Friday, December 02, 2005

voIP adoption - part 1

Sure, we know all about voIP. We read the news and about how telecommunications is going to change. Apart from some phone card services and the alternate IDD line that use internet gateways, how else has voIP changed our lives.

About one year ago, I was trying to get my friends and family to install skype. Some finally did and still run it faithfully while others still plainly refuse. Now, I'm trying to get these people not to use skype but use a SIP capable internet phone instead. I was never quite happy with the limitation of skype not being transferable between other voIP services, but the plain simplicity of the installation and use was great for the people you had to talk to on the other end.

The process of making the switch will probably be gradual, but how do I make sure everyone is on the same system for interoperability? My solution would be to pick the protocol and not the application and SIP naturally comes to mine. Although SIP has been out for a while now, I still think it hasn't totally caught on as yet. Although I hope it would as mentioned in this article.

For a new system that everyone including my grandmother can use, there has to be no complications and very intuitive to be able to use by all skill levels.

I've identified there are 2 methods:

1. Mostly try to use the phone
2. User is able to select most preferable application

To be able to do this, some hardware is required.

Full setup: FXO/FXS interface, POTS line and telephone, dedicated server, internet connection
Half setup: FXO/FXS interface, POTS line and telephone, optional computer, internet connection
Computer setup: computer, internet connection, microphone

As most people already have more than half of the list, just getting the FXO/FXS interface would be the only thing left, if not a computer setup can be used for voIP calls.

Naturally to start things off, I decided to get myself one to figure out how it all works and since last year, I've been banging my head agaist the wall with my asterisk development kit only to find out I had a faulty set. Well, I just decided to put that aside for now and got a Sipura SPA-3000. After configuring my brand new spa-3000, I was rather excited that I could set it to ring my house phone when my freeworlddialup SIP number was called over the internet and get redirected if there was no answer.

The next challenge will be to do more intelligent routing to PSTN numbers and SIP numbers and to get my dial plan right. *sigh*. Is this ROI justifiable? Well, i do hope so. I'm sure it might be easier to just use a subscriber service, but just think of the satisfaction of dialing 9 first for an outside line? Maybe and maybe not.

Will provide a more detailed update as I progress.

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