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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:22 pm    Post subject: Vonage vs "Business Class" Technology Reply with quote Back to top

I tested Vonage from my European office for 2 months and had mixed results.

First, it stopped working 2-3 times which required a re-boot of the Vonage router. Not a huge deal.

However, the voice quality was unstable periodically, and several times I would either get disconnected or encounter "voice problems". By "voice problems," I mean the common complaint of the person I am talking to being unable to hear my voice (while I can hear their voice).

Since I rely on phone calls to get clients, I found that Vonage is not really a primary option for my business.

I talked to a company which implemented a "business class" solution using some sort of Toshiba equipment. Does anyone know how this works exactly?

I also wonder if Vonage could ever provide a separate type of service for people willing to pay more for higher reliability and quality.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:41 pm    Post subject: Service in Europe Reply with quote Back to top

I just got my Vonage a couple days ago, but had Packet8 service for the past year. I used Packet8 in Prague with much success at my hotel. One problem is that not all data connections are the same. And the distance can add some problems, as there are more nodes to go through (which means more places to get slowed down or lose packets) the further you go from the carrier's server.

First, your ping time is much higher when using Voip far away from it's server. While I had ping times from Minneapolis (where I live) to Packet 8 of about 60ms, the ping went up to 170ms in Prague. Higher ping times can make calls sound lagged, cause echos and exhibit other problems. The connection was fairly solid in Prague, after all it was a Marriott hotel and I assume they had a pretty solid Internet connection (T1, multiple T1 perhaps).

Another consideration is that you are making a connection over the public Internet. While it has gotten faster and faster over the years, it is not 100% perfect. The connection is not dedicated. A landline phone could be considered dedicated, for example (I know I will get flamed for that one). It is also possible to buy dedicated connections for data, where you are guaranteed full bandwidth and reliability at a certain capacity. My cable modem will provide speed UP TO 5MBps for example, but it is not guaranteed to always provide that speed.

An Internet connection is not always considered as mission critical as say, a voice trunk. This business class equipment gear you are referring to may make connections over the pond on dedicated or semi-dedicated IP connections, which gets treated with a more mission critical status or priority. The gear could be Toshiba, but CIsco, Lucent/Avaya, Nortel and others also make the equipment. I spoke with a salesman for Global Crossing who told me about his previous job, where he set up a dedicated OC48 connection directly from New York to Bangalore, which (surprisingly) was used to haul voice and data for a sizable call center operation (at 90kbps per call, that's over 27000 calls at the same time)

Could Vonage provide this kind of higher-end business service? Possibly. But it looks like they are more about marketing a turnkey box that plugs into broadband for consumers and small business. If Vonage is not working like you need it to, there are a bunch of other Voip providers out there to look into.
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