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Monthly VoIP News Roundup: Top Stories for Nov-Dec 2017

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In the world of VoIP, there’s no shortage of interesting stories making the news each week. At SpectrumVoIP, we like to stay informed about the latest developments and share our insights. This is our news roundup for November-December 2017, summarizing the top VoIP news headlines that grabbed our attention over the past two months.

1. Sprint Sues Mediacom Over Alleged VoIP Patent Violations

Mediacom is the latest organization to be sued by Sprint over Internet telephone patents. The wireless operator filed a suit in late November claiming the cable operator had violated 13 patents under its Voice over IP service. According to a Sprint spokesperson, many companies have misappropriated Sprint technology without permission, thereby forcing the organization to enforce its portfolio of 120 patents, most of which are based on the work of company engineer Joe Christie. In recent years, Sprint has successfully sued a number of competitors including Comcast, Vonage, Missouri’s Big River Telephone Company, and Time Warner Cable.

2. Minnesota VoIP Case Could Establish New US Regulation Precedent

The FCC is attempting to avoid a regulatory issue that could result in US states enforcing more draconian consumer protection rules on Voice over IP companies. Telecoms services are currently regulated under the Title II framework, which also applies to broadband providers, but the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is attempting to bring local operator Charter Communications into its state regulatory framework. Charter was regulated as a utility until 2013, and then created a subsidiary for its telephone customers. The question is whether states can apply their own regulations to VoIP service providers without FCC involvement. The FCC wishes to avoid a situation where all 50 states impose a patchwork of disparate regulations on VoIP services.

3. Angola to Open Telecoms Industry to Foreign  

The new president of Angola, Joao Lourenco, plans to shake up his country’s business environment by selling a 45% stake in state-owned Angola Telecom, while also holding an auction for a fourth industry operator. The oil-rich west-African nation has received multiple expressions of interest from foreign and local investors. The successful bidder will be permitted to offer broadband, mobile, fixed-line and pay TV services. The new company will compete with Angola Telecom, Unitel SA, and Movicel Telecomunicacoes. The tender process is expected to take three months.

4. Philippines Invites China to Deliver New Telecoms Network

President Rodrigo Duterte has invited a Chinese group to establish the Philippines’ third major telecommunications company, in a move designed to end the established duopoly in the country. The offer was presented to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang last month, as the leaders met to sign several bilateral agreements between the two nations. Filipinos have endured expensive and slow Internet and telephone services for many years, and this has been recognized as an obstacle to economic growth. The two existing telecoms providers are Globe Telecom and PLDT-Smart.

 5. Australia’s NBN Delay Could Result in $790 Million Lost Revenue

Australia’s National Broadband Network has announced a nine-month delay for new customers to be added to its Hybrid Fiber Coaxial network. Opposition communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland said the delay could result in up to AU$790 million of lost revenue. Issues with the new national telecommunications network have escalated in recent months, with customers regularly reporting dropouts and unacceptable broadband speeds. A survey by NBN Co found that 15% of users rated the service zero out of ten. Independent telecoms analyst Paul Budde said the problems relate to the network’s multi technology mix, with some parts of the infrastructure being more than 50 years old.

Did you miss last month’s roundup? Stay up to date on all things VoIP and contact us for the latest.