An Unexepected Benefit Of My SIP-to-Cellular Gateway

blackberry-bold-9700-2It’s been a while since I installed the little Portech MV-370 GSM gateway. It sits in the office IT stack and does what it does. When I’m traveling it lets me call home using my unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes. It also backs up our IP-based home & office phones. If both the Comcast Cable modem and Covad DSL are out the we can route calls out via T-Mobile.

The Gigaset cordless phones support enough accounts that this is easy, just add #6 to the number to specify dial using the GSM trunk. The GSM gateway is the 6th account on the Gigasets. We don’t even need a local Asterisk system to make it possible.

Remembering back to the installation of the GSM gateway, I converted my T-Mobile account from an individual plan to a family plan, with the gateway device becoming the second line on the account. I dropped my number of minutes but the monthly carrying cost was the same. It seems like a good idea since the use of mobile-to-mobile minutes to call home was going to reduce my need for minutes in the end.

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OnSIP Reviews The New Polycom SoundPoint IP335

The nice people over at OnSIP have reviewed the new Polycom SoundPoint IP335. Their reviews are straightforward but well written and address those areas that are likely of concern to OnSIP users. I’m hoping that in a few weeks I’ll get my hands on one of the IP335s to compare it to my IP650. With street prices reported to be in the $120-140 range these are very possibly the most affordable real HDVoice capable desk phones on the market.

Review: Plantronics Savi Go Bluetooth Headset

LeatherBox-200 copyThere’s a little leather-covered box that sits at the back of my desk. It’s the recipient of small items of technology that for some reason I can’t really use but also can’t stand to just throw away. It held until recently an impressive selection of Bluetooth cordless headsets.

Seriously, I bet I’ve purchased eight of those little beasts over the years, ever hopeful that each would be the one that was actually usable…possibly even a pleasure to use…but I was always disappointed. This cycle has gone on for long enough that I’d pretty much written off Bluetooth devices as a pointless waste of time.

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Portable Conference Phone for 4, Please?

I’ve got the first serious candidate in my previously outlined quest for a portable conference phone solution. This is the Ipevo X1N6 Internet Conference Station.


This afternoon I bought one at Fry’s Electronics for the modest sum of $139. I’ve only just taken it out of the box. I’ll post some details about it once I’ve given it a try over the next few days.

Forbes On HDVoice

You know that a technology is going mainstream when it starts to appear in places like Forbes. A recent story in the October issue called Get Ready For HiDef Phone Calls profiles the lack of progress in the quality of cellular calling of the last 40 years. It points to trendsetter Orange Moldova who are the first mobile carrier to rollout HDVoice before going on to describe the US reality.

There’s one very cute line than will doubtless be repeated often, “Eventually the U.S. will catch up to Moldova.”

Many thanks to friend David Frankel for pointing out this little gem.