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.

Microsoft Lync Pavillion at ITEXPO Features PlayStation 3?

October 4, 2012

E911 on Mobile VoIP is Seriously Broken - Here's How to Fix It

October 3, 2012

I moderated an interesting session at ITEXPO on E911 with a focus on cloud-based hosted IP-PBXs. Hosted PBX providers offer their customers significant cost savings and an advanced telephony features while eliminating the need for customers to procure and manage their own communications network infrastructures. However, the need – and regulatory mandate – for emergency services brings with it a host of challenges for these providers, including servicing nomadic users within and beyond the service provider coverage footprint, meeting FCC/CRTC, state and local E911 regulations, and efficiently provisioning and maintaining customer records in 911 databases.

One of the more fascinating discussions revolved around PBX vendors offering their own SIP softphones for mobile devices (iOS, Android, etc.) and it's impact on 911 emergency dialing.

DIGITALK, the One-Stop Shop for Wholesale Carriers & Service Providers

October 3, 2012

AT ITEXPO Paul Bassa, VP Product Marketing gave me an overview of U.K.-based DIGITALK, which offers platform and application products backed by full services support, that offers provisioning, prepaid charging, payments, and carrier routing to minimize operations overheads and maximize service margins. They offer pre-sales consultancy, through installation and commissioning, to worldwide 24x7 SLAs.

They offer a mobile VoIP app on consumer side and allow service providers to white label the app and they help with the Apple iTunes app submission process. The mobile VoIP app has prepaid capabilities built-in, allowing you to simply enter a PIN to activate.

They build all their own products, including their own session border controller (SBC) and can do carrier to carrier routing, management, SIP trunking, wholesale billing, and reporting. They also have a Web API to allow you to build your own portals.

Novus Distributes First Enhanced Media Gateway for Microsoft Lync Server 2013

October 2, 2012

Novus, a boutique telecommunications and IP distributor serving value-added resellers throughout North America, announced today the distribution of Ferrari electronic’s OfficeMaster Gate media gateway featuring recently released firmware that supports the new features of the next generation Microsoft Lync Server 2013, including the IPv6 protocol. Novus is the official distributor of Ferrari electronic products for the North American market.
Ferrari electronic worked in close collaboration with the Microsoft Lync product team in Redmond, Washington to develop the new firmware for the OfficeMaster Gate media gateway and it has been rigorously tested at Microsoft over the last few months. The new firmware from Ferrari electronic was released to coincide with the availability of the Lync 2013 Preview on July 16, 2012.
“Ferrari electronic is currently the only European manufacturer of an enhanced gateway certified for Microsoft Lync Server 2010, and it’s the first manufacturer to integrate its gateway with Lync Server 2013,” said Novus Managing Partner Chris Meehan. “This creates a compelling value proposition for resellers because they can install software-based OfficeMaster Gate gateway cards now as proof of concepts and deliver a highly scalable gateway solution with a tremendous ROI to small and medium-sized businesses looking for Lync migration solutions.”
Novus offers the Ferrari electronic OfficeMaster Gate media gateway and OfficeMaster SBA survivable branch appliance to resellers in flexible configurations as either appliances or PCI boards.
“Resellers will find the licensing options particularly appealing, since they can optionally configure gateway and survivable branch appliance functionality on a single card to reduce power consumption, minimize rack space and further reduce costs while benefitting from ongoing improvements through firmware upgrades that are free of charge within the current revision,” added Meehan.
To further incentivize resellers to deploy the Lync Server 2013-ready OfficeMaster Gate media gateway, Novus is announcing a free comprehensive private training program for resellers who sign up to carry the Ferrari electronic products.

RCA Makes Android IP Phones? Who Knew?

October 2, 2012

I'm here at ITEXPO in Austin, Texas, a leading communications tradeshow, when what do my wondering eyes see? An email promotion from RCA promoting their new Android-based IP phones - the RCA IP150, RCA IP120 and the RCA IP110. Here's a screenshot of part of the email:

When I think of RCA my nostalgia kicks in and I think of two things, both of which are antiquated technologies.

