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Re: Atcom IP-001

 
 
Gordon Henderson
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      05-28-2010
In article <T_MLn.3$em4.0@hurricane>,
Stephen Hammond <no @spam thank.com> wrote:
>
>
>> Anybody have any experience of these voip PBX's
>>
>>
>> Chris

>
>I had a couple of http://atcom.cn/AG188.html didn't think they were that
>good really but I've not been too keen on VOIP really. The whole VOIP seems
>a lot of hassle considering how cheap phone calls are.


Who says VoIP is for cheap phone calls?

I'm not saying you can't get cheap calls with VoIP, but for me (and a
lot of my customers), it's more about flexability.

But it's not always easy to get right though and the biggest issue I
face is persuading people to use a good quality ISP - get that sorted
and the rest is easy - however that's easy for the SME, it's seemingly
hard to get the average homeworker to understand.

It never ceases to amaze me though, the lengths people go to get free
calls - trying to work out which Betamax supplier is good this month,
bridge skype to their SIP provider, free DDI's from one providers, cheap
calls from another and so on... I'm glad I don't live/work like that -
lifes too short!

Gordon
 
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Bodincus
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      05-28-2010
(28/05/10 12:50), Gordon Henderson:
> In article<T_MLn.3$em4.0@hurricane>,
> Stephen Hammond<no @spam thank.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Anybody have any experience of these voip PBX's
>>>
>>>
>>> Chris

>>
>> I had a couple of http://atcom.cn/AG188.html didn't think they were that
>> good really but I've not been too keen on VOIP really. The whole VOIP seems
>> a lot of hassle considering how cheap phone calls are.

>
> Who says VoIP is for cheap phone calls?


It's proven it's cheaper to have a good deal with a traditional PSTN
provider, but this market is down to the competition that sparked out
thanks to VoIP.
If the traditional providers had the game for their own, you would
forget some deals on the table now.

> I'm not saying you can't get cheap calls with VoIP, but for me (and a
> lot of my customers), it's more about flexability.

Also massive potential and rapid deployment of new features.

> But it's not always easy to get right though and the biggest issue I
> face is persuading people to use a good quality ISP - get that sorted
> and the rest is easy - however that's easy for the SME, it's seemingly
> hard to get the average homeworker to understand.

Any decent broadband can do.
It's not down to speed but jitter, packet loss and reliability. Often is
the case to get a lower speed profile to have better quality: if you try
to squeeze every BPS from the copper pair, pushing the profile up, you
have a trade-off in other aspects.
TCP is a self-recovering protocol, a packet lost is only introducing a
delay in the data transfer because it has to be requested again, so for
normal surfing and email, packet loss doesn't hurt.
VoIP runs on UDP, and a lost packet (with all the information contained)
is lost forever. Although the codecs can recover, approximate and
rebuild the missing information, the MOS (perceived quality) suffers badly.
So, lower downstream speeds, better quality, and *IMPORTANT* the ADSL
should be in FAST mode, not INTERLEAVED. I'm not boring you with
technicalities, it's better full stop.

> It never ceases to amaze me though, the lengths people go to get free
> calls - trying to work out which Betamax supplier is good this month,
> bridge skype to their SIP provider, free DDI's from one providers, cheap
> calls from another and so on... I'm glad I don't live/work like that -
> lifes too short!
>
> Gordon

Seconded in full.

Makes no sense to me to spend time every day fiddling with all that
kerfuffle, the money I *might* save - or save to my customers - is far
less than the value/cost of my time, and you get what you pay for: cheap
cost = cheap quality. Well, quality... what quality?
--
Bodincus - The Y2K Druid
************************
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Anything that could fail, will break at the worst possible mom%*= ?@@
# Access Violation - Core dumped
# Kernel Panic
 
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Paulg0
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      05-28-2010


"Gordon Henderson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:htoalq$2tq4$(E-Mail Removed)...
> It never ceases to amaze me though, the lengths people go to get free
> calls - trying to work out which Betamax supplier is good this month,
> bridge skype to their SIP provider, free DDI's from one providers, cheap
> calls from another and so on... I'm glad I don't live/work like that -
> lifes too short!


