Wednesday, April 30, 2008

GSM Mobile Phone .... International Cell Phone .... Talk Anywhere For LESS

A GSM phone with the capability to make cell phone calls no matter what country you're in is becoming more and more important to a larger population of people. Not just with travelers for business or pleasure either ..... but students, military families, and more. The solution wasn't always easy even if you found one .... and often when a solution was found it was expensive.

Relax, there's no need to worry anymore. Now there's an easy solution that is very cost friendly.

OneSIMcard is a prepaid international SIM card that allows you to take your GSM mobile phone overseas, without incurring high roaming charges from your current wireless service provider.

It is VERY SIMPLE - all you need to do is replace your phone's existing SIM card with international SIM card when you travel. Save up to 85% compared with your regular mobile phone service and even receive calls for FREE in more than 54 countries. OneSimCard international mobile service works in over 150 countries.

GSM Mobile Phone .... International Cell Phone

For example if you are using a T-Mobile or AT&T cell phone, chances are that your handset is equipped with a SIM card. A SIM card is a small smart chip that acts as an identification card for your GSM handset. Your SIM card is smart because it can store phone numbers and even text messages. All SIM cards have unique serial numbers that contain your account information for your wireless service provider. You can take the SIM card out of your GSM phone, and it insert into any other compatible GSM phone, and bingo - your number along with your subscriber information will register with your wireless service provider. You may already own an original or aftermarket cell phone that you purchased while traveling overseas. If your phone is tri-band or quad-band, it is capable of international mobile roaming. All you need is prepaid GSM service and you're good to go to any of the 150 countries we cover.

OneSIMCard also offers the following at VERY real cost savings for you:

* International Mobile Phone Solution - Get this international mobile phone which you can use in 150 countries with the same global mobile phone number everywhere and enjoy deeply discounted international rates over your domestic carrier.

* International SIM Card Solution - Get a OneSimCard SIM Card that will provide you with international wireless service in 150 countries with one phone number no matter what country you are in at deeply discounted international mobile rates.

* International Rent A Mobile Phone Solution - Rent a mobile phone inexpensively and avoid a shocker bill. Stay in touch while abroad with OneSimCard. Rental can cost as little of $59, which already includes $20 of airtime.

* International Corporate Mobile Solution - Open a corporates account with OneSimCard.com and get a complete mobile phone solution with easy account management of individual employee mobile phone accounts.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

What Are The Bandwidth Requirements For Business Video Conferencing And Multi-Media Applications?

A commonly asked question ..... and one that often causes confusion and headaches .... concerns just how much bandwidth does a business require for video conferencing and multi-media applications.

Let's get right to it and try to shed some light to clear things up a bit. Here's some basics to give you a good foundation to move forward.

One location running low traffic to view video could be 256 to 384k ..... Two locations running and downloading files via the internet with video could be 384k-768 ..... Three locations feeding off a main location through MPLS on a full T1 burstable is up to 3mg's. Plus, simultaneous allocation of channels with voice, data and video could work fine.

It's important to consider area's of traffic for voice, data, internet, locations, ..... and software specifications, equipment and any devices connected. Where they are ran from and back to .... and the termination points.

You might use a simple T1, DS3, bonded PRI ..... ethernet (if corporates headquarters is in NY say ..... and you've got multi locations running back through the main server ..... then it's something to consider based on what types of software, devices and bandwidth are being worked into the configuration back to your central point.)

Keep in mind you may need to brush up some other LOC's or configure them a little differently to free up space...

If your talking pretty basic simple set up ..... low cost and nothing lagging any latency issues ..... a fractional T1 all the way to a bonded PRI for simultaneous allocation of channels is cost effective and upgradeable. Having dedicated point to point T1 for moderate use would be fine also.

Headaches for corp use are DSL, BRI, ISDN, Frame Relay. That's not saying they don't work well .... but there's more defects per incident if your serious about running and availability of paths (think quality and reliability).

If you are planning a Halo or TelePresence room, then 10 Mb Ethernet or DS3 is a minimum as the requirements are 3 Mbps per channel.

For units like Tandberg or Polycom, using H.264, you can get away with 384-768 kbps per site. Using H.263, 768 kbps is a minimum for quality; you can use as little as a T1 in these scenarios. How you want to integrate that into your current WAN is up to you ..... MPLS, FR, ATM, ethernet, etc.

Personally, I would try to use MPLS for my WAN and add the video as a higher priority so I could dynamically allocate bandwidth as opposed to dedicating circuits.

There ya go folks ..... just the basics.

For the next step of actually finding a bandwidth solution .... take advantage of the free consulting available at DS3 Bandwidth

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Business Cell Phone (e.g. Smart Phone, PDA): What Features Should You Look For Most; Part III

Here's the 3rd and final installment of answers to the question I asked of a large business networking community recently..... "What features/factors do you consider most important when choosing a business cell phone....and why?"

Read on for your last shot at enlightment ( and maybe a smile or 2).

* "In my case I would put the features in the following order:

- full keyboard (sometimes soft-one is ok) - UMTS (for roaming) - good email client - battery - touch screen - GPS (when renting a car) - USB charger "

* "Here's my simple list:

1) easy to call 2) sync with outlook .... and remember the milk 2) wlan"

* "First and foremost, the phone features must be good (calling, receiving calls, listening to messages..). For me, all other features are just an add-on.

If a phone cannot phone, then it is just a bad mini computer."

* "Ability to run software that can connect to my company's email client server. Our Nokia E-Series phones can run various client, including Blackberry Client and other common company email client servers."

* "For me and my business, first and foremost, I need to have:

- Reliability of signal - Clear calls - Strong battery

When I'm on the go, having the following allows me to stay in touch with clients:

- Well-organized contact application - Easily accessible calendar application - Good email function - Good connectivity with the web - QWERTY keyboard for easy access for my emails

Honestly, the rest is bells & whistles, and while they are fun, it's not essential.

I see the phone is first and foremost a phone. "

* "For me it has been the Nokia E series T111, majorly because of the data access speed. Currently I am looking at HTC. Another to a look out for is the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. "

* "Will it look like a calculator on the side of my head when I am using it."

* "I use the 8525 and I find it to be a very effective tool in my everyday working life. I can check and write emails, edit excell spreads, and Telnet in and work on the system as need be from my phone. The big display with easy to use Windows functionality makes this phone one of the best for business."

* "We utilitze a Sprint BlackBerry 8830 World Edition phone. It is invaluable as we use BlackBerry instant messaging daily, especially for communicating during events. The plan package also includes tethering to your computer (PC or mac!), for use as a data card. We use Rackspace to provide Exchange and BlackBerry Exchange Server functions. It has flawless syncronization with email, calendar, contacts, tasks and notes. Once you add additional (free) applications such as Vigo (mobile RSS reader), Google Maps, Beyond 411, the 'Berry becomes an addiction. Did I mention that it has a SIM card slot for use internationally?"

