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

How to Get AT&T to Fund Your IoT Idea

IoT and M2M developers - here is some exciting news.It Isn't that often that you can develop something for what is supposed...

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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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TringMe Launches WebRTC Chrome Extension

January 10, 2014


I've been covering TringMe since 2007, when they launched an Adobe Flash-based VoIP app. Later they added support for ChromeOS, VoiceXML, and even Silverlight. Today, TringMe's Founder and CEO Yusaf Motiwala informed me they've launched a WebRTC solution. WebRTC apps are a dime-a-dozen you say?

Smartphone Shortcomings - Graphene Supercapacitors to the Rescue!

January 8, 2014

It's the start of a new year and surely we've all read several "Best of 2013" lists ad nausem. But I thought I'd share an interesting infographic I was sent titled 'Smartphone Shortcomings', which examines one of the biggest complaints about smartphones - namely battery life. Count me in as a complainer. Nothing worse than playing Hill Climb Racing or Jetpack Joyride and feel your smartphone getting hot enough to fry an egg (sorta) due to the higher CPU & GPU utilization and watching the battery drain from full to zero in just 3 hours of game play.

Skype's Social Media Accounts Hacked

January 2, 2014


Skype social media accounts including their Twitter account, Facebook page, and blog were hacked by a group claiming to be the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). Athough Skype gained control of their accounts and deleted the SEA's posts, the SEA tweeted in their own account this message:
Don't use Microsoft emails(hotmail,outlook),They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments.http://blogs.skype.com/2014/01/01/dont-use-microsoft-emails-hotmailoutlook-they-are-monitoring-your-accounts-and-selling-the-data-to-the-governments/ …
Apparently, Edward Snowden and his release of NSA secrets, which impacted 2013 like no other story (except maybe ObamaCare) will continue to impact 2014. What I find amazing is that the SEA hacked two different social media accounts plus Skype's blog web server. I'm curious...

Ooma Office Review

December 17, 2013


Many small businesses dread buying a new phone system - and for good reason. Besides the dizzying array of hardware-based phone systems, there are cloud VoIP phone systems, VoIP phone systems, digital phone systems, and more. A feature-rich phone system with an auto-attendant, multiple phone lines, conference bridge, voicemail, ring groups, extensions, and other features can certainly give a small company the appearance of a larger organization. However, these features require equipment and professional installation.

Microsoft Store Sells Out Dell Venue 8 Pro in Minutes & Website Crashes

December 9, 2013

Microsoft has a sweet $99 deal for a $299 Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet. However, it was only the first 20 at each Microsoft Store will have these tablets available at that price, after which it becomes a still pretty reasonable $199 for the next 10 units and then full price after that. Well, the deal got some pretty good press coverage, and everyone was looking to cash in on this door buster deal, which is part of Microsoft's Christmas "12 Days of Deals".

I went to the Danbury Mall's Microsoft Store at 8am this morning to try and snag one but the line was already 40 people long , so I headed to work to try and get one online, since the promo also applies to the online store, with the $99 price for the first 100 orders and then $199 for the rest of the day while stocks last.

I had multiple Google Chrome tabs open http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Dell-Venue-8-Pro-Tablet-32-GB/productID.289455200 to try and get the $99 deal and the Microsoft Store website was unbearably slow!

Check out the errors I received from the website:


First the tantalizing red spinning arrow, indicating it's adding me to the placeholder.








Bing Maps Adds 3D imagery and Skype Integration

December 6, 2013


Microsoft has redesigned its Bing Maps experience for Windows 8.1 and just posted Bing Maps Preview to the Windows Store, which includes hi-res 3D imagery, from satellite to street view, of our planet. It also includes nifty details like admission prices, payment methods accepted (Amex, Visa, Mastercard), and hours of operation. Think of it as Bing's version of Google Earth, though it currently has only 70 cities available for view in the preview. It also sports Skype integration (enabled via Snapview) so you can click the phone icon and make a Skype call.

With Skype integrated into Xbox One and now Bing Maps, the Skype acquisition is perhaps making a bit more sense.


webrtc2sip Enables Cross-browser WebRTC & SIP Interoperability

November 25, 2013


webrtc2sip is an open source gateway using WebRTC and SIP to turn your browser into a phone with audio and video calling capabilities. The "WebRTC-to-SIP" gateway allows your web browser to make and receive calls from/to any SIP-legacy network or PSTN. Thus, using your preferred WebRTC-capable web browser you can make calls to a SIP IP phone, SIP softphone, and even a mobile/landline phone. webrtc2sip was created by Doubango Telecom and available for free.

Skype on the Xbox One - the Future Has Arrived!

November 20, 2013


Curious to know what features Skype has in the new Xbox One? So am I. With the Xbox One, you get an all-in-one entertainment system that aims to take over your living/family room not just for gaming but for communicating as well. All Xbox Ones come with Skype pre-installed, and since every Xbox One ships with a Kinect, they'll also include 1080p HD cameras and beamforming stereo array microphones, this is the ultimate Skype-on-TV experience. Makes me wonder if near-ubiquitous video conferencing in the home has finally arrived since Microsoft will no doubt sell at least 10 million Xbox One units.

Further, Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers buying Xbox Ones also get Skype Premium for free for six months, which adds group video calls and 100 minutes of telephone calling to 60 countries.


WebRTC Conference & Expo Photos

November 20, 2013

Phybridge PoLRE Review - Power over Ethernet using Phone Wires

November 19, 2013

Check out my Phybridge PoLRE Review, a suite of three products that let you use your existing phone wiring to deploy VoIP with full Power over Ethernet capabilities. The three products are the PoLRE LPC 8 Port Switch targeting the SMB and the PoLRE PL-024 & PoLRE PL-048 switches, which target larger deployments. Since the PL-024 and PL-048 are nearly identical except for port sizes (24 vs. 48) I checked out the larger model.

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