Business mobile connectivity ofcom

Ofcom sets April 2011 deadline for faster mobile number porting

Ofcom has set a deadline of April 2011 for mobile network operators to speed up the process for their customers to port their numbers to competitors.  Customers will be able to change suppliers within 24 hours.  Believe it or not as a Service Provider I like this idea because it is good for our customers. It means that we either do a good job of servicing customers or they leave (subject to contract of course J ).

Companies offering good service will prevail.  Grauniad article here.

broadband Business internet mobile connectivity

O2 BE broadband

Met with O2 and BE today for a general chat about the BE broadband network. They are pushing a wholesale offering and are now one of only four Tier 1 broadband wholesalers in the UK – BT, TalkTalk and Cable and Wireless being the others. Reality is I don’t see C&W doing much so probably there are only really three of them.

Telefonica has been backing BE and making not insignificant investments in their network. Their current ADSL2+ offering is competitive. The longer term question for them is really the same as for TalkTalk and that is how to leverage a new (ish) high capacity backbone once ADSL2+ becomes old hat and the world has moved on to greater and faster connectivity.

End User media mobile connectivity

#Glastonbury – people at the back were watching online on mobiles #glasto

I’m told that some people at Glastonbury found it easier to watch the event streaming video to their mobile phones even though they were at the gig itself.

If you were stood at the back apparently the picture on your mobile phone was bigger than the live view of the stage. I remember once going to a Bruce Springsteen gig in Roundhay Park in Leeds (some time ago now I should add). If I held up my little finger horizontally at arms length Bruce was about half the height of the fingernail.

I’d be surprised if there was much bandwidth available to stream to a mobile at Glastonbury though I suppose with the

internet mobile connectivity

iPhone Nokia N97 iPad Apple consumer versus business

My mobile phone, an N97, ran out of battery yesterday. It normally lasts 2 days but there was a network problem and it kept searching for a GPRS signal. It wan’t really the phone’s fault but it does go to show that battery technology has still some way to go with mobiles, especially as we are trying to do more with the device.

The N97 is supposed to be targeted at consumers.  It has a 30Gig hard drive so all my music fits on it. It also has a nice Facebook widget and I regularly use the camera, the voice recorder and make notes.

I don’t really see a difference between consumer and business applications for these high end phones. People want to listen to music whilst on the move with work.  Business people take photos (mine are usually for the blog), make recordings and notes (I do it because I can never remember things otherwise), update twitter, pick up mails, VPN into the office network etc etc etc.

At Timico there is an increasing demand for the iPhone from our business customers. In fact I think that consumer technology has outpaced what is provided specifically for business use so it makes sense that business people want to use consumer tools.

The iPad is not currently a business tool but that type of device will soon be used by business for all sorts of mobility applications.  Whether the Apple device specifically is it will depend on the applications that reside on it – I suspect not.

It is all going to be highly reliant on connectivity, and battery life, and cost, and functionality, and ease of use, and I’m sure the list goes on…  Anyway all that stemmed from the battery running out on my N97 – streams of thought:)

PS the N97 is the best phone I have had so far.

End User mobile connectivity scams security

sms #phishing

Had a couple of sms phishing attempts in the last couple of days:

“FREEMSG: Our records indicate you may be entitled to 3750 pounds for the Accident you had. To claim for free reply with YES to this msg.  To opt out text STOP.”

The each appear to come from a different mobile number.  Needless to say anyone getting one of these should just delete them.  I wouldn’t reply STOP. I don’t think there is anything we can do other than deleting them.  Unless you start gettign a lot of these message s it is probably too small a problem for the networks to take onboard. 

I wouldn’t be tempted to reply STOP.

Business mobile connectivity

Orange and TMobile announce UK JV Everything Everywhere

Orange and TMobile unveiled their UK joint venture today. I was quite impressed with the slickness of the delivery of their online press pack, not that I often download press packs. It isn’t often I comment on purely mobile news. I’m into IP.