* " I use the Samsung SCH-i760 on Verizon becuase it runs Windows and has a full keyboard (slider). I think Blackberry and Palm leave a lot to be desired from a software standpoint. I used a xV6700 for 2 years and it was good for the same reasons as the Samsung. But the Samsung is much smaller/sleeker and has better performance. I did try a Treo running Windows and the keyboad was too small for me to use comfortably."

* "We are real estate brokers. We have to be mobile... and the phone is one of our very most important tools.

July 1, 2008 in California ..... if you don't have a phone with voice activated dialing you will be breaking the law dialing by hand while you are driving. So I went into my local Verizon store and bought a top of the line Bluetooth headset. I asked them to hook it up to my Treo 750 ... only 3 months old ... and to my surprise ... my phone does not support Voice Activated Dialing.

So now I'm getting ready to trade up to a Blackberry Pearl 8130.

My list would be:

1. Voice Activated Dialing with Bluetooth 2. Stable operating platform compatible with any 3rd party software you need. 3. Ease of use... ergonomic keyboard and good visibility in all lighting 4. Excellent customer service for when it fails... they all do. "

* "The most important features for me are:

- A large screen for web browsing. - Office and PDF documents viewing. - Bluetooth file transfer to send and receive documents, contacts, and large files like videos (I find this to be the iPhones main limitation). - GPS receiver to save time when finding directions. - E-mail, SMS, MMS (the lack of MMS is an other big iPhone limitation) - Good battery life. - 3G or Edge to browse the web and download e-mails quickly. - SyncML capability to synchronize the address book, calendar and tasks with an online organizer automatically.

Finally, I think its very important to have good user-friendly software that lets you access every phone function without having to go through too many menus."

* "I really like my AT&T Tilt. It has a qwerty keyboard. Runs Windows. It has the 3G high speed Internet. So I can do email and browse the web very quickly. It also has pocket versions of word, excel, etc...

It has a pretty good camera built in but I rarely use it.

I'm always on it doing email, or on the phone. It's a very smart device. I really don't use my notebook much anymore. "

* "Besides PDA-type functionality like integration with email & calendar applications, I prefer a top-flight phone without a camera. Many companies prohibit visitors from bringing in cameras, which could mean leaving your phone at the front desk as you head in for a meeting. A business phone is no good if you can't take it with you."

* "In my opinion, the single most important factor in choosing a business cell phone is understanding your business objectives. If your business is not reliant on email then a PDA with real time email access will not benefit you one iota. If your business requires instant communication, you will need push to talk and SMS. One must know what One seeks when looking into any business purchase but particularly its computing devices. In the mobile industry, it is easy to get distracted by the bells and whistles of unnecessary features.

The device which meets my needs is the Palm Treo because I need ease of use, voice quality, instant email and reliable battery. It is also a very useful device for 3rd party applications and has a great support team behind it.

That's it folks .... the end of our 3 part series on what to look for in business cell phones (smart phones and PDAs). Hopefully you saw something that turned a light on for your next business phone....and maybe made you chuckle a bit too.

Remember, for anyone currently looking for a business cell phone of any kind ...... here's a convenient online resource that will help you search for and compare phones, features, providers, and call plans: Business Cell Phone Comparison


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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Can SIP Solve Your Business Requirements For Video Conferencing And Multi-Media?

Something few mention as an option to meet video conferencing and multi-media needs, which I find quite odd, is SIP!!!

SIP is the standard protocol designed for the transmission of video, voice, and data. Many have strong opiniuons that SIP will become the standard for all media transmission including data.

To address incorporating SIP as a component of your video conferencing suite and multi-media solution ... there's a few considerations.

First, you need to know how much bandwidth you need for the overall infrastructure. If you need anything more than the amount of bandwidth provided by a couple T1's, then look at Metro Etherent. Whether it's MetroE or T1, you're probably looking at an MPLS solution from any carrier. By adding SIP to an MPLS T1 for example, you'll have direct connectivity to the PSTN and ISP for both voice and data.

This is really the newest and most advanced way to transmit voice, data, and video over a single pipe. It's no longer necessary to have separate circuits for voice and data .... although some carriers will discourage this saying it's unreliable. But they're just trying to get you to buy twice as many services as necessary. The only way to approach redundancy for data is to have a redundant circuit from a different carrier.

Here's an interesting case study for you all.

A friend's company builds VoIP systems that allow SIP end-to-end. He had a customer who has two locations. The customer had 2 voice T1's and 2 data T1's at each location .... in addition to a point-to-point for their WAN. In the process of creating a new VoIP solution, my friend eliminated all of the customer's T1's and point-to-point .... and replaced them with a single MetroE MPLS/SIP product at each location.

This single circuit allowed for connectivity to the PSTN (phone company), the Internet (ISP), and because the service was from the same carrier, all inter-office calls, application hosting, and all the other things flowing over the customer's WAN would run over the carrier's IP backbone.

Although there was no point-to-point, this was still a dedicated connection from point A to B. This customer's bandwidth dramatically increased and they saved LOTS of money. Imagine consolidating down from 6 circuits to 2! It is important to note that they did maintain their backup provider.

Long story short, whether it's video, voice, or multi-media ..... your best bet is SIP regardless of its delivery method (MetroE, T1, DS3, etc). The only problem is that SIP is so new, many carriers are still in the process of engineering their network for IP and SIP.

Don't be discouraged though. Simply stick to your guns and ask that SIP be considered in your solution package by whatever provider you're working with. Make sure they prove to your satisfaction that SIP isn't a good fit in the equation .... should they be lukewarm to the idea.

For help in finding just the right solution that DOES integrate SIP ..... I suggest using this free consulting service: Sip Trunking

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Business Cell Phone (e.g. Smart Phone, PDA): What Features Should You Look For Most; Part II

Again...here's the question that was posed: "What features/factors do you consider most important when choosing a business cell phone....and why?"

I asked this question of a large business networking community recently..... here's more of their answers for your education and enjoyment:

* "It's going to sound dull, but...business benefit and value for money.

Assuming you've got a corporate tarriff sorted, then I'd be looking for ....

* economy * connectivity - e.g. quad band so we can standardise on a couple of handsets globally * functionality - e.g. sync to work PC for Outlook etc. * decent vendor support.

Pretty low down on the list are things like eye candy and mp3 playback - no iPhone for us unfortunately!"

* "When it comes to a "business cell phone" a lot depends upon what you will use it for, where you will use it and how often you will use it.

If you just need email access and your HQ is in North America then RIM is still King....even when roaming abroad. If you need more than simple email access then the world gets more complicated. Bottom line is to look at the TCO of any solution you choose and make a platform choice not a cell phone choice."

