Nest Wifi review: A mesh Wi-Fi system and smart speaker mashup for Google Assistant fans - PCWorld

Nest Wifi review: A mesh Wi-Fi system and smart speaker mashup for Google Assistant fans - PCWorldNest Wifi review: A mesh Wi-Fi system and smart speaker mashup for Google Assistant fans - PCWorldPosted: 21 Nov 2019 12:00 AM PSTGoogle's Nest Wifi isn't breaking new ground by melding a smart speaker with a Wi-Fi access point. Netgear did it better with last year's Orbi Voice. But if you don't need the very high performance that Netgear's high-end mesh networks deliver, Nest Wifi will save you some cash. A two-node system (the router plus one access point) costs $269, compared to $350 for Netgear's RBK50V kit.The savings will continue should you decide to expand your network down the road, since each Nest Point (Google's name for its access points) will cost $149 compared to $200 for each additional Orbi Voice satellite. But there is more to consider than just price tags. If you're all in on Google's ecosystem and prefer Google Assistant, the Orbi Voi…

These best-selling Alexa smart plugs are down to $6 a piece - BGR

These best-selling Alexa smart plugs are down to $6 a piece - BGR

These best-selling Alexa smart plugs are down to $6 a piece - BGR

Posted: 10 Oct 2019 05:08 PM PDT

Do you sometimes catching yourself staring at a lamp, a fan, or even your coffee maker or a space heater in disgust because they're connected to your smart home system like other devices in your house? Don't worry because we're going to fix all that right now. Wi-Fi-connected smart outlets like the Gosund Mini Wifi Smart Plug allow you to control those dumb devices with an app, Alexa, Google Assistant, and more, and they're insanely cheap right now. Use the coupon code 7Y4P5J5C at checkout and you'll slash the price of a 4-pack to $25.49 — that's only $6.37 a piece!

Here's more info from the product page:

  • COMPATIBILITY: Works flawlessly with Alexa, Google Assistant & IFTTT. No hub required. Requires Android 4.4 or above & IOS 8 or above.
  • AROUND THE GLOBE: No matter where you are, turn on/off home electronics. Manage up to 50 electronic appliances – one electronic appliance per smart plug.
  • FEATURES: Set timer, share with family members or create schedule. These features will make your life easier and smarter.
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Ecommerce Patent: Text eBay to Sell Your Phone - EcommerceBytes

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 08:30 AM PDT

Tue Oct 8 2019 11:19:51

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay wants to make selling your phone as easy as sending a text. In a patent application, eBay describes some of the challenges of selling on its platform. Time consuming, burdensome, and inaccuracies are among the challenges it describes:

"Many electronic marketplaces allow individuals to list various items for sale. To list items for sale, users may be required to enter information about their items, which may be time consuming and/or inaccurate. Some individuals may find the time it takes to list an item for sale in a marketplace as too burdensome. Moreover, inaccuracies in a listing can lead to a number of problems including a lack of trust between buyers, sellers, and the marketplace."

Given the higher average selling price of used electronic devices, and the pace at which people upgrade, it's not surprising eBay devotes resources to trying to make reselling them easier.

For electronics, eBay envisions making the listing process as easy as sending a text in part by allowing marketplaces to extract specifications of the device from metadata that accompanies the text message, including the device's serial number.

In a graphic, it describes the process as follows:

- Receive a message from a user device with component metadata.

- Parse the metadata.

- Determine a sales price for the user device from the metadata.

- Create a product listing for the user device in a marketplace.

- Send an indication to a user that a listing has been created.

- Receive approval from the user.

- List the user device in the marketplace.

Digging deeper, the patent describes the use of a "user profile database" to ease the listing process - among the information eBay imagines such a database might include is the following: 

- Demographic data: age, gender, ethnicity; 

- Behavioral data: "a shopping history, a purchasing history, items most recently viewed, items most recent items purchased, items most recent items placed in a virtual shopping cart but not purchased, preferred shipping options"; 

- Personal and financial information: user location and "credit card information, listing information, an address, a telephone number, etc."

The patent indicates the user profile database might also include listing preferences: "The listing preferences of a user may include auction preferences, auction duration preferences, shipping preferences, store front graphics, store name, user name, comments, ratings, payment preference, or some combination thereof."

The patent application is found on the website - let us know what you think!

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New Yealink Multi-Cell DECT, revolutionising office mobility - ITWeb

Posted: 29 Sep 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Mobility within office environments is a crucial aspect for many businesses. Imagine working for a car dealership, when a customer phones to ask for the price of a specific vehicle. Not having the price on hand, the easiest solution would be to walk to the car and see the price in the window, but your customer now has to be put on hold or you take the call with you on your cordless phone, which risks losing the call when going out of range of the base station, and worse, losing the business for good.

