SIPping from the VOIP fountain

As you may expect I have been experimenting with a range of applications on my E71 (nice thing about a powerful device like that is that you can try out a range of options). The latest batch are IM/VOIP applications. At the moment I have the following applications installed on my E71:

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  • Jaiku Mobile (ok, not really an IM service but close
  • Fring
  • Gizmo
  • Nokia Chat
  • Mxit
  • Of the lot I am probably going to use Mxit the least. I think it is one of those services which is better for a certain age group and I am a good decade outside that age group. It is the application I have on my phone so I can feel a little more hip/cool/whatever when I am around the younger folk.

    Jaiku is pretty much in a class of its own but I included it here because its location based capability is along similar lines to Nokia Chat which takes location a step further and integrates with GPS and the address book. Nokia Chat is a great app. It is Jabber based and doesn’t allow for integration with other services so it isn’t exactly going to overtake the likes of Fring or Gizmo which do allow for that level of integration. At the same time it does interest me, if anything because Jonathan Greene raved about it (I think I am becoming a bit of a Jonathan Greene fanboy … apologies to Jonathan Greene …). You connect using your Ovi credentials (anyone else using Ovi?) which translate into Jabber credentials and you can add other Jabber users (including GTalk) to your contacts list.

    The two that intrigue me at the moment are Fring and Gizmo. Most people I know are using Fring on their mobile devices. It connects a range of IM services including Skype and even allows for Skype calls (very handy). Gizmo also connects to a range of IM services and uses the Gizmo VOIP service which is based on something called SIP. I don’t know much about SIP except I understand is based on an open protocol for whatever that is worth. I am actually hoping that one of the very bright people who come across this post can explain the value of SIP to me.

    Of course I must just point out that Fring also supports SIP (I just haven’t been able to persuade Fring to log into my SIP service) so it isn’t a case of SIP based Gizmo versus Fring. There is some overlap. Of course the reverse isn’t true and Gizmo doesn’t connect to the Skype service so if Skype connectivity on the go is a big issue for you, don’t even look at Gizmo.

    One advantage Gizmo does have for me is that it integrates into my E71 alongside Nokia Chat in my address book (is that an old fashioned term? should that be “contacts list”?) and my phone will use Gizmo as the facilitator for Internet calls on the phone. Integration with my phone is a big plus but the difference between Gizmo’s level of integration and Fring’s installation is probably marginal.

    I don’t have a conclusion of any sort right now when it comes to whether to prefer Fring over Gizmo or vice versa. I would like to know if you do have any thoughts one way or another or about what the whole SIP thing is all about and what it means for VOIP and world peace?

    FYI: I have started posting a couple SIP-related links to Delicious if you are interested …


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    Paul

    Enthusiast, writer, strategist, web developer, and photographer. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.

    16 Comments

    1. Once a call has been connected, all VOIP systems have a similar way of pushing voice through to the other side which is pretty much -> take a piece, wrap it up in as small an envelope as possible and push it through as fast as possible. If pieces get lost then the other side will just play silence or white noise for that split second. Since this part of the communication is has to be very quick – there is very little security involved. Where different systems differentiate themselves form each other is in the part where a new client is added to the network and when two clients establish a session (call). Skype has their own propriety way of adding clients and setting up calls whereas Gizmo and the like use SIP. Most VIOP phones, such as Cisco's phones et al, use the SIP open standard. Since SIP is an open standard there are a lot of different “tools” that use it such as VOIP Cell phones, softphones such as the XPhone, VOIP phones such as Cisco's IP phones, online VOIP services such as Gizmo, open source PABXs such as Asterisk, etc. Putting all of these technologies together can be quite fun. (And because SIP is open and very widely supported they CAN be put together) which means you could for example:1. Get someone to phone a number (here or in the US or another country) which is then converted to IP, 2. It gets routed to a “switch” box which knows if you are in the office or not. 3. If you are in the office then the call gets routed to the desk that you happen to have logged on to or to a softphone on your PC.4. If you don't pick up in time then the call gets routed via wireless to your cell phone. 5. If you still don't pick up then the system guesses that you are out of the office and routes the call to your cell phone via the Internet 6. If you still don't pick up then it gets routed to your cell phone number, 7. If you still don't answer then the call gets routed back to your PABX where a person has the option to leave voice mail. 8. If you are out of the office then the call doesn't get routed to your desk phone or via wireless – it just goes straight to your cell phone via the internet. There are about 5 different “products/services/tools” in action while this is happening and since they all talk SIP – they can all work together. This is why SIP is so powerful and useful.