* "My preference list:

- Good data connectivity. EDGE or HSDPA. - Very good EMail client. - Good PC-Sync capability. - Able to view and edit MS-OFFICE, Acrobat files - BLUETOOTH connectivity. supporting boardroom presentations from mobile. - QWERTY keypad is must. will be helpful if a foldable keypad with mobile cradle attached is provided. notes can be directly created using original keypad. - Wireless connectivity and seamless switching between GSM/UMTS and WLAN."

* "The following features are a must for my business cell phone:

- Qwerty keyboard - Office suite/editable - Adobe support - Sharp organiser - Effective email support - VPN connectivity - 3G enabled

I think IPhone is defintely a good bet for this category though currently I am on a Motorola PDA."

* "Simplicity. I hate it when mobiles have so many gimmicks that making telephone call almost becomes an option. I don't want a camera, don't need to text, I don't send emails, I don't need a colour display. I just want a simple phone, with large buttons and a simple menu.

* "First off I look for a phone that has a good battery, excellent radio and lots of storage.

Next I look for something that works with Office, since I need to be able to synchronise with Outlook and view documents. In the messaging suite it needs to be able to effectively do email. For example, I want it to have some form of keyboard device rather than just touch.

In the past I have also looked at the ability for the device to run a number of enterprise applications such as SAP, Oracle, etc.so that I can access CRM and Financial Data Systems.

At present I have a Sony Ericsson P1i as my main handset and have replaced a Blackberry with an HTC Touch Plus as my data device. However, I also have a Sony Vaio SZ61XP which runs with embedded HSDPA so my Laptop has become my smartphone.

What I would say is that despite the effort of .dot mobi to get better ..... the most effective way to squeeze the web onto a phone has been to run the Opera browser which I do on all three devices."

* "ok.. I'm not sure how the iPhone can qualify as a business cell phone. Like most Mac products it hinders business more than helps it.

In a phone, it must MUST be able to work with and exchange in "always up to date" / real time email. It also must be able to support email encryption and be remotely managable. Such as Blackberry, or Windows Mobile 6 devices.

Someone steals my phone, and it's already locked, so no use to them, as soon as I call the office, bam.. now it is also erased and deactivated. Instant paperweight.

My current Favorites ..... Moto Q Global, Blackjack with the WM6 update, or Black Jack II.

I am a bit of a cell phone addict, and have owned practically every type of phone that has existed, the rest are all lacking in some way.

Cingular/ATT 3125 (aka HTC Star Trek) was actually really cool. Full Windows smartphone features, but eventually I decided that I could no longer live without a full qwerty keyboard."

* "I would choose the Nokia E61 for businesses. The best feature about this phone is that you do not need a SIM Card to access internet or your IPLC in the office premises if your wireless is activated. It supports an email client and that enables you to access your personal and official mail. The phone has all the features of a desktop and supports most of the files types."

* "First and foremost, as I travel internationally quite often, I need an unlocked gsm phone so that I can easily swap SIMs, and it should be quadband (world) compatible.

Wifi and VoIP ("real" VoIP -- ie SIP, not Skype --both over GPRS and Wifi) is a must.

Easy syncing with Microsoft Outlook. Full QWERTY keyboard. IMAP email client, full web browser.

The obvious choice for my needs is the Nokia E61i... absolute best phone I have ever found for the international business user that has to stay completely connected from remote locales.

Also should add that bluetooth is a must and the ability to expand (with FlashSD or whatnot) the memory to at least 2GB. Should also have full media player capability (both video and audio) for watching movies or listening to some tunes on those long-haul flights. Also needs to support ACCD2 or whatever it's called for stereo bluetooth audio (I love my Motorola S9 headset!).... again, the Nokia E61 or E61i (same as E61 but with camera) wins hands down..only cell(smart) phone I've found that meets all of my demands."

* "Business means that you'll probably have to deal with many people, many calls and many tasks.

Important things are:

1. how call history works. If somebody calls you several times it is good if the phone can store EVERY call instance, not only the last one with a given person. My TREO was storing histories of all incoming and outgoing calls for months and months (i was having at least 50 calls a day). So call history must be full and long.

2. big memory for contacts - for obvious reasons. And many fields for contacts - also helps put more information about people so that when you have 3 persons with name John Smith you'll be able to find out which one you need.

3. Fully functional keyboard. When you know somebody is on the meeting and you can not speak to him it might help sending him/her a message - it will be seen even if person is in the meeting. If you have QWERTY keyboard then composing a message will take you 70-80% less time than doing it on a traditional mobile.

4. Phone must be reliable. The last thing you want is your phone to fail killing all your contacts when you are for a business trip out of your country. You also do not want to lose tons of calls because phone has hanged up for a couple of hours and you did not know it.

5. GPS sometimes is helpful for people who travel much. But not for every business person.

The model of the phone does not really matter, but I think that NOKIA is a reliable brand, PALM Treo is also a good thing."

* "A phone which you can answer , find the contact, and call them without spilling the coffee on your suit."

More real life comments on the question will be shared in Part III of this series.

For anyone currently looking for a business cell phone of any kind ...... here's a convenient online resource that will help you search for and compare phones, providers, and call plans: Business Cell Phone Comparison

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Friday, April 18, 2008

A Cheap Solution For Small Business Video Conferencing

For a small business trying to decide on a network solution which will be required to support video conferencing .... the journey can be aggravating.

Basically ..... Give me an open check and I will spend every dime on bandwidth pipes. Give me a fixed budget and I will squeeze every dime of bandwidth with compression techniques and accept the quality trade off.

Therein lies the dilemma ..... bandwidth vs quality.

So this is really not a question of bandwidth, but QoS (Quality of Service).

If you're willing to accept some risk in QoS to keep your budget under control.....there are options open to you.

With the bandwidth, you would scale to the number of users using the video/multimedia streaming network. About 384kbps per active connection per direction is the scaling for basic video conferencing(320x240). For 640x480 double it, and for 1080i HD 3-7Mbps for each feed.

LAN - Local Area Network, the one you buy and build
WAN - The one you lease and pay for, DSL etc
DSL - Digital Subscriber Line, 3-7Mbps
VPN - Virtual Private Networking, key technology for your solution

For your LAN network topology you want Ethernet at each video conferencing location. This is standard for most all LANs. Your WAN or Wide Area Network connection is the one that needs speculation. Just 10 years ago your choice would have been either a few T-1's at 1.5Mbps each, T-3 at 45Mbps, or Fibre for near limitless bandwidth depending on the above calculated bandwidth need.

Today's internet backbone is much more developed and can handle VPN over cable/DSL very well. VPN is creating a virtual software driven dedicated connection over a broadband connection like DSL.

Many (Linksys) network routers come with VPN capabilities. This should be the first solution attempt because it is exponentially cheaper than any other way. All you would require is a VPN router (Linksys $100) and 3-7Mbps DSL/Cable at each video feed location. Don't forget to get static IP's for each DSL location so you can make your VPN a permanent structure of the internet.

