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VoIP, Wi-Fi-Enabled Devices to Propel Communications Industry

TMCnews Featured Article

July 27, 2009

VoIP, Wi-Fi-Enabled Devices to Propel Communications Industry

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor

Multipurpose, handheld devices with wireless access represents the strongest segment in the communications industry, the head of an Allen, Texas-based company that provides secure, carrier-grade VoIP infrastructure through a suite of open, modular network solutions on a common architecture, told TMCnet in an interview.

According to Nathan Franzmeier (News - Alert), president of Stratus Telecommunications, LLC, consumer-oriented smart devices that feature voice technology will only fuel an already thriving technology market.
“These devices will drive the next changes in the infrastructure to take advantage of the new possibilities they bring to the market,” Franzmeier told TMC CEO Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) in an interview (printed in full below).
Franzmeier, whose company is exhibiting at ITEXPO West, said that WiFi (News - Alert) especially will propel the industry, adding that the technology shows a greater trend toward consumers’ love of wireless access to everything.
Their full exchange follows.
RT: What has the economic crisis taught you, and how has it changed your customers?
Nathan Franzmeier (pictured left): The economic crisis has shown that it’s wise not to overextend the company during more prosperous times and that it’s good to be well structured, lean and flexible in order to weather and even thrive during economic crisis.
RT: How is this down economy affecting your decisions to reinvest in your company or market, if at all? Where will you invest?
NF: Right now, we have cut back on speculative R&D and are concentrating on customer service and product refinement. We are making investments in internal automation and process and product improvement with R&D focused on what we can do with wireless devices.
RT: What’s the strongest segment in the communications industry?
NF: I think there is a big market for consumer oriented smart devices, which incorporate voice technology. These devices will drive the next changes in the infrastructure to take advantage of the new possibilities they bring to the market.
RT: With the rise of smartphones and netbooks, many wireless technologies, such as WiFi, appear to be poised for rapid growth. For example, we’re seeing more and more airlines add in-flight WiFi. In general, how widespread should WiFi be, in your view?
NF: It’s not so much that WiFi is the answer for everything, WiFi is one of the technologies involved in a general trend toward wireless access to everything. Cheap wireless access from everywhere is definitely the future.
RT: Which nation or region of the world will present the largest opportunity for your company in 2009/10?
NF: The developing countries in Africa, India and South America continue to be good for us as they are still rapidly deploying new forward looking infrastructure and instituting regulatory policies such as number portability which our company is well suited for. The continuing move towards wireless access with integrated voice/data apps will continue to be a worldwide opportunity.
RT: In what ways is President Barack Obama helping or hindering the technology markets? What more can he do?
NF: President Obama is hurting small businesses in general by instituting policies which will result in increased tax burdens and increased regulation on those businesses (and their owners). Tax incentives and less government interference would help. 
RT: What device or devices do you use, and what do you wish you used?
NF: I personally like all of the new smart phones that have come out. Each of them has their strengths. I use a Blackberry, my wife and kids are using iPhones. I have colleagues that use the Pre which has some intriguing features also. I expect the trend toward open APIs and user-defined content and applications to continue, as this seems to be driving most of the innovation in that space.
RT: What has the iPhone 3G taught us? I know it’s very new, but what about the Palm Pre? What are we learning from the smartphones based on the open source Google Android (News - Alert) platform?
NF: I don’t think the iPhone 3G was near as revolutionary as the original iPhone. It was just faster. In general, however, as I said earlier these devices show us that a multipurpose handheld device to access the networks of the world and interact with people and the network is the future.
RT: I understand you are exhibiting Sept. 1 to 3 at ITEXPO West in Los Angeles. What will you show there? Describe the companies or people who should come to your exhibit.
NF: Customers that are looking for a company that continues to innovate and has provided the infrastructure and applications for the fast growing carriers in the world (like magicJack) and can partner with them to do the same thing for them should come to our booth.

Learn more about Stratus Telecommunications, LLC at ITEXPO West — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year. ITEXPO (News - Alert) West will take place in Los Angeles, Sept. 1 to 3, 2009, featuring three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Visit Stratus Telecommunications at booth #529 in the exhibit hall. Don’t wait. Register now.


Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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