Viper Networks South Africa

VoIP – international calls at a fraction of the cost.

VoIP in SA : Two Years and Counting …

ATSOverview: Two years and counting … The ministerial directive legalising VOIP in South Africa usage took effect two years ago. Not much has happened since, or has it?

VOIP officially became legal on 1 February 2005 and the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) issued 087 number ranges to the value-added network service (VANS) providers in November 2005. At the time of writing, progress had been slow at best, but at least it has been made.

Widespread VOIP adoption is dependent on several things, the first being affordable bandwidth. While it is possible to use VOIP over low-speed lines with high contention ratios, as many Skype users do, this is not feasible for corporate users.

Telecoms costs concern call centres. Implementation of voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), reducing telecommunications costs and the regulatory environment were the main topics that concerned delegates at a conference in Cape Town.

Interconnection kills the VOIP star? There is market speculation that Telkom will announce interconnection charges for Internet service providers (ISPs) that could damage the business case for emerging markets to provide voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP).

Interconnection: The key to unlocking telecoms markets. South Africa’s telecoms marketplace has been awash in raised expectations for years now: first the cellular companies, then voice over IP (VOIP) and now Neotel (previously known as the SNO) have all been expected to slash prices, raise quality and generally transform the market.

Tellumat makes bid for promising WiMax market. So far, ICASA has granted licences for commercial WiMax services to Telkom, Neotel, Sentech and iBurst, as well as the holders of underserviced area licences (USALs). Certain of the USALs are already planning and deploying WiMax for broadband, VOIP (voice over IP) and other telecommunications services in their particular areas.

Africa still a broadband backwater. A new report shows that despite all the hype about Africa boosting its global position by harnessing new technologies such as 3G to enable millions of new urban and rural businesses, actual broadband penetration will reach no more than a paltry seven million subscribers by 2011. – The author also says that those African nations that are resisting the introduction and implementation of liberalised telecoms regimes should pay close attention to what is happening in the Republic of South Africa. There, while mobile telephony is growing at a phenomenal rate, in the fixed line sector the monopoly control over DSL still maintained by the state carrier Telkom has resulted in stagnation and a high-speed penetration rate of less than half of one percent.

Namibia beats SA in WiMax race. Internet Service Provider Namibia MWeb has begun broadband wireless services through the use of WiMax technology. “The reason this is so exciting for us is because we are ahead of our supposedly technological advanced neighbour SA, and we’re also one of the first in Africa,” says Marc Gregan, newly appointed GM of Namibia MWeb.

Viper Networks South Africa

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February 13, 2007 Posted by | Viper News SA | 1 Comment

VoiP in Southern Africa & the World

ECA will be key for VOIP. The Electronic Communications Act (ECA) will be key in the growth of voice over IP (VOIP) in South Africa, says Michael Kuczmierczyk, product development manager at Sentech. “The uptake of VOIP has been nowhere near its potential. For the most part, VOIP is currently being used primarily to reduce call costs by routing internal company calls via their ‘data’ infrastructure,” he says.

The Viper Calling AccountThe Viper Networks South Africa marketing office has been strengthened with a technical support desk : AmbiTechSolutions is a company based in Cape Town servicing the SME / SOHO market with VoIP and broadband installations, remote desktop support, network security solutions and more.

The path to intelligent communications. IP telephony is about a whole lot more than least-cost routing. It is the key to new business models. Managers who understand the benefits of resource optimisation also understand the benefits of IP.

Effort to reduce telecoms cost. South Africa’s telecommunications costs are still high, despite significant reductions in recent years, according to CallingtheCape executive director Luke Mills, who says contact centres have been forced to adopt innovative strategies including the use of Voice over IP (VoIP) technology.

Crunch time for ICASA? SA’s telecoms regulator will have its performance evaluated by a Parliamentary committee that launched a review of all Chapter Nine entities this week.

Wireless but not clueless. Perhaps the most visible manifestation of WiFi is the coffee-shop laptop tuned cordlessly into a WLAN and hence into the worldwide web, but some phone users might also be doing it by WiFi. VoIP (‘voice over the internet protocol’) phones enable users to speak to others via the internet. The increasing availability of WiFi means that people with VoIP phones can use them more and more like mobile phones, talking with friends and colleagues over the internet from the same coffee-shop in which they connect their laptops to the worldwide web.

VoIP and the US Government. VoIP has many advantages, simply because it is cost effective and Packet Switching uses less bandwidth then Circuit Switching which in turn saves money. Since the inception of VoIP, it was clear that because VoIP utilizes Packet Switching and not Circuit, VoIP was in a new category all by itself.

Viper Networks South Africa

January 31, 2007 Posted by | Viper News SA | 1 Comment

Is Your Small Business Ready for VoIP?

AmbiTechSolutions Is Your Small Business Ready for VoIP? For business owners taking the leap to VoIP from traditional phone system services, the ability to send voice traffic over data networks translates into major benefits. Cheaper calls are only a small part of the story for the business market, which demands quite different phone system capabilities.

Below is your summary of the latest relevant news about VoIP, Internet telephony and related topics in Southern Africa and the world again, as usual. But first we have an important announcement to make :

The Viper Networks South Africa marketing office has now been strengthened with a technical support desk : AmbiTechSolutions is a company based in Cape Town servicing the SME / SOHO market with VoIP and broadband installations, remote desktop support, network security solutions and more.

You can approach Greg at support@vipernetworks.co.za or 0861 262 483 for all your Viper technical support requirements for VoIP and Internet connectivity in South Africa. Viper airtime and product purchases can be done as usual from the Viper Networks South Africa website.

The Viper Networks Calling AccountYou know that everyone with an Internet connection can make affordable international calls from South Africa right away, don’t you? Simply get a Viper Networks Calling Account for just R99 which includes R70 airtime and download Viper’s vPhone Dialer software. Off you go – no contracts or monthly fees.

VoIP poised for telecommuter rush hour. If telecommuting is defined as working from home at least one day per month, the number of U.S. telecommuters is about 24 million. With all those people, commutes getting longer and IP-based telephony getting simpler (and more integrated with corporate IP-based PBXes), consultants are again getting the idea that presence in the office has more to do with presence on a network than presence at the coffee machine.

Cheaper broadband will ease traffic. Cheaper broadband and more bandwidth will help ease traffic congestion on SA’s roads, says Viv Crone, CEO of Spescom DataVoice. “A large portion of white-collar workers are information handlers; they can be as effective at home as in the office. More broadband, at significantly cheaper rates, frees up workers to work from home.”

MyADSL founder Rudolph Muller says with cheaper broadband and more bandwidth, SA will see a boom in the use of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and development of online content. He says this could seriously threaten traditional voice revenue for both Telkom and mobile providers. “What we are seeing internationally (and locally) is that traditional telcos are investigating other revenue streams, like IP-TV, video-on-demand and other content to make up for the lost revenue from the use of VOIP [voice over IP].”

SA telecoms: Standardisation the next battleground. The contentious South African telecommunications environment is driven by costs. Because the cost of fixed-line communication is high compared with other countries, it is an environment ripe for innovation and the introduction of new technologies and services. However, a multiplicity of services demands interoperability and a single standard for the success of each.

Telkom chairman quits early. Telkom yesterday told shareholders that its chairman has resigned from the board, with effect from the end of this month. The fixed-line operator’s 2006 annual report states Nomazizi Mtshotshisa’s term of office is due to expire in 2008. She was appointed on 1 August 2002. Market speculators comment that Mtshotshisa may seek to join forces with an empowerment group seeking a stake in Vodacom. Telkom’s announcement comes a few days after Vodacom said it had shareholder approval to expand further into Africa.

