Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
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The Changing Definition of the Diameter Signaling Controller and Diameter Routing Agent (DRA)

Next week, I will be speaking at the Signaling Focus Day of LTE Asia.  The signaling focus day obviously will have...

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The Cat Video Index: A Simple View of Data Costs

By: Andy Porter, Product Manager in the Payment, Policy and Charging department at Alcatel-Lucent

The Economist has its famous Big Mac index for comparing buying power across countries. But I wanted an index that focuses on the cost of mobile data usage. That meant I had to find a data-charging equivalent of the Big Mac. I needed an item that crosses cultural boundaries, is universally understood and is available worldwide.

I considered many possibilities. But the answer arrived when I saw my daughter laughing at a video of a cat playing a piano. Obviously, the mobile data equivalent of the Big Mac is the YouTube video. It’s a universally available service that is easily measured in quantitative terms, making it ideal for comparing mobile data costs.

In honor of my daughter, I chose the classic “piano-playing cat” as the baseline video. And by the way, this cat video has been viewed over 34 million times, proving its suitability as a baseline.

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THE SECRET VALUE OF VoLTE - WHAT'S IN IT FOR CONSUMERS

By: Ed Elkin, Director, IP Platforms Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent 

Today’s consumers want faster mobile broadband, and lots of it. That’s the dominant fact shaping Mobile Service Providers’ competitive strategies. So let’s look at what you can offer these valuable subscribers with voice over LTE (VoLTE).

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California Lawmakers Plunge Some Transactions into 3rd World

California has come up with a law that hurts the very people it says it is protecting by making it difficult to...

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Globys Uses the Power of Social to Boost Carrier Sales

You may recall a commercial for Faberge Organic shampoo from decades back where the person using the shampoo said when you...

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The Expo News Update

Datapipe, a global managed IT provider, acquired Layered Tech to add to its US federal government business. Layered Tech adds security...

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Practical and Smart IMS

Last week, I wrote about the drivers behind the recent increase in IP multimedia system (IMS) deployments. As communication service providers...

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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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