We are seeing an explosion (hopefully not literally !) of WiFi handsets coming onto the market so it was interesting to see the Siemens take on VoIP cordless handsets by releasing a cordless phone that supports DECT and SIP. The Gigaset C460 IP has a base station that supports DECT for wireless working, an analogue connection for Phone Line/PBX connection and SIP support.
The unit can be registered with a SIP provider or IP PBX to make or receive VoIP calls and as it retails at around £89.99 it is a useful cordless phone in a VoIP environment, however you should note that from the SIP perspective it is pretty basic as you cannot transfer calls and the Message Waiting Indication does not work. We are sure Siemens will sort this out in later releases. We have tested this on the MKC 7000CS System and it works fine with the limitations of use as described above.
We guess one of the neatest features is that by using DECT you do not need to have a Wireless LAN environment plus DECT is a very proven technology and talk time is much longer than most WiFi handsets (13 hours compared to around 4).
It will be interesting to see if other manufacturers follow suit of mixing an established technology such as DECT with an emerging technology like SIP.
It seems that most modern technology becomes the focus of those who like to make money without earning it or just to break something for the sheer hell of it, well of course as Voice over IP is a new emerging technology it has become the focus of those ‘wrong doers’
The SANS Institute are a security consultants and are known for being reasonably sensible, not especially alarmist, and fairly forward-thinking. Each year, it puts out a list of the Top 20 Internet Security Attack Targets–the biggest honey pots that hackers go after. On this year’s list–alongside the usual Windows-related stuff are VoIP servers and phones. SANS points out that Cisco Unified Call Manager, Asterisk and phones from several vendors have documented vulnerabilities.
For more information visit SANS institute and read this article and there are some great tips on how to ensure your VoIP network is protected.
It is worth noting that the MKC Networks 7000 CS has it’s own firewall built in so it is in fact a very secure product.
We have recently undertaken interoperability (never sure if that is a real word or one created by our industry so we had a look on www.dictionary.com and found ‘The ability of software and hardware on multiple machines from multiple vendors to communicate’) testing with a VoIP provider VoIP-Unlimited. Tests were done with the MKC Networks 7000 CS system and with the IP Gear Claro gateways and proved to be successful – infact it was pretty easy to get working.
We are happy to recommend VoIP Unlimted to our resellers and they can be found at www.voip-unlimited.net and we think a lot of you will feel comfortable to work with them as they are purely a SIP trunk provider and they do not offer a hosted IP service so there will be no worries about approaches being made to your customers to offer an alternative service.
We have a new range of VoIP gateways available from IP Gear.
The gateways are built on the design concept of the origional ROBO/3031 gateway to offer cost effective gateways built on a small footprint for Small Office Home Office use (SOHO).
There are three gateways in the range:
Claro 31-A4-4 offers 2 FXO and 2 FXS ports and so allows the gateway to work in ‘three leg’ mode for two phones or PBX lines – this will replace the current ROBO range
Claro 21-X4-4 with 4 FXO ports – this is designed as a SIP endpoint supporting 4 analogue trunk circuits
Claro 21-S4-4 with 4 FXS ports – this is designed as a SIP endpoint supporting 4 analogue extensions
All models are built using advanced dual-core CPU technology that combines the main processor controlling the OS and VoIP software, and a DSP that is responsible for the voice compression. All models share the same small footprint and hardware design including one network and one WAN interface and a built-in router and firewall. The new series of fully user-transparent voice gateways are designed for the small remote branch or home office and are compatible with the existing range of Claro 2000 and 3000 gateways.
On a completely different note Ofcom were in the news today as they have warned four companies about ‘silent calls’ – these are caused when call centres use predictive diallers to make calls but when the call is made no agent is available. The Ofcom rules state that such calls should play a recorded message and that should not exceed 3% of calls made in a 24 hour period. This is good news for everyone as this is such an annoying practice – however you can stop calls of this nature (unsolicited cold calls) by registering your number on the Telephone Preference Service http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/ - you can even register your mobile and business lines.