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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Are Hackers Stealing your Data via Wireless WiFi Signals?

August 8, 2004

Until I read this "Stealth wallpaper keeps company secrets safe | New Scientist" article, the only way I knew of to block external access to WiFi signals was to line the building's walls with aluminium foil, and use special glass that absorbs radio waves in the windows. While this method ensures that all electromagnetic emissions are absorbed, it also blocks cellphone signals from getting through. No one is going to want to give up cell phone access in the name of security. Can you imagine the employee rebellion?

New WiFi standards causing me upgraditis

August 8, 2004

Years ago I was ribbed by my fellow IT friends and coworkers for always wanting to have the latest and greatest technology - whether it was the latest 3dFx Voodoo video card (now defunct) or the latest PC, or the latest software and patches, I had a serious case of upgraditis - an incurable condition that causes you to want to upgrade and have the best technology out there.

My upgraditis went into "remission" for a few years. My PC was fast enough, the video card did what I needed it to do, i was happy. But then along came Wifi wireless access to the Internet which caused my upgraditis to come back with a vengeance.

In Search of a Linux-based PBX 3 years later

August 7, 2004

In the November 2001 issue of Communications Solutions Magazine I wrote about my quest to find an open-source Linux-based PBX. I actually wrote the article in August 2001 (magazine lead time), so it is exactly 3 years ago that I wrote that article.

I remember thinking "Linux is taking off everywhere, why hasn't it taken off in telephony?" I did find a few companies such as Picazo (which was bought by Dialogic and then acquired by Telecor). Where they are today is anyone's guess.

SkypeOut free calling to PSTN due to network congestion problems

August 5, 2004

Check out this quote from the About SkypeOut website.
"As a result of overwhelming demand and unforeseen call traffic to the regular telephone network, we are unfortunately experiencing technical difficulties which impact call completions and quality in the SkypeOut network.

For your troubles and while we resolve these matters, even if you were or are able to successfully complete a SkypeOut call, we will not be charging for any minutes/calls made after today Friday 30 July 2004 10.00 am British summertime [GMT +1h] -- until our quality and reliability has improved and another announcement is posted here."

Hey, cool... free PC-to-PSTN caliling using VoIP? All because they are having network congestion?

Proof of life on Mars?

August 5, 2004

I was reading this CNN story forwarded to me from a friend.
CNN.com - Digging for life in the deadest desert - Aug 5, 2004

It is amazing that bacteria can survive in nuclear waste, volcanic vents, and other extremes. Just about any place on Earth you can point your finger down at the ground and be sure there are billions of bacteria where you are pointing. But not in Chile's Atacama Desert!

Scientists are studying Chile's Atacama Desert, the driest part on Earth.

FCC lets TiVo share digital TV shows equals empty football stadiums

August 4, 2004

Well, the Federal Communications Commission gave the OK to let TiVo allow users to share and send digital broadcast shows over the Internet, but limited to just 9 TiVo"friends" or users. It uses a key to limit access to the TV show.

The NFL is up in arms since they fear people won't attend football games in areas where a blackout is in effect. The theory is that blackouts cause more people to go to the game.

Vonage competitor

August 4, 2004

Vonage Outage Part 2

August 3, 2004

It would appear that Vonage is not the only broadband VoIP provider with a major outage this week. I blogged the Vonage outage and joked that maybe it was a conspiracy by the phone companies to intentionally block Vonage's traffic.

Well, it's no joke in Korea. Apparently, a Korean company, PCCW, is accused of blocking rival phone services to Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) and and Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) for about 15 hours on Sunday and Monday.

Digital Memory cards survive extreme tests

August 3, 2004

Many of us own digital cameras or PDAs that use CompactFlash or SD memory cards. Well, I'm sure none of us would want to lose precious photos or important data contained on these memory cards. A show of hands - "Who backs up their memory card?" Most probably don't, although I'm sure most people download their photos to their computer's hard drive. But as CF/SD cards get larger in size and cheaper in price, I guarantee people will download and erase photos off of their memory cards much less.

Vonage Outage as Reported in VoIP forums

August 3, 2004

As first reported in TMC's VoIP Forum, Vonage experienced a major outage today.

The first post (Is Vonage Down?) was at 10:34am EDT. Then another posted Vonage was down at 12:05pm. I knew something was up.

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