Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Access is Still Pretty Good

At all the shows, it is cloud this and cloud that - a bunch of doom and gloom on legacy telecom....

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Mobile fax? Why do you need that?

Fax is an enduring technology. While you may think that fax is declining, some reports show that the market is actually...

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We ask the experts: How can exceptional QoE be achieved in VoLTE networks?

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

What does voice over LTE (VoLTE) offer your subscribers? Better voice quality, including HD voice. Rich communications with messaging and video. And whatever inventive applications you choose to introduce. In other words, VoLTE can provide a superior quality of experience (QoE) for subscribers and give you a competitive edge — particularly when your service operates at its best. 

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In my last blog[CCE1] , our experts explained why an end-to-end strategy is the key to maintaining peak VoLTE performance. Now we’ll look at how this strategy gets put into practice to optimize real-world service offerings. The information here is based on interviews with Luis Venerio who works with our VoLTE Readiness Services team. And his observations come straight from his experience on VoLTE deployments that serve millions of subscribers.

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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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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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