We recently saw an article saying that the UK mobile network is 25 years old on 1st January 2010 and it got us thinking about life before mobiles.
We are old enough to remember a time before mobiles and email, we had pagers and the new fangled message pagers where you would get a message saying ‘call the office’ and after pulling off a main road, trying to find a pay phone that worked and if you had change only to be told it was not urgent and you could have called when you got to your destination !!!. Life certainly has changed and we are very dependant on mobiles in day to day life but of course not only for voice but with SMS and data access we are always in touch.
There is an interesting article about this over on the IET website here and the history of how the market has developed is fascinating.
We like the FreePBX product and it is excellent the way Bandwidth.com have sponsored the future development, we see that they have now announced a Developer Sandbox Program in order to accelerate development of next-generation applications for IP communications. The intended initial focus of the program will be to enable a select group of telephony focused developers to join Bandwidth.com’s internal pilot projects that are focused on:
- IP communications network functionality, such as next-generation VoIP codecs, T38 fax protocol, SIP enabled SMS, and HD voice
- Fixed-mobile convergence functionality, such as sharing one number across both mobile and landlines and unique new telephony applications
- Open source telephony, focused on FreePBX
Bandwidth.com’s approach is to catalyze the next generation of telephony applications by the powerful combination of open source telephony software (FreePBX), open access to Bandwidth.com’s own VoIP network sandbox, and unique industry partnerships, that allow developers to employ some of the newest telephony innovations.
We also see that at the same time they are announcing a developer release of FreePBX v3 as well as a Beta release of FreePBX v2.6, so it obvious the product is moving forward and their developers have been busy.
For more information go to FreePBX.
We market a range of GSM gateways from Topex and Teles and up until now neither company had a VoIP product that is cost effective in the small business market. We all know that the vast majority of businesses are small to medium so this is a big business sector to sell to and we know Portech are very succesful in this area.
Topex have announced the release of the Mobilink IP gateway – we already market the Mobilink analogue gateway that is a single SIM and connects to an analogue PBX port, the Mobilink ISDN that comes as single or dual SIM and connects to an ISDN2 port of a PBX. The Mobilink IP connects to a PBX or VoIP Server using SIP or H323 and comes as single or dual SIM, there is a big market for this product in the Asterisk IP PBX (and the many derivatives) system market and with other IP PBX. Generally this device will connect without any extra items required on the IP PBX and just set your dial plan to route mobile calls via the gateway and off you go with big cost savings to be made.
The gateway also supports other mobile applications such as email to SMS and SMS to email as well as web to SMS so the user gets many applications for the price of one, the other added advantage is the quality and robustness of the gateway, Topex also manufacture systems for Air Traffic Control so their quality standards are very high and this reflects in the overall reliability of all their products.
Pricing and actual release dates will be confirmed shortly.
We see that Google has now rebranded the GrandCentral service as Google Voice. So what exactly are Google offering in the voice market ?
Google Voice will help you manage your phone numbers. You just sign up for the service and pick an area code. The phone number you get will then act as your one number, forwarding the calls it receives to your home, mobile or work number etc.
Google have made it easy to set up rules for call routing, and the service comes with handy extras like call recording and emailed or SMS voice mail transcripts. The beauty of the service is that you in effect get a single lifetime number, your personal numbers behind the service can change.
We like the way Google look at things from a different angle – they have taken a voicemail service and used Speech to Text to convert the voice into a form that will then sit well with their underlying search engine technology.
We have registered interest to try the service when it becomes more readily available outside of the US.