Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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We ask the experts: How can exceptional QoE be achieved in VoLTE networks?

By: Jean Jones, Director, Wireless Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

What does voice over LTE (VoLTE) offer your subscribers? Better voice quality, including HD voice. Rich communications with messaging and video. And whatever inventive applications you choose to introduce. In other words, VoLTE can provide a superior quality of experience (QoE) for subscribers and give you a competitive edge — particularly when your service operates at its best. 

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In my last blog[CCE1] , our experts explained why an end-to-end strategy is the key to maintaining peak VoLTE performance. Now we’ll look at how this strategy gets put into practice to optimize real-world service offerings. The information here is based on interviews with Luis Venerio who works with our VoLTE Readiness Services team. And his observations come straight from his experience on VoLTE deployments that serve millions of subscribers.

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Wearable Tech Expo 2014 Kicking off in NYC

My team is at the Jacob Javits Center setting up for Wearable Tech Expo 2014 which will take place Wednesday and Thursday...

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #7

Tsahi Levent-Levi’s white paper, “Seven Reasons for WebRTC Server-Side Processing,” details a variety of WebRTC-related scenarios that necessitate a media server....

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How signaling spikes affect networks: 3 real-world examples

By: Josee Loudiadis, Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent

Data and signaling growth are usually good news for network operators, since growth often translates into higher revenues. But when growth is averaged over a month or quarter, the daily highs and lows of network activity are smoothed out. And signaling spikes remain hidden within the averages. These spikes can overwhelm available signaling capacity, which impairs the customer experience, as well as the operator’s reputation.

What happens when a spike occurs? Typically, a CPU Overload alarm appears on various mobile nodes. And the Network Operations Center (NOC) immediately starts praying that the burst is short-lived and doesn’t go over maximum peak-rate capacity. Because when that happens, all consumers are denied service access. Then, the process of identifying the source of the problem begins. This can be arduous, because it often involves applications completely out of NOC control. And the issue can’t be resolved easily without solid network analytics that enables engagement with application and device developers.

That’s the reason signaling information is a crucial part of the Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Apps Rankings report and why LTE World 2014 devotes an entire pre-conference day to the topic. It’s also why this blog offers a closer look at how some real-world disruptive signaling spikes got started — and were finally resolved.

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The Expanding Channel Programs

Not only do I see more cloud service providers looking to the channel for sales, I see other channel programs expanding....

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #6

In a recent blog about the current state of WebRTC, I mentioned that readers should check out an excellent white paper...

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The Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation: It's Not All About Data- Mobile Voice and Messaging Share Plans Offer Plenty of Appeal

Alcatel-Lucent’s Rich Crowe continues the Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation blog series by examining the degree to which consumers are interested in share plans that include unlimited voice and messaging but don’t include data.

The last Six Degrees blog explored consumer attitudes toward two different mobile share plan options: sharing data only and sharing voice, messaging and data. This blog will explore attitudes toward a 3rd option: sharing unlimited voice and messaging — but not data — across multiple devices or subscribers.

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Former Apple & Pepsi CEO John Sculley to Keynote at ITEXPO's StartupCamp7

January 15, 2013

John Sculley has lead an interesting business life, including being a former CEO of Apple and Pepsi. Here he is standing next to legendary Steve Jobs in 1984 as they debut a new Macintosh computer in 1984.


John Sculley has been an innovator since his youth. By the age of 10, Sculley was dismantling radios and converting them into intercoms.


2013 - The Year of WebRTC

January 9, 2013

WebRTC has been making great strides of late. A few companies using worth checking out are bistri, Plivo, and twelephone. I'm in the process of testing bistri and twelephone, but I did actual use Plivo's proof-of-concept WebRTC offering, which I'll get into a in a moment.

First an overview of bistri and twelephone. bistri is pretty interesting because it lets you link with Facebook, Google, Windows Live, Yahoo, Jabber/XMPP, and Вконтакте.

Intel's North Cape Super-thin ultrabook/tablet Haswell Reference Design Impresses

January 8, 2013


At CES in Las Vegas, Intel discussed their next-gen chip road-map, including new ultra-low power Haswell processors powering ultra-thin notebooks/ultrabooks and desktop computers. One of the most interesting demos was Intel showing off a reference laptop called North Cape featuring their 4th generation Haswell chip inside. Like my favorite Samsung 700T tablet (primary tablet), the North Cape is a hybrid tablet / ultrabook. The North Cape hybrid tablet / ultrabook sports a 13.3" 1080p screen, with a removable keyboard dock and sporting 13 hours of battery life when the keyboard is attached (10 hours when in tablet mode).

