LiGo’s Top 10 Cordless Phones For 2014

Ligo Top 10 Cordless Phones For 2014A good quality cordless phone can be an important tool in the home or home office communications arsenal.  In the past I’ve written about my experience with the Gigaset SIP/DECT cordless phones, which began when I discovered their S675 IP model, even before it was offered in North America. I actually order one from LiGo, a leading UK-based online reseller.

That generation of the Gigaset products were especially interesting as they included some IP-connected, SIP-capable models. These SIP/DECT products offer considerable advantages over the combination of an analog connected cordless phone and an ATA. I made the case for such systems way back in 2008. The argument offered then still holds up well in 2014.

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Deal Alert: Frontgate Offering Gigaset C610H Handsets for $9.50

Just before the holidays someone noted in a thread at DSL Reports that Frontgate was offering the C610H DECT handset for $30 each including shipping. This is the the handset that comes with the C610A IP starter system that was first offered in the US in June 2011.

This morning it seems that they’ve dropped the price to just $9.50 each! There’s some conjecture as to whether these are new or refurbished, but at that price it simply may not matter.

The handsets offered are expansion handsets. They will work with any Gigaset DECT base that has been sold in North America, including the older A580-IP and C675-IP  models. The current models offered are the A510-IP and C610A-IP models which sell for $90 and $100 respectively for a DECT base and one handset.

To add further bit of conjecture, I expect that these handsets are now end-of-life. Gigaset turns over the product offering every 2 years-ish. That means that there are newer models offered or about to be offered. After all…CES is just a few days away.

I believe that Skinit still offers a library of colorful skins for several Gigaset models. This is what you see on the handset pictured here. They cite the C59H as the model that their skins cover, but it has exactly the same dimensions as the C610H.

All of the Gigaset models that I’ve mentioned are SIP-capable. There are a few additional models that do not have “IP” in the model name for the base system. These include DECT bases that are not SIP-capable, so for use on analog phone lines. These bargain handset will work with those systems as well, but that’s hardly interesting.

A Gigaset With A Blacklist & The FTC’s Robocall Challenge

Gigaset-C620AEarlier this week I saw a press release detailing a new model of Gigaset cordless DECT phone. This new model, known as the Gigaset C620A, isn’t even SIP capable so normally I wouldn’t give it the time of day. However, the release placed unusual emphasis on one particular feature…a blacklist function intended to reduce the impact of nuisance calls.

Nuisance calls have been on my mind lately, not so much because we get them…because we generally don’t suffer such a problem. They’ve been on my mind because ZipDX’s David Frankel has been railing against the outcome of the FTC/FCC sponsored Robocall Challenge intended to crowd source a solution to the problem of such calls.

David entered that contest but was not one of the winners. He made some inquires about the judging criteria and scores, but met with resistance. In fact, David’s experience following up on the scoring was pretty bad. So much so that he’s been pursuing the FTC and FCC for more details. His efforts in this pursuit made it into The Wall Street Journal on June 25th.

While the contest was over some time ago, there was a Senate hearing on the subject just last week.

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New TIA Standards For HDVoice Over Analog Jacks

HDVoice News RJ-11 Wall PlateDoug Mohney of HDVoice News recently noted that The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has issued a series of new standards documents in reference to wideband audio over analog connections. These new standards specify how HDVoice may be implemented with regard to analog telephone, speakerphones, headsets and related terminal equipment.

Yes, that is exactly what it sounds like…formal specifications for delivering wideband voice over traditional FXO/FXS connections.

This is more than just a curiosity, and could be very valuable to the widespread adoption of HDVoice outside of the mobile space.

Let’s consider the case of the Cable Companies. It’s been noted that their “Digital Voice” customers are well positioned to benefit from HDVoice. Cable companies have gained many residential and SMB voice lines in recent years, enough to cast Comcast as the third largest Telco in the US.

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Tip For Adding An Expansion Handset To A Gigaset C610A IP SIP/DECT System

In recent weeks there has been a long running thread over at the DSL Reports VoIP forum. It revolves around differences in the menus on the handsets the ship as part of a Gigaset C610A IP SIP/DECT phone system vs C610H expansion handset.

The menus on the handset show or hide certain options depending upon how the handset was intended to be delivered. It might deliver as part of a C610A IP system, in which case the menu option to “Select Services” is shown. The handset may be configured to deliver as part of a Gigaset C610A-L410 combination. Since that system is not IP-capable the “Select Services” menu is not shown on the handset.

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First Look: Gigaset C610A & L410

Gigaset C610AL410_TR_whi_300 Some weeks ago Gigaset sent me a a couple of their newer US offerings to try. The first of these that I’ve unboxed is the new C610A Cordless DECT phone with the L410 Hands-free Clip.

Unlike the various Gigaset systems I’ve considered in the past, the C610A is not an IP-capable system. It sports just one old school analog line interface. Normally I wouldn’t even trouble myself to take such a phone out of the box.

The C610A itself is a pretty basic phone. The DECT base includes voicemail capability, with a small speaker on the base so that you can listen to voice messages at the base even if the handset is elsewhere. The VM system can also be used to record a call in progress.

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