Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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ITEXPO will help Explain the Coming Cloud Upgrade

The cloud is changing how technology is bought, sold and used. The very economics of business have shifted as a result. When...

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WebRTC Expo San Jose 2014 Interviews

Are you interested in WebRTC but yet you missed the largest event in the space, WebRTC Expo a few months back in...

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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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