Telephone calls over WiFi

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

Does anyone have any experience of using vphones ... are these practical
yet.

I have heard calls being made from PDAs running SKYPE
http://www.skype.com/

and these seem to indicate that this is a real goer .... even if the PDA is
rather bulky compared to modern GSM phones

I have seen a vphone (made by Viper?) which looks neater... but obviously
does not have the flexibility of the PDA solution.


Either way, it would appear that phone charges ... landline or mobile should
be coming in for a battering.


John


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3 answers Last reply
More about telephone calls wifi
  1. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Sat, 11 Sep 2004 11:29:24 +0100, "John Beeston"
    <john.Beeston@talk21.com> wrote:

    >Does anyone have any experience of using vphones ... are these practical
    >yet.

    If you mean practical for use as your main telephone, methinks the
    price of 802.11 phones needs to drop a bit and 802.11 hot spots need
    to become more dense. The price is also a bit high at $200/ea.
    http://www.zyxel.com/product/P2000W.html
    As always, you need to disclose how you plan to use an 802.11 phone
    before any determination of "practical" can be made.

    >I have heard calls being made from PDAs running SKYPE
    >http://www.skype.com/

    I'm on Skype and was one of the early users. Works well with DSL from
    a decent PC. Suffers from outgoing audio problems when my DSL
    upstream path gets constipated with traffic and the latency increases.
    Absolutely zero diagnostics so you can't really tell what's broken or
    even who's to blame.

    >and these seem to indicate that this is a real goer .... even if the PDA is
    >rather bulky compared to modern GSM phones

    I use a combination PDA and cell phone. It may be bulky, but I only
    have to carry and replicate one device instead of two.

    Well, Skype does work on a Pocket PC 2003 based PDA. One of my
    friends has it on his Dell Axim X30. Lots of problems. He has the
    slower 312MHz version, while Skype recommends 400Mhz and above. At
    312MHz, the audio in both directions is tolerable, but not great.
    There's an external earphone connector, but no microphone connector,
    therefore no headset. When used at the local coffee shop,
    interference from other 802.11 devices causes rather choppy and
    erratic performance. This is a good start but obviously not ready for
    prime time.

    The major application of an 802.11 VoIP phone seems to be makeing free
    phone calls at coffee shops and hot spots. Assuming you literally
    camp out at one of these, such a phone might be practical. Get a
    subscription to Vonage, Fonality, or other service and you're on.
    I'm sure the local coffee shop will be thrilled to have you turn their
    shop into your private phone booth.

    >I have seen a vphone (made by Viper?) which looks neater... but obviously
    >does not have the flexibility of the PDA solution.

    Again, this depends upon what you wanna do. For example, if you just
    want a VoIP phone at home, but like the idea of cordless, you might
    look into one of the VoIP converters that interface to an ordinary
    RJ11 jack.
    http://www.grandstream.com/y-ht486.htm
    and just use an ordinary cordless phone.

    Another application I'm using is the neighborhood phone system. We
    have a shared Wi-Fi system around the neighborhood. I've installed a
    few VoIP SIP phones on the LAN at 3 houses. It's suppose to be for
    emergencies and experimentation, but has be monopolized by the kids
    yacking with each other all night. The parents love it because it
    doesn't tie up the POTS phone and because it's free.

    >Either way, it would appear that phone charges ... landline or mobile should
    >be coming in for a battering.

    Time for a rant. The FCC is currently researching how to "regulate"
    VoIP. Never mind the minor detail that all of the reasons that wire
    line utilities required regulation do not apply to VoIP. I'll bet
    that the inevitable regulation turns into protection for existing
    land-line and cellular interests.
    http://www.fcc.gov/voip/
    Needless to say, the CLEC's formed from the Teleconfusion Act of 1996
    have not done well in the market or by the FCC. This should give you
    a clue what they're thinking:
    http://sipthat.com/archives/000041.html
    It's also kinda obvious that the most successful technologies are the
    ones with the absolute minimum of FCC regulation, licensing, fees, and
    technical ossification (WiFi, FRS, GMRS, unregulated VoIP).


