The clock ticks in my office, counting out the seconds. Ticking out the time left in 2018 and reminding me that 2019 is just a few days away. So much change this last year and so much to look forward in the next year. It’s time to look back at 2018 and what we’ve got planned for 2019 at TelcoBridges: Continue reading 2018 – What a Year!
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.
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?
by Harry Wakefield, Marketing Communications, TelcoBridges
TelcoBridges executives were in Chicago this week for the 2018 IIT RTC Conference and Expo. Our own Alan Percy sat down and recorded a podcast with FCC Chief Technology Officer Eric Burger, discussing one of our favourite subjects, robocalling fraud and actions the FCC is taking to protect consumers.
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.
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.
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:
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.
FreeSBC PRO-edition – offered as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) with all the PRO-edition features and standard support for $1/session/year
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.
By Alan Percy, Senior Director of Product Marketing, TelcoBridges
The battle to tame fraudulent robocalling made some significant advancements this week as the SIP Forum released two new technical reports.
If you’ve been following along, you know that fraudulent robocalling and caller-ID spoofing have become the tools-of-the-trade for criminals trying to trick unsuspecting victims into their scams. (By now you’ve come to realize that you can’t trust the caller-ID on your phone.) The FCC and the CRTC have put deadlines in front of the carriers, requiring implementation of secure caller-ID technologies to prevent spoofing of caller-ID.
To address these requirements, the ATIS and SIP Forum announced this week 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 specification details the user experience study that went into the graphical images, providing data on real-world user responses and behaviors to the information displayed.
“These two new resources are critical to helping service providers implement SHAKEN,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller. “They are products of ATIS’ continued collaboration with the SIP Forum and are instrumental to industry efforts to address the robocalling problem and maintain consumer trust in the voice network.”
“The SIP Forum is committed to working together with ATIS to continue to develop the operational documents for the SHAKEN Framework, and these two new reports provide important additional guidelines and details essential to the successful deployment of the SHAKEN standard,” said SIP Forum Chairman Richard Shockey.
In addition to the above announcement, we’ve made significant progress with TransNexus on their SHAKEN fraud prevention framework, recently posted detailed configuration notes on how to configure both FreeSBC and TransNexus OSPrey server and completed our bench testing milestones.
FreeSBC’s small footprint is making great strides in the call center world on COTS servers and service virtualization switches as a Virtualized Network Function (VNF). We’ve just published a case study detailing this type of deployment of FreeSBC in a high-capacity SIP-trunking network run by Mexican telecommunications provider Marcatel. Of particular interest is how FreeSBC intelligently manages call requests capping call traffic before entering Marcatel’s network. Read more about it in our case study here.
By Alan Percy, Senior Director of Product Marketing, TelcoBridges
Imagine as your taxi is pulling into the driveway of a conference center and as you get closer, it appears there are badge-wearing conference attendees chasing ducks around the front lawn. The first thought goes through your head is “am I at the right place?” And the answer is, yes, you are…
A few years ago, I had the fortune to met Dan Jenkins, a young software developer by trade who is deeply engaged in the open-source developer community. Dan and I first met at some of the hack-a-thon events where he was helping contestants build voice and video applications with the APIs he had built for WebRTC. During our first meeting, Dan was like many of the people that participate in hack-a-thons: pretty quiet and very knowledgeable about their craft.
Image my surprise when last year Dan kicked off CommCon, a new conference focused on the open-source developer community. Billed as “a conference done right”, my first thought was “was that the same Dan?” Yes, it is the same Dan!
Back to the ducks. Like many conferences, breaking the ice between attendees and doing some team building is an important part of a successful event. Being held in the English countryside, what better activity to break the ice than lessons on duck herding with a team of border collies. Under the guidance of “Bob the duck whisperer”, a group of the attendees soon learned how to use calls to get the dogs to go left, right, stop and start. In teams of three, we all had an opportunity to work together with the dogs to guide the ducks through a series of posts and back to their pen. Other team-building events gave teams an opportunity to try archery, Segway navigation, falconry and try a bounce in a Zorb.
Like Bob, Dan herded his 50+ attendees through an incredible week of technical learning, workshops, networking and team-building events in a stellar setting. During his opening keynote, Dan challenged the attendees: “Don’t be a Knob” – meaning you should treat others as you would like to be treated. (A simple rule –I may get it made into a bumper sticker) With this tight-knit group all under one roof, and many of whom complete with similar solutions, there are plenty of opportunities for friction. I had plenty of opportunities to meet and talk with nearly everyone else – building some great new relationships and share what TelcoBridges had to offer the open-source community.
The week wasn’t all fun and games, there was plenty of time to learn from the other attendees during the technical presentations (which can be viewed here). Three days of jam-packed presentations on two tracks, one focused on VoIP while the other focused on WebRTC. The VoIP track featured presentations on Asterisk, FreeSWITCH, Kamailio, OpenSIPS, Kubernetes and more.
The key take-away from the event is a fresh appreciation for the inter-twined and inter-connected nature of the various network elements needed to build a service provider solution. Call switching from here, media services from there, network diagnostics from somewhere else. All supported on a volunteer basis. It left me wondering – is this the right way to manage a revenue-producing network? Frankly, some simplification and tight technology alignments would help significantly.
I came away from the event better educated, with a host of new contacts and a new appreciation for the open-source community.
Tip of the week: “Come bye” makes the dog go clockwise and “Away” makes the dog go counter-clockwise. Just don’t forget to stop the dog in-between commands with a “Lie down”.