On this occasion however it is such a big announcement that it has attracted my attention. Such a large scale business has to figure out how to keep it’s messaging simple whilst communicating what is presumably a hugely complex change to the business. This I believe it has made a reasonable stab at:

  • Everything everywhere
  • Best for customers
  • Biggest network
  • Benefits begin this year with x-network roaming
  • Boost for sales
  • Brilliant service
  • Acceleration into the business market

Whilst in principle a bigger and better network should server customers better there are a number of things to watch out for here.

  1. Bigger and better often means slower to respond.
  2. Bigger and better often means poorer customer service
  3. The business market is a completely different kettle of fish from that Orange and TMobile are used to
  4. It isn’t clear to me how the jointly larger high street footprint will result in a boost for sales unless they are jointly going to spend more money picking up customers than they used to and this has it’s downsides in terms of operating margins. They have to keep the brands separate or the likely result is a lower overall sales level (which might of course be accompanied by lower operating costs)

I should mention that as an O2 and Vodafone service provider I have an interest to declare but I’m not really letting that colour my opinions. The success of this venture is going to depend on how well they can make the complex business of running a mobile service simple. Only time will tell.

PS I’d love to have their  marketing budget.

PPS It wasn’t immediately obvious to me that the name of the JV appears to be “Everything Eveywhere”. Marketing money well spent?

Business internet mobile connectivity voip

What are ISPs doing about Voice?

The question is being asked “what are ISPs doing about voice?” This is particularly relevant as the market consolidates and B2B ISPs not only seek economies of scale but additional sources of revenues.

Timico was founded as a fully converged ISP from the outset. Early on we had to decide whether to simply white label services from other ISPs and ITSPs or do “get into manufacturing” and do it all ourselves.

At the outset there were no real white label VoIP options. You had to do it yourself. However there were plenty of ISPs providing Virtual ISP services.

Business internet mobile connectivity

Fixed Mobile Convergence needs a philosophical change amongst the mobile operator community

FMC is really the nirvana where all networks finally converge. We are already experiencing it with internet connectivity – I keep up to date with facebook, twitter (and, ahem, of course work and email) via the internet connection on my mobile phone. We use both WiFi and 3G/GPRS to do this and whilst service can be intermittent it does work and is reasonably ubiquitous.

Convergence of voice over fixed and mobile networks is really the final piece of the jigsaw. Since Timico started selling VoIP services around 5 years ago we have been looking at FMC solutions. These have all been based on WiFi for the mobile piece.

broadband Business internet mobile connectivity

O2Be and the Ever-Growing Complexity of the Broadband Service Landscape

Met with O2/Be last week to discuss their LLU broadband play. O2 has been winning awards for their consumer broadband service. They have an ADSL2+ solution that already supports Annex M.

For the uninitiated Annex M allows a service provider to trade some downloading speed on a broadband service in exchange for a faster (up to 2.5Mpbs!?) upload.

O2/Be have unbundled around 1,240 exchanges and so have one of the largest LLU footprints in the UK. They also claim to have 500,000 customers so in understanding the options for the provision of broadband service in the UK they are one of the companies that need looking at.

A complex web is being woven in the UK broadband landscape. Clearly O2 is serious. When they bought Be the LLU estate numbered no more than 30 or so exchanges. A lot of cash has been expended to turn it into the figure it is today.

O2 is telling the world it wants a seat at the table and is willing to put up a stake. It does have a different approach to Carphone Warehouse, the leading LLU player in terms of size, in that it only offers the broadband connectivity. Currently O2 relies on Openreach for the underlying analogue line.

Having looked at the economics of LLU myself it makes a lot more sense if you are taking the voice path as well as the ADSL. There are other benefits with LLU in that an ISP can tailor its own services and thus offer a differentiation in a crowded market. It still needs subscriber numbers to make it pay and at the consumer end it is unlikely that the service provider will want to offer too many variants – simplicity of broadband service means lower costs to sell, provision and support.