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
  2. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    "Jeff Liebermann" <jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us> wrote in message
    news:5j36k0t90dfm4sfi8qfs7snu73c1dsisu9@4ax.com...
    > On Sat, 11 Sep 2004 11:29:24 +0100, "John Beeston"
    > <john.Beeston@talk21.com> wrote:
    >
    > >Does anyone have any experience of using vphones ... are these practical
    > >yet.
    >
    > If you mean practical for use as your main telephone, methinks the
    > price of 802.11 phones needs to drop a bit and 802.11 hot spots need
    > to become more dense. The price is also a bit high at $200/ea.
    > http://www.zyxel.com/product/P2000W.html
    > As always, you need to disclose how you plan to use an 802.11 phone
    > before any determination of "practical" can be made.
    >
    > >I have heard calls being made from PDAs running SKYPE
    > >http://www.skype.com/
    >
    > I'm on Skype and was one of the early users. Works well with DSL from
    > a decent PC. Suffers from outgoing audio problems when my DSL
    > upstream path gets constipated with traffic and the latency increases.
    > Absolutely zero diagnostics so you can't really tell what's broken or
    > even who's to blame.
    >
    > >and these seem to indicate that this is a real goer .... even if the PDA
    is
    > >rather bulky compared to modern GSM phones
    >
    > I use a combination PDA and cell phone. It may be bulky, but I only
    > have to carry and replicate one device instead of two.
    >
    > Well, Skype does work on a Pocket PC 2003 based PDA. One of my
    > friends has it on his Dell Axim X30. Lots of problems. He has the
    > slower 312MHz version, while Skype recommends 400Mhz and above. At
    > 312MHz, the audio in both directions is tolerable, but not great.
    > There's an external earphone connector, but no microphone connector,
    > therefore no headset. When used at the local coffee shop,
    > interference from other 802.11 devices causes rather choppy and
    > erratic performance. This is a good start but obviously not ready for
    > prime time.
    >
    > The major application of an 802.11 VoIP phone seems to be makeing free
    > phone calls at coffee shops and hot spots. Assuming you literally
    > camp out at one of these, such a phone might be practical. Get a
    > subscription to Vonage, Fonality, or other service and you're on.
    > I'm sure the local coffee shop will be thrilled to have you turn their
    > shop into your private phone booth.
    >
    > >I have seen a vphone (made by Viper?) which looks neater... but obviously
    > >does not have the flexibility of the PDA solution.
    >
    > Again, this depends upon what you wanna do. For example, if you just
    > want a VoIP phone at home, but like the idea of cordless, you might
    > look into one of the VoIP converters that interface to an ordinary
    > RJ11 jack.
    > http://www.grandstream.com/y-ht486.htm
    > and just use an ordinary cordless phone.
    >
    > Another application I'm using is the neighborhood phone system. We
    > have a shared Wi-Fi system around the neighborhood. I've installed a
    > few VoIP SIP phones on the LAN at 3 houses. It's suppose to be for
    > emergencies and experimentation, but has be monopolized by the kids
    > yacking with each other all night. The parents love it because it
    > doesn't tie up the POTS phone and because it's free.
    >
    > >Either way, it would appear that phone charges ... landline or mobile
    should
    > >be coming in for a battering.
    >
    > Time for a rant. The FCC is currently researching how to "regulate"
    > VoIP. Never mind the minor detail that all of the reasons that wire
    > line utilities required regulation do not apply to VoIP. I'll bet
    > that the inevitable regulation turns into protection for existing
    > land-line and cellular interests.
    > http://www.fcc.gov/voip/
    > Needless to say, the CLEC's formed from the Teleconfusion Act of 1996
    > have not done well in the market or by the FCC. This should give you
    > a clue what they're thinking:
    > http://sipthat.com/archives/000041.html
    > It's also kinda obvious that the most successful technologies are the
    > ones with the absolute minimum of FCC regulation, licensing, fees, and
    > technical ossification (WiFi, FRS, GMRS, unregulated VoIP).
    >
    >
    > --


    Jeff,

    Many thanks for this copious and informed response ...

    Certainly tests across the globe from PC to PC using SKYPE were very
    impressive, and even PC to standard phone ...

    Here in the UK it is the cost of mobile calls which is the real target ...
    most small businesses could really benefit from a quantum drop in call
    charges ... yet all that seems to be happening is "repackaging of costs" to
    confuse the consumer into thinking it is getting cheaper.

    And quite what GPRS offers is beyond me ....

    Initial tests with a PDA and SKYPE over WiFi are very encouraging, although
    I take the point about the coffee shop .. It's bad enough in the pub with
    all these mobile phones ... perhaps dedicated hotspot micro-offices ... or
    internet cafes ... the why not use standard PC? Or perhaps little booths
    .... rather like the old phone booths ... but you have to provide your own
    kit to connect to the hot spot....

