What is VoIP?

December 6, 2006 by Garrett Smith

Let’s go back to the basic to tell you what VoIP is. A simple explanation is: VoIP is just like your traditional analog phones but it’s making phone calls over the Internet.

 

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. The “Voice” part of Voice over Internet Protocol is self-explanatory. The Internet Protocol is where some start to get confused. An Internet Protocol (IP) is a data-oriented protocol used for communicating data across a packet-switched network (home, office, the internet). Internet Protocols (IP) allow you to transmit data any interconnected networks. Utilizing a combination of hardware, software, and voice protocols, your conversations are carried over the IP network to its intended destination.

Internet Protocols (IP) allow you to transmit data any interconnected networks. Utilizing a combination of hardware, software, and voice protocols, your conversations are carried over the IP network to its intended destination.

In Layman’s terms: VoIP allows you to make phone calls over any interconnected network, mostly commonly thought of as the Internet, instead of using traditional analog PSTN (public Switched Telephone Network) lines.

Watch the 3-minute video below to learn what it is all about:

Now you know what VoIP is, but why do people need VoIP instead of just using traditional analog phones? Read our blog to learn: Why Switch to VoIP?

9 Benefits of SIP Trunking

October 19, 2006 by Garrett Smith

One of the biggest “buzz” phrases at this week’s Internet Telephony Conference was SIP Trunking. From the conference track, to the expo floor, SIP Trunking was everywhere. For those of you who are not yet familiar with SIP Trunking, here is a brief overview.

SIP Trunking is based on SIP. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. SIP is an application-layer control (signaling) protocol for creating, modifying, and terminating sessions with one or more participants. It is widely used as the signaling protocol for VoIP calling and is widely thought of as the standard for VoIP calling. Typically, a company’s VoIP calls will involve a circuit switched handoff to the PSTN outside of the company’s local area network. With SIP Trunking, the company’s VoIP Service Provider handoff’s calls via the Service Providers SIP Network. Calls that are going to the PSTN will routed over the Service Providers IP backbone to the nearest PSTN gateway.

For the truly non-technical, a SIP Trunk is simlar to a phone-line, except that a SIP Trunk utilizes the IP network, not the PSTN. SIP Trunking also allows for convergence of voice and data onto common all-IP connections.

So why should you be using SIP Trunking? Here are 10 Benefits of SIP Trunking that help answer that question.

  1. SIP Trunking reduces or eliminates the costs associated with the purchase of hardware media gateways.
  2. SIP Trunking also reduces or eliminates the costs associated with the ongoing support and maintenance costs of hardware media gateways.
  3. SIP Trunking reduces the recurring costs of separate PSTN and data circuits (some dedicated to voice, some to data).
  4. SIP Trunking eliminates the over-subscription of voice channels based on business requirements.
  5. SIP Trunking supports multiple forms of communication including video and instant messaging allowing for greater levels of user presence.
  6. SIP Trunking utilizes DID’s (Direct Inward Dials) that allows each employee to have their own phone line. This increases the flexibility and implementation of call control and dial plans.
  7. SIP Trunking improves the call quality of voice based IP communications because each SIP Trunk is a dedicated “channel.”
  8. SIP Trunking reduces toll charges from SIP origination/termination services to the PSTN for external long-distance and local access calls.
  9. SIP Trunking allows for the selection of a single SIP Trunk which increases the flexibilty and ease of adding, subtracting, or changing a line.

SIP Trunking is a unique product that delivers great benefits to small and medium businesses. As one of the hottest new products in the VoIP industry, there will soon be an increase in SIP Trunking offerings from a number of different providers. In addition to the 9 benefits of SIP Trunking listed above, make sure that prior to making any business communication decisions on SIP Trunking, you fully consult with your service provider of choice about the implications of this decision on your business.

VoIP Supply at Internet Telephony Expo

September 29, 2006 by Garrett Smith

VoIP Supply will be hosting a partner pavilion at the Fall Internet Telephony Conference and Expo, October 11th through the 13th in Classy San Diego, California. In speaking with the folks at TMC, I am confident that this will be the best VoIP Expo of the year.

VoIP Supply’s Partner pavilion will feature products and services from the following companies:

In addition to these partners, VoIP Supply will also have the products from the following manufacturers on display:

You will also have the opportunity to purchase numerous different products at the show. Make sure to stop by the VoIP Supply Partner Pavilion at the IT EXPO show!