This brings me on to another point and that is that BT is now introducing FTTC which at 40Mbps down and 5Mbps up blows all the LLU operators ADSL2+ offerings out of the water, at least in terms of speed. There are then only two players in the game – BT and Virgin with their cable proposition. Other players will have to line up behind one of these two as a wholesale customer and note that Virgin does not yet have a wholesale proposition.

Now FTTC is in its early days of rollout but the footprint is likely to be the same Market 3 footprint as the unbundled exchanges, ie the densely populated parts of the country that make business sense.

So I think for the moment that LLU players have a market window that is probably no more than two years for their unbundled services. Two years will scream past, if the past five at Timico are anything to go by.

Coming back to O2/Be their play thus far has been very much into the consumer market. They look to be a solid player and I have heard good things about them from peers in the ISP community. Their sortie into the business market is through an L2TP play with relative newcomer Fluidata. I have nothing to say against Fluidata, not having worked with them but they are small and O2, if it is serious at the wholesale, game will want to do it in-house.

What their long term strategy is though is a difficult one to call. Owned by Telefonica they should have the deep pockets to play. Play what though? When there are likely to be only two players and one of them is BT then you either have to be satisfied with being a reseller of BT or Virgin or you buy one of them. I can’t see the regulator letting O2 buy BT, it would be ironic if they did.

They might let them buy Virgin though.  And then where does that leave Vodafone, a business that is only dabbling in broadband at the moment…

The UK communications industry has never been as exciting a place to be as it is now. Any informed comment/feedback to this post will be read with interest.

Business mobile connectivity

Blackberry service experiencing technical difficulties

Hot off the press is an alert from RIM saying their Blackberry service BIS/BES is experiencing difficulties.  According to RIM this means that

Customers may not receive new service books
Connect clients and BB enabled devices that require a new PIN may be unable to receive the pin
customers may experience delays in receiving messages and may get an ‘x’ when sending
customers may be unable to register their device i.e. Register Now
customers may not be able to roam in another location
customers may not be able to use internet browsing
Enterprise customers may be unable to connect to the BB network
customers may not be able to access their internet mailbox, integrate their account or view email attachments.

This is a fairly rare occurrence – unofficial poll around the office suggests once a year – but when it does happen it affects a lot of people. The alternative is to use your own push email but in my experience that is actually less reliable.

All I can say is that businesses need to work with providers that offer support at times like this.  There is nothing worse than having a service that doesn’t work and then being kept in the dark as to why this is happening.

For those who don’t already know BIS = Blackberry Internet Service, BES = Blackberry Enterprise Service.

Business internet mobile connectivity ofcom voip

Ofcom advice on use of mobiles abroad

Picked this up on my travels.  It’s a YouTube video posted by Ofcom giving advice on how to minimise your phone bills whilst abroad. You might wonder why, as a mobile service provider, I am pointing you towards a site that will help you to cut your mobile bills.

Actually the philosophy at Timico is that our relationship with customers is a long term one and is based on mutual trust.  This includes making sure that the customer gets the best value out of the services we provide.  Ad over – enjoy the video.

PS if anyone does want advice on cutting communications costs whilst travelling abroad please do get in touch.  Our customers also use their VoIP accounts from their hotel rooms which makes calling home cheap and allows them to keep in touch with their business (spouses permitting).

PPS it is good to see Ofcom embracing this modern internet/YouTube thing .

Business mobile connectivity

Manx Telecom or sometimes you just have to have fun

I’m on holiday this week but in the interest of keeping the momentum going on the blog it is worth posting some relevant collateral. You will have to scroll down to the bottom to get the association with technology.

The video below was taken on Saturday at the breakwater in Peel in the Isle of Man – very stormy but also quite exciting.


The next day it was calm during which time the “stills” were taken.

Peel Harbour - traditionally home of the herring fleet
Peel Harbour - traditionally home of the herring fleet


lifeboat at the quayside by the castle in Peel.
lifeboat at the quayside by the castle in Peel.


still waters after the storm
still waters after the storm


So where is the link with IP technology?  Actually the Isle of Man was the original test bed for the 3G network.  I grew up here and I recall on one visit home making one of the first commercial 3G calls to Mitel in Canada, my then employer.  A long time ago now.