That's the basics. If you need help finding a DSL or cable provider in your
area that won't steal your wallet .... use this free online tool: Cheap DSL & Cable Internet

For help finding best fit equipment for your set-up ..... and maybe an
installer in your local area ..... use this handy search tool: Telecom & Video Conferencing Equipment


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Business Cell Phone (e.g. Smart Phone, PDA): What Features Should You Look For Most; Part I

What features/factors do you consider most important when choosing a business cell phone....and why?

I asked this question of a rather large business networking group .... and you can guess the answers were all over the board. There were some similarities and some interesting differencies too.

Here's a few for your education and enjoyment:

..................

* "When I had to choose one, I looked one with full qwerty, touchscreen, windows mobile so I could run word, excel and one that was easy to sync with my outlook and has a full browser.

I chose the HP 6945 communicator that has, above the mentioned features, GPS and built in camera.

I use it a lot, and I mean A LOT, and I´m completely satisfied with it."

..................

* "How well does it receive signal, how do I sound to callers as well as how do they sound to me. Does it sync with exchange wirelessly - email, contacts, calendar. Size and speed. Can I use my voice to dial by contact name or number. Lastly - what is the monthly service bill?"

..................

* "It depends on your business requirements. In the past, our requirements has been good service, good connectivity, less drops, good value for money, and good service. Yes, service is important.

We also have no need for picture phones, music players, video players, and a lot of the other bells and whistles. Our business has multiple phones, only one of which requires use of txt messaging. We turn off all the others.

We have been doing well with these. We have a simple LG vx3300 or LG vx3200, which has been an incredible phone for us.

We are currently researching an upgrade to a smart phone, which supports pda like features. We are a systems admin firm, we need support for secure shell access to remote servers. We are looking at the blackberry. We currently use a palm device for some remote access. We are looking for full qwerty keyboard."

....................

* "First of all, globally, I look at:

- Battery Autonomy: don't want to be disconnected during an important conversation

- Is there any kind of calendar, tasks and contact sync/management within a PC with an USB connection..?

- If travelling: triband or quadband phone (US, EUR, Asia...)

- Connexion options: bluetooth to connect accessories or use mobile as a modem, 3G or UMTS to connect to useful sites (directories, maps, email...)

- And if needed: a push email solution (treo, blackberry..)

So, you can find good phones in this list: Apple Iphone (not UMTS for the moment), Nokia N95 or any smartphones."

...................

* "I have a fetish about people trying to claim that they are unable to get a hold of me, which I find more often than not, a cop-out. To combat this, in a business phone, I tend to gravitate toward smartphones with software upgradability, Wi-Fi, quad-band GSM, some sort of broadband capability (EDGE, HSDPA, etc.) and a QWERTY keyboard interface.

For now, I am using a Nokia E90. Although the phone is on the bulky side, it allows me to receive e-mail, surf the web, access enterprise mail, tether to my laptop, edit MS Office files, as well as, Skype (to keep my phone bill under control when overseas), and basic GPS functions. In emergencies, I even use it to sub for a laptop.

Its not perfect by any means, particularly in size and form factor, but its probably one of the better phones I have had in a while."

........................

* "It would be the Apple logo. Because the iPhone reaches further into my workflow than others can, that workflow being mac and online services based. There is no better alternative.

Perhaps for corporate research purposes you could swing buying both a Mac mini and an iPhone, for the cost of another high end business phone.

Just as a heads up (my having read some of the later entries now) the next release of iPhone software includes Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync technology, including push email, push contacts/directories, push dates/calendar, and remote wipe/erase functionality and all that other good networking, VPN and centralised policies stuff."

......................

* "I like the BlackBerry 8320. Mainly because the calendar syncs up with exchange/outlook. Not to mention its keys are easy enough to be used with one hand. The battery life is good as long as you dont go installing GoogleTalk or Gmail as a third party software that continually goes out to the web. The only thing this needs to be a perfect device is the tethering capability. There are ways around it but its not designed to be an easy thing."

.......................

* "I'm still looking for the Holy Grail of cell phones!

It naturally has to function well as a cell phone. But if it could also function as my laptop, GPS, and media player for travels, it would then become invaluable.

The iPhone is very close. It has the phone, VM, messaging, media and usability down quite well. But, it's not 3G (yet), so connection throughput can be improved dramatically. The GPS is done through triangulating cell towers instead of a satellites (not nearly as quick or accurate).

On the very positive side, browsing with an iPhone has taken the device to the lead for business users. You get a real browser in Safari that blows IE mobile away.

Our MarketShare stats are showing that over 1 in every 1000 page views browsed today is coming from an iPhone. That's incredible!

Anyway, can't wait till the 3G / GPS version comes out - rumors are that it will be soon.

Side note - I have an HTC on the AT&T network, and am browsing quite successfully with Opera Mobile currently. Great solution as well!"

............................

More real life comments on the question will be shared in Part II of this series. So stay tuned.

For anyone currently looking for a business cell phone......here's a convenient website that will help you search for and compare phones, providers, and call plans: Business Cell Phone Comparison

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Monday, April 14, 2008

VARs & Master Agents: Telarus Software Makes Your Life Easy

Telarus creates software tools that other master agents just can't touch!

* Private Labelled Back Office for VARs

Telarus has created an online, private-labelled, back office suite that allows hybrid VARs (VARs who have at least one full-time employee devoted to carrier sales) to generate price quotes from over 30 carriers in just seconds. VARs can also use this software to set up and manage their carrier sales force using our in-house CRM and accounting features. No more headaches - no more missed sales! With VENUS, you'll always know you're getting the best deal for your customers!

If intersted just submit an inquery here: Telarus VAR

* Real-time Ethernet Lookup Tools

We are proud to the first and ONLY master agent to offer our partners real-time Ethernet lookup tools. They can locate lit buildings from XO, Level3, Cavalier, Time Warner Telecom, MegaPath, Nuvox, Telnes (and more) in just seconds. If you do not have a tool like this at your disposal, you risk losing the deal to a Telarus agent.

How To Find An Ethernet Solution

* Real-time Data and Voice T1/DS3 Pricing Tools

Telarus agents see real-time T1/DS3/OCX pricing and availability, which includes both pricing and the exact commission associated with each plan, including spiffs (which are 100% pass-through!). Did we mention it comes with a proposal generator and full CRM to keep track of your tasks, appointments, notes, and carrier paperwork? (Note: If you want RPM, Masterstream, or any other off the shelf "stuff", we're not the best fit for you. We believe in custom software that does exactly what YOU need it to.)

How To Find A Bandwidth Solution

* Put our 45,000 Online Affiliates to Work for YOU!

Telarus has thousands of online affiliates that are working hard to deliver leads to our sales agents for a piece of the residual commission. Likewise, our Subject Matter Expert program allows our agents the ability to partner on specific opportunities and to split the commission however they see fit.

