Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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VoLTE Versus WebRTC: I didn't know it was a battle

When I talk to customers, they often ask about how WebRTC compares to voice over LTE (VoLTE), and which technology “will...

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These 3 Do Everything Together

At a few shows, including the latest ITEXPO, the 3 big cablecos - TWC, Comcast and Charter - share a booth....

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Modems? In This Day and Age?

Not so many years ago, the only way to connect to the Internet was via a modem. You would use your...

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How to Speed Small Cell Site Acquisition on a Large Scale

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

Outdoor small cells are now widely recognized as a great solution for expanding mobile capacity and coverage. And their use is expected to grow sevenfold by 2018.[1] So here’s the next big question: How can you put these cells where they’re needed, faster and at lower cost?

Maybe you’ve already encountered deployment issues, including difficulties with small cell site acquisition. According to an Informa Telecoms & Media survey, nearly 60% of mobile operators say that deployment problems are their biggest small cell challenge.[2] In other words, operators’ top concerns are not about small cell technologies or products. Instead, they’re about the practical aspects of getting these cells up and running on light posts, utility poles, bus stops, buildings and other street locations.

This blog looks at a collaborative approach that makes these deployment processes faster and easier. Alcatel-Lucent adopted these methods for our Metro Cell Express Site Certification Program. And we’re discussing them here, because this business model earned a top award in the small cell innovation leadership category.

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HumansFirst ColdSmoke Lets You Buy with your Smartphone

While speech-technology has come a long way, we still haven’t entered the world of Star Trek reruns where the computer can do...

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Structural Separation via REIT Equals Zero Taxes

Windstream got the endorsement of the IRS to transfer their assets - copper and fiber plant - to a REIT and...

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Connected Cars as an Everyday Lifestyle

By: Ellis Lindsay, General Manager, Customer Experience Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent 

I drive to work and back home in my car every day. I tune in to a radio station for traffic news and upcoming events nearby. Like many of you I’m sure, this is a typical everyday activity. And like never before, we are connected to our home, our families, our phones, our work and our friends in a network that seems to be always on. Shouldn’t we be in a lifestyle where we are consistently connected to the everyday activities in our lives? Well, let me introduce you to the world of Connected Cars. Full Story »

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 Telefónica 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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