Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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SmartPhoneMan and His Interaction with Media Servers on St. Patrick's Day

Last week we made it about halfway through SmartPhoneMan’s day.  Let’s finish his day.  Right now, he’s in a rush to...

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Verizon Invites the Channel Once More

Jon Arnold wrote up a good review of Verizon's Broad Cloud offering (VCE). One glaring problem is that it targets in...

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Media Servers and St. Patrick's Day

Last week I wrote about the important role media servers play in the network.  Today is St. Patrick’s Day and let’s...

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What Can You Learn from Target?

I was reading a couple of articles about Target. The retailer has not been doing well lately, including closing all Canada...

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Media Servers Will Play an Increasingly Important Role for Telco Apps

Media servers play an important role in enabling many of the real-time communications applications many of us use every day.  When...

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How a "Wi-Fi first" strategy benefits EMEA MSOs

By: Steve Davidson, European Marketing Director for Cable, Alcatel-Lucent

From original Alcatel-Lucent TechZine posting

A Wi-Fi first strategy can help multi-system operators (MSOs) remain competitive in the evolving marketplace.  Wi-Fi enabled devices default to using the cable operator’s Wi-Fi network for voice, and cellular equipped devices can switch to cellular when out of Wi-Fi range.

Although nuances in the business drivers for adopting such a strategy vary by region globally, this model turns the traditional cellular voice paradigm on its head.

Just like other communications or media industries, MSOs face a dynamic and extremely competitive market. As a result, in EMEA, they have evolved their end-user offerings to embrace market-leading fixed high speed internet access, Wi-Fi connectivity, and bundled mobile cellular services using mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partnerships.

As the pace of change continues to accelerate, subscribers have made a widespread move to Wi-Fi enabled smartphones and tablets. A European commission study stated that 71% of all EU wireless data traffic in 2012 was delivered to smartphones and tablets using Wi-Fi. This is expected to rise to 78% by 2016.

European MSOs have already invested in Wi-Fi and offer data connectivity services in and out of the home. This not only is a customer retention strategy, but also lets MSOs build out further value added services (VAS) and can reduce data costs of their MVNO agreements.  So if we now contemplate the delivery of voice to these Wi-Fi enabled devices, how do we get started?

Existing Mobility Assets

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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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