Standard Approach Some new-agers think TM means transcendental meditation. Hardcore telecom folks know it’s standard for TeleManagement and the TeleManagement Forum (TMF), one of the industry’s standards bodies and an organization the cable industry should be joining, said John Wilmes, chief architect at CEO, speaking at TeleManagement World 2005 last week. "TMF is a good fit. Cable companies are starting to join TMF," he said, urging more to follow suit as the industry works to "untangle something that is one unified structure" controlled by billing systems so it can move to more targeted individual operational support systems based on applications. "Cable operators want to take their customer data and have it independent of any software vendor," Wilmes said. "They don’t want to be limited by the attributes of a particular vendor. The nice thing about these (TMF) organizations is they’re open to feedback." Unfortunately, for Wilmes, his presentation was not open to much feedback from cable operators, since they were only sparsely represented in the audience. More Tests than a Sadistic Teacher If something is going to work, it must be tested. Following that theory, RADCOM has made available an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) testing suite that it called open, standardized and operator friendly-although there are very few companies that would claim something that was closed, proprietary and operator unfriendly. Anyway, the RADCOM suite tests provisioning of mobile and fixed IP services, bridging cellular, VoIP and WiMAX technologies, the company further says. Elsewhere on the test front, Hitachi Cable and Sylantro have completed interoperability testing for Hitachi’s SIP-based wireless handset, proving, the companies says, that Hitachi Cable’s Wi-Fi phones can offer voice services over Wi-Fi and conventional mobile wireless networks. Finally, Cognitronics, a leading (no one’s ever a following) supplier of media server solutions to the telecommunications industry, has selected Empirix‘s Hammer test solution to provide full test coverage for its products from research and development through installation and maintenance. As part of the decision, Cognitronics will use Hammer FX to generate both IP and TDM test calls. New Standards Body MobileIGNITE – aka Mobile Integrated Go-To-Market Network IP Telephony Experience (no wonder it was shortened) — long dash has evolved into a self-described "organization to drive broader fixed mobile convergence (FMC) adoption … by promoting standards-based end-to-end interoperable solutions that improve the quality, coverage, flexibility and cost of mobile voice and data services and the mobility of IP communications services." Got that? If not, how about this? MobileIGNITE is an independent, multi-lateral industry association based on a shared Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is committed to FMC solutions that build on standards such as CDMA, GSM, UMTS, SIP, IMS and 802.11/16. Initial members are 727 Solutions, Aperto, Boingo Wireless, BridgePort Networks, Centile, CoreMobility, Kyocera Wireless, Net2Phone, PCTEL, QualPhone, Reef Point Systems, SIPQuest, Tekelec, VeriSign, Vivox and WorldCell. Neutral Voice New Jersey, small as it is, is divided into three regions: South, also known as Philadelphia; North, also known as the New York City area; and central, also known as no-man’s-land. Patriot Media has boldly stepped into that middle space with a cable VoIP service that uses Nortel technology to deliver phone services to more than 115,000 homes. The digital phone service uses a QoS standard that is designed to ensure that voice calls are not affected by other Internet applications that may be running simultaneously. Patriot Media, on the other hand, says nothing of how it will deal with interference from the other more vocal areas of the state or where it stands on the Eagles vs. Giants debate. Speaking of Voice Lab9 Solutions has launched an extensible platform for executing integrated sets of speech-based services and providing contact and digit tailing, application launching and a voice-accessible searchable contract database powered by Sensory‘s FluentSoft speech technology engine. Lab9 is licensing it for WinCE SmartPhones and pocket PCs and expects to offer an option for the Symbian operating system. R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out what it means to me! According to survey conducted by the Customer Respect Group (CRG), the telecom space is losing ground to retail from the online customer’s perspective. The CRG interviewed a sample of the adult Internet population and analyzed and categorized more than 2,000 web sites Web sites across a spectrum of industries, identifying attributes that measure the online customer experience. Included in this group were 44 cable, telecommunications and wireless/mobile firm Web sites. The result: Telecom came up with a Customer Respect Index (CRI) of 6.7 vs. 7.0 for the retail sector. With services, handsets, modems and DVRs available online, it must have been difficult to find a dividing line between those two groups. Anyway, just two telecommunications firms, Bell Canada (8.2) and CenturyTel (8.0), earned an "excellent" rating of 8.0 or more. The rest of the best were Qwest (7.9), Sprint (7.8), Cablevision (7.7), Verizon Wireless (7.6), SBC (7.5), Shaw (7.4), Verizon (7.4), BT (7.3) and Telus (7.3). Emergency Support The International Packet Communications Consortium says it supports the FCC‘s Enforcement Bureau guidance that interconnected VoIP providers must file E-911 compliance letters by Nov. 28. Wireless Voice Aperto Networks is not only selling WiMAX-based fixed wireless systems, but it’s growing a customer base of voice-over-IP-over-WiMAX users that include TransAria, which is delivering business-grade VoIP services throughout Montana.