ITEXPO Blog
| The ITEXPO blog is where you can view the latest news and happenings at TMC's leading VoIP conference.

IBM, Mitel, Wearable Tech round out Latest ITEXPO News

Its been an amazing ITEXPO so far - wow. In case you missed some of the happenings from day 1, here are...

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3 Reasons UC Deployments Fail

Just getting ink on a Unified Communications deal is just the beginning. So many deployments go wrong or worse the company...

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Small Cells are Key to Attracting and Keeping SMB and Large Enterprise Customers

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

To say that operators of macro-cellular physical networks are facing all type of challenges these days would be an understatement.  These range from spectrum scarcity issues, competitive pricing pressures, the need to build out LTE networks ASAP as platforms for new services and to meet the insatiable appetite of users for things like streamed and real-time video, getting ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) etc.  They also are busy figuring out how to keep users, particularly enterprise users on their smart devices always and all ways on their networks in an increasingly fickle world where alternatives abound, including for value-added traffic lost to Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.  

It is to keep enterprise customers on the mobile service provider networks for enhanced services that good in-building wireless solutions are seen as both a powerful business tool and a competitive advantage.  This is particularly true when it comes to retaining small-to-medium business customers (SMBs).

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Changing the SIM game

The iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models comes with a SIM  that “gives you the flexibility to choose from...

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WebRTC and the Enterprise

I was reading an article titled, “How WebRTC can serve the Enterprise” but when I originally saw the headline I thought...

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Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, Craig Walker, Alon Cohen, Mike Tribolet, Andy Voss and Danny Windham at ITEXPO Next Week

Panel to celebrate 20 years of IP communications/VoIP and discuss its future. Next week at the 29th ITEXPO, I get the pleasure...

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes on Importance of Bringing Ultra-Broadband to Africa

By: Peter Bernstein, TMCnet Senior Editor

It may be almost cliché to say we live in a global economy, but many times when globalization is discussed the focus is on developed and emerging markets and not that often, if at all, on under-developed regions.  In fact, in the past few years until the recent drop in oil prices, much of the financial community’s and economic development interests has been focused on the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  This leaves out not just most of South America, but the promising rest of Africa which contains a wealth of rare minerals and other natural resources waiting to be literally and figuratively mined.

However, for most of the African continent countries to move from under-developed status, along with toward political stability and having a educated citizenry, infrastructure needs to be in place which it currently is not. This means not just giving the populace access to clean water and energy, but in a digital world ubiquitous and affordable access to businesses and individuals to high-speed broadband communications is now not just a foundation but a pre-condition that is essential for moving ahead.  

In this regard it is enlightening, refreshing and significant that Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes recently wrote a corporate blog stressing the company’s interest in working with governments and commercial interests to help accelerate economic development across the continent.  This about not just about the Oscar winning movie of several years ago “Out of Africa”, but is also about around, into and across Africa. 

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Grandstream UCM6100 Asterisk PBX Makes Major Strides

August 27, 2013


Last month I was pretty harsh in my analysis of the Grandstream UCM6100 and on top of the open source issues and burning their partners, it also had some security issues. Well, Ward Mundy has a new report on the UCM6100 and he is impressed with the response Grandstream has had to the community's concerns.

He writes, "The short version of this story is Grandstream has addressed most of the open source issues and they’ve resolved well over a hundred bugs. In addition, they’ve published excellent documentation on the PBX in addition to a tutorial on how to interconnect the UCM6100 with other devices including FreePBX®-based Asterisk servers such as PBX in a Flash. So we are pleasantly surprised by Grandstream’s efforts to address many of the concerns that were raised by some of us in the open source community."

He also posted this interesting tidbit:
The silver lining may very well be the functionality boost you’ll get from the addition of a $100 OBi202 device with a Bluetooth adapter.





FreePBX - Most Powerful & Flexible Phone System Known to Man

August 25, 2013

I've been writing about VoIP and reviewing VoIP products since 1996, but even I need help once in awhile to figure out how to get a certain VoIP feature to work, how to install an IP-PBX, how to configure an advanced phone feature, etc. Well, recently I had to deploy a FreePBX system in a production environment for another company and I hit a few stumbling blocks that required a call to FreePBX's technical support and I have to say they were very responsive, extremely knowledgeable and very helpful.

One of my first stumbling blocks was getting second dialtone on a specific FXO port simply by pressing one of the line keys on a Grandstream GXP2100 phone. The reason is there is a DoorKing security gate system hooked into one of the Sangoma FXO ports that listens for certain DTMF touchtones to open and close the gate.

First, I had to create three groups in chan_dahdi_groups.conf, which is done in the FreePBX UI via this URL:
http://[ipaddress]/admin/config.php?display=dahdi
group=0 -> FXO trunks - channels 5, 6, and 7 (normal inbound/outbound lines)
group=1 -> FXO trunk  - channel  8 (special DoorKing port)
group=2 -> FXS lines  - channels 1, 2, 3, and 4 (analog devices)

I separated the DoorKing into its own trunk line group so it wouldn't be used for outbound calling. I also had to change the context to "from-analog" for the FXO ports for routing via channel number to work.