One, I think of my grandparents huge TV inside a wooden frame that sat on the floor. Nowadays you hang up your flat-screen TV and the TV never touches the floor.

Two, I think back to my dad's Elvis Presley "Hound Dog" RCA record with the cool logo of dog with its mouth aimed inside the record player, similar to this Elvis vinyl record:

As a 6-year old kid I assumed the RCA dog was because the song on the record was "Hound Dog".

WebRTC - Mobile Communications Game Changer or Flash in the Pan?

September 24, 2012

Came across Erik Lagerway's interesting guest post on discussing WebRTC and its potential to be a mobile game changer. WebRTC essentially embeds a standard-based real time Media Engine into all of the available browsers enabling real-time voice and video communication from your browser. Erik ponders the future leveraging WebRTC:

Imagine a world where no matter what we use or where we are we could all communicate via video, hassle-free, for free — native video from Apple devices to Samsung devices, from business phones to the TV in your living room, from your car to your home to a beach in Hawaii. That is what WebRTC can do for us.

Windows 8 & Windows 8 RT Metro/Modern UI Lync App Coming Soon

September 21, 2012

Not to be outdone by the Microsoft Skype, which released a touch-friendly Windows 8 Metro/Modern UI Skype app, Microsoft's Lync team announced a Lync app for Windows 8 and Windows RT also using Metro/Modern UI. This touch-friendly Lync app will be available in the Windows Store for both Windows 8 and Windows RT in late October according to the Lync Team Blog.

This will be part of Microsoft Lync 2013, the latest iteration of Microsoft's unified communications platform that brings instant messaging, VoIP, collaboration and video conferencing to the enterprise. In addition to the touch-optimized Lync app, new versions of Lync server and desktop client is coming soon, as well as newer versions of their mobile clients and a browser-based Lync Web app, which will now feature multiparty HD video, voice over IP (VoIP), instant messaging, and desktop, application, and PowerPoint sharing.

Fongo Adds Free Texting to Dell Voice

September 18, 2012

Dell and their partner Fongo just released a new version of their Dell Voice mobile app with free unlimited Fongo Messaging, unlimited text messaging (SMS), voice quality & stability improvements, and lower data usage. I voiced my skepticism in a post back in February that this joint venture would succeed. I'm still a bit skeptical, however, I do think if someone is going to offer something for "free", then it could entire users to try it out.  They also give you a free phone number and will even port your existing phone number for $25.

Gartner's 'Magic Quadrant for UC' - Cisco Bests Microsoft - Not!

September 11, 2012

Gartner recently posted their Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications along with their analysis of the UC market. As always Gartner's research is a fascinating and insightful read, but I do take slight issue where they positioned Cisco and Microsoft. First let's take a look at the Magic Quadrant:

You will see that Cisco and Microsoft are nearly touching one another and the top two companies within the Magic Quadrant, but Cisco slightly beats Microsoft in both the "leaders" and "visionaries" categories. I don't take issue with Cisco in the "leaders" category, since clearly Cisco has been doing enterprise VoIP, video conferencing and indeed UC longer than Microsoft with many more deployments.

I do however take issue with Cisco beating Microsoft in the "visionaries" category.

CloudTC Glass 1000 Android IP Phone Adds New Features

September 5, 2012

Peter Radizeski informed me that CloudTC has a new software update for their Android-based Glass 1000 IP phone, which adds some nice new features. I'm in the process of testing/reviewing the Glass 1000 so I'm going to have to download the latest firmware and try out the new features.

The newest Glass Phone Software Release 2.3.3 adds Bluetooth headset and Handsfree Profiles support. The Glass platform can now support replaceable third-party phone apps via the Glass VoIP Phone API. You can now create your own telephony UI to distinguish your offering.

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