I think it's more a case of people trying to justify their geeky pastime /
hobby........ They spend hours and hours and hours playing around with voip
and make themselves feel that the time was well spent by the fact that they
saved 5 at the end of the month

Don't get me wrong i'm not having a go at anyone, I'm the worlds worst for
playing around with something that works perfectly well until i either get
bored of it, or break it!

Paul

 
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Paulg0
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      05-28-2010
"Bodincus" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newsDOLn.3348$dN2.1563@hurricane...
> It's proven it's cheaper to have a good deal with a traditional PSTN
> provider,


That's a very sweeping statement. It's certainly not proven for everyone....

I hardly ever use my home phone for outgoing calls and have Virgin cable
available to me. Cable broadband and voip for my few home calls has suited
me very well for several years.

Paul



 
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Bodincus
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      05-28-2010
(28/05/10 21:5, Paulg0:
> "Bodincus" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> newsDOLn.3348$dN2.1563@hurricane...
>> It's proven it's cheaper to have a good deal with a traditional PSTN
>> provider,

>
> That's a very sweeping statement. It's certainly not proven for
> everyone....
>
> I hardly ever use my home phone for outgoing calls and have Virgin cable
> available to me. Cable broadband and voip for my few home calls has
> suited me very well for several years.
>
> Paul

You obviously have no idea the lengths the big players go to keep
business customers under their helm.

I'm talking bundles of thousand of minutes per month to landlines for
free, mobile calls for pennies and international calls cheap as chips,
as far as you keep the X inbound lines and pay the rental for the lines
and bundled services.

Again, we're on different planets here, I'm talking Business use, you're
about amateurish consumer.

I too have VM cable home, and no landline since... well, ever. Moved
here in 2004 and never had a landline to my name in this country.

But I can handle the quirks and get around all the kerfuffle because I
know my ropes.

I have two italian DDIs, one USA DDI, three UK DDIs, two IAX2 peerings
with other IP PBXes landing on my * box here, with three Siemens Gigaset
C45 handsets on one C475IP base registered as extensions.

I wouldn't cobble up such a hack for any business I have as a customer,
but it's OK for me and my family.

Horses for courses, etc.
--
Bodincus - The Y2K Druid
************************
Law 42 on computing:
Anything that could fail, will break at the worst possible mom%*= ?@@
# Access Violation - Core dumped
# Kernel Panic
 
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Thomas Kenyon
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      05-29-2010
On 28/5/10 22:32, Bodincus wrote:
> You obviously have no idea the lengths the big players go to keep
> business customers under their helm.
>
> I'm talking bundles of thousand of minutes per month to landlines for
> free, mobile calls for pennies and international calls cheap as chips,
> as far as you keep the X inbound lines and pay the rental for the lines
> and bundled services.
>

Last I checked, the Per channel costs are still a lot cheaper with VoIP.
 
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Gordon Henderson
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      05-29-2010
In article <kb9Mn.4782$8g7.3495@hurricane>,
Thomas Kenyon <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>On 28/5/10 22:32, Bodincus wrote:
>> You obviously have no idea the lengths the big players go to keep
>> business customers under their helm.
>>
>> I'm talking bundles of thousand of minutes per month to landlines for
>> free, mobile calls for pennies and international calls cheap as chips,
>> as far as you keep the X inbound lines and pay the rental for the lines
>> and bundled services.
>>

>Last I checked, the Per channel costs are still a lot cheaper with VoIP.


It's a funny old world - the one of telecom billing, and it's never clear
that VoIP channels are cheaper - and Bodincus is right - some of the big
players really will bend over backwards to give customers what looks like
stupidly good deals on calls which it's almost impossible for anyone to
beat. Of-course they do this in a confidential document marked for the
eyes of the company only, and stick worthless disclaimers on the emails
they send out, so in-theory no-one else should know what those prices
are. However most of them are published somewhere, so you can get an idea.

And we're talking about the SME and enterprise business world here -
companies from probably 25 seats and upwards.

There are some ITSPs who charge using a traditional model of charging
per "trunk" or per channel - whatever a "trunk" is in the VoIP world,
because let's face it, there really is no such thing. One SIP account
can carry 1000's of concurrent calls if you've got the bandwidth for it.

But some people like to think there is, so introduce an artificial fee
per channel down their VoIP trunks - because that's the way it's always
been, or maybe because they've bought some proprietary hardware that
the vendors impose a per channel license on.

