Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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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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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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Microsoft Surface Surfaces With Dual Mic Skype!

June 18, 2012


The verdict is in and alas the new Microsoft Surface does not support PixelSense as I first theorized. The good news there is a lot to like about the new Microsoft Surface. First off, Surface sports a 10.6", 16:9 widescreen HD Display along with Microsoft's ClearType HD Display technology and multitouch. It also has an ultra-wide viewing angle and comes with an integrated Kickstand and what Microsoft calls a "revolutionary, 3mm thin, pressure sensitive cover" that doubles as a fully functioning keyboard and trackpad.


Microsoft XBOX Surface To Feature PixelSense?

June 18, 2012

Today is the big Microsoft "reveal", with everything pointing towards a Microsoft designed tablet. One rumored spec sheet via Shift2U is very fascinating detailing a new device called Xbox Surface:

At first glance I saw the 250GB 2.5" SCSI 10K RPM disk drive, which is way too thick and heavy for a tablet device. But then I read the rumored announcement is actually two devices. The other intriguing spec I saw was the maximum resolution of 1280x720, which seemed to be pretty small for a 7" tablet device.

Amazon gTLD Registration Reveals VoIP Interest?

June 14, 2012

Does Amazon want to get into the VoIP game? It appears that may be the case according to some revealing generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) that Amazon has registered through ICANN. ICANN allowed new Top-Level Domain to be registered with the apparent goal of increasing competition and choice.

The VoIP Revolution - from Caveman to VoIP in an Infographic

June 14, 2012

Bria Android Edition Adds Video Calling (Finally!)

June 12, 2012



CounterPath today announced they've added video calling to its Bria Android Edition mobile softphone, which is now available in the Google Play app store. It's been two years since Counterpath for Android was launched, so video calling has been a long time coming.

Video calling for Bria Android Edition supports the H.264 video codec. Interestingly, the video calling feature is an additional "add on" fee to the $7.99 Bria Android app.

Apple's FaceTime in iOS 6 Now Works Over Cellular

June 11, 2012


In a bold move (not really), Apple is lifting the restriction that only permitted FaceTime to work over Wi-Fi and not 3G/4G cellular networks. Apple announced this at the Worldwide Developers Conference and no doubt users will be happy since there is not always a Wi-Fi connection available.

This is a highly-requested feature, because users are not always connected to a Wi-Fi signal. Another FaceTime enhancement in iOS 6 includes the unification of a user’s phone number with an Apple ID, which allows calls to be answered on an iPad and Mac. Apple said it is doing the same with iMessage too.

Of course, AT&T is regretting unlimited iPhone data plans and Verizon is phasing out unlimited data plans, in favor of tiered plans, which means just when you can use FaceTime anywhere, anytime - Verizon and possibly AT&T in the near future will slam the door. Personally, I think Apple was slow on the draw on this one.




Terahertz Wi-Fi Super Speed Breakthrough Coming Soon...

June 8, 2012


Japanese researches have crushed the record for wireless data transmission utilizing the terahertz band, an uncharted part of the electromagnetic spectrum, resulting in 20x better performance than Wi-Fi.

The band makes use of frequencies from about 300 gigahertz (300GHz or about 60 times higher than the current highest Wi-Fi standard) to about 3THz and it lies between the microwave and far-infrared regions of the spectrum. Wait, between microwaves (cook/heat via vibration) and infrared, which can be used to heat or cook things? And you thought cell phone radiation was bad for your brain...

But don't worry, the 20x faster than Wi-Fi data rate is worth cooking a few brain cells! I jest - there is absolutely no evidence terahertz frequencies poses any health risks.

According to the BBC terahertz rays or "T-rays" can "penetrate many materials as effectively as X-rays but deposit far less energy and therefore cause less damage." Well, there you have it - the BBC says it causes less damage than X-rays, so it must be safe.






LG-Ericsson SBG-1000 Review

June 6, 2012



When you think unified communications (UC) you’re most likely to think voice, video, and IM/chat. The LG-Ericsson SBC-1000 takes a slightly different and quite unique approach unifying voice, video, and IM/chat but also data, security, and IT services. The LG-Ericsson SBG-1000 is an all-in-one phone and IT system that sports both phone features as well as IT infrastructure features, such as a print server, file server, PoE switch, router, SPI firewall, QoS, bandwidth allocator, VPN concentrator, Wi-Fi access point, and DECT base station. It truly is an “office in a box” offering all your typical voice and IT infrastructure needs.

Infonetics 1Q12 Enterprise Voice, UC and TDM Report Released

June 5, 2012

Several PBX vendors delayed their first quarter reporting so Infonetics 1Q12 Enterprise Voice, UC and TDM report is later than usual.The report tracks traditional PBX and KTS phone systems, IP PBX systems, voice over IP gateways, unified communications (UC) applications, and IP phones. The excerpted report comes out tomorrow, but a sneak peek reveals a few bright spots in 1Q12 enterprise voice equipment market while Cisco and Avaya battle it out. There is definitely some slowing in the enterprise voice market due to a slow economy, but that has resulted in aggressive pricing by competitors, which is good for enterprises looking to upgrade.

Polkast 2.0 Improves on P2P Personal Cloud Access to Your Files

May 31, 2012

Polkast, a personal cloud service that connects computers and mobile devices through a secure peer-to-peer connection, today announced Polkast 2.0, available on Windows, Mac OSX, iOS and Android devices. Polkast 2.0 includes several new features and a Pro subscription version.

I tried out their service recently and it works very well. It reminds me of Orb, although Orb caches thumbnails and filenames of your photos, music files, and videos on their web server. Privacy advocates may not like this.

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