Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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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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Text-to-Speech (TTS) on Kindle Fire!

February 22, 2012

Text-to-speech (TTS) for the Kindle Fire is a long sought after feature. Having TTS on your Kindle Fire enables you to listen to your e-books using text-to-speech without having to buy expensive audiobooks. Some people may be vision impaired and want TTS to supplement or replace their manual reading of the text. Sure TTS isn't perfect, but it works pretty well.

Now if only the Kindle Fire supported TTS like other versions of the Kindle, then life would be grand.

LightSquared Gets Square Rooted - 4G LTE Network Killed by FCC

February 16, 2012


LightSquared was just dealt a death blow by the FCC due to concerns of interference, mainly with regards to GPS products:

“LightSquared’s proposal to provide ground-based mobile service offered the potential to unleash new spectrum for mobile broadband and enhance competition. The Commission clearly stated from the outset that harmful interference to GPS would not be permitted. This is why the Conditional Waiver Order issued by the Commission’s International Bureau prohibited LightSquared from beginning commercial operations unless harmful interference issues were resolved.

“NTIA, the federal agency that coordinates spectrum uses for the military and other federal government entities, has now concluded that there is no practical way to mitigate potential interference at this time.



FCC Now Requires VoIP Outage Reporting

February 15, 2012

The Federal Communications Commission today voted and passed a requirement that interconnected VoIP service providers report significant network outages that meet specific criteria and thresholds. The goal is to ensure 911 system reliability and perhaps customer awareness of fly-by-night VoIP operations that are just trying to make a buck. The FCC will use outage reports to "track and analyze information on interconnected VoIP outages affecting 9-1-1 service and determine if action is needed to prevent future outages." In other words you might be looking at fines if you don't have a reliable VoIP network.

According to Chairman Julius Genachowski, "With today’s action, the FCC is helping ensure that our communications infrastructure is more resilient. 

Journey Releases New Video Featuring Michaele Salahi

February 14, 2012

I was scrolling through my Facebook Newsfeed when I came across a post by Journey saying they had a new music video. It read:

Sweet vibrations! Our new video for "Resonate" from our latest album Eclipse, is here as a special Valentine's Day gift to you.

KEMP Load Balancer Certified for Microsoft Lync Server 2010

February 14, 2012

KEMP Technologies today announced that its LoadMaster hardware-based and virtual appliance load balancers are now approved for Microsoft Lync Server 2010.  If you recall, I spoke with Kemp last year about their Exchange 2010 load balancer, so adding Lync load balancing certainly rounds out their Microsoft portfolio. KEMP’s LoadMaster products offer server load balancing, optimized application delivery and built-in SSL acceleration. These features enable the LoadMasters to seamlessly integrate with Microsoft's Lync server pools.

Watch out for Metallic Objects in IP Phones! You Could Get Hurt!

February 13, 2012

I've tested, used, and reviewed many Polycom phones over the years, but apparently I never noticed or received this warning letter with these phones. Check out this ridiculousness:

WARNING ALL SOUNDPOINT IP PHONES
With respect to section 5.4.3.10 of the Australian Communications Authority as Telecommunications Technical Standard AS/ACIF S004 2004 under the s376 of the Telecommunications Act 1997:

You should be aware that, under certain operating conditions, the handset earpiece may retain small metallic objects. If this occurs, these objects should be removed before using the handset.

Really? Seriously?






Windows on ARM - New Tablet Operating System With Some Limitations

February 10, 2012


Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinoksky OR is this Bruce Willis?

The next version of Windows will run full-sized desktop applications on low-power ARM-based tablets. However, the only desktop applications approved to appear on ARM devices will be those designed by Microsoft such as Internet Explorer 10, Office, and the Windows file explorer. Affectionately known as WOA (Windows On Arm), it includes desktop versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.


Apple Planned the iPad BEFORE the iPhone. Who knew?

February 10, 2012

Everyone assumes that Apple was working on the iPhone before the iPad. However, the recent lawsuit by Proview Electronics suing Apple over the name 'iPad' says others wise. The iPhone was launched in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. However, in 2006 Apple purchased the iPad trademark from display manufacturer Proview Electronics (Taiwan) for $55,000 by way of a front company called IP Application Development. So it appears Apple planned on making a tablet before the iPhone even came to market!

According to TMC's Peter Bernstein, Proview says the trademark deal with Apple did not include the rights to the trademark in China.

Dell Voice Launches in Canada - Will it Fail As Badly As Dell Video Chat?

February 9, 2012



Dell has partnered with Ontario-based Fongo to offer Dell Voice, a VoIP app exclusively available exclusively in Canada that offers a Canadian phone number and free calls to most of Canada. Also, incoming calls and Dell Voice-to-Dell Voice calls are free of charge. This reminds me of how Dell partnered with Sightspeed, now a part of Logitech to offer a multi-party video conferencing service called Dell Video Chat. I reviewed the software and it works well, but with free alternatives like Skype, having the ability to do 9-way (3x3) Brady Bunch video is a very niche application. Practically nobody has ever heard of Dell Video Chat, so here let me share a couple screenshots of it...

Screenshot of me testing it:


2x2 (4-way video call)


I suspect Dell Voice will suffer the same ignominious fate as Dell Video Chat. There's just too much competition, including superior offerings from Google Voice, Skype, and most recently Vonage.









Vonage Attacks Skype with 30% Price Cut and Free App-to-App Calling & Texts

February 8, 2012



Vonage today launched new versions of their mobile app for both iOS and Android phones that feature free app-to-app calling and international calling rates that on average are 70 percent less than major mobile carriers and 30 percent less than Skype according to their release notes on iTunes. What's nice about their mobile app is it lets you talk and text worldwide for FREE with anyone else who has the app. It's also wideband HD audio for better audio quality.

Another nice feature is that you simply use your existing address book and there is no need to leave the app. It works on both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G.





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