In the November/December edition of our VoIP roundup, we look at snom’s new D7 expansion module, Microsoft’s decision to replace Lync, net neutrality in the UK and USA, IP telephony’s forty years and also discuss our new website.
snom D7 Expansion Module launched
In November, leading VoIP hardware developers snom released a new addition to their range of hardware. The D7 Expansion Module improves the capabilities of snom’s 7xx series IP phones with its 18 multi-coloured keys – programmable with every snom communications function available; from call waiting, forwarding, music on hold and conferencing etc. The D7 also boasts a large high-resolution display, providing a clear visual interface for the devices assigned keys.
The new expansion module has been designed to deal with high call volume environments such as call centres and executive assistant offices.
Simple to use and to set up, the D7 is powered via USB when connected to the host phone with no further cabling, IP addresses or administrative management required. D7 users can also daisy chain up to three of the modules together to allow the use of 54 total functions.
The D7 Expansion Module will work seamlessly with snom’s forthcoming VoIP handsets in early 2015.
Microsoft Lync is set to be replaced by Skype
Microsoft announced that its enterprise communications and messaging application Lync is to be replaced by the new Skype for Business in the first half of 2015.
Microsoft Lync has been one of the most popular business communications and collaboration tools of recent years, but Microsoft state that the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business and will feature a new user experience, a new server release and updates to the service in Office 365.
The new system will adopt aspects of the Skype look and feel, making use of the calling, video and end call icons. Features will be improved and streamlined, for example call transferring, which once took three clicks, will now only take one under the new Skype for Business name.
While Lync already provides instant messaging and voice calling with Skype users, Skype for Business will also add video calling and the Skype user directory, adding the ability to call any Skype user on any device.
The UK shows America the way forward for Net Neutrality
Over on The Register website there is an article discussing the progress of the net neutrality debate in America and the stark contrast it shows in comparison to the broadband market in the UK.
Broadband companies in the USA operate in a well established and consolidated market. They completely disagree that all internet data should be treated equally – instead, that the internet should be implemented more like a utility. They have the power and reason to make these statements given that the competition over there is almost non-existent and customers have a lot less choice.
Meanwhile, in the UK we have had one of the world’s most competitive broadband markets ever since BT decided to give up its once monopolistic infrastructure in order to create the competitive and customer-focused approach we see today. Customers can change provider quite easily if the service they are receiving isn’t up to par.
The Internet Service Providers’ Association’s (ISPA) secretary general Nicholas Lansman gave his thoughts on the current global situation.
“ISPA read Obama’s proposals with interest but feel[s] that comparisons between the UK and US aren’t useful given the difference in the infrastructure and marketplace,”
“The UK has one of the world’s most competitive broadband markets, so ISPs need to ensure customers can connect to the services they want, or risk losing them to another provider. Furthermore, ISPs are signatories of the Open Internet Code, which calls for a ‘free and open internet’.”
Meanwhile, the Internet Telephony Service Providers’ Association’s (ITSPA) chairman Eli Katz commented.
“ITSPA is delighted that the President takes the Open Internet so seriously and his very public opinion can only assist in bringing the issues around the anti-competitive blocking of third party services, including VoIP, onto the mainstream agenda; something that ITSPA has been tirelessly campaigning for years.”
IP telephony is forty years old
The snom channel blog posted an article celebrating IP telephony’s forty years in service, touching on the major achievements made by the technology in the last four decades.
The very first VoIP calls were made in 1974 when a single-direction voice sample was sent in real-time between two computers, while in December that year a two-way call was made, signalling the beginning of IP telephony as we now know it.
The article goes on to talk about VoIP’s troubled early days where quality and compatibility were in question, and then on to the 2000’s when the true potential of VoIP was finally starting to show and be seen as a viable alternative to traditional technologies.
Read the full article over at the snomchannel blog.
PackNet launches its new responsive website
In mid-December the result of months of work came to fruition with the launch of our brand-new mobile-friendly website.
Developed to take advantage of current and future web browsing trends, the new website allows seamless scaling and re-positioning of the site’s user interface on any web browser or device.
Patrick Byrnes, Managing Director of PackNet Ltd said
“We wanted the new website to put more of the focus on our VoIP Reseller offering and the benefits available to our customers, such as our powerful Metis Business VoIP software. We also felt it was key to improve the clarity of the services we offer; separating this into two sections – ‘Business VoIP’ and ‘Products’, with ‘Products’ covering our offerings in IP telephony, SIP trunking, connectivity, phone lines and phone provisioning.
“One of the biggest changes in terms of the on-site content has been the addition of an all-new hardware section which has been grouped by product type as well as brand for a more intuitive and simple navigation. The hardware section now also includes new product ranges from our expanding portfolio of VoIP hardware manufacturers including Polycom, Cisco and ZyXEL.
“Among other improvements was the Support section update, which now gives easier access to our popular, and now updated Guide to VoIP, as well as increasing the range of support we can provide with the inclusion of PackNet Live Remote Support with TeamViewer.”