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TheDoc46
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Joined: Dec 24, 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Calls just dropping. Please help. Reply with quote Back to top

Hi, This is my first post, so let me start off by saying hi !!!!!

I have been a Vonage customer for some time now. Never really had any issues. Maybe the occasional mix up in Caller ID on the outbound, but call quality has always been top notch.

Last Thursday, my calls started to mysterously drop. It's REALLY frustrating. It happens on incomming and outgoing. Typically within 3mins.. Though today i did manage 11mins before it cutting off.

My equipment is a Linksys Wireless Phone Adapter WRTP54G on a Motorola SB5100 Comcast Cable Modem.

Here's what I can tell you... All my Comcast cabling right down to the tap is spot on. I ensured that they used RG11 even though my run was less than 100ft. My cable modem signal is clean and not being split in anyway.. Just rest assured, it's the cleanest possible signal right down to the tap.. -

I live in South Florida and went to the www.speedtest.net site, and it's telling me that my ping is 166ms, with a download speed of 11,200 and an upload of 2542... All tested to within 100miles.. So all seems good there. Though I am wondering if they are doing some upgrades? Comcast's internet has been dropping occasionally recently, yesterday and today it went out a few times for maybe 10mins a go..

I thought that one possibility was just maybe it was the phone unit itself, but i went out and bought a straight GE wired handset and plugged it in to the WRTP54G to eliminate that possibilty.

I called Vonage who made quite a few changes to the QoS. None of which helped.

I also called Comcast, who claim there's been no changes to anything. (Though their internet has been dropping more so recently) and you can never believe what they say.. They are sending down one of their techs on Friday, but I don't hold out much hope on that one... He'll just plug in a meter and say ummmmmmmmm looks good from here.

Is there anything else I can do? I'm lost for idea's and really need to be able to not deal with cut off calls... I'm about 70% convinced it's Comcast more so than Vonage, but what can I do? They'll just finger point at each other. Their tech will most likely be a nit wit who'll know nothing, and I really do not want to lose my fantastic (up until now) Vonage service...

I do not have access to the Comcast CAble modem to see what's going on there.

Has anyone else had similar issues? and what did you do to resolve?


I ran the Voip Test and here's what it came back with

Speed test statistics
---------------------
Download speed: 3989528 bps
Upload speed: 2863672 bps
Quality of service: 86 %
Download test type: socket
Upload test type: socket
Maximum download pause: 111 ms
Average download pause: 8 ms
Minimum round trip time to server: 69 ms
Average round trip time to server: 100 ms

Voip test statistics
--------------------
Jitter: you --> server: 1.9 ms
Jitter: server --> you: 3.9 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: 48
Estimated MOS score: 4.1

Many thanks for taking out the time to read.
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kdf55
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Joined: Jun 30, 2007
Posts: 373
Location: Highland, IL

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I had the same problem when I first got Vonage. My internet connection would drop out about 10 to 15 times per day. Check the log on the cable modem. If it has a whole lot of errors per day, you have an internet problem. My signal strength was great when the internet was working, but dropped out a lot.
I had 3 or 4 cable techs come out before I finally got one that new what they were doing and recorded the line and found signal problems. Come to find out there was a problem with a node on the line. It took almost 3 months before the problem node was found and fixed. Since that time, my Vonage had been superb.
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TheDoc46
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Joined: Dec 24, 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

kdf55 wrote:
I had the same problem when I first got Vonage. My internet connection would drop out about 10 to 15 times per day. Check the log on the cable modem. If it has a whole lot of errors per day, you have an internet problem. My signal strength was great when the internet was working, but dropped out a lot.
I had 3 or 4 cable techs come out before I finally got one that new what they were doing and recorded the line and found signal problems. Come to find out there was a problem with a node on the line. It took almost 3 months before the problem node was found and fixed. Since that time, my Vonage had been superb.


Thanks, does anyone know the default username and password to log on to your own Comcast Cable modem, so that i can check my own logs? THREE MONTHS OF stressing it out with Comcast is not something i'd wish upon anyone. eeek
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VonTechMgr
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Joined: Jan 02, 2008
Posts: 656
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Could you define calls dropping? There is a common misconception between dropped call and lost audio. It is very difficult for the user to distinguish between the 2. However, a dropped call in Voip talk would mean that the SIP session was abruptly terminated ending your call session. Lost audio would mean that either one or both parties cannot hear each other but if neither hang up, the audio may return.

Once a SIP call is initiated, it cannot be torn down until one party hangs up which will send a BYE. If this is a dropped call, an early termination would be occurring outside of Vonage on the carrier side which would be sending SS7 signaling to end call to Vonage which then generates the BYE to terminate the call. I don't think this is happening.

If for any reason your internet was to drop off for a brief period of time, this does NOT end your call. The RTP(audio) packets are still being sent from Vonage to you. If the far end was not to hang up and your connection comes back up, you should regain 2 way audio.

So for you to better understand, people think a call is dropped because the audio is lost and then one or both parties hang up which does then end the call. If during a call, the internet connection drops off, your device still maintains knowledge of the call session because you did not put phone on hook to end the session. The Vonage GW will also hold the call session open since it did not receive a BYE from your device and if the other party does not hang up, it would not receive a term signal from them either.

Since you did state that you know for sure your internet connection has been dropping off, I recommend telling the other party not to hang up if they don't hear you and you should not hang up either. Wait for about a minute or so. See if the audio comes back just for testing purposes. Unless you know that when the internet connection drops off, it stays off for longer then a minute, I would not bother doing this. But just keep in mind, if the internet is dropping off during your call, your going to continue to have this issue. You may also try to run a ping to any website such as google.com during the time the call or audio is dropped to see if there is internet connectivity or not at that moment in time.

Last thing is you may want to better diagnose the dropping of the internet. It may be hardware related such as with the WRTP54G or even the modem itself. Check the LED's on the front of the modem and make sure the Online LED is solid at the time of lost connectivity / dropped call. You may also have to log into the WRTP54G and check the status of the WAN port at that time as well.
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TheDoc46
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Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

VonTechMgr wrote:
Could you define calls dropping? There is a common misconception between dropped call and lost audio. It is very difficult for the user to distinguish between the 2. However, a dropped call in Voip talk would mean that the SIP session was abruptly terminated ending your call session. Lost audio would mean that either one or both parties cannot hear each other but if neither hang up, the audio may return.

Once a SIP call is initiated, it cannot be torn down until one party hangs up which will send a BYE. If this is a dropped call, an early termination would be occurring outside of Vonage on the carrier side which would be sending SS7 signaling to end call to Vonage which then generates the BYE to terminate the call. I don't think this is happening.

If for any reason your internet was to drop off for a brief period of time, this does NOT end your call. The RTP(audio) packets are still being sent from Vonage to you. If the far end was not to hang up and your connection comes back up, you should regain 2 way audio.

So for you to better understand, people think a call is dropped because the audio is lost and then one or both parties hang up which does then end the call. If during a call, the internet connection drops off, your device still maintains knowledge of the call session because you did not put phone on hook to end the session. The Vonage GW will also hold the call session open since it did not receive a BYE from your device and if the other party does not hang up, it would not receive a term signal from them either.

Since you did state that you know for sure your internet connection has been dropping off, I recommend telling the other party not to hang up if they don't hear you and you should not hang up either. Wait for about a minute or so. See if the audio comes back just for testing purposes. Unless you know that when the internet connection drops off, it stays off for longer then a minute, I would not bother doing this. But just keep in mind, if the internet is dropping off during your call, your going to continue to have this issue. You may also try to run a ping to any website such as google.com during the time the call or audio is dropped to see if there is internet connectivity or not at that moment in time.

Last thing is you may want to better diagnose the dropping of the internet. It may be hardware related such as with the WRTP54G or even the modem itself. Check the LED's on the front of the modem and make sure the Online LED is solid at the time of lost connectivity / dropped call. You may also have to log into the WRTP54G and check the status of the WAN port at that time as well.


Thanks for the lenghy reply.. I've just tested and it's a loss of audio. The call is not dropping. It came back after 20 or 30 secs... I'm in the middle of doing some more testing...

Thanks
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VonTechMgr
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Joined: Jan 02, 2008
Posts: 656
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Glad I could help. It might be a bit more difficult now to identify the point of failure that is actually dropping the connection. It could be the ISP, the signal at the modem, the modem itself, or the WRTP54G.
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TheDoc46
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Joined: Dec 24, 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

VonTechMgr wrote:
Glad I could help. It might be a bit more difficult now to identify the point of failure that is actually dropping the connection. It could be the ISP, the signal at the modem, the modem itself, or the WRTP54G.


OK after further testing, here is what is happening.

During a regular 10min call, the audio drops for around 50% of the time. Normally for around 20-30 secs, then back on, then off. The call never actually drops, just the audio.

I've set a continuious ping to www.yahoo.com and without any phone call it remains constant at around 60ms for about 98% of the time.

During a Vonage call, when the audio drops, so does the PING requests.. ... Not infront of the modem right now (At work, logged in remotely on my machine at home to see the pings) So i can't tell what the lights are doing on the cable modem.

At least I feel i'm getting further.

Thanks for your assistance in this.
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VonTechMgr
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Joined: Jan 02, 2008
Posts: 656
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

That does sound like the issue is the modem or the WRTP54G. In theory, it might not be the internet connection dropping. It could be massive packet loss between the WRTP54G and modem. Upon the stream of RTP packets, the modem starts to drop packets which might be why the ICMP fails.

If your remote session staying active the entire time your pings are running and someone at home is making calls? That would be very strange if your remote session did not drop off as well
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TheDoc46
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Joined: Dec 24, 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

VonTechMgr wrote:
That does sound like the issue is the modem or the WRTP54G. In theory, it might not be the internet connection dropping. It could be massive packet loss between the WRTP54G and modem. Upon the stream of RTP packets, the modem starts to drop packets which might be why the ICMP fails.

If your remote session staying active the entire time your pings are running and someone at home is making calls? That would be very strange if your remote session did not drop off as well


No my remote session drops off but comes back online automatically. I'll be going home later, so i'll check out the modem lights. Maybe I'll have the tech swap out the modem on Friday, and if that doesn't work, buy a new WRTP54G and see if that helps.... Outside of this what else can i do? Thanks once again.
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VonTechMgr
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Jan 02, 2008
Posts: 656
Location: NJ

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Well I am not sure you will be able to find a WRTP54G anywhere if you did decide to replace it. At least not a new one. I would hold off on making any type of purchase. If anything, swap the modem out with your ISP but try to stay with Motorola SB-51xx series. Hopefully they don't give you any issues or try to charge you. I know my ISP is good about these things. I can walk in with my cable box or modem and swap it out for a new one, no questions asked.

Try to further diagnose the issue when you are local to the hardware. Watch the LED's. Check you modem signal levels using this website.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/robin.d.h.walker/cmtips/signal.html
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