Real Time Communications Industry News

[December 26, 2005]

Leader:Ominous rattle from Russia

(The Scotsman)CHRISTMAS is supposed to be a time of peace and goodwill. However, Christmas 2005 has coincided with the very public deployment of Russia's new fifth strategic missile regiment and a successful test firing of the latest Russian intercontinental ballistic missile, the Topol-M. Add to this Iran's desire to obtain nuclear weapons, and North Korea's deployment of rockets capable of hitting the United States, and the world is entering a danger zone not seen since the end of the Cold War.

Iran and North Korea are minor players. Ultimately, it is in the interests of Russia and China, as much as the US, to keep these rogue states in check. However, we must take more account of Russia's decision to deploy a new generation of rockets designed specifically to bypass western anti-missile defences. President Vladimir Putin is giving Russia a potential first-strike capacity at a time when the US has actually scrapped its most advanced ballistic missile, the MX Peacemaker. The obvious question is why?

The optimist would say that the new Russian missile system is largely symbolic. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia found that 75 per cent of its missile construction industry was now in foreign countries such as the Ukraine. So it was inevitable that President Putin would want to create a domestic Russian missile. Also, Russia remains a poor country so the new missiles are few and carry only one nuclear warhead.

The pessimist would point out that in 2002, George Bush and Mr Putin effectively agreed to abandon all the carefully negotiated arms treaties of the Reagan-Gorbachev era which limited strategic missile deployment and the number of nuclear warheads each side could deploy. America interpreted this as agreement to switch emphasis to developing new defensive systems. But Russia - lacking the technology and the finances - concentrated on new offensive systems, risking a new arms race. Ominously, Russian sources have implied that later Topol-Ms will be equipped with multiple nuclear warheads - a clear breach of the old SART-II Treaty.

This interest in offensive systems comes at a time when Mr Putin is systematically undermining Russia's infant democratic institutions. No-one thinks he wants a new Cold War. But Mr Putin does want to send a message that a more authoritarian Moscow intends to be master in its own house and to recover its old sphere of interest in the former Soviet territories. This is not good news for the West. The new missiles are an early alarm bell. But the real test will be if Mr Putin ignores the constitutional bar on a running for a third presidential terms. If he does, the Russian Bear may be on the prowl again. Tsunami's effects ripple on A year ago today, a vast tidal wave swept over the tourist beaches and quiet fishing villages of Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia. The tsunami took the lives of 220,000 people. As the first commemorations of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami are held, have any lessons been learned?

Unlike the Pacific, the Indian Ocean did not have a tsunami detection system. The first of a new network of special monitoring buoys are now in place that can spot a tsunami far out to sea and so give enough warning to countries in the region. As a result, the death toll from the next big tsunami will be dramatically smaller.

The 2004 tsunami produced one of the most generous outpourings of charitable aid ever seen, GBP 8 billion. Unlike other disasters, this money has actually been handed over to the UN and the countries affected, and rebuilding is underway. But the pace of reconstruction has been very slow and refugee camps remain full. The problem was chaotic planning, excessive government bureaucracy and too many agencies getting in each other's way. The world has developed mechanisms for delivering swift disaster relief. It now needs to create a more effective machinery for post-disaster redevelopment.

Mother Nature will certainly send another tsunami. The next time, we must be prepared. MP3 music to over-50s' ears Yesterday, the Christmas stockings of mums and dads throughout the land were bulging with music CDs of a certain vintage. Rod Stewart may be getting craggy and Abba a joke to pre-teen fans of the Pussycat Dolls, but they still sell albums in huge volume.

This is down to the fact that ageing but affluent baby boomers are increasingly willing to fork out large amounts of cash for the albums of their favourite performers. More importantly, the over-50s remain technophobes who, until now, have ignored the craze for downloading music from the internet that grips their grandchildren. A new report shows that only 4 per cent of people in Britain over 50 even own an MP3 player. As a result, the old rock bands go on selling hard copies by the bucketful.

Is this split between the generations set to grow, with CD stores full of the over-50s and Radio 2 the king of the airwaves? Maybe not: the report also notes that the baby boomers are beginning to realise they are missing out on the first big musical revolution of the century. A quarter of them are planning to take the plunge and join the digital music brigade. So you know what to buy mum or dad for next Christmas.

[ Back To Real Time Communications's Homepage ]

Featured Videos

GenView Real Time Session Manager Demo

Session-based VoIP and rich media services such as video can place unique demands on the network.


Contact GENBAND about the SPiDRâ„¢ WebRTC Gateway by clicking here.

A videoconference that calls you

On the busiest of days, who has time to stop and search for that bridge information, to have to dial or hope the link works...only to wait for the chairperson to arrive?

Call Grabber Demo

Move calls seamlessly between phones, soft clients and mobile devices at the push of a button.

Hosted Unified Communications

GENBAND's Hosted Unified Communications is a SMART OFFICE™ solution that enables voice over broadband to Business users, providing flexible migration from legacy services, supporting full regulatory features, and offering advanced services.

Featured Whitepapers

Is Your Network Ready for the Internet of Everything?

The telephone industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation that began with the introduction of IP-based data networks in the early 1990s and then with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in the late 1990s, and it now includes all forms ofvoice, video, and messaging communications.

Building a Secure and Scalable Multimedia IP Exchange

As fixed and mobile operators increasingly move to IP-based networks, the complexity required to interconnect these networks grows dramatically. Faced with increasing competition from all corners and constant challenge to grow revenues, operators are struggling with the variety and disparities in partner and customer networks.

How Carriers Can Optimize for LTE Roaming

Connectivity between mobile network operators (MNO) in 4G LTE is much more complex than it was in legacy networks.This complexity is primarily due to the change in focus. LTE is not a voice-focused roaming environment, but rather a datacentric environment.

Featured Case Studies

CASE STUDY: Real Time Communications Made Easy Via The Mobile Web

HubRTC offers the world's first WebRTC communication as a service to small and medium businesses, combining browser-based voice, video and messaging over WiFi that works on personal computers and Android smartphones and tablets. Their basic and premium solutions work with existing PBX applications servers, and support rich feature sets including voice mail and visual voice mail, audio and video conferencing, all for a fraction of the cost of old fashioned "phone systems." They have combined their Real Time Communications experts with software, devices and accessories, and cloud platforms to deliver a true office-on-the-run.

CASE STUDY: TW Telecom Accelerates Market Adoption of SIP Trunking Services

tw telecom is one of the top three largest providers of Business Ethernet in the US, connecting approximately 20,000 commercial buildings and third-party data centers to its national fiber network.

CASE STUDY: Embedding Real-Time Communications Into Digital Interactive Publishing Platforms

X-Factor Communications (XFC) is a premium provider of easy-to-use, interactive digital media software and services delivering single point publishing of Mass Notifications, advisories, emergency messages, rich informational content and advertising to any connected device.

Featured Webinars

WebRTC Applications for Service Providers using GENBAND'S SPiDR Gateway

GENBAND's SPiDR WebRTC Gateway provides an intelligent bridge between SIP/IMS based VoIP networks and the open ecosystem of the Internet. WebRTC holds great promise to revolutionize the nature of our daily communications. But what should you, as a service provider, be doing today to take advantage of this movement?

Best Practices in Deploying Hosted IP Telephony

Speaker: Sara Hughes and Mitch Layman

LTE, How Can You Accelerate The Payback? Diameter Signaling Controller

Speaker: Ashish Jain - Director Solutions Marketing