Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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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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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #6

In a recent blog about the current state of WebRTC, I mentioned that readers should check out an excellent white paper...

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Vonage Mobile Adds Video Calls

April 18, 2013

Grandstream GXP2200 Review

April 8, 2013


The Grandstream GXP2200 Gigabit IP phone is another Android-based IP phone in a growing line of Android-based IP phones that includes the Panasonic KX-UT670, CloudTC, and the ESI 250. A couple years ago I espoused the benefits of a tablet-based desktop phone running either iOS or Android, so that this "universal" device becomes your portable tablet/computer and your desktop IP phone. We're not quite there yet, since all the Android desktop IP phones are not battery powered and require either a Power over Ethernet (PoE) or AC adapter for power. Further, as with anything, cost will play a role.

Detailed WebRTC Research Report Out

April 1, 2013

Well, it was inevitable - a detailed and possibly first WebRTC research report is out with full analysis of the WebRTC marketplace & value chain. I've been blogging on VoIP since 2004 and writing about VoIP since 1996, when I wrote what I believe was the first VoIP product review (Vocaltec). But I've never been as excited about a new VoIP technology as I am WebRTC. WebRTC is going to be huge, which is why TMC launched a show WebRTC Conference & Expo focused exclusively on WebRTC.

So I'm interested to check out this research report which measures 160 pages in length, including detailed commentary, analysis, forecasts and over 50 tables and charts with over 70 WebRTC companies discussed.


Skype for Windows Phone 8 Gets HD First & More Feature Love

March 19, 2013

Today, Skype released an update for the Skype for Windows Phone 8 Preview, version 2.4, which for the first time ever adds HD video calling to a mobile version of Skype. This version leverages the hardware acceleration capability of Windows Phone 8 to enable the HD video experience.

It offers VGA video (640x480) on lower end handsets and 720P HD on higher-end devices including the Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X and Samsung Ativ S. Importantly, the app can intelligently determines the best quality available based on the speed of your connection. They also added People Hub integration, landscape mode for calls, and the ability to switch between front and back cameras.


Finally, the Microsoft acquisition of Skype appears to be paying dividends. Get the updated version now from Windows Phone Store.




Windows 8 Underscan / Overscan & HDMI Resolution Problem Solved!

February 25, 2013

I had a problem with Windows 8 having underscan (& overscan) issue where the screen was not filling entire TV screen over a HDMI connection, resulting in abnormally large black borders. Who wants to watch 1920x1080 (1080p) HD video content with black borders? Well, after some extensive researching I was able to resolve the issue.

The specific computer I'm using is a Dell Zino HD with a ATI / AMD 4330 video card, which was running Windows 7, but I upgraded to Windows 8 and which was when the problems began. On Windows 7, you simply install AMD/ATI's Catalyst Control Center (CCC) and then you can launch CCC and change the underscan/overscan settings to fill your whole screen.

Windows 8 Sync Settings - Security Hole

February 15, 2013


Windows 8 has a cool new feature that lets you login with your cloud-based Microsoft account (@hotmail.com, @live.com, @outlook.com) and it will synchronize your settings between Windows 8 PCs, but with a "security catch". We'll get into that in a moment. First, here's a list of features and settings that you can sync:
  • Personalize - Colors, background, lock screen, and your account picture
  • Desktop personalization - Themes, taskbar, high contrast, and more
  • Passwords - sign-in info for some apps, websites, networks, and HomeGroup
  • Ease of Access - Settings for Narrator, Magnifier, and more
  • Language preferences - Keyboards, other input methods, display language, and more
  • App settings - Certain settings in your apps, but not all
  • Browser settings - Internet Explorer history and bookmarks/favorites
  • Other Windows settings - Windows Explorer, mouse settings, and more
  • Sign-in info - For some apps, websites, networks, and HomeGroup
Looking at this list, you'd probably be just as excited as me. If you have a Windows 8 tablet and a Windows 8 PC, now you can easily view the recent websites you viewed in either due to the  "shared" History.

Japan Goes the Way of the Dodo & Still Supports Fax

February 14, 2013


I've admired Japan for their innovations since the mid 1970s, including the Sony Walkman, the Sony portable CD player, and how their took on the American automobile juggernaut to offer smaller, more fuel efficient, and yes, more reliable cars. While Japan was killing American companies with their superior consumer electronics, I couldn't help but admire their ingenuity.

Well, to my shock and horror I just read a NY Times piece claiming that fax is alive and well in Japan and in fact the Japanese are reticent to ever give it up. Say what? In the age of email, social media, online banking, etc.


Cisco Strengthens Products For Midmarket

February 12, 2013


Cisco today announced a series of news surrounding their midmarket product line and their partners that sell Cisco products in this space. A quick overview is that they announced some enhancements to Cisco Business Edition 6000, their midmarket collaboration platform, a new Cisco Express Collaboration specialization, simplification of Telepresence Advanced Technology Programs, and tools for Midsize Business Marketing Campaigns.

I spoke with Marc Inderhees, Senior Manager, Worldwide Collaboration Channel Sales about this news. He stated that Cisco sees the midmarket as 100-1000 employees with over 3.7 million midmarket businesses worldwide. According to Cisco, 1 in 6 employees work for a midmarket company.


It's the Tablet Size Niches!

February 7, 2013

The original 2010 iPad diagonal screen size was 9.7" (9.5" width). Three years later, the fourth generation iPad is still 9.7". Amazon was able to carve out a new successful tablet size niche with the Kindle Fire, which has a 7.1" diagonal screen size. Apple was forced to respond with the Apple mini which sports a 7.9" diagonal.

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