Will the Edge Eat the Cloud?

By Alan Percy, TelcoBridges

An Interesting keynote this week from Fortinet’s CEO, Ken Xie sharing that we’re entering the fourth stage of network evolution, requiring greater intelligence closer to the edge. Xie predicts that the next round of major innovations will be at the edge.  We agree. Continue reading Will the Edge Eat the Cloud?

Entering the Era of Cognitive Collaboration at Enterprise Connect 2019

by Alan Percy, TelcoBridges

For a show that started many years ago focused on PBXs and enterprise telephony, things sure have changed at Enterprise Connect.

Collaboration Developments – Probably the biggest take away from the annual enterprise communications event is the increasing penetration of cloud-based web collaboration and the introduction to AI-powered cognitive capabilities.   We’ve had auto-focus on cameras and automatic pan and crop for a few years, but the makers of web conferencing used the event to show some huge leaps forward:

Microsoft Teams Gets Smart – Lori Wright’s keynote demonstrated new AI capabilities in Microsoft Teams that drew audible gasps from the audience with a feature that allow conference participants to see through presenters and see whiteboard content that would otherwise be hidden.  Other features included using proximity to automatically detect meeting organizers entering rooms, background image replacement and real-time translating / transcribing of live events. All are important new capabilities that will be built-in to enterprise Office365 subscriptions and accelerate adoption from Skype for Business and other competitive platforms. Continue reading Entering the Era of Cognitive Collaboration at Enterprise Connect 2019

How did we get here?

by Alan Percy, TelcoBridges

Here we are in 2019:

  • Our kids don’t know how to use a rotary phone or what long-distance calling means
  • More than 40% of international telephone calls are completed via Skype
  • Whatsapp dominates the international mobile-to-mobile calling market
  • “Facetiming” someone has nothing to do with actually being in the same room
  • Nearly all NEW telecommunications equipment and software sales depend on an IP-based infrastructure.

What happened?  Our legacy telecommunications industry has been disrupted!

Continue reading How did we get here?

SIPNOC 2018 – The Robocall Summit

By Alan Percy, TelcoBridges

The SIP Network Operators Conference meeting was held in Herndon, VA this last week, bringing together roughly 100 service providers, suppliers and government regulators.  This year’s conference allocated one entire day to dig deeper into the #1 issue in telecommunications – Illegal Robocalling.

The magnitude and urgency of solving the issue was reinforced by keynote presentations from both Eric Berger, CTO of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Ian Scott, Chairman and CEO at the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).   Both presentation implored the service providers and their suppliers to move quickly to fully deploy the STIR/SHAKEN framework by the end of 2019.

(If you are not familiar with STIR/SHAKEN – take a listen to the tutorial found on YouTube here) Continue reading SIPNOC 2018 – The Robocall Summit

The Battle against Robocallers Gets Teeth – Round 4

By Alan Percy, Senior Director of Product Marketing, TelcoBridges

The battle to stop illegal robocalling is about to get teeth with introduction this week of the TRACED Act, introduced as a bill to the US Senate by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass) Continue reading The Battle against Robocallers Gets Teeth – Round 4

SBC vs. SIP Server – What is the difference?

by Alan Percy, Senior Director of Product Marketing at TelcoBridges

The question came early and often during our participation at Astricon 2018 in Orlando.  “What’s the difference between an SBC and a SIP Server like Kamailio or OpenSIPs?”   Reminding us that in our world of telecom jargon, sometimes we need to stop and explain what we are talking about. Continue reading SBC vs. SIP Server – What is the difference?

Battling Robocallers – Round 3

by Alan Percy, Senior Director of Product Marketing

This last month, a telemarketing firm hawking health insurance was fined $82 million for their role in 21 million illegal unsolicited robocalls.  Are the legal consequences enough to put an end to the nuisance calls?

As reported by the Washington Post, the Federal Communications Commission imposed an $82 million fine against a telemarketer who made more than 21 million unsolicited calls to consumers to try to sell health insurance and generate leads.

Despite this stiff penalty against one firm, the phones of Americans continue to ring with offers of bogus credit card protection offers, free vacations and fake IRS scams.

A root of the problem is the ease at which bulk phone calls can be made with spoofed caller-ID information, tricking unsuspecting victims to answer call they think are from friends or neighbors.  While there are legitimate reasons to substitute caller-ID information (Doctors office reminders, school notifications, etc) fraudulent abuse continues to be an industry-wide problem.

Meanwhile, progress is being made in the standards bodies with further refinement of the STIR/SHAKEN framework that will allow service providers to “certify” that the originating caller and communications service provider owns the rights to the calling number.

In August, the ATIS and SIP Forum announced the release of two key specifications needed to standardize the user experience and APIs needed for implementation of SHAKEN.  The first specification Technical Report on a Framework for Display of Verified Caller ID (ATIS-1000081) defines a standard user experience for calls from known callers, likely SPAM callers, suspect and potential fraudulent callers with color icons and information on screen-based devices.  The second specification Technical Report on SHAKEN API for a Centralized Signing and Signature Validation Server provides a proposed RESTful API for the implementation of the SHAKEN specification

This next couple weeks will see two industry speaking sessions addressing the issues, including:

Battling Robocallers – a Tutorial on STIR/SHAKEN presented by yours truly at Astricon in Orlando on Tuesday, October 9th at 10:00 AM

Comprehensive Approach to Illegal Robocalls presented by Eric Burger, CTO at the Federal Communications Commission at the Illinois Institute of Technology Real-Time Communications Conference on Tuesday October 16th at 9:00 AM

Later in December, the SIPNOC event has a dedicated Robocall Summit track specifically addressing the problem, including a number of industry thought leaders.

However, questions do remain on the timeframe and motivation of the service provider community as to when they plan to implement any or all of the recommendations, giving consumers a break from the fraudulent robocallers.

 

FreeSBC takes to the Cloud on AWS

by Alan D. Percy, Senior Director of Product Marketing

As a greater range of communications applications are migrating to the cloud, there is a greater need for affordable cloud-hosted session border controller network services.   To answer this need, TelcoBridges recently announced that the company’s FreeSBC session border controller software is now available on Amazon Web Services.   Offering feature-rich services comparable to native bare-metal installations and virtualized platforms, the AWS Amazon Machine Image (AMI), provides core network security, interoperability and media services for service providers and enterprises.

Across the industry, cloud-based communications is on a steady growth trend.  As application architects piece together their solutions using cloud-bases services, it makes sense to have an affordable SBC to provide security, interoperability and media services.

Greg Collins at Exact Ventures forecasts that by 2022 nearly 75% of all session border controller shipments will be cloud-based

Luc Morissette, Director of Customer Support at TelcoBridges will be joining me for a live webinar on Tuesday, September 25th to deliver an overview of the new FreeSBC on AWS offer, covering the capabilities, limitations and demonstrating the activation process.

During the webinar we explain the three distinct offerings, including:

  1. FreeSBC on AWS as a fully hosted offering – making testing and evaluation much easier for prospective customers, allowing evaluation without dedicating a VM or hardware servers.
  2. FreeSBC PRO-edition – offered as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) with all the PRO-edition features and standard support for $1/session/year
  3. FreeSBC free-edition – offered as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) without support

The session will wrap up by putting a spotlight on the many use cases, showing how hosted contact centers, hosted Unified Communications and traditional telephony services will benefit from cloud-based FreeSBC.

Register for the live event today at:  https://www2.telcobridges.com/FreeSBConAWS

For more information on FreeSBC, visit www.freesbc.com