3G wasn’t IP at the time of course.  My belated thanks to Richard Fletcher of Manx Telecom for that call.

Business mobile connectivity

Mobile VoIP action hotting up

One of my predictions for 2009 was that mobile VoIP would finally come of age. In the last two weeks there have been significant announcements in this space.

Firstly Google announced a service called Google VoIP that is intended to be a rival to Skype. The service will also do voice to text when someone leaves a voicemail and send it to you via SMS or to your Gmai inbox.  Ther service is initially only available in the USA and then only to customers of telephony company Grand Central who Google bought some time ago and have since temporarily stopped accepting new customers.

Secondly Nokia has announced native support for Skype on its new N97 handset available later this year. The Skype service will run over either WiFi or 3G when the former is not available.

However all the mobile networks apart from Vodafone have said they will block VoIP calls over 3G. Whether they do or not it is a fact that VoIP over 3G is not a cheap option.  I did a rough calculation last year and the bandwidth costs from handsets are such that the cost would be much the same as if you were making a normal mobile voice call.

Whether the networks block the VoIP traffic or not this is another step toward mainstream mobile VoIP.  I will be looking at a similar service myself this year.

Business mobile connectivity servers

New Blackberry Enterprise Server

RIM has announced its latest upgrade to the Blackberry Enterprise Server. BES5 notionally provides a number of improvements (one might reasonably expect! 🙂 ) but one in particular caught my eye.

A BES sits LAN side of a corporate network and access to it is via an encrypted 3DES (or higher) path. Being LAN side is allows useful access to a company’s intranet. However what it didn’t do, or at least not without the involvement of a third party application, was to give access to computers on that LAN.  This meant that accessing data on corporate servers was not straightforward. 

With BES5 you can also access attachments within calendars. This is very useful in my mind. I often store location information for meetings in my calendar but my Nokia E Series phones don’t provide me with access to any of the notes. At least if they do I can’t see how.

I am indebted to one of our Blackberry gurus Will Curtis for the BES update. He has his own mobile gadget oriented blog with a post on this subject if you want to know more.

Apps Business mobile connectivity security UC voip

The Channel Wars – Which Channel Will Win The Convergence Battle?

No I’m not talking TV channels here. I’m talking channels to market for converged services. And I’m not talking about which company within a channel will win. I’m talking about which channel will win.

Out there in the big wide world there are three basic types of channel that sell communications services:

  • mobile resellers,
  • PBX resellers and
  • IT resellers

Traditionally none of these channels have stepped on each other’s toes. Ok I know there are probably companies out there that might claim to cover more than one of the spaces but seldom all three.

Certainly mobile dealers find it hard to sell non mobile services. Although PBX resellers have had to get to grips with some aspects of networking in order to be able to sell VoIP enabled products they are far from being involved in the whole gamut of IT related products and services. 

Finally in my experience an IT reseller usually doesn’t have the knowledge to be able to sell voice, be it fixed or mobile. It’s not their space.

The UK is moving at high speed towards being a totally internet connected country. If anything it is speeding up (witness yesterday’s Digital Britain announcement and last year’s roll out of 21CN) and the communications requirements of businesses are going to get evermore complex and ever more converged. 

Convergence and Unified Communications are somewhat trendy buzzwords which have different meanings to different people. The fact is however that businesses will increasingly want to buy services that work with their other services:

  • VoIP that works over a variety of both fixed and mobile networks
  • Integration of the office phone system with the applications sat on a desktop and with mobile devices
  • Seamless portability of applications and backups of key corporate data 
  • All this without compromising on network security

Currently I believe it is only high end corporates that can really indulge in a communications roadmap that embodies the true vision of Unified Communications. However I do think that a new breed of business is appearing that smaller companies and channel partners can turn to for access to the wider range of skills and technologies needed to service this new connected market.

