Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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IBM, Mitel, Wearable Tech round out Latest ITEXPO News

Its been an amazing ITEXPO so far - wow. In case you missed some of the happenings from day 1, here are...

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3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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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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Is VoIP Ready for Primetime?

September 17, 2004

I've started to regularly visit GeekNewsCentral - a blog on gadgets, technology, etc. The site often mentions VoIP. In a recent entry, they wrote: "I'm a fan of cable broadband service, and it seems that many online Americans share my opinion. I detest dial-up service, it makes teaching class a drudgery, and it's too slow for me to listen to my favorite radio stations.

Skype down?

September 16, 2004

Vonage Launches Mexico City Virtual Numbers

September 16, 2004

Cisco Bigwig Joins Skype Board

September 15, 2004

I read on The Street.com's website that BusinessWeek has reported that a Cisco Bigwig, namely Mike Volpi, Cisco's former strategy chief, has joined the board at Skype.

Skype's P2P VoIP business model doesn't exactly fit into Cisco's VoIP business model. Cisco wants to sell more hardware-based routers and using VoIP to leverage the sale of more routers. Skype is simply software that enables VoIP calling.

Skype McDonald's-like VoIP Minutes Counter

September 15, 2004

Remember before McDonald's changed to a static "Billions and Billions Served", McDonald's billboards would change every couple years and increase in number. "10 Billion Served", "20 Billion Served", "50 Billion Served", etc. etc.

Ahhh, those were the days, driving past a McDonald's and tracking the number of people served at McDonald's...

AT&T CallVantage Adds more Advanced Features

September 15, 2004

AT&T today announced another round of new feature enhancements for AT&T CallVantage Service including the availability of "Simple Reach Number," a new capability that enables subscribers to have up to nine additional telephone numbers for their service in any available area code. The new enhancements are the latest in a series of innovations the company plans to add to this popular new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

"AT&T is moving quickly to deliver innovations that will bring consumers more features, better quality and greater value for residential broadband phone service," said Cathy Martine, AT&T senior vice president for Internet Telephony. "We have a pipeline of exciting new enhancements coming from AT&T Labs that will give AT&T CallVantage Service customers even more capabilities, convenience and control over their communications."

The Simple Reach(SM) Number feature enables AT&T CallVantage Service customers to add up to nine additional telephone numbers anywhere in the country where AT&T offers residential VoIP service.

Cisco vs. Juniper

September 15, 2004

I was just reading an article from BusinessWeek Online that discussed the battle between Cisco and Juniper.

It hits the nail on the head with what I said yesterday about Cisco and Juniper. (Cisco New Routers Everything But the Kitchen Sink)

Part of the article states: "Rather than concentrate strictly on the "big iron" used by phone companies and other carriers, Juniper announced on June 14 that it would start selling low-end "access routers" as well. These "J-series" models were aimed at Cisco's stronghold -- a $4 billion-a-year segment, in which Cisco enjoys a market share of roughly 90%.
Now, Cisco is fighting back.

iPod battery life improved via high capacity replacement

September 14, 2004

As an iPod lover, I just had to share this announcement about improved battery-life:

OWC AND NEWERTECH ANNOUNCE ULTRA HIGH-CAPACITY REPLACEMENT BATTERY FOR FIRST- AND SECOND-GENERATION IPOD MODELS

2100mAh replacement battery has highest capacity of any iPod battery on the market, with 70 percent more capacity than Apple stock battery

WOODSTOCK, Ill. - September 14, 2004 - Newer Technology, Inc. (NewerTech() and Other World Computing (OWC) today introduced an ultra high-capacity 2100mAh Apple iPod replacement Lithium-Polymer (Li-Polymer) replacement battery for all first- and second-generation iPod models.

The NewerTech battery is the highest capacity iPod battery on the market and provides 70 percent more capacity than standard Apple stock batteries. It is available immediately for $39.95.

"The sad truth about first- and second-generation iPods is that in many cases their batteries start to fade after about 18 months, and there's nothing worse for an iPod-user than to slowly become unable to access their digital music on-the-go," said Larry O'Connor, president of OWC.

VoIP plug and play box for traditional PBXs

September 14, 2004

I've said for years that there should be a turnkey "box" that you can simply plug into a PBX and turn it into a PBX with VoIP trunks (or IP Centrex if you prefer.) The box would "simulate" analog or T1/E1 trunk lines so the PBX simply sees the box as the Central Office (CO) providing trunk lines. Then an Ethernet connection on the box would hook up to some sort of broadband IP connection. All voice traffic would get packetized and sent across this IP connection and terminating on an ITSP's (Intenet Telephony Service Provider) network, such as Level3 or Global Crossing. Maybe the box would have expansion ports for a 2nd or 3rd T1/E1.

Cisco acquires Dynamicsoft

September 13, 2004

Cisco Systems Inc. has acquired Dynamicsoft Inc., best known for their Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) product line, for about $55 million in cash, including the assumption of about $3.8 million in debt.

dynamicsoft has always had a strong SIP core offering, as well as support for presence in 2G, 2.5G, and 3G networks, which is becoming increasingly important.

The real story behind the story is that Cisco still has been using their proprietary SCCP protocol (a version of MGCP – Media Gateway Control Protocol) rather than the industry standard SIP protocol.

While Cisco claims their lack of true SIP support hasn't hurt them, I say "yeah right".

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