VoIP Supply On HDVoice

Earlier today Hardcoresecurity tweeted about a funny little thing. He noticed that the home page for VoIP Supply now proclaims that “VoIP Specialists are available in High Definition…”

Looks like @VoIPSupply figured out HD Voice over the PSTN – Website says, “…available in HD 8:30am–9pm weekdays. — Toll Free: 1-800…” 😉

That’s novel, right? The thing is that they offer only a toll free PSTN number as a contact method. Here’s a screen shot of a portion of their home page.

I expect that at present it’s very unlikely that you could actually have an HDVoice call with anyone at VoIP Supply. It’s not impossible, but unlikely.

With rare exception, to have an HDVoice call you need an IP-based call path from end-to-end. The call cannot transit the PSTN. Yet the common “phone number” is in fact an aspect of the PSTN.

I once had an HDVoice call with Rob Wolpov of Junction Networks, and it was achieved by simply dialing a common NANPA number. The only contact details I was given for the interview was a 212 area phone number. Since Rob was using a better Polycom phone, like my own IP650, and we were both registered to the same SIP registrar, the call path was pure IP and HDVoice was possible.

Beyond the serendipitous use of the same SIP service provider passing HDVoice streams relies upon IP-based peering between Telcos & ITSPs. Such peering arrangements provide the IP call path required to use wideband codecs. That’s a trend that remains in its early days, but it is growing.

As a little experiment I called VoIP Supply at the toll free number they offered on the web site. Here’s a picture of the LCD on the Polycom Soundpoint IP450 that I used to make that call.

Those of you familiar with Polycom phones will note that the little animated HD icon for extension 2040 is not being displayed. As expected, the call was not connected in HDVoice.

I wonder who VoIP Supply uses for SIP trunks? Or if they use SIP trunks at all? If that was known I might be able to work out how to reach their ITSP via SIP URI, and try to ensure an IP-based call path.

In reality this is a minor thing. It’s nice to see a large player like VoIP Supply pushing the idea of HDVoice. If you look further into their site you’ll find that they have some nice introductory information on the topic.

  • Greg

    So one could presume that the ITSP you used to make the call does not do an ENUM lookup?

    • Not sure. Worth asking OnSIP. So I just did. A quick search of their knowledge base returns no results for the term “enum.”

  • Hey Michael,

    Hope all is well.

    Two things:

    1. VoIP Supply does in fact use HDVoice throughout our organization. VoIP Supply leverages a variety of providers for our inbound and outbound dialing. Every employee is armed with an HD capable Polycom phone, Skype account and many even have mobile clients which leverage our SIP service providers. Calling us in HD is very possible 🙂

    2. The 800# you see in the image is not our standard 800#. Our alternative 800#’s are used for various reasons, but are provided by a traditional telecommunications provider due to our geographic positioning. The point of the messaging is to drive awareness for the technology – and of course – allow those who know and use HD Voice to leverage it during our interactions.

    If you or anyone else would like to discuss this further, I’d be more than happy to explain VoIP Supply’s pervasive use of HDVoice, telepresence, surveillance and other IP technologies inside of our operation.

    Garrett Smith
    Chief Marketing Officer
    VoIP Supply, LLC
    North America’s Leading Supplier of VoIP equipment and services

    • So someone who is HD capable…like me…can reach you…but not at THAT toll free number? Was that very number offered based upon an LCR solution, knowing that I’m calling from TX?

      I see a different number offered at this very moment. I can’t find anything but toll-free numbers being offered there.

      • Hey Michael,

        I just gave you a buzz at your SIP URI. I dropped you an email with mine if you’d like to return the call.

        Thanks.

        Garrett

  • Hey Michael,

    Two things:

    1. The numbers are different. It’s location based, but not for LCR. If you think of the other reasons why multiple numbers might be displayed, you will likely figure out why we are doing it 🙂

    2. This should have been stated earlier, but the intent of that messaging is not to say that if you call 1800XXX you will reach us in HD. It is to say that we are available in HD (with a link to what HD voice is), should you have/know how to use it.

    To that extent we’re already working on a better way to present the message and direct those who are HD capable to a static line that is always HD capable.

    Garrett Smith
    Chief Marketing Officer
    VoIP Supply, LLC
    North America’s Leading Supplier of VoIP equipment and services

    • It could be a little more clear, but it’s excellent that you’re promoting the coming wave of HDVoice. I wish more people were helping to make it happen rather that sitting on the sidelines saying it will never happen.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Michael,
    I think it is perfectly crystal clear as HD should be. You caught them with their pants down.

    Garrett, you are free to call me anytime on my new Super Double Secret New High Definition Ultra Wide Band Surround Sound Digital Clarity system I have here at my office, same number as usual.

    Dave

    • …and then you will be contacting me via the Ultra-HD telepresence system that NHK has squirreled away in your office, right?

      Seriously, I’m working on getting an HD video end-point here “real soon now.”

    • Hey Dave,

      Productive response. What’s your SIP URI? I’d be happy to dial you.

    • Dave,

      Did you ever get inbound SIP URI calling to work through your Switchvox?

      Michael

  • How are you “available” in HD when no one outside the organization can talk to you in HD? We at PhoneWire.com sell HD phone systems and have many of our people (not all) equipped with HD phones. In addition to callig us via PSTN narrowband at 1-877-877-9473, customers can also reach us in HD by calling sip:help@phonewire.com. That is what I would think it means to be “available” in HD — other people can actually call you and talk to you in HD. It’s like saying an apartment for rent is “satellite TV ready”, but you as a tenant must climb up on the roof and mount the dish yourself… oh yeah, and as a tenant you aren’t allowed to affix anything to the property or have access to the roof.

    • I think the fact that they are not available in HD by way of the toll free numbers is now well understood.

      I see that your own site mentions SIP URI calling in describing the Cloud-Hosted service…but offers no such contact details on the “contact” page.

      • Good point, Mike. It’s in all of our e-mail signatures, but I’ll have to get the web team get that updated on the contact page to add the SIP URI.

  • FWIW, Garrett called me this morning via SIP URI. I also called him back. It seems that they’re still working out some issues around taking calls via URI. Also, when I called Garrett his audio reaching me was not in HD. I suspect that’s just part of working out the kinks in the implementation.

    Garrett told me that they will eventually offer a SIP URI as a means of reaching VoIP Supply…in HD.

    • Yes, that was weird. When I called you, it was in HD (I got the icon). I believe the issue may have to do with the fact that everything is routed through our main IVR, rather than individual extensions. Either way we are working on it and should have a dedicated SIP URI for the public in the next week or so.