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How to handle Robo Calls April 25, 2016

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in CLEC catagory, Wireless catagory.
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What is a Robocall?
A robocall is an automatic, computer-generated phone call made to your phone number (mobile or landline) from a solicitor. Illegal robocalls range in variety from dangerous phishing scams, to unsolicited (and annoying) sales calls. But keep in mind that some robocalls are legal, and can include important doctor appointment reminders, surveys, school closing announcements and political campaign calls.

Why Am I Getting So Many Robocalls?
Easy to acquire technologies use software, computers and the Internet to make thousands (even millions) of cheap calls with global range. In fact, many illegal robocalls originate from overseas. Similar technologies make it easy for scammers to “spoof” a phone number so it looks like you are being called by a legitimate number like your neighbor or even the IRS. Robocalls can be quickly set up and illegal scammers work hard to avoid detection.

How Should I Handle Robocalls/Phone Scams?
On the next page, we have provided a list of Do’s and Don’ts for dealing with robocalls, along with a sampling of tools you can use to block such calls. Keep in mind, the type of voice service you subscribe to, such as a wireless provider or through your local cable company, will dictate the types of robocall blocking tools available to you. Caregivers and elders should be especially alert to scamming robocalls since this group is often the most vulnerable.

What Tools Can I use to Stop Robocalls?
The National Do Not Call Registry found at https://www.donotcall.gov/ gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. You can register your home or mobile phone for free.

The Federal Trade Commission also has some helpful information about robocalls in general [https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0259-robocalls], as well as ways to avoid becoming the victim of a scam [https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams]. If you are a subscriber to a wireless service, the Wireless Association has a sampling of robocall blocking tools here [http://www.ctia.org/your-wireless-life/consumer-tips/blocking-robocalls].

Below are some tips of what to do and not do and some helpful mobile applications, provider and third party solutions.

Robocall Do’s
 Do contact your voice provider to inquire about available tools.
 Do register with the FTC’s Do-Not-Call list AND file complaints.
 Do educate yourself about available tools.

Robocall Don’ts
 Don’t answer calls with an unfamiliar caller ID.
 Don’t press 1 or 2 to get removed rom their list (it won’t work).
 Don’t engage.
 Don’t give personal information.
 Don’t give financial information.

 

A Sampling of Tools for Blocking for your wireless devices

Android Apps
 Legal Call Blocker Free
 Call Blocker Free
 Safe Call Blocker (black list)
 Call Control – Call Blocker
 Call Filter
 My CallBot Caller ID
 Caller ID, Block Calls & Texts
 Calls Blacklist – Call Blocker
 Mr. Number
 Root Call Blocker Pro
 Truecaller- Caller ID & Block
 Whitepages Caller ID

iOS Apps
 Airtel Call Manager
 Call Bliss
 Call Mute
 Call Manager for Do Not Disturb
 Detector App
 Truecaller: Number Search & Block
 Robokiller
 Whitepages ID
 Sync.ME
 Reverd Free Spam Call

Blackberry Apps
 Advanced Call Blocker
 Block Unwanted Calls
 Call Block
 Call Blocker
 Ultimate Call Blocker
 Call Blocker Free
 Call Control Blacklist
 Junk Call Blocker
 SMS Blocker

Windows Apps
 Advanced Blocker
 Best Spam Killer
 BlackBaller
 Call Blocker
 Easy Reject
 Truecaller
 Call+SMS Filter

I hope this is helpful to everyone out there. While I have tried a lot of the tools listed, the simple blocking app built into your Android seems to work best for me. If you use Apple I strongly suggest getting one of the add on apps.

 

Joe Buck, NCE

Verizon Wireless is rolling out Wi-Fi calling in December, starting with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge December 14, 2015

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in Wireless catagory.
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Verizon is the last of the nationwide carriers to offer Wi-Fi calling, and is saying that the capability will come to its iOS devices early next year. Verizon customers will activate the feature by downloading and installing a software update and then by activating the carrier’s advanced calling feature. The service will support both voice and video calls, and Verizon says it will seamlessly transfer users to Wi-Fi when they leave a 4G coverage area.