Sentech seeks WiMax partners. “We plan to use WiMax access to go to the end-customer – and by doing so we plan to provide cheaper access to wireless telecoms,” says Gift Zowa, head of telecommunications technology at Sentech.

All you need to know about Infraco. Public enterprises minister Alec Erwin shed some light on the new government entity known as Infraco in Parliament early this week. He said the inception of Infraco, using the long-distance assets deployed by Eskom and Transnet, is a direct intervention to rapidly reduce the cost of broadband, in a medium-term plan supposed to begin next year.

R647m for Infraco. Government’s proposed telecoms infrastructure company, Infraco, will receive R647 million funding from the state, finance minister Trevor Manuel announced yesterday. He said the budget allocation makes it possible for the establishment of a new state-owned enterprise, and to complete various contractual and regulatory negotiations.

Mixed reaction to Infraco. Yesterday in Parliament, public enterprises minister Alec Erwin confirmed his department’s intention to build an infrastructure company based on the telecoms facilities owned by Eskom and Transnet. However, some stakeholders have questioned the desirability of having another government-controlled company in the telecoms space.

Third operator undermines Neotel. While some commentators have welcomed additional competition in the market, a US-based analyst says government’s plans to offer broadband belittles its awarding of a licence to the second operator. William Hahn, principal analyst of carrier operations and strategies at Gartner, says SA’s second operator – Neotel – could have played the role Infraco seems intent on taking over.

Infraco to lay submarine cable. Government-owned Infraco will lay a submarine cable from SA to Europe that will compete with Telkom’s SAT-3 cable, high-level government sources have revealed. This follows an announcement by public enterprises minister Alec Erwin that government would use the telecoms infrastructure company to drive down the cost of broadband in the country.

Viper Networks Opens Saudi Arabia Office to Serve Middle East, South Asia. Viper Networks, Inc. today announced that it has opened an office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to market and manage VoIP services, Networks and infrastructure in the Middle East, Pakistan, India and neighboring areas.

The office, opened under a license from the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), will serve as a key element in Viper Networks’ growth strategy of finding and serving overlooked markets worldwide.

Viper Networks South Africa

November 2, 2006 Posted by | Viper News SA | Leave a comment

VoIP : The New Threat

Here is your summary of the latest relevant news about VoIP, Internet telephony and related topics in Southern Africa and the world again – short and sweet.

The Viper Calling AccountYou know that everyone with an Internet connection can make affordable international calls from South Africa right away, don’t you? Simply get a Viper Networks Calling Account for just R99 which includes R70 airtime and download Viper’s vPhone Dialer software. Off you go – no contracts or monthly fees.

VoIP : The new threat. In 2005, analyst group IDC Australia estimated one out of seven companies in Australia had already installed some kind of enterprise VoIP connection, with service and equipment forecasts showing figures reaching over $850 million by 2009. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, according to Peter Warner, Commercial Director of Australian-based VoIP provider, Freshtel, who says companies are willing to overlook the initial outlay, due to the inherent benefits of VoIP.

Mixed reaction to Infraco. Telecoms stakeholders have welcomed the competition and possible lowering of broadband prices the introduction of the government telecommunications infrastructure company Infraco could bring to the local telecoms arena. However, they have also questioned government’s integrity in liberalising the market.

Deadline set for BCX, Telkom probe. The Competition Commission has until 17 November to hand its recommendations for Telkom’s takeover of Business Connexion (BCX) to the Competition Tribunal.

Erwin promises cheaper broadband. “Research has shown that long-distance and international communications costs are the key reasons for high broadband costs in SA. Any intervention structured to address tier one (national long-distance) and tier three (international) cost structures would have a significant impact on the affordability of broadband in SA,” Erwin added.

iBurst weighs WiMAX options. Local news website MyADSL reports that iBurst is particularly interested in using WiMAX for backhaul connectivity rather than end-user links.