This type of business, call it a super-convergence provider, will be able to partner with any reseller from any channel and offer them a range of products and services that is complementary to what they already do. So  mobile, voice and IT resellers can carry on with their core business without having to worry about not having all the arrows in the quiver.

So what is the answer to my original question? Which channel will win? I guess my view is that the winner will be the channel that works best with the new breed of super-convergence service providers, one of which is clearly Timico.

I’d be interested to hear from people who have views on this subject, either by commenting on this blog, on facebook or by contacting me directly.

Business mobile connectivity security

Blackberry gets huge endorsment by Barack Obama

In the news is the fact that US President-elect Barack Obama wants to keep his Blackberry when he becomes president. This must be worth a fortune in advertising to Blackberry manufacturer RIM and indeed their share price seems to have risen quite healthily this week.

The secret service is of course concerned about the Presidential  email security and I will happily leave it to both parties to argue it out. What is of interest is why the Blackberry? Why not an alternative email device such as a PDA or Nokia Smartphone.

I used to have a Blackberry but moved onto Nokia, primarily because the Nokia E-Series had a SIP Stack that would allow me to play with VoIP on mobiles. The Nokia’s were more of a phone as well rather than a clunky data device.

The Blackberry has  moved on since then and a quick survey of the Tech Support team suggests that it now has the edge in terms of features and ease of use. There is now even  a Facebook plug-in for blackberry.

Certainly from a commercial perspective the mobile operators are doing a very good job at incentivising service providers to sell Blackberry as opposed to alternative mobile email solutions. 

What is really exciting is the pace of development in the mobile handset world. Competition is really working here driving features up and pricing down.

RIM 5 day stock performance courtesy of Yahoo Finance
RIM 5 day stock performance courtesy of Yahoo Finance
End User mobile connectivity

Google G1 Phone Date Announced

Google is launching its new mobile handset, labelled the G1, in the UK on Thursday 30th October. This is Google’s first phone and is based on a new open source operating system named Android.

I haven’t had a play with it myself yet and am unlikely to in the near future as T Mobile has an exclusive deal in the UK.  In anycase it is initially going to be a consumer play and I use a mobile phone for business rather than listening to music etc.

The exciting thing here is that Android is open source. Anyone can write an application for it. I’m sure there will be gotchas that benefit Google but that is understandable. Why otherwise would a company make such an investment.

If you don’t understand the implication here of “openness” look at Facebook. Facebook has had thousands of applications developed for it, good and bad.

Nokia is making its own Symbian OS open source and Apple allows developers onto its iPhone although not with complete freedom. The mobile revolution is about to move onto its next phase.

Business mobile connectivity voip

Parliament And Internet Conference

I will be speaking at the Parliament and Internet Conference in London on 16th October. Specifically I am on a panel debating issues surrounding mobile voip.

There are a few issues to debate:

  • restrictions on usage imposed by handsets manufacturers
  • restrictions on use placed by the mobile networks
  • voip numbering in the mobile space

to name but three. The opportunities in this area are going to be immense once some of the constraints are removed so it should be an interesting session.

The conference has been arranged by the All Parliamentary Communications Group. It starts at 9am in Portcullis House and I am onstage at 2.30.

broadband End User internet mobile connectivity

A Teenager’s Homepage

Before we set off on our camping holiday (destination unknown) I sat down at my daughter’s pc to print out some campsite options in Yorkshire.

I was somewhat bemused to find that her homepage was set to BBC iplayer.

Look out ISPs everywhere. Your bandwidth forecasts are inadequate.

My trusty E71 got me to the first campsite on the list and that is where we stayed. I also used it to write this post.

broadband End User internet mobile connectivity

A Teenager’s Homepage

Before we set off on our camping holiday (destination unknown) I sat down at my daughter’s pc to print out some campsite options in Yorkshire.

I was somewhat bemused to find that her homepage was set to BBC iplayer.

Look out ISPs everywhere. Your bandwidth forecasts are inadequate.

