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


magicJack vs netTALK vs Ooma vs. Obihai

June 22, 2012

Now that I have tested magicJack, netTALK, and Ooma, three of the leading super low-cost phone service providers, I thought it was time to do a detailed comparison of these VoIP providers, as well as a relatively new wildcard - Obihai, a BYOD VoIP hardware provider. First, if interested in the in-depth standalone reviews I've done in the past, you can check these out:
Each of the four have their strengths and weaknesses and none of them is immune to typical VoIP problems such as latency, jitter, or packet loss. Ooma however stands slightly above magicJack and netTALK when it comes to mitigating VoIP voice quality problems. The reason is two fold.

Bria Android Edition Adds Video Calling (Finally!)

June 12, 2012

CounterPath today announced they've added video calling to its Bria Android Edition mobile softphone, which is now available in the Google Play app store. It's been two years since Counterpath for Android was launched, so video calling has been a long time coming.

Video calling for Bria Android Edition supports the H.264 video codec. Interestingly, the video calling feature is an additional "add on" fee to the $7.99 Bria Android app.

LG-Ericsson SBG-1000 Review

June 6, 2012

When you think unified communications (UC) you’re most likely to think voice, video, and IM/chat. The LG-Ericsson SBC-1000 takes a slightly different and quite unique approach unifying voice, video, and IM/chat but also data, security, and IT services. The LG-Ericsson SBG-1000 is an all-in-one phone and IT system that sports both phone features as well as IT infrastructure features, such as a print server, file server, PoE switch, router, SPI firewall, QoS, bandwidth allocator, VPN concentrator, Wi-Fi access point, and DECT base station. It truly is an “office in a box” offering all your typical voice and IT infrastructure needs.

SimpleSignal Brings Mobile Enterprise Video Conferencing to Apple & Android Mobile Devices

May 30, 2012

SimpleSignal, a cloud-based Unified Communications and Collaboration provider announced today that they are bringing mobile enterprise video conferencing to Apple's iPhone, iPad, iTouch and Android mobile devices. Their cross-platform video phone compatibility works across a variety of mobile, desktop and telepresence/video-enabled devices, via a WiFi connection or a 3G/4G network.

I've said in the past that I predict Apple iPads (& Android tablets) will be your next enterprise desktop phone because of their UC and video phone capabilities. SimpleSignal also believes tablets and other mobile devices will be game changers when it comes to UC. Hookflash is another interesting player in the mobile UC space.

According to SimpleSignal, "The seamless integration of iOS and Android operating systems into SimpleSignal's Unified Communications platform, coupled with the mobile video capabilities of these devices, means that advanced enterprise communications capabilities are no longer confined to the desktop."

"This new mobile video service is the biggest breakthrough in SimpleSignal history," said Dave Gilbert, CEO of SimpleSignal.

Viber Announces BlackBerry Beta and Windows Phone 7 Beta

May 8, 2012

Viber today announced the availability of Viber for BlackBerry Beta and Windows Phone 7 Beta.

Both Viber for BlackBerry Beta and Viber for Windows Phone 7 Beta initially offer Viber Messaging, allowing users to exchange text and high-quality photo messages and share locations with other Viber users. The beta does not yet include their HD VoIP calling. Some may call this a bit premature beta since Viber is a known as a mobile VoIP app not a standalone IM app, but I'll give them a pass to bringing some early love to these two platforms.

Viber seamlessly integrates with the devices' interface, with no registration required, instantly identifying existing contacts who already have Viber installed so users do not need to go through a “friend request” process. According to Viber, "the full release for both platforms, including Viber’s signature HD-quality free voice calling, will be released as soon as it meets Viber’s quality standards."

Ooma Telo Review

May 4, 2012

Back in 2007 I wrote an article "Ooma goes Booma" because Ooma's claim-to-fame feature was that it worked by 'sharing' your PSTN analog phone line with other Ooma users. I was right that this PSTN sharing feature and business model wouldn't work, so certainly that did go "Booma". However, 5 years later after dropping the PSTN sharing and moving to a VoIP-centric business model Ooma has redeemed themselves with some really cool features. Ooma is a low-cost phone service provider similar to magicJack, netTALK, and Vonage in many ways, but with some key differentiating features.

The first big difference of note is that unlike the other three aforementioned phone providers, rather than charge a monthly flat rate for service and per-minute costs for calls, Ooma only charges for the initial hardware - $199 Ooma Telo, +$50.99 for Wireless adapter, +$29.99 for Bluetooth adapter and then they only charge you the taxes and local fees for calls in the United States.

Ooma Telo installed - Ooo Look, Shiny Bright Blue LEDs!

April 26, 2012

RingCentral Cloud Touch Platform - Configure Phone System from iPad, iPhone, or Android

April 18, 2012

Imagine being able to record prompts, configure IVR/auto-attendant, and remove a disgruntled employee's access to your phone system all while sitting on a beach - simply using your tablet or mobile device. That's exactly what RingCentral's Cloud Touch Platform does and they proudly claim this touch-enabled phone system configuration platform "Reimagines Business Phone Systems". They may just be right.

Founded in 2003, RingCentral (>1000 employees) is by far the largest cloud-based phone system with RingCentral's Naveen Gupta, Chief Product Officer, claiming "hundreds of thousands of paying customers". AT&T and Rogers resells RingCentral's platform, which partly explains their impressive customer base.

The RingCentral Touch platform enables businesses to setup, manage and use their phone system from a smart mobile device. New Cloud VoIP Offering - Invite Only

March 26, 2012

Interesting new web-based VoIP offering I came across via CounterPath's Todd Carother's Google+ status update. The website is and according to a whois lookup is indeed owned by CounterPath. Check out the website description:

Coming soon is a new cloud offering for SMBs for the United States and Canada — With business users will be able to leverage their current IP-PBX or hosted offering to connect with other colleagues for FREE.

HP Aims to Simplify Unified Communications Deployment

March 26, 2012

HP today announced two new offerings that aid in the rapid adoption of   unified communications (UC) solutions from Microsoft and Polycom. The new offerings include HP AppSystem for Microsoft Lync, a turnkey platform designed to expedite Lync deployments, and a customizable HP and Polycom Rich Media Communications (RMC) solution for video and collaboration.

Although many organizations are deploying Microsoft Lync, not everyone is embracing it. One reason is that internal staff lacks expertise or can dedicate time to deploy UC.

Featured Events