New Sangoma Technologies Pricing

September 19, 2006 by Garrett Smith

We have recently adjusted our pricing on the Sangoma Technologies line of Digital PCI Cards for use with Asterisk! Sangoma Technologies is one to follow for performance, quality and innovation. Their years of experience as a supplier of connectivity hardware and software products for Wide Area Network (WAN) and Internet infrastructure have provided them with a head start in hardware technologies that has enabled us to maintain leadership and keep the competition wallowing in our wake. Here is a snapshot of the Sangoma Technologies product line and our new prices:

  • Sangoma A 101 – $499.99 – The Sangoma Technologies A101 Single T1/E1 interface card is next generation hardware for use with Asterisk. The Sangoma A101 supports Robbed Bit Channel Associated Signaling (CAS) and ISDN PRI, block mode raw bit-stream interface for integration with the Asterisk Open Source PBX/IVR platform, and Channelized mode supporting individual DMA into voice timeslots plus onboard HDLC support of PRI channel for soft PBX implementations that can use these features.
  • Sangoma A 102 – $849.99 – The Sangoma Technologies A102 Dual T1/E1 interface card is designed for optimal support of over voice and data over T1/E1. Like the Sangoma A101, the Sangoma A102 supports Robbed Bit Channel Associated Signaling (CAS) and ISDN PRI, block mode raw bit-stream interface for integration with the Asterisk Open Source PBX/IVR platform, and Channelized mode supporting individual DMA into voice timeslots plus onboard HDLC support of PRI channel for soft PBX implementations that can use these features.
  • Sangoma A 104 – $1,449.99 – The Sangoma Technologies A104 Quad T1/E1/J1 interface card is an updated, quad port version of Sangoma’s range of advanced, flexible telecommunications (AFT) hardware designed for optimum support of voice and data over T1, E1 and J1. Based on bus mastering PCI technology supported by a ring-buffer DMA architecture, the A104U provides full speed 132 Mbps PCI bus transfer with minimal real-time processor load and fully supported interrupt sharing. This provides optimal performance in demanding environments such as soft PBX/IVR voice applications.
  • Sangoma A 104D – $2,249.99 – The Sangoma Technologies A104D is the, quad port version of Sangoma’s range of Advanced, Flexible Telecommunications (AFT) hardware designed for optimum support of voice and data over T1, E1 and J1. The Sangoma A104D provides full speed 132 Mbps PCI bus transfer with FPGA and optional DSP based processing to unload the host CPU in demanding environments such as soft PBX/IVR voice applications. Compatible with both the 3.3v and 5v PCI bus, A104 cards operate in all commercially available motherboards sharing IRQs properly with themselves and all other PCI compatible devices, so you never have to worry about hardware compatibility issues.
  • Sangoma A 108 – $2,599.99 – The Sangoma Technologies A108 is the eight port version of Sangoma’s range of Advanced, Flexible Telecommunications (AFT) hardware designed for optimum support of voice and data over T1, E1 and J1. The Sangoma A108 supports voice enhancement capabilities including G.168-2002 echo cancellation with 1024 tap/128ms tail per channel on all channel densities, DMF encoding/decoding and tone recognition, voice quality enhancement and adaptive noise reduction.
  • Sangoma A 108D – $4,699.99 – The Sangoma Technologies A108D is especially built for the soft telephony industry. The Sangoma A108D supports voice enhancement capabilities including G.168-2002 echo cancellation with 1024 tap/128ms tail per channel on all channel densities, DMF encoding/decoding and tone recognition, voice quality enhancement and adaptive noise reduction.

Sangoma’s PCI architecture (of course with autosense 3.3/5v support) has superior performance and compatibility simply because the family approach means that we only ever have to solve an interface problem once. If you don’t enjoy experimenting with different motherboards, then this family is for you.

When it comes to quality, there are no compromises. Sangoma may not always have the lowest price, but they will always have the highest performance/cost ratio. Sangoma always chooses the best of breed for integration into their products. As an example, Sangoma Octasic-driven optional hardware echo cancellation is acknowledged even by the competition as being superior to anything else on the market.

