Sangoma A101D PCI Card Released

April 2, 2007 by Garrett Smith

Sangoma A101D is a Single Port T1/EI Card Echo Cancellation

sangoma a101dSangoma announced today that they have released their highly anticipated A101D highly-compatible PCI and PCI Express card for use with Asterisk based phone systems and other open source telephony systems. The A101D supports the same digital processing as the company’s other popular AFT-based family of telephony cards. It provides the benefits of hardware-based echo cancellation and voice enhancement for smaller, single-port T1/E1 installations. The A101D also supports DTMF encoding/decoding and tone recognition, voice quality enhancement and adaptive noise reduction.

Sangoma A101D Additional Features

Distinctive A101D features include:

  • Support for PCI Express and PCI bus architectures.
  • Support for 1024 taps (128ms) of echo tail handling on every channel (DS0) meaning that troublesome delayed echoes are properly handled.
  • Dynamic and selective activation of echo cancellation, making the system ideal for mixed voice/data applications.
    * The same PCI interface, architecture and digital path as all of Sangoma’s other AFT based analog and T1/E1 cards, meaning that the A101D has guaranteed stability, motherboard compatibility issues and proper interrupt handling.

The A101D is set to have an MSRP of $1,000 USD and will be available through Sangoma distributors and resellers later this week.

Sangoma A101D First Impressions

The A101D is the world’s first single port T1/E1 PCI card with echo cancellation and is yet another instance of Sangoma driving innovation in the open source telephony PCI card space. With Sangoma building a loyal following due to there superior performance and ease of integration with multiple server platforms, the A101D is yet another product that will serve to further push Sangoma to the forefront of open source telephony PCI hardware.

More from: Asterisk Garrett Smith

Linksys to Release Broadband Communications System For SOHO’s

New Broadband Communications System is designed for the 10 and under small office home office

According to a recent article in CRN, Linksys will soon be releasing a VoIP phone system for SOHO users. The system is reported to be similar to the Linksys Voice System that includes the SPA9000 phone system, except it will be smaller in scale. According to Sherman Scholte, Director of product management at Linksys, “Having a broadband communication system in the house will allow [consumers] to really see the true benefits of a voice system that they couldn’t have with existing old-world cordless phone systems.”

While I am certainly not surprised to see Linksys moving in the business VoIP direction since the company was founded as a SOHO routing company, I have never really thought of the Linksys SPA9000 and the corresponding components of the Linksys Voice System to truly be robust enough for the small business. In fact the more that we work with the system, it truly is best suited for a SOHO environment. It will be interesting to see what features and functionality will be included in the Broadband Communications System, considering the LVS 9000 is pretty water-down already.

Perhaps a VoIP gateway would help?

VoIP: Brilliant or Crap?

March 26, 2007 by Garrett Smith

When it Comes to VoIP Quality it Truly is Brilliant or Crap!

Peter Cochrane of Silicon.com has an excellent post on the state of Voice over IP call quality. Peter nails VoIP call quality when he writes,

“So the bad news is today’s VoIP over the internet works in two typically digital modes: brilliant and crap – and there ain’t much in between. Sometimes it works well and other times it does not. The good news is that moves are afoot to fix this flaw in the internet and it is relatively easy to fix in intranets and ultimately telephone networks that move to IP.”

Many Have a Love/Hate Relationship With VoIP

The hit or miss nature of VoIP leaves many with a love hate relationship with the technology, and I can’t exactly disagree with them. Poor call quality is annoying; and people hate to be annoyed. Poor call quality in a business setting, is not only annoying, but it is not professional and reflects negatively upon your business. As Peter notes in his piece, the internet is flawed when it comes to real-time communications and therefore VoIP calling will be flawed,

The internet is fundamentally flawed when it comes to real-time services of any kind. Raw packet switching cannot support voice or video with any degree of service quality. Additional network engineering is required to overcome the high likelihood of packet loss and overall lack of capacity.

Waiting For Utopian Calling

With the advent of cellular calling we were subjected to a lower level of call quality. We accepted this lower level of call quality, at first for the convienence and mobility cellular technology gave us. Later, as I found out during my days at T-Mobile, we accepted would accept less convienence and mobility, for a plan that cost less. With VoIP, we seem to have accepted lower call quality, increased risk (through unreliable network connections), less convenience , and mobility all for a lower cost. While it may be true that advances in network engineering is “on the way” it is tough to imagine these improvements will be made anytime soon. It’s gotta be pretty tough to re-invest in network infrastructure making fractions of a penny per minute!

