VoIP Not At Home

A lack of education about the benefits of Voice over Internet Protocol is the only thing that is standing in the way of people choosing it over the standard home phone.

So says Norm Bogen of the market research firm In Stat. Mr Bogen is the vice-president of digital entertainment research for In-Stat and he belives that VoIP solutions could make for big cost savings, even though home owners are reluctant to change their existing phone.

He said: "There are two issues. Firstly most consumers are unaware of VoIP solutions except for Skype. Secondly the average lifecycle for a home phone replacement is around 10 years."

Mr Bogen explained that not many people knew that they had the option to install a four-phone digital enhanced cordless telecommunication VoIP solution in place of the home phone.

Meanwhile Mr Bogen's views are backed up by the Chartered Institute of IT which found that interconnected VoIP grew by more than a fifth between June 2009 and June 2010.

VoIP not part of Arab Spring

The Arab Spring may have shaken authority and planted more seeds of democracy in the Middle East, but Voice over Internet Protocol is still a touchy subject in the region.

Despite the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA)of Oman saying that VoIP is permitted, the technology is unavailable in most parts of the country.

The local telecomms authority cites security concerns. VoIP is being increasingly used by criminals as it allows them to communicate instantly but anonymously.

However it is just as likely that the TRA is worried about keeping their revenue rates in the face of low cost internet calling on VoIP services such as Skype.

TRA spokeswoman Nashiah Saud Al Kharusiah explained that lost revenue was an issue: “Since Skype and other VoIP servers are located abroad, they cannot be legally intercepted in Oman.

"Furthermore VoIP companies enable access to voice services without having to be licensed in Oman. That means a loss of taxes and royalties due to the Sultanate as well as job opportunities for Omani nationals in Oman."

She said that the authority would look to provide the necessary voice services through the proper legal channels.

VoIP overtakes Online Dating in Popularity

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has overtaken other online crazes in 2011 including online dating, and the market for search engines like Bing.

So says a PR releasde by Pop VoIP which has seen the growth driven by the demand from small and medium sized businesses.

The hosted VoIP company was singled out for mention by the research firm IBISworld which recognised VoIP as the biggest new internet technology of the decade.

Pop VoIP CEO Levi Halberstam said: "In order for a small business to succeed, it needs a reliable, affordable phone company. Pop VoIP specializes in catering to those needs with our telecommunications services."

VoIP can replace the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) for faster and more efficient communications. With the aid of unified communications, VoIP can cut out the need for additional components like fax and email.

The standard Pop VoIP package includes all the latest features such as Interactive Voice Response and video conferencing. With an internet connection the hosted phone systems can be used from any location.

Snom Launches VoIP Video Library

As part of its customer service and VoIP solutions, Snom has launched a video library so that consumers can peruse its products.

The Snom channel is also available on the company blog and gives a good idea of the features of products such as the snom 821 OCS edition.

Those features include interoperable presence ability, the directory search function, how to handle the device's locking capabilities and how to access the contact list.

One of the products that Snom is really promoting at the moment is the snom ONE plus IP PBX system, a hardware solution for medium sized companies that need easy-to-use and reliable VoIP.

The snom ONE plus IP PBX system works best for between five and 150 employees, but the company describes it as being among the market's most scalable plug-and-play systems.

Beta V10 of the 3CX MyPhone Released

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3CX, the developer of the award-winning 3CX phone system for Windows, has now launched version 10 of the 3CX MyPhone.

This Silverlight based user portal is in beta testing stage. It can run on Macs and be installed as a desktop application, even though it is web-based.

This easy-to-use portal replaces the old 3CX MyPhone portal and the 3CX Assistant. It is a major new release by the phone system provider which groups all the necessary business telephony features into one.

