MagicJack Plus Does HDVoice?

It happens that today I am in the Miami Beach area. As I look overhead I half expect to see a flock of pigs flying past. At least that’s what comes to mind when I see TMC’s Tom Keating reporting that the new magicJack plus device from Vocaltec is HDVoice capable. Not only is the new interface device capable of being used without a computer, but its reportedly capable of G.722, SPEEX and some kind of proprietary G.711 based wideband.

From Tom’s review:

I spoke with magicJack Vocaltec CEO Dan Borislow about the new magicJack plus. One of the first questions I asked was about wideband codec support. Dan said, “One of the largest carriers, besides ourselves is Neutral Tandem and they have wideband codec availability and they transcode. Obviously, our own gateways have wideband available as well. So for the great majority of calls we can do wideband.” He explained that for magictalk-to-magicjack calls they are already wideband. I asked which wideband codec they use and he explained, “We developed a G.711 wideband codec of our own but we have the capability to do Speex or G.722 as well. But currently we use our own 711 wideband codec.”

Will wonders never cease? I guess that shows that HDVoice is getting some traction in a wide variety of circles…even amongst those who are leading the race to $ 0.00/minute.

A Brief Prehistory of Voice over IP parts 1 & 2

I learned about this in a post by Shawn Merdinger to the VOIPSEC Mailing List. It’s a Google Tech Talk going way back to the beginning of what we now call “VoIP.” The presentation is by Danny Cohen and Stephen Casner. It’s a long video, but it’s very interesting.

CounterPath’s Bria For iPad: Obsoletes Desk Phones & Conference Phones?

Bria-iPad-Edition-beauty-200In the course of announcing it’s new Bria iPad Edition CounterPath recently made some very bold claims. They claim that within their own company Bria iPad Edition has essentially replaced desktop phones. They further claim it has overtaken their use of dedicated conference phones in meeting rooms. Citing their own internal experience they have brashly declared that the death of the desk phone is upon us.

One would expect a leading maker of soft phones to be less than enthusiastic about the future of hard phones. There is a very clear uptick in the use of soft phones, inspired by Skype at first, but then accelerated by UC clients from companies like Avaya, Mitel and even Microsoft.

Be that as it may, there remain tens of millions of IP phones on desktops around the globe. Clearly, the death of the category has not been universally observed. I hear no weeping from the various Polycom devices that litter my working life.

However, it has been said that the future is already here, just not yet evenly distributed. Perhaps I simply hold a position later on the curve of this trend?

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A Complicated Way To Join a VUC Call

counterpathDuring this weeks VUC call I was at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh PA. I was sitting monitoring some equipment in the Art Department, which is  is physically located in the basement of the building at One Gateway Center.

There in the basement my cell phone was only able to get an EDGE connection to T-Mobile. Of course, CBS won’t let me on their network with my laptop or netbook. As a result, all week long I’ve been making use of my now aged Sprint 3G Mifi for general internet access.

Last week I installed the very latest version of Counterpath’s Bria Android Edition on my G2. To this point I’d only used it to make a couple of test calls around my office. This day I used it to join the ZipDX wideband conference bridge.

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15 Million Potentially HDVoice Capable End-points Deployed in Cable-Land!

Earlier today Doug Mohney of HDVoice News posted a short item from The Cable Show 2011. He was speaking to Derek Elder, Senior Vice President of Arris, a manufacturer of cable network infrastructure. The company claims that it has 15 million Arris end-points deployed, all of which are potentially capable of HDVoice.

To be more specific, these various end-points would be G.722 capable given a firmware upgrade. But there is a catch…the user-end interface is a standard analog RJ-11. That means that a digital voice subscriber would require correspondingly capable analog phone.

The legacy PSTN standards define how analog phones are built. The frequency response of devices is deliberately constrained in order to protect the network. Thus a wideband capable analog phone is at present a very rare bird.

Nonetheless, the company is able to demonstrate wideband voice using this approach in their Atlanta lab. That means that the firmware truly exists, as does the requisite hardware. So it would appear that there may be an alternative to the integration of SIP/CATiq that has been dominating the cable landscape with respect to HDVoice.

The Fastmac USocket Revisited

FastMac-USocketSome time ago at Engadget there was a post reporting that Fastmac was about to start shipping their much delayed USocket. The USocket combines a normal wall electrical outlet with a DC power supply that feeds a pair of standard USB ports. Further, each port provides enough current to charge even heavy loads like Apple’s iPad.

I though that this device sounded like a great idea so I visited the companies web site and ordered four. That would let me put one at each night stand in the bedroom, one in my office and another in our TV room.

Near the end of January I placed the order then waited for delivery. In fact, I forgot about the order. When in mid-May I finally remembered that I had placed the order I filed a trouble report with Fastmac to inquire about its status.

The company literally never responded to my trouble report. Instead, they simply shipped the order. I did receive an email notice that the order had been both billed and shipped. Given their behavior I doubt that I’ll ever buy anything from them again.

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