New Gigaset Products At CES 2011 In Las Vegas

This past week I made a quick trip to Las Vegas. The vast majority of people in Vegas were attending CES 2011. My time there was short. My primary reason for the trip was to attend the HDVoice Summit organised by Dan Berninger. That meeting was held in a suite at the Aria Hotel where are array of HDVoice, capable products were on display, including the latest Gigaset offerings.

Gigaset issue a press release detailing the new product offerings. As expected they were launching a couple of new desk phones aimed squarely at SOHO & SMB applications. At the HDVoice Summit there was a DX800A setup and connected to David Frankel’s ZipDX wideband conference bridge.

The DX800A is a very interesting device. Tony Stankus from Gigaset characterized it as an “All-in-one” device since it includes analog, ISDN and SIP interfaces. The built-in DECT/CATiq base supports multiple handsets and up to four concurrent calls, three via SIP and the POTS line. You can pair the DX800A to any of the Gigaset DECT/CATiq handsets.

The DX800A also has bluetooth support. The most basic Bluetooth capability includes support for wireless headsets. It just happened that I had  the wideband capable Plantronics Voyager Pro UC headset in my pocket. In just a minute or two we had the headset paired with the phone. A quick call to the ZipDX wideband demo confirmed that the headset integration supports wideband audio.

The DX series desk phones also support Bluetooth integration with cell phones, a feature they call “Link2Cell.” This is not unlike the Gigaset One device that I’ve described previously. When paired with a cell phone the DX desk phone can make and receive calls over the cellular account. Several cell phones may be linked at once, effectively providing several cellular trunks.

The DX800A looks like a very polished device. The handset had an unfortunate light feel, but the Gigaset team said that this would be addressed before the product started shipping. The retail price on the DX800A is TBD.

The DX500A is similar in appearance but supports only an analog connection, no ISDN or SIP accounts.

Beyond the DX series desk phones Gigaset has introduced the C610A IP , a new model cordless system. The C610A IP is similar to the existing A580IP and S675IP models offered in North America, but with numerous enhancements.

Rather than repeat the contents of the press release I’ll just hit the high points. While the C610A IP DECT base looks just like the earlier models, the core processor is substantially upgraded. The result is immediately apparent when you access the web GUI. It’s peppy and responsive, much faster than the earlier models.

The improvements in the platform also allow for expansion of the feature set, including the addition of some often requested features. For example, the C610A  can dial by SIP URI from the handsets contact list. Further, the base has the ability to backup and restore its configurations, upgrade and even revert firmware load. It also supports three separate voicemail boxes. Clearly the company has been listening to user requests, and taking them into their development program.

Like the DX models, the C610A IP allows for four simultaneous calls; three via SIP accounts and one on the analog line.

The C610A will retail for $120 which makes it less expensive than the existing S675IP, despite the improvements in the core platform.

  • Ed Miller

    Nice. I got bored of waiting for Siemens, so a week ago I bought the S685-ip and an extra S79H. They might just be coming to an auction site near you (if the UK is near you).

    Since spending the money, I have been trying to get into the detail of the NAT and security issues surrounding VOIP. These problems are a lot more complex than I would have believed. So I’m thinking I ought to add a stateful firewall with QOS and an application level gateway into the mix (Kamailio?). Now I just have to wait for Soekris to release the successor to the net5501 (coming “real soon now”) so that I can handle that and a 40 megabit/s “FTTC” (fibre to the cabinet) connection.

    Do you think this new Gigaset will handle any secure protocols, maybe SRT[C]P?

    • You might want to reconsider the idea of the firewall, at least as far as the SIP ALG goes. My ITSP (OnSIP) advises that unless you’re using Cisco or Juniper gear simply defeat the SIP ALG. They take steps to aid in far-end NAT traversal, and another ALG in the mix tends to be more hindrance than help.

      I’ve heard nothing but complaints about consumer routers with SIP ALGs. There was once a m0n0wall beta with a built-in SIP ALG, but it was soon removed from the release. It caused a lot of heartburn for some people.

      As to the new Soekris board, I’ve been hearing “real soon now” for long enough that I’ve stopped waiting. In truth nothing I have needs that much CPU grunt. I still have several Net4801 happily in service. But then on the systems I run m0n0wall and not pfsense. For pfsense with some extra modules you probably want something more.

      I don’t believe that the new Gigaset stuff handles SRTP, but it wasn’t something that I was looking for, and I only had a short while to play with it.

      • Ed Miller

        Yup, ALGs suck – but not as much as NAT. I too have read a lot of dire warnings from SIP providers about using ALGs. As you say, it seems that a lot of them try to help out with NAT traversal and will get confused if some of the packet rewriting has already been done for them. On the other hand, depending on the capabilities of the end-points, whether one or both is behind NAT, and the details of how the provider implements its workarounds, this often means the SIP provider cannot hand off the audio streams after call set-up.

        Ipv6 anyone? A definite need for proxying (or an end-user ALG) unless you show me an endpoint with a dual-stack and a supported client (probably will come on softphones).

