Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Verizon Hub, a Multimedia VoIP phone

Verizon will launch its long awaited Hub home networking product on Feb 1st. Hub is a touchscreen enabled VoIP phone that shall work with your existing broadband connection. Off course, verizon would prefer you use their FIOS. ( BTW, I switched to FIOS and I love it, the speed is awesome). The Hub has plenty of rich multimedia features embedded in it. It supports unlimited voice calling and other cool features. With contract agreements and rebate, the device shall be sold for $200 after $50 rebate with a monthly $35 for unlimited calling and text messages.

Here are some of the features supported by verizon hub:
• Unlimited voice calling
• Local weather
• Visual Voicemail
• Streaming Video
• News, Sports and traffic information
• Has ability to send text messages and Verizon's Chaperone locator service
• Phone can work with any other service provider like ATT or sprint
• Display movie time and facilitate ticket purchase through Fandango
• Watch trailers of movies
• Text message calendar alert
• Find the number of the new pizza parlor to order a pie

Why is verizon getting into manufacturing its own home phone? It could be for couple of reasons; one is to retain the landline customers and attract other carrier customers. Gets its foothold into internet voice calling. Verizon has been slow to adapt to internet voice calling solution. According to Tom from TMCNet, verizon is an evolution of verizion one

Here is what Mike Lanman, VP and CMO at verizon has to say about verizon hub:

“The Verizon Hub reinvents the home phone system that’s been centered on your kitchen counter for years. We’re bringing huge new functionality to a common household device that will unlock its true potential. And in the process, Verizon Wireless is updating the tools busy families can use to manage their lives,” said Mike Lanman, vice president and chief marketing officer at Verizon Wireless. “The Verizon Hub is going to change the way you think about what you want and need your home phone to do. Whether you’re thinking about getting rid of your home phone or can’t live without it, now is the time to try out the Verizon Hub.”

For folks that are curious to give verizon hub a shot, Check out this Link on Feb 1st for more information

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Truphone for Android phones

Truphone is everywhere. Just recently they had launched a client for iPod and iPhone, and now they are launching a client called Truphone Anywhere for Android phones, including the new G1. Using this client, customers can make low-cost international calls and send IMs on a variety of platforms. The client has been added to Android Market in the U.S and U.K, and will also be available in March in the new Adroid Market for Germany and Austria

To coincide with T-Mobile’s announcement earlier this week of the availability of the G1 mobile phone in March 2009, a German version of Truphone Anywhere for Android is available and will be the first native language multi-communications application in the Android Market in Germany and Austria when it launches at CeBIT 2009.

Truphone Anywhere for Android delivers an all-in-one conversations hub that allows customers to take advantage of Truphone’s low international call rates, in addition to the cost of a local call. In addition, Truphone customers can easily instant-message their friends across a variety of networks including MSN, Yahoo!, Google Talk™ and Twitter from within one Android application. Customers can also call friends anywhere in the world on Google Talk for the price of a local call, and similarly will soon will be able to instant-message and call their friends on Skype.

Here are some advantages of using Truphone Anywhere client:
• Truphone Anywhere works in 33 countries around the world, saving Android users from those countries money on international calls made from their home country. The easy-to-use service works alongside domestic service providers, but reduces international call costs to as little as £0.03/$0.06 [UK/RoW] per minute.
• Unlike a ‘calling card’, Truphone Anywhere doesn’t require a user to remember what to do. Whenever an international number is dialled Truphone Anywhere simply asks whether he/she wants to make a Truphone call. The user simply accepts, and Truphone connects the call.

Truphone is now available on Android, the Apple iPhone, the Apple iPod touch, Blackberry and Nokia devices. I guess the list pretty much covers most of the popular devices.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Watch Obama's Presidential Inauguration Live!

Obama’s presidential inauguration is viewed as historic and one of its kind. Up to 2 million people are predicted to attend the ceremony. By far the largest in the history of Washington. Another milestone for obama and his team. Also, this is the first time we are seeing so many online web video live broadcasting. Since the inauguration starts at 10AM Eastern Time, iam sure most of you folks would be at work. So for folks that won’t be able to watch the inauguration at home, don’t worry, u can watch the entire inauguration via internet enabled web video streaming. Thanks to myriad of applications that are enabling the live web video.

Here are some of the sites that broadcast the presidential inauguration live:

You Tube inauguration live

CSPAN via mogulus grid

CNN with facebook shall broadcast the entire event live

HULU live inauguration









Mogulus Channel3news

Presidential Inaugural Committee

Justin TV

Joint Congressional Committee

MTV- Be the Change: Live from the Inaugural

Ustream via iPhone

Check out the links below for additional information:


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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nortel gives up, files for bankruptcy

Oh Boy today was one of the worst day for telecom industry. Nortel the giant telecom vendor, as speculated for couple of weeks, finally pulled the plug and filed for bankruptcy . It’s devastating to see such a big leader go down south. I guess nothing worked out right for this ailing telecom equipment vendor. There was a time when folks would die to work for Nortel, and it was once trading at $1231 dollars a share. Mind blowing! In fact, Nortel during the 1990 telecom and internet boom had more than 95,000 employees.

