Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions

Access is Still Pretty Good

At all the shows, it is cloud this and cloud that - a bunch of doom and gloom on legacy telecom....

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Mobile fax? Why do you need that?

Fax is an enduring technology. While you may think that fax is declining, some reports show that the market is actually...

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We ask the experts: How can exceptional QoE be achieved in VoLTE networks?

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

What does voice over LTE (VoLTE) offer your subscribers? Better voice quality, including HD voice. Rich communications with messaging and video. And whatever inventive applications you choose to introduce. In other words, VoLTE can provide a superior quality of experience (QoE) for subscribers and give you a competitive edge — particularly when your service operates at its best. 

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In my last blog[CCE1] , our experts explained why an end-to-end strategy is the key to maintaining peak VoLTE performance. Now we’ll look at how this strategy gets put into practice to optimize real-world service offerings. The information here is based on interviews with Luis Venerio who works with our VoLTE Readiness Services team. And his observations come straight from his experience on VoLTE deployments that serve millions of subscribers.

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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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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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