Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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VoLTE Versus WebRTC: I didn't know it was a battle

When I talk to customers, they often ask about how WebRTC compares to voice over LTE (VoLTE), and which technology “will...

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These 3 Do Everything Together

At a few shows, including the latest ITEXPO, the 3 big cablecos - TWC, Comcast and Charter - share a booth....

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Modems? In This Day and Age?

Not so many years ago, the only way to connect to the Internet was via a modem. You would use your...

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How to Speed Small Cell Site Acquisition on a Large Scale

By: Jean Jones, Director, Wireless Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Outdoor small cells are now widely recognized as a great solution for expanding mobile capacity and coverage. And their use is expected to grow sevenfold by 2018.[1] So here’s the next big question: How can you put these cells where they’re needed, faster and at lower cost?

Maybe you’ve already encountered deployment issues, including difficulties with small cell site acquisition. According to an Informa Telecoms & Media survey, nearly 60% of mobile operators say that deployment problems are their biggest small cell challenge.[2] In other words, operators’ top concerns are not about small cell technologies or products. Instead, they’re about the practical aspects of getting these cells up and running on light posts, utility poles, bus stops, buildings and other street locations.

This blog looks at a collaborative approach that makes these deployment processes faster and easier. Alcatel-Lucent adopted these methods for our Metro Cell Express Site Certification Program. And we’re discussing them here, because this business model earned a top award in the small cell innovation leadership category.

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HumansFirst ColdSmoke Lets You Buy with your Smartphone

While speech-technology has come a long way, we still haven’t entered the world of Star Trek reruns where the computer can do...

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Structural Separation via REIT Equals Zero Taxes

Windstream got the endorsement of the IRS to transfer their assets - copper and fiber plant - to a REIT and...

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Connected Cars as an Everyday Lifestyle

By: Ellis Lindsay, General Manager, Customer Experience Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent 

I drive to work and back home in my car every day. I tune in to a radio station for traffic news and upcoming events nearby. Like many of you I’m sure, this is a typical everyday activity. And like never before, we are connected to our home, our families, our phones, our work and our friends in a network that seems to be always on. Shouldn’t we be in a lifestyle where we are consistently connected to the everyday activities in our lives? Well, let me introduce you to the world of Connected Cars. Full Story »

SimpleSignal Brings Mobile Enterprise Video Conferencing to Apple & Android Mobile Devices

May 30, 2012

SimpleSignal, a cloud-based Unified Communications and Collaboration provider announced today that they are bringing mobile enterprise video conferencing to Apple's iPhone, iPad, iTouch and Android mobile devices. Their cross-platform video phone compatibility works across a variety of mobile, desktop and telepresence/video-enabled devices, via a WiFi connection or a 3G/4G network.

I've said in the past that I predict Apple iPads (& Android tablets) will be your next enterprise desktop phone because of their UC and video phone capabilities. SimpleSignal also believes tablets and other mobile devices will be game changers when it comes to UC. Hookflash is another interesting player in the mobile UC space.

According to SimpleSignal, "The seamless integration of iOS and Android operating systems into SimpleSignal's Unified Communications platform, coupled with the mobile video capabilities of these devices, means that advanced enterprise communications capabilities are no longer confined to the desktop."

"This new mobile video service is the biggest breakthrough in SimpleSignal history," said Dave Gilbert, CEO of SimpleSignal.





OPNET Technologies, Inc. Acquires Clarus Systems, for Unified Communications Management

May 30, 2012


OPNET Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPNT), a provider of solutions for application and network performance management, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Clarus Systems, Inc., a privately held software company headquartered in Redwood City, California. The acquisition expands OPNET's product portfolio for application and network performance management by adding Unified Communications (UC) to the management mix.

Clarus software provides end-to-end service management for Enterprise Voice over IP (VoIP), Unified Communications, and TelePresence video. Clarus's suite, ClarusIPC Plus+, maximizes service performance and availability through automated testing, performance monitoring, configuration management, and business intelligence reporting.