I guess better late than never. Many start-ups have been doing this for a few years, and the big competitor’s have been doing this for a year themselves.

Verizon and AT&T deploy 100,000 new small cells but challenges remain. December 10, 2015

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in Wireless catagory.
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All four nationwide carriers are set to invest in small cells and distributed antenna systems next year, with the two largest carriers leading the way. The total market is estimated to increase 5x by 2020.

Analyis’ expect to see Verizon Wireless deploy roughly 60,000 new nodes in the months ahead, and AT&T Mobility may add up to 40,000. Sprint is seen as the wild card however analysis’ believes Sprint will eventually come forward with a significant small cell investment. Once the other carriers show their hands, expect to see T-Mobile US to also make a move in small cells.

So far, small cells have been a tough nut for carriers to crack. Finding available real estate just where a cell is needed can be hard, and even if the right real estate is available, power and backhaul may not be. But carriers need to densify their networks to guarantee consistent user experiences. If one carrier leads the way, the others are likely to follow suit in an effort to keep customers from switching.

Verizon is the thought leader in small cells,analusus’ noting that the carrier is in the process of deploying 4,000 small cells already. Some of these small cells are very similar to outdoor DAS nodes as they are connected by fiber to a centralized baseband unit. Verizon Wireless and Crown Castle, two of the most active deployers to date, often refer to outdoor DAS nodes as small cells.

Carriers need partners like Crown Castle and Vertical Bridge to help finance small cells and DAS. Wi-Fi is the big unknown that gives some investors pause. For some odd reason everyone thinks Wi-Fi is the great disruptor.

The odd reason could be voice over Wi-Fi, which makes Wi-Fi a strong competitor to cellular in-building as long as it is reliable and easy to find. All four of the nationwide carriers either offer or plan to offer voice over Wi-Fi in the near future. While DAS providers work hard to bring all four nationwide carriers onto their systems, Wi-Fi inherently supports the devices of all the carriers.

Distributed network services

Analysis’ predict indoor DNS will grow to 12,000 locations and 133,000 nodes by 2020. Indoor will continue to outpace outdoor through 2017.

Estimates are that 270,000 total nodes are needed indoors and outdoors to support the demand for U.S. mobile data growth. That’s a much faster growth trajectory than when the tower industry was in its heyday.

Tower companies are well positioned to help the carriers build out these networks, in part because of their experience with site acquisition. A lot of real estate needs to be acquired, right of way needs to be secured, and a lot of property owners are going to have their doors knocked on.

 

Joe

Krispy Kreme bakes up mobile innovation with bar code made of glaze December 9, 2015

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in Wireless catagory.
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Krispy Kreme is bringing bar codes to life with a scannable mobile video that users can show at a store for a discount, exhibiting the possibilities for combining video and mobile to drive bricks-and-mortar activations.

The doughnut bakery chain is driving sales through the video coupon, which lives on YouTube, while also making a lasting impression on consumers through its unique call-to-action. The video features the glazing process of the doughnuts in which the streams of  icing make up the digital bar code.

“The importance of the scan code mobile push for Krispy Kreme, is that you do not have to bring a coupon in for the offer, you only need to bring your mobile, Using your device to show the video for the offer greatly reduces touch points required to redeem an offer like this, making it easier on the customer.

Icing on the cake
On Dec. 12 customers can visit Krispy Kreme to redeem their mobile video coupon on the date dubbed as Day of the Dozens.

Mobile users must present the image or video of the glazing machine, creating the digital bar code. The store employee will be able to physically scan the bar code for the customer to receive a discount.

The doughnut retailer is sharing the video coupon on its social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter, and is encouraging discussion surrounding the campaign with the hashtag #DayoftheDozens.

The campaign is combining a series of insightful tactics to best drive sales. Krispy Kreme is highly aware that its manufacturing process is captivating to fans, and engages them while also inciting a craving for the doughnuts.