    2. Once a call has been connected, all VOIP systems have a similar way of pushing voice through to the other side which is pretty much -> take a piece, wrap it up in as small an envelope as possible and push it through as fast as possible.

      If pieces get lost then the other side will just play silence or white noise for that split second.

      Since this part of the communication is has to be very quick – there is very little security involved.

      Where different systems differentiate themselves form each other is in the part where a new client is added to the network and when two clients establish a session (call).

      Skype has their own propriety way of adding clients and setting up calls whereas Gizmo and the like use SIP. Most VIOP phones, such as Cisco's phones et al, use the SIP open standard.

      Since SIP is an open standard there are a lot of different “tools” that use it such as VOIP Cell phones, softphones such as the XPhone, VOIP phones such as Cisco's IP phones, online VOIP services such as Gizmo, open source PABXs such as Asterisk, etc.

      Putting all of these technologies together can be quite fun. (And because SIP is open and very widely supported they CAN be put together) which means you could for example:

      1. Get someone to phone a number (here or in the US or another country) which is then converted to IP,
      2. It gets routed to a “switch” box which knows if you are in the office or not.
      3. If you are in the office then the call gets routed to the desk that you happen to have logged on to or to a softphone on your PC.
      4. If you don't pick up in time then the call gets routed via wireless to your cell phone.
      5. If you still don't pick up then the system guesses that you are out of the office and routes the call to your cell phone via the Internet
      6. If you still don't pick up then it gets routed to your cell phone number,
      7. If you still don't answer then the call gets routed back to your PABX where a person has the option to leave voice mail.
      8. If you are out of the office then the call doesn't get routed to your desk phone or via wireless – it just goes straight to your cell phone via the internet.

      There are about 5 different “products/services/tools” in action while this is happening and since they all talk SIP – they can all work together.

      This is why SIP is so powerful and useful.

    3. Once a call has been connected, all VOIP systems have a similar way of pushing voice through to the other side which is pretty much -> take a piece, wrap it up in as small an envelope as possible and push it through as fast as possible.

      If pieces get lost then the other side will just play silence or white noise for that split second.

      Since this part of the communication is has to be very quick – there is very little security involved.

      Where different systems differentiate themselves form each other is in the part where a new client is added to the network and when two clients establish a session (call).

      Skype has their own propriety way of adding clients and setting up calls whereas Gizmo and the like use SIP. Most VIOP phones, such as Cisco's phones et al, use the SIP open standard.

      Since SIP is an open standard there are a lot of different “tools” that use it such as VOIP Cell phones, softphones such as the XPhone, VOIP phones such as Cisco's IP phones, online VOIP services such as Gizmo, open source PABXs such as Asterisk, etc.

      Putting all of these technologies together can be quite fun. (And because SIP is open and very widely supported they CAN be put together) which means you could for example:

      1. Get someone to phone a number (here or in the US or another country) which is then converted to IP,
      2. It gets routed to a “switch” box which knows if you are in the office or not.
      3. If you are in the office then the call gets routed to the desk that you happen to have logged on to or to a softphone on your PC.
      4. If you don't pick up in time then the call gets routed via wireless to your cell phone.
      5. If you still don't pick up then the system guesses that you are out of the office and routes the call to your cell phone via the Internet
      6. If you still don't pick up then it gets routed to your cell phone number,
      7. If you still don't answer then the call gets routed back to your PABX where a person has the option to leave voice mail.
      8. If you are out of the office then the call doesn't get routed to your desk phone or via wireless – it just goes straight to your cell phone via the internet.

      There are about 5 different “products/services/tools” in action while this is happening and since they all talk SIP – they can all work together.

      This is why SIP is so powerful and useful.

    4. Thanks for that info! I love that SIP is an open standard and enables so many options.-original message-Subject: [pauljacobson] Re: SIPping from the VOIP fountain

    5. Thanks for that info! I love that SIP is an open standard and enables so many options.

      -original message-
      Subject: [pauljacobson] Re: SIPping from the VOIP fountain

    6. Thanks for that info! I love that SIP is an open standard and enables so many options.

      -original message-
      Subject: [pauljacobson] Re: SIPping from the VOIP fountain

    7. Hi Paul,May I suggest you try another SIP/Skype/VoIP/chat app?Nimbuzz recently released a new version, and they've beaten fring on sound quality. That wasn't too hard, because the fring server that routes your calls appears to be a bit overloaded.fring is still good, but that's mainly because of their instant messaging features. In terms of (lack of) delays and echos and static you're better off with Nimbuzz than with fring.I recently tried the latest versions of Nimbuzz, fring, and Talkonaut: http://symbianism.blogspot.com/search/label/VoIPIt's been a while since I tried Gizmo (early July). Did you notice any improvements in Gizmo in the past three or four months?Cheers!