Grandstream GS-101 Only $39.99

September 18, 2006 by Garrett Smith

I thought I would kick the week off with an outstanding deal of the Grandstream GS-101. The Grandstream GS-101 is an award-winning next generation IP telephone based on industry open standards. Built upon innovative technology, the Grandstream GS-101 features market leading superb sound quality and rich functionalities at ultra-affordable price. The Grandstream GS-101 is normally priced at $59.99!

The Grandstream GS-101 features one Ethernet port and the following features:

  • Support SARP/RARP, ICMP, DNS, DHCP, NTP, TFTP protocols
  • Support NAT traversal via STUN & symmetric RTP
  • Interoperable with various 3rd party SIP end user device, Proxy/Registrar/Server, and gateway products
  • Advanced Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to ensure superb hi-fidelity audio quality
  • Advanced and patent pending adaptive jitter buffer control, packet delay & loss concealment technology
  • Support popular vocoders including G.723.1 (5.3K/6.3K), G.729A/B, G.711 (a-law and u-law), G.726, G.728, and wide-band G.722 (Model 102D). Dynamic negotiation of codec and voice payload length
  • Support standard voice features such as Caller ID Display or Block, Call Waiting, Hold, TransfForward, FLASH, in-band and out-of-band DTMF (RFC2833), Dial Plans, off-hook auto dial, configurable emergency dialing (e.g., 911), early dial, click-to-dial
  • Support 3-way conferencing (Model 102D), full duplex hands-fredomain acoustic echo cancellation (pending), redial, call log, volume control, voice mail with indicator, downloadable ring tone (pending)
  • Support Silence Suppression, VAD (Voice Activity Detection), CNG (Comfort Noise Generation), Line Echo Cancellation (G.168), and AGC (Automatic Gain Control)
  • Support DIGEST authentication and encryption using MD5 and MD5-sess.
  • Provide easy configuration thru manual operation (phone keypad and Web interface) or personalized automated provisioning via central configuration file for mass deployment.
  • Support for Layer 2 (802.1Q VLAN, 802.1p) and Layer 3 QoS (ToS, DiffServ, MPLS)
  • NAT-friendly remote software upgrade capability (via tftp) even from behind firewalls/NATs.
  • Support for fail-over SIP server and DNS server (pending)

Linksys WIP 300 Only $119.99 – Limited Time Offer

September 14, 2006 by Garrett Smith

The Linksys WIP300 WiFi Phone is now only $119.99. The Linksys WIP300 has a list price of $299.99, a street price of $209 and it can now be your’s for only $119.99! The Linksys WIP300 enables high-quality voice over IP (VoIP) service through a Wireless-G network and high-speed Internet connection. Connect at home, your office, or at a public hotspot, and make low-cost phone calls through your Internet Telephony Service Provider. The Linksys WIP300 WiFi phone operates in the 2.4GHz band, supports IEEE802.11 b/g and the latest VoIP SIP protocol.

The Linksys WIP300 Wireless-G IP Phone operates in the 2.4GHz band, supports 802.11g and the latest VoIP SIP protocols. The large, full-color high resolution display features an intuitive user interface enabling users to easily and quickly configure the handset using Secure Easy Setup (SES).

SES is a fast, secure way of connecting the Linksys WIP300 Wireless-G IP Phone to a Linksys Wireless-G broadband router. Just press the associated SES button on both devices and your connection will automatically be configured and secured with a custom SSID using powerful WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption. That’s it! Within seconds you have successfully set up a secure connection.

Handset features include caller ID, call forwarding, call transfer, stores call history and can save 200 phone book entries. Personalize your phone with a selection of ringtones and choose different wallpaper images that reflects your style.

Get the value of low-cost VoIP service with the convenience of Wireless-G connectivity with the Linksys WIP300 Wireless IP Phone.

This offer deal is only good until midnight tomorrow, Thursday September 14th. Remember to use discount code “VON06” when checking out to take advantage of this limited time offer.

 

VoIP Supply, Bandwidth.com Taking VoIP Solution Sales to the Next Level

September 13, 2006 by Garrett Smith

Note:

With all of the press releases flowing due to the Fall VON show, it looks like the announcement of VoIPSupply and Bandwidth.com teaming up to sell SIP Trunking and Data Services to the Small Medium Business fell through the cracks. While I might hold a biased view of the importance of this announcement as I played a crtitical role in the establishment of this partnership, I feel this partnership is an example of the new way to sell communication solutions to the Small Medium Business.

