Hosted VoIP Gets Cheaper

Although the quality of VoIP solutions is rising with faster broadband leading to better call quality, the price is going in the opposite direction.

According to Diane Myers, who is the directing analyst for Voice over Internet Protocol at Infonetics Research, the VoIP telephony industry revenues finished last year 7.4% higher than they had been previously.

Furthermore the price of VoIP Solutions, which are now offering more features than ever before, either decreased or remained steady.

Those features include everything from auto-attendant and call recording features to e911 emergency provisioning and various unified communications applications and integrations.

Those findings were backed up by the president of IT services for Planet Magpie, Robert Douglas.

He told the Internet Telephony Solutions for Business company Telappliant that there were now 'a wealth of tie ins'.

He said: "VoIP is becoming more affordable despite there being various new IP telephony features available such as video conferencing.

"Even though a better product usually means higher prices, the opposite has happened when it come to VoIP."

He added: "This is largely due to taking advantage of virtualisation and reduced communication line costs."

The result is good for companies which find VoIP increasingly affordable. Once they implement VoIP and other real time communication features such as instant messaging, it actually has further cost savings down the line by driving up productivity.

VoIP Solutions: SS Telecoms offers Mediatrix iPBX

In response to fears of over costs incurred by changing a traditional business phone system to a VoIP phone system, a South African company has released a new solution.

Telecoms provider SS wanted to lessen any negative impact during a communications changeover. That includes lost revenue resulting from changing phones which they estimate to cost 600 rand per unit.

So to help out small and medium sized enterprises, SS has introduced the Mediatrix iPBX which allows companies to retain their existing analogue infrastructure while routing calls through SIP trunking.

The SS Telecoms Sales and Marketing Manager, Kevin Greig, said: “Companies want to switch to VOIP quickly and painlessly, as they are wary of losing the value of existing analogue investments.

"The Mediatrix iPBX allows them to get this right with minimal fuss. The system simply routes to a VOIP service provider, allowing the company to retain its legacy phone and fax infrastructure.

He added: "The Mediatrix iPBX easily routes conventional G3 fax traffic, so it is a comprehensive solution to the tricky time and expense equation that mid-size companies face.”

Using Mediatrix iPBX, large capital outlays are eliminated even though you still get all the long term cost-savings associated with VoIP.

For instance voice over internet protocol can significantly lower the cost of you telephone calls.

It can also cut back on staff and wasted time through features such as an auto call-attendant.

VoIP savings are furthermore boosted by the falling costs of bandwidth.

The system uses the Media 5 4100 series platform to enhance or replace a proprietary PBX system. Features include Conference Bridge, Voice Mail and Call Detail Reports. That way decision-makers can meet their VOIP needs cost-effectively.

VoIP company Bandwidth Acquires Dash

The VoIP network service supplier Bandwidth, has acquired Dash, which provides E911 services.

While Bandwidth supplies VoIP solutions to companies such as Pinger and Skype, Dash Services Carrier allows them to provision emergency calling.

E911 calling is a very hot topic within VoIP Solutions right now for safety reasons as VoIP internet calls are not otherwise tied to a physical address which can be dangerous in an emergency.

Now Bandwidth can supply that emergency support to all of its estimated 6,000 US business customers.

Although bandwidth already had E911 VoIP for its own products, this will allow it to spread the technology through its portfolio with 411 services and live nationwide directory listing also offered.

As well as selling strong internet connectivity and bundles of minutes to companies , Bandwidth provides phone numbers, smartphones and office phone systems to SMBs.

Bandwidth has even launched a free VoIP calling service which is intended to rival Google's call phones service with a free local phone number given for all of your calling needs. Features include auto-attendant and voice transcription.

3CX Trains Partners in Germany

3CX, producer of the award winning 3CX phone system for Windows which can replace your proprietary hardware PBX, has now launched 3CX Training events in Germany.

The two days of events will take place on March 22 and March 23 and are available to new or active 3CX partners free of charge.

There they can learn how best to deploy and resell the 3CX Phone System. While the event of Tuesday, March 22 is a Basic Training Workshop the following day, Wednesday, March 22 there is an Advanced Training Workshop.