And of-course, what I keep coming back to - because that's the way it's
always been.

The trick is to read the small print though - is a low or zero
per-channel cost plus moderate priced calls via VoIP better than a higher
channel cost and lower (or seemingly lower) priced call structure? It's
hard to tell without reading the small print and knowing what the current
call patterns are.

And some SME and all Big Enterprise companies are used to paying over
the odds for their phone system anyway - why? Because that's the way
it's always been. A place I'm doing soon was quoted 35K by BT for their
phone system... My quote comes in considerably cheaper, but then there's
the call costs which on the surface looked stupidly good via BT - until
you read the small print and work out the minimum cost per call. And
the 3-year contract, and probably some other things.

It's a funny old world, but then; that's the way it's always been.

Although I'd been dabbling with VoIP for my own uses, I got into it
"properly" some years back when I watched a company I was doing contract
IT support for get utterly shafted by a PBX vendor - they installed a
box that didn't do half of what was specified - had a proprietary VoIP
system (we were bridging 2 offices with a LAN extension), and needed
a separate Windows XP professional server to run the VoIP part and
extension accounting. And it kept on breaking down. The other odd thing
was that it was the finance department that specified the phone system,
not the IT department. Apparently that's the way it's always been...

What I've also found over the past few years is that people get embarrassed
to know they've been duped by the traditional phone companies. I've
seen and heard too many examples. It's depressing. This whole 0845/0870
thing for doctors, etc. and the small-town surgeries having to pay 10K a
year maintenance while not seeing a penny revenue of their 0870 numbers -
scandalous, but point out that the alternatives are cheaper to almost free
and they don't believe you - why? Because that's the way it's always been.

So that's the way it's always been - VoIP and software based PBXs
(asterisk, 3CX, etc.) is supposed to be disruptive technology - and it
is, but getting there is slow going and an uphill struggle against the
traditional telcos who have shinier suits than you, more bullshit to
spout and more FUD to spread.

I'll stop now, otherwise I'll start to rant

Gordon
 
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Bodincus
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      06-01-2010
(01/06/10 14:33), News Reader:

> 1) ISP (O2) and Fastpath vs. Interleave: My understanding is that O2
> will not supply their (LLU) broadband service with fastpath... they
> insist on having interleave on no matter what for their own reasons
> (apparently? ... they suggest it is for the network stability or
> management convenience, etc. or god knows what!). Any knowledge or
> thoughts concerning this... and perhaps also about other ISPs acting
> perculiarly.

This is a first for me, my knowledge is that is pretty straightforward
to set an ADSL in FAST PATH or INTERLEAVED mode.
O2 is airing new ads about their broadband right now, claiming to have
gotten away with the wiffle-waffle, so I'm amused and surprised they're
point blank refusing to comply with a clear-cut customer request.
I've not heard of other ADSL providers refusing to set the ADSL as a
knowledgeable customer wants.
Sure, if you set an ADSL in FAST PATH mode, you remove one consistency
control in the ISO/OSI layer, but there are so many other checks that
the overhead introduced is really NOT justified.

> 2) ADSL Technology and Impact: I am also interested in and wondering
> whether their might be a systemic issue in ADSL technology... namely
> that on longer lines .. e.g. 5/6km.. (~60db [loss?]), higher speed
> technologies, e.g. above 8mbps perhaps, ADSL2, 2+, etc. may
> significantly impact the stability (jitter) of the lines and hence
> very significantly magnify the consequences of interleave?

To the best of my knowledge the difference between FAST and INTERLEAVED
is likewise the difference between UDP and TCP.
FAST is "pump out everything and hope for the best" and INTERLEAVED is
"send it in bits and frame it with checks".
Here's the best explanation I found about this on the interwebs...