Features of the Beta 3CX MyPhone

Notification to Windows Event log, 3CX Event Log and optionally by e-mail on key events
• PnP support for 3CXPhone for iPhone, Android and Windows, Grandstream Executive GXP-21xx and Yealink phones. Therefore you can just plug in the phone, assign extension in the management console and the phone will be automatically configured. This eliminates the need to specify the provisioning URL in the phone or via DHCP option 66.
• Complete support for the new Grandstream GXP-1450, GXP 2100, GXP 2110 and GXP 2120 phones. Requires firmware v. and up.
• Support for the Grandstream GXP 3140, GXP 3175 video phones
• Support for the Yealink VP 2009 video phones
• Blacklist IPs
• Block extensions being registered from outside the network
• You can configure that particular extensions cannot be used outside of the local network
• Limit extensions registering externally to use tunnel
• Native 64 bit version (not available in beta)
• Record prompts via the phone – simply click on prompt, enter extension name and record prompt
• Reduced memory footprint and elimination of extra service
• Specify extension group in outbound rules to easily create Class of Service rules
Commercial editions
• Improved conferencing page in 3CX MyPhone allows for easier setup of conference calls
• Queue tab in 3CX MyPhone which gives an overview of the status of queues
• Improved BLF page – now allows provisioning of Speed dials and custom codes
• Complete G722 support (Requires G722 capable phone)
• Server will query phonebook to match Caller IDS to a specific name
Limitations of BETA
• The beta call queue tab has the call center features enabled
• Microsoft Outlook and CRM integration is unfinished
• The “bring window to front” feature upon receiving a call is not available
• Launch of an external application upon receiving a call is unavailable
• The hotkey feature to dial a number is unavailable
• The ability to configure an outbound rule in 3CX MyPhone for launching of calls is unfinished
• Some Inbound and Outbound Caller ID’s are interchanged
• Automatic changing of status based on office hours and away times is not working yet
• Chat : Blocking of chat from certain extensions and sound notifications is not available
• Sorting of extensions by first/last name is not available
• Launching 3cx phone for calls is not available
• Triggering a call on a desk phone using http url (http cti) is not available
• Incremental parking
• Company phone book entries cannot be added at the moment.


The provisioning port has changed to port 5000. This means that you must change the provisioning links for the phones to “http://IPADDRESSSERVER:5000/provisioning”. You can do this by configuring the phones from their web interface or via DHCP option 66. Reboot the phones after you have made this change. See the configuration guides for more information.

Hosted VoIP - 5 Advantages

The increasingly speed of the internet via expanding bandwidth is making hosted VoIP an accessible VoIP solution for businesses of all sizes.

Indeed cloud based VoIP has been identified by numerous industry experts as one of the main trends to look out for in 2011. Here are five reasons why you the customer can benefit from hosted VoIP.

1) – Scalability

Hosted VoIP gives you the flexibilty to scale up your solution as you go which is more than a relief for growing businesses. The same system can deal just as easily with 500 employees as 50 employees so you don't have to put any kind of restrictions on business growth. At the same time there is no loss of time or money trying to scale the system to cope.

2) Additions

If you want to improve your phone system experience it is possible to add new VoIP features as you go such as auto attendant and if your company releases an update they will make sure that it can be implemented very easily, usually by just opening an email link.

3) Remote work

As the world gets more populated and the struggle to the office only becomes more unbearable we are about to see a fundamental shift in the way that people work.
VoIP and unified communications are very much a part of this as low cost calling, instant messaging and even face-to-face video conferencing are making it unnecessary to be in the office in person. That saves time and money while improving the work life balance and the state of the environment.

4) Easy Deployment

Hosted VoIP phone systems are such that you don't even need to waste time on maintenance now as they offer built-in support systems and regular partner training sessions. Although the training may sound daunting, it's not as most VoIP systems have an easy-to-use interface.

5) Consistent service

An internet based service has the advantage of being impervious to physical damage. Even if there was some disater such as an earthquake, the phone lines will still be clear and your business will still be functioning.

Nepal Makes Illegal VoIP Arrests

Nepal has a big problem with the use of illegal Voice over Internet Protocol which the authorities are trying to crack down on in order to protect the local telecoms companies.

That carried this week with the news that Police arrested three Chinese men in Kathmandu who had set up unauthorized VoIP centres in Nepal’s capital city.

