Mon, 24 Jul 2006
After some time of using Ekiga as my softphone, I have decided to acquire a public phone number, reachable even from the PSTN. There are definitely cheaper providers, but I have chosen Netbox, my ISP. They can put the VoIP traffic to a different band of their bandwidth limiter, so I can use my network connection at the full speed, while using the softphone without loss of quality.
I use the software phone only - I do not want to have another blackbox (read: the Linksys VoIP gateway) at home. Ekiga is pretty easy to use, and I have my PC always on anyway.
There were some problems with setting it up, though:
- Their SIP servers are in
netbox.cz. It took me at least half an hour to figure out this typo in my configuration :-(
- Ekiga 2.0.1 does not like the SIP server with more than one SRV record. It is fixed in the CVS, a quick fix is to put the name of the real SIP server (which the SRV record points to) to the account configuration.
- The password to the Netbox SIP account is not written in the amendment agreement, despite what their customer centre girls say. In the "account name" box, there is, well, only the account name. The password can be found in the Netbox customer's web pages (after entering a general Netbox password).
- The Netbox SIP servers are apparently not reachable via SIP from the outside of the Netbox network. So it is probably not possible to call the Netbox Voice customer from another softphone in the Internet. I have send a support request to their hotline, and I am waiting for a reply. It is not fatal, though, I can still use my ekiga.net account for Internet-only calls.
- The SIP server uses the PCMA codec only, so the quality is worse than when calling Ekiga-to-Ekiga with the SPEEX wideband codec. The sound quality is apparently also more sensitive to the mic input level.
So after a year or so, we have again a "land line", this time without a monthly fee, with much lower call rates than Český Telecom (now Telefónica) offers, and with immediately available calls history on the Netbox customer's web pages.