* What in the heck are you waiting for?

I'd love to fill up this post with ALL of Telarus's many tools and unique features, but I can't. This space just isn't big enough! Sign up online here: Telarus Master Agent and they'd be more than happy to show you why Telarus was named a top channel program by Phone+, VARBusiness Magazine, and voted the number one master agent by the Telecom Association for 2008.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

What Do You Consider When Evaluating Hardware For Your Network Infrastructure (e.g. routers, etc.)

When you are placed in the uneviable position of having to make decisions on selecting a hardware solution for your company's network infrastructure .... LAN or WAN .... the evaluation process can be overwhelming. Without a plan you're doomed to failure .... and a huge migrain.

Keep in mind that it's important to consider the culture of your enterprise and what qualities it values.

For instance, if it values self-reliance in IT - or views it as core to its business - it may be more likely to look for the best of breed solution. If IT is less central to the enterprise, than a widely implemented adequate solution that is easy to find experienced people to work on may be the solution of choice.

In short, making the list of qualities we all want in a piece of gear/vendor is easy. Figuring out which ones to emphasize in the analysis is the real challenge and the analysis that really should drive your decision.

To help things go smoother ..... focus on these simple attributes in your evaluation.

The number one answer is the integrity of the corporation. What is very important is that the company has a commitment to make their products work as advertised and documented, and not cut corners on Quality Assurance.

Another important factor, but related ,is their customer service and technical support. What is the turn around time to get replacement components that are defective. When you talk to technical support, are they knowledgeable or certified on the product they support and the platforms the product runs on.

Base your provider evaluation on the above and the rest will follow along.

Next .... confirm the design requirements, how much network traffic, kind of traffic (data, VoIP, etc.), number of remote networks for WAN, future growth, redundancy. Cisco has an online tool that will suggest the appropriate device based on answers to these kinds of questions.

If cost if no object you'll do well with Cisco. It may be worth evaluating Juniper and Foundry depending on your needs, and for SMB solutions you may even consider open-source options such as the Vyatta router/firewall.

Over the years I've seen people tackle this question, all in a variety of ways. What I have seen more often than not is the desire to create more documentation / analysis of products / due-diligence without focusing on what's at stake.

Don't complicate the question too much - focus on your specific needs, and make sure you don't exclude the future. What you need now may be just the ice-breaker for what your needs are in the future - make sure you have a plan to scale.

The other big question I think is also overlooked is residual costs associated with purchased equipment. Alot of companies are gung ho on maintenance purchased annually .... remember, there is a cost associated with downtime, and in some environments this cost prohibitive; in some it is a non-impact. Factor these things in your evaluation as well as the cost to support the solution.

For a quick checklist:

* First of all evaluate known and proven brands when possible since the issue of continued support from the company and availability of warranty repair and replacement would be a major concern on a significant investment.

* Second - Choose the correct level of product for the job. Avoid paying for added functionality if the client would never, ever (be careful, things can change) use these things. Don't buy a limo when you only need a bicycle.

* Third - Compare performance, price, and mean time between failures (MTBF). Look for "end of life" announcements. If you are looking for a bargain or want longevity these are a good clue.

* Fourth - Google the product(s) in question to find reviews and other feedback.

* Fifth - Hands-on evaluation with a call to support for the finalist products.

Somewhere in here you may need to consider the need for failover or redundancy. If this unit represents a single point of failure without backup .... then cross ship warranty policies or local availability may be critical.

Generally ..... it all starts with knowing your needs. Routers have the ability to connect networks with different media, even different networking techniques. Examples are Fiber-to-UTP and Ethernet-to-ADSL. It's obvious you should have a device that can address your needs. Will your needs change in the future and, if so, is the device capable of adapting to those changes?

Other considerations are security ..... does the device stand at the edge of your network, at the risk of being attacked; or is it somewhere in the middle of your LAN, just connecting departments to the core. In the first case you need something with a firewall feature set, in the second case a layer 3 switch might do.

Don't forget ..... what is the amount of traffic the router needs to process.

Once you know what you need, and bring back your whitelist to the devices that address your needs, more choices have to be made.

When it comes to IT in general, money is a BIG issue. As IT usually will be seen as something that costs money. So at first thoughts, the price of the equipment is important.

BUT...

You should consider that also for managing the network environment. When your initial expenses are low but you spend a great deal of time keeping it up and running, it is difficult to adapt to changes, or your company suffers network outages ..... your management will not be pleased. So you need to look at MTBF figures, mean time between failure, and how fast you can get a replacement. With some exotic brands replacement can be an issue.

For real important routers you should consider a hot standby configuration which costs more, but will switch over automaticly in case of a failure without anyone knowing your primary router died. Except for you, of course, as you are monitoring both devices.

Another important item related to managing the equipment is how it fits in your IT department. If your network engineering department is a group of well-trained Juniper specialists, buying a Cisco brings additional costs for training.

Boiling it all down here's the real message:

Firstly as with all business considerations you must consider the costs there is no point at looking at the top of the market if the business will not stretch to that point. It is also worth discounting cheaper options ASAP if the business is prepared to pay for the right solution rather than the cheapest.

The next consideration depends on the nature of your business, your need for security and reliability. But at a general level most businesses need something reliable. This means if you are remote or have remote offices with little support you want something with a high time between failures. Security often depends on the nature of your business protection. Financial and Medical information is for example considered more of a risk than most general data. There is also always a basic need for security .... but again as always there must be a balance of Cost, Useability and Security. It must never be your only consideration. It also depends on the size of your IT support organisation. Will hundreds of people require access to this equipment .... or will this be restricted to a select few? Is centralizing and auditing access worth it for your organisation?

Supportability is also part of this equation; you may want something with either great remote management capabilities or something simple anyone can maintain. If you purchase rarer equipment it may be harder to find remote service personnel capable of support. However if you design the systems well .... with spares and redundant paths .... a centralized body may handle this for you. You see it all depends on your approach to the problem.

Next how high will you scale, do you have growth projections for the future. Are there any new applications or new company acquisitions which will seriously affect the solution. Will you be moving say from a DS3 bandwidth backbone to an Ethernet or Fiber with SDN backbone in a few years?

Once all the considerations have been looked at you must be consistent. Classify differing sites and have set standards in operating systems, hardware platforms, IP Addressing and configurations for sites. This is great from a TCO perspective and will make supporting the network easier and cheaper. Even when using low end equipment replacing a standard item held it stock is much easier the trying to figure out a new configuration in the heat of a network outage. This also makes documentation easier which is the core of world class architecture. Support on sites without documentation is always a nightmare.

For network designers there are obviously many brand considerations, but most will often recommend CISCO solutions. I can recommend CISCO from a security, manageability, scalability and supportability perspective. However it can be quite expensive depending on your requirements.

