04/09/2018 - A comparison of IP Exchange and interconnecting under the SIA
30/08/2018 - Statement on the termination of TelNG's IP Exchange contract
02/05/2018 - A new TDM interconnect with BT under the SIA
I've always worked with and been fascinated by technology. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a Commodore PET in 1976 when I was 9 years old, graduated to a Science of Cambridge Mk14 - fully loaded with 640 bytes of RAM - and thence to a BBC Micro. They taught me to program, to build bits of hardware to allow them to interface with the real world, not to touch the live tab on a TRIAC when it's connected to the mains, and how to fix them when I'd connected them to something with which they didn't agree.
I spent a formative year working with the Warwick Development Group at IBM after taking my A-levels. I developed an image vectorisation system in FORTRAN, learned about quality metrics (the WDG was a pioneer in applying quality management to software), and learned that salesmen sometime exaggerate the capabilities of a product when I went to install the software which I'd written at Cambridge City Council to find that they'd been promised something an order of magnitude more competent.
I spent the next three years at Trinity College, Cambridge, studying mathematics for one year and computer science for the following two under the tutelage of Arthur Norman. This gave me a much firmer background in techniques for software and hardware development; I earned a crust or two at the same time by doing some software quality assurance and training work for Acorn Computers. I graduated with a 2.1 in 1989.
Most of the next decade was spent doing freelance software and hardware design, some highlights being hardware and software for the control and test of prototype internal combustion engines, and a remote oil tank level monitoring system which was selected as a Millennium product by the Design Council in 1999.(218) 377-9121 Next ->
In 1997, after a couple of meetings, I found myself on a plane to São Paulo in Brazil with instructions to meet a fat man called Ferrari and to do something about users making collect calls to my client's premium rate services. A discussion with the engineers at Embratel produced a plan to solve the problem; I returned to the UK, bought a couple of Aculab E1 interface cards, wrote a protocol converter, took another trip to São Paulo and the collect calls were no more. I still provide consultancy services to this customer, who now runs a 750-seat call centre in Rio de Janeiro.
I then embarked on the development of an IVR platform, VoiceWorks, not to be confused with Voxeo's subsequent offering. I supplied and installed VoiceWorks to customers on five continents; it was a popular solution owing to its power, ease of programming and high reliability. It ran primarily on Aculab hardware and had some support for Rhetorex, Dialogic and Audiocodes products as well, enabling me to demonstrate an IP-enabled IVR platform in 1999. Given the nascent state of the internet telephony industry then, it's not surprising that there were no takers.
I founded Coulomb Ltd. in 2000 to develop technologies for billing for internet content via phone call and premium SMS. The business grew quickly to a turnover of over £20 million in three years, and we expanded to become a fully interconnected and licenced UK carrier operating in various markets, including wholesale, discount calling and value-added services. I resigned as CEO, sold my shares and exited at the end of 2006.
I co-founded TelNG Ltd. in 2005 to develop an IP Centrex platform based on Asterisk. We did so successfully and sold the technology and customer base to Hello Telecom in 2009. TelNG retained its numbering and IP Exchange interconnect with BT, through which we continued to offer wholesale, inbound and discount calling services. TelNG has developed its own softswitch, using FreeSWITCH at its core, with associated billing and routing technologies. We've also developed a capable hosted IVR platform. At the time of writing (November 2013), TelNG carries over 60 million minutes a month, and has one of the largest IP Exchange interconnects in the UK.9858594314 Next ->
I am married with two children, a daughter who was born in 2009 and a son who made his appearance in 2013. I am fortunate enough to be a mostly-work-from-home Dad.
I am a qualified helicopter pilot, and have spent a couple of summers now sailing our yacht (a 43' Jeanneau Sun Odyssey DS) around the Ionian and Aegean. I replaced her lead-acid batteries with lithium ion cells this summer which made an enormous difference to life on board: we were able to use her various electrical appliances without keeping one eye permanently on the voltmeter.
I own a 12,000 sq.ft. barn just outside Cognac in France with 144kW-worth of solar panels on the roof. This generates some 160MWHr annually for which I get paid a tariff guaranteed by the French government for 20 years.
I play guitar, noisily and without a great deal of skill. I still occasionally appear in public with my college punk band which celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 2012, and I remain surprised that people, who should know better, still turn out to see us.
I have built and exited from two telecoms businesses, which has given me valuable insight into my own abilities and limitations. I enjoy, and am good at, product development and refinement, problem solving and developing solutions in collaboration with customers. I am working on time management, and hope to build some tolerance of office politics one day.
I am experienced with dealing with legal matters, and I drafted the final contract for the sale of TelNG's IP Centrex business to Hello Telecom.
I have developed a strong set of multicurrency billing tools for TelNG, which allow the accurate billing of calls against all plans with which we've been presented. It covers all of the difficult cases - for example, calls which span changes to and from daylight savings time.
I have been involved in a number of high-value billing disputes, including ones based on retrospective rate changes, incorrect ratecards and AIT. Our tools, coupled with my ability to understand contracts, generally result in straightforward settlements.
I prepared an expert witness report in 2012 covering a billing dispute between two telcos. The commissioning telco were unhappy with my conclusions (although they did not disagree with them), so it was not presented as part of their case.<- Prev Next ->
I have developed commercial products using the following:
|Assembler:||6502, ARM, Z80, PIC, x86|
|OS:||Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, RISC OS|
|DB:||MySQL, SQL Server, SQLite|
|Framework:||Ruby on Rails, ExtJS|
|VoIP tools:||Asterisk, FreeSWITCH, Kamilaio|
I use a selection of Agile techniques in software development. Unit testing gives confidence that code works as expected. Having a reasonable test suite allows frequent releases without much risk of regressions and therefore facilitates a high degree of responsiveness to customer requirements.<- Prev Next ->
I have given numerous conference presentations on subjects ranging from an experimental high-efficiency media processing system (ClueCon) to the role of geo-targeting and alternative billing in monetising adult internet traffic (Internext.) I have considerable experience in training and find teaching very rewarding.
I'm available for:
• Technical consultancy
• Conferences, as a speaker or panel chair
• Assistance with dispute resolution
• Expert witness work
and any other opportunities which might be of interest.