Facebook Testing Free VoIP calling in Messenger app

January 3, 2013



Well, well, well - just days after my "Skype vs. Facebook - How WebRTC Will Turn Friends into Enemies" post where I said Facebook could crush Skype if they chose to get into VoIP, Facebook released a new version of Facebook Messenger for iOS that sports VoIP features.

According to the Verge, "Facebook today began testing a new feature in its Messenger app that lets Canadian users call each other for free anywhere they have a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. The test for now only applies to Messenger for iOS, but could roll out to Android users, as well as people worldwide, if the test goes well."

I just tried it out on my iPhone and so far it's only one-way voice messages that you record and send to your Facebook friends.





Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam Review

January 3, 2013

The Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam is an innovative product marking a trend away from high-end in-room video conferencing systems toward smaller, inexpensive video systems that leverage desktop PCs or laptops, along with inexpensive USB cameras. These USB cameras often have the same if not better optics than higher-end video conferencing camera models but at a fraction of the cost.

The Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam actually fills a niche between large room conferencing systems and computer webcams, offering a plug-and-play videoconferencing system that sports a Carl Zeiss lens, 1080p HD video, 30 fps, high-quality omni-directional microphone/speakerphone with a range of 8 feet, and the ability to pan, tilt, and zoom from the unit itself or the included remote control. It uses UVC H.264 so no driver installation is needed on PCs or Macs to get up and running.

I tested the BCC950 ConferenceCam on a Windows 8 x64 desktop PC with an Intel i7 3.07Ghz processor and 16GB RAM. I was very impressed with the feature-set and performance.



Skype vs. Facebook - How WebRTC Will Turn Friends into Enemies

December 27, 2012


Facebook and Skype currently enjoy a friendly relationship that all started back in 2011 when Facebook collaborated with Skype to integrate these two popular social networks. They then deepened their partnership by offering direct Facebook video calling. But I always wondered why Facebook didn't offer their own VoIP service. They own the largest social network in the world and could crush Skype if they so chose.

Samsung is Kicking Ass - Everyone's Ass...

December 18, 2012


Samsung is kicking ass - as in everyone's ass. They're kicking Apple's ass in smart phones, they're kicking Sony's ass in TVs, and they're kicking Nokia's ass in smart phones, Nokia no longer the top selling cellphone maker in the world. For the first time in 14 years, Nokia will not be #1 in the global cellphone business on an annual basis at the end of 2012. Instead, Samsung is now the world's #1 mobile handset maker according to a new study from iSuppi.

Level 3 Layoff Rumors

December 14, 2012

I received some information from a source claiming to work for Level 3 Communications.  He stated, "They are not doing well. Just laid off 4% of the workforce.  14% planned in January."

File this under pure speculation / rumor at this point. I am going to contact my Level 3 ASAP to confirm.

Voxeet Launches 3D Audio Conferencing App for iPhone & Android

December 12, 2012

Voxeet.com today launched their immersive 3D audio conferencing app for iPhone and Android. Voxeet's new apps enable participants to switch among devices without disrupting the conversational flow of Voxeet-based conference calls. I took the app for a spin using an iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and Android-based Samsung Galaxy SIII.

After installing the app you have the option of connecting to Facebook so you can send invites as well as the option of importing your contacts as seen here:

 



After installing the app, I had two co-workers test this with me - Rich Tehrani and Erik Linask. After launching the app I called Rich and  when he accepted the call we were immediately put into conference.

ITEXPO Miami - Important Conference Program Updates

December 10, 2012

TMC today released an updated conference program for their ITEXPO Miami 2013, the world's largest and best-attended communications and technology conference and trade show. The event, held January 30 - February 1, 2013 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida, combines an innovative series of educational programming with networking opportunities for technology buyers, sellers, resellers and manufacturers.

Since its launch in 1999, ITEXPO has been the bi-annual meeting place where next-generation communications innovations are on display, and vendors meet end users to develop new relationships and business partnerships.

The program is anchored by noteworthy keynote presentations from Telefnica and Level3 Communications, panels on the future of cloud computing, the evolution of the telecom service provider, and StartupCamp7: Comms Edition, a networking and early stage startup event.

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