New Aastra Dect 6.0 Handset

Aastra Continues IP Handset Innovation with New DECT 6.0 Wireless handset

At last week’s VON Conference and Expo, Aastra unveiled a new DECT 6.0 wireless solution. Aastra SIP-DECT is a mobility solution offering end users interference free and secure high- quality voice communications over a proven and powerful wireless technology platform.

The Aastra SIP-DECT solution is comprised of DECT Handsets and IP DECT Access Points that are managed by OpenMobility Manager (OMM) software and provisioned on a SIP based infrastructure as simple SIP extensions. The OMM administrates all handset and mobility activities (roaming, seamless handover and media stream) and can be installed on the IP DECT access point, on a ip phone system, or on a Linux-Server. The system utilizes the 1920 – 1930 MHz unlicensed PCS (UPCS) spectrum that has been recently approved for use in North America by the FCC providing exceptional RF coverage per access point.

The Aastra SIP-DECT solution is targeted for introduction on June 1st.

Linksys SPA8000 8 port Analog Telephone Adaptor

March 21, 2007 by Garrett Smith

Linksys SPA8000 8-port Analog Telephone Adaptor

The Linksys SPA8000 is the latest in the line of VoIP adapters from Linksys. The SPA8000 features eight RJ-11 FXS ports to connect analog telephones to IP-based data networks and includes a single multi-port RJ-21 50-pin connector offering an alternative connection choice when deploying the telephony gateway in varied environments. The device also has one 10/100Base-T RJ-45 Ethernet interface to connect to either a router or multi-layer switch.

Allthough the SPA8000 is a step-up in size for Linksys, who has until now played in the residential VoIP adapter sector, the greatest benefit of the SPA8000 is that it offers all the key features and capabilities with which service providers can provide customized services to their subscribers. The SPA8000 can be remotely provisioned and supports dynamic, in-service software upgrades. A secure profile upload saves providers the time, expense and hassle of managing and pre-configuring or re-configuring customer premise equipment (CPE) for deployment. The SPA8000 is “built” for large scale deployments needing a VoIP gateway.

Grandstream GXP-2020 Enterprise IP Phone

March 20, 2007 by Garrett Smith

Grandstream GXP-2020 Enterprise IP Phone

The Grandstream GXP2020 is an Enterprise SIP IP phone that sports a new stylish design and addresses the need for an elegant IP phone solution for the executive office at a highly competitive price. The Grandstream GXP 2020 provides excellent voice clarity, a comprehensive set of advanced call features, multi-language support, security protection, automated provisioning, and broad compatibility with leading SIP platforms.

Grandstream GXP-2020 Additional Features and Functionalty

The GXP2020 features 6 lines, 7 programmable keys, 4 dynamic context-sensitive soft keys, dual switched 10M/100Mbps auto-sensing Ethernet ports with integrated PoE, a backlit 320×160 high resolution graphic LCD with multi-level grey scales, SRTP and TLS (pending) for privacy protection, as well as secure and automated provisioning for mass deployment.

Grandstream GXP-2020 First Impressions

The GXP2020 is the second phone in the GXP Enterprise SIP Phone portfolio. The GXP-2020 represents a much needed upgrade in the looks department. Grandstream, which has been criticized as a maker of low-end, low quality products, has REALLY done a great job in the past year of changing that image. While their products remain value priced, their quality and corresponding return rates, are far superior to that of many of their competitiors. With an MSRP of $169.99, this phone will probably hit the streets in the $149.99 range, and with the overwhemling amount of features, and improved design, this phone will certainly give Polycom, Linksys, and even Cisco a run for their money.

Polycom IP 550 Desktop IP Phone

Polycom IP550 four line desktop IP Phone

The Polycom IP 550 desktop phone is a four-line SIP phone that delivers calls of unprecedented richness and clarity and supports a comprehensive range of cutting-edge features. The SoundPoint IP550 desktop phone features Polycom’s revolutionary HD Voice™ technology, which bringslife-like richness and clarity to every call.1,5 Polycom HD Voice technology incorporates wideband audio for over twice the voice clarity; Polycom’s patented Acoustic Clarity Technology for crystal-clear, noise- and echo-free sound, plus best-in-class system design for high-fidelity, faithful voice reproduction.

