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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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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