TMCnet - World's Largest Communications and Technology Community



tmc logo
August 2007 | Volume 10 / Nuber 8
The Zippy Files

Industry Roller Coaster Ride

Life is always a combination of good news and bad news, of great ups and downs. On the upside, the venerable Stockholm, Sweden-based telecoms solutions provider Ericsson announced it is building an impressive IMS (IP Multimedia System)-based network in Sweden for the Norwegian-based network operator Telenor ASA. The network, to launch later in 2007, will include an IMS-based, fixed-mobile converged (FMC) IP Centrex service that will be initially offered to enterprises. Both companies say that this is the first commercial converged IMS network to appear in Sweden that will offer IMS-based converged services for enterprises, at least in the first phase. In later phases, Telenor and Ericsson will jointly develop the Swedish market up to a leading position in the area of IMS-based converged services, and will make more of an effort to get consumers added to the network.

Telenor’s state-of-the-art IMS network sounds like it will be a model for the rest of the world. It will help Telenor better utilize its resources now scattered about in different locations, such as their operations in Bredbandsbolaget and Glocalnet. Advanced Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) techniques will be used to rapidly integrate IMS solutions with various vertical businesses.

Ericsson is no stranger to IMS technology as it currently has 37 IMS system contracts for commercial launch and is conducting 80 trials worldwide.

On the downside, it was sunset time at SunRocket, the second largest supplier of Internet phone services — behind the only slightly-less beleaguered Vonage — for homes and businesses. From all reports, SunRocket didn’t get around to informing its 200,000 or so customers that it was shutting down operations. Calls to customer service yields a recorded message, “We are no longer taking customer service or sales calls. Goodbye.”

Industry pundits will no doubt chatter for the next month or so over the reasons for SunRocket’s demise. Was it the not-so-profitable offer of a years’ worth of unlimited phone calls for an upfront fee of $199 within the Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico? In any case, rival Packet8 ( happened to share some infrastructure with SunRocket and is offering to help hapless SunRocket customers by offering them one month of free residential service along with waiving all customary start-up costs.

Fact is, companies such as SunRocket and Vonage face gargantuan rivals in the form of cablecos and major telcos, nearly all of which are in the process of rolling out vast, full-featured, triple and quad-play services offerings. The idea of simply offering IP voice service over a network operator that itself may be offering VoIP — an operator that may be openly or subtly blocking rival services running over that network — is starting to look a bit quaint.

The amazingly dynamic world of IP Communications represents not just a technological revolution, but an upheaval in telecom business models too. Merely swapping out circuit-switched voice with VoIP to save some money doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. As more than one company has discovered, in this business you’ve got to be lean and mean, be able to turn on a dime, and ‘think outside of the box’ on a daily basis. IT

Richard Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC’s IP Communications Group.

Internet Telephony Magazine Table of Contents

Today @ TMC
Upcoming Events
ITEXPO West 2012
October 2- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
The World's Premier Managed Services and Cloud Computing Event
Click for Dates and Locations
Mobility Tech Conference & Expo
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
Cloud Communications Summit
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas