Do you ever wonder what factors impact your experience using VoIP technology? Very recently Celideo, a maker of testing tools for voice and video over IP, posted a very nice summary of the issues surrounding VoIP quality. The post is entitled, “VoIP QoS Metrics Explained” and I find it a good tutorial on the subject. It’s comprehensive yet concise, and given in easy-to-understand terms.
Femtocells have been a topic of considerable discussion over the past year or so. Femtocells are small devices that act like a tiny cellular base in your home or office. To your cell phone it’s just another tower. However, instead of interfacing to the carriers back-end network it backhauls the calls over your local broadband connection. Some have noted that this is ideal for the carrier since they don’t actually incur the cost of that backhaul segment. As the person paying for the broadband connection, you do.
Vodaphone appears to be the first cellular carrier in the UK to actually introduce the little beasties. Andrew Grill’s “London Calling” blog has an excellent description of them based on his early first-hand experience. His tale includes both acquiring and installing the device. That he is able to extend cellular coverage into the basement flat (apartment) of a Victorian era home seems especially useful.
This set of screen shots was taken from the web GUI of the Gigaset S675IP, but the web GUI for the A580IP is very similar.
A couple of weeks ago I was told that our corporate HQ in Cambridge UK was starting to think about adding new conference room. Since I oversee the hosted IP-PBX that we use in the US they sought my suggestion for a suitable new conference phone. The requirements for the new device are a little odd, making device selection something of a challenge.
You will find references to Junction Networks’ OnSIP hosted IP-PBX service scattered all over this site. I’ve use them since the summer of 2007 for my home office phones. They’re extremely reliable, 100% SIP based and even wideband capable in many respects.
The basics of the OnSIP service are pretty simple. If you are a company and need the usual services you establish an OnSIP account, selecting one of their monthly service bundles. These run from $39.95/mo to $199.95/mo, scaling up to suit companies of various sizes. They offer a 30 day free trial to let you get your feet wet.
After announcements back at CES2009 in January the Gigaset line of cordless SIP/DECT are finally starting to become available in the US. The A580IP model is the entry-level system in the line-up, which we’ve been using around here for the past couple of months.
At the outset of the review process I was a little skeptical about installing an entry-level consumer cordless phone in the house. We’ve tried a lot of hardware and have some fairly clear ideas about what we need from it. However, the A580IP brings with it the possibility of wideband calling over IP into the cordless domain. That proved just too to attractive to not give it a try.
The A580IP system that we have installed consists of one DECT base and a set of three A58H handsets. A starter system comes with the base and one handset. You can add up to five additional handsets to suit your specific needs. In fact, you can mix and match handsets, using the entry level A58H, middle of the range S67H or high-end SL78H all on the same DECT base.