The training events take place in Frankfurt Am Main at NH Frankfurt Moerfelden, Hessenring 9, D-64546 Mörfelden/Walldorf, D-64546.

All attendees are advised to book their spot if they want to attend as places come on a first come first served basis.

If you have a change of plans you can cancel your booking up to five days beforehand free of charge.

However late bookings and non attendance may see a charge of 50 Euros, at the discretion of 3CX.

The company welcomes you to the events and asks that you have your booking reference to hand.

VTech Provides Cordless VoIP

VTech has released a cordless VoIP phone which has been put through a rigorous test to ensure optimum sound quality.

Therefore the Avant 5000 cordless VoIP phone now offers “true to life” sound through Cordless Advanced Technology.

It employs an internet and quality (CAT-iq) programme to make voices travelling via broadband sound natural.

The VTech president of telecommunication products, Chi Hoi Tong, said: “We are the largest manufacturer of cordless telephones in the world and the CAT-iq 2.0 certified handset will reaffirm our technology leadership position."

The result is a much higher call quality than you can get from a normal telephone network or 3G mobile communication.

In addition there are special system settings which allow you to syncronise contacts, add multiple lines and caller ID.

It is not yet known what the recommended retail price will be for the Avant 5000 cordless VoIP phone.

Currently there is no release date as yet set for Australia, though the VoIP Phone is expected to come out sometime in 2011.

Facebook Messenger VoIP App Released

Facebook, the world's largest social network with more than 500 million users, is now becoming even more connected by offering the chance to make Voice over Internet Protocol calls.

The Facebook Messenger by Crisp App means that VoIP calls are only a click away for those who are already chatting via IM.

Once you have downloaded the iPhone app for the cost of $3 the calls are free of charge which will be very appealing and a serious rival to the Google call phones service.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg has said that he wants the network to become more horizontal, mainly through the use of imbedded apps such as this which will increase the strands and layers of connectivity. It could be part of the future of social UC solutions.

The company is rumoured to be creating its own Facebook Voip
as one user recently stumbled across a call feature which was then quickly removed. It is as yet unsure whether this was a glitch or a trial for new Facebook low cost calling.

To use the Facebook messenger app all you have to do is log into your account and you will be presented with your contact list.

If you plan to go to the next level of communication you can upgrade your text chat to free Facebook VoIP calling. Your contacts will be alerted about your attempts to connect via a link to the flash based app.

All the normal Facebook features are still available on the chat interface such as using emoticons and posting pictures, while the VoIP app gives multi-tasking support.

Facebook Messenger requires iOS 3.1.2 or later.

Vivox Reports 45M VoIP Gamers

In the intense world of online gaming where every distraction must be banished to concentrate on the task at hand, Voice over Internet Protocol has a role to play.

VoIP is used so that participants in multi-player games can talk to each other without having to switch between instant message boxes and waste time typing.

This is a popular new trend, according to VoIP gaming and social network provider Vivox, which has reported a massive rise in VoIP gaming.

The Vivox Chief Executive Officer Rob Seaver said: "Our integrated voice platform is integral to maintaining the vibrancy and enthusiasm of our online communities.

"Vivox has not only played a key role in creating unique, interactive environments for our users but it's also provided us with additional opportunities for business and revenue growth."

More than 45 million people are now using the company's High Definition VoIP services for gaming. That is up from only 18.5 million users at the beginning of last year.

That is good news for revenue as Vivox makes money through virtual goods and audio advertsising.

Some of the companies which make use of Vivox's VoIP gaming offerings are Runewaker Entertainment, and

UK Expo Showcases VoIP Solutions

The Unified Communications Exposition 2011 will take place on March 8-9 and showcase the latest technologies including enterprise voice, mobile communications and cloud computing.

There will be demonstrations of VoIP equipment at the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London.

This is the premier industry event and is expected to attract more than 4,000 visitors.

The exhibition will be divided into six sections including UC collaboration, voice, cloud, visual and mobile.

Among the exhibitors will be ASC UK which created an analytics application with various features.

They include keyword spotting and emotion detection help to detect problem calls.

Their sales director Mike Murley said: “Whilst providing answers to fundamental questions about agent training and the success of marketing campaigns, our VoIP solutions also support enterprise issues concerning operational processes and how to improve business efficiency.