It is up to you to manage the balance between price and the rest. You may end up with a different vendor for routing, switching, wireless, VOIP etc. The important thing is to try and keep it manageable. The item price is not the full cost consider Maintenance, Support and Reliability in your equation. Sometimes the most expensive option has a much better support cost than the upfront cheap options.

Whatever solution you choose in the end .... hopefully you follow a well thought plan in the process incorporating the above issues and suggestions.

For extra help in finding just the right network equipment hardware solution for your LAN or WAN requirements, especially from Cisco, Avaya, and Nortel, simply visit: Network Equipment Deals

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What Is The Difference Between A Data Center And Colocation For Meeting Business Network Infrastructure & Bandwidth Needs?

To make the best decision on how to meet your company's network infrastructure needs you must understand what is the difference between a data center and a collocation arrangement. What can each do for you .... and what they can't.

In some respects they are all the same. Collocation simply means to co-locate your network equipment at another location. CLEC's (FDN, XO, Megapath) collocate equipment all the time in a CO or POP from the ILEC (Bellsouth, Verizon, Quest). They are just collocating different gear but the end result is the same.

For that matter at one time MediaOne in Atlanta (long before they were gobbled up by AT&T then Comcast) allowed anyone to collocate equipment at certain hub sites. I don't know the details of how, what, where and why but I know it was done. Theoretically the same could be done at Bellsouth or similar if you know the right person, or are willing to pay the right amount, which may have been the case with MediaOne.

For Data Center vs collo, they are mostly one and the same. Let's put it this way, a collo facility is a data center but the reverse may or may not be true. The only difference between the two would come in play on the rules of the data center. Some data centers (take NAC, the site where DSLR is hosted) may not allow equipment to be collocated (I don't know if they do or not, it's just an example) but they will let you buy all the pre-existing dedicated servers you want and basically achieve the same thing. But assuming NAC does allow you to collo equipment does not mean they aren't a data center.

Basically a data center is any hardened (we hope) facility that houses various types of equipment for the purpose of allowing remote users access to it for any number of reasons or methods. A CO or POP could even be called data centers, in fact they are likely much more hardened than a typical data center. But just like a CO or POP can serve specialized needs a collo can as well. Basically what I mean by that is that a CO usually wouldn't host your server but will host your DSLAM if you were a CLEC, a collo on the same token will host your server but may not have any pre-existing dedicated servers to sell you.

As for how you obtain the bandwidth you need ..... that really depends on where you put your servers and that also means you may or may not be billed on 95th percentile as well. If you buy rack space from a carrier hotel such as 55/56 Marietta here in Atlanta you would be on 95th percentile because you are being plugged into the network infrastructure of the building. The advantage to that is there are dozens of companies that have end points in that building so say you wanted something from Georgia Tech's servers, just a couple of hops in the colo facility and you are on the gatech.edu network and you never even touched the public internet to get there.

But at the same time if you rent colo space from an ISP then you have the power and cooling advantages but you aren't plugged directly into their network. Instead what they did was sell you the T1 or DS3 or whatever and all you paid for was the port cost no loop costs because there really wasn't any loop (at least not in the sense of what is out on the poles).

Also there is a difference in how each company sells their space. Some places let you purchase rack space 1U at a time. Some lets you hosts tower based servers while some do not. Some force you to buy a portion (or all) of a rack (say 1/4 or 1/2 of a rack) but it will be dedicated to whatever you can stuff in there and it will usually be locked. XO on the other hand only sold cages. What you get is basically a small "room" where you bring in your own racks and populate then how ever you want. This is the best option usually for those that have existing racks and infrastructure and just want to have them in a data center.

Remember....collocation is not about staffing - it's about location of your equipment. Instead of running data circuits and enhanced power supplies to your location, you'll put your servers in a data center where they have lots of high speed circuits and robust environmental controls, and big power backup generators. They do have staff at those data centers, that sometimes will do things for you if contracted at extra cost.

The other side of Collo is bandwidth. If say you were a "bigger" company ..... the build out cost of running a DS3 or more to your location might be cost prohibitive. This is more directly the point if you need peering redundancies. The biggest difference is if you "rent" bandwidth instead of your own pipe. Most bill on the 95%. Its not like an all you can eat DSL line or cable. You pay by the MB .... plus the rack space you use and power. The plus side, the world could end but more than likely your servers will be fine. COLO's are built like Fort Knox. If the world ended however no one is going to care that your servers are up.

If you need assistance in finding a collocation solution .... or any bandwidth solution for your network infrastructure needs .... you can get that help at no cost to you from here: Bandwidth Solution

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Monday, April 07, 2008

What's The Best Bandwidth Platform For Video Conferencing And Multi-Media Functions?

Designing the "perfect" delivery infrastucture for video conferencing and multi-media functions can seem complicated, labor intensive, time consuming, and costly. But what's most important is the evaluation process you would use....what you would likely choose (e.g. T1, DS3, OC3, Ethernet)...and why. Have a plan for that....and all will fall into place.

First, you'll need to ask and answer the following questions:

- What type of content do you want to use for your Video Conference system. Is it going to be just video of talking heads, or do you need other video and audio sources as well?

- How many participants would you have?

- Do you need to speak to multiple locations at one time? - Do you want a dedicated room or a mobile solution?

- What is your existing IT/Network infrastructure?

- Do you have other Video Conference systems? If so what types?

These are the types of questions that must be asked when you're in the process of designing a Video Conference solution. The answersthen drive the selection of a Codec, it's hardware/software options, and which manufacture best fits the needs.

If the correct front end product is selected it makes it easier to integrate into a new or existing IT/Network infrastructure.

Rather than focus on the underlying physical topology used, concern should be toward finding a network provider that can deliver the features needed to support the application. It really makes little difference what the physical or link layer is. The provider will likely manage the CPE anyway and will give you an Ethernet handoff for your network. What you are concerned about is the network layer and more specifically QoS (Quality of Service).

To support streaming media such as voice and video, there must be a QoS mechanism at the network layer that will guarantee low latency and jitter. Converged network products offered by carriers today have this, usually using MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching) technology. This allows the customer to designate which packets get certain preferential treatment as they are sent along the network path.

As an example, consider a network that would deliver voice or video, VPN, and Internet access. Perhaps the application running over the VPN provided a core business function. In this case, data would be classified on the edge of the network to provide the greatest functionality. Voice and video packets would be catagorized as latency and jitter sensitive, the VPN packets would be catagorized as drop sensitive, and the Internet traffic as best-effort. These attributes will be honored within the carrier's network. The net effect of all this is that your VoIP phones and video will perform without noise or other problems and your Internet connection will just slow down a bit when you take the phone off the hook or put demand on the VPN.

Legacy networks have a hard time implementing QoS functionality due to the constraints of the older design and hardware (e.g. older broadband cable networks). Almost all networks built today can provide QoS but some designs work better than others. Always get references of other customers using a similar application to be sure you will be successful.