The policeman in charge of the successful operation explained that this was the first time that Chinese nationals had been caught operating illegal Nepal VoIP, even if criminal cases in general are on the increase.

That includes the arrest of 17 VoIP felons from Bangladesh over the last couple of years.

Detective Rajendra Singh Bhandari said: “A month-long surveillance codenamed Operation Voice Fox by the Nepal Central Investigation Bureau team has come to a logical conclusion.

"We have arrested three Chinese nationals and a haul of hi-tech VoIP accessories.”

The arrested men have been named as Wu Hao from Sichuwan Province and Bin Jianan and Pan Jiaxi from the Jiangxi Province.

For the past two years they have been operating a call by-pass system in order to make illegal profits at the Banasthali, Chhetrapati and Dhobichaur call centres.

They used VoIP gateway equipment such as UPS and GSM to steal millions of rupees every month.

VoIP Cloud Company Has Patent Trouble

A company that provides VoIP business phone systems was threatened with legal action by a Wi-Fi hotspot provider for using the term cloud’ in their name.

Although the two companies do not compete directly, The Cloud, a European Wi-Fi network (which was registered as The Cloud Networks Ltd in 2003) decided to start proceedings against Cloudnet Telecommunications (registered in 2009).

Instead of facing heavy legal costs in a high court case, Cloudnet Telecommunications has now changed its name to Birchills Telecom.

Company founder Dave Hill explained: "We were told by The Cloud's legal team to simply change our name in case The Cloud decided, at a later date, to sell telephone systems.”

It is reported that Mr Hill believes there are other reasons for the legal proceedings as many VoIP companies use the term ‘cloud’.

Mr Hill says that Birchills Telecom surpassed The Cloud in the Google rankings for that search term and the company was annoyed at the loss of visibility.

He said that in August 2010 Birchills Telecom got above The Cloud on the Google Search Results Pages and the legal threat was initiated soon after.

VoIP Solutions must be Constantly Monitored

VoIP Solutions must be constantly monitored for performance and improvements if they are to be successful, says TMCnet.

Like most internet based technologies, the parameters of VoIP are always changing and shifting and that requires subtle tweaks on the behalf of users, whether they are consumers or enterprises.

Without staying on top of the game, claims Tracey E. Schelmetic of TMCnet, the advantages that VoIP Solutions offer, such as scalability and cost savings, could be minimised.

An example in point is the fact that productivity could be slowed down by a mass of users making the VoIP network congested. To make your IP telephony system work for you it is necessary to back up important files and use a secure network that cannot be compromised.

Schelmetic stated: "While you can control all elements of your communications infrastructure from remote and local locations, it is important to maintain backups of all key services and devices to protect your investment.”

Voice over internet Protocol is a massively burgeoning service which is already worth billions of dollars with increased projections inevitable. The most well known commercial VoIP service is Skype which has 120 million paying subscribers.

For more tips on how to get the most out of your VoIP system visit 3cx.com.

Tpad Offers Nokia Mobile VoIP

Mobile VoIP took another set forward with the release of Tpad's 3G and WiFi enabled VoIP calling.

The product is intended to compete with the big boys of Mobile VoIP such as Google Voice and Skype and give users another low cost calling option.

Tpad aims to offer an easy to set up account for VoIP and SIP
that will instantly configure a Nokia smartphone, such as the S40 6136 model or the new X3-02, with Tpad. That includes updating the existing contacts from your address book and no software is needed.

Tpad allows free worldwide calls which are routed from a public switched telephone network over wi-fi hotspot or 3G simply by using a password.

The Tpad manager Steven Johns said: "Tpad is part of the natural evolution of VoIP Solutions. First people began talking via a headset and PC, then they were tied to a fixed line IP phone device.

"The next evolutionary step is Tpad mobile VoIP. Internet trouble-free calling has finally arrived on mass market Nokia mobiles."

All new users who sign up for a free Tpad VoIP account will get a free 10 cent test call for a limited period. That could be as much as five minutes air time in the USA, enough to thoroughly test the quality of the service.

netTALK throws Japan VoIP Lifeline

A Voice over Internet Protocol company has allowed free VoIP calling to and from Japan from today, Tuesday, March 15, in support of quake survivors.