        The result is that often the provider has to proxy the media, and they don’t seem to offer this in wideband (G722). Maybe if both parties are using G722 proxying providers, they can each call the other in G722. What I would like is for anyone who calls me from a computer with a G722 softphone to be able to reach me in wideband, regardless of any provider involvement in call set-up.

        This is why I am trying to become my own SIP server, and publish DNS for my domain using SRV and possibly NAPTR records – Zoneedit appear to support this for free for up to two zones.

        I agree the ALG has to be clever, which is why I mentioned Kamailio (same as OpenSRS). They are “carrier class” and already have the ipv4/ipv6 proxying worked out and even SCTP support. I agree we are not really in a World where these features are needed, but it suggests a comprehensive approach!

        While waiting for Soekris, I might just implement this on an old Thinkpad with a PCI Expresscard slot. It will look a bit odd sitting under the desk with the DSL modem and access point – could run into spousal approval issues – but you can run them with their lids closed if you don’t care about using them as wireless access points. I think this kind of grunt might be needed for a mixed environment of downloading HD movies at 40 Mbit/s while having two simultaneous VOIP calls in progress and maybe some online back-up or other services, especially if the device is also a VPN end-point. The other advantage is they can power down really nicely when not under full load, more so than any other type of (non-laptop) motherboard because of better BIOS support for low-power states, although I am unclear how well this works with FreeBSD as the OS.

        • Ed Miller

          On top of which, if you want to segment the LAN side, the machine will need to route between gigabit-enabled hosts, another reason for a powerful machine with a PCI Express bus.

  • Tim

    Michael,

    Nice write up – thank you.

    Do you know if the DX800A allows the POTS line that is connected to it to be registered as a trunk on an asterisk or freeswitch sever? (Eliminate need for separate ATA device)

    Do you have thoughts on what this device will retail for?

    Thanks,
    Tim

    • Tim,

      What you describe sounds a little confusing to me. The DX800A has a single analog interface. You can connect that to a POTS line. It has built-in VM, too. Not sure where the Asterisk box fits into the mix.

      You might be able to call forward the analog line out an SIP account, but that doesn’t sound like a good idea for taking it into an Asterisk server.

      The DX’s ability to leverage cellular lines via Bluetooth gives you yet another alternative to POTS lines. We’re celebrating over 5 years without any analog lines.

      MSRP has not been set, but I’d guess that the DX800A would sell for around $250-ish. The DX500A possibly a good deal cheaper.

      • Tim

        Basically, I was curious to see if the phone could be used as an FXO device to replace an existing ATA adaptor for a POTS line into an asterisk pbx. Consolidation of equipment.

        I read though the international manual available online and looks as if it cannot do this. too bad, seems like it would have a been nifty feature.

        Interesting thoughts regarding price, i’m suprised you expect it at only $250. Given the feature set, i was guessing near $500 retail.

  • Daniel Kanthofer

    DX800 and DL500 are already out in Germany and they cost 200 € (about 260 USD), respectively 140 € (180 USD), so mjgraves’ expectation of 250 USD for the DX800 seems right.

  • Jay

    I have just confirmed (from Tony Stankus at Gigaset) that the new C610A IP will support distinctive ring! This is a feature that I really missed in the A580 IP or S675 IP. I use my A580 IP for both home and business use and have 6 handsets around the home / office, but it is kind of annoying when someone in the house hears the phone ring and goes over to answer it only to find out it is a call coming in on the business line which they don’t answer. If I could make a different ring for each line they would know to ignore the call completely.

    I was almost ready to buy the Panasonic KX-TGP550 to replace the A580IP plus 6 handsets. Now I think I will be holding off on that and giving the C610A IP a try instead as I believe it will work with my A58H and S67H handsets.

    Just thought I’d post this in case someone else was after this feature as it didn’t mention this feature in the press release and I really miss it on the current generation IP DECT phones.

    • Funny, I never missed that feature. We use the Gigaset for both home & work lines, but we have the set to ring different handsets. But thanks for the tip.

      I was very impressed with improved performance of the C610A’s base web configuration setup. I was lightning fast compared to the existing models.

  • ben

    in your opinion does the dx800a have a suitable pbx function to handlen 7 extentions?. I am planning an office that has 2 pots lines from a bonded set of dsl ines. To this i will add 4 sip lines. I was planning on using an exisitng obihai box that has two google voice accounts to forward two sip lines then add another one to handle two more, one box could handle the extra lots line and the dx800a could handle the other. I had ordered the c610a already but wonder if the dx800a had a more robust pbx function.

    • AFAIK, these desk phones didn’t make it into North America. I certainly haven’t had one to try. So I cannot comment sensibly. That said, at least two VUC regulars (http://vuc.me) in the UK & Europe do have those devices. Perhaps you might pose them a direct question on a coming VUC call?

      • In retrospect, why not put your question to the VUC mailing list? You’d surely get a response there, very possibly from someone who actually owns that device.