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Posts from December 2013

Don't Miss Friday's Live VUC Call! - Martin Geddes on "Rethinking Broadband and Voice"

What are you doing tomorrow, Friday, December 6, 2013, at 12noon US Eastern (1700 UTC)? Would you like to join in to what should be an excellent conversation about the future of broadband networks, IP communications, telecom, etc.? If so, make plans to join the VoIP Users Conference (VUC) call happening live at 12 noon where the guest will be the ever-interesting Martin Geddes. The topic will be "Rethinking broadband and voice: Network Science and Hypervoice" and should prompt some vigorous discussion!

I've known Martin for many years now and have been a great fan of his analysis and writing ever since back in the days of his "Telepocalypse" blog. He's truly a great thinker in the space and is also quite an enjoyable and fun speaker to listen to. We know each other well from the early days of VoIP blogging as well as the conference circuit, and I regularly read his email newsletter and other great content he puts out. He's very active on Twitter as well.

Having said all that, I do have some fundamental disagreements with some of what he is advocating these days. I wrote about some of this disagreement last year and he and I had a good conversation both in the comments to that post and in some private exchanges.

Now, I very much agree with much of what he calls "Hypervoice" and where he sees voice going. Where we disagree is about the broadband component. This is the part that Randy outlines in the VUC page as:

He will outline some (controversial) answers that suggest we’re heading down a dead end and should consider a different technical and commercial approach.

It should be a fun conversation and I'm very much looking forward to the group discussion with Martin!

You can join the fun, too! If you want to just simply watch and listen, you can:

If you want to join in to the actual discussion, you can call in via:
  • Skype audio: +990009369991484768
  • PSTN (phone) international numbers:

Regardless of whether you are just listening or planning to participate, it's always a good idea to join the #vuc IRC channel on More info and a web interface to IRC can be found on the VUC site.

If you can't join in live, the session will be recorded in both audio and video form. You'll be able to find the archive on the VUC page and on the Google+ event page.

Please do join us! It should be a great conversation!

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Telefonica Shuts Down Jajah

TheNextWeb reported yesterday that Telefonica is shutting down the Jajah VoIP service that they acquired back in 2009 for a reported $207 million. While certainly disappointing for the users and presumably for some staff, it's not entirely unexpected. In the early pre-acquistion days, Jajah was doing some very cool things (ex. powering Yahoo!Voice, although that service has since faded) and was quite interesting to watch. Back when Alec Saunders was doing his daily "Squawk Box" podcast, we interviewed Jajah co-founder Roman Scharf on April 29, 2008 (you can still listen to the episode).

However, ever since the Telefonica acquisition you didn't hear a whole lot about them... although they did come out with an Android app in 2011 for calling Facebook contacts.

Telefonica isn't saying anything yet publicly about why they are shutting down Jajah. Pretty much the entire Jajah website points to a single "shut down" page and the blog now only has an entry about the shutdown. Matt Marshall over on VentureBeat speculates that Jajah simply didn't have any substantial revenue after voice traffic has been so commoditized - and that's as good a suggestion as any.

So... goodbye to Jajah... best wishes to all the customers and (presumably) staff.

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