Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Packet8 broadband VoIP

ITEXPO Named Top 50 Fastest Growing Tradeshow

January 19, 2011

TMC's ITEXPO was named one of the fastest growing trade shows by Trade Show Executive in their Fastest 50 Awards. I've been with TMC since 1994 - right out of college and I've seen this company grow from 15 employees to over 65 employees. It's been an amazing ride. TMC's ITEXPO has had some stellar companies participate over the years, including Asterisk, Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, Packet8, ShoreTel, and Skype.

TMC CEO Rich Tehrani said, "Much thanks goes to all of TMC's readers as well as our sponsors, attendees, partners, vendors who supply us decorating services, audio/visual, etc and of course the tireless TMC team who works around the clock to over-deliver for customers.

Important ITEXPO Happenings

October 4, 2010

I wanted to share some important highlights for Internet Telephony Conference & Expo happening this week. I should point out that we have over 200 exhibitors participating including Asterisk / Digium, Cisco, Packet8, ShoreTel, Skype, and more. Seems like ITEXPO is the week for important telecom / VoIP news to break, including Skype looking to hire a new CEO. I'm excited for Startup Camp. Now for some important ITEXPO happenings:

Monday at ITEXPO West 2010

The doors open to ITEXPO West 2010 today!

8x8 Virtual Office Pro Review

September 2, 2010

8x8 sent me a trial account of 8x8 Virtual Office Pro to review. What is Virtual Office Pro? Think of it as your web-based communications portal handling phone calls (auto-attendant, VoIP), internet fax, hosted conferencing and hosted application sharing. The only missing piece from the equation is email, however it does support direct integration with Exchange Server by leveraging Outlook Anywhere to pull in your Outlook Contacts.

Packet8 Service Down

January 12, 2010

Almost exactly one year ago 8X8's Packet8 VoIP service suffered a major outage due to DNS issues. It now appears that both their domains and are down. But more importantly their VoIP phone service is down. Stay tuned while I try and find out more...

Update #1: from Joan Citelli Director, Corporate Communications

I don't have a lot of information at the moment, but apparently there was a data problem with one of our underlying carriers.

'VoIP' Named Industry of the Decade

December 23, 2009

According to IBISWorld, VoIP was named "Industry Of The Decade" besting even the search engine industry? Surely, you jest. You mean to tell me the VoIP industry beat Google's, Yahoo's, and MSN's (now Bing's) billions? VoIP even beat online dating.

Well, it's true.

XCast Labs Cuts VoIP Bandwidth Requirements In Half

September 1, 2009

In the ITEXPO Press Room I just met with Cliff Rees, President & CEO of XCast Labs. They have some interesting VoIP technology, including a patent called  "direct RTP" which reduces VoIP bandwidth requirements in half.

The example Cliff gave was a VoIP call from Los Angeles to San Francisco using Net2Phone based out of New Jersey. When the Los Angeles user calls the San Francisco user, it initiates a 90Kbps IP call cross-country to Net2Phone's headquarters in New Jersey.

sipgate enters U.S VoIP Broadband Market offering free calls

June 2, 2009

Today, sipgate is launching a new free VoIP broadband phone service called sipgate one. sipgate one is similar to Vonage, Packet8, and other broadband VoIP providers, but with some additional cool features and a fairly unique pricing plan. For instance, you get a free telephone number, no set-up costs and no monthly charges or minimums.

I spoke with sipgate CEO Thilo Salmon to find out more about sipgate one.

DNS Issue Temporarily Cripples Packet8 VoIP Service

January 23, 2009

A source tipped me off to a Packet8 VoIP service outage last night & today caused by a DNS issue. I contacted 8x8/Packet8 and Joan Citelli, Director, Corporate Communications for 8x8, Inc. to find out what caused the VoIP outage. Joan told me the following:

"We are providing all subscribers who experienced this issue with the following explanation and resolution procedure via email and customer support calls. Let me know if you have any further questions."

At 7 pm last night (January 22, 2008) changed the DNS for and by omitting the DNS and substituting a landing page in its place.  The net result was call failure and inability to find Packet8 website.

Toktumi Now Offered on Dell VoIP Website

November 24, 2008

Toktumi recently announced a partnership with Dell to distribute its small business VoIP service through a co-branded site on (, which also features Fonality, Nortel, and So what's so special about Toktumi, (a word play on 'talk to me') and it's USB-based plug-in device? Well, Toktumi is very similar to the popular Magicjack, which also uses a USB connector for connecting an analog phone. However, Magicjack is only $19.99/year (first year is $39.95) for unlimited U.S.

Comcast Best in VoIP Quality, AT&T Best in VoIP Reliability

November 13, 2008

Keynote Systems released their latest VoIP quality report with some interesting findings. For one, Comcast, a cable company dominated the voice quality rankings beating the closest competitor by nearly 300 points. As for reliability, to no surprise AT&T won this category, no doubt to their decades of experience in building reliable voice and data networks.

Keynote Systems measures VoIP quality (MOS scores), call completion, etc. by automatically placing calls from corporate apartments using residential VoIP services and network services just like a typical residential customer would.  Service Reliability scores are based on the key performance metrics of Service Availability, Average Answer Time and Number of Dropped Calls.

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