When projecting bandwidth requirements for the design, remember the human factor. If bandwidth is available, people will use it. The general trend I've seen is that usage doubles every year. Of course, adding additional networked applications can make it grow even faster.

In summary .... it all comes back to your requirements and setup backing up the deployment , such as :

* How many concurrent users

* Available bandwidth

* Type of Service to be deployed

* Connectivity technology for each peer participating.

* Required bandwidth (with room for reasonable growth) to fill the gap.

If you are just looking at a couple of talking heads with little side data, you can get away with a few hundred Kbps per connection. However, if you are looking at medical consultation during a surgical procedure in hi-def, then 20-30 Mbps or more per connection may be required.

Next, what else is going on in your network? If this is a converged network (and that will ultimately be the way to go), then this video is competing with voice, other videos, data and who knows what else. What techniques are available to manage the data on the network? Even a gigabit Ethernet can get swamped if there are lots of HD video flows on the network.

Finally, what level of quality is being demanded by the users of the system? While you can do a "video" conference with 128kbps, the video is quite poor, and any packet loss or data errors at all cause serious problems. If you want telepresence (the feeling of being there) then you demand 1-way delays less than 250 MS, which limits compression (group of frames) options and increases bandwidth requirements.

The bottom line is that there will be a large tradeoff between capability, quality and bandwidth requirements. Once those tradeoffs have been decided, then you need to decide if your existing network infrastructure can support the trade-off decision or if you need to run a separate network to support the video. Considering that a separate network is very expensive, you then must decide what technology is required on your converged network to support this video application.

So, the question is not "what is the best platform"? Instead, the question is "what do you want to do"? And the answer ..... is how to do what you want to do. Everything else -128K, 512K, 20 meg, SIP, H.263, H.264, JPEG-2000, MPEG-2, and on and on .... are all just tools that can be used to derive a solution. But they are not the solution, until you decide what you may need.

For more information on bandwidth for video conferencing .... as well as over 100 articles on various business bandwidth solution, business VoIP, and cell phone topics .... visit Broadband Tips And Info

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Everything You Need To Know About T1 Bandwidth!

Here's a VERY informative article explaining everything you'd ever need to know about the basics of T1 bandwidth from NetworkComputing.com (circa 1997 but still good stuff)........

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What's Cooking With T1 Bandwidth?

T1 technology has become a staple in the diet of network managers deploying WAN technologies. But its ubiquitousness doesn't mean it's bland: T1 comes in several flavors to suit different diets. For example, you can order a T1 between two locations to deliver a single channel with 1.536-Mbps throughput; a channelized T1 to connect a central site to 24 remote locations, with each channel providing 56- or 64-Kbps throughput; a T1 to deliver an ISDN Primary Rate Interface (PRI); or a fractional T1 service to deliver bandwidth in 64-Kbps steps from 128 Kbps and up between two locations.

To further confuse the issue, ordering T1 isn't as simple as just asking for T1. For instance, sometimes a T1 line will be listed as having 1.544-Mbps bandwidth; other times, 1.536 Mbps. Also, the size of a T1 channel is 64 Kbps, but often it's delivered only as 56 Kbps. Finally, sometimes T1 is referred to DS-1.

The Magic Numbers ..... In the beginning, there was digital transmission of voice communications. Then data networking came along and piggybacked the existing technology in the voice network infrastructure. This is the origin of the 64-Kbps channel as the base building block for data WAN technology.

To transport a voice signal that is analog by nature over a digital medium, an analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion must be performed. Two variables need to be defined for an A/D conversion--the sampling rate and the number of bits used to represent signal amplitude. The highest frequency transmitted for voice communications is 4 KHz. However, a law in A/D conversion states that in order to recreate an analog wave from a digital stream of data, you need to sample the analog wave at twice the rate of the highest frequency you want to recreate. Twice 4 KHz is 8 KHz, which gives us a sampling rate of 8,000 times a second.

To accurately represent the amplitude of an analog wave, assign it a value that can be represented by 8 bits of data (see "Representing Analog Waveforms With Digital Data,"). To represent 4 KHz in digital, we generate 8 bits 8,000 times per second--which equals the magic 64,000 bits per second for a voice channel.

In digital voice networking, this basic 64-Kbps channel is termed a DS-0. The next step up is a DS-1, which is a collection of 24 DS-0 channels. A DS-1 delivered on a copper wire is termed a T1. This nomenclature has become so popular that people now refer to any 1.536-Mbps link as a T1. Although not strictly correct, the term T1 is accepted for any kind of link with this amount of bandwidth.

The next highest bandwidth commonly delivered to users is a DS-3, often referred to as a T3. Again, T3 is specific to transmission over copper wires. A DS-3 connection is a collection of 672 DS-0 circuits, which gives a total throughput of 43,008 Kbps. The actual circuit speed is somewhat faster, but some effective bandwidth is lost to synchronization traffic.

What happened to a DS-2? A DS-2 consists of 4 DS-1 channels; seven DS-2 channels make a DS-3. However, DS-2 service is not commonly available.

Why is the throughput for a T1 line often listed at 1.544 Mbps? A T1 always has a bandwidth of 1.544 Mbps, but 8 Kbps of that bandwidth is never available. It is lost to housekeeping tasks, such as tracking which packets belong to which channel. Therefore, the effective usable bandwidth of a T1 circuit is 1.536 Mbps.

Digital Communications ..... Let's look at using a regular point-to-point T1 connection , possibly as part of a backbone WAN or as a high-speed LAN-to-LAN connection on a campus. Typically, the telephone company will deliver the T1 on an RJ connector, to which you attach a CSU/DSU and a router.

This is the simplest way to deploy a T1. You configure the appropriate settings in the CSU/DSU and then connect it to the router via a V.35 DTE cable. In this configuration, the router takes its clock signal from the CSU/DSU and sees one link with an effective bandwidth of 1.536 Mbps.

There are two key setup parameters for the CSU/DSU in this configuration. The first is to define the line code as Alternate Mark Inversion (AMI) or Bipolar 8 Zero Substitution (B8ZS). The former is a standard related to Dataphone Digital Service, the oldest data service still available that uses the 64-Kbps channel for data. This service gives you only 56 Kbps of available throughput. The additional 8 Kbps is not available for data transfer and is used to ensure synchronization between the two ends of the DDS circuit by the AMI line-encoding mechanism.

If you buy a T1 with 24 channels, each of them loses 8 Kbps--a 192-Kbps problem. You need a way to regain that lost bandwidth. The solution is to use a smarter encoding technique that can maintain synchronization without the loss of 8 Kbps on each channel. In many locations, 64-Kbps lines are available through the use of B8ZS encoding, which replaces AMI. This 64-Kbps service is known as Clear Channel Capability or Clear 64.

On a practical level, all you need to make sure of in your CSU configuration is that it has AMI encoding for 56-Kbps channel services and B8ZS for 64-Kbps channel service when selecting the line-encoding options.