Rather then working with numerous different vendors, VoIPSupply.com and Bandwidth.com have simplified the process of procuring a true end-to-end voice communication solution. Small Medium Business customers normally do not have robust IT staffs or individuals that they can dedicate to managing the entire process of assessing, selecting, and implementing a business communications solution. What VoIP Supply and Bandwidth.com have done is allowed Small Medium Business customers to get their Data, Voice, Hardware, Support, and Managed Services all through one point of contact. This streamlines the management of a business communication solution deployment and allows Small Medium Business customers to spend their time growing their business, not managing four or five different vendor relationships.

Here is the release:

VoIP Supply Joins Bandwidth.com’s Channel Partner Program to Enable Small Business IP PBX systems with Leading SIP Trunking and Internet Solutions


Channel Program Allows Leading Internet Retailer of Small Business IP PBX Solutions to Provide Complete End-to-End Solutions for Voice and Data

BUFFALO, NY and CARY, NC (September 12th, 2006) VoIPSupply.com, a leading Internet Retailer of Voice over IP Hardware including IP Phones, Telephone Adaptors, Media Gateways, and Small Business IP PBX solutions today announced that it has joined Bandwidth.com’s channel partner program. Bandwidth.com is a complete business communications provider offering advanced internet, VoIP, network and wireless services to small and medium sized businesses in all 50 states. As a channel partner, VoIP Supply is now offering its Small Business IP PBX customers easy access to Bandwidth.com’s advanced internet and VoIP services including its SIP Trunking product, call-center customer service and operational support.

Our partnership with VoIP Supply is a great channel to offer our SIP Trunking product designed for those businesses looking to maximize their existing IP PBX systems and gain access to a complete telecom package able to save time and money from the moment it’s implemented.

“We chose to join Bandwidth.com’s channel partner program because their offerings and customer-centric approach aligned perfectly with our small business IP PBX customer’s needs,” stated Garrett Smith, Director of Business Development at VoIPSupply.com “As more small businesses consider the switch to IP PBX systems, Bandwidth.com’s flexible and affordable offerings will allow these small businesses to realize greater cost savings, increased productivity, and painless user management.”

“As we continue to focus on providing superior voice, data and network solutions to the small, medium and enterprise markets, we realize how vital our partners are to expanding our reach to businesses looking to capitalize on the benefits of VoIP,” said Henry Kaestner, CEO of Bandwidth.com. “Our partnership with VoIP Supply is a great channel to offer our SIP Trunking product designed for those businesses looking to maximize their existing IP PBX systems and gain access to a complete telecom package able to save time and money from the moment it’s implemented.”

VoIP Supply is committed to providing superior IP PBX solutions to the small business sector. VoIP Supply offers Small Business IP PBX solutions from leading small business IP PBX providers such as Linksys, D-Link, SwitchVox, Fonality, and Epygi. In addition to premise based IP PBX solutions, VoIP Supply will also be offering small business customers BandwidthVoIP, a Tier-1 delivered VoIP solution that provides businesses with the highest levels of call quality and reliability. For more information small business IP PBX systems from VoIP Supply, please visit VoIP Supply’s Small Business IP PBX section.

About VoIP Supply
VoIP Supply, LLC (www.voipsupply.com), is a leading Internet Retailer of Voice over IP Hardware. In addition to a comprehensive catalog of IP Phones, Telephone Adaptors, VoIP Gateways, and Small Business IP PBX solutions, the company offers technical support, extended warranties, and logistical services for end-to-end customer solutions. VoIP Supply was recognized as number 45 on the 2006 Entrepreneur/ Pricewaterhouse Coopers HOT 100 fastest growing companies in the US. VoIP Supply has also been recognized as the fastest growing company in Western New York by Buffalo’s Business First newspaper.

About Bandwidth.com
Founded in 1999, Bandwidth is a complete nationwide communications provider offering businesses advanced Internet, VoIP, network and wireless services. As a single source provider for businesses telecom needs, Bandwidth provides its customers with unparalleled selection, savings and service. The company’s unique methodology, experienced team and dedicated customer service, ensures accountability and service superior to that of traditional Internet and VoIP providers. Bandwidth.com has been recognized by Inc Magazine as one of the fastest growing telecommunications companies in the US ranking 16th in the 2006 Inc 500 list. In addition the Triangle Business Journal has recognized the company as of the Best Places to work in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. For more information, visit http://www.bandwidth.com.

