Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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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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Google to Keynote at Super WiFi Summit in Miami

January 3, 2012

TMC's ITEXPO has had its fair share of high-profile keynoters, including Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, Bob Metcalfe, former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, former HP Chair Carly Fiorina, Digium / Asterisk founder Mark Spencer, and of course TMC's very own Rich Tehrani on multiple occasions. We've also had representatives from Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo, Avaya, Nortel, Polycom, and other telecom / wireless heavyweights. Now in 2012 TMC lands a Google keynoter! Google will keynote at ITEXPO's co-located Super WiFi Summit.

Richard S. Whitt is Director and Managing Counsel for Telecom and Media Policy for Google Inc. In that capacity, Rick is responsible for Google’s strategy and advocacy on all wireline, wireless, and media matters before the Federal Communications Commission, other Federal agencies, and the U.S.

Newfies-Dialer Offers Super-Scalable Cloud-based Auto-Dialer Using FreeSWITCH

December 29, 2011


I discovered a new, powerful, open source auto-dialer called Newfies-Dialer that is offered by Star2Billing S.L, and is distributed free of charge, with no ongoing licensing costs. Star2Billing also wrote CDR-Stats, a replacement for Asterisk Stat used in FreePBX, as well as A2Billing. Star2Billing S.L., based in Barcelona, was formed in 2009 to provide commercial support to their range of free and open source products specialising in telephony, billing, and telecoms software development. Freeswitch is often compared with Asterisk, though Freeswitch is more scalable, especially the number of concurrent SIP registrations.

Jonathan Roper emailed me to tell me about this new auto-dialer, which works in conjunction with FreeSWITCH.


Winter Wake-up App Wakes You Up Earlier If It Snows

December 29, 2011

Yesterday, I reviewed Zeo Sleep Manager and now today I came across another interesting sleep app created by Boondoggle called "Winter Wake-up", which wakes you up early if it snows giving you time to shovel the snow off your car, de-ice it, and make the slower commute to work due to road conditions. Now you won't have to tell your boss, "Sorry I'm late. I didn't know it was going to snow".

Winter Wake-Up is a smartphone alarm app automatically checks the weather and wakes you up earlier if it snows. You set the number of minutes to be woken earlier for "frost" (a little dusting) and the number of minutes to be woken up earlier if it snows.

Zeo Sleep Manager Review

December 28, 2011


Just about everyone claims at one time or another they don't get enough sleep. Spouses can even argue over who got the least amount of sleep and claim immunity from doing a household chore or offload the task to their spouse due to a lack of sleep. Well, now you can prove you had a bad night sleeping using the Zeo Sleep Manager, which uses a headband to record REM sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, and awake times and gives you a ZQ score. Then you can say to your spouse, "See!

Microsoft Lync 2010, Asterisk & Skype Integration Tutorial

December 28, 2011

I came across an excellent tutorial on installing and integrating Microsoft Lync 2010, Asterisk and Skype. The tutorial covers installing AsteriskNOW within a virtual machine on Windows, so you don't even have to have spare hardware lying around to install Linux + AsteriskNOW on. The tutorial mentions integrating with Skype using Skype for Asterisk (SFA), which unfortunately was killed earlier this year. You can of course use Skype Connect (formerly Skype for SIP) to create SIP trunks, but the integration isn't as "tight".

Gadget Bans On Airplanes Due to Possible Interference is a Lie!

December 28, 2011

Gadget bans on airplanes due to possible interference is complete bull according to New York Times reporter Nick Bilton. I always knew it was a crock due to my engineering background and some basic-level physics. If a tiny mobile phone or tablet can bring down an airplane, then by golly, we are screwed! The FAA claims gadget devices can cause interference with the airplanes equipment, which is designed to handle 100 volts per meter of electrical interference.

Well, the Kindle was tested and it only put out less than 30 microvolts (0.00003 volts) per meter when in use.

Dell Support Website is Down

December 20, 2011

Windows 8 CPU Slow Benchmarks!

December 20, 2011

I tried out Windows 8 developer preview (32-bit) on a Dell E6500 dual core 2.26Ghz laptop and while the new UI is slick, the CPU processor is much SLOWER that the prior Vista 32-bit operating system it was running. Using PerformanceTest v7.0 (popular PassMark benchmark), the CPU benchmark went down from 2000 to 800!  Similarly Windows Experience Index score for the CPU category went from 5.2 to 2.4. That's a 1/2 performance drop!

Skype offering Free WiFi for Christmas Season

December 19, 2011


The Christmas holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year. As such, many of us will be in airports around the country waiting for our flight to depart. This is a perfect time to crack open your laptop, iPad, or other device and IM or talk with your Skype buddies and family members. e.g.

Data Consumption Comparison: Microsoft Lync vs. Communicator Mobile for Windows Mobile

December 16, 2011

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