During 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.
So, to join the VUC call I enabled Wifi on the G2 allowing it to connect to the Mifi. Then I fired up Bria and logged into ZipDX. Adding one further layer to the mix, I used my Plantronics Voyager Pro UC Bluetooth headset.
Support for G.722 and Bluetooth headsets are two new aspects of the very latest release of Bria Android Edition. These two features make Bria much more useful to me. The happy result was the ability to join the VUC call in wideband from my cell phone. The entire chain was wideband, all the way to the headset.
The call quality was a little bit spotty, mostly because of the Mifi’s 3G connection. I found that if I left Outlook running and also connected via the Mifi it would cause choppy audio when an email exchange occurred. Fortunately there’s an easy solution to that problem, I simply closed Outlook for the hour. Problem solved.
I did notice that being on the call for around 90 minutes was taxing on the G2 battery, possibly more taxing than a normal cellular call. Most days the G2 battery lasts me the full day, but attending a VUC call in this matter meant that I was seeing a low battery alarm by around 3pm this afternoon. The Wifi radio on the phone clearly uses more power than the HSPA+ cellular radio. Further the soft phone will keep the Wifi continuously powered.
The topic of this VUC call was on the periphery of things that interest me, so I was not one of the more active participants on the call. Nonetheless I think that joining the call in this manner was a curious and interesting experiment.