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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Fongo Adds Free Texting to Dell Voice

September 18, 2012


Dell and their partner Fongo just released a new version of their Dell Voice mobile app with free unlimited Fongo Messaging, unlimited text messaging (SMS), voice quality & stability improvements, and lower data usage. I voiced my skepticism in a post back in February that this joint venture would succeed. I'm still a bit skeptical, however, I do think if someone is going to offer something for "free", then it could entire users to try it out.  They also give you a free phone number and will even port your existing phone number for $25.

Gartner's 'Magic Quadrant for UC' - Cisco Bests Microsoft - Not!

September 11, 2012

Gartner recently posted their Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications along with their analysis of the UC market. As always Gartner's research is a fascinating and insightful read, but I do take slight issue where they positioned Cisco and Microsoft. First let's take a look at the Magic Quadrant:

You will see that Cisco and Microsoft are nearly touching one another and the top two companies within the Magic Quadrant, but Cisco slightly beats Microsoft in both the "leaders" and "visionaries" categories. I don't take issue with Cisco in the "leaders" category, since clearly Cisco has been doing enterprise VoIP, video conferencing and indeed UC longer than Microsoft with many more deployments.

I do however take issue with Cisco beating Microsoft in the "visionaries" category.



Kindle Fire HD Awesomeness!

September 6, 2012


The all new Kindle Fire sports a faster processor, double the memory, and 40% faster performance - at $159. Is Amazon CEO Steve Bezos insane? That's a ridiculously low price, but if anyone can subsidize a tablet with paid content it's Amazon.com. Bezos said Amazon wants to produce "the best tablet any price."

CloudTC Glass 1000 Android IP Phone Adds New Features

September 5, 2012


Peter Radizeski informed me that CloudTC has a new software update for their Android-based Glass 1000 IP phone, which adds some nice new features. I'm in the process of testing/reviewing the Glass 1000 so I'm going to have to download the latest firmware and try out the new features.

The newest Glass Phone Software Release 2.3.3 adds Bluetooth headset and Handsfree Profiles support. The Glass platform can now support replaceable third-party phone apps via the Glass VoIP Phone API. You can now create your own telephony UI to distinguish your offering.


OBi202 Review

August 31, 2012


Obihai's line of VoIP products that allow users to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) instead of being locked to specific VoIP hardware has made Obihai a hit with fans of BYOD. Further, Obihai's analog telephone adapter (ATA) products offer both SIP and Google Voice connectivity making it a very versatile device choice to host your various phone service providers. Obihai's products can even give you FREE unlimited phone minutes to anywhere in the U.S. by leveraging Google Voice's 100% free calling.

Obihai sent me the OBi202 and the new OBiBT Bluetooth adapter for a review and I have to say I was very impressed.


Gadget Lovers Rejoice! AAA Battery Delivery!

August 29, 2012

Have you ever had a gadget or toy stop working because the batteries died? Of course you have. Worse, have you or Santa Claus forgotten to include batteries in the Christmas stockings to be used with the various children's toys and games? If you've ever had to experience your own child with those sad, sullen eyes looking up at you in disappointment because they cannot play with their newfangled toy on Christmas, you know it is not a fun feeling.

Making a battery run on Christmas is no fun and most stores are closed.

Google Pimps Nexus 7 tablet on Google home page

August 28, 2012


Rich Tehrani discovered that Google is pimping their Nexus 7 tablet on Google's home page which is renowned for being advertising-free. The Nexus 7 (built by Asus) is the first tablet developed under Google, and is the first device to run Android 4.1 / Jelly Bean, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. Considering the Samsung (Android) $1+ billion defeat to Apple, perhaps Google who has a huge stake in Android is flipping the bird to Apple.

Google to Apple: "You think you got massive eyeballs viewing iPhones and iPads? Well watch this!


New Samsung Series 7 & Series 5 All-in-One PCs Feature Windows 8 & Gesture Recognition

August 28, 2012


Samsung today unveiled the Series 7 and Series 5 computers which are all-in-one PCs running Windows 8 with a touch-screen and gesture recognition. The Series 7 will be available in 23" and 27" versions, both of which utilize a 1080p touchscreen. It includes a small keyboard, which can be tucked under the display's metal stand saving on desk space. The 23" Series 7 runs a Core i5 CPU with 6GB of RAM, 1TB of storage and Intel Graphics 4000.

24's Jack Bauer Bakes Explosive Cupcakes for Hilarious Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook Ad

August 22, 2012

How to install Windows Media Center in Windows 8 Pro RTM

August 21, 2012


If you're wondering how to install Windows Media Center in Windows 8 Pro RTM, you've come to the right place. After installing Windows 8 Pro RTM using a MSDN / TechNet key I noticed Windows Media Center was gone. I use Windows Media Center for DVR, Photo Gallery, Netflix, Hulu, Home videos, playing ripped Blu-ray .iso movie images, and more - all connected to my 55" TV over HDMI. Then I remembered reading about how Microsoft was trying to keep the licensing costs of Windows 8 down and one way was by not licensing various codecs, as they explained here:
Our partners have shared clear concerns over the costs associated with codec licensing for traditional media playback, especially as Windows 8 enables an unprecedented variety of form factors.


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