Japan has just experienced the largest earthquake and tsunami in its history and while the death toll is already at 10,000, tens of thousands more people are still missing.

As if this wasn't bad enough the main coastal nuclear power plants have been badly damaged by the super quake and tsunami and 200,000 people were evacuated from the area amid fears of a meltdown.

In the meantime the Japanese economy has plummeted and more than 20 billion dollars worth of insurance claims have been filed.

In such a distressing time for Japanese people and their friends and loved ones in other countries, the ability to communicate quickly and freely is paramount.

netTALK is a VoIP products and connectivity company which is publically traded but they will offer free Japan calls from 12pm Eastern Time today up until noon on March 21.

The Chairman of netTALK, Anastasios Takis Kyriakides, said: “After hearing about the disturbing news of the earthquake, we wanted to help.

"I read that families and friends should only call Japan if it is an emergency, because the phone lines are getting jammed. I knew the best way for us to help is to extend our services to the people of Japan for free.”

Japanese people can also make use of a free smartphone app which allows free wi-fi calls to the Northern American countries of USA and Japan. This allows quick and clear connection which saves on voice minutes and cuts costs. It is for personal use, not business use.

VoIP Solutions: Rebtel Passes 10M Users

Rebtel claims to be the largest VoIP solutions and mobile VoIP company in the world after Skype and has now passed more than 10 million users.

This is partly due to its flexibility as the Rebtel VoIP app can be used on all the latest smartphones including Android, iPhone and Blackberry.

The company estimates that those users have made 200 million mobile VoIP calls on 1 billion VoIP minutes since they started business in 2006.

Therefore Rebtel has proclaimed a record breaking 12 months with revenues growing five times faster than Skype, albeit from a smaller consumer base to start with.

It has seen an increase of 120% up to $40 million revenue by the end of 2010. The company predicts revenues of $75 million by the end of 2011 if progress carries on at this pace.

This year the EMEA (Europe, Africa and the Middle East) region is a main target for Rebtel as mobile VoIP will be offered to customers in Algeria, Bahrain and Jordan.

Things are looking good for the company after a survey showed high customer satisfaction with 98% of consumers stating they would recommend Rebtel to a friend.

That is backed up by the facts as 65% of new users heard about the service via word of mouth.

Is VoIP Vulnerable?

It seems that VoIP will increasingly be targeted by criminals for security breaches and data theft.

So says the latest Cisco annual security report which predicts that cyber thieves will use VOIP for crime.

It states: "Criminals are using brute-force techniques to hack private branch exchanges and place fraudulent, long-distance international calls.

"These incidents often target SMBs and have resulted in significant financial losses for some companies."

Those techniques might include telephonic phishing, or vhishing. One such scam targeted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The vhishers called Americans via VoIP to inform them they were behind in their loan payments. Using that deception they were able to get hold of personal information such as Social Security Numbers.

Not only can identity theft be carried out by VoIP hacking, but it is possible to route bills so that the victim is left with a lot of money to pay.

Patrick Peterson, a Cisco fellow and chief security researcher, explained that VoIP was so appealing to criminals because it is free and anonymous.

He said: "We have seen an extraordinary increase recently in port scans and attempts to log in with default admin passwords on VoIP access points.

"Growing instances of VoIP hacking are being effected with baseline security hacks for criminal purposes."

The market research firm In-Stat says that by 2013 almost 80% of businesses will use VoIP. Because the VoIP market is thriving, so are cyber criminals.

VoIP Solutions: Flash Player 10.3

You know how your computer is always prompting you to update Adobe? And you may think at the time – “But what’s the use of Adobe – Search Engines don’t recognise flash so it looks pretty but is ineffective.”

Well now the new Flash Player 10.3 beta which works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X is offering some VoIP Solutions.

That includes group chat, in-game voice chat and the specialized Acoustic Echo Cancellation for voice conferencing which detects active voices, surpresses noise and gives automatic gain control for volume level compensation.

These benefits are aimed at consumers and content providers so that browsing the internet can become a more connected experience.

