Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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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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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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