Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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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 »

iOS 5 hides an Android-like autocorrect keyboard bar - Here is why it sucks

November 10, 2011


There's a cool hidden feature in iOS 5, which hides an Android-like autocorrect keyboard bar. Android fans everywhere are crying foul! You can enable it even without jailbreaking.

Here's the tutorial (via Sony Dickson)

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Adobe Surrenders Mobile Flash - Steve Jobs FTW, Users FTL!

November 9, 2011



I had hoped that with Steve Jobs' passing that Flash for the iPhone/iPad might now be possible, but alas with today's news from Adobe that they're killing off mobile Flash, my hopes were bitterly crushed. It's not that I'm a huge fan of Adobe Flash on mobile devices, but it's the best technology that just plain damn works! I can't tell you how many times I've surfed the web on my iPhone 4S and iPad and I can't play an embedded YouTube clip. If you're on an Android device, you have no problems playing any YouTube content.

A commenter to my blog article has a good point when he writes:
There are a number of educational applets that I would like to use in the classrooom but I can't in the iPad because they are in Flash and Java.  See http://phet.colorado.edu/ to see things that real educators have spent a lot time on that have real value in the classroom that are blocked by this stupid obsession. 




Republic Wireless Hybrid WiFi / Cell VoIP Service for $19/month

November 8, 2011

What if you could get a cellular plan for $19/month with unlimited voice? Well, you can (sort of) using republic wireless's hybrid WiFi/cellular network approach. It includes unlimited WiFi VoIP calling, 550 minutes of cellular voice calling, 150 texts, and 300 megabytes of data. republic wireless is a division of Bandwidth.com, whose network and solutions power Google, Pinger, Skype, Groupme, RingCentral, Phonebooth, and others.



The caveats: There is a $199 startup fee, which gives you a LG Optimus phone running Android 2.3.



iMainGo XP Portable Stereo Speaker & Case for iPad

November 7, 2011


Portable Sound Labs has a new product called the iMainGo XP (model: 11BWB04), which is a portable stereo speaker for the iPad but also doubles as a protective case. It works on both the iPad 1 and iPad 2. It sports a rechargeable lithium ion battery, so it doesn't suck the power from the iPad and delivers at least six hours of playtime between charges. What's nice is that you can play audio and view your iPad without removing it form your protective iMainGo case.

Digium (Unofficially) Announces R-Series Redundancy Analog & PRI Appliances

October 27, 2011


Today, at a standing room only session presented by Digium's Jason Parker he discussed Digium's R-Series (R = Redundancy) appliance, which adds redundancy to analog & PRI trunks. It comes in two models - an analog model supporting 8 analog trunks and a PRI model supporting 8 PRIs. Interestingly, both will be priced at $995. I would have expected a premium on the 8 PRI model. The products will be generally available on December 9th of this year.

Asterisk 10 - The Inside Story

October 27, 2011



At AstriCon, I sat down with Digium's Steve Sokol, Asterisk Marketing Director, to discuss the big Asterisk 10 release. It's quite the version leap from 1.1, 1.2, 1.4 , 1.6, to 1.8 - and now to 10.0. Ironically, I knocked Asterisk's small version increments when I spoke with Mark Spencer 1-3 years ago. I asked Mark why the version numbering scheme was still less than 2.0.

AstriCon Party - Last Shuttle Out Sure is a Rowdy Bunch

October 27, 2011

Everyone seemed to have a great time at the AstriCon Conference Party which took place at Fat Cats, a bowling alley and video game establishment. The last shuttle left around 11:35pm and it sure was a rowdy bunch (but in a good way). Fellow co-worker Alan Urkawich was ribbing me from the back of the bus while I was riding in the front. We had some back and forth ribbing and some of the other shuttle bus riders joined in and joked with other passengers as well.

Digium's Mark Spencer Questions Panasonic About Android APKs/Apps

October 26, 2011

Mark Spencer, Allison Smith & the AstriCon Luncheon - Humor Alert!

October 26, 2011


Today's luncheon at the AstriCon conference was packed to the gills. I saw an open seat at Mark Spencer's table and some Digium folks. But the tables were so crammed close together that I couldn't figure out how to traverse the maze to their table. It didn't help that I was lugging a heavy laptop bag with iPad, laptop, and other gadgets.

AstriCon VoIP Security - $400,000 toll fraud - YIKES!

October 26, 2011


During an AstriCon session on VoIP security the speaker discussed how easy it was to hack voicemail PINs, but not to listen to your voice messages but to initiate "call backs" using spoofed CallerIDs. Essentially, this leverages the "call back" feature that many voicemail systems have to call back the person that left the message.

He then asked the audience for any real world examples of how they were hacked. Several volunteered their stories. I captured one of them where their Elastix server was hacked - due to their parent company locking them out of the server and not updating /patching the server. This resulted in the hackers racking up toll fraud (Korean calls) of $400,000!


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