Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Skype for Asterisk Launches

September 25, 2008

Skype and Digium have hooked up to bring Skype to Asterisk called Skype For Asterisk. Skype For Asterisk launched minutes ago enables Asterisk users to get access to Skype features coupled with the capabilities of Asterisk. For example, the beta version of Skype For Asterisk will allow customers to make, receive and transfer Skype calls from within Asterisk systems using their existing hardware; enable inbound calling solutions like free click-to-call from company websites or virtual offices; and manage Skype calls using Asterisk applications such as call routing, conferencing, phone menus and voicemail.

Hey, I guess I was right in my (Astricon) prognostications earlier today about it having to do with Skype.

The Skype For Asterisk Beta program begins today. Asterisk users, system administrators and developers are invited to apply to participate at

I'm trying to figure out how you transfer a call to a Skype username (i.e. tkeating) using a traditional (Asterisk) IP phone with no keyboard - just a numeric keypad.

Pro vs. G.I. Joe using SightSpeed Video/VoIP App

September 22, 2008

This news about American troops using VoIP & video is a few weeks old, but I wanted to share it, since it's pretty interesting. SightSpeed VP of Marketing Eric Quanstrom mentioned the news to me awhile ago when we were on a SightSpeed video call. Using SightSpeed, U.S. troops are able to play PlayStation, XBox and the WII against professional athletes (Philadelphia Eagles) while seeing them (video) and "trash talking" them over the Internet (VoIP).

ITEXPO West 2008 a Resounding Success

September 18, 2008

Some great news from TMC about our IP communications conference & expositions (ITEXPO) taking place this week that I thought I'd share. The show is still going on, with today being the last day. Yesterday's exhibit hall attendance was tremendous as seen by some photos I snapped and posted yesterday. I had some great meetings or saw many important VoIP companies, including Asterisk/Digium, CosmoCom, Fonality, Microsoft, Packet8, PIKA, Skype, and more.

Korea uses Skype for English training classes

September 17, 2008

According to Reuters, Skype has become an indispensable tool in teaching South Koreans to speak fluent English. Good English speaking skills are considered the key for success in South Korea.

The article states,"On any given day, students ranging from kids learning their alphabet to adults preparing for job interviews sign in on their Internet messengers, fire up their webcams and wait for English teachers to appear -- from faraway continents."

In fact, according to the article, "South Korea ranks No. 1 in the number of international students in the United States, ahead of more populous India and China, according to U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Information System."

Skype, the #1 VoIP software in the world, has become one of the main tools in their arsenal to train students to speak English.

ITEXPO Live Video Streaming!

September 17, 2008

This blog entry will show live video streaming (via my Windows Mobile 6.1 phone's camera) of various ITEXPO events, including keynotes, receptions, and of course the exhibit hall. I'm going to broadcast starting at 3:30pm PT (6:30 ET) when Skype's Jonathan Christensen and Microsoft's Xuedong Huang and Sonus Network's Vikram Saksena will be keynoting. So if you couldn't make it to ITEXPO, you'll at least be able to see the keynotes in just a few hours.

I'll also livecast the show floor when it opens. I'm going to "future date" this post so it stays on the very top of my blog's home page.

VoIP is Dead, Long Live VoIP!

September 17, 2008

In case you missed Skype General Manager for Voice & Video Jonathan Christensen's ITEXPO keynote, you can check out my mobile phone video phone recording here. In the keynote, Johnathan made a bold statement - "VoIP is dead". Specifically Jonathan said, "The title of my talk is: 'VoIP Is Dead.' So, maybe a little bit of controversy about that, but as I said, let's work through it." TMCnet's Michael Dinan has a good summary of the keynote here.

Of course, VoIP isn't really dead, as can be demonstrated by the 175 exhibitors at ITEXPO, and the plethora of research reports that shows VoIP is growing very rapidly. What Jonathan is attempting to point out in a somewhat sensational manner is that VoIP - or voice over IP will become less important as video over IP and unified communications grows.

Video Stream the ITEXPO Keynotes from earlier today

September 16, 2008

Om Interviews Skype CEO

September 12, 2008

Interviews with Top 60 VoIP Movers and Shakers...

September 5, 2008

Rich Tehrani has a nice roundup of 60 interviews he's done with many of the major "movers and shakers" in the VoIP / IP communications industry.

Rich writes:

Whenever I go to a conference, I learn a tremendous amount from the people I meet at the show. I really enjoy the impromptu networking which takes place at events as it allows me to learn so much about what is happening in the market....{snip}

In less than two weeks the world with gather at ITEXPO -- The World's Communications Conference to help select products for purchase, learn about the latest events in the telecom market and network with peers.

It is this last area where this blog entry should be of maximal benefit. You see, over the past month or so I have been interviewing the telecom movers and shakers who will be coming to ITEXPO. I certainly didn't interview every mover and shaker (exactly what is a telecom shaker anyway   ) but this list should give you a good idea who some of the speakers and exhibitors will be at this year's show.

Some of the movers & shakers Rich interviewed include Digium, Skype, AT&T, Fonality, Mitel, Aspect, and more.

Fonality Lands $12M Financing Round from Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ)

September 4, 2008

Fonality, a provider of IP-PBX systems based on Asterisk, has just secured a $12 million financing round led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) Growth Fund with participation from existing investor Intel Capital. Draper Fisher Jurvetson is a well known venture capital firm backing more than 600 companies including industry-changing companies such as Hotmail, Overture, Four11, Baidu, and fellow VoIP company, Skype.

I spoke with Fonality CFO Dan Rosenthal who explained that Fonality has had  16 successive quarters of growth, and that the main goal of this funding was to grow the distribution channel and accelerate growth. As part of the financing deal, DFJ will become part of Fonality's board. Dan said, "We're growing at a pretty good clip.

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