Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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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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ITEXPO will help Explain the Coming Cloud Upgrade

The cloud is changing how technology is bought, sold and used. The very economics of business have shifted as a result. When...

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WebRTC Expo San Jose 2014 Interviews

Are you interested in WebRTC but yet you missed the largest event in the space, WebRTC Expo a few months back in...

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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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