ITEXPO 2013 Las Vegas Kicks off this week

August 25, 2013

Find Rich Tehrani at ITEXPO Las Vegas 2013

August 23, 2013

If you follow my blog or social sites you know I’ll be at ITEXPO next week at Mandalay Bay and I’m very excited to meet with you all.

This is where you can find me:

On Monday, 8/26 at 9:00am I’ll be checking out the Asterisk 1-2-3 training course and the SUITS conference which focuses on telecom patent protection. At 12:00 that day, I’ll be at the SDN preconference learning about software defined networking.

Snom Riding Lync Wave to Success

August 19, 2013

In a recent meeting with Snom’s Mike Storella in the company’s office in Massachusetts, I had a chance to learn how the company is riding the Microsoft Lync wave to success. One of the early differentiators they touted was Lync phones which allowed multiple lines – an essential feature for many, including executives who don’t answer their own phones.

This early flexibly caught the attention of Microsoft – not to mention a number of Fortune class companies who needed such features.

Mike touted other features as well like the company being first to allow device-based music-on-hold for Lync as well as being first to qualify a device for the Microsoft Lync 2013 compatible devices program.

Jobs Movie Inaccurate Say Steve Wozniak and John Sculley

August 16, 2013

By now everyone knows there is a movie called Jobs which celebrates the life of Steve Jobs and tries to recreate the events which surround the tech legend’s life. Of course whenever such an ambitious project is undertaken, the challenge you have is getting agreement on what happened and just as importantly trying to get everyone involved in the happenings to work collaboratively.

It is apparent this movie faced some challenges in both regards. For example, Ashton Kutcher who plays a pretty convincing Steve Jobs complained recently that Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak aka “The Woz” is being paid by another company to support a different Steve Jobs film.

Steve Wozniak

FreePBX World - Just Days Away!

August 12, 2013

The first ever FreePBX World co-located at ITEXPO is just 16 days away, taking place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. I recently wrote about FreePBX and gave a sneak peek of the conference agenda for FreePBX World you should check out.

I'm attending ITEXPO to cover all the latest news on VoIP, WebRTC, Asterisk & FreePBX, cloud communications, and much more. Oh did, I mention Apple legend Steve Wozniak is keynoting?

ITEXPO is one of the longest running communications shows and it continues to add excellent new content to the conference tracks, exciting new co-located events like FreePBX World & Startup Camp, as well as headliner keynoters like former Apple & Pepsi CEO John Sculley, 3Com founder and Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe, and many more.

If you haven't registered already, head over here, but you better be quick, I hear the hotel room block is almost full!





How FreePBX is Revolutionizing PBXs - Let Freedom Ring!

July 15, 2013

Asterisk fans know that Asterisk, as its name implies, was designed to do everything in telecom since the name Mark Spencer gave it comes from the Linux wildcard symbol (*), which can match or do just about anything. It's a fantastic name chosen by Asterisk's founder.

Similarly, FreePBX also sports a great name, espousing a truly powerful and "free" PBX with no strings attached. Is it not ironic that America , the nation whose most precious Amendment of the Constitution, the 1st Amendment which established "free speech" as a fundamental right and a nation which invented the most important communications technology - the telephone, also helped establish one of the most closed, proprietary, and expensive pieces of "speech" technology? - namely the PBX.

Free speech you say?



New Jobs Movie Trailer Highlights Apple History

June 21, 2013





The trailer for the new movie titled Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher is very well done and for those of us immersed in Apple history, it’s like a visual walk down memory lane.

Sure, Ashton reminds some of us his character named Walden in the TV series Two-and-a-Half Men a bit too much but he does a convincing job playing Steve Jobs based on the movie clip above.

What is especially awesome to me is the timing of this movie.

Steve Wozniak to Keynote ITEXPO Las Vegas

February 22, 2013



We are extremely proud to announce Steve Wozniak is a keynoter at ITEXPO in Las Vegas, Thursday, August 29 at 10am. After the amazing keynote of John Sculley, past Apple CEO weeks back at this event* in Miami (video below), we thought the only way to even come close to finding someone of a similar caliber was to present the cofounder of Apple to our beloved ITEXPO community!





After all, how often do you get to hear from the person who helped revolutionize the personal computer industry by inventing the Apple I and Apple II computers?

The Woz has intricate knowledge of both communications and computing and as today’s mobility solutions have brought these markets together, his presence as a featured speaker means attendees at the show will hear from one of the most-focused visionaries available anywhere. Moreover, his topic which is the past, present and future of technology and entrepreneurship are sure to resonate

Registration is open now.