http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/interleaving.htm

Fact is, you can squeeze /that/ much ADSL tones down the copper pair,
the limit being attenuation and SNR, but also different phase rotation
at different frequencies, or external interference at some frequencies
in the ADSL spectrum.
Many different modulation techniques have been developed (QAM, QPSK,
etc) to deliver more information down the pair, but there is a physical
limit. When you force the speed up, you get dangerously borderline to
failure, but it's a trade-off you accept for classic internet usage
(browsing, email, etc.) that's going through TCP, as any incorrect
information, if it ever goes past all other controls on other ISO/OSI
layers, can be requested again.
This doesn't happen with UDP, where a malformed packed can - in extreme
cases - crash the application layer of your VoIP endpoint ISO/OSI stack.
As good as it gets, when your ADSL is borderline, you get lag (and
consequently jitter) because some information has been filtered as
malformed and has been requested again at a lower ISO/OSI level, below
TCP/UDP.
Another problem lies with the dynamic nature of the higher speed tiers,
where the link is often re-negotiated to optimize the downstream speed.
While this is not perceivable while casual surfing, it's mortally
disruptive for VoIP.
My recommendation is to have an ADSL set in FAST mode, with a downstream
speed not over the 60% of the maximum achievable speed on that specific
line, if you need it for real time communication (VoIP, gaming, etc).
It's cheaper, and far more stable.

> 3) OFCOM - Do you think, have any suggestions or knowledge,
> concerning whether O2 can actually legally or otherwise refuse to
> turn interleave off and still attempt to label and call their product
> / service "Internet Access" and sell such product labeled thus. I.e.
> might they actually be breaking their telco license or advertising
> etc. rules to call their service "Internet Access" or call themselves
> an ISP if one of the most fundamental functions of an internet
> connection it cannot perform (and they cannot make it perform and
> refuse to make changes or otherwise identify and deal with the
> matter), namely the continuous smooth flow of data (as RTP UDP audio
> in SIP VoIP, etc.) as is accepted and expected as current industry
> standard and as has been perfectly operational, working and accepted
> (as standard, etc.) since even the days of 28.8kbps dial-up internet
> access, etc.

OFCOM is a toothless quango, we as buyers have far more power. If you
are not happy with a provider, just walk away.
I bet if you read the small print in any consumer ADSL contract, they
accept no liability if the product they sell is not fit to a specific
purpose you want. If they can prove you have a suitable broadband
internet access (and to OFCOM, 512KBps IS broadband) they're off the hook.
--
Bodincus - The Y2K Druid
************************
Law 42 on computing:
Anything that could fail, will break at the worst possible mom%*= ?@@
# Access Violation - Core dumped
# Kernel Panic
 
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alexd
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      06-01-2010
On 01/06/10 14:33, News Reader wrote:

> 1) ISP (O2) and Fastpath vs. Interleave: My understanding is that O2 will
> not supply their (LLU) broadband service with fastpath... they insist on
> having interleave on no matter what for their own reasons (apparently? ...
> they suggest it is for the network stability or management convenience, etc.
> or god knows what!).


Absolutely yes, for their convenience. The people who care will migrate
to other ISPs, O2 will have fewer calls about line instability. It's a
no-brainer for O2.

> Any knowledge or thoughts concerning this... and
> perhaps also about other ISPs acting perculiarly.


If you're on O2 LLU, then you can get Be, so just migrate to that
instead. You can pick Fastpath through the Be control panel. You can
choose to optimise for lower or higher noise margin too, if you want.

> 2) ADSL Technology and Impact: I am also interested in and wondering whether
> their might be a systemic issue in ADSL technology... namely that on longer
> lines .. e.g. 5/6km.. (~60db [loss?]), higher speed technologies, e.g. above
> 8mbps perhaps, ADSL2, 2+, etc. may significantly impact the stability
> (jitter) of the lines and hence very significantly magnify the consequences
> of interleave?


I'm minded to think that if this was the case, surely someone would have
noticed by now, but it's not something I've heard of before. Of course
there's a first time for everything. Remember correlation isn't
causation though; the longer the line, the more likely it is to be
susceptible to interference that might cause the symptoms you describe.

> 3) OFCOM - Do you think, have any suggestions or knowledge, concerning
> whether O2 can actually legally or otherwise refuse to turn interleave off
> and still attempt to label and call their product / service "Internet
> Access" and sell such product labeled thus.


As far as I know there's no legal definition of internet access, so O2
can do what they want and Ofcom can't stop them. And quite right too
[for now] as there is a broad choice of ISPs so you can fix the problem
by switching ISP. As Bodincus said, you've got more power than Ofcom do
so just ask for a MAC.

--
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than to never have been wasted at all
 
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