My trusty E71 got me to the first campsite on the list and that is where we stayed. I also used it to write this post.

End User mobile connectivity

Nokia E71

Nokia E71


Nokia kindly sent me an E71 to review. I’m not a gadget man but I have now had a series of Nokia E Series’ which I hope qualifies me to comment on this latest one.


I some time ago decided that I would use Nokias for email rather than RIM. BlackBerry at the time did not support WiFi and offered no hope of a VoIP client. Windows mobile devices did not cut it. For me they did not seem to be very good phones to me; clunky with a poor user interface and not a very good battery life.


The E Series came along and with it the business mobile range for the future. I thought the E60 was good and was somewhat surprised when it was canned. I put it down to progress. It wasn’t perfect. Pages downloading from the internet frustratingly seemed to do so twice. I put it down to some strange caching process. Still the screen was very clear and I could lie in bed on a Saturday morning reading the paper over my home wireless network.


My replacement, taken in order to run mobile voip clients on the latest Nokia device, was the E65 which I thought was great and is what I have been using since it came out. It seemed to be a stabler device although it still locked up from time to time. I eventually worked out that if email was synching some of the other buttons wouldn’t respond – crucially the address book. It still seems to download web pages twice.


Cosmetically the paintwork on the E65 rubs off so it doesn’t necessarily stay looking good but this isn’t what turns me on. I would happily carry on using the E65.


Enter the E71.


What I like about the E71?


Old fashioned PDA footprint but is a lot slimmer and slips in the pocket very easily.

Good weight – the Blackberry’s are too light for my liking

Good screen

You can listen to your text messages

On board satnav

WiFi – you can also get software that turns it into a WiFi hoptspot.

Battery life seems reasonably good


What don’t I like about it? I need to get a Bluetooth car kit. It isn’t really fair on the device because most modern cars probably have Bluetooth built in but mine is a “Classic” and so I have to switch SIMs to my E65 which has a generic Nokia interface that fits into the car.


If that is all I can complain about I think the Nokia E71 does very well. In fact it looks to be a huge step forwards as devices go. Well done Nokia.

End User mobile connectivity

This post was created using a Nokia E71

Chez Davies, around 7.45pm August 7th.

The photo is of the Davies’ back garden and was taken at around 7.45 PM on August 7th using the Nokia E71. I had to go to my PC to help upload the photo itself – it uploaded to the website ok but at a certain point of the proceedings I kept losing the link to the website. I’m not sure whether this is specific to the WiFi connection. I have found that the WiFi on the E Series isn’t as robust as it might be although I do like the phones in general.

Note the grass needs cutting!

Business mobile connectivity UC video voip

Nortel carrier strategy

Had a really good meeting with the Nortel Carrier team on Wednesday – I’ve not really had a chance to write it up and post before now. The meeting was held to discuss their SIP/multimedia product roadmap. The Nortel Enterprise Division has been making a lot of noise in the multimedia/Unified Comms space (SCS500 – I’ll write a piece on it soon) but I had been afraid that the Carrier side had sold its soul to Microsoft.

This turns out not to be the case. The Nortel AS5200 platform, which is the SIP platform used by Timico, has been adopted by a number of major Tier 1 operators and is benefiting from what seems to be a large amount of attention and investment. This to me is a very sensible thing for Nortel to do as the 5200 represents a leading edge platform for them – one which is streets ahead of any competition in the hosted VoIP/Unified Comms space.

Timico has been selling services on the back of the 5200 for 2 – 3 years. We are talking hosted VoIP, video, IM, presence, collaboration – perfect for small offices and homeworkers. The Nortel developments look to be adding more PBX type features that fill in some holes in the 5200’s repertoire. Whats more it seems to me that this switch is moving in the direction of becoming Nortel’s main carrier play. After all the CS2k, which gives Nortel its huge lead in the market, is a platform designed to emulate legacy services but in a much cheaper way than its DMS 100 TDM swich.

