It’s Q4-2014 and HDVoice is now largely passé. On that basis one might think that it’s use should become evident, especially amongst the telecom cognoscenti. So I was surprised to hear the most recent UC Strategies podcast entitled, “Connecting the Circuit.” This podcast, a discussion of a new UC service called “Circuit”, was derived from a conference call of leading telecom experts.
Sadly, with the exception of a little music at the beginning, the recording exemplifies the finest narrowband audio traditions of the last century. This is, to my mind, a disappointment. It boggles the mind to think that some of the leading thinkers about UC, are not themselves taking advantage of one of its core features…HDVoice.
Obi Hai has been around a long while. Their niche has been ATA-like devices that were sufficiently sophisticated to provide hardware access to Google Voice. As was discussed when they appeared on VUC, the founders of the company were in involved in the earliest days of VoIP. More specifically, they were behind the development of Cisco ATA 186, the very first ATA.
In years past I’ve watched as others have expressed their enthusiasm for the OBi Hai ATAs, especially those who were trying to leverage Google Voice. GV has never been a significant factor in my working life.
Several folks have reported that yesterday Ubiquiti Networks sent out a marketing email announcing a new line of VoIP products under their UniFi brand. A quick look at the information offered online reveals some very nice looking hardware. Very nice indeed.
The hardware includes a trio of handsets; UVP, UVP-Pro and UVP-Executive. All are Android powered, reported run Kit Kat (v4.4.2) on dual core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz. They all sport 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of local storage.
The entry-level UVP model is a bit feature constrained in order to hit a $149 MSRP.
The UVP and UVP-Pro are more-or-less mobile phone-ish in that they feature a 5” capacitive touch screen resolving 640 x 960 pixels. The UVP-Executive is more tablet-like, with a 7” capacitive touch screen resolving 1024 x 600 pixels.
Audio codec support includes; G.722, Speex, iLBC, PCMU,PCMA and GSM. Thus they are capable of wideband telephony.
Grandstream recently released a new model of desk phone, the GXV3275 Multimedia IP Phone for Android. A logical successor to their GXV3175 model, it’s been updated in a variety of ways. Most interestingly, it runs Android 4.2, aka Jelly Bean. This is most recent release of Android that I’ve encountered running on a dedicated desk phone.
My enthusiasm for smart desk phones arises at least in part from a desire to see telephones play a larger role in home automation. This desire I have expressed at various times over the years, although Dave Michels perhaps has gone further with respect to acting upon a similar desire.
Here in the US the mobile carriers are finally getting something done with respect to rolling out HDVoice. T-Mobile has been offering HDVoice since January of 2013. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been able to try this myself using a Nexus 5. They added a little sport to the game by launching VoLTE in Seattle earlier this month.