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Topic # 11053 28-Dec-2006 23:46
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Hi, this is my first post after sitting on the sidelines watching for a few months.
If anyone can give me some clues here I would appreciate it*

1) Can VOIP be used with a Vodafone Vodem?
2) Does VOIP use up my data cap (I have a 1G limit with the Vodem)?
3) Any recommendations of VOIP providers for use with the Vodem, in Auckland?

Thanks a lot.

From the newbie.

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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 56517 29-Dec-2006 07:05
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Yes, you can use VoIP over a HSDPA connection, however Vodafone does not guarantee quality. Call quality on VoIP is related directly to speed but most importantly latency, which can be quite high on cellular networks sometimes.

VoIP use data packets like any other IP connection, and this will be counted on your data cap.

It's important to know if you want to use the vodem as your main broadband connection (fixed location) or a mobile connection (on a laptop)? If you use the vodem on a laptop then you will need to use a software phone, otherwise if using on a fixed location you have the option to use an actual VoIP handset, but you would need to configure Internet sharing to allow the handset to access the Internet through your computer/vodem combo.

I will leave the VoIP recommendation for others who use the services.






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  Reply # 56523 29-Dec-2006 09:36
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I haven't used a SIP device with a Vodem (or any other HSDPA device) but have used them over regular 3G. I've probably only used ~20 mins in total and was at home when I tested it so my experience may be different to others but I found call quality absolutely perfect using G.729 and GSM voice codecs. Unfortunately Vodafone hadn't upgraded to 128kbps upstream when I was testing so I couldn't test the ulaw codec since it uses roughly 87kbps upstream & downstream.

Latency and jitter are the two worst issue with VoIP (apart from bandwidth). There is no issue with bandwidth as you really only need ~50kbps for a G729 or GSM connection and even the higher latency on 3G wasn't an obvious issue.

Just remember that VoIP can be quite data intensive - you'll chew through roughly 30-60MB per hour depending on the codec you use.

I'd love a Vodem to test things with if anybody in Wgtn wants to loan me one for a day!




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  Reply # 56581 29-Dec-2006 23:54
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Thanks for your input. I am a bit lost when you mention things like "latency", but I guess I will learn with time.
To better explain my situation, I have no land-line, and am using my G4 Powerbook and Vodem for all internet access. The Powerbook/Vodem is our only internet access, and it is with this I would like to try using VOIP, mainly from home.

I have no idea about VOIP. If you could point me in the direction of one system that would theoretically work, then perhaps I can search for others to compare with on the internet. As it is though, I do not know what I should be looking for. A USB VOIP phone only? Software? Which provider? Like I said, I have a 12" Powerbook (OSX 10.4) with two USB ports (one with the Vodem in it), an ethernet port, a phone port, no card slot, and of course my Vodem.

Any hints as to what hardware/software I should be looking for would be appreciated. Thanks.

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  Reply # 56582 29-Dec-2006 23:58
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Things start getting a bit complicated now. If you want to replace your landline with VoIP you would expect to have the same (or close) availability.

Having this on your laptop means that you can only place or receive calls when your computer is on and connected. And you probably will need to run a software phone, since your setup lack the resources to effectively share the connection to a handset - I take that being a laptop this is a mobile setup, and sharing the Internet connection to a handset would require you to plug and unplug things on a regular basis.

Ideally to replace a landline you have a broadband connection (ADSL or cable modem) and a router. A port of your router goes to your computer(s), and one would be used by the VoIP handset/hardware.

Does it make sense?








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  Reply # 56595 30-Dec-2006 09:55
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Thanks again.
I have a cell phone to make local calls with, I just wanted the VOIP for toll and international calls, which I make quite a few of. After checking on the Macworld website I discovered there are a few software solutions that I can test (for free), so I will head in that direction. Thanks again!

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  Reply # 56624 30-Dec-2006 21:21
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You could try downloading a generic softphone from: http://www.sjlabs.com/sjp.html
Then sign up for a VOIP service such as italk http://www.slingshot.co.nz/italk or VOIP Discount http://www.voipdiscount.com NB: for VOIP Discount, you would need to d/l their software and sign up on a friends WinXP PC first.

Once signed up, buy a decent USB headset, config the generic softphone and talk away. You should get fair voice quality most of the time, provided you are in good Vodafone broadband coverage & the cellsite is not too loaded.




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


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  Reply # 56651 31-Dec-2006 10:30
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Latency in this context is the delay time for data packets going between Internet hosts. Voice over IP is sensitive to delay - if you have high latency (4-500ms), you will find it hard to have a normal conversation with each other on the phone. You start to "talk past each other" for instance.

Jitter is variation in latency; again, you want as little of this as possible for good voice calls. Vodafone's HSDPA service has latency in the 110-130ms range, but you get "delay spikes" every now and then, with some packets taking 4-600ms.

