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IBM, Mitel, Wearable Tech round out Latest ITEXPO News

Its been an amazing ITEXPO so far - wow. In case you missed some of the happenings from day 1, here are...

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3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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Shocking Bang & Olufsen Profit Warning

December 24, 2014

Generally, I don’t write about profit warnings but the latest one from B&O caught me by surprise because the luxury market is booming and the consumer electronics market is doing amazingly well yet Bang & Olufsen is not seeing sales explode. As I child I used to ride my bike to the nearby B&O store to marvel at the products which were beyond the reach of a 11-year-old. The company was decades ahead of the competition in terms of design.

BeoPlay A8



They did such a good job in-fact, Steve Jobs cited them as an inspiration. Apple’s success in-turn led to the consumer electronics world taking design very seriously.





Fascinating WebRTC Demos from WebRTC Expo

December 19, 2014

WebRTC has been described as the most disruptive communications technology of the decade. It has also been described as overhyped.



Well, I have good news. I think we now know who is right.

WebRTC Expo 2014 in San Jose (see picture above) had some fascinating demos of state-of-the-art in WebRTC.

Really, this is the leading-edge of the market. Is it hype?







Restoration Hardware's E-commerce Fighting Formula

December 16, 2014

A Tasteful Blend of Starbucks and Apple Retail Experiences designed to make customers fall in love



Apple has the most valuable retail real estate in history, outdoing Tiffany. As a result, Microsoft has stores which mimic Apple. Samsung does as well. More importantly, many retailers emulate the look of Apple stores.

Thoughts on ThinkGeek Customer Service

December 16, 2014

I’m on the phone with ThinkGeek because I purchased something which they shipped incorrectly. I tried email and didn’t get a response. They do say there is a 48-hour window which technically ends tomorrow but I’m not very patient.

New T-Mobile Pay as You Go LTE Pricing Changes Everything

December 15, 2014

Until recently, if you wanted a real data plan on a major carrier while using your cell phone, you were forced to purchase one of the monthly variety which could cost $35 per month and more with taxes and fees added in. Many people however don’t need to have access to data at all times. They can use texting and calling when in the car and then access wireless data when stationary at a coffee shop or even using their cable provider WiFi.

How Sony May be Fighting to Unleak its Information

December 12, 2014

The recent attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment is about as scary as it gets as emails which insulted the company’s hired talent or actors has been released. In just one incident a director called Angelina Jolie a spoiled, untalented, egomaniacal Brat. Then there were racially charged comments about President Obama. A leak of tens of thousands of salaries and social security numbers. The leak of contractor salaries, movies and discussions regarding costs related to movies.

You need a Flip Phone for Your Data Center

December 3, 2014



The big news of the week is celebrities are eschewing smartphones for flip phones. What you ask? Yes, flip phones, those clamshell devices which most people associate with the luddite relative you just saw at Thanksgiving. The reason?

Blackberry to Pay You $550 for your iPhone

November 25, 2014

The smartphone wars have gotten out of control with Blackberry paying you up to $450 to switch to the company’s devices. As you can see from the chart below, they are not messing around… There is serious money to be had here for the iPhone user that is looking to switch.

 

 

Trade-In
Value

BlackBerry
Top-Up

Offer
Total

iPhone 4S

up to $90

$150

up to $240

iPhone 5

up to $150

$150

up to $300

iPhone 5C

up to $130

$150

up to $280

iPhone 5S

up to $235

$150

up to $385

iPhone 6

up to $400

$150

up to $550

 

Amazon too has tried to get people to switch to the Kindle Fire phone by giving away a year of Prime service and unlimited photo storage and bundling a Kindle Fire HDX 7” for only 99 cents.

AirHopper: Even Air-Gap Networks are Not Secure

November 20, 2014

It’s a good time to be in the Cybersecurity business.



Quite often, highly secure computers are disconnected from the outside world so as to not get hit by hackers. However, it seems these air-gap networks named for their isolation from other computers are not as secure as we once thought. A hacker can get to these networks in the following manner. They design software which logs the keystrokes and subsequently transmits this information via FM radio signals generated by the graphics card - without changing the display so the user doesn't detect the attack.

Awesome Cyber-Monday Phone Battery Charger Deal

November 17, 2014


My family has had great experiences with the PowerSkin PoP'n Battery Charger as the device has suction cups and sticks to the back of your phone which means no additional cable is needed. Best of all, since it isn't a case, you don't have to worry about the difficulty of separating your phone from the case. The only drawback is the base can be a bit fragile under heavy stress situations as you might expect. Still, this is a great battery and I endorse it fully because of the case-less and cordless charging capability.

The company will soon be selling these chargers for 1 cent and $7.99 for shipping.


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