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


VoIP news, trends, and opinions, VoIP reviews. Covering Asterisk, Cisco, Grandstream, Polycom, Microsoft, Vonage, Packet8, etc.

Oh no! MagicJack Lost its Mojo!

April 12, 2011

According to Andy Abramson, MagicJack's business model is in deep trouble. MagicJack, makes the popular USB VoIP device that gives you all you can eat voice minutes for just $19.95 per year ($39.95 for the 1st year). Andy explains why they're in trouble:

Over the weekend the Telecom Law Monitor, a blog from the telecom practice group of Washington D.C. based Kelly Drye caught my eye when I spied that MagicJack's sister/parent company, YMAX and AT&T were embroiled in a battle over, you guessed it.

Microsoft OCS QoE Voice Analyzer App for WP7

April 12, 2011

Are you a Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 or Microsoft Lync user looking to analyze the Quality of Experience (QoE) on your Window 7 (WP7) phone? Then I have just the utility for you! The QoE Voice Analyzer app is now available at WP7 Marketplace for download and it sports some nifty QoE tools.

It's worth pointing out that QoE metrics are collected at the end of every VoIP and video call from participant endpoints, which includes Office Communicator, Office Live Meeting, the A/V Conferencing Server, Mediation Servers and IP phones. The metrics are collected and sent in a SIP header to the OCS Front-End server by each client.

This WP7 app assists OCS admins to better understand the Microsoft 2007 R2 QoE reports.

netTalk, a VoIP player Raises $2.5 Million

April 7, 2011

netTalk is serious about challenging magicJack. Today they announced that netTALK has raised $2.5 million to help drive its push into bricks n' mortar retail and other marketing efforts. They obtained additional funding up to $2,500,000 in borrowings pursuant to a promissory note agreement. I'm told major retail distribution deals will be announced in the coming days and weeks.

WorldGate Ojo is <strike>Dead!</strike> <strike>No It Lives!</strike> Nope-Dead Again

April 6, 2011

I reported troubles at WorldGate Communications back in February 2008 and then reported things got better in the next month saying Ojo Phone Lives! It appears they never truly got through its problems, because their return of the living dead now appears to be over...

According to Rich Tehrani, "Word has it that funding was pulled at WorldGate Communications two weeks ago with everyone being laid off. Requests for information to the company did not get an immediate response. The Pennsylvania-based organization which made high-end designer-looking videophones no-doubt faced an uphill battle competing with Cisco and Polycom - as well as low-cost players like Grandstream."

It's pretty sad that a really cool video phone which had such promise wasn't able to cut it.

fring Group Video Calls for iPhone and Android!

April 5, 2011

Whoah! fring today announced that their development team is finishing up on a really cool new feature - free group video calls that works on both the Android and the iPhone.

As far as I know this is the first free Group Video call feature for any mobile phone.

CounterPath Releases Bria 3.2

April 5, 2011

Update: According to a CounterPath spokesperson, "Counterpath had to delay the launch of the Bria 3.2 update to the end of this month."
CounterPath Corporation today released Bria 3.2, with enhanced enterprise features, internal chat rooms, and multiple account integration support. The Bria multimedia softphone is available for Mac and Windows, and adds support for multiple Instant Message and Presence accounts as well as the introduction of a Ribbon for Microsoft Outlook 2010.

“Bria 3.2 lays the foundation of our Social Networking strategy,” said Todd Carothers, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Products, CounterPath. “The way users leverage the Internet for communicating with friends, family and colleagues is changing. Our personal and work lives are blurring and with the addition of Social Networking we see a significant change in how users want to communicate.”

Google Offers $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

April 4, 2011

Nortel's carcass continues to be picked at, with many golden nuggets discovered, making their demise all the more surprising.
Google is offering $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents covering 4G, wireless, data networking, optical, voice, semiconductors and other telecom areas, according to ZDNet.

Here's Google's official response:
The tech world has recently seen an explosion in patent litigation, often involving low-quality software patents, which threatens to stifle innovation. Some of these lawsuits have been filed by people or companies that have never actually created anything; others are motivated by a desire to block competing products or profit from the success of a rival’s new technology. The patent system should reward those who create the most useful innovations for society, not those who stake bogus claims or file dubious lawsuits. It's for these reasons that Google has long argued in favor of real patent reform, which we believe will benefit users and the U.S.

Infonetics Research - "Breakout year for SIP trunking"

March 31, 2011

Infonetics Research put out a report stating that the VoIP services market is nearing the $50 billion mark and called it a "breakout year for SIP trunking."     

According to the report, “The VoIP service market weathered the economic turmoil of the last couple of years, and, with increasing customer adoption, reached $49.8 billion in 2010 (compared to $34.8 billion in 2008). While the residential services segment remains the largest of the market at 69% of total revenue, business VoIP services are growing at faster rates; a notable example: SIP trunking had a breakout year with 143% revenue growth in 2010,” notes Diane Myers, directing analyst for VoIP and IMS at Infonetics Research.

  • Infonetics Research forecasts the combined business and residential/SOHO VoIP services market to grow to $74.5 billion in 2015
  • Managed IP PBX business VoIP service revenue is expected to more than double from 2010 to 2015
  • NTT of Japan retains its leadership as the world's largest residential VoIP service provider, followed by Comcast and France Télécom
  • The fastest growing segments of the VoIP services market are SIP trunking and hosted UC telephony
  • The number of residential VoIP subscribers increased 19% in 2010 to 157 million worldwide
  • Based on healthy demand for cloud-based services, the number of seats for IP Centrex and hosted UC services grew 20% in 2010

Infonetics' VoIP and UC Services and Subscribers report, published twice per year, features an IP Centrex Provider Tracker and provides worldwide and regional market size, forecasts, and analysis of residential/SOHO (small office, home office) VoIP services, business VoIP and UC services, and VoIP subscribers. Business voice services tracked include managed IP PBX services, hosted VoIP and unified communication (UC) services (IP Centrex by business size, UC applications, UC telephony), and IP connectivity services (VoIP VPN/IP access, SIP trunking, IP integrated access). Regions tracked include North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Asia Pacific, and Central and Latin America (CALA).

Aastra XML 4 SIP Contest Results

March 23, 2011

Aastra today announced the winners of their "XML 4 SIP" contest. Full disclosure, I was one of the judges asked to evaluate and vote for my favorite XML applications that run on their XML-capable Aastra IP phones. According to Aastra, people coming from 16 countries registered for this contest (77 registrations). You can view the various applicants including screenshots here.

Digium Launches Asterisk Tech Tips Webinars

March 23, 2011

Steve Sokol, Asterisk Marketing Director for Digium informed me that starting this week Digium will be presenting a bi-weekly series of webinars called Asterisk Tech Tips.  Steve explained, "Each episode consists of a tutorial covering an interesting feature of Asterisk, followed by an open Q&A session.  People are welcome to ask questions about the tutorial topic, but it's also an open forum for general Asterisk questions."

This week Malcolm Davenport (Digium employee #4 & Senior Product Manager for Asterisk and Asterisk SCF) will be covering one of the more popular new features of Asterisk 1.8: tying Asterisk into Google.  The tutorial will teach people how to effectively use Google's voice chat (part of Gmail) as a soft-phone with Asterisk, and how to make and receive free calls in the U.S.

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