A couple of weeks ago friend Tony up at Gigaset promised to send me a couple of the newer Gigaset DECT handsets that they’ve started to sell in the US. The box arrived and true to his promise there are a couple of handsets..but this is not about them. Left with a little space in the box Tony threw in a Gigaset One Bluetooth interface device. It’s proven to be a curious and interesting little device.
Let me be completely clear about this….it’s not often that manufacturers just send me stuff (disclosure statement). After almost 600 posts to this blog I’ve managed forge a few good relationships with manufacturers, but in most cases I simply buy whatever hardware I truly need, and that’s what I get to write about.
It’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.
VoIP Supply’s Garrett Smith has an interesting post the other day. Actually, we can cross reference a couple of posts to follow his line of thinking. Firstly, he offers some advice on selecting an analog gateway in a post titled, “Four Keys To A Successful Voip Gateway Purchase.” It’s a good basic overview on VoIP gateways for the beginner.
I’ve made my thoughts on gateway/ATA devices well known in the past (here, here and here). I see them as relics of a prior era of VoIP, and to be avoided if at all possible. However, some people feel that they are truly necessary. Whatever floats your boat.
What with all the action surrounding Skype gateways the past few weeks it seems fitting that Digium chime in with a status report on their own Skype-For-Asterisk effort. From this post it seems that phase one of the beta program is wrapping up and the broader second phase about to begin.
Digium reports over 3,000 applications for participation in the beta program. That’s encouraging since it will take a significant number of sites to really flush out the software and expose a diversity of potential end-user applications.
Then word came out of Astricon that Digium had forged a partnership with Skype. The result would be “Skype For Asterisk,” a channel module allowing the integration of Skype into the leading open source IP-PBX platform. A great cheer went up all around VoIP-land. There was much rejoicing.