Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions


Asterisk With Office Communications Server 2007

May 27, 2008

Asterisk integration with Office Communications Server 2007 is a popular topic in the unified communications community. You wouldn't think integrating an open source Linux-based solution (Asterisk) with Microsoft's proprietary OCS 2007 UC platform would be popular, but it is. In fact, I have my ear to both the Microsoft OCS 2007 community and the Asterisk community and the integration of these two worlds is something I hear all the time. Some within the Asterisk community poo-poo the thought of integrating with Microsoft OCS 2007.

snom m3 DECT SIP Phone Coming to North America

May 19, 2008

In late 2007, snom announced the snom m3 DECT wireless SIP phone. snom sent me a review unit a few months ago to review and alas it's been sitting on my large pile of VoIP products to check out. The m3 is a cool looking phone and very gadgety, so usually I would have torn into the box and played with it the same day I got it, but if I set aside other projects every time I got a cool gadget, I'd never get anything done.

Well, I finally had time to install and test the snom m3 and hope to write a review soon. For now, I'd like to share today's news that the snom m3 wireless VoIP Phone now being generally available in North America.

Druid 1.2.0-3 Launches

May 13, 2008

Today, Druid 1.2.0-3, an open source Asterisk-based solution was launched. (Check out my full review of the Asterisk-based Druid platform for some background.) Here's a screenshot of their web-based front-end that makes it easy to manage their version of Asterisk:

Vikram Rangnekar from Druid shot me off an email saying they have some great new features in Druid. Figured I'd share some important excerpts of his email that explain the news:

In the two months since its been out, We have had a little over a thousand downloads. I'm more than satisfied with how the community is growing we have around 400 people on the forums a little over half of them are quite active, We have a lot of people posting bugs, suggestions and many people actually using Druid OSE in their organizations.

We have a few people porting the Druid RPM's over to Gentoo and SuSE.
We are still finalizing the SOAP API but we have added a ton of new cool stuff.

Blackberry 9000 Is Coming Next Week!

May 9, 2008

SkyFire Review

May 8, 2008

Rich Tehrani has a great review on the SkyFire browser that gives Windows Mobile devices the Apple iPhone browsing experience. Well, not quite, but definitely much better than the built-in Windows Mobile browser. It supports easy zooming, Flash support, videos (including YouTube videos) and more. Rich was getting so frustrated with the crappy Windows Mobile browser that he even weighed the pros and cons of switching to the Apple iPhone from his Verizon HTC 6800 Windows Mobile.

But now Rich is giddier than a kid that just got a PS3 for Christmas, or that blogger who just got an iPhone and can't stop blogging about it.

Plantronics SupraPlus HW251N-USB Wideband Headset

April 11, 2008

Rich and I reviewed the Plantronics SupraPlus HW251N-USB Wideband headset, featuring wideband codec support for use in VoIP applications such as Skype and Microsoft Office Communicator. Rich actually got two pre-production models and was kind enough to give me one of the SupraPlus headsets. Actually, he wanted me to be his guinea pig to test the audio quality since I get to hear and review quite a few VoIP products.

We tested the monaural style Plantronics SupraPlus HW251N-USB using both Skype and Microsoft Office Communicator. The audio quality was quite good.

Packet8 Virtual Office Adds VoIP Plugin

April 9, 2008

Packet8 has always been at the leading edge of cool VoIP applications and products. Packet8 was the first to offer a videophone for their residential VoIP customers (see my review of the Packet8 Videophone) They're had several other firsts to their name along with several patents to boot. Packet8 is like the dark horse when it comes to VoIP. While they don't have their name in lights like big bad Vonage, Packet8 has been slowly growing their customer base while adding cool new features.

Wireless Backhaul Importance Grows

March 25, 2008

With increasing wireless mobile phone users along with more sophisticated wireless devices such as the Blackberry and iPhone chewing up bandwidth, the need for wireless backhaul technologies is increasing. I am reminded of my 2005 TMC Labs review of NMS AccessGate, a wireless backhaul platform. that aggregates T1/E1 communications onto a common backhaul between the cell site and the MSO. It also performes statistical multiplexing which suppresses idle frames and idle channels for 2G services, making the most of backhaul bandwidth.

Microsoft Response Point SP1

March 24, 2008

Today, Microsoft released announced Microsoft Response Point Service Pack 1 (SP1), which adds SIP trunking support. Response Point Service Pack 1 (SP1), not to be confused with the recent release of Vista SP1, will be released this summer, available free via a simple download.
I spoke with Microsoft last week and they said they are partnering with several SIP-based ITSPs, which will enable Response Point administrators (or VARs) to easily add SIP trunks and move away from analog trunks. You simply use a VoIP account setup wizard in the Response Point Administrator, to connect with Internet telephony service providers (ITSPs) and add new VoIP phone numbers.

The other benefit is the ability to add local phone numbers.

Akros Silicon Launches First 802.3at PoE chipset

March 17, 2008

Akros Silicon is a startup started back in 2005 that is one of the most important VoIP players you've probably never heard of. Akros Silicon develops Power over Ethernet (PoE) chipsets used in VoIP telephones, IP cameras, wireless access points (WAPs), routers, switches, thin clients, LCD displays, Tilt and Zoom (PTZ) capability, new multi-radio 802.11n Wireless Access Points, WiMax Customer Premise Equipment, SOHO Ethernet Switches, Thin Clients and more. Akros Silicon's chipsets are used in popular PoE IP telephones. You probably have or will soon have Akros Silicon's chipset in one of your network devices!
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