Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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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 »

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

October 12, 2004

Media Center Edition 2005

I was just reading about the launch of Media Center Edition 2005 and came across this link: Microsoft to tune up Media Center PC | CNET News.com As I just blogged, I want to buy a Sony model running the new Media Center Edition 2005, however according the link, "The machines are part of Sony's existing "R" series of Vaio Desktops. In addition to sporting the new OS, the machines add faster processors and larger hard drives as well as the option to automatically create a backup of data using RAID. For now, Sony's machines stick to offering a single TV tuner."

One tuner? Are you kidding me???!

Media Center Extender

October 12, 2004

Linksys Wireless A/G Media Center Extender (WMCE54AG)

I have over 167,000 Sony points to use up, so I have been itching to buy a Sony VAIO running Windows Media Center PC for some time now -- which has TiVo-like aka Personal Video Recorder (PVR) functionality. Now with the new Microsoft Media Center 2005 operating system released today, no doubt Sony will come out with the new operating system which has some cool new features. I won't go into the new Media Center 2005 features in this blog entry since I want to talk about wireless Media Center Extenders that work in conjunction with Media Center PCs to wireless transmit your Media Center PC content to anywhere in your house! In fact, one of the reasons I didn't bite the bullet was my PC was so far away from my 65" Mitsubishi television set that I would have to "snake" wires in my house from the PC to the TV, that would no doubt be grounds for a divorce!

Vonage E911 news

October 12, 2004

Thought I'd share this news about Vonage and E911 using Intrado. As you know, one of the knocks against VoIP is 911 support in the event of emergencies. Of course, I have heard from a few people in the VoIP industry "knocking" against using Intrado's database. It could be due to the price-tag of using Intrado's database or it can simply be the people in the VoIP industry knocking them since don't have E911 support themselves.

Segway Centaur

October 12, 2004

AT&T CallVantage Behind Router

October 12, 2004

One of the knocks against AT&T CallVantage was that it doesn't work behind your existing home router/firewall. Their nemesis, Vonage, is able to handle being behind or in front of a firewall - a huge competitive advantage, especially for the security-conscious techies that don't like having any device in the front of the firewall.

Well, Andy Abramson brought to my attention that this is no longer the case - AT&T CallVantage does indeed support being connected behind a firewall, as confirmed by this AT&T CallVantage How To link: AT&T CallVantage

Though I did read somewhere else that contradicts this and it stated that AT&T DOES NOT support having the telephone adaptor (TA) behind the router/firewall, but that they "will soon support such a configuration".

I guess AT&T is moving so fast to add features and functionality to CallVantage the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing!

Symbol NetVision Phone Discontinued

October 12, 2004

Asterisk and SIPPhone

October 11, 2004

VoiceEclipse New VoIP Service Provider

October 11, 2004

Yet another Vonage-wannabe I recently discovered. They have a $29.95 unlimited plan with 2 phone numbers included (at least that is unique).

They also offer $12.95 for 1 phone number and 500 minutes and $24.95 for 2 phone numbers and 1000 minutes.

When I clicked the About Us link it said:
StarNet, Inc., founded in 1994 by Chief Executive Officer Russ Intravartolo, is a leading provider of dial-up Internet access and related products and services in North America. Through its state-of-the-art, fully owned MegaPOP network, StarNet provides reliable, high quality services designed to serve the consumer markets and the small to medium-sized ISP.

AT&T and LinkSys VoIP deal

October 11, 2004

It came as no surprise to me that AT&T and LinkSys would ink a deal to offer AT&T CallVantage on Linksys's home broadband router product line. Now, LinkSys has special VoIP customization for Vonage, AT&T CallVantage, and Verizon VoiceWing.

The Ethernet version is currently available directly from AT&T, and Linksys expects that all versions will be available at retail outlets such as Best Buy, Circuit City, Staples, and Office Depot later this month.

I hope the packaging is clear which VoIP provider you are getting when you buy it at a retail store (such as a Best Buy or CompUSA.) It would really suck if you planned on signing up with one VoIP provider but bought a LinkSys model with a different VoIP service provider embedded inside.

VoIP Testing Tool

October 11, 2004

Here's some news about a VoIP testing tool. VoIP testing tools are becoming more important as VoIP grows, so enjoy this bit of news:

Long Beach, CA - October 12, 2004
Psytechnics, the global leader in voice and video quality assessment software, has teamed with NetTest, a leading worldwide provider of monitoring, management and testing solutions for advanced and converged networks, to bring industry standard voice quality measurement capabilities to NetTest's service assurance tools for VoIP networks.

NetTest will integrate Psytechnics' psyVoIP software for measuring the voice quality of live customer calls into the MasterQuest VoIP solution. The MasterQuest VoIP solution is part of NetTest's OSS solution family based on MasterQuest, designed specifically for telecommunication network carriers and service providers to optimize their business performance and increase revenues

MasterQuest VoIP is a complete service assurance solution for IP networks, combining troubleshooting with key performance indicators to support the management of suppliers' service level agreements.

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