Nology, the platinum distributor for Yealink in South Africa, is proud to introduce Yealink's highly anticipated W80B Multi-Cell DECT solution, which solves the above problem, as well as many others.

Forgoing the technical jargon, Multi-Cell DECT simply means a cordless phone can "roam" between various base stations without losing a call. Yealink's W80B Multi-Cell DECT solution allows up to 100 handsets to be connected to up to 30 base stations, all seamlessly handing over calls and allowing users to roam as they please.

Taking the DECT base station range into account (up to 300m with clear line of sight), this provides a massive area of coverage when fully populated! Of course, most businesses will not just deploy phones over a large flat surface, and the Yealink W80B Multi-Cell DECT solution is ideal for bridging the coverage dead spots in multi-level buildings.

Unlike WiFi-based cordless phones that are prone to interference and poor user experience if the WiFi infrastructure is incorrectly set up, DECT remains the wireless technology of choice for high voice quality, low interference and secure VOIP communications.

Multi-Cell DECT, combined with Yealink's industry leading design, is also revolutionising the traditional office environment, by bringing DECT to your desktop and conference phones! As part of the refinements expected later this year, Yealink will offer a comprehensive DECT cordless office VOIP solution. This is great news for both installers and end-users, as it means install times are cut down, the requirement for trenching/trunking is significantly reduced, and there's a cost saving by reducing the need for installation of Ethernet points.

Alex Bantjes, VoIP Product Manager at Nology, says: "The Multi-Cell DECT market has traditionally been dominated by only a few brands, at an almost unaffordable price point. Not only will Yealink disrupt this trend, but it also introduces a new facet of mobility to your desktop and conference phones that is completely unique to the market. Nology is eager to empower its partners with Yealink Multi-Cell DECT, which will usher in a new era of cost effective, high coverage, quick deployment VOIP devices."

Yealink's W80B Multi-Cell DECT works with most of the existing Yealink cordless handsets, and customers who are relying on Yealink's DECT products already can simply make the switch to Multi-Cell by replacing the DECT base station, with minimal disruption to their business operations. Contact Nology today to see how we can help you build your DECT solution.

Industry Voices—Chua: The multi-everything SD-WAN and thoughts from SD-WAN Summit 2019 - FierceTelecom

Posted: 11 Oct 2019 01:09 PM PDT

The recent SD-WAN Summit 2019 organized by Upperside Conferences saw an uptick in attendance from the previous year, indicating ongoing interest in the topic. With representations from major SD-WAN vendors such as Cisco/Viptela, VMware/VeloCloud, Nuage Networks, Silver Peak, and significant challengers such as Aruba Networks, Huawei, Fortinet, and Versa as well as other ecosystem players, it was a full agenda.

RELATED: Industry Voices—Chua: SD-WAN fruit punch — a market share galore

The telcos who are actively deploying and selling SD-WAN offerings to enterprises were well-represented, sharing their stories of success and lessons learned. The theme of the show was the "Second Wave of SD-WAN", which we at AvidThink view as service providers and managed service providers getting into the game with multi-vendor, uCPE-based solutions. This follows the initial wave of enterprise uptake of SD-WAN, purchased directly from the SD-WAN networking vendors. Certainly, it could be interpreted in many ways: arrival of multi-cloud, standardized SD-WAN, cloud-native SD-WAN, etc. I'll leave it to you to define your personal second wave of SD-WAN.


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Multi-vendor, multi-domain, multi-cloud

In any case, at the show there were a couple of themes that caught my eye. One popular theme was "multi." In talking to a couple of major CSPs and MSPs, and listening to the various presentations, there was clear activity in getting multi-vendor SD-WAN deployed, managed, and orchestrated. Some brave CSPs are looking beyond, even orchestrating across multi-domains, provisioning not just the SD-WAN overlay service but also different underlays (MPLS, 4G LTE, 5G). And of course, connectivity of SD-WANs to multi-clouds, public and private was touted by most SD-WAN providers.

With the drive towards multi-vendor, multi-domain and multi-cloud, there's certainly no lack of complexity.

4G LTE backup, LTE provisioning, LTE and 5G primary links

SD-WAN started out in the MPLS domain for the most part. However, there's current interest in LTE-connected CPE appliances for SD-WAN. In some cases, LTE is used as the initial provisioning connection — i.e., as a bootstrap mechanism. In these scenarios, the LTE link can also be used as a backup or failover link for a broadband internet or MPLS connection. And when 5G fixed-wireless access (FWA) becomes available, it's conceivable that the wireless link could become the primary link, if cost numbers can be made favorable. Some view SD-WAN technology as potentially useful in multi-wireless deployments, such as for IoT use cases, where sometimes in hard-to-reach places, there's only wireless connectivity.

