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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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Telefonica Looking for Channel Partners to Crack U.S. Market

January 31, 2013

I met with Telefónica along with some other media analysts at ITEXPO just a few moments ago. At ITEXPO Telefónica is announcing they are launching a channel partner program. Telefónica has a very strong presence in South America and Europe, but now they want to come to the U.S. market.

Add-on Makes Microsoft Lync Feature-Complete to Compete with PBXs

January 31, 2013


Yesterday, at ITEXPO I met with some representatives from Bressner, a German-based company with some interesting add-ons for Microsoft Lync. Now targeting the U.S. (English website) their Lync add-ons add some powerful features to Microsoft Lync that help make Lync have feature-parity with PBXs, allowing enterprises to use Lync as a PBX replacement with no compromise.

Bressner's Dr. Klaus Zünkler, Principal Solutions Architect and Mitch Friend discussed three of their Lync products. The first was FonComfort, which is designed to fill the feature-gap in Microsoft Lync. One of those feature-gap fillers is "true busy" so the caller doesn't have to pay for the call if you're already on another call. I asked Klaus and Mitch why this was a popular feature since typically a call would drop to voicemail if you were on a call or unavailable and they said this "true busy" feature was more popular in Europe due to a cultural thing.


Telefonica Digital's Tim Marsden Keynote Begins

January 30, 2013

Surf Communications Solutions Aims to Slay the Video Giant

January 30, 2013

Video conferencing has held promise for many years - dating back to the 1964 AT&T Picturephone, but now has the time finally arrived for video conferencing to take off? The simple answer is "yes", but it's way more complicated than that. Yes, standards like SIP and H.264 have made video interoperability between endpoints less of an issue, but there are other issues to consider. For instance, Polycom, Cisco, Avaya, and LifeSize have very expensive MCUs for their in-room conferencing systems.

Asterisk 1-2-3 Workshop Well-Attended at ITEXPO

January 29, 2013

ITEXPO 2013 Miami Exhibits Construction Underway

January 28, 2013

WebRTC Challenges

January 22, 2013

WebRTC holds a lot of promise, and with the buzz surrounding WebRTC beginning to reach a fever pitch, it's worth pointing out the challenges facing WebRTC.

First, let's begin with the expectations set for WebRTC. At TMC's recent WebRTC Conference, a panel discussed how WebRTC has high expecations. WebRTC has very ambitious goals, aiming to become the de facto standard by which users voice and video chat with other Internet users, which has the developer community and techies like myself very excited. Recently, I've written about WebRTC Demo fun, 2013 - The Year of WebRTC, and

WebRTC Test Demo Fun

January 21, 2013

WebRTC is pretty cool, allowing you to perform VoIP and video conferencing all within a browser. I thought it would be cool to demo some WebRTC code here leveraging getUserMedia, an API that began as part of HTML5 and was split off into the W3C WebRTC specification suite. It allows JavaScript access to a device's cameras and microphones to enable in-browser VoIP and video-conferencing. Further, with HTML5 it's easy to apply cool video filters (think Instagram) on-the-fly while in a video conference.

So without further adeiu, let's try "Self View" Camera on your WebRTC-enabled browser - Google Chrome, Opera, and Firefox (nightly build only) all support WebRTC, though not Internet Explorer (yet).

Logitech UC Solution for Cisco 725-C Launches

January 17, 2013


Logitech has now integrated voice, video and messaging controls into the Logitech UC Solution for Cisco 725-C, a UC keyboard (K725-C), wireless mouse (M525-C), and HD camera (Logitech C920-C) combo designed for Cisco Jabber. Cisco Jabber is a unified communications software client that gives users access to presence, instant messaging (IM), voice, video, voice messaging, desktop sharing and conferencing.

The keyboard features illuminated control buttons for call answer/end, mute video, mute audio, and volume controls. The keyboard LCD screen displays Caller ID, call duration and receives calls for the user currently signed into the system, making it ideal for hot desking work environments where users don’t have a permanently assigned desk or phone.


Facebook Enables Free VoIP Calls for U.S. iOS Messenger Users

January 16, 2013

Facebook launched free VoIP calling for U.S. Facebook iOS Messenger app users. Here's the problem though. Almost no one uses the Facebook Messenger app - they use the main Facebook iOS app.

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