In addition, the Polycom IP550 has a backlit 320 x 160-pixel graphical grayscale LCD, shared call/bridged line appearance, busy lamp field (BLF), presence, buddy lists and XHTML micro-browser for Web applications.

The Polycom IP 550 is the obvious next step from Polycom’s benchmark IP phone the IP 501. In addiing the HD Voice capability, backlit display (finally!!!), and XHTMl capabilities, the Polycom IP550 is poised for the next stage of VoIP calling. With an MSRP of $369.99, the phone is certainly pricey, but will probably be found in the $339.99 range , “on the streets.” For that price and with HD Voice, not widely support, you are best to wait for other options, unless of course, you are working with an unlimited budget.

Polycom IP330 Business IP Phone

Polycom IP 330 Small Medium Enterprise IP Phone

The new Polycom IP330 is a two-line VoIP phone that deliver superb sound quality as well as a wide range of supported business telephony features. The SoundPoint IP330 phone, with its dual-port10/100 Ethernet switch for LAN and PC connection, presents a cost-effective solution for cubicle workers as well as call center operators who use a “hard” phone in conjunction with a “soft” client running on the PC.

In addition to having two lines and a single 10/100 ethernet port, the IP330 features a full-duplex speakerphone, an easy-to-read, 102 x 33-pixel graphical LCD, support of shared lines, presence, 3-way local conferencing, and distinctive call treatment, in addition to XHTML micro-browser for Web applications.

The Polycom IP330 is definitely on par with the LInksys SPA-942, and with an MSRP of $179.99, this should hit the streets at around $159.99, making it an affordable solution for the small medium enterprise.

Polycom IP320 Business IP Phone

Polycom IP320 IP Phone the Newest IP Phone from Polycom

Introducing the new Polycom IP 320 a two-line IP phone that delivers superb sound quality as well as a wide range of supported business telephony features. The SoundPoint IP 320 phone, has a single 10/100 Ethernet port, therefore its application targets include common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, and break rooms, as well as various wall-mounted deployments.

In addition to having two lines and a single 10/100 ethernet port, the IP320 features a full-duplex speakerphone, an easy-to-read, 102 x 33-pixel graphical LCD, support of shared lines, presence, 3-way local conferencing, and distinctive call treatment, in addition to XHTML micro-browser for Web applications. The IP320 also works with a wide variety of open source IP phone systems.

The Polycom IP320 is definitely on par with the LInksys SPA-941, and with an MSRP of $139.99, this should hit the streets at around $119.99, making it an affordable solution for the small medium enterprise.

Fonality Releases trixbox Appliance

March 19, 2007 by Garrett Smith

Fonality Heats Up the Asterisk Appliance Space With the trixbox Appliance

trixbox applianceWith rival, and Asterisk creator, Digium already releasing their Asterisk appliance in the form of their Asterisk Developer’s Kit, Fonality has thrown their hat into the appliance space with their trixbox appliance. The trixbox Appliance comes pre-installed with the trixbox software platform and is an industrial grade rack-mountable server with dual hard disk and dual power supply redundancy options. It is aimed at businesses with five to 500 employees and can be purchased for use with VoIP, E1/T1 or up to 48 analog lines. Created for trixbox and Asterisk resellers, as well as IT professionals, the trixbox Appliance costs $999 and delivers the industry’s best price performance value for a PBX.

trixbox Enterprise Appliance Provides Affordability and Reliability for Businesses up to 500 Employees

The trixbox Appliance is powered by Intel and comes with pre-configured Sangoma line cards with industry-leading Octasic echo-cancellation hardware inside. Broad support for the appliance has been announced by a growing trixbox ecosystem that includes phone manufacturers Polycom, Aastra, and Grandstream, as well as VoIP service providers VoicePulse and Teliax. The trixbox Appliance includes trixbox 2.2, a new release of the popular distribution that integrates Asterisk with Apache, MySQL, SugarCRM and PHP. Included in this release is the new open source Asterisk GUI (graphical user interface), a component of the AsteriskNow™ distribution, which gives customers an additional trixbox GUI option, showing users arround the world that trixbox is much more than just another slick GUI on top of Asterisk.