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Optimum Live TV App now on PC

April 26, 2012

Update: the Optimum app for Android does not allow live TV viewing but allows you to manage your DVR and check TV listings. The company says this functionality "is coming." Moreover - the app will only work on laptops - not PCs with external monitors. Is it too late to ask for a do over on this post?

Having been on Android and iOS for quite some time (see my review from last April), Cablevision's Optimum TV viewers can now also watch TV on their PCs, Macs and laptops. This could be important to power users who have tricked out monitors of 24" or perhaps even greater.

Microsoft Working on Skype Everywhere Initiative

April 20, 2012

The fact that Microsoft would want to integrate Skype everywhere shouldn't be too surprising, Office/Lync and Windows Phone are obvious areas and so is Xbox. That's why news of the company looking for engineers who can delve into the hybrid world of video games and IP communications shouldn't be too surprising.

When Microsoft integrates Skype into Xbox and bundles some free calling into the solution, what's to stop them from offering a DECT phone as well? With retail prices of DECT 6.0 phones starting at less than $20, the idea makes more and more sense.

Sure, you can use a cordless/wireless phone with Skype today but if Microsoft integrates it all seamlessly and video is added for free, what happens to the business models of Ooma, netTALK and magicJack?

And what about the cable companies, AT&T and Verizon? Sure, a Skype home phone calling solution will be inferior as it doesn't allow emergency calling due to a lack of E-911 support but still, if it is part of a bundle and has HD voice support, why pay for phone company or cable calling? Especially if it has video as well and other great Skype calling features, presence, etc.

Additionally, a benefit of the Skype purchase will be potentially becoming the phone provider for hundreds of millions of consumers.







Check out a Webinar on Telecom Visibility 2.0

March 20, 2012

For over 20 years I’ve been tracking Unimax a company that has been the only pure-play moves/adds/changes solutions provider to large enterprises around the globe. Andrew Hunkins was the founder/CTO/CEO throughout the years and my most memorable meetings with him were at the Harry Newton/CMP Computer Telephony EXPOs also known as CTEXPO in Los Angeles, California. A huge accomplishment for the company Hunkins founded was lasting – it’s been around since 1985!! This is a big deal.

VSS Monitoring Switching Fabric to Reduce Carrier OPEX and CAPEX

March 20, 2012

A major cost to carriers the CAPEX and OPEX associated with network monitoring and test equipment. Andy Huckridge of VSS Monitoring explains carriers spend up to $300,000 dollars on this test equipment and yet they only use the devices at about 20% of their capability. And he should know as he used to work at Spirent where I have met with him over the years at shows like Supercomm, VON and TMC’s ITEXPO (Disclosure: I am the CEO of TMC).

According to Huckridge the solution to skyrocketing costs on tools entrusted with keeping the network purring like a fine Italian sports car (my words not his – but you get the idea) is a layer of intelligence to provide scalable visibility and control of traffic capture.

Ascom Wireless Test Solutions Advance to Handle Burgeoning Data Demand

March 19, 2012

The number of people using their cellphone as a primary device is continuing to increase and this includes campus and corporate environments where the ease-of-use of a single device makes using a smartphone running Android, iOS or something similar the preferable corporate interface. In fact more than half of carrier data traffic is consumed from an indoor location making it important for operators to focus on ensuring signal strength is adequate in such environments.

At MWC in 2012 I spent some time with Ascom the network testing and monitoring company to learn about their partnership with iBwave Design software for in-building wireless network design. Through the partnership Ascom’s TEMS mobile network testing solutions enables engineers to use building coordinates to align their in-building presence and provide a baseline for route planning and walk testing. 

7 Wireless Data Cap Winners

March 7, 2012

Yesterday I outlined 7 Wireless Data Cap Losers and today I thought I would explore the flipside – in other words, who might win as a result of carriers becoming far stingier with their bandwidth allotments. After all, devices are becoming far more powerful and quad-core tablets and smartphones could become the norm by the middle of next year if not sooner. So with all this power and limited supply of bandwidth, how might user behavior change?

Here is my list of the 7 wireless data cap winners.

The 7 Wireless Data Cap Losers

March 6, 2012

We are in uncharted territory when it comes to mobility as this year we will see a slew of productivity-boosting 4G, quad-core smartphones like the Ascend 4D Quad from Huawei which I saw at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Moreover, while devices get more powerful, we will only want to do more with them and quite often this means relying on wireless networks from carriers.

The only problem is these providers are rapidly running out of bandwidth and this means they have decided the best course of action is to cap users and slow their connections once they hit a certain threshold. Their other strategy is to just charge for bandwidth being used.

Blackberry PlayBook OS 2.0 is Good But Late

February 22, 2012

It is clear that the Blackberry Playbook OS 2.0 upgrade which includes a first-ever email client needed to be perfect. After all, we have been waiting for this major release since May of last year. Sadly, it isn’t all it should be. It is however much better… The integrated email client is a great improvement over web-based email solutions users were once forced to use.

Stop the Licensing Insanity, Cable Companies Need a Slingbox App

February 21, 2012

Would you move because you wanted a better cable company? The answer is probably not – especially if you live in an area of the country where you are served by a major provider. Cablevision is a relatively smaller cable company serving areas in the northeast like Connecticut and New York and even so they have WiFi-enabled much of their footprint allowing free wireless broadband to customers at many restaurants and shopping centers.

So cable companies aren’t necessarily competing against each other – they are competing against OTT providers, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube as well as phone companies.

3-D Designer Glasses at CES 2012 from Marchon 3D

February 16, 2012

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