30 March 2005

Can You Hear Me Now?

We’ve had one more hiccup in VoIP land. At first, we had only one provider for connecting long distance calls, SimpleTelecom. I’m not really sure what is wrong for them right now, but they aren’t completing calls. The IAX2 connector says “circuit-busy” and their call detail record says “Forbidden”. In any case, my call is not being connected and I want to talk to people. Good thing there are plenty choices and I’m not tied down.

In 15 minutes I setup an account with a competing long-distance provider, Teliax. Then with a small amount of change on the machine here, I was able to setup this new provider to be used in the event the first provider failed to complete my call. Voices didn’t transmit correctly when G729 compression was used, but forcing the call to G711-u seemed to fix things.

It was nice that adding new providers went relatively easily. On the other hand, people who get the “ready for your mother to use” services like Vonage, Packet8, and AT&T’s CallVantage are locked out of ever using another provider the same way people are traditionally used to with their normal plain old telephone service. When they have problems, there is no shopping for someone else that is working in the meantime. Vendor lock-in can be a bummer.

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