Skype Integration with Microsoft Xbox 360 & Lync is Slow Going

May 29, 2012

Microsoft's purchase of Skype for $8.5 billion was considered a risky move considering the failure of eBay's acquisition of Skype, which did not result in any synergies between these two companies. The New York Times gives some interesting insights into the inner workings of Skype within the Microsoft juggernaut. For one, the article states, "Microsoft gave Skype a longer leash than it grants most of its divisions, even allowing Mr. Bates to work in Silicon Valley." Apparently, Skype is the only Microsoft division located almost entirely outside Microsoft's Seattle-based headquarters.

The article goes on to explain that Tony Bates, the head of the Skype division, uses a Apple MacBook Air and not a Microsoft operating system.

Why the Cisco Cius Failed & Why Microsoft Might Beat the Mighty iPad

May 25, 2012


Rich Tehrani has a good post today on why the Cisco Cius failed. He put it succinctly and with a nice metaphor when he writes:
Company after company is learning what most of instinctively know already – competing with Apple head-on is like trying to tackle a freight train with your bare hands as it is barreling down the tracks in your direction. Amazon with its Kindle Fire competed on price and used its services to subsidize the device. Other tablet makers are finding it virtually impossible to compete without such advantages.
Rich is exactly right.

Say it With Skype Facebook app Wants to Be American Idol

May 22, 2012

Skype announced a new contest to find the next great music band using their Say it With Skype Facebook app, an engaging-group video greeting app that lives on both Facebook and Skype.com.  Simply use Say it With Skype to record your music band on video and you could be the next American IdolSkype Music Super Hero! Hey, it worked for Justin Bieber, who was discovered via a YouTube video.

Similar to American Idol, there will be some relatively well-known judges in the music industry to judge the entries, including Pete Wentz of Black Cards, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, and MTV music personality and host of "120 Minutes" and MTVHive.com Matt Pinfield. As an added bonus to joining the app as the 'house band,' the winning band is to receive one-on-one mentoring time with the celebrity judges and paid studio time to not only record the song which will be featured on the Say it with Skype app, but also the chance to record their own song to use however they please.

Here's me rocking out to the #1 downloaded iTunes song of all time - Journey's Don't Stop Believin' using the Say it With Skype Facebook app.

Ok, maybe not.





Skype v4.0.1325 Released for Apple iOS

May 21, 2012

The New In Your Face Facebook Ads - Coming Soon!

May 21, 2012

After Facebook's disastrous IPO leading some to speculate Facebook's actual worth is in the $16-$24 range, it's worth examining what went wrong. Was it the Nasdaq computer glitches, which some claim resulted in $100 million in losses to investment firms? Perhaps a small factor. Was the initial stock price too high?

Comcast Skype on Xfinity $9.95/month - Lame or Cool?

May 16, 2012


Comcast today unveiled their Skype video calling service, Skype on Xfinity which directly integrates into your HDTV. The beauty of the system is you can make and receive Skype video and audio calls from your TV. Users can send instant messages via Skype, while watching TV at the same time.

The only problem is Skype on Xfinity costs $9.95 a month extra. We saw what happened to the $599 Cisco Umi, which Rich Tehrani and I rightly predicted would fail.


Plixer Scrutinizer Network Traffic Analyzer Preview

May 14, 2012

I've been testing Plixer Scrutinizer, a network traffic analyzer product for several weeks now. It's a great product that supports NetFlow used by popular routers and switches, including the popular Cisco ASA series of firewall/security routers, Checkpoint, Adtran, Riverbed, and more. It also supports Juniper Jflow and Juniper IPFIX, SonicWALL NetFlow and SonicWALL IPFIX and Citrix AppFlow. It also supports sFlow.

Having insights into your network is critical as time-sensitive network applications such as VoIP, video conferencing, and unified communications are deployed. Scrutinizer is an excellent tool to monitor your network infrastructure and pinpoint problems.

Netflix Temporarily Offline? On Movie Night? Ahhhh!

May 11, 2012

Oh joy - was checking my Netflix DVD queue to see if any interesting movies to stream as well as which ones arrived in the mail and I got this lovely error message:
Watch as many TV episodes and movies as you want for one low price! One month FREE Trial.
  We’re sorry, the Netflix website is temporarily unavailable. Our shipping centers are continuing to send and receive DVDs, so your movies will be processed as usual. And you can still instantly watch movies via your Netflix ready device.

Our engineers are working hard to bring the site back up as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and, again, we apologize for the inconvenience.



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