With many consumers having their devices already with them, a mobile coupon makes in-store redemption easy for most, as they will not have to go out of their way for a piece of paper to ensure their discount.

In-store visitors on Dec. 12 will also receive a second Glazed Dozen free with a purchase of one dozen.

Now that’s using mobile apps and marketing…

Joe

ADTRAN acquires Nokia Siemens Networks fixed-line broadband business December 13, 2011

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in Wireless catagory.
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Nokia Siemens Networks is moving quickly on their decision to restructure its business. The company says it has reached agreement to sell its fixed-line broadband access business to ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN).

The companies said in a joint statement that the transaction is expected to close by the end of April 2012.  The price of the deal, which includes the fixed-line broadband access business and associated professional services and network management expertise, was not disclosed.

The planned acquisition would include related intellectual properties, technologies and the established customer base. Approximately 400 people, including engineering, R&D, sales and professional services employees are expected to transfer to ADTRAN globally. The agreement also includes provisions that would allow ADTRAN’s existing product range to be incorporated into Nokia Siemens Networks’ portfolio.

The deal is subject to the completion of an employee consultation process, finalization of transition services agreements and customary closing conditions. After close of the planned transaction ADTRAN expects the acquired business will be neutral to diluted earnings per share for the first full year and accretive thereafter.

This acquisition would position ADTRAN in key markets with an established customer base; complementary market-focused products, along with engineering, R&D, sales and professional services resources that will enable ADTRAN to take a significant step forward as one of the world’s leading communications solutions providers. The planned sale is in line with ADTRAN’s new strategy to increase  focus on the mobile broadband and services market.”

Nokia Siemens Networks has already sold its microwave backhaul unit to DragonWave, and has agreed to a deal to sell its WiMax business to NewNet Communication Technologies. However, there’s still plenty of work to be done if the company is to reduce its head count by 17,000 – or almost one-quarter of its 75,000 workforce – as it shifts its focus to mobile broadband and attempts to cut operating expenses by €1bn over the next two years.

 

After working with them as a contractor I can understand their more structured strategic focus. This move should benefit the company as a whole along wiht the remaining employees.

Joe Buck, NCE

DirectTV & Fox in battle over content costs October 26, 2011

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in Wireless catagory.
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It shouldn’t be too surprising that DirectTV’s (NASDAQ: DTV) battle with News Corp.’s (Nasdaq: NWSA) Fox Networks is reaching a critical stage as the satellite provider’s subscribers soon could be left without access to a number of the company’ cable offerings, including include the FX Network, National Geographic Channel, SPEED, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Deportes and Fuel TV.

DirecTV has been in pre-channel shaving mode for almost a year, warning that rising content costs would likely cause operators to make some tough dollars-and-cents decisions as carriage deals came up for renewal.

DirecTV subscribers also could lose access to Fox regional sports networks,which carry some college football and NHL games, although there’s no current risk that they’ll lose local or national Fox programming or Fox news.

The ongoing dispute over carriage fees is set to come to a head Nov. 1, the deadine for a deal that already has expired.

DirecTV CEO Mike White said News Corp. is seeking a nearly 40 percent bump in its fees for the programming; he said DirecTV would start pulling programming from its lineup by Nov. 1 if a deal isn’t reached this week.

News Corp.’s Fox Networks contends DirecTV hasn’t replied to its offer of an extension in contract talks.

“DirecTV sent us a proposal on Tuesday afternoon,” the company said. “They have given us no chance to respond before taking an unnecessarily aggressive posture and going public. It is disappointing that they have chosen bad faith tactics over meaningful negotiation.”

Fox Networks said it was willing to continue offering its programming for the same price and terms as they are currently carried in the interim.

This isn’t the first time Fox Networks has gone to the mat with a satellite TV provider. In 2010, Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) subscribers lost access to FX, National Geographic Channel and 19 Fox regional sports networks for about a month in October 2010.

During its earnings call last December, DirecTV said it was looking to trim its channel lineup to lower programming costs–and, thus subscription fees.

