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

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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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #6

In a recent blog about the current state of WebRTC, I mentioned that readers should check out an excellent white paper...

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The Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation: It's Not All About Data- Mobile Voice and Messaging Share Plans Offer Plenty of Appeal

Alcatel-Lucent’s Rich Crowe continues the Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation blog series by examining the degree to which consumers are interested in share plans that include unlimited voice and messaging but don’t include data.

The last Six Degrees blog explored consumer attitudes toward two different mobile share plan options: sharing data only and sharing voice, messaging and data. This blog will explore attitudes toward a 3rd option: sharing unlimited voice and messaging — but not data — across multiple devices or subscribers.

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200G Optical Networks: What you need to know

By: Earl Kennedy, IP Transport Product Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Optical network operators have already made the move to 100G. But skyrocketing bandwidth demand means many are already pondering what’s next. With a 200G optical solution hitting the market, you probably have questions about when to move to 200G optical – and what you need to know when you make that move.

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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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