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lranger2
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:53 am    Post subject: UTstarcom F1000 Wifi phone Reply with quote Back to top

I switched to Vonage and bought the UTstarcom F1000 in October of 2006, it's now February so I've had the phone and service for about 4 months now. The idea of the WiFi phone was brilliant, just connect it to an available access point.. and Wow! you have a phone number. I work a lot from home or on the road so I was trying to find a way to stop using my cell so much. The idea was that I could give out the Vonage number and then using simulring, it would ring on my Vonage line if I was near a hotspot, or it would ring on my cell if I wasn't. And I must say, that works... great. But, if I answer the call on the Wireless phone... the person hears a loud hum, they say that I sound like I'm at the end of the tunnel or they just say "Hello" a dozen time before they finally hear my voice and it sounds like I'm talking under water. I can usually hear them, though the voice quality is about 10% that of my cell phone and the delay is so bad I might as well be talking to China. Then the line just goes dead, sometimes for just a few seconds, sometimes it doesn't come back at all. You can reboot the phone and make another call but it's usually the same. I would say that less than 10% of the calls I've made on this phone were barely acceptable. The rest... I would eventually give up and call the person from a landline or my cell.

So, I'm a technical guy, it is what I do for a living... so I started troubleshooting. The router, replaced mine three times with different brands to the highest end routers I could find. I took it to friends houses. Sometimes I would think that I was good... and then the next call I made was unusable. My home network is Comcast with the maximum speed. Tests show me with a 812 kbps upload and 8702 kbps download.

So I called customer service, 2 hours and 12 minutes later (53 minutes of that spent on hold.) They gave up and sent me a new phone, it seemed to be much better, almost 50% of the calls were good enough to use. For about a day, then the problem kicked in again and it didn't seem to work at all. Then the ringer just stopped ringing. The settings were all there, it just wouldn't ring. I even spent 1 hour 18 minutes on the line with Vonage and the did a factory reset on my phone to no avail.

A new phone is sent, that one dies completely 2 days later, no power, nothing. The next phone is lost in the mail. Vonage tells me that I'm responsible for it and I have to pay outright for a new phone. Filed a police report and a claim with DHL who refunded the money to Vonage (After 3 weeks.) Finally Vonage tells me to send back the defective phone first, on my own dime, and they'll send me a replacement. So I do, and still the problems persist. My log now shows that I have made 27 calls to Vonage customer service, for a total of 10 hours and 41 minutes. That's an average of 23.7 minutes per call. Vonage dropped me while on hold 4 times, and they never called me back. I spoke to 1 person in all of those calls that was remotely helpful. Only 2 people spoke english well enough that I did not have to require them to repeat everything they said. And only when I don't show a single record of a call where the first person that answered the phone was able to help me.

Overall, I would rate service as a 3 out of 10 (they did answer the phone and stayed on with me most of the time, even if they didn't help.) I would rate the F1000 as a 1 out of 10 (DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY) I would rate the call quality at 3 out of 10 and I would rate my overall satisfaction as a 1. I am trying to cancel my service now but they are trying to charge me outragous cancelation fees and they are still making me keep this piece of crap device.

I would tell anyone looking to switch to Voip, that the technology is great! I have an inphonex phone that works flawlessly. I run a softphone on my pc, a Voip landline at my house and I even run the SJphone software on my pocket PC and I get 95% sucessful calls. Their customer service is nothing to brag about, but they are an open provider that lets you buy whatever device you want and configure multiple devices for the same number. Vonage only lets you configure one number per device, want another one? That's an extra $10-$20 per month.

So Voip? GREAT THING, it's cheap and it works well most of the time. The portability and so many things about it will change phone service forever. Vonage? Stay AWAY from their WiFi phone with a 10 foot pole, their customer service is almost useless but you will get someone on the phone every time you call. They way they treat their customers, horrible. The cost? Much more expensive. I'd recommend looking elsewhere, I'll let you know if I find someone worth while.
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howiewifi
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

As far as the voice quality on the WiFi phone goes - how do you have your bandwidth settings set up on Vonage? There are three choices - the middle one (which gives you a g.726 CODEC) works poorly most of the time. The other two work a whole lot better. The middle choice should not be there - but if it is there, then Vonage will download that into any phone you get so they'll all be bad. If you still have the F1000, try changing your bandwidth settings and see how it does.
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lranger2
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Bandwidth on F1000 Reply with quote Back to top

At low it is terrible quality, complete unusable, at max quality it does do much better but still garbles and has dead spots that last for 3-5 seconds at a time.
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howiewifi
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

That normally indicates that you are getting a lot of packet loss - the low bandwidth quality is worse because each packet is more important to the call.

Do you know what results you get from a Voip Speed/Quality test - and does any other Voip device work for you in the same place (like the Infonex soft phone)?
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lranger2
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:43 pm    Post subject: Packet Loss Reply with quote Back to top

The Voip tests show me having 0 packets lost. And my Inphonex through the FXS adapter has no issues at all. Skype works great too.
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howiewifi
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

That seems very strange. It is possible that you have WiFi RFinterference - or when you ran the Voip test did you do it over a wire to your router or did you do it over WiFi between the PC and router? A 2.4GHz cordless phone nearby would be a particular problem - but other WiFi access points on the same channel would cause trouble as well.
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lranger2
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject: WiFi Interference Reply with quote Back to top

I used WiFifofum and NetStumbler. I'm showing 100dbi of signal noise. I have -30 dBm of signal/Noise at 30 feet. I'm on channel 3 with the visible AP's on Channels 6 and 10. I have a DECT 6.0 Ghz cordless phone in the other room, and nothing else that could cause wireless interference on the 2.522 Ghz channel, in my house at least.

I did the Voip test over the hardwired connection, but I have just tested it over the WiFi with no packets lost on my laptop as well. I did notice that as soon as I turned on the laptop, the F1000 lost it's connection and had to reaquire the router. The new router is a Dlink DIR-625 with N+G+B enabled, I tried turning off N and G but that didn't change anything.

So it's probably a WiFi issue, that is a lot of signal noise. But it's not from an WiFi network that I can tell. It could be a really powerful cordless phone next door. But my DECT phones connected to the FXS adapter work fine. And I don't have anything else that I can adjust. Since the phone is so suseptile to wireless interference... there's probably nothing I can do except try to use it in the middle of a forest?
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howiewifi
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You can try moving to Channel 1. Channe 3 has a lot of overlap with Channel 6 and if there is a lot of transmission on Channel 6, that would cause trouble. The only non-overlapping WiFi channels are 1, 6, and 11 - and if someone is running on 10 already, they overlap a bit with 6 and a lot with 11. Channel 1, however, may be clearer.

It is also possible that the D-Link B, G, N router has some bugs as it is new - and it may not be so happy with a B-Only device (original Linksys WRT54GV5 routers kicked off B-Only devices - unless set to B-Only - but that was fixed).

I would say that the F1000 works fine for me - with a Linksys WRT54G on Verizon DSL.
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