Soft Phones: An Opportunity For Someone

<RANT> Let’s face it, the soft phone segment of VoIP space is stagnant. There’s been little change in literally years. I’ve spent the past six months looking for a Windows soft phone that was G.722 capable. In the course of my search I’ve tried a number of soft phones. The list is getting lengthy:

Corey Andrews over at VoIP Supply also blogged a great summary of Free SIP Soft Phones a while back.. There are a couple on this list that look promising. I’m about to try both MizuPhone and Mirial.

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Wideband Audio In Gizmo5

The past couple of days I’ve been playing around with the Gizmo5 client on my desktop. It’s actually pretty slick. I wanted to see if I could pass a wideband call to/from Gizmo5 from my Polycom 650s or Eyebeam. So far no joy. There seems to be a problem completing a call from Gizmo5 to OnSIP via SIP URI. The call rings on the IP650 but cannot be answered. Not certain if its an issue with Polycom firmware or both devices being behind the same NAT and trying to connect directly. I’ll try and work that out when I’m back at home.

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Soft Phone Quest: EyePMedia Communicator

Beyond merely satisfying my curiosity I have a legitimate need for a handful of soft phone licenses. In my day job we have a small group of staff that travel a lot. Some have recently found that soft phones, typically Skype, or X-Lite can be handy and cost-effective of staying in touch with the office or home while on-the-road.

A few of these UK based staffers have even purchased Siemens S685IP SIP/DECT phones for their homes. They use these to connect to our US hosted IP-PBX infrastructure in those cases when then they are providing after hours support to North American customers. The S685IP is nice because it supports wideband audio via G.722. In providing these people soft phones I’d like to leverage G.722 so that their IP calling experience is truly better than using their cell phones as well as cheaper. So I continue to seek out G.722 capable soft phones.
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Wideband Calling With EyeBeam & The Polycom C100

For about the past week I’ve been making a lot of use of the Polycom C100 in conjunction with a copy of Eyebeam provided by ZipDX. The C100 is a great little USB speakerphone device. It was one of the first devices from Polycom the supported wideband audio, providing that you have a similarly capable soft phone client.

I must admit that mine is the C100S model which is designed to work with the Skype client, although there are models that are not client specific. As a practical matter the only functions that are client specific involve the use of the five buttons on the device. The buttons support volume up, volume down, place a call, bring the soft phone client to the foreground and mic mute.

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ZipDX: A Wideband Conference Service

A couple of weeks ago I penned a post about my search for a wideband capable soft phone. A short while later I was contacted by David Frankel of ZipDX. His company offers a standards compatible wideband conference service. It seems that he’s been down the path of wideband telephony a fair distance.

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Looking For A Wideband Capable Soft Phone

Over the coming weeks and months I hope to explore wideband voice in greater depth. My recent purchase of a couple of Polycom IP650s and the Siemens S685IP provide me with some hardware end-points. I may also buy a snom phone as well, with the optional Klarvoice handset.

However, some of what I wish to undertake would be well served by a soft phone. As yet I have been unable to find a software that supports the G.722 wideband codec.

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