"In so doing, we help our clients further improve customer service and achieve competitive outcomes.”

There is also the EVOip feature which captures network telephone and enables storage, playback and interaction archiving.

WAN Enables VoIP Solutions

Slow internet caused by a lack of bandwidth is increasingly turning customers towards scalable Wide Area Networks (WAN) to implement their VoIP Solutions.

Andy Gottlieb, the CEO of Talahari Networks said: "Current organsiational VoIP demands are not being completely satisfied within some companies which have insufficient bandwidth.

"For VoIP to work pretty well most of the time is simply not good enough. Scalable WAN could be a solution to this problem and bring about much needed consistency."

The problem is thought to be on the increase as more and more comapnies look to use VoIP to save money with cheap internet calls.

But WAN Virtualisation could make VoIP more reliable by increasing bandwidth yet lowering costs at the same time.

Simultaneously they can take advantage of the various features and benefits including call forward and auto-attendant, cloud computing and videoconferencing.

Talari Networks has in fact developed a WAN virtualization appliance so that solution providers in can combine multiple public networks into one virtual network.

VoIP Inc Sues Google

It looks like Google is in the spotlight this time after a VoIP technology company has accused the search giant of stealing trade secrets.

While Google recently claimed that rival Bing has tried to rip off their search algorithm, VoIP Inc has taken Google to the New York Supreme Court for similar reasons.

The issue dates back to 2005 when a VoIP Inc subsidiary based in LA agreed
to provide Google with its patented "Click to Call" technology.

The technology allowed customers to call a merchant instantly with any queries they have about purchasing a product.

The complainant says that under the agreement the subsidiary VoiceOne Communications was the designated carrier of Google website click to calls, but Google terminated their contract in 2007, claiming a nondisclosure agreement had been broken.

Voiceone claims that Google did so in order to benefit from the VoIP technology, having acquired the necessary source code and data.

Voiceone is asking for compensation and punitive damages for a number of breaches such as unjust enrichment and unfair competition.

VoIP Inc had to file for bankruptcy after a similar suit in 2009 was dismissed due to jurisdiction issues.

Google is also being sued for its Google Voice product by Frontier Communications which is claiming in a Delaware district court that Google ‘one number’ product was created with the help of a patent infringement.

Google was not immediately available for comment to Reuters.

How to Avoid VoIP DoS Attacks

The Voice over Internet Protocol industry prides itself on offering secure communications but like any technology it is open to infiltrations.

Denial of Service attacks are on the up according to FBI reports and hackers can paralyse a VoIP system and use the confusion to steal valuable data.

Hackers just flood the VoIP network with calls so that the SIP trunk can no longer function properly.

The VIPDesk senior VP of technology Dan Fontaine admitted: "We have not come up with a plan to address Denial of Service attacks yet, but it is on the roadmap.

"The trick is making sure that the VoIP tunnels are encrypted and not left exposed to the internet."

However it is thought that increasing number of these infiltrations are actually inside jobs caused by disgruntled employees rather than hackers.

As long as you are aware of the problem there are a number pf steps which can be taken to solve it.

Recommended products include the Acme Packet, a session border controller
which can identify and intercept potential Denial of Service attacks. It does so by trying to pick up anything unusual on the line like white noise.

You could also make use of the VoiceSentry Analyzer which monitors call detail records in real time and looks for anomalies. Simple tests similar to the use of CAPTCHA text can then work out the difference between humans and robots.

Howevere most VoIP product manufacturers will be aware of such safety issues and provide built-in support, but it is up to the consumer or business to utilise it.

Broadcore VoIP to Include Voicemail Transcription

Voicemail Transcription is one of the fastest growing trends in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Unified Communications and Broadcore is one of the latest companies to jump on the bandwagon.

The company offers client support for this business communications service which caters to the busiest executives.

Broadcore Product Manger Dawn Goodnight said: "Our Voicemail Transcription service is provided as standard with voicemail. It enhances productivity in any organization.”

Voicemail Transcription allows you to receive your voicemails in written text form which is ideal for various situations. Customers who want to access their mail in crowded places such as train stations can read the dispatch rather than having to listen to it. This can be a time-saving device no matter where you are.