Everything is an SD-WAN endpoint

Another theme that emerged around SD-WAN is that SD-WAN is apparently going everywhere. SD-WAN will run in the cloud, SD-WAN will run on IoT endpoints, and SD-WAN will encompass corporate end users on their laptops and mobile devices. In other words, SD-WAN supplants VPNs and becomes the dominant form of secure connectivity. SD-WAN goes from replacing MPLS VPNs with encrypted OTT connections to replacing mobile and laptop VPN clients with SD-WAN clients leveraging the same VPN technologies.

Some are even talking about these SD-WAN clients leveraging multiple 4G or 5G carriers on a mobile phone to provide improved link resiliency or 4G and WiFi links on a laptop to do the same. Not all SD-WAN providers today address mobile devices or laptops, but it certainly makes sense as SD-WAN becomes the dominant enterprise fabric — as we've said all along, SD-WAN will evolve into a universal enterprise networking fabric.

Standardization: Hot or not?

One of the more contentious topics at the conference was the role of standardization in SD-WAN. Some see value in efforts underway by organizations like the MEF and ONUG, and now, MEF + ONUG as a team, but others remain ambivalent. In any early field that's grown organically, as opposed to one that needs to be standards-based like WiFi to ensure interoperability, there's bound to be different stances. From a carrier standpoint, some standardization is helpful as they try to onboard multiple vendors onto their platforms and attempt to integrate them into their orchestration systems and core networks. From an SD-WAN vendor standpoint, particularly those enterprise-direct focused, they've had little demand for standardization. Instead, feature richness and performance demands show up more often on sales team requests.

Standardization will likely come as a result of carriers putting pressure on vendors. And the initial focus will be on northbound APIs for orchestration, assurance, and self-service portal integration. As for interoperability across SD-WAN, that's going to be a long time coming.

Continued SD-WAN challenges — licensing anyone?

Aside from continued enterprise confusion on which SD-WAN solution to pick given the growing variety out there — yes, we're still adding new ones without losing existing vendors — there continues to be challenges in SD-WAN land, especially at MSPs and carriers. We've already touched on the orchestration and differences between SD-WAN solutions. And with some solutions requiring carrier-installed gateways/hubs or tying into the vendor's gateways/hubs, there's more integration work. In addition, pricing and licensing is still an area of complexity for the service providers. Very different licensing schemes exist between vendors, from pooled to non-pooled licenses to availability of trial licenses. Not to mention different licensing metrics — by CPU socket, by core, by bandwidth (with different schemes), and by feature set.

For MSPs and CSPs trying to deploy these, as Singtel pointed out in its presentation, it's a real pain to manage on top of all the technology and customer challenges.

Open-source - Flex that flexiWAN

FlexiWAN is a new company taking an open-source approach to SD-WAN, with code promised at the end of the year. Amir Zamora, who's been a fixture at Upperside Conferences for many years — from their VoIP days and ongoing MPLS conferences — is now their CEO driving a different approach to the market. They might even beat Linux Foundations' DANOS in releasing their code to market, given that DANOS is about a year late in coming out. While I understand that sometimes there are unforeseen challenges, e.g., ONF's Stratum that finally untangled itself from its origins in Google to be released to a waiting public, but it's important to set ecosystem expectations appropriately given the prominence of open source in the networking world today. In any case, with the announcement that ENEA and Intel will be doing a joint demonstration with FlexiWAN, it's definitely an interesting development that we'll be present for.

All in all, Upperside's SD-WAN Summit provided lots of thoughtful content for us to muse on as SD-WAN continues its successful march across both the enterprise and carrier space.

Disclosure: Upperside Conferences reimbursed the author's travel to the conference.

Roy Chua is founder and principal at AvidThink, an independent research and advisory service formed in 2018 out of SDxCentral's research group. Prior to co-founding SDxCentral and running its research and product teams, Chua was a management consultant working with both Fortune 500 and startup technology companies on go-to-market and product consulting. As an early proponent of the software-defined infrastructure movement, Chua is a frequent speaker at technology events in the telco and cloud space and a regular contributor to major leading online publications. A graduate of UC Berkeley's electrical engineering and computer science program and MIT's Sloan School of Business, Chua has 20+ years of experience in telco and enterprise cloud computing, networking and security, including founding several Silicon Valley startups. He can be reached at [email protected]; follow him at @avidthink and @wireroy

Industry Voices are opinion columns written by outside contributors—often industry experts or analysts—who are invited to the conversation by FierceTelecom staff. They do not represent the opinions of FierceTelecom.


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