The company said it was looking to drop less-popular channels, opting to pass on renewing some carriage deals with channels that aren’t “necessary or worth their costs.”

At the time DirecTV told an audience at its investor’s day in New York that providers “don’t have a bottomless pool of money” for content and that less-viewed channels could be on the chopping block.

In our battle to manage our economics, DirectTV will look to repackage channels where we have over-distributed, or frankly just to remove certain channels from our platform if they are not relevant. Is there a place for channels that only serve a small fraction of their audience? Should they have to pay retrans fees and continue to carry channels which were once considered to be part of the equation when we didn’t pay retrans fees? As the marketplace changes, these questions become more important for their entire industry.

Costs for sports programming, in particular, have operators worried as they are growing at double-digit rates. That also is likely to lead to some budget trimming via channel shaving. I assume that the greed shown during recent NBA & NFL player negotiations is finally hitting the consumer.

DirectTV also touched on the sports-programming hurdle, saying their rising costs could mean that local, or regional sports channels would be dropped or offered à la carte by 2012.

Looks like 2012 is here.  Are those Fox Network properties gone for good? While I have to admin that I enjoy Fox programming, I also have to admit I am tired of every corporation in America having their hand in the consumer’s pocket. I guess 2012 will be a year of cost trimming, from the home to the biggest corporations.

Joe Buck, NCE

Polycom and Motorola Team to Extend Mobile Telepresence to MOTOROLA XOOM March 29, 2011

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in Wireless catagory.
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Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:MMI) and Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), a global leader in unified communications (UC), today announced collaborative development around delivering Polycom enterprise-class, high-definition (HD) personal telepresence on MOTOROLA XOOM tablets to create broader collaboration choices for businesses.

The standards-based Polycom telepresence video application on MOTOROLA XOOM tablets will deliver improved enterprise collaboration and productivity by enabling users to easily connect and share content virtually anywhere via one-to-one or group video experiences.

Motorola Mobility is making great strides in enabling enterprise users, leveraging Polycom’s innovation and leadership in telepresence will help businesses easily extend their video initiativesto MOTOROLA XOOM, thereby expanding mobile collaboration for workers. For consumers, the MOTOROLA XOOM video experience will set a new standard for quality and performance.

MOTOROLA XOOM, the ground-breaking tablet from Motorola Mobility, offers a best-in-class dual core processor and 10.1″ widescreen HD display, creating an optimized platform for enterprise collaboration. The sleek, stylish design features a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video conferencing, as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera that captures HD video. Innovative desktop accessories for MOTOROLA XOOM include a Standard Dock and Speaker HD Dock that expand device capabilities.

The Polycom UC Intelligent Core infrastructure platform allows enterprise customers like Motorola to easily extend enterprise visual communications to mobile users without additional network configuration. The broad support for industry standards within the platform will enable Motorola XOOM and smart phone users to seamlessly and securely connect with existing telepresence and video conferencing investments and the estimated ecosystem of two million standards-based video room systems in use today.

MOTOROLA XOOM is currently available at Verizon Wireless as a 3G/Wi-Fi enabled device with a free upgrade to 4G LTE for consumers in the second quarter of this year. Motorola XOOMTM Wi-Fi will be available with more than seven leading retailers across the United States by the end of March.

Watch this product, it could actually make an impact in the Unified Communication market.

Joe Buck, NCE

The 2010 Broadband Stimulas didn’t help Wireless January 5, 2011

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in Wireless catagory.
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In January, it was the talk of the industry. The U.S. government was poised to issue the bulk of the $7.2 billion in grants and loans to push affordable broadband services into the rural areas of the country. And wireless broadband was expected to be a shoo-in for the bulk of the awards.

The entire process, however, turned out to be a confusing and painful one. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, along with the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service, were inundated with applications. The applications were hundreds of pages long, key terms such as what constituted “underserved” and “unserved” broadband areas weren’t fully defined and the U.S. government made award determinations despite the lack of mapping to indicate where broadband coverage was in the first place.

