Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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wireless, WiFi, WiMAX, 3G, 4G, EVDO

Apple Planned the iPad BEFORE the iPhone. Who knew?

February 10, 2012

Everyone assumes that Apple was working on the iPhone before the iPad. However, the recent lawsuit by Proview Electronics suing Apple over the name 'iPad' says others wise. The iPhone was launched in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. However, in 2006 Apple purchased the iPad trademark from display manufacturer Proview Electronics (Taiwan) for $55,000 by way of a front company called IP Application Development. So it appears Apple planned on making a tablet before the iPhone even came to market!

According to TMC's Peter Bernstein, Proview says the trademark deal with Apple did not include the rights to the trademark in China.

Dell Voice Launches in Canada - Will it Fail As Badly As Dell Video Chat?

February 9, 2012



Dell has partnered with Ontario-based Fongo to offer Dell Voice, a VoIP app exclusively available exclusively in Canada that offers a Canadian phone number and free calls to most of Canada. Also, incoming calls and Dell Voice-to-Dell Voice calls are free of charge. This reminds me of how Dell partnered with Sightspeed, now a part of Logitech to offer a multi-party video conferencing service called Dell Video Chat. I reviewed the software and it works well, but with free alternatives like Skype, having the ability to do 9-way (3x3) Brady Bunch video is a very niche application. Practically nobody has ever heard of Dell Video Chat, so here let me share a couple screenshots of it...

Screenshot of me testing it:


2x2 (4-way video call)


I suspect Dell Voice will suffer the same ignominious fate as Dell Video Chat. There's just too much competition, including superior offerings from Google Voice, Skype, and most recently Vonage.









Vonage Attacks Skype with 30% Price Cut and Free App-to-App Calling & Texts

February 8, 2012



Vonage today launched new versions of their mobile app for both iOS and Android phones that feature free app-to-app calling and international calling rates that on average are 70 percent less than major mobile carriers and 30 percent less than Skype according to their release notes on iTunes. What's nice about their mobile app is it lets you talk and text worldwide for FREE with anyone else who has the app. It's also wideband HD audio for better audio quality.

Another nice feature is that you simply use your existing address book and there is no need to leave the app. It works on both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G.





ITEXPO IP Communications Trade Show Continues Solid Growth

February 8, 2012

ITEXPO East 2012 in Miami was TMC's best show ever with over 200 booths and over 8,200 attendees. Conferee attendance for ITEXPO East increased more than 50% from 2011, resulting in dozens of standing room only sessions at ITEXPO and collocated conferences such as HTML5 Summit, M2M Evolution, Business Video Expo, Super WiFi Summit, and 4GWE. As an example, here's a photo I took at the jam-packed Ingate SIP trunking conference session:


Even with the additional third day of exhibit hall hours, foot traffic was pretty good - on a Friday no less. I heard from several exhibitors saying it was their best ITEXPO ever.

TMC's next show, ITEXPO West 2012, is scheduled to take place on October 1-4, 2012, in Austin, Texas, (the 'new' Telecom Corridor) which will be the second time in Austin after moving from Los Angeles.




Why Apple's A5 Processor is Big (Siri) + Why Doesn't Siri Support Dictating Emails?

February 6, 2012

According to CNet, Apple's A5 processor includes noise-reduction circuitry licensed from a start-up called Audience. Audience's technology enhances speech and works well even when you hold the phone are arm's length ('far-field speech'). This explains the mysteriously larger A5 processor on the iPhone 4S and why the previous gen iPhone 4 didn't get the Siri via a simple iOS software upgrade.

The iPhone 4S has just a few advantages over the iPhone 4, including a an amazing 8-megapixel camera that captures HD video, a faster dual-core processor and of course Siri. However, if you don't care about the HD video or better quality photographs, you might be inclined to buy a new or even used iPhone 4 for less money or keep the iPhone 4 you already have. Many iPhone 4 users were none to happy with not getting Siri and assumed Apple was simply trying to force users to upgrade to the 4S.

Forget Super Wi-Fi! Go with Super Wi-Fi! Wait. What?

February 3, 2012


Everyone is hyping the new Super Wi-Fi standard which uses lower-frequency white spaces between television channel frequencies. These lower frequencies enable the signal to travel further (miles) and penetrate walls better than the higher frequencies previously used (hundreds of feet). Well, forget about Super Wi-Fi!

I met with Thomas Ngeow from Altai Technologies at ITEXPO, a Hong Kong-based company and he explained they coined Super Wi-Fi for one of their products long before the Super Wi-Fi standard was coined. You're probably wondering who cares who coined it first and you'd be right.


Pumped for StartupCamp5's Fast-paced Startup Pitches

January 24, 2012

I'm headed out to ITEXPO East, taking place next week from January 31 through February 3, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, in Miami, Florida. One of the the items of my must-see list is StartupCamp5 Comm Edition, collocated with ITEXPO East. I'm pretty pumped to see this, especially since at StartupCamp4, Internet / Ethernet legend Bob Metcalfe gave a phenomenal keynote, which was very well received. You can see his keynote here:

During the keynote Bob had some kind words to say about Apple's Steve Jobs, before Steve Jobs passed. It was obvious from Bob's emotions that he knew his friend Steve had limited time left.

Google to Keynote at Super WiFi Summit in Miami

January 3, 2012

TMC's ITEXPO has had its fair share of high-profile keynoters, including Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, Bob Metcalfe, former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, former HP Chair Carly Fiorina, Digium / Asterisk founder Mark Spencer, and of course TMC's very own Rich Tehrani on multiple occasions. We've also had representatives from Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo, Avaya, Nortel, Polycom, and other telecom / wireless heavyweights. Now in 2012 TMC lands a Google keynoter! Google will keynote at ITEXPO's co-located Super WiFi Summit.

Richard S. Whitt is Director and Managing Counsel for Telecom and Media Policy for Google Inc. In that capacity, Rick is responsible for Google’s strategy and advocacy on all wireline, wireless, and media matters before the Federal Communications Commission, other Federal agencies, and the U.S.

Winter Wake-up App Wakes You Up Earlier If It Snows

December 29, 2011

Yesterday, I reviewed Zeo Sleep Manager and now today I came across another interesting sleep app created by Boondoggle called "Winter Wake-up", which wakes you up early if it snows giving you time to shovel the snow off your car, de-ice it, and make the slower commute to work due to road conditions. Now you won't have to tell your boss, "Sorry I'm late. I didn't know it was going to snow".

Winter Wake-Up is a smartphone alarm app automatically checks the weather and wakes you up earlier if it snows. You set the number of minutes to be woken earlier for "frost" (a little dusting) and the number of minutes to be woken up earlier if it snows.

Zeo Sleep Manager Review

December 28, 2011


Just about everyone claims at one time or another they don't get enough sleep. Spouses can even argue over who got the least amount of sleep and claim immunity from doing a household chore or offload the task to their spouse due to a lack of sleep. Well, now you can prove you had a bad night sleeping using the Zeo Sleep Manager, which uses a headband to record REM sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, and awake times and gives you a ZQ score. Then you can say to your spouse, "See!
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