Nortel’s shares were worth a total of around $192 million dollars yesterday. It has around 26,000 employees spread across North America and Canada. It’s sad to see a company that has been around for such a long time file for bankruptcy. It was started in 1895. Though the company is optimistic of turning around, analysts are not. Some of the analyst predict that by filing bankruptcy, Nortel would lose significant business and potentially send the company into death spiral.

Apparently the bankruptcy was filed to preserve the $2.4 billion dollar cash, which the company plans to use to preserve its liquidity and fund operations during the restructuring process.

Here is what the CEO has to say about the bankruptcy:

"Nortel must be put on a sound financial footing once and for all," said Nortel President and CEO Mike Zafirovski. "These actions are imperative so that Nortel can build on its core strengths and become the highly focused and financially sound leader in the communications industry that its people, technology and customer relationships show it ought to be. I am confident that the actions we're announcing today will be the fastest, most effective means to translate our improved operational efficiency, double-digit productivity, focused R&D and technology leadership into long-term success. I want to reaffirm Nortel's dedication to delivering world-class solutions and services to customers."

Looks like the economy is showing no signs of improvement and events like these are going to worsen the situation for job seekers. Is it time to ditch the ailing telecom arena? Maybe, as many of my friends and colleague say, “Time to ditch this market and move on with something else”

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Skype client for Android and more

Skype access from mobile client was supported by every other mobile VoIP startup than skype. So finally today skype announced release of a lighter version of Skype, a thin client that can be downloaded on Adroid-powered devices. In addition, it can downloaded to more than 100 java enabled handset. Now this one makes more sense. Compared to android phones, there are tones of java enabled phones in the market.

Here are some of the features that are supported via lite client:
• Make Skype-to-Skype calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world
• Send/receive instant messages to/from individuals or groups
• Make Skype calls at low rates to people on landline or mobile phones
• Receive calls to your online personal phone number on Skype
• See when your Skype contacts are online/available to chat

Supporting more handsets other than android is definitely a good strategy from both business and user perspective. The client can be downloaded on some of the most popular java enabled phones from LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Check out the Link for more information about client download and handset models supported.

Though the client is free to download, there is a cost involved in using the feature. You will be charged by your mobile operator for local air time and data usage based on the type of calling service and data plan you have purchased. Since the lite version of Skype uses a mobile data connection to sign in to Skype, update your contact list, update presence and send/receive messages, you will be charged by your mobile operator for data usage. You will not incur charges from Skype when you make Skype-to-Skype calls or send instant messages to friends on Skype; however national calling rates may apply from your mobile operator due to the use of local air time. Skype will charge its regular very low Skype rates when you call landlines and mobiles using Skype or when you receive calls on your mobile handset from other Skype users or people calling your personal online number. We highly recommend getting an unlimited data plan for use with the lite version of Skype. The longer you remain signed in, the more Skype contacts you have, or the more you send and receive instant messages, the more data you will use.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Skype for iPhone and iTouch from Truphone

Good news to iPhone users. According to Om , Truphone, a provider of mobile VoIP client using which cheap international calls can be made, is going to support skype chat and voice call from iPhone and iPod touch. This new feature shall be available to users on Jan 12th. Using this new client, iPhone or iPod users can call skype users and at the same time receive skype calls from other skype members. Hold on, some more good news, in addition to skype they also support Gtalk, MSN, yahoo messenger and twitter. So they are becoming more like a unified interface for all IM clients.

This kind of feature is not something new; startups like iSkoot, fring, mig33, eqo, nimbuzz etc have been supporting the above mentioned features and more for quite sometime. Worthy of mention is iSkoot client, which was launched with operator 3 in a revenue sharing agreement. With crappy IM support on iPhone, these clients can fill in the big hole. The million dollar question really is- how do they make revenue out of these features. I guess truphone has other revenue generating features and hopefully these features will let them retain the customers. More like a carrot. With fring trying out advertisement model, you never know, maybe there is way to make money out of these features. Let’s wait and see who solves the puzzle. In the meanwhile, folks enjoy all these features that come free. Off course, another caveat- you need to pay money if you want to receive skype calls.

I have not tried truphone yet, but what I hear from other folks is that it just rocks and a must have mobile APP. They have more than 100,000 subscribers using iPhone and iPod touch.

More information from Tom and Alec

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wish you all a great year ahead

Wish you all a very happy and great new year. I know we didnt have a great 2008, hope to see something positive this year. The financial pundits and critics are not favouring a great year ahead. Let these folks be wrong this time. Stay positive and focussed.

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