Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Vlync Pilot - Hosted Microsoft Lync Launches

August 31, 2011

VCOMM, a subsidiary of internet telephony provider Coms Plc, a UK-based company, has launched Vlync Pilot, a hosted version of Microsoft’s Lync. Vlync Pilot is a fully managed and hosted Microsoft Lync service that comes bundled with 5 user licences and 5 Polycom handsets (per bundle) enabing businesseses to pilot Microsoft Lync.

Vlync Pilot brings full unified communications functions to the desktop in a hosted setup. Another similar offering is from Workflow Communications who told me back in February to be the only hosted Lync provider offering direct SIP trunking. Features in this hosted offering include:  Instant Message conferencing, peer-to-peer voice and video, AV and web conferencing, Federation, desktop sharing, Exchange UM, Outlook Web App, Enterprise Voice and integration into Microsoft Office applications.

BT Kills the Rabbit, err Ribbit

August 10, 2011

Number Portability Still Sucking After All these Years...

August 4, 2011

I decided to drop Charter's triple play package because they raised the monthly bill from $166 to $222 per month -- only to find out that the curse of number portability still exists in 2011. Flashback: Back in 2006 I griped that my phone number I owned for 10 years couldn't be ported from Vonage to Charter.

Recently, I decided I would drop Vonage in favor of a triple play offering from Charter, which would give me cable TV, high-speed Internet, and "voice over cable" - all at a very reasonable price. My wife and I encountered too many network or Vonage QoS issues which affected our phone service. It was time to port the number to Charter, which advertised that they could port customer's numbers in a mailer we received.


Panasonic Launches Line of Desktop SIP Phones

August 3, 2011

Today, Panasonic launched a line of new desktop SIP phones pitting them against Aastra, Cisco, Polycom, snom, and other SIP desktop phone vendors. I spoke with Panasonic to learn more about their new offering. First, it's worth pointing out that Panasonic already has a desktop phone called the KX-TGP550, which also supports DECT, allowing up to 6 DECT phones to register to the desktop phone. Panasonic mentioned this particular product is useful in small businesses and gave the example of a salon which needs a desktop phone at the receptionist desk, but the hair stylists and salon owner can have a DECT phone on their belt clip and freely roam, while still taking calls.

Twilio, the Cloud-based VoIP/Skype App Enabler

July 26, 2011


Today, Twillio is launching their cloud-based VoIP offering that enables developers to add VoIP capabilities to any website with just three lines of code. Twilio's VoIP developer toolkit called “Twilio Client” enables realtime two-ray audio to voice-enable browsers, iOS, and Android Apps. Twilio's product uses the Flash plugin to access the microphone. But since Apple's iOS doesn't support Flash I'm told for mobile they are integrating with iOS and Android through custom mobile SDKs. The mobile SDKs will allow the Android and iPhone mobile platforms to offer Twilio-powered VoIP to their applications.

Twillio explained that "with Twilio Client, web developers worldwide can now build Skype-like voice capabilities with Twilio’s scalable, reliable communications infrastructure-as-a-service. With just a few lines of code, web and mobile applications can host voice conversations, conference calls, and other forms of rich communication." Essentially, you can think of Twilio as a hosted Skype service that lets anyone into the VoIP game.


Kerio Technologies Launches New Asterisk-based IP-PBX

July 19, 2011

Kerio Technologies, a company established in 1997, is launching a new Asterisk-based PBX today. They are announcing Kerio Operator 1.1, an IP-PBX that is designed to be easy-to-use and targeting the SMB space. Kerio Technologies has 180 employees and is best known as a Microsoft Exchange Server alternative. I spoke with Kerio Technologies last week to find out more about this Asterisk-based offering.

They explained that Kerio Operator 1.1 features integrated security, including protection against SIP password guessing and can block IP addresses that fail SIP authentication automatically based on criteria you specify.

magicJack Plus Review

June 30, 2011

The magicJack Plus is due out very soon, perhaps as early as next month, but I was able to get an early sneak peek at it for a review. The big new feature in the MagicJack Plus is that it sports an on-board ARM CPU, which means you can make calls without the need for the MagicJack Plus to be connected to a PC. It looks almost identical to the original magicJack USB stick, but it now has an Ethernet jack for connecting to any broadband connection, enabling PC-less VoIP calling.

Google Talk Adopts Jingle As Default VoIP Protocol

June 24, 2011


Google has adopted Jingle as the default protocol for Google Talk. Jingle is an extension of the XMPP which allows for peer-to-peer and session control (signalling) for multimedia interactions such as VoIP and videoconferencing.

The protocol was developed by Google, Collabora, Yate, Tandberg and Jabber Inc. Others that support it include Asterisk, FreeSWITCH, Nimbuzz, and Pidgin. Imagine a P2P protocol that lets the thousands of Asterisk-based PBXs to communicate with each other using XMPP. Taking the Asterisk ecosystem along with other large user bases from Nimbuzz, Google Talk, and potentially others could potentially build the largest P2P VoIP / video conferencing network in the world. Bigger than Skype.


Nimbuzz Still Growing - Even Without Skype

June 20, 2011


According to Nimbuzz, since July of 2010, more than 28 million new users joined Nimbuzz. That amounts to an impressive 100,000 new users every day and they've doubled in size in year to 50 million users. That's even with Skype telling Nimbuzz to buzz off and remove Skype integration.

Of course, even with Skype integration removed, Nimbuzz still supports Facebook, Yahoo, Windows Live, Google Talk, AIM, and others. So it's still a popular mobile VoIP and instant messaging app.

Still, without Skype support, I'd expect Nimbuzz's growth to slow a bit.




Top 20 VoIP Innovators of All Time

June 13, 2011


VoIP has come a long way since it was first popularized by VocalTec in the mid 1990s. Here is a slideshow of the Top 20 VoIP Innovators of all time with photo captions explaining why they merit this top 20 ranking. Most innovators are companies, but not all. Two important VoIP standards make the list, which cannot be attributed to a single individual or company.
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