Users can choose which inbox they want to receive the transcription into and they will also get the original audio file sent too. The service is designed to be easy to manage and provision with no third party assistance needed.

The Broadcore EVP of Marketing Strategy, Dean Manzoori, said: “Voicemail Transcription is an integrated service for busy customers, whether they are in the office or using a mobile device such as a smartphone."

He added: “At a glance they can see who called and what was said thanks to our reliable caller ID function. As a result they can respond quicker.”

The Broadcore machine-based Voicemail Transcription is part of their Unified Messaging solutions.

5 Lesser Known Benefits of VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocol is very much the future means of communication as far as businesses of all sizes are concerned. In fact one of the advantages of VoIP is that it is a sophisticated system which can make a small business seem much larger and more organised than it actually is.

Furthermore businesses are aware that VoIP can save them anywhere between 20-80% of their operational costs after the initial outlay. But here are five of the lesser known reasons to adopt VoIP solutions.

1)Find-me-follow-me - Rather than just being content with a simple call forwarding service, VoIP can work much harder to track you down with Find-me-follow-me. The system will try various contact numbers until it gets the right one.

2) Extension dialling - Using quick dial extension numbers to reach your colleagues no matter where they are saves time and money.

3) Free Upgrades - VoIP providers offer free upgrades of their system or software so that your new PBX replacement always functions optimally.

4) Self Service Management Support - VoIP is designed to be easy-to-use as a large and scalable phone system which does not require costly maintenance. Indeed there is often a phone number or online portal which gives all the management support.

5) VoIP Packages - The more competition there is, increasingly companies offer packages where you can get bundles for free international and domestic VoIP calls with great bargains.

VoIP Solutions Outsourced to Bangladesh

With more than $1 billion of VoIP Solutions being outsourced over the next four years, countries like Bangladesh could certainly benefit from the industry explosion of demand.

VoIP allows customers to make cheap phone calls domestically and internationally between computers and mobile devices or via computer or smartphones to landlines.

Therefore speaking at BASIS Softexpo’2011, Sanjit Chatterjee of REVE Systems said that entrepreneurs in Bangladesh should look to invest in the communications technology.

He was just one of a number of speakers including panelists from the Indian Telecom industry who have had great success with outsourcing.

Habibullah Karim, the Chief Executive Offier of Technohaven, said: “Bangladesh has been listed as one of the top 30 global outsourcing destinations. That is because it has right skilled manpower in the IT/ Telecom domains and is very well placed to tap this opportunity."

REVE systems is introducing number of products into the mobile VoIP market this year including iTel and VoIP Switch. They are also offering a product which saves on VoIP bandwidth consumption from mobile phones.

VoIP UAE still Unavailable

The legality of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in the United Arab Emirates is still a complicated matter according to the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

The TRA supposedly gave a grace period to the main state providers to allow UAE customers to make cheap phone calls over VoIP.

However the two biggest networks - du and Etisalat - have postponed their VoIP launch which was supposed to debut at the beginning of 2011.

Furthermore there are not even any signs of the technology becoming available in the near future.

An Etisalat spokesman explained: "There is no directive to start VoIP service soon and it was premature to set a date."

VoIP experts have estimated that introducing the technology to the UAE could at least halve the price of international phone calls.

Yet it is thought that this cost-saving would be a threat to the revenues of local telecomms companies in the UAE, hence the resistance to VoIP there.

Apparently the TRA has determined its price policies for starting the VoIP service, but none of the other operational criteria.

Cisco VoIP allows Sports Client to Compete

A VoIP solution from Cisco has made life easier for an international client of the Vernon Computer Source computer rental company.

Cisco provided the Raleigh Marriott City Center with a state of the art voice over internet protocol phone system.

As their client runs a sports league they could not afford any delays in the installation and deployment of the system. Sports fans never take kindly to missing any of the action!

In only took two days for a Cisco engineer to have the VoIP phone system shipped and get it up and running.

As the same time a whole entertainment system was deployed including dual pole stands for a giant LCD tv screen. Everything was in working order in time for the huge superbowl action on Sunday night in which the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Vernon Computer Source General Manager, Anthony Randazzo, said: "We can support IT rental requests for almost anything including the installation of the latest VoIP systems."

