Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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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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200G Optical Networks: What you need to know

By: Earl Kennedy, IP Transport Product Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Optical network operators have already made the move to 100G. But skyrocketing bandwidth demand means many are already pondering what’s next. With a 200G optical solution hitting the market, you probably have questions about when to move to 200G optical – and what you need to know when you make that move.

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ooVoo Launches 4-Screen Multi-Party Video for Apple iOS & Android

August 21, 2012

ooVoo, a competitor to Skype today announced 4-way video chat that works on iOS and Android devices. I had a chance to speak with ooVoo representatives to discuss the news and of course, I used ooVoo during our conference call, as seen here:

ooVoo, is a large social video-chat provider with 54 million registered subscribers.  With the launch of ooVoo’s new mobile apps with support for 4 simultaneous video streams, they are currently the only major video conferencing product offering this - and for free.

Skype for Windows 8 Metro / Modern UI How-To Install

August 20, 2012

So you want to try out the new Skype Metro/Modern UI on Windows 8 do ya? Well so do I, so last week I found out how to download and install a leaked copy of Skype for Windows 8.

1. Download the MetroSkype_1.0.0.128_x86.zip file from here. (Ironic Microsoft wants to kill the name Metro yet their Skype team is still using it for their filenames!

Windows 8 Broke my TAPI Dialing But Problem Solved!

August 17, 2012

I often use TAPI within Outlook to click-to-dial my contacts through our Asterisk-based PBX. This is an under-appreciated feature that more users should take advantage of considering most PBXs support TAPI TSPs.

However, after upgrading my Windows 7 machine to Windows 8 a couple days ago, this functionality stopped working. This feature allows me to simply view/search for an Outlook Contact, right-click the Contact, and then choose the number I want to dial, as seen here:


Instantly, my IP phone rings and I'm connected to the remote phone number. Fortunately, me and TAPI go way back.




Skype for Windows 8 Metro / Modern UI Leaks

August 17, 2012


Microsoft / Skype is hard at work developing a cool Metro "Modern UI" version of Skype, the new Windows 8 tile-based touch-enabled interface. An image of the Skype Metro style app leaked to Twitter  demonstrating how the Microsoft/Skype team has optimized Skype for Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets coming to market.

Cult of Mac likes it, but isn't pleased Apple tablets will be getting the short shaft and not be able to leverage this new UI. It sports the usual voice and video features, but also pinned favorites and a sidebar to display status and message history.

According to Neowin, "The UI is fluid and dare we say fast too.

Installing Windows 8! Yeah baby!

August 15, 2012

Auto-Provision VoIP Softphone with QR Code

August 10, 2012

Zoiper, creators of SIP and IAX clients for Apple iOS and Android. has a novel idea of leveraging QR codes to auto-provision VoIP softphone clients. No more typing the SIP registrar, username, password, etc. Their softphone client allows end users to self-provision their VoIP service accounts simply by taking a picture with the device camera to scan a QR code.

From the Ziper mobile app you click the QR icon and the screen then switches to “QR scan mode” where it can capture the image generated by the VoIP provider.


Microsoft Surface = Threat to IP Phone Market

August 6, 2012

Microsoft has already irked some of their hardware partners with Microsoft getting into the hardware business via their pending Microsoft Surface product launch later this year. Perhaps lost in the battle between Microsoft and their PC/laptop/tablet hardware partners is the pending battle that I predict between Microsoft and their Lync phone hardware partners, such as snom and Polycom.

In 2011, I wrote an article discussing how the Apple iPad (and also Android tablets) will be your next desktop IP phone. More recently, last month I wrote how the Microsoft Surface tablet could also be a game changer in the IP phone market:
This touch support [in Windows 8] will give Microsoft an advantage is fulfilling my prediction that tablets will replace the desktop phone. Windows 8 tablets running Lync will become the ultimate unified communications device, performing everything from your traditional voice (VoIP) to HD video conferencing, as well as collaboration, instant messaging, and all the other typical UC features.



Sprint Sponsors TMC's M2M Evolution Collocated at ITEXPO

August 1, 2012

New Hotmail/Outlook Sucks on iOS & Android & Why That's Good for Microsoft

July 31, 2012

So the big news today is the revamped Hotmail, which is a dramatic improvement over the old version in terms of design aesthetics as well as usability. Sporting a Metro-like UI it is quite apparent that Microsoft is dedicating serious resources on a unified user interface that is the same no matter if you're using a laptop/PC, Windows Phone, Xbox 360, or Windows 8 tablet. This investment could pay long dividends for Microsoft. Who wouldn't want a consistent UI across multiple devices?

FreedomPop for iPod Touch - Free 4G Internet Coming!

July 25, 2012


Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom's new FreedomPop, a 4G broadband "free" wireless internet provider, which recently announced FREE 4G wireless internet for iPhone using the Freedom Sleeve 4G for iPhone 4/4s will soon launch the Freedom Sleeve for the iPod Touch. Yeah, that's right, I said FREE 4G wireless internet - with some small caveats of course...
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