Free 3CX SIP phone for Android launched

3CX, the company which created a phone system for Windows to replace your proprietary Phone Branch Exchange (PBX), has now launched a free Android Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) phone.

3CX has created the Android SIP phone in recognition of the increasing importance of the smartphone in conjunction with a modern VoIP PBX.

The popularity of the 3CX softphone means that a beta version has been brought out for the Android Platform, immediately available for the Android 1.5, 1.6, 2.1 and 2.2

It can be accessed on many smartphones including Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson as well as Google HTC (including HTC Desire and HTC Elite).

The 3CXPhone for Android SIP Phone is available via the Android market place. You just open up the market place and search for 3CXPhone to install it. The 3CX VoIP Phone for Android is free of charge. Not only does it work with the 3CX Phone System, but also numerous other VoIP services.

Skype VoIP competitor Vopium gets cash injection

A Danish Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology company called Vopium has just received sixteen and a half million dollars in an effort to grow and challenge Skype. The company makes apps which allow cheap VoIP calling.

The investor behind the cash injection, Raghuvinder Kataria, is also a powerful force in the telecommunication industry. Mr Kataria has previously invested in Bharti Airtel which is now one of the world’s biggest telecommunication providers.

Mr Kataria, who is now a major shareholder in Vopium, said: “Vopium has developed its own market. Over the next few years this new technology will reach millions of users all over the world. Because we expect to exceed 10 million Vopium users in a short space of time, we have invested a significant amount of money in the company.

“The fast market penetration of smartphones has opened up increasingly intelligent communication methods. In this expanding market there is a large demand for an alternative to Skype.

He added: “Vopium’s solution is unique because it offers optimum conversation quality with total ease of use.”

Mr Kataria will have his work cut out challenging Skype – not only is it dominant in the market but Skype is expanding into other mobile devices as well.

By contrast Vopium has only been going since 2006, when it was founded in Copenhagen for immigrants to get in contact with family members worldwide.

Vopium has now expanded its market, offering a cheap telephony solution to all kinds of users. It also gives instant messaging on smartphones such as the Blackberry, the Android and the Windows Mobile. Furthermore you canuse Vopium with services such as MSN and Google Talk, while being able to chat on Skype too. Vopium even has Twitter support.

The application is free to download and works with most handsets including HTC and Nokia devices. Vopium has a quarter of a million users worldwide.

VoIP app connecting the world for Android users

A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) app is allowing Android users to place free worldwide smartphone calls. The app was brought out by Rebtel, one of the world's largest mobile VoIP providers.
The Rebtel app will work with any phone line including landlines and cellphones. It allows huge cost savings by rerouting international calls onto a local VoIP network. While Android to Android calls are completely free you pay next to nothing to call other phones, whether local or long distance.

The CEO of Rebtel Andreas Bernström said: "Over the last 5 years we have brought the costs of international calls right down. The new Rebtel for Android app is part of our next phase of innovation and we have a keen interest in expanding in the United States and other markets around the world."

Mobile VoIP is a huge worldwide trend with the number of users set to rise to 100 million over the next two years. Although a 4G market is evolving, in the meantime the Rebtel app can be used for VoIP over the existing cellular network.

5 benefits of Integrating 3CX with Exchange 2010 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007

The 3CX Phone System for Windows can be easily integrated with Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 to make the most of their unified messaging capabilities. These unified messaging features can be of great interest to large organizations that already have Exchange Server as well as the Enterprise CAL.

As long as your Exchange server has an Enterprise CAL and you are using a commercial edition of the 3CX Phone System, it is quite straightforward. All you have to do is replace the 3CX IVR system with the auto attendant system and voicemail server which is included in those products.

There are a number of benefits to doing this:

1) Any unread messages are indicated through a lit lamp by the Message Waiting Indicator (MWI). Using Exchange Server 2010 ( it is not available in the 2007 version), you get a count of new or unread voicemail by on supported desk phone. With some simple configuration there is even a voicemail preview in the SMS, but you will require the soon-to-be-released 3CX Phone System 9.

2) Even if you are not by your computer you can access your inbox via Outlook Voice Access. Merely using voice inputs or a telephone keypad you can call into your mailbox to manage everything including e-mail and your calendar.

3) Get a Voice Mail Preview thanks to the Exchange Server 2010 speech-to-text translation. This allows you to read the contents of an audio recording in the same fashion they would read an e-mail. Even if the voice messages are opened with Microsoft Office Outlook 2010, the text of the voicemail preview will become “actionable”. That means that contacts recognized names and phone numbers will all be identified with icons. Therefore the user can call them using Office Communicator, add them to contacts, or e-mail them.  Click the text to facilitate audio navigation.

4) Make use of handy language support. Users can now access their voicemail and e-mail in a range of languages and dialects. Exchange Server 2010 offers language support  for 16 languages including several European languages, three varieties of English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and European and North American versions of Spanish and French.

5) There is no need for a receptionist with the comprehensive Auto Attendant feature. The Exchange 2010's Unified Messaging Auto Attendant enables users reach a specific client when calling an organization. Both speech inputs and the telephone keypad allow the menu to be navigated. That makes placing a call to a user, or locating a user and then placing a call to that user easy. Now Exchange 2010 also has Music on hold, something which the severely limited Exchange Server 2007 auto attendant did not support.

Visit 3CX for more information on the 3CX phone system v9 beta

Getting the VoIP device iPhone 4G is proving problematic

Problems with the iPhone 4G VoIP device were not just confined to Steve Jobs' launch of the product in San Francisco.
Then the necessary Wi-Fi connection failed due to the presence of too many computers in the conference room.
Now there are both shipping problems and cancellations of orders for excited consumers to contend with. Among the serious website issues during the pre-ordering of 600,000 handsets were system failures as well as some customers getting a look at private details of other customers.
A statement said: "Apple and its carrier partners received pre-orders for more than 600,000 models of the new smartphone.
"It was the largest number of pre-orders the company has ever taken in a single day and far higher than anticipated, which resulted in system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process. We apologize to anyone who encountered difficulties and hope that