How to Display Flickr Photos on your Polycom IP Phone

October 22, 2008 by Garrett Smith

Photo sharing service Flickr is arguably the most popular such service on the web (sorry Photobucket :(). I’m sure many of our readers use Flickr to share photos with friends and family.

I digress….back when Linksys first showed me their SPA-962 IP Phone prior to its release, one of the bells and whistles they had built into the product was the ability to serve still images from the network to the color LCD display on the phone. You can even poll images show that they change at random on a 5 second interval, much like the inexpensive LCD “picture frames” that seem to be everywhere these days.

At the time, I remarked that was a neat feature, but wouldn’t it be cool to take it a step further and build a widget to serve images directly from Flickr. Sadly it remained just an idea, but now it looks like Polycom had the same idea and ran with it. Today I caught wind of a widget available on Netvibes called Flickr Photo on IP Phone. This little applet apparently leverages the XML toolkit available for Polycom SoundPoint IP Phones to pull in photo content over the web from your Flickr photostream and display it on your Polycom IP Phone as a slide show screen saver when your phone is idle.

Many IP phones, including Polycom and Aastra, have XML capabilities and can pull in a wide variety of content served up from the LAN or WAN. XML is also a flexible tool for building value-added applications that reside on the phone….basic things like stock tickers, weather and traffic update feeds….and more advanced apps like time and attendance loggers. The average user has probably given little throught to leveraging XML on their office phone….perhaps this widget from Polycom will help push user awareness and adoption. We’ll give this a shot in the lab in the next few days and let you know how it works. Perhaps we can even modify the application to pull content from iCanHasCheezBurger.

The Tides Are Turning For Mobile VoIP

The good folks at fring, a mobile internet service and community that allows users to access and interact with a variety of communication services such as Skype®, MSN® Messenger, Google Talk™, ICQ, SIP, Twitter, Yahoo!™, AIM® and any SIP provider, contacted me yesterday to announce that they had inked a deal with Austria’s leading mobile network operator, mobikom, to provide a custom version of the fring application for mobikom. According to fring, and my own accounts, this is the first ever deal between a Mobile VoIP operator and a Mobile Operator.

This is HUGE news for the Mobile VoIP sector as it was thought that Mobile operators would fight Mobile VoIP operators to the death – rather than partner. As many of you mobile users out there know, mobile operators aren’t exactly the cheery bunch – they fight tooth and nail for every penny they can suck out of you, so the fact even one mobile operator has “seen the light” is an extremely positive sign and signals big things for the Mobile VoIP industry. As Mobile VoIP becomes more ubiquitous and mobile users become more and more exposed to Mobile VoIP offerings (and therefore more price sensitive), one can expect that mobile network operators will face increased pressure from consumers and prosumers alike to offer Mobile VoIP services.

Four 10 Seat VoIP Phone Systems Under $4,000

October 20, 2008 by Garrett Smith

You’re a small business. Actually, you’re a very small business – there are only 10 of you.

You don’t have a VoIP engineer on staff and heck, you are lucky if you have an IT person on staff.

However, you know you need to replace your legacy phone system with a VoIP phone system, but you are not sure you can afford to do it – especially in these uncertain economic times. If this is you, then I am pleased to let you know that now, more than ever, it is easy to get a brand new VoIP Phone System at a price you can afford. In fact, you can get a new VoIP Phone System for under $400 USD per person.

That’s right, you can get a brand new VoIP Phone System for your 10 person office for less than $4,000 USD.

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First Look: QuickPhones QA-342 Wireless IP Phone

October 14, 2008 by Garrett Smith

The QuickPhones QA-342 has been mentioned recently on the VoIP Insider, and we are getting closer to the general release of the product.

Having worked with a variety of wireless SIP endpoints in the past, from vendors including UTStarCom, Hitachi, Zyxel and others….we know that consumers want mobility options but most, if not all the “1st generation” 802.11b/g SIP handsets had some annoying inconsistences. The QuickPhones QA-342 addresses some of these inadequacies, and we think the product has a lot of upside.

QuickPhones QA-342

The QA-342 supports WiFi protocol(s) 802.11b and 802.11g. WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption and WiFi Protected Setup are standard. The QA-342 offers support for SIP v2 (RFC 3261), Stun / RTP Proxy (NAT Transversal), and supports up to four unique SIP Profiles. G.711 codec is standard and G.729 will be available.

The QA-342 features sound build quality and compact design. A backlit, 112 X 64 Pixel LCD display and rubberized, tactile keypad contribute to ease of use.

QA-342 Phone features include:

– Phonebook
– Call history
– WLAN signal strength level
– Battery level
– Caller ID
– Key Lock
– Contacts
– Clock
– Up to 6 languages
– Auto search & association upto 4 APs

The QuickPhones QA-342 has tested well in our lab against Asterisk, Trixbox, Elastix and FreeSwitch. the phone has a unique “power saver” mode which extends battery performance pretty dramatically, offering up to 14 hours of talk time and 7 days of standby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QuickPhones is also working on a feature release for the QA-342 which will allow it to support “Push to Talk” capabilities, not unlike the Nextel “Walkie Talkie” functionality that most of us are familiar with. You will be able to create single or multiple extension call groups for push-to-talk instant voice messaging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are still tracking for late October availability on this product which looks very promising.

