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


wireless, WiFi, WiMAX, 3G, 4G, EVDO

Here Comes the BlackBerry Apps Store ...

October 22, 2008

Apple's rivals are making moves to match the runaway success of its iPhone platform with their own versions of its store for applications and games from outside developers.

Research in Motion (RIM) has announced that it would launch an "application storefront" in March next year. 

TIme to fill up that screen with lots of icons! 

Google is also revamping its Android Market and adding new applications this week to coincide with availability of the first phone built on the new operating system, the HTC G1.

Both are trailing Apple's App Store, which launched on July 10 for the second-generation iPhone. 

The increasing sophistication of smartphones and the growth in size of their screen interfaces is turning them into PC-like platforms. Following the Apple example, handset makers are exploring how consumers can be drawn to phones by the number and variety of applications available on them.

RIM said that developers could set their own prices for applications but, at 20%, it is taking a smaller piece from them than the 30% Apple bites off. 

More from The Financial Times.

Sprint Announces End of Wired Intenet

October 20, 2008

A rapidly growing phenomenon in the telecommunications world is the growth of "cord cutters," people who give up their hardwired landline phones and use only cell phones.

Now one of the leading proponents of that shift, Sprint Nextel, hopes to do for the Internet what it's doing for telephones.

At a recent ceremony in Baltimore, officials from Sprint Nextel celebrated the official launch of the company's XOHM WiMAX service by literally cutting a cord -- they sliced through some Cat-5 wire with pruning shears to mark the end of the wired Internet.

4G has rapidly gone from a mobility vision to service reality with the launch of XOHM service in Baltimore, the company said.

Although XOHM, Sprint's 4G business unit, has aggressive plans for nationwide WiMAX, the actual implementation may take some time. 

Approximately 70 percent of the city has coverage, with 180 base stations operating and the target at end of build out is 300.

Long-term, XOHM hopes to roll out enough of its national network to make WiMAX available to as many as 140 million people by the end of 2010. 

More at NewsFactor Network.

Palmtop PCs on Their Way Back

October 20, 2008

In the what's old is new again category ...

IMOVIO has launched a smaller alternative to a subnotebook -- much smaller. The new iKIT is about the size of a PDA from 10 years ago, but has a QWERTY keyboard and connects to the Internet at 3G speeds via your cell phone or Wi-Fi.

(Ah the Newton ... Anybody still using that little gadget goodie from Apple?) 

The $175 Linux-based system has a built-in Webcam as well as a range of applications, such as Web browsing, e-mail and IM.

It can connect to the Internet using a standard Wi-Fi connection, or it can use your cell phone's mobile broadband connection via Bluetooth. 

Now are those chicklet keys easy on our big fingers? 

Get more at Computerworld.

Mobile VoIP Challenges

October 20, 2008

Today, Global IP Solutions (GIPS) announced the public availability of a whitepaper that highlights the challenges and opportunities critical for high quality when implementing mobile VoIP, called "Implementing VoIP for iPhones and Smartphones."

The paper can be found at, and addresses how developers can overcome problems inherent in mobile IP communications, such as packet loss and delay, jitter, acoustic echo and OS tuning.

Forget these challenges. You want to know the #1 challenge facing mobile VoIP? It's the wireless carriers or the operating system companies themselves (Apple, Microsoft) forcing cellphone manufacturers to offer "crippled" VoIP. What do I mean by crippled VoIP?

Excellent Telecom & Voice over IP Blog

October 20, 2008

If you haven't been reading On Rad's Radar, you should. This TMC blog is written by Peter Radizeski the CEO of Rad-Info, Inc. Let me take an excerpt from his bio.
"Today, I am still an agent for about 20 carriers (all through other master agents), but I spend more time consulting for service providers (ISP, WISP, CLEC, MSO, FTTH, and ITSP) on strategy, marketing, messaging, and sales training. I also spend a good deal of time blogging here at TMC and other places. Thanks for reading!"
Peter also speaks and moderates sessions at Internet Telephony Conference & Expo.

Aastra 57i and 57i CT Review

October 17, 2008

The Aastra 57i is one of my favorite VoIP phones. The 57i and its sister, the 57i CT (cordless telephone adjunct), offers some unique features and is undoubtedly one of the most flexible IP phones you will find. The 57i and 57i CT sport a large 144 x 128 pixel graphical backlit LCD display and 6 dynamic context-sensitive softkeys. Although the resolution isn't designed for photos, it's a very large LCD, one of the largest I've seen making it very easy to read the number of voicemail messages, the CallerID of an inbound call, and the one touch feature keys you've programmed.

Wireless Free Internet: Thank You FCC!

October 16, 2008

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released an engineering report that opens the door for the FCC to apportion a chunk of wireless spectrum for free Internet services across the nation. 

"We need to reserve some spectrum for free broadband services," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said. "This would be a lifeline broadband service that would be designed for lower-income people who may not otherwise have access to the Internet."

T-Mobile had warned that the FCC's proposed launch of an advanced wireless service (AWS) in the 2155-MHz to 2180-MHz band would interfere with the 3G wireless services it operates in an adjacent slice of the spectrum. However, lab tests conducted last month demonstrated that devices operating at FCC-designated power levels would not present "a significant risk of harmful interference," the commission said.

Several aspects of the FCC's AWS proposal owe their origin to an application submitted two years ago by M2Z Networks, which envisioned earning money primarily by offering a premium wireless Internet service operating at speeds of up to three megabits per second. However, the Arlington, Va.-based startup also proposed to provide a free lower-speed service that would pay for itself by generating advertising revenue.

The FCC now says that the ultimate winner of its AWS spectrum auction must use up to 25 percent of its capacity to provide free, two-way broadband Internet service at data rates of at least 768 kilobits per second in the downstream direction.

Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) Leads to Workforce Productivity and Customer Service Improvements

October 16, 2008

Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) enables users to use a single phone handset that connects to both cellular and corporate wireless networks thus enabling users to carry a single phone device to communicate with business associates, family, and friends, no matter where they are. The obvious benefit besides the cost savings of using a single phone device is employee productivity. A new study by OnRelay's own live deployment data reveals when FMC technology works, user penetration and hardware cost savings follow along with increased customer responsiveness since the employee is able to take inbound business calls anywhere. FMC also enables advanced PBX functionality such as call transfer, call conferencing, on-hold, etc.

Here's the interesting report info put out by OnRelay:

OctroTalk adds Video Conferencing and Live Streaming to Windows Mobile

October 15, 2008

A major new version of OctroTalk (see previous write-up), an IM/VoIP/video P2P app just came out. The new version is called OctroTalk 2.0 for Windows Mobile and it now has real time video conferencing with VoIP, File Transfer, Instant Messaging and avatar support. You can even have video calls if you have OctroTalk running at both ends. The OctroTalk desktop version also supports video conferencing.

OctroTalk supports IM/VoIP and can communicate with Jabber, Google Talk, AOL/AIM, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, and ICQ.

No <font color="red">♥</font> for High-end Mobile Apps

October 15, 2008

Thought I'd share this interesting report from Accenture about mobile phone app utilization that claims higher-end applications remain vastly under-used by U.S. consumers. Funny, I think Apple iPhone users might disagree. The report found that 88 percent of U.S.
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