Archive for Telecomms

Carphone Warehouse no longer publish the telephone numbers for their stores

The Carphone Warehouse is a store that sell telphones and associated products. It is no longer possible to obtain the telphone number for their stores from head office.
This may seem crazy, but it is true as of Tue 22nd Jan 2008. If you have a telephone number for a carphone warehouse store, please leave a comment with the associated number for the store branch. I will publish a list of these stores. This action may incur the wrath of the carphone warehouse.

Why are some mobile operators blocking IMAP?

IMAP is a very useful protocol for collecting and sending email. It is the defacto standard for corporate email Microsoft Exchange servers. Nokia have released apps for their S60 series phones that can connect to exchange servers via IMAP. For a variety of security reasons corporate entities often choose to have IMAP access only to their email systems.
Therefore It was very annoying to discover that the Irish mobile phone operator three do not allow IMAP access from their handsets. They only allow POP access, why is this the case?
My professional opinion cannot fathom a reason for this short sighted approach.

New Multimedia programme

In our new Multimedia programme in Tipperary Institute which will commence in Sept 08 students will learn the fundamentals of cables, encoding decoding of audio and video. OS concepts on windows, Linux and MAC. Data transmission technologies, computer architecture etc.
Students will learn how to connect, operate and transfer data between audio visual and multimedia equipment. Existing equipment such as Video cameras and digital cameras etc will be utilised as part of this course.
This experience will allow the students to pursue a wide range of work placement opportunities and is necessary to fulfill the requirements of the Multimedia technology 1 and 2 as described in the course submission.

The 3 Skype bill pay rip off

The much hyped Skype service for monthly contract customers is subject to users paying an extra 14.99 a month for an X-series silver package which allows unlimited data etc.
If you have the 5.99 100Mb per month package you cannot use Skype. As a user who switched to three so as to enjoy Skype I am pretty annoyed with their restrictive implementation. I have no intention at the moment to pay an extra 15 euros a month to use Skype.
Three are very restrictive on their broadband packages as they don’t allow IMAP access from your mobile phone to your corporate exchange server.
I think three only want to appeal to the pay as you go young customer whose parents are handing them credit and don’t appreciate the costs and models being used to maximise their revenue.
The traditional bill/contract customer is being ignored and made to pay exorbitant prices for add ons that other companies provide as default. This is very silly and dangerous strategy to adopt as it will alienate a more predictable a lucrative source of income i.e. bill pay customers
If you are unhappy with this implementation email 3 and let them know

Retirement of my Nokia 6310i

Yesterday my Nokia 6310i was retired from active service. My requirements have moved on from wanting a phone that had triband and txt messaging with a good battery life to the following:
– Good Battery Life
– Wi-Fi
– 3G
– Access to work calendars
– Newsfeeds
– MP3 player
The 02 coverage where I live is very poor. I have coverage at our kitchen window but none at the Kitchen table. After much research and coffee chats with my colleagues I decided to buy the nokia e65 and switch to the three network.
So far my impressions are good. The phone is a communications swiss army knife and is quiet small. I don’t think it would be the best ever unit for writing emails as the screen is quiet small but the battery life seems good.
The 3G network is so so if I get the TI Wi-fi connection working it will make a considerable difference. I need to get my hands on a 2GB sd micro and download a few more useful apps to really exploit its potential.
The phone comes preloaded with Skype, Facebook, Ebay etc 100 Mb of 3G data cost 6 euros per month which is good value.

Skype service is available to Irish 3 billpay customers

I just had an interesting conversation with Gary in the Carphone warehouse head office in Dublin. He finally shed some light on the availability of Skype for 3 bill pay customers.
Bill pay customers can download a Skype app from the planet 3 service for their phone e.g a Nokia N73. It does require 3G coverage and you will be charged for data traffic. 3 offer 100Mb of data a month for 5.99.
Nov 23rd Update – Having read the install instructions for Skype it appears that a customer has to buy a X-series silver package for 14 euros per month approx to use the Skype service. This doesn’t seem to make marketing sense to me and is something I will be taking up with three.

Why Accountants will love Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007

Bill Gates is predicting that the days of the company PBX are numbered. Integrating software with phone calls and using your corporate broadband connection makes fiscal sense. If there is one thing that is guaranteed to bring about change is the possibility of reducing your costs. If a business can eliminate line rental which is about 25 euros a month for a domestic Irish user and save on international calls then straight away you have their attention.
Microsoft are touting the fact that they can integrate the other kill app i.e. email as well as instant messaging, presence, voice and video. In effect Office Communications Server 2007 is a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based server that can route and switch IP-based voice traffic, as well as IM and Web conferencing sessions.
Bill used a good analogy when he compared the PBX to a mainframe. These were all in one devices that lacked flexibility and often tied you in to very expensive support contracts. Like all new technology this one will slowly appear in the comms room and PBX will be phased out.
Microsoft plan to integrate their Customer Relationship Managment software with the OCS platform. This theme of integration is one that is likely to become the marketing call and justification for upgrading to new technology platforms in the future.
Press Release – Bill Gates and Jeff Raikes – Unified Communications Launch

Nokia buys digital map provider Navteq for 8 Billion Dollars

Nokia are aggressively embracing location based services with the announcement of their acquisition of Navteq who provide digital maps to car manufacturers and GPS manufacturers. report that some analysts believe that this purchase about restricting competition. If Nokia’s OVI initiative takes off they will be well placed to exploit this asset. The era of location based services is poised in my opinion to really take off now that smartphones such as the Nokia N95 are integrating GPS with standard hand held technologies.

Linksys one – a routing box crammed with features

Cisco have launched the Linksys one which is targeted at SMEs. This product incoporates VPNs, VOIP
The Cisco blurb waxes lyrically about.
1- Secure access – anytime, anywhere – to voice, video, data and wireless networking in an affordable, complete system that delivers more effective and efficient communications.
2- Dramatic savings around simple things like adds, moves, and changes, in addition to new easy to use technologies and features like security, VPNs between multiple sites and storage that can be deployed when the business is ready.
3- Flexibility to benefit from hosted business applications and partner services that can streamline business processes in marketing, sales, training and support.
The idea behind this product is sound as it offers a small company one product to carry out a variety of tasks.

1 million DNS queries per second per CPU product

3C a UK start up has launched an authoritative DNS server that is capable of handling 1 million DNS queries per second per CPU. The product comes in a 1U case and contains two completely separate servers, which provides up to four gigabit Ethernet ports to handle DNS traffic.
The high rate of performance is capable due to the companies proprietary network stack. This network stack is being marketed as a High Performance Network Stack or HPNS. 3C developed the stack so as to add performance to applications such as VoIP, media streaming and DNS. These receive and transmit large numbers of small packets, which is the worst case for most operating systems, and which require context switches from user-mode to kernel and back again for each packet sent or received. According to 3C, HPNS cuts this overhead to a minimum, allowing much higher performance than conventional network stacks.
Start-up’s DNS server boosts VoIP and media streaming