New rules for the second round of awards brought a bit more clarity by offering an opportunity for reconsideration of requests to provide viable applications with every change for funding. RUS also instituted a second application review process that would allow applicants to adjust their applications.

In the end, however, while the majority of stimulus applications were last-mile projects, more conservative fiber-based middle-mile projects became the favorite for funding. As such, significantly fewer than expected last-mile projects were granted awards–a big disappointment to many wireless applicants who painstakingly crafted very detailed and creative applications.

 

Despite all this, there are several major last mile efforts taking place now that 2011 is here. Watch the right of way owners such as railroads, power companies and the like. Also watch for a shift in municipality rights of way.

 

Joe Buck, N.C.E.

IPhone Daylight Savings time glitch makes people late for work November 3, 2010

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in Wireless catagory.
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People have been making excuses for being late since the dawn of time — it was the kids; the car broke down; traffic; my neighbor wouldn’t stop talking to me, etc. Now the Apple iPhone is getting blamed for making some Europeans late for work this morning, but this one could be legit.

A glitch caused some iPhone owners’ alarms to go off an hour late; it seems to have affected only those using the “recurring” alarm function on their cell phones. People who set them manually each day were not impacted. Many took to Twitter to validate their excuse – and it never hurts when you have a bunch others backing you up, right? Of course, it’s not so funny when you consider some Tweeters reported missing flights because of the problem.

Europe leaves Daylight Saving Time behind a week earlier than Americans do. Now people in the U.S. have a built-in excuse for next Monday after they make the switch. And hey, this one’s more believable than “the dog ate my homework,” right?

The problem is in the IPhone 4.01 & 4.02 software. Apple says the problem is being fixed in a software update.

I would tell my boss in advance that I will be late next Monday, but I am the boss…darn the luck.

Joe Buck, N.C.E.

The use of Mobile Solutions in Small Business October 29, 2010

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in Wireless catagory.
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The business industry is becoming more fast-paced and inventive in hopes of expanding their customer base. In fact, more entrepreneurs are now joining the mobile computing band wagon to gain more traction for their small business.

Mobile computing is part of a technology that can change your business and it is all about portability and convenience as well as providing an avenue for increased operational efficiency. As a small business owner, being away from the office can have some serious effects on your productivity and having the capability to remotely access your files definitely serves as one of the biggest advantages of this technology.

Various technological advancements have made quite an impact on the small business industry who is taking notice of the ever-growing inclination of consumers to be mobile. Back in the day, PDAs and smart phones were only for the fabulously wealthy or the all-too-busy executive. But that is not the case anymore. Today, everyone is finding this technology indispensable and it is because of this fact that entrepreneurs make certain to take their business to the next level by using it as leverage.

Mobile apps are all the rage these days and business owners are in a pursuit to establish mobile brands. Since people from all walks of life are always on the go, mobile apps address the need for portability and the trend is already turning into a way of life as technology is fast becoming more ingrained into our culture.

There are many software developers and development houses worldwide that make mobile applications and small business owners are contacting them to develop applications for help in getting their websites converted into mobile apps to reach a wider market range. No doubt about it, an improved accessibility to information is a way to ensure that the business is available to consumers wherever the latter may be.

There are many competitive forces at play in the business industry. To achieve maximum results, those forces should be countered and turned into one of the strengths of your business. Because of the fierce rivalry across all sectors, your business should have an edge, a way to captivate your customers and leave them wanting and needing more. With the advent of mobile solutions, innovation and growth go hand in hand in ensuring a more satisfying and convenient experience for your customers.

The transformation of mobile solutions from a necessity in operations to widespread availability to consumers is part of the innovation that seems to take the world by storm. Even small businesses want to take their share of the pie and who can blame them? It is only natural that the evolution of mobility encompasses even the local business. This is a way to leverage opportunity, a way to be accessible and ultimately, a technique for success.

TelUS Consulting Services, in conjunction with their partners, can help guide your small business thru the mobile app jungle. From mobile app consulting to mobile app creation, we can show you how to use mobile solutions in your small business, simply drop us an e-mail.

 

reprinted from Small Business CEO

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