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« Matt Peterson's 21?! | Main | Cisco's LEAP of Disbelief »

May 29, 2003

Palm to add VOIP, hot spot helpers

Voice over IP coming; Wayport, WiFinder for hot spot service, location; and security: Palm is serious about the Wi-Fi-equipped Tungsten C. One partner will help them add voice over IP (VOIP). Wayport offers a 30-day free service offer. WiFinder will help people locate hot spots. And Meetinghouse will add LEAP (and xEAP/secured EAP?).


Maybe the "fact checker" had the day off.Article says- "WiFinder provides directories to more than 5,443 free public hot spots in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand." WiFinder does list 5507 hotspots but a search on free turns up 284.

Maybe the freespot directory should distinguish between free, complimentary with purchase (McDonalds), and free with subscription (Verizon hotspots).

I have always believed in the power of VOIP as a real threat to the Telecoms' monopoly.
Two cheap consumer devices loom large on this front, devices that create enormous value for the

owners while generating little revenue for the phone companies. The first is WiFi access points,

which allow the effortless sharing of broadband connections, and the second is our VoIP phones, a

real, faithfull replica of the usual phones, the difference is : once you paid the device you won't pay

the service anymore.
And the device is much cheaper than what the people could think.
And they do not need a COMPUTER.

Till now the VOIP was a market almost exclusively for business people.
Who in a normal house was going to switch on a computer to make or receive a telephone call?
While the business people have the computer on, connected to the data line, at least for all the

business hours, the normal people don't.
Besides, the quality of voice was far away from the one of usual telephone lines

The telephone companies misunderstand the VOIP business. VOIP is a product, not a service, and

they assume their competition is limited to other service companies, while their real competition will

be their own customers.
Trying to convince politicians to make new laws and increasing taxes on the data line, making

pressures on ISPs will bring them nowhere.

Voice over IP is the area where a service is becoming a product.
Our phones are the new Fax Machines. You plug them to the normal telephone line or to the ISDN

line or to a DSL line and you call the World for free.
It is true, like a fax machine, you could only fax to people who owned a fax machine.
But that was not a problem for long.
In a little time everybody had a fax machine ( of course among the people who needed to send and

receive faxes).
But nowaday, EVERYBODY uses the phone. What about those few millions who pay $25 flat rate

for a DSL line. Don't they want to use it for calling at no extra cost? They just need to invest in a

small device. ( 150$)

Voice quality is not an issue anymore

Once you had to accept delays, echoes, bad quality of voice.
Now with us, the quality IS EXACTLY THE SAME.
I called sometime ago my cousin John in Denver from Carmagnola.

He said: " I cannot believe my ears. It is even better than my portable phone. I think you will be



Now that VoIP has reached that quality, VoIP offers one feature the phone companies can't touch:


The service fees charged by the average telephone company (call waiting, caller ID, dial-tone and

number portability fees, etc) add enough to the cost of a phone that a two-line household that

moved only its second line to VoIP could save $40 a month before making their first actual phone

call. By simply paying for the costs of the related services, a VoIP customer can get all their

domestic phone calls thrown in as a freebie.

The principal threat to the telephone companies' ability to shrink costs but not revenues is their

customers' common sense. Given the choice, an increasing number of customers will simply

bypass the phone company and buy the hardware necessary to acquire the service on their own.

And hardware symbiosis will further magnify the threat of WiFi and VoIP.
And that can easily be reality with our real portable IP phone and the "Hot Spots" web that I am

eager to build. ( see my project of a World on IP Community at

The economic logic of customer owned networks

The value of an internet connection rises with the number of users on the network. However, the

phone companies do not get to raise their prices in return for that increase in value. This is a matter

of considerable frustration to them.

The economic logic of the market suggests that capital should be invested by whoever captures

the value of the investment. The telephone companies are using that argument to suggest that they

should either be given monopoly pricing power over the last mile, or that they should be allowed to

vertically integrate content with conduit. Either strategy would allow them to raise prices by locking

out the competition, thus restoring their coercive power over the customer and helping them extract

new revenues from their internet subscribers.

However, a second possibility has appeared. If the economics of internet connectivity lets the user

rather than the network operator capture the residual value of the network, the economics likewise

suggest that the user should be the builder and owner of the network infrastructure.

And here comes my project: The World on IP community, where the people rule the infrastructures

and make the VOIP a product ( a phone) and not a service.
The new IP portable phone will use the same infrastructure, the user will need just to invest $100 in

an Access point.
And the spreading of the HOT SPOTS will be even faster than the Fax machines.

Hotels, restaurants, touristic places, shops, they will offer a DSL line with a HOT SPOT as value

added service.
It costs less than the air conditioning and catches far more customers.

And that itself would cover 80% of our network.
People use the telephone mainly from home or from the place where they work ( no problem

building Hot Spots there) or where they go on vacation ( see above).

We won't sell a phone with the service ( call termination) we will sell two phones.
One for the buyer and one for the people he wants to call.
Or we just sell a phone and let the buyer find the Hot Spots on our website.

"Short live the Telecoms' monopoly"