Will Rogers follow AT&T's lead and allow VoIP over 3G? Yes.
Yes, they will.
1. Rogers has cornered the GSM market in Canada and is the only carrier to offer the iPhone, but that is about to change. Telus and Bell have tag-teamed to erect an HSPA+ network and will be offering the iPhone as early as next month. Just in time for the holiday season and with plenty of time to ready themselves for the 2010 games in Vancouver.
It’s true that 3G is not yet ubiquitous which mean VoIP over 3G is not something that will drive massive adoption in the near term, but it will be enough of a detractor for a good percentage of the users to not choose Rogers if Telus and Bell allow VoIP over 3G on the iPhone.
2. Rumors have it that Globalive / Wind Mobile is hot on trail of Rogers and will be completing Phase 1 of their network build-out as early as this spring. They too might be carrying the iPhone. None of the big three want to get beat out by the new guy on the block.
3. Other devices on the Rogers network already have apps that deliver VoIP over 3G service. It’s not the network that is the limiting factor here, it’s the Apple app store and the contract they have with the carriers representing the iPhone.
4. Net Neutrality. I am sure that Rogers would like to avoid getting dragged into the same kind of kerfuffle the FCC has been crowing about in the US. The Internet does not stop at the desktop, so why should those it be left out of such conversations, it simply shouldn’t.
It’s should also be clear that Apple would prefer it if the carriers would allow VoIP over 3G. It would mean more devices sold and more interesting apps in the app store. I just can;t see Apple saying “no thanks” to VoIP related (product and service) revenue in the app store.
I think the question is more a matter of ‘when’ as opposed to ‘if’. Hopefully it’s soon!
Jeff Pulver Comments on FCC's Single National Framework for VoIP
Let me first say that Jeff Pulver’s and his FWD network/service (Free World Dialup) was instrumental in contributing to the early growth of Xten (now called Counterpath). FWD provided the platform where the X-Lite SIP softphone flourished. It was a great litmus test for us and created incredible awareness for our product. I don’t think I ever thanked him properly for that.
VON might be history, but Jeff is far from done.
In his last blog post, Jeff talks about exclusive federal jurisdiction for VoIP and how important this is to the communications industry as a whole.
It’s a good read, here is an excerpt…
Yesterday six major high-tech associations collectively representing the growth engines of the economy (generating billions of economic activity every year, employing millions of workers, and representing thousands of companies) filed a friend of the court brief in support of the FCC’s decision to provide a single national policy framework for VoIP.
This is a big deal, and a part of a broader effort to remove barriers that could determine how and when consumers benefit from the lower prices, new services, and advanced communication features that VoIP can deliver.
Check out the entire post: http://pulverblog.pulver.com/archives/008352.html
Canadian Wireless Spectrum Auction – 3 Weeks
There are only 2 weeks to go before the Canadian Wireless Auction closes, 3 weeks to auction awards and things are getting… interesting.
T-Mobile dropped off the list several weeks ago and more recently Niagara Networks withdrew their application.
This means there are now zero foreign applicants on the roster, right?
Hmm, not necessarily. Upon closer inspection we see that one of the Canadian numbered companies is owned in no small part by a few well known US VCs, with Canadian firm Novacap leading the charge.
Something else that’s rather peculiar about this list on first glance is the missing MSO / Cable Companies. On that note, I have it from a reliable source that Cogeco is also in the running, Quebec’s largest cable provider. The same is true for the Alberta numbered company, we already know that one is Shaw.
There are also some smaller firms that are looking to break into the cellular market in Canada, one such company is GlobaLive.
The privately held company, which sells telecommunications services under the Yak brand, said it was seeking 1,892 bid points with a required deposit of $235 million, making it the sixth-most-aggressive seeker of spectrum so far. The company said it was receiving funding from Egypt-based Weather Investments, which runs cellphone providers in Italy and Greece, as well as London-based Novator, which operates carriers in Poland and Iceland.
MTS Allstream and Quebecor have also thrown their hats into the ring.
From all of the known contenders I think Globalive and MTS (the incumbent in Manitoba) are the most interesting. They both have SIP infrastructure deployed in the public realm and both could bridge the gap between wireless and wired networks in a very seamless manner. Standards compliant VoIP across wired and wireless networks, very interesting.
I will be covering this closely from here on so stay tuned.
erik | sipthat.com
Canada set to become hot bed for VoIP
It looks like the CRTC made the right move lately by denying the incumbents lower price handicaps over the newer VoIP offering e.g. Vonage.
This is great news for consumers and could very well spur innovation due to the stage that has been set here. Combine that with the Telus strike and we might see some interesting new consumer trends.