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Win Over $5,000 in Cash and Prizes at Fall VON

September 1, 2006 by Garrett Smith

Win over $5,000 in cash and prizes from VoIP Supply at this year’s Fall Von show. VoIP Supply will be handing out coupons offering every Von show attendee a chance to save 5% off of their next purchase at VoIP Supply and a combination to the VoIP Supply Prize Vault that can be used to open the VoIP Supply Prize Vault. The Vault will feature over $5,000 in cash and prizes. The VoIPSupply.com Prize Vault is located in VoIP Supply’s booth #248.

Are You Wasting Money on Your IP Phones?

August 28, 2006 by Garrett Smith

A recent article in CIO Today based on a report from Gartner Inc. revealed that businesses will waste $20.3 Billion on IP Phones with features that will not be needed by the user over the next five years. As IP Phone manufacturers race to produce the latest and greatest IP phones with all of the bells and whistles in order to gain market share, the simple fact remains that most businesses simply will not use the advanced features and functionalities these IP Phones provide. The report found that the majority of businesses are over-spending on IP Phones with screen-based displays. The report estimates that companies are wasting more then $150 per phone on features and functionalities that they will never use. Gartner analyst Bob Hafner stated,

“We are not saying that you don’t need an IP phone on your desk, but with limited budgets, companies should immediately reset their priorities to have a low-end IP phone and UC applications that improve productivity.”

It is estimated that businesses worldwide will buy more 150 Million IP Phones in the next 5 years.

As the number of possible IP Phone solutions increase, the process for selecting the proper IP Phone becomes more complex. As a result, the likelihood that you will be over-spending and or selecting the wrong IP Phone solution increases. Here are ten questions (in no order of importance), that if answered prior to investigating any solution, should make the selection of an IP Phone much easier.

  1. Who Will Be Using the Phone? Executive, Manager, Sales Associate, Associate, Receptionist, etc.
  2. What Features and Functionality Does That Person/Position Need? Call Waiting, Call Transfer, Call Parking, Conference, Speaker Phone, etc
  3. How Many Incoming Calls Will the Person/Position Receive at a Time? This Decides How Many Lines Appearances the Phone Will Need.
  4. How Often Will the Phone Be Used? Is the Person/Position on the Phone All Day Long or Will They Hardly Need to Use the Phone?
  5. What Phone System Are You Using? Make Sure Your Phones Are Compatible With Your System Prior to Purchasing Them. This is Especially Important With Open Source or Open Source based Solutions.
  6. How is The Office Wired? Do You Have Seperate Ethernet Connections For the IP Phone and the Computer, or Does the IP Phone Need a LAN and a WAN Port in Order to Connect to the PC?
  7. What are Your Power Requirements? Will You Be Using an AC Outlet or Does Your Network Support Power Over Ethernet?
  8. What Protocol and Codec Does Your Service Provider/IP PBX Support? SIP, MGCP, H.323, G.711, G.729, etc.
  9. What is the Standard Manufacturer’s Warranty and What Level of Support Do They (or Their Resellers) Provide Free of Charge? It is Always Wise to Make Sure That a Defective Phone Can be Returned and That Any Installation Issues That You Might Encountered Can Be Handled Without Lengthy Time Delays.
  10. What is Your Budget? What Are the Financial Limitations to the Phone Deployment and Which IP Phone Offers the “Best Bang for the Buck?”

By answering the ten questions above you should be well on your way to making the proper selection for your IP Phone needs. Below you will find my recommendations on the best IP Phones for your dollar!

The Motorola VT1005 Has Arrived at VoIP Supply!

August 22, 2006 by Garrett Smith

The Motorola VT1005 is now IN STOCK at VoIP Supply! Until recently, the only way to get a hold of them was to A) be Vonage or B) be as large as Vonage.

The adaptor features a compact, low profile design with easy web based configuration. Add two 10/100 Base-T Ethernet ports for Wan/Lan connectivity and two RJ-11 telephony ports and you have the ideal solutions for your residential VoIP service customers. The VT1005 also allows for Voice over data prioritization, PPPoE support, and VPN-pass through. The unit is now on sale for $69.99 in single quantities (VOLUME DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE). This telephone adaptor will be a great alternative to the Linksys 2100 and Grandstream 486.