VoIP can consume a fair amount of traffic, and you should note that the 3G providers offer low data caps only.

Basically, you probably can use Vodafone's 3G service for VoIP, but don't expect it to work great.






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  Reply # 56754 2-Jan-2007 21:03
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Thanks again everyone. I'll try a few of your suggestions, maybe buy a usb headset off trade-me and see what results I can get for the least expenditure. This is only a tide-me-over until we buy a house, at which time the phone/internet situation may change. Or it may not...



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  Reply # 56755 2-Jan-2007 21:26
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Coffeebaron, I have a question. Why do you recommend downloading the generic phone software, when slingshot have their own software that can be downloaded for free. Is the generic version better? Thanks.

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  Reply # 56764 3-Jan-2007 08:35
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Oyajipunk: Coffeebaron, I have a question. Why do you recommend downloading the generic phone software, when slingshot have their own software that can be downloaded for free. Is the generic version better? Thanks.

I'm not sure if the italk software works on a mac, if it does then that would be fine for italk. If it does not, or you are going to use another VOIP provider, then you may need the generic softphone (mac version) as suggested.




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


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  Reply # 56815 3-Jan-2007 22:24
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I've just been doing some testing over the past few hours with a Vodem and Linksys SPA921. My HSDPA coverage here was very good (was streaming 800kbps video without a single rebuffer for around 15 mins solid) however latency was terrible - around 300ms to both my machine here at home (TCL cable) and wlg.italk.co.nz (italk gateway). I used an XP machine with ICS set up on the Vodem connection and the phone plugged straight into my PC.

Results were similair connecting the phone to my home Asterisk PBX and iTalk - hardly surprising since latency was similair.

Using ulaw voice codec (roughly 87kbps upstream and downstream) was horrible, the audio was continually breaking up and there was no way you could have a call. This wasn't really that supprising - ulaw and alaw are "toll quality" codecs with very little error correction so are primarily only usable over a high quality internet connection. I was expecting them to be slightly better than they where and will do some further testing with different packet sizes and see what happens.

Using both g.729 and gsm voice codecs was another story completely. There was no breakup at all of the audio and call quality was fine. There was a slight delay with with the high latency but this would probably go unnoticed by most people. I spent about 20 mins on calls in total and had no issues at all.

So in a nutshell SIP VoIP is usable over HSDPA..Infact G.729 worked far better than a few times when I've tried to plug a VoIP phone into an ADSL router!! The biggest issue was the 300ms ping times. Anybody know what's up with this? Doing a tracert  times to the first few hops which are Vodafone gateways are around the 100-130ms range and then it doubles to 260ms between hops when it hits the real world.


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  Reply # 56951 4-Jan-2007 23:28
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sbiddle:
So in a nutshell SIP VoIP is usable over HSDPA..Infact G.729 worked far better than a few times when I've tried to plug a VoIP phone into an ADSL router!! The biggest issue was the 300ms ping times. Anybody know what's up with this? Doing a tracert  times to the first few hops which are Vodafone gateways are around the 100-130ms range and then it doubles to 260ms between hops when it hits the real world.


sbiddle, as per your post in Vodafone forum http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=40&TopicId=11136 
Have you tried the different APN's for VOIP testing? Would be interested in results of which APN works best, and if you have any better luck with alaw/ulaw.
Cheers




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com


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  Reply # 56954 5-Jan-2007 07:50
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coffeebaron:
sbiddle:
So in a nutshell SIP VoIP is usable over HSDPA..Infact G.729 worked far better than a few times when I've tried to plug a VoIP phone into an ADSL router!! The biggest issue was the 300ms ping times. Anybody know what's up with this? Doing a tracert  times to the first few hops which are Vodafone gateways are around the 100-130ms range and then it doubles to 260ms between hops when it hits the real world.


sbiddle, as per your post in Vodafone forum http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=40&TopicId=11136 
Have you tried the different APN's for VOIP testing? Would be interested in results of which APN works best, and if you have any better luck with alaw/ulaw.
Cheers


No not yet - I only discovered the different ping times afterwards. I'll hopefully find some time in the next week or so to have another go, I'm interested myself so see how ulaw/alaw works over the faster APN.

It would be interestiong to get a Linksys WRT54G3G with HSDPA card in it and see if a hardware VoIP phone and wireless router really is an alternative to a fixed line connection for people in some rural areas who can't get ADSL but can get HSDPA.

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  Reply # 56960 5-Jan-2007 09:18
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sbiddle: It would be interesting to get a Linksys WRT54G3G with HSDPA card in it and see if a hardware VoIP phone and wireless router really is an alternative to a fixed line connection for people in some rural areas who can't get ADSL but can get HSDPA.


Especially when Voda launches 900MHz UMTS...




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