Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Access is Still Pretty Good

At all the shows, it is cloud this and cloud that - a bunch of doom and gloom on legacy telecom....

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Mobile fax? Why do you need that?

Fax is an enduring technology. While you may think that fax is declining, some reports show that the market is actually...

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We ask the experts: How can exceptional QoE be achieved in VoLTE networks?

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

What does voice over LTE (VoLTE) offer your subscribers? Better voice quality, including HD voice. Rich communications with messaging and video. And whatever inventive applications you choose to introduce. In other words, VoLTE can provide a superior quality of experience (QoE) for subscribers and give you a competitive edge — particularly when your service operates at its best. 

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In my last blog[CCE1] , our experts explained why an end-to-end strategy is the key to maintaining peak VoLTE performance. Now we’ll look at how this strategy gets put into practice to optimize real-world service offerings. The information here is based on interviews with Luis Venerio who works with our VoLTE Readiness Services team. And his observations come straight from his experience on VoLTE deployments that serve millions of subscribers.

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Wearable Tech Expo 2014 Kicking off in NYC

My team is at the Jacob Javits Center setting up for Wearable Tech Expo 2014 which will take place Wednesday and Thursday...

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #7

Tsahi Levent-Levi’s white paper, “Seven Reasons for WebRTC Server-Side Processing,” details a variety of WebRTC-related scenarios that necessitate a media server....

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How signaling spikes affect networks: 3 real-world examples

By: Josee Loudiadis, Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent

Data and signaling growth are usually good news for network operators, since growth often translates into higher revenues. But when growth is averaged over a month or quarter, the daily highs and lows of network activity are smoothed out. And signaling spikes remain hidden within the averages. These spikes can overwhelm available signaling capacity, which impairs the customer experience, as well as the operator’s reputation.

What happens when a spike occurs? Typically, a CPU Overload alarm appears on various mobile nodes. And the Network Operations Center (NOC) immediately starts praying that the burst is short-lived and doesn’t go over maximum peak-rate capacity. Because when that happens, all consumers are denied service access. Then, the process of identifying the source of the problem begins. This can be arduous, because it often involves applications completely out of NOC control. And the issue can’t be resolved easily without solid network analytics that enables engagement with application and device developers.

That’s the reason signaling information is a crucial part of the Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Apps Rankings report and why LTE World 2014 devotes an entire pre-conference day to the topic. It’s also why this blog offers a closer look at how some real-world disruptive signaling spikes got started — and were finally resolved.

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The Expanding Channel Programs

Not only do I see more cloud service providers looking to the channel for sales, I see other channel programs expanding....

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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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