Time Warner adds VoIP servers. Time Warner Cable has selected the SURPASS IP-based voice feature server platform from Siemens Networks to help accelerate its VoIP deployment.

Taking risks with broadband. Local broadband is lagging the rest of the world by more than most people probably realise. Surprisingly, increased speed is not pushing users to download more multimedia or make more video calls. According to PointTopic, IP TV and VOIP applications are making an impact on less than 10% of the online community.

Telecom Namibia focuses on IP. Telecom Namibia is converting its fixed network from a digital switched platform to an all Internet protocol (IP) network with seamless provision of services across all technology, whether fixed or wireless.

Confusion over MTN VOIP tariffs. The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) has not received a tariff application from MTN to charge customers R25 per megabyte for the use of the operator’s VOIP services, it says.

Viper Networks Opens Saudi Arabia Office to Serve Middle East, South Asia. Viper Networks, Inc. today announced that it has opened an office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to market and manage VoIP services, Networks and infrastructure in the Middle East, Pakistan, India and neighboring areas.

The office, opened under a license from the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), will serve as a key element in Viper Networks’ growth strategy of finding and serving overlooked markets worldwide.

Viper Networks South Africa

October 25, 2006 Posted by | Viper News SA | Leave a comment

Internet Telephony : VoIP in Africa and the World

The Viper Calling AccountMake affordable international calls from South Africa to any country in the world right away – get a Viper Networks Calling Account for just R99 which includes R70 airtime and Viper’s vPhone Dialer software. No contracts or monthly fees.

Namibia : Five Arrested At Walvis for ‘Illegal’ Net Phone Service. FIVE foreign nationals were arrested at Walvis Bay on Saturday for allegedly operating illegal Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. The suspects were caught red-handed while attempting to sell the service to a member of the public.

Telkombuster extraordinaire: Judy Grant. So you ordered a Telkom ADSL line seven months ago. You have called the call centre 57 times. You have diarised an installation date five times, but you’ve been stood up on each occasion. You have begged, cajoled, cried, threatened to stage a protest, and now don’t know where to turn next. Who do you call?

SMEs urged to switch to internet telephony. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Britain are increasingly turning to internet telephony services in order to reduce costs. Internet telephony firm Inclarity claims that voice over internet protocol (VoIP) systems are the best option for small firms and can reduce communications costs for businesses by between 20 and 40 per cent.

Telkom monopoly ‘damages SMEs’. Extremely high bandwidth costs and Telkom’s monopoly on local telecommunications infrastructure, as well as skill shortages, have stunted the international competitiveness of local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), says Viola Manuel, executive director of the Cape IT Initiative (CITI).

Kenya goes it alone on East African submarine cable project. Kenya’s decision comes just a matter of weeks after the government fell out with South Africa over the escalating costs of the East African Submarine Cable System (Eassy) project and how and by whom it would be managed.

SingTel offers wireless VOIP on Nokias. Nokia and SingTel are working together to combine cellular and VOIP communication services in Singapore, by integrating dual-mode wireless technology with Nokia Internet Edition handsets.

Avaya SA brings voice portal to local customers. Avaya Sub-Saharan Africa has announced the immediate local availability of Avaya Voice Portal, a platform that combines Web services and IP telephony (IPT) to deliver speech and touch-tone self-service solutions more quickly and with greater flexibility than ever.

New VIPER CEO Gets Interviewed. There are many newcomers to the VoIP market. Indeed, every day there are new companies entering the space and claiming to be “leaders at this” or “pioneers at that.” Viper Networks, one of the companies that has been in the business for a long time, is publicly traded and headed by Ron Weaver – the dynamic VoIP pioneer that believed in VoIP way before it was fashionable.

Recently Ron became Chairman of the Board and Farid Shouekani was named as the new CEO. I never met Farid and decided that I wanted to get his take on the future of VoIP. Here are the results of this brief phone interview.

Viper Networks South Africa

September 20, 2006 Posted by | Viper News SA | 1 Comment