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Making Use of Wideband Voice Right Now!: Vonage Mobile

VonageMobileDevices Some time ago I was a Vonage customer. We had a Vonage line for my home office to compliment the POTS line that service the house. Our only internet access was via DSL over that POTS line.

We haven’t had a POTS line here since 2004.

While Vonage was a pioneer in what we now call-over-the-top internet telephony, for most of its existence the companies primary means of delivering service was by way of an “analog telephony adapter” or ATA. An ATA provides the RJ-11 connection required to connect to a traditional telephone.

Service providers using ATAs are essentially emulating the PSTN. It makes perfect sense since they want to offer an easy, drop-in replacement for traditional phone service. The advantage that they sell is simply that they’re cheaper. Most care little for esoterica like HDVoice.

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The End Of Wireless Tether For Android…For Some People

Yesterday Information Week ran a story entitled, “The End Of Wireless Tether For Android.” The story quite rightly describes how Google is responding to carrier requests to disable the distribution of free tethering apps via the official Android Marketplace.

According to the author,

“The wireless carriers would rather you pay a fee either for tethering plan or buy a device like a MiFi or USB dongle that will let your PC get online.”

..further…

“Take the example of AT&T. To require a data plan that is 80% more expensive than a non-tethering plan is a bit of a money grab. AT&T has data caps, so why do they care how you use it?”

I’ve long held that there’s a fundamental disconnect with how wireless data is handled. It should not matter what device I use, as long as I’m paying for the data. If I pay for 5 GB/month then why does the fact that I’m using a netbook, laptop, tablet or cell phone make any difference?

If I had a USB type interface I could well move it between a desktop, netbook, laptop and even some tablets. The carrier simply wouldn’t know anything beyond the amount of data consumed transferred. And why should they?

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When The Wifi Blows: Experience At NAB 2011

NABshow_logoThe past week or so my attention was wholly consumed by the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters. Held in Las Vegas each April the NAB exhibition is the major event in the year of a broadcast equipment maker. This was my 18th NAB, which makes the more a test of stamina than anything else.

Happily, the show was for my employer a considerable success. Attendance has returned to reasonable levels. It seems that broadcasters are feeling better about their existence. Globally broadcasters are starting to move forward with long stalled projects. New channels will be launched and existing services enhanced. It all bodes well for the manufacturing sector of the industry, presuming that manufacturers have toughed out the recent slow period and continued to develop products that improve the operating efficiency of customers.

For our company the one major annoyance of NAB 2011 was the complete failure of wifi on the show floor. From the last day of setup to the close of the event wifi was essentially useless. This was not a huge problem, but a considerable inconvenience. In our case it meant that the many sales and executive staff present could only access email via a wired network connection.

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A Tale Of Wonky Wifi Part 5: Another Transition

Open Mesh OM-1P Wireless Access PointWhen last we left our intrepid hero he had suffered nine months of unreliable Wifi wound the home and home office. After trying a major brand name SMB class 802.11N type, which was utterly disappointing. At the end of part 4 in our saga we had just completed the installation of a pair of Open Mesh OM-1P 802.11G type MESH APs. Beyond that the entire project went quiet.

In this case that long quiet stretch is “a good thing*.” The OM-1Ps were in service for over a year. I had one in the house in the forward portion of the property and a second in the office at the rear. Two were required to provide adequate coverage.

The OM-1Ps were not perfect. They were only 802.11B/G, so lacking some of the features of newer N-type APs. Also, they didn’t support WPA2 encryption, which would have been my preference. Still, they worked well enough that I left them in service.

After about eight months the OM-1P in the house started to become unreliable. After resetting it a few times I simply powered it down permanently. That meant that wifi coverage on the front porch was sketchy to unusable.

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