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Vonage VoIP Forum Digest - January 16, 2008

Vonage VoIP Forum Digest

January 16, 2008

By Daniel Connor

Welcome to today's edition of the Vonage Voip Forum Digest. 

First, some great news. Earlier this week, we experienced our 50 millionth page view since we started up the Vonage Forum back in March, 2003. Every time you click on a Vonage Forum page, that's another page view. So keep those clicks and page reads coming!

As for today, we will go straight to two Vonage Forum threads, one with a question about Vonage voice mail, but then here's this other thread we shall talk about concerning what had been frustrating Vonage call quality issues. Then we'll check on Vonage's stock price. 

On The Vonage Voip Forum  

I see here that a new Vonage Forum Member with the kind of a cool name called thehip has decided to begin a new Vonage Forum thread with an assigned name of voice mail question.

"Apologies in advance if this has been asked: Voip Newbie question: Is there any way to simply play messages left, like you would with traditional phone service, or do you always need to dial in and retrieve the voice mails?," thehip asks.

An answer comes from butterman, who, in terms of advice,  is one of our most valuable Vonage Forum Members.

"You can disable the Vonage voicemail and simply use your own answering machine if you want to... just like you would with normal phone service," butterman points out. If you choose to use Vonage voicemail though you have to call in from the phone to get the messages (or use the Vonage website or use email option)."

So now we move on to catch up with how Vonage Forum Member sgraff  has just resolved the issues addressed in a Vonage Forum thread he started last month, entitled Choppy calls, springy sound heard on other end.

So sgraff started out the thread he created by writing this:

For the past several weeks I have been experiencing sporadic problems when making or receiving Vonage phone calls. The call will suddenly become very choppy. The person that I am talking to has stated that my voice dropped out and that they heard a "springy" sound then my voice came back.

Here is the requested troubleshooting information:

1. Durham, NC
2. Time Warner Cable Roadrunner
3. 5 Mbps/384 kbps
4. Motorola SB5100
5. Linksys PAP2
6. Setup of Network:

SB5100 -> D-Link DIR-655 -> PAP2, PCs, printer, etc.

7. Choppy audio
8. I've run the Voip speed test several times. I occasionally experience severe jitter. Here is a result where I experienced jitter:

Speed test statistics
Download speed: 3721152 bps
Upload speed: 339408 bps
Quality of service: 56 %
Download test type: socket
Upload test type: socket
Maximum download pause: 113 ms
Average download pause: 4 ms
Minimum round trip time to server: 41 ms
Average round trip time to server: 47 ms

Voip test statistics
Jitter: you --> server: 788.2 ms
Jitter: server --> you: 0.0 ms
Packet loss: you --> server: 0.0 %
Packet loss: server --> you: 100.0 %
Packet discards: 0.0 %
Packets out of order: 0.0 %
Number of supported Voip lines: 5
Estimated MOS score: 3.5

I then connected my laptop directly to the SB5100 (power cycled the modem) then repeated the tests. I was not able to duplicate the severe jitter problem. In most cases I received "all green lights" on the test results.

I then re-connected the router to the SB5100 and tested again. Most of the tests were OK except for one where I received a 1% Quality of service rating:

Speed test statistics
Download speed: 3054464 bps
Upload speed: 291608 bps
Quality of service: 1 %
Download test type: socket
Upload test type: socket
Maximum download pause: 541 ms
Average download pause: 5 ms
Minimum round trip time to server: 65 ms
Average round trip time to server: 66 ms

Voip test statistics
Jitter: you --> server: 2.8 ms
Jitter: server --> you: 2.2 ms
Packet loss: you --> server: 0.0 %
Packet loss: server --> you: 0.0 %
Packet discards: 0.0 %
Packets out of order: 0.0 %
Number of supported Voip lines: 4
Estimated MOS score: 4.0

I've already contacted Vonage about this problem, who had me perform ping and traceroute tests, make sure my modem, router, and adapter were 4' apart, stand on my head while rubbing my belly, etc. I even replaced the phone cable between my phone and adapter. Their conclusion is that it's a problem with my network connection and to contact Time Warner Cable.

Is contacting Time Warner my best course of action? Or should I replace my PAP2 with a VT2142 so that I can connect it directly to my SB5100 and see if that resolves the problem?

If I should contact Time Warner, is there any magical phrase that will help the Tier 1 rep understand the problem without having me go through a bunch of stupid testing (power cycle the modem, etc.)?


And to that, Steve48, who is our most frequent poster, added this:

"Before you go to the expense of replacing the Vonage box, you should try to narrow down the issue to the service (which includes your modem) or the D-link router. The fact that you're getting inconsistent test results with the D-link removed is complicating things. How do packet losses look with the D-link out?

If you have a cooperative friend with broadband service, carrying the PAP2 to his/her house and trying it there is one thing you can do to verify that the PAP2 is not an issue. You can also plug the PAP2 directly into your modem and conduct some tests that way. You won't have internet service while you're doing that, of course, but it should work and allow you to make some test phone calls.

If your cable is also providing television service, do you see frequent "hits" on the television suggesting a cable problem?"

But now hey guess what. Seems that just this morning, sgraff showed both the efficiency and the courtesy to post this follow-up on the issue he started the thread about in the first place:

"I just wanted to follow-up on this problem that I was having with call quality.

I was having problems with static on low channels on all of the TVs in the house, in addition to the problems with a poor Internet connection. I called TW Cable, and got a busy signal on their tech support line (!). I contacted them via email, then told me to call the same phone number - tried again, still a busy signal. So I emailed them again and they sent out a tech and he replaced splitters outside.

While the TV problems were resolved, I was still having problems with the Internet connection and dropped calls. He wanted to have nothing to do with it - pointed at my router and said that they don't support that. He also said I would have to contact Vonage for help with their service. This was despite my telling him of my problems with packet loss and jitter. He really didn't seem to give a hoot.

And that was that - I gave up on Time Warner cable. Unfortunately their customer support is non-existent, and their connection is based on flaky coax cable connection that will fail if you look at them funny.

Last Saturday I got Clearwire wireless Internet, took less than 10 minutes to set up, and I'm as happy as a clam. The service works well, my Vonage line is working much better, and I'll be returning the cable modem this week.

Adios, Time Warner cable!"

Vonage Stock Report

On today, Vonage stock closed at $1.98 a share, an increase of two cents (+1.02%)  from Monday's  $1.96 a share close, but then again, today's closing price was a full 10 cents higher than today's lowest Vonage stock price and that was $1.88 a share. At the close of today's trading, Vonage shares traded had attained the final result of 988,120 shares.

Once again, our Vonage Stock Forum can be reached from this link.  

That's what's hot about Vonage today. Check with us for our next edition of the Vonage VoIP Forum Digest.

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