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No Magic For You, Jack!

magicjackusbwidgetApparently Magic Jack has taken some steps to cease delivering service to people who access the service with clients other than bone fide Magic Jack dongles. This happened some time in the past week and has been noted in the PBX-in-a-Flash forums as well as the Unofficial Magic Jack Support Forums.

Some offer the conjecture that such treatment of customer will in some way hurt the company. I doubt that is the case. The percentage of their users using Asterisk to pass calls to them is likely extremely small. It’s also quite likely very obvious to them, both in terms of average minutes per user per month and the reported SIP client name.

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Gigaset US Update

It's now six months since Gigaset Communications announced their intention to release the A580IP and S675IP in the US market. Happily, the wait appears to be nearing an end. Michael White at E4 confirms that they have placed a stocking…

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Making Use of Wideband Voice Right Now!: Skype

skype_logoPerhaps the easiest way to get a sense of wideband quality is to try Skype. The software’s setup is extremely easy and it supports all the common computer platforms. Calls between Skype accounts are wideband when the available network bandwidth supports its use. That would be almost always for most people.

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How-To Series: Making Use of Wideband Voice Right Now!

polycom_ip650_256Not long ago telecom writer and blogger Doug Mohney issued forth a Tweet asking:

“Anyone out there using HD calling (G.722) on a daily basis?”

I’ve not met Doug, although I sat a few seats down from him much of the day at last month’s HD Communications Summit. I’ve read his work at various places including FierceVoIP. Doug truly knows telecom.

What his tweet brought to mind is the simple fact that many people might be interested in making use of wideband voice, but not know where to start. I use wideband voice,  in one form or another, literally every day. If you’re a technical sort it’s not that difficult. For the non-technical it can be a minefield. So I thought I should offer some suggestions based upon my own SOHO experience.

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Easy Asterisk in a Box: Jazinga VoIP PBX Appliance Reviewed

Originally published in December 2008 at Small Net Builder.

It has been nearly three years since I first published an article detailing my experience setting up an Asterisk server on an embedded PC platform. That turned out to be just the start of a wave of interest in the embedded system or “appliance” approach to Asterisk. Since then, a number of companies have offered ready-to-roll Asterisk appliances.

Many of these Asterisk “appliances” are really just pre-configured servers running a bundle of software built around Asterisk. To meet my definition of “appliance” the system should have no moving parts. That means diskless, fanless, silent and reliable.

Preconfigured servers are very capable but they often have much of the administrative overhead of an old-school Asterisk installation. They usually require someone with Asterisk or telecom experience to plan and implement a working system.

I have deferred upgrading my own Astlinux server a very long time. I knew it had to be done, but also knew that it would be essentially rebuilding the system from scratch. When Jazinga offered to let me evaluate their new Asterisk appliance, I saw the possibility of deploying something simpler, with less administrative overhead.

jazinga-product-shot

In their flagship MGA120 PBX appliance, Jazinga set out to build a device that could be installed in a typical small business, home or home office by someone with minimal IT skills. It combines common networking and IP telephony functions with software designed to make installation and administration truly easy.

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