Privacy controls are worked into the browser if you use Flash Player 10.3 with IE8 or Firefox 4, which Chrome and Safari will soon be supported too.

Meanwhile the native control panel makes the whole user experience easier. For content providers there are now video analytics as well.

SIP Solution to Google Voice

While Gizmo5 is closing down having outlived its use to Google as a VoIP Solution, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) can provide a viable alternative for low cost calls.

Now anyone with a SIp to SIP account can call Google users for free, according to Disruptive Telephony.

The blog written by Dan York states: "As we are off building the future of communications over IP, I have wanted to include Google Voice into that mix. Now we can! At least... unofficially. Perhaps at some point Google will come out and formally promote this capability?"

He says that we are about to see true Voice over IP from Google Voice. It would allow you to bypass a Public Switched Telephone Network and make a direct VoIP call to Google Voice. This also has great audio and video potential for users.

You can connect with a contact who has a Google Voice number by signing up to a free SIP to SIP service or using a SIP app. The connection to the Google Voice number would therefore be free of charge by ringing PHONENUMBER@sip.voice.google.com.

The website Android Police
sees this as the future of calling and much more appealing that getting a bundled package from a mobile operator.

However Disruptive Telephony adds and addendum - the SIP service may not work for all Google Voice users unfortunately.

Facebook and Skype to Partner?

Two of the world's most exciting technology companies - Facebook and Skype - are considering a partnership which would see Facebook users have access to low-cost video calling.

While that fits with Facebook's stated desire to become even more connected and social, the benefits for Skype are obvious.

Facebook has 600 million users and growing (which would make it one of the largest countries on the planet if it were a nation) and Skype could tap into that market.

The timing could not be better for the premier VoIP company as Skype is preparing itself for an Initial Public Offering.

The rumours come from a source which is close to both companies, according to Bloomberg, and originally started to surface last September.

The following month a Skype 5.0 update allowed users to connect with Facebook contacts right from the newsfeed and chat or instant message with them. Video VoIP calling seems to be the logical conclusion to this progression.

It also makes sense when you consider that Skype has been acquiring numerous companies and creating a slew of partnerships. Meanwhile Facebook would have the perfect riposte to Apple's Facetime feature on the iPad or iPhone, and Google's new Gmail call phones feature.

Facebook already got Vonage to fulfil its VoIP needs, but that partnership never seemed to take off. However you could safely bet that this one would have wings.

Gizmo5 VoIP to be Terminated

The Gizmo5 VoIP service will be terminated and replaced instead by low cost calling over gmail.

Th website Android Police reprinted an email from a Gizmo5 user which stated that Gizmo5 would finish in three and a half weeks time on April 3.

Gizmo5 was purchased by Google in 2009 as the search giant looked to expand its internet offerings and include Voice over Internet Protocol calling.

Gizmo5 allowed users to make and receive calls on both computers and mobile devices.

While Gizmo5 used Google Voice to offer cheap calls, the Gmail calling service is now a viable option, according to an email submitted by user Bizurke to the Reddit social bookmarking site.

Speculation is that the end of Gizmo5 means that Google have something exciting in store to make their call phones service even more appealing than it already is.

On the other hand some users will blame Google for acquiring Gizmo5, taking what they needed from it, and then scrapping it.

And while Gizmo5 could do neat things like allow you to make calls using Wi-Fi through Sip Trunking, Gmail calling cannot yet fulfill that.

VoIP Solutions: Nashau Mobile to Expand

The South Africa VoIP company Nashau Mobile plans to aggressively expand
its market presence and take up a prime place in the Unified Communications industry.

Company CEO Andy Baker said that Nashua Mobile hoped to increase its mobile voice revenues by about 5% in the near future.

Currently the main cash cow for Nashau are the Least Cost Routing (LCR) services which generate up to two billion Rand per year, about one fifth of their revenue.

Now the company will transfer three quarters of this business over to their VoIP marketing channels. They will have to do so quickly in what is a highly competitive market.

In spite of the competition Nashau sees itself as a significant player in the voice minutes market.

