VoIP Spear: New VoIP QoS Monitoring Service

Earlier this week I found a newly launched VoIP QoS monitoring service called VoIP Spear. It works by sending a ping to the end-point in question at a certain interval, then analyzing the timing of the resulting responses. The service is free for monitoring a single end-point so I setup an account and pointed it at my office IP address.

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Polycom Firmware Matrix

I’ll be upgrading a small herd of IP phones over the holiday break, which had me looking for new Polycom firmware. There once was a time when Polycom directed all end-users to obtain firmware from a reseller. These days the folks at Polycom are a lot more open with respect to firmware for their phones. You can now download most things from their web site directly. They even provide a nice clear matrix display describing which firmware release is most appropriate for each of their products. KUDOS for the move to greater openness.

GIPS Comments On My Soft Phone Rant

Global IP Solutions, the people behind the codec package that helped bring Skype to prominence, has recently launched a blog. Amongst their first entries they decided to weigh in with a response to my recent rant about soft phones.

I appreciate their perspective about G.722. It’s old, and there are a number of codecs better suited to IP networks. I have used both Skype and Gizmo5 for some time and appreciate that they can provide outstanding call quality between like end-points.

However, in my daily activities I still need hardware phones. And so when considering a soft phone I need interoperability with my hardware phones. At the moment that means G.722 if I want to enjoy the benefits of wideband audio.

Perhaps one day we might enjoy using iSac to make calls to & from a fabulous hard phone. But not today.

Idea For a New Online Service

This morning I awoke thinking about new little uses for my Asterisk system in a SIP URI world. It occurred to me when I lived in Toronto that there was a radio station that had a sponsored “joke of the day” segment that was really popular. I could do that as a phone-in service, but with a Web/Telco 2.0 spin. You’d only be able to get there by SIP URI.

I’d call it “The IP TeleFunny Daily.”

Sounds like a newspaper.

Meraki Networks Wifi Mesh

Fast Company TV’s Robert Scoble recently paid a visit to Meraki Network’s to profile their newly announced wifi mesh products. He shot a nice interview video with their CEO. They mention streaming media both for video and audio (Skype) Use with video is really not appropriate for the technology but voice is supposedly fine. I’d be nice to hear from someone in SF who might have experience using that cities Meraki wifi mesh installation.

I must say that I’m truly interested in the stuff. It was a very sad day when Houston’s municipal wifi project imploded. I’ll be making an inquiry with Meraki to see if they support WMM for wireless QoS.

My Approach To Mobile VoIP For Low Cost Overseas Calling

For the past three years I’ve used Stanacard as the basis for placing overseas calls from my cell phone.This has recently changed as I’ve leveraged our company’s OnSIP account to provide a similar capability to all of our US staff.

Stanacard describes themselves as a “next generation calling card service.” The service is simple enough. Like most calling card services they have a variety of US points-of-presence (POPs) with local numbers. You dial that number, then authenticate using a PIN to get at a second dial-tone, and finally dial the overseas number you want to reach.

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