E911 Rulings for VoIP – Welcome Back to the 80's.
The FCC seems to have ruled in favor of E911 requirements for VoIP networks that touch the PSTN and the CRTC are following in their footsteps. This means ALL VoIP service providers, including those who do not even own the network their customers’ calls travel over, e.g. Vonage, Packet8, BroadVoice etc., will need to provide 911 services within 120 days or be subject to some pretty hefty fines.
The ILECS are generally going to be the first place where all of these smaller VoIP players go in order to add E911 to their offerings. The larger PSTN providers already have 911 and the interconnect would be fairly straight forward. These carriers are losing lots of revenue to VoIP, here is their chance to recoup some of those losses.
Welcome back to 80’s. The days where Tier 1 carriers rule the roost are not over. The very same carriers who are providing E911 services are the ones deploying broadband so VoIP from edge to edge is also under their perceived control but… they can’t stop it. The backlash when Mextel decided to squash VoIP on their networks would be tenfold in the US or Canada.
We are a long way from ubiquitous VoIP where there is no need to touch the PSTN networks of days gone by. The biggest challenge is mobility, us humans have become very attached to our cel phones. EDGE, EV-DO and other mobile broadband solutions are also controlled by the carriers, go figure. It’s going to be a while before we will be able to say we are really in charge of our own communications destiny, probably not such a bad thing.
IRS Denies Plan to Tax VoIP
SMBs looking to cut costs have replaced or are considering replacing traditional telephone service with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Now, in what appears to good news for IP vendors and SMBs, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department strongly deny they are considering an excise tax on Internet telephone calls or any other IP-based services.
On July 1, the IRS published in the Federal Register a request for public comments on changes in the telecommunications industry since 1965, when the tax code was last updated to define telecommunications services. Based on those definitions, the IRS currently imposes a three percent excise tax on telecom services.
Powell: FCC forging ahead on VOIP rules
VoIP Regs are heating up, here is what Powell has to say of late…
“I think we’re going to do this nation a big disservice if we try to chop the Internet into 51 pieces and every state is allowed to regulate economically any way it chooses. That’s no indictment of states, only as the good of the whole won’t be maximized,” he said. “You’re going to have a hard time. It’s one thing to say, ‘Should you do it?’ but I don’t even understand how they would do it.”
Consumer Federation of America Cautions Regulators Against Undermining 'Next Generation' of the Internet
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) today presented a new framework for evaluating the importance of open communications networks to the success of the Internet. Federal Communications Commission proposals to abandon the requirement that advanced telecommunications be operated in a nondiscriminatory manner threaten to undermine the vibrant competition and dynamic innovation that the Internet unleashed.
CFA will file the 110-page white paper, The Public Interest in Open
Communications Networks, in nearly a dozen proceedings pending before the FCC and the Courts, proceedings that will affect the future of broadband
communications. The paper argues for principles of open architecture and
includes a 12-page Issue Brief that summarizes the full white paper.
VoIP Can't Wait for Telecom Reform
WASHINGTON — Exempting Internet telephony from state regulations can’t wait for Congress to pass an overall telecom reform bill, U.S. Representative Chip Pickering told fellow lawmakers Wednesday.
While several bills to exempt Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) from state regulations have been introduced in both the House and the Senate, lawmakers have been reluctant to carve out a special niche for VoIP from the overall reform of the 1996 Telecommunications Act planned for next year.
“At a minimum from today, [telecom reform] will take three years,” Pickering told the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet studying telecom reform. “We need to do pre-emption now. If we wait, it will be three years and the market can’t wait.”
Pickering is the sponsor of a bill preventing the FCC from delegating VoIP regulatory authority to state and local officials. The legislation also exempts VoIP applications from the FCC’s access charge regime. John Sununu (R-N.H.) is sponsoring similar legislation in the Senate.
“We should have three policy objectives: promote broadband investment, promote competition and protect consumers,” Pickering said. “We should not have a patchwork of 50 states with different regulations.”
Tuesday’s House hearing drew an overflow crowd to hear an unusually large panel of witnesses, which included officials from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), BellSouth (Quote, Chart), Vonage, At&T (Quote, Chart), Covad, Level 3 (Quote, Chart) and Cablevision (Quote, Chart).
Panama Introduces 12% Tax on VoIP Calls
Panama lawmakers have approved a new regulation that requires all telehony
providers including VoIP service providers, to pay a 12% tax on all
international calls. The tax replaces a $1 per international call fee.
Turkey and Pakistan are expected to adopt similar rules, treating VoIP
providers no different than traditional telcos.