Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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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

2013 - The Year of WebRTC

January 9, 2013

WebRTC has been making great strides of late. A few companies using worth checking out are bistri, Plivo, and twelephone. I'm in the process of testing bistri and twelephone, but I did actual use Plivo's proof-of-concept WebRTC offering, which I'll get into a in a moment.

First an overview of bistri and twelephone. bistri is pretty interesting because it lets you link with Facebook, Google, Windows Live, Yahoo, Jabber/XMPP, and Вконтакте.

Asterisk 11 - What's New! [VIDEO]

October 26, 2012

At AstriCon we finally heard about the new features in Asterisk 11. One of the most exciting features is WebRTC, which I wrote about earlier, including videos. On the last day of AstriCon, four members of the Asterisk team got on stage in front of hundreds of AstriCon attendees and unveiled what's new in Asterisk 11, including insights as to how and why they added these particular features. One new feature is a unique Call IDs record associated to each and every call to enable powerful Call ID logging.

WebRTC Demo Plus WebRTC Asterisk Integration

October 24, 2012

At AstriCon at sat in a jam-packed session on WebRTC, which featured Digium's Joshua Colp and Voxeo Labs / Tropo's Tim Panton. The talk explained how WebRTC is going to change the communications landscape, but more than that they did an actual demo showing a browser-based VoIP call to a WebRTC-enabled Tropo application. The source code was ridiculously short and simple, which means a lot of the complexity has been modularized into the WebRTC spec. I captured the video using my iPhone 4S in 3 video segments.

AstriCon 2012 Exhibit Floor Panoramic Photos

October 23, 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".

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.

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