The Vernon Computer Source rental company is part of the Xchange Technology Group (XTG).

VoIP-Pal completes Anti-Virus Testing

Many VoIP customers may assume that their mobile devices are immune to viruses, but smartphones need anti-virus protection just like any other internet-based technology.

That is why VoIP-Pal
has set about protecting Google Android phones which use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.

The company has just completed beta testing of its anti-virus program, which can detect worms and Trojan viruses, for use on Google Android versions 1.6, 2.1 and 2.2.

Dennis Chang, the president of VoIP-Pal, said: "Smartphone users may think their phone is automatically protected but sadly this is not the case.

"Just like PCs they can get viruses and VoIP capabilities make them extra vulnerable. That is why we will soon release our anti-virus program so that all your sensitive data like emails and contacts are protected."

The anti-virus program uses GPS to scan memory cards and prevent them from infecting a smartphone. It works against VoIP infiltrators who can get through to your personal data if the network is not protected,

The company plans to create further encryption techniques for phones that get lost or stolen. A remote feature will back up all smartphone data so it can be easily recovered in the event of loss or theft.

The VoIP-Call antivirus program will be sold as a a bundled package called PointsPhone Platinum. That will include air time minutes, DID and a free Android App download.

Patton Offers VoIP Equipment Buyback

The UC company Patton will be offering a VoIP buyback programme at the ITEXPO East.

In conjunction with its strategic partners this network provider and maker of mobile video surveillance equipment will give cash rebates to customers who replace their old VoIP equipment with Patton SmartNode™.

That applies to Integrated Access Devices, gateways and routers. Patton will also give coupons offering free technical training over three days for Patton VoIP certification.

Patton has formed a number of unified communications partnerships over recent months and has now added Elastix to the list of Patton-certified SmartNode™ partners.

Sean Gerrity, the Patton regional director for North America and Japan, said: "Our new and exciting concept is VoIP Ready™ and ABP is one of our main strategic partners.

"Together we offer SmartNode™ VoIP gateways and Broadvox SIP trunks which are fully-tested for total interoperability.”

139m Mobile VoIP Users by 2014

The research firm In-Stat has predicted an explosion in the use of Mobile VoIP.

It forsees a transitional period as companies overhaul their existing telecommunications systems for new UC solutions.

This can take many forms, for instance replacing a traditional PBX with an IP PBX. That allows mobile workers and remote employees to stay in touch with the office and have all their communiations forwarded to one inbox for easy access.

In only three years time there are expected to be 139 million Mobile VoIP users worldwide with the lions share coming from EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) at 39%, 32% from Asia and around 22% from the United States of America and Canada.

The In-Stat market analyst, Amy Cravens, said: "As Mobile VoIP becomes further incorporated into other mobile apps, specifically social networking apps, consumers and businesses will find ever increasing uses for the technology."

IP telephony and unified communications products are currently booming in popularity.

VoIP Call causes Toddler's Death

A family suffered an awful tragedy after using VoIP solutions to call an ambulance when their toddler was sick.

Because the VoIP phone line was registered to their old address, the ambulance was initially dispatched to the wrong city. By the time another ambulance arrived and took the toddler to hospital, the child was dead.

The incident happened in Calgary and the Edmonton emergency services were involved.

Speaking for the City of Edmonton, Devon Card, said: “Don't leave it till the last minute to find out about E911 and VoIP limitations. Before any tragedies happen consumers must ask questions to fully understand their service."

Elijah Luck was only one-and-a-half years old when he went into medical distress. Although his family live in Calgary, the ambulance was dispatched to an Ontario address more than 2500 miles away. It took 40 minutes for the second ambulance to arrive at his home.

Emergency 911 has always been a critical and controversial subject with new VoIP solutions as VoIP does not have the same 911 provisioning as a landline. However many phone providers are addressing the E911 issue.

They do so by offering an enhanced 911 service which is available through fixed VoIP systems and connects callers with an emergency communication centre in the same city as the call.

Furthermore enhanced E911 automatically provides the telephone number and address in case the call is disconnected or the caller cannot speak.