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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Microsoft Store in Danbury Fair Mall Is No Apple Store

July 9, 2012


The new Microsoft Store had its grand opening in Danbury Fair Mall recently and I wanted to check it out. I happened to be in the Danbury Fair Mall to (ironically) visit the Apple Store to have my busted iPhone replaced. [Side note - none of the Apple Store employees had ever seen my shaking screen problem and they were all oohing and ahhing over the oddity.]

Anyway, after getting my iPhone replaced I headed over to the Microsoft store, which had just opened a couple weeks earlier. I fully expected the Microsoft Store to be a cheap knockoff or clone of the Apple Store and to smirk at the audacity of Microsoft copying Apple's retail idea.


VoIPGuides Blog DELETED By Google. Why?

July 6, 2012


Vinay Rasam, fellow VoIP blogger over at VoIPGuides.blogspot.com reached out to me to tell me that for no rhyme or reason Google deleted his popular VoIP blog called VoIPGuides and hosted by Google's Blogger/Blogspot. If you attempt to go to VoIPGuides.blogspot.com you will see this error:


I chatted with Vinay Rasam via Facebook to find out what happened. He explained that Blogger accidentally deleted his blog and classified it as SPAM with this message: "Your blog is marked as spam blog by automated classification system"

There is a restore button, which basically sends a support request to Google, but who knows when Google will ever get to it. You can view a cached article page to sample Vinay's content here, showing it's unique content and that he even has commenters.





iPhone 4S GPU Busted - Icons & Screen Shaking Problem!

July 6, 2012

My iPhone 4S apparently has a busted GPU that gets progressively worse the more I utilize the GPU, especially graphics-intensive apps like games which no doubt heat up the GPU. Symptoms include shaking / wiggling icons, banding of screen drawing on right-side, top of screen pixels appears at bottom of screen. Funky! Check out the photo of this happening (yellow arrows):


When it gets really bad the screen moves up 40-50% making it near impossible to enter my lock code by looking at the screen.


Microsoft Lync 2010 for iPad 2.2 Released But No VoIP or Video

June 29, 2012


Microsoft recently released Lync 2010 for iPad v4.2. Features include rich presence, instant messaging, audio conferencing, and calling features, but surprisingly no VoIP or video conferencing. Instead it uses a callback mechanism for the voice calling.

You can connect to Lync conference calls with a single touch, without requiring long numeric passcodes or conference numbers as well as make and receive calls using your Enterprise Voice (Lync ID) number only, enabling you to connect with others using a single, consistent identity.


Panasonic KX-UT670 Android IP Phone Review

June 26, 2012

The Panasonic KX-UT670 IP Phone is an impressive and cool looking 7" touchscreen phone running the Android 2.2 operating system. It's interesting how long it has taken for a non-proprietary operating system to come to the IP phone market, especially when you consider Asterisk, the open source IP-PBX came out in 1999 - more than a decade ago, yet the phones from major IP phone vendors like Aastra, Cisco, Polycom, ShoreTel, snom, and others all use their own proprietary, relatively closed operating systems. So when I learned about the Panasonic KX-UT670 running Android I was very intrigued and had Panasonic send me a unit for a review.

The Panasonic KX-UT670 is one step removed (not portable) from my prediction that a tablet running Apple iOS or Android could replace the desktop phone.

Ooma Telo Groupon Deal - $240 Discounted to $99

June 25, 2012

Win Free Copies of FreeSWITCH Cookbook

June 25, 2012

I have teamed up with Packt Publishing to organize a giveaway of the popular FreeSwitch Cookbook. Five lucky winners stand a chance to win copies of their latest book on FreeSWITCH. Keep reading to find out how you can be one of the Lucky Winners.

Overview of FreeSWITCH Cookbook

Microsoft Surface Wi-Fi Only? Easy Workaround...

June 22, 2012


Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft Surface will initially be Wi-Fi only. I can hear the wailing of Microsoft Surface fans "No! Why? No 4G?"  while Apple iPad fans smirk and laugh at you for even considering abandoning the mighty iPad.

So why no 3G/4G wireless for Microsoft SurfacE?


magicJack vs netTALK vs Ooma vs. Obihai

June 22, 2012


Now that I have tested magicJack, netTALK, and Ooma, three of the leading super low-cost phone service providers, I thought it was time to do a detailed comparison of these VoIP providers, as well as a relatively new wildcard - Obihai, a BYOD VoIP hardware provider. First, if interested in the in-depth standalone reviews I've done in the past, you can check these out:
Each of the four have their strengths and weaknesses and none of them is immune to typical VoIP problems such as latency, jitter, or packet loss. Ooma however stands slightly above magicJack and netTALK when it comes to mitigating VoIP voice quality problems. The reason is two fold.

Buy a PC get a Free Xbox 360 - Hot Microsoft Promo!

June 19, 2012


Microsoft is offering a free Xbox 360 to students simply by buying a Windows 7 PC. You'll receive a a promo code good for an Xbox 360 4GB ($199 retail value) when you purchase a qualifying Windows 7 PC (priced $699 or more) from the Microsoft Store. But get the only requirement - a valid .edu email address! "Only available for students with a valid and verifiable .edu email address.
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