Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rogers Business Line Service

Some of you may be wondering how this service works. Roger unlike AllStream and Primus does not simply resell Bell analog/digital lines as their own.

What they do sell is "digital" business lines. There is no mention of voip or internet in their marketing.

But really what is it. Yes its digital but once the line is terminated on the business location it is an analog interface, just like your existing Bell lines.

Rogers places a modem but unlike their internet modem this has RJ11 ports to plug your analog phones or analog PBX into. The modem itself has 8 RJ11 ports and internal battery that acts like UPS for the unit. I know there is a battery in there because I unplugged the unit to do some cable management and to my surprise it remained powered on.

But is this really digital or just voip marketed with the Rogers touch. It definitely runs under the same coaxial cabling they use for internet. And with my luck I personally discovered this the day after installation when my area had intenet issue. Both the Rogers Business Internet and Rogers Business Lines failed. It was only for about 45 minutes but it didn't look good.

The service quality seems really good (when working) so what ever method they are using encode/decode from the customers site works really well. To me this looks like their "Home" phone but for business.

I will take a little video next time i am at the customers site.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why G729 is the best broadband codec!

For some reason people don't understand when to use G729 codec. Lets make this really simple, here is a list of scenarios of when to use G729.

1. Limited internet speed - G729 allows you to maximize the amount of users that can simultaneously make calls. If you are using something like ulaw/711 you will be lowering the mount of simultaneous users and creating quality issues.

2. Shared Internet. You are using your internet for both voice and data. G729 allows you to lower the amount of bandwidth required for voice. You voice bits will get out/in quicker because less data to deal with. Your router also needs to be configured for QoS.

3. Your PBX is hosted. Even calls between extension to extension have to make a round trip. Again keep the amount of data that goes out/in small.

4. Connecting to gateways. Do the math - if you have a 10/100 connection from PBX to a gateway and your data between PBX and gateway is saturating the link you are going to have quality issues. Using G729 reduces the amount of data being sent between the link.

5. Using a good quality phone is also important with G729. It can reduce noise/background sounds to further reduce the amount of data being sent. My own personal tests indicate that using a Polycom 33o with G729 end to end creates a better call than using a Grandstream GXP2000 using ulaw/711 end to end on ideal broadband conditions.

PS. Don't buy Grandstream products - just used as example here. Grandstream products have quality issues/high failure rates.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Aastra space bug bites me again!

Aastra has some nice phones and I needed to demo on of these for a client the other day.

I punched in some settings and copied others using copy and paste - big mistake!

With my copy and paste I had an extra character which was a space.

It looks like Aastra phones don't like the extra space in a field where they expect an ip address.

It took me about 30 minutes but I eventually found the extra space - removed and everything registered nicely. What bothers me is that this is the second time I've managed to make the same mistake. I am betting others are going through this exact same thing - hope it helps someone.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

SIP Carriers and ISP's still suck in 2010!

I've been in the voip/pbx business now for over three years and the SIP carriers and ISP's are providing the same crap service they were three years ago.

I blame both the ISP's and SIP carriers - but mostly the ISP's!

Here is Ontario we have two key players providing internet. Bell and Rogers - they both provide crap service in their own special ways.

1. Rogers cable likes to mess around with traffic shaping screwing with SIP/voip and p2p programs.
2. Bell has such old copper cabling for DSL they don't even have to try. When it rains major parts of the city impacted with degraded DSL services. Bell is not interested in repairing anything unless they have to.

SIP carriers have to rely on ISP's for good service so they can deliver their product. Unfortunately many of them do not invest in the proper equipment and good upper tier carriers to provide that good product.

Combine that with bad ISP service and you have a recipe for lousy SIP service!

I never have trusted SIP carriers and for the few clients that I regretfully setup with SIP crriers I will be removing in 2010!

Until we have excellent internet service and excellent SIP carriers i won't be going setting up anyone with SIP carriers. Good is not good enough for SIP carrier service.

Please note that I believe the future is SIP and VOIP protocols and I will these technologies in phones and gateways. I just won't be using over the internet. voip does not equal internet. it's voice over "internet protocol" - we are using the this in phones and gateways over standard analog/pri lines. We do not need to use the internet - its just the protocol!