What’s more, new features such as federated presence, FMC, links to external directories and better support for SIP Trunks will keep Nortel at the forefront of the business communications space and allow tight integration with its Enterprise products – something that we haven’t seen before.

This is reinforced by the movement of Enterprise staff to the Carrier to aid the process.

Lastly but by no means least Nortel is moving the 5200 to Linux which will have a huge impact on the cost of rolling out and supporting 5200 based services and which I whole heartedly welcome.

I look forward to growing our Nortel relationship.


Business mobile connectivity

Another angle on tromboning

Tromboning is the method used by some operators providing access to mobile services in the UK. It is cheaper to route the calls via the USA and back into the UK than to do it directly to a mobile. The downside is longer call set up times and sometimes poorer call quality.

I have just invented a new type of tromboning. My friend Terry has an American daughter. She is over on holiday (vacation) and he got her a pay as you go SIM from Orange (Orange). There was as usual a bewildering choice of tariffs. He settled on one that charged 20p per minute for any UK network including landlines and only 6p for calls to the USA.

If she needs picking up from town she calls he mum (mom) in Oklahoma and mum calls dad in Lincoln (England) using Skype (insecure consumer VoIP). Even if she used her landline service it would still be cheaper than a call to a UK network from her UK pay as you go mobile.

Apps Business mobile connectivity

Mobile handset wars

I have always been a fan of Nokia handsets for business use. However I have recently been a little concerned that in the longer term the writing might be on the wall. What with developments in the iphone world and more competition potentially coming from a google open mobile platform.

Nokia has just announced that it is purchasing outright rights to the Symbian operating system. The company intends to make Symbian freely  available as open source which might do something to stop the potential rot. We can only wait and see.

The developer community for iphone will I’m sure come up with thousands of applications in a very short space of time. How many of these will be particularly useful is another thing. Again we can only wait and see, or at least wait and see how many of them will be useful to business. The issue really  for me is is how many useful applications will now come out of the woodwork for Nokia handsets.

I did come across an application on the Nokia website which I consider to be supercool (excuse my naievity if readers think this is all old hat). This is a barcode generating application that allows Nokia handsets to be used as barcode scanners.

 nokia bar code

It took me seconds to generate this barcode and upload it to the blog. There have to be many uses of this in business and Nokia has made it easy. There is a prize for anyone who can tell me what the barcode says. Leave a comment if you have the answer.

Use this link to see more.

Business mobile connectivity phones voip

ITSPA Dinner and Mobile VoIP

Mobile VoIP discussed at ITSPA dinner

ITSPA, the UK trade association of the internet telephony industry, held its Spring Dinner last night, attended by the great and the good of UK VoIP.  The event was held at the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists which must be one of the youngest Livery Companies in the City of London.


An interesting variety of organisations were represented ranging from equipment vendors Vegastream and ITSPs small and large. I sat between the Tesco and BT representatives, neither of who were willing to divulge the size of their subscriber base although word has it that BT has between 1m and 2m residential users.


After the dinner I led a debate on a number of subjects of interest to the VoIP community and one hot issue was mobile VoIP. Nokia are rumoured to not be providing a native SIP client in the N96, the next version of the N95, although the E Series will still have it.


This is clearly a strategy reversal on the part of the handset vendor, presumably the result of pressure from the mobile operator community. Mobile Operators are saying no to consumer VoIP. However it is harder for Nokia to take the same approach with it’s E series which is pitched firmly at business and which is the handset of choice for a number of iPBX vendors’ in premise FMC solutions.  


As it happens not many ITSPs use the native Nokia SIP client at least not without some element of plug in to make it work and many use third party applications.


Coincidentally I spent some time discussing mobile VoIP with Tesco’s Anna Boukovskaia who told me of their plans in this space. Back in the office on Friday I noticed that The Register had an article on the subject:


Tesco isn’t using the Nokia client and I imagine will be able to migrate to the N96 when available.



There are plenty of other mobile VoIP type topics but I’ll leave them for another day.