Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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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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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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Bandwith Shaping

November 15, 2004

Prioritizing VoIP traffic and performing bandwidth shaping is key to a successful VoIP deployment, so I thought sharing this bit of news about a bandwidth-shaping product might be useful...

APconnections Adds Support for Priority Voice Over IP Traffic to Its Entire Family of NetEqualizer Bandwidth Shaping Products

Plug-and-Play Solution Now Offers Support for Data and VoIP Traffic in One Product; Adds Additional Models to Product Family

LAFAYETTE, Colo., Nov. 15, 2004 -- APconnections, a supplier of plug-and-play bandwidth shaping products, announced today that it has added support for priority voice and video traffic to its entire NetEqualizer product family. In addition, the company has added additional models to its product family. Now, businesses ranging from Internet cafes and corporations to service providers and telcos will be able to take advantage of NetEqualizer's built-in traffic shaping controls to cost-effectively and automatically provide priority for voice and video traffic and relieve congestion for data traffic with one easy-to-install and manage appliance.

Customer Service

November 15, 2004

I was checking out Andy's blog about "bad customer service" in the USA and as I was reading it I kept thinking to myself, "Yup, been there" or a Clintonian "I feel your pain..."

In fact, reading this also reminded me how my father-in-law purchased a brand new Dell after consulting me for my opinion on what he should buy.

Later on, my wife told me that he purchased a Dell with the optional technical support contract. She said to me, "I don't know why he bought that. You even told me the frustration of dealing with technical support reps that just read from a script.

Mitel 3300 IP-PBX

November 11, 2004

Mitel is releasing a the newest version of it's flagship product - the Mitel 3300 IP-PBX "Release 5." There are significant upgrades over Release 4, which became available in 2003, including:

1. 3300 can now support up to 60,000 users (up from 30,000 users) and network up to 250 sites;

2. The new 3300 can for the first time support SIP and MiNet (our proprietary protocol);

3. There are built in Enterprise Management tools (efficiency management, graphical topology views, inventory, network health);

4.

Andy likes AT&T CallVantage over Vonage

November 10, 2004

Halo 2

November 10, 2004


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Halo 2

This is an excellent article discussing the launch of the immensely popular Halo2 for the Xbox: MSNBC - Gamers go gunning for 'Halo 2'. (If the Halo theme music is annoying, scroll up and hit the Stop button)

Think of Halo2 as a the "cabbage patch kids", "Harry Potter"-equivalent phenomenon for teens/adults. I have an Xbox myself, and own the first Halo, but never did get into online gaming via Microsoft Live with Halo or any other Xbox game for that matter. I knew it would be too addicting.

VoIP spurs growth for Cablevision

November 10, 2004

Skibare pointed out this Wall Street Journal article: WSJ.com - Cablevision's Loss Narrows With Strength in Advertising

I used to have CableVision when I lived in Norwalk and was pretty pleased with their service - they were one of the first cable companies in the Northeast to offer cable broadband. Competing satellite providers and other "ventures" have hurt CableVision over the past few years, but they seem to be getting some legs under them with the help of voice over Internet services.

According to the article, Cablevision's Internet phone service got 74,142 new sign-ups. Wow, that's nearly 75,000 VoIP customers.

Skype API

November 9, 2004

Skype

Andy's blog brought to my attention that the Skype API is out (in beta) VoIP Watch: Skype API Now Out

Here's the news from Skype's website:
Skype, the Global Internet Telephony Company, today announced the beta of its Skype API (Application Program Interface) included in the latest version of Skype for Windows, enabling hardware devices and software applications to seamlessly integrate with Skype's award-winning Internet telephony software. Skype currently has more than 14.5 million users from every country in the world, and is adding approximately 100,000 new users per day.

"We offer the Skype API to expand quality voice and messaging communications around the globe," said Niklas Zennström, Skype CEO and co-founder. "With this API, Skype is now an open platform and we are keen to watch the world's innovative developer community integrate the Skype application to extend the potential of global communications."

Non-commercial developers worldwide may freely integrate the Skype API in compliance with the Skype software End User License Agreement (EULA).

FCC Exempts VoIP from state rules

November 9, 2004

The Federal Communications Commission voted today to exempt Internet-based phone companies (Internet Telephony or VoIP) from state regulation, making Voice over Internet to fall under federal jurisdiction - a major victory for the VoIP industry. With the FCC having jurisdiction over Internet-based phone comapnies this could certainly help keep the VoIP industry "red hot" and inspire others to enter the market as well or investment/capital money to flow into the VoIP industry..

The FCC decision is likely to anger some local state officials who say the FCC is usurping local authority. In addition they are concerned that they can not collect revenue from VoIP providers to subsidize high-cost rural phone service.

FCC Gives me and VoIP Industry a Birthday Gift

November 9, 2004

AT&T CallVantage and Buy.com

November 8, 2004

I was in Circuit City this past Thursday buying a Disney Mickey Mouse television as a birthday gift for my wife when I took a stroll by the computer section. I saw lots of VoIP broadband service providers on the shelves, such as Vonage, AT&T CallVantage, and more using LinkSys hardware or other hardware. It's pretty amazing to me how mainstream VoIP has become. I was going to take a picture of the Circuit City shelf display which had lots of VoIP players all within a 6 by 4 foot area -- just to show how mainstream VoP has become -- but I didn't have my digital camera with me.

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