The second configuration you must define is the T1 frame format, which is usually Extended Super Frame (ESF). Occasionally the telephone company may define the frame type as D4 framing--older implementations used the Super Frame format. Whatever it is, your telephone company will let you know.

Checking the Channels ..... AMI and B8ZS cover synchronization within the channel. But if that T1 circuit uses time-division multiplexing (TDM) to put 24 channels on one four-wire circuit, how is the beginning of the T1 rotation marked? And how do we identify which channel is which? This is where ESF comes in. It identifies the first channel in the 24-channel rotation).

Using a channelized T1 to connect a central site to multiple remote locations is a little different than the point-to-point case. Previously, the implementation of multiple WAN connections at a central site meant each line had its own dedicated CSU/DSU device and physical router port. Now, with more sophisticated devices, such as Cisco Systems CT1 card, a channelized T1 (which is plugged into the CT1 card) can be used to supply 24 individual channels, each of which can be terminated in an individual circuit in a different geographic location. The benefit of this arrangement is that there are no CSU/DSU devices or associated cabling at the central site.

Given that the T1 connects directly to the router in this case, some additional configuration is necessary for the router. The T1 controller in the router must be configured for ESF framing and B8Z S line code. Once this is done, there should be 24 64-Kbps channels that the telephone company can "groom" out to up to 24 locations, typically using a piece of equipment called a Digital Access Cross Connect ( DACC). At the central site router, the 24 channels appear as virtual interfaces on the one physical line; each virtual interface can receive its own configuration as if it were a separate physical connection.

If we go with this arrangement and one of the locations we want to connect to the central site is serviced only by 56-Kbps lines using AMI, what do we do? Well, the good news is that you have configured the central site to cope with a 64-Kbps connection, and as long as you configure the channel connected to the 56 Kbps appropriately, all will be well. The telco will use AMI encoding for the remote end of the channel and B8ZS for the central site end of the channel; all you have to do is enter the correct command for your brand of router to tell it that the channel will only receive or send data at 56 Kbps. This does not affect the operation of other channels that are connected at 64 Kbps through to the remote site.

In fact, the Cisco default is for a channel to be set up for 56 Kbps throughput, the "speed 64" command must be entered manually for a channel (represented as a subinterface in the Cisco configuration) to get it to work at 64-Kbps throughput.

A channelized T1 can also be used as an efficient way to deliver analog phone services, but to do this, an additional piece of equipment, a channel bank, is needed to convert the digital T1 signals to 24 analog telephone lines. This can be useful if you need to configure many centrally located dial-up ports, for roving users with analog modems.

The Cisco AS-5200 router has a built-in channel bank and modems so that just by connecting a single T1 connector to it, you can have up to 24 modem calls answered simultaneously. The AS-5200 also has a built-in T1 multiplexer, giving it hybrid functionality with regard to call answering. If you c onnect a T1 configured as a PRI to an AS-5200, the AS-5200 will autodetect if the incoming call is from an ISDN or analog caller, and answer the call with the appropriate equipment.

ISDN Anyone? ..... With ISDN, each channel is usually 64 Kbps. However, we have the same concerns regarding 56-Kbps channels in areas where Clear 64 is not supported. Some additional setups on a router need to be completed in order for it to use a PRI service. On a T1 delivering a PRI service, 23 channels are delivered as "B" channels for data, and one of the 24 channels is reserved for Q.931 signaling, the "D" channel.

To configure PRI services, you have to set the router to use the correct ISDN switch type and service provider identification (SPID) number, both of which will be supplied by the telephone company.

Using a T1 service to deliver some level of bandwidth between a DS-0 and a DS-1 has become popular with the availability of the fractional T1 services. If you order a 128-Kbps or 256-Kbps line, a T1 circuit with only the appropriate number of DS-0 channels is installed. Typically this fractional T1 service is terminated in a CSU/DSU that presents the appropriate clock rate to the router DTE interface. However, just as a full T1 can be connected directly to a router, so can a fractional T1. In this case, the only additional piece of router configuration you need is to identify the channels that will be active in the router configuration.

One final note on T1 technology. The T1 configuration is peculiar to the United States and Japan. If your network starts to grow internationally, you should be aware that in Europe and most other countries, multiple DS-0 services are delivered on an E1, which comprises 32 DS-0 channels, giving 2,048-Kbps throughput. The only real difference this makes to router and CSU/DSU configurations is that the E1 uses High Density Bipolar 3 (HDB3) line coding instead of B8ZS. AMI is not used internationally.

If you are in the market for any flavor of T1 ..... I highly recommend taking advantage of the free services offered by Bandwidth Solution.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Telephone System Hardware and Solutions ..... Network Equipment and Network Solutions

Here's a couple amazing online resources which will make it much easier for you to find just the right Telephone System Hardware and Solutions......and Network Equipment and Network Solutions to meet your business requirements. They'll definitely save you time and money.

Telephone System Hardware and Solutions

Here's an awesome online resource that allows you to perform a real-time search for telephone system installers and dealers in every local market across the United States. These dealers in your local area can find you terrific deals on all of the hottest pbx systems, including Avaya, Nortel, Cisco, NEC, Artisoft, Toshiba, 3Com-NBX, AT&T, Bogen,Comdial, Executone, Fujitsu/Focus, Harris, Inter-Tel, ITT, Meridian, NEC, Nortel, Plantronics, Prostar, Siemens/Rolm, Telco Systems, Telesynergy, Telrad, Toshiba, Asterisk, Avaya, Cisco, Ericcson, Extrom, GTE, Hitachi, Isoetec, Lucent, Mitel, Nitsuko, Panasonic, Polycom, Samsung, Tel-Plus, Telect, Tellabs, TIE, ADTRAN, A+, Artisoft, Linksys, Zultys, and more.

Telephone System Hardware and Solutions

Network Equipment and Network Solutions

If you are in the market or need a complete solution for a high-speed internet overhaul (e.g. for your business LAN or WAN), you know you can get free help finding a solution involving T1 lines, DS3 bandwidth, OC3 circuits, Ethernet, MPLS, and more here: Business Bandwidth

There's also a very helpful online tool which will make it much easier for you to find the right T1/DS1 or T3/DS3 router or other networking equipment to go with it. Simply use the cutting-edge VARSearch(tm) Search Engine to find, in real-time search, a credentialed pbx phone system dealer (One of thousands of VAR Partner associates) and/or technicians in your neighborhood.

Network Equipment and Network Solutions

The search engine includes VARs from every local market in the continential United States, so you can be sure that you will find the help you need. The networking dealers in your local area can find you terrific deals on all of the most popular net gear, including Advantech, CePoint Networks, Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks, Foundry Networks, Emulex, Juniper Networks, Linksys, Netopia, Redback Networks, Qlogic, Motorola, and SBS Technologies.

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