Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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VoLTE Versus WebRTC: I didn't know it was a battle

When I talk to customers, they often ask about how WebRTC compares to voice over LTE (VoLTE), and which technology “will...

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These 3 Do Everything Together

At a few shows, including the latest ITEXPO, the 3 big cablecos - TWC, Comcast and Charter - share a booth....

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Modems? In This Day and Age?

Not so many years ago, the only way to connect to the Internet was via a modem. You would use your...

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How to Speed Small Cell Site Acquisition on a Large Scale

By: Jean Jones, Director, Wireless Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Outdoor small cells are now widely recognized as a great solution for expanding mobile capacity and coverage. And their use is expected to grow sevenfold by 2018.[1] So here’s the next big question: How can you put these cells where they’re needed, faster and at lower cost?

Maybe you’ve already encountered deployment issues, including difficulties with small cell site acquisition. According to an Informa Telecoms & Media survey, nearly 60% of mobile operators say that deployment problems are their biggest small cell challenge.[2] In other words, operators’ top concerns are not about small cell technologies or products. Instead, they’re about the practical aspects of getting these cells up and running on light posts, utility poles, bus stops, buildings and other street locations.

This blog looks at a collaborative approach that makes these deployment processes faster and easier. Alcatel-Lucent adopted these methods for our Metro Cell Express Site Certification Program. And we’re discussing them here, because this business model earned a top award in the small cell innovation leadership category.

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HumansFirst ColdSmoke Lets You Buy with your Smartphone

While speech-technology has come a long way, we still haven’t entered the world of Star Trek reruns where the computer can do...

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Structural Separation via REIT Equals Zero Taxes

Windstream got the endorsement of the IRS to transfer their assets - copper and fiber plant - to a REIT and...

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Connected Cars as an Everyday Lifestyle

By: Ellis Lindsay, General Manager, Customer Experience Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent 

I drive to work and back home in my car every day. I tune in to a radio station for traffic news and upcoming events nearby. Like many of you I’m sure, this is a typical everyday activity. And like never before, we are connected to our home, our families, our phones, our work and our friends in a network that seems to be always on. Shouldn’t we be in a lifestyle where we are consistently connected to the everyday activities in our lives? Well, let me introduce you to the world of Connected Cars. Full Story »

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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