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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AT&T CallVantage VoIP calls blocked

August 12, 2004

Some VoIP calls being blocked | CNET News.com

Cnet.com has reported that some users are having issue receiving inbound calls. This has once again raised the issue of whether or not cable broadband companies are blocking VoIP calls.

I discussed the potential for network service providers to block VoIP traffic in my Vonage Outage Part 2 blog entry. Damn hypercompetive bastards!

Playing chicken installing Microsoft Windows XP SP2

August 12, 2004

A few fellow co-workers that all work in IT played a game of "chicken" yesterday. That is, we were trying to figure out who would be the guinea pig to install the Microsoft Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2). The conversation went something like this.
"You install SP2."
"No, you"
"Uhh, no.


Blocking attachments in Outlook Express

August 11, 2004

After my little episode of having my home PC infected by my wife with the Bagle virus I thought I would look into some freeware/shareware utilities that remove untrustworthy attachments (i.e. .exe, .com, .pif, .bat, .vbs, etc.) from Outlook Express. (Note: I had the latest anti-virus definitions installed, but the virus writers are always a step ahead, so best to just block certain file types if at all possible)

I found one shareware called Outlook Express Quick Tools (OE Quick Tools for short) for $29.95 that lets you remove attachments, but it's unclear if you have to manually remove them or not. I think iit just removes attachments of all kinds just to reduce the size of your Outlook Express database.

VoIP2Save.com "We have Number Portability - Our Competitors Do Not!"

August 10, 2004

VoIP2Save.com "We have Number Portability - Our Competitors Do Not!"
Na na na na!

Well they weren't actually quoted saying it like that, but pretty damn close! : )

I just saw this release hit the wire:
PRESS RELEASE: Broadband Internet Phone Company, VoIP2Save.com Announces Full Phone Number Portability

The release claims that Vonage, Packet8, Voice Glo, Lingo and I-Connect do not allow customers to keep their phone number the company assigned to them, if the customer decided to switch to another phone company. I know I have heard complaints from users when they tried porting their phone number when switching from one broadband VoIP service provider to another.

Snom's new 220 VoIP phone

August 10, 2004

I am a fan of the Snom VoIP phones, TMC Labs reviewed a couple Snom phones recently and were pretty impressed. (Snom 100 and 200 product review)

so I thought I would share their press release announcing their new 220 phone which features a 128 X 64 pixel graphical backlit display:

Berlin, 2004-08-10: snom technology, situated in Berlin, is expanding its VoIP phones business line with the new IP phone snom 220, which has been specially developed for the small and medium-sized enterprise segment. This high-end affordable device addresses the communication needs of power users such as executive and administrative staff who require very high standards from communication systems.

Convenience is guaranteed by the 128 x 64 pixel graphical backlit display.

AT&T the Sleeping Giant Awakens to blitzkrieg the VoIP market

August 10, 2004

So every industry pundit is claiming that AT&T has surrendered to the Baby Bells, but I know better.

Here are some headlines:
AT&T surrenders fight for home telephone services
AT&T Gives Up on Consumer Market
AT&T rings in a new business strategy


"AT&T last month said that it would stop promoting its local and long-distance services to consumers, marking the end of an era for the company that once served virtually every U.S. home. AT&T plans to focus exclusively on big business customers, which account for 75% of overall revenue.

Windows XP SP2 Download - If you know where to look

August 9, 2004

Stooges have been colorized on DVD - Say it ain't so!

August 9, 2004

Nortel buys 5 percent of Global IP Sound

August 9, 2004

In the February 2003 issue of Internet Telephony Magazine, I wrote about Global IP Sound's excellent GIPS VoiceEngine codec, which can be integrated into VoIP applications. GIPS VoiceEngine is a software package that handles all the voice components and includes an adaptive jitter buffer (GIPS NetEQ), acoustic echo control, packet loss concealer, and any standard codec can be plugged in, including G.711, Enhanced G.711, and iPCM.

Their codec is designed to handle heavy latency and heavy packet loss. In fact, I tested their codec using Shunra's Cloud 4.0 to induce 25% and 50% packet loss to see how their codec would handle it and it performed remarkably well.

Could VoIP market become fragmented?

August 9, 2004

One of the beauties of VoIP is its openness, its adherence to industry standards, and its ability to easily route calls across the public Internet or private networks. Unfortunately, many VoIP startups are building their own proprietary networks (i.e. their own “islands”) that don't communicate with each other.

For example, say you sign-up with Vonage and then you make a call to a Packet8 user.

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