    Odd that we strive so hard to produce new devices designed to reduce costs,
    and end up, through regulation, with compromises which are no better
    functionally that we had before, and the costs seem to have miraculously
    increased ...

    Regards

    John


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.760 / Virus Database: 509 - Release Date: 10/09/2004
  3. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 22:15:44 +0100, "John Beeston"
    <john.Beeston@talk21.com> wrote:

    >Certainly tests across the globe from PC to PC using SKYPE were very
    >impressive, and even PC to standard phone ...

    Actually, it's easier to a POTS line as you only have half the latency
    to deal with. IP phone to IP phone has the latency of both ends.

    Skype is certainly successful as far as a free service goes. I'm
    already getting VoIP unsolicited calls. The surest sign of a
    successful technology is abuse and pollution. One nice thing about
    VoIP "spam" is that it can't be stacked up and sent in batch as in the
    just left on my answering machine every day. It has to be streamed in
    real time to be delivered. I don't know any telemarketer that wants
    to deal with a server farm full of streaming media servers to just do
    VoIP telemarketing.

    >Here in the UK it is the cost of mobile calls which is the real target ...
    >most small businesses could really benefit from a quantum drop in call
    >charges ... yet all that seems to be happening is "repackaging of costs" to
    >confuse the consumer into thinking it is getting cheaper.

    We have that also in the USA. The providers bundle various services
    together in an allegedly cheaper package. However, when I do the
    math, I find that the added and usually unwanted services to which I
    must also subscribe, bring the cost well beyond the cost of basic
    services. They also tend to establish a flat rate price schedule for
    these services that presumes high levels of use. Any consumer with a
    calculator would not be confused, but I haven't seen many that break
    down the charges.

    >And quite what GPRS offers is beyond me ....

    Quite a bit. Mobile data is becoming quite popular. Here's a
    breakdown of charges in the San Francisco Bay area.
    http://www.google.com/groups?selm=dT%25%25c.12844%2454.180905%40typhoon.sonic.net

    I have an old Kyocera QCP-6035 combination PDA and CDMA cell phone.
    Nice to have all my data and cell phone in one package. I had
    Verizon's overpriced data service for a month and decided I couldn't
    afford it. 802.11 also offered a workable alternative. However,
    during that month, I was browsing the web and checking my email was
    certainly addictive. If I had a business case to justify the expense,
    I would have kept using mobile data.

    >Initial tests with a PDA and SKYPE over WiFi are very encouraging, although
    >I take the point about the coffee shop .. It's bad enough in the pub with
    >all these mobile phones ... perhaps dedicated hotspot micro-offices ... or
    >internet cafes ... the

    Naw. We had the technology in the late 1960's to solve the overly
    vocal cell phone user:
    http://www.cinerhama.com/getsmart/innovations.html

    >why not use standard PC? Or perhaps little booths
    >... rather like the old phone booths ... but you have to provide your own
    >kit to connect to the hot spot....

    I've spent quite a bit of time watching people use laptops in cafes
    and other hot spots. Lots of problems with using a laptop, some of
    which are not obvious. Among the more obscure... what do you do with
    the laptop when you have to run to the bathroom to recycle the coffee?
    Pick up the whole mess and drag it with you? A typical coffee shop
    sub-miniature table can usually accomidate 4 coffee drinkers, or one
    user with a laptop. One local bar turns off the access point at 6PM
    to avoid users hogging the tables with laptops. Lots of other reasons
    the largely revolve around the expense and the size of the laptop.
    It's quite different with palmtops. I see users pecking at them while
    in line, standing around, and in some rather odd locations. If you
    lose one, you're out much less than half the price of the laptop. We
    have some local nerds that have servers in their vehicles, and that
    access them from an 802.11 PDA.

    >Odd that we strive so hard to produce new devices designed to reduce costs,
    >and end up, through regulation, with compromises which are no better
    >functionally that we had before, and the costs seem to have miraculously
    >increased ...

    That's the symptom, not the cause. The basic problem is that we're
    supplying technical solutions to non-existant problems.


    --
    Jeff Liebermann jeffl@comix.santa-cruz.ca.us
    150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
    Santa Cruz CA 95060 AE6KS 831-336-2558
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