    8. Hi Paul,

      May I suggest you try another SIP/Skype/VoIP/chat app?

      Nimbuzz recently released a new version, and they've beaten fring on sound quality. That wasn't too hard, because the fring server that routes your calls appears to be a bit overloaded.

      fring is still good, but that's mainly because of their instant messaging features. In terms of (lack of) delays and echos and static you're better off with Nimbuzz than with fring.

      I recently tried the latest versions of Nimbuzz, fring, and Talkonaut: http://symbianism.blogspot.com/search/label/VoIP

      It's been a while since I tried Gizmo (early July). Did you notice any improvements in Gizmo in the past three or four months?

      Cheers!

    9. Hi Paul,

      May I suggest you try another SIP/Skype/VoIP/chat app?

      Nimbuzz recently released a new version, and they've beaten fring on sound quality. That wasn't too hard, because the fring server that routes your calls appears to be a bit overloaded.

      fring is still good, but that's mainly because of their instant messaging features. In terms of (lack of) delays and echos and static you're better off with Nimbuzz than with fring.

      I recently tried the latest versions of Nimbuzz, fring, and Talkonaut: http://symbianism.blogspot.com/search/label/VoIP

      It's been a while since I tried Gizmo (early July). Did you notice any improvements in Gizmo in the past three or four months?

      Cheers!

    10. Hi thereI have installed Nimbuzz and I am testing it out from an IM perspective. It seems pretty decent. I haven't tried voice services using any of these services as yet so I haven't compared voice quality.I only installed Gizmo when I posted about it so I don't know what it was like before then. I am not very impressed with the Mac client though (it just doesn't seem to be able to scan my contacts and import other users).

    11. Hi there

      I have installed Nimbuzz and I am testing it out from an IM
      perspective. It seems pretty decent. I haven't tried voice services
      using any of these services as yet so I haven't compared voice quality.

      I only installed Gizmo when I posted about it so I don't know what it
      was like before then. I am not very impressed with the Mac client
      though (it just doesn't seem to be able to scan my contacts and import
      other users).

    12. Hi there

      I have installed Nimbuzz and I am testing it out from an IM
      perspective. It seems pretty decent. I haven't tried voice services
      using any of these services as yet so I haven't compared voice quality.

      I only installed Gizmo when I posted about it so I don't know what it
      was like before then. I am not very impressed with the Mac client
      though (it just doesn't seem to be able to scan my contacts and import
      other users).

    13. Hi Paul,

      May I suggest you try another SIP/Skype/VoIP/chat app?

      Nimbuzz recently released a new version, and they've beaten fring on sound quality. That wasn't too hard, because the fring server that routes your calls appears to be a bit overloaded.

      fring is still good, but that's mainly because of their instant messaging features. In terms of (lack of) delays and echos and static you're better off with Nimbuzz than with fring.

      I recently tried the latest versions of Nimbuzz, fring, and Talkonaut: http://symbianism.blogspot.com/search/label/VoIP

      It's been a while since I tried Gizmo (early July). Did you notice any improvements in Gizmo in the past three or four months?

      Cheers!

    14. Hi there

      I have installed Nimbuzz and I am testing it out from an IM
      perspective. It seems pretty decent. I haven't tried voice services
      using any of these services as yet so I haven't compared voice quality.

      I only installed Gizmo when I posted about it so I don't know what it
      was like before then. I am not very impressed with the Mac client
      though (it just doesn't seem to be able to scan my contacts and import
      other users).

    15. I received my Ooma from Amazon 3 days ago. Installation so easy and activated online you can pick your number which you like, not in 20 minutes my phone already has dial tone, quality sound is excellent. There are many features : call blocking, call waiting, call forwarding to mobile phone, voice mail, etc. Ooma also has good International rate.
      I love Ooma now.
      I will recommended for who wants save money for paying to much monthly landline phone.

    What do you think?

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