South Africa is struggling to keep up with the booming VoIP market but is still seeing major transformations in the spheres of data and connectivity.

Mr Baker said: "With the uncertainty surrounding the regulation of mobile termination rates in South Africa, the time is ripe for businesses of all sizes to migrate to VoIP solutions to achieve telecoms cost-savings."

Nashau will mainly achieve its expansion through its new EasiVoice VoIP offering for business.

Easivoice was launched on Thursday and relies on Diginet or ADSL connectivity as well as Primary Rate links. However wireless connectivity will also soon be an option.

While Voice over Internet Protocol allows customrs to make cheap calls over the internet, Nashau could still increase it revenue by charging for inbound calls as well as outbound calls.

Agilis Chooses 3CX Phone System

The 3CX Phone System for Windows developer 3CX has just supplied its award winning phone system to Agilis, the gas turbine specialist.

The 3CX Phone system replaced Agilis’ old proprietary Toshiba CTX-IP system, which lacked any unified communications features and was technically obsolete.

The 3CX IP PBX was chosen for its ease of use across multiple office locations in two countries, and especially for staff who want to work remotely.

3CX CEO Nick Galea said: “Agilis provides technical innovation in an industry which depends so much on technology, reliability and accessibility. We have built reliability and Unified Communications into the core of 3CX which makes it an extremely accessible PBX.”

The 3CX phone system can enhance productivity and thereby effect cost savings. It was also compatible with the T28 IP and 160 Yealink T26 phones that were already in place, so there was no extra cost to find new handsets.

Agilis Yealink T26 and T28 IP phones are interoperable with the 3CX Phone System, and have customizable features including High Definition voice.

The Patton SmartNode 4960 VoIP Gateway was also chosen because it could work securely with a simple software upgrade and has been tested and certified for use with 3CX.

The Engineering Financial Manager at Agilis Brian Dunn explained that one of the main reasons that the company had chosen 3CX is because both are compatible with Windows

He said: “Having a Windows-based telephone system is a big advantage to us as our past experience with LINUX based Asterisk systems was just too difficult.

“We were in the market for a Windows phone system that could be hosted on our existing equipment and integrated with our current IT infrastructure. The 3CX Phone System had and continues to have great reviews.”

VoIP Solutions Grease the Wheels for Jiffy Lube

A large US lube company has recently employed a VoIP solution to manage its automotive services.

The idea is to improve customer service for the Dallas-based Heartland Automotive Services, while at the same time cutting down on their calling costs.

Therefore the Jiffy Lube Franchise is making use of Hughes Network Systems
to provide business grade Voice over Internet Protocol.

That will allow connectivity across hundreds of American retail locations to improve the experience for both staff and the estimated five million Jiffy Lube customers.

The COO of Heartland, Rob Rajkowski, stated: “Hughes is providing us a resilient business-grade VoIP services which will improve our customer service and corporate training requirements.

He added: "At the same time the state-of-the-art broadband network will reduce our operating and infrastructure costs."

Some of the exciting new enterprise VoIP features that will be available to Heartland are detailed call records, 3-way calling, call routing and voice mail.

Australian VoIP Products Launched

Australian smartphone users can look forward to widely available Voice over Internet Protocol on their Android device now that the National Broadband Network is nearing completion.

Compnaies which are looking to take advantage of the faster internet speeds include iiNet, an Internet Service Provider based in Perth, Western Australia.

The company has said that it is thinking outside of the box to bring fast VoIP to Android users. They have tasked their consumer products division
iiNet Labs to create enticing broadband-related products.

The iiNet technical sales manager, Simon Watt, said: “There is no reason why we cannot launch handsets that run Android OS as so many people are developing apps for Android right now."

Products include the iiNet BoB which will be released in April and run on Android 2.0 or above. It is an aggregated router, modem and phone device with dual VoIP capabalities (to support two phone numbers from different providers)and a colour screen.

iiNet will also release an IP security solution which uses IP camera systems for home security in the middle of 2011.

Watt explained: “If it is broadband related and people want to buy it then we will develop it. The sky is the limit.”