by July 20, 2006 0 comments



This newly launched IP phone from D-Link allows you to make ISD calls, at far
cheaper rates than the regular PSTN networks. Earlier, this used
to be achieved from a computer via software like Net2Phone, but now you’re no
longer dependant on a computer for the job. It doubles as a regular PSTN phone
and is quite easy to set up. You just need a dial-up ISP connection and a VoIP
calling account (calling card coupon). Using its menu button, you can configure
the dial-up Internet account and calling card details in the phone (we received
a Rs 500 calling card coupon from IPYantra for testing this phone). To start the
call, dial your ISP by pressing VoIP button. Once connected, it appears in VoIP
mode. 

You can now start making international calls. The LCD display shows the
status of your calls. The phone offers hands free operation with an adjustable
speaker and ringer volume control. In addition, it has silence suppression,
voice activity detection and comfort noise generation features, which ensure
voice quality at both ends. 


Price:
Rs 7,150 (1yr warranty)

Meant For:

International callers

Key Specs:

Supports H.323 and SIP protocol, uses V.34 Modem interface using V.90 Data pump. For voice compression the unit uses G.723.1, G.729A/AB compression

Pros:

Can make VoIP and PSTN calls from the same device

Cons:

When dialing a PSTN number, you need to press Enter to initiate dialing, else wait for 10 seconds

Contact:

D-Link India, MumbaiTel: 26526696, E-mail: sales@dlink.co.in  

It supports both H.323 and SIP protocols. Plus, it uses a V.34 Modem
interface using V.90 Data pump. For voice compression, the unit uses G.723.1 and
G.729A/AB compression. These are the latest compression technologies being used
for VoIP based communication.

Performance and call pricing
We tested this device by calling the US, the UK and Singapore and checked for
distortion, echo, quality of voice and delay. We also compared the cost of VoIP
calls with those made from PSTN networks. The PSTN networks used were those of
BSNL and Airtel. We found that calls made from the VoIP and Airtel networks were
much cheaper than BSNL (see table), but qualitywise the BSNL network performed
better. In VoIP calls, there were some nagging quality related issues. For
example, when we made calls to the UK, there was distortion, echo and delay in
voice quality.

To confirm this, we made calls of the same duration from a PSTN network, and
found it to be free of these problems. The same thing happened when we made
calls to Singapore. However, calls to the US, gave us good voice quality across
both VoIP and PSTN networks. To cross check, we did the same test three to four
times and every time we got a different performance. VoIP calls are therefore,
totally dependant on your Internet connectivity. Because of the dial-up
connection, you never know the speed at which you will be connected to the ISP.

Bottom Line: This is a good option if you need to make lots of casual
or quick phone calls abroad. It’s not suitable nor is it meant for business
users, as its quality is not as reliable as that of a PSTN based network.

Call comparison across VoIP and PSTN networks
   

Calling cost
(Rs)

VoIP quality

Country   

Duration   

VoIP    BSNL    Airtel    Voice
quality   
Distortion    Echo    Delay
US    00:01:00     1.9    48    7.20    Good    Yes    No    No
US    00:00:24     
1   
 18     3     Good     Yes     No     No
US    00:08:48     
17   
 396     85     Good     No     No     No
UK
(mobile)   
00:03:36    65    243    35    Good    Yes    No    No
UK
(mobile)   
00:00:18     6    21    5    Poor    Yes    Yes    Yes
Singapore    00:01:00     3    52    7.20    Good    Yes    Yes Yes
Singapore    00:01:06     3    57    7.50    Good    Not
much   
No    Yes
Internet
access*   
    20    Nil    Nil                 
Total
cost   
    116.9    835    149.90                 

Sanjay Majumder

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