If you make enough noise about looking for something eventually you’ll get some tips about where to find it. So it seems to be with my search for a wideband capable soft phone. Just in case you’re new around here, let me reiterate that by “wideband capable” I mean specifically G.722 capable allowing interoperability with my Polycom hard phones.
Not long ago I received tip about PhonerLite, a freeware soft phone for Windows that is in fact G.722 capable. The availability of a working, G.722 capable release of Eyebeam has taken the pressure of somewhat so it took a little time to get around to trying PhonerLite. I finally gave it a try this past weekend.
At first glance it seems very promising. The GUI is straightforward and very clear. It actually has a reasonable list of features, including:
- Support multiple accounts (profiles) with one active at a time
- Supports STUN
- Supports SIP over UDP or TCP
- Supports echo cancellation
- Supports silence detection
- Codec support includes; G.711 A-Law, G.711 µ-Law, G.726 -16, -24, -32, -40, G.722 (Wideband), GSM, iLB, Speex and Speex-Wideband
- Supports TLS*
- Supports SRTP*
*There is no mechanism for exchanging certificates at present, making the TLS/SRTP support incomplete. But the author admits that it’s still a work in progress.
Here’s a screenshot of the user interface to give you some sense of it’s layout. I find it very usable.
I’ve made a few calls using PhonerLite to verify G.722 interoperability. I’m very happy to report that it works just fine with the various wideband phones that I have running! That includes a Polycom SoundPoint IP650, Eyebeam v1.5 and the Gigaset SIP/DECT range.
Beyond sensible wideband capability there are quite a number of things to like about this software. For example, the contact list is a simple text file that’s easily edited externally if you desire. Also, the fact that the user interface indicates the codec used for each call leg when a call is ongoing. The software also gives an on-the-fly statistics display showing jitter, packet loss, actual data rates and buffer levels.
While it’s only for Windows, and not open source, PhonerLite is still a very valuable addition to the arsenal of anyone using and promoting wideband telephony.