List of 35 41 "BYOD" VoIP Service Providers

October 13, 2008 by Garrett Smith

Last week’s post concerning how to select the right ATA device was well received, but should have included a list of “BYOD” VoIP service providers.

byod voip

What is a “BYOD” service provider? “BYOD” is an acronym which stands for “Bring Your Own Device”. A service provider who does not encypt or otherwise hide their SIP credentials, allowing you to configure virtually any SIP based device for use with their service, qualifies as “BYOD”.

Here’s a list of BYOD providers that I am aware of…I’m sure there are others that I have missed.

BroadVoice
CallCentric
CallWithUs
DialDigit
iConnectHere
ViaTalk
VoicePulse Connect
VoIPVoIP
AXVoice
TelaSIP
BYODVoIP
VoIP.com
TelIAX
CallCentric
Future-Nine
Vitelity
USA Connect
GlobalTone
InPhonex
PhonePower
ooVoo.com
Skype
LES.net
PalTalk
OnSIP
VoIPAX


And still more:

PhoneGnome
VooVox

The WiFi Phone That Is Changing My Mind About WiFi Phones

October 9, 2008 by Garrett Smith

I hate eating my words – that means I was wrong.

I hate being wrong.

Only a few month’s after I declared that WiFi phones “suck” I think I have found one that is changing my mind…and I bet you can’t guess which one it is.

The Polycom 8002 – solid, but no.

The Spectralink line – solid as well, but that’s not it.

The soon to be available Linksys WIP310 – slick, but it’s not changing my mind.

Give up?

I bet.

That’s because the WiFi IP Phone that is changing my mind is the QuickPhones QA-342 – and until right now, you’ve never heard about it.

Yes a little know company has come up with a WiFi IP Phone that is beating the pants off the offerings from it’s much larger competitors in all of the standard tests we conduct here at VoIP Supply.

The biggest surprise?

Battery life.

The QuickPhones QA-342 has been averaging 14 hours of actual talk time and 7 days of standby.

That’s right, 14 hours of actual talk time and 7 days of standby. I won’t go any further as I don’t want to ruin all of the fun for you – you just have to use it to understand.

What to learn more about the WiFi phone changing my mind about WiFi phones?

Ask Mr. Andrews: How Do I Select the Right ATA?

October 7, 2008 by Garrett Smith

Q: My VoIP Service Provider Allows Me to Bring My Own ATA, Which One is the Best?

A: Thanks for the question, but your questions should really be,

“What is the Right ATA For My Situation?”

Most VoIP service providers do a poor job of explaining the differences and benefits of the different types of analog telephone adapters (ATA). Many take your level of knowledge as it pertains to telephone adapters for granted; assuming you fully understand each feature/ functionality of an ATA, and that you understand how these features/ functionalities relate to your calling situation.

What follows is a quick guide to selecting the proper ATA for your VoIP Service.

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AudioCodes MP202B 2 FXS ATA Price Reduction

October 3, 2008 by Garrett Smith

I hope you don’t mind the promotional post, but I wanted to inform you of a substantial price decrease on the AudioCodes MP202B Dual FXS, Dual Ethernet Port Analog Telephone adapter.

Typically, the AudioCodes adapter retails for $83.95, but thanks to some behind the scenes wheeling and dealing, we are now able to bring it to you for the low cost of $64.95 – making it a great alternative to the Linksys SPA2102 and or the Grandstream HandyTone 496 for those of you who may be looking for alternative devices.

For more information about the AudioCodes MP-202B check out out the AudioCodes MP-202B product page.

Jazinga MGA120 – New!

September 26, 2008 by Garrett Smith

PBX Telephone System

Jazinga mga120

As a sister site, we are proud to announce the addition of the Jazinga PBX Telephone System to VoIP Supply! The Jazinga MGA120 can be added as a remote extension of your system. All phones within your network can be reached with 3-digit dialing. The MGA120 includes one analog trunk, unlimited VoIP trunks, two USB interfaces and four Ethernet interfaces. The fast and easy installation saves time and stress!

Jazinga MGA120 Features:

  • Full-featured PBX telephone system
  • Simple 3-digit dialing
  • Auto Attendants
  • Dial-by-Name Directory
  • (4) Ethernet Ports

Additional information on the Jazinga MGA120

“Business doesn’t have borders, and neither does Jazinga.”

7 Answers You Need Before Buying a Phone System

Getting the right phone system for your business shouldn’t be difficult. After all, most of you who are reading this probably have better things to do with your time (like running your business or department). If it seems to you that phone system vendors do nothing more than confuse you with features, functions and technical jargon, you are not alone. Many folks throw their hands in the air when it comes to selecting a phone system and I can see why. Fortunately for you, it is not that hard to select the right phone system. No matter if you are a small medium business or a large enterprise, there is a basic set of questions you need to answer before selecting a phone system.

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