at getting to grips with new technology than I am. So the results of my own personal study are somewhat contradictory...

China VoIP Review

A new report on the VoIP market in China has just been released.

It gives an overview of supply and demand for Voice over internet Protocol technology in this huge Asian country.

The China Sourcing Report: VoIP Products 2010 shows that VOIP exports from China are increasing. This will be interesting news for CEOs in the industry, whether they are seeking to invest in these technologies or even if see them as competition to their own offerings.

China suppliers are taking advantage of the tough economic times in the West to present small and medium sized enterpises with cost saving alternatives to their current business models. More companies in Europe and America are similarly switching to cost saving VoIP channels to reduce their expenditures.

Mobile and wireless VoIP markets are particularly strong and 100% global growth of the industry is predicted each year leading up to 2014.

The report covers the key VoIP devices manufactured in China by the 15 main suppliers. That includes routers, IP phones, gateways and PBXs with both wired and wireless VoIP analysed. As well as in-depth profiles there are colour pictures of all the latest Chinese VoIP products available.

VoIP helps Feed the Hungry

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is increasingly being used by organisations as well as consumers and enterprises.

While hospitals have found that VoIP and unified communications can be used to save lives, charities are now coming to the same conclusion.

Food for the Hungry has now implemented a VoIP solution courtesy of 8x8 Inc. The Christian relief organisation has deployed a Virtual Office VoIP phone service in order to to make it easier to communicate between domestic and international offices, while saving costs at the same time.

Food for the Hungry chose 8x8 for its flexibility and low operational expense. The system allows the charity to use a number of toll free numbers and fax extensions for field offices in far and wide locations including the UK, Bolivia, Guatemala and Haiti.

Republicans give VoIP message

American president Barack Obama famously became the first black leader of the United States and he relied to a large extent on innovative technology to do so.

For instance social networking potential was maximised to attract young voters, as were entertaining YouTube videos.

With the Democrats struggling and mid-term elections approaching, it seems that many Republicans have used Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to get the upper hand.

VoIP has been used in party politics since 2006 to engage voters and gather data on their voting habits. In 2008 the Republican Congressman Peter Roskam won a thin majority on the back of a data-led VoIP campaign.
Today incumbent Democrat Congressman Jim Moran is facing stiff competition from former US Army Colonel Patrick Murray.

The Democrats thought they were safe with a large lead and an opponent who had little money to spend on television and radio spots.

What they did not count on was the Murray team purchasing 30 VoIP phone and internet lines. That allowed them to make hundreds of calls a day to canvass votes without having to spend much money.

Furthermore to collect data on target voters, volunteers for the Murray team could ask structured questions and record their answers digitally into the campaign database. Since the VoIP campaign has been launched, Murray has made huge gains on Morgan.

The political adviser for Murray, Andy Bookles said:  “People are captivated by how tight this race has become. We may not have spent incredible sums of money but our targeted VoIP investment has provided the data to make informed decisions. It has allowed us to allocate campaign resources to where they will have the most impact on Election Day.”

Skype VoIP App for iPhone

Skype has released a 3G Voice over Internet Protocol application for the iPhone which promises to offer high-quality but low-cost calling.

Customers around the world have enjoyed cheap calls on Skype and now they can make use of them on the iPhone as well. There are various calling plans to choose from depending on whether you are likely to use the apps for domestic or international calls.

Some of the most attractive aspects of Skype for iPhone are unified communications capabilities, virtual numbers, private faxes and the ability to connect with multiple locations.

Other benefits of the VoIP app will be unlimited extensions, caller ID, conferencing, customized audio menus and much more.

All you need to make use of the VoIP features is high-speed Internet in the form of Broadband.

The iPhone has Skype version 2.0 ,which is somewhat behind as Skype has just released 5.0.Yet it is a significant advance as previously Skype was only used on smartphones through Wi-Fi.

According to Techie Buzz: "People were wondering when they would see a 3G VoIP app from Skype. The wait is over, since Apple lifted restrictions on iPhone VoIP applications that run over a 3G network.
"The company delayed the launching of 3G VoIP applications in order to improve the quality of audio prior to releasing the new version. Developer agreements were amended by Apple to enable VoIP apps for the iPhone 3G in the Apps Store. "

Apple has worked hard to make the calling experience fast and reliable with good network coverage and a quick start-up time.

It remains to be seen at how Skype pricing will change over the coming years as the company looks to make more revenue. There are also VoIP 3G iPhone applications being offered by VoIP providers such as Fring.

Southwest Airlines allows Wi-Fi but not VoIP

Although Southwest Airlines is leading the way for cheap internet access in the air, the company has said that VoIP services will be filtered out.

Offering Wi-Fi at $5 per flight (no matter how long you are in the air), Southwest has a good deal as most competitors charge more - anything up to $13 per flight.  

In conjunction with Wi-Fi company Row 44, more than 30 airlines will be equipped with internet access and that number is set to double by the end of the year. Southwest hopes that all 550 aircraft of its fleet will have Wi-Fi by 2013.

Passengers should temper their excitement as currently there is no way to know which Southwest flights have Wi-Fi, unless you can see a small spherical cone on the top of the plane (see pic). And they are not offering any seat plugs for recharging purposes.

Furthermore the company is set against in flight VoIP calling at the moment, although the San Francisco Chronicle believes that VoIP will soon be a regular feature of long and short haul flights in America and across the world.

Jetblue Airways already allows customers to use their smartphones for VoIP calling and other features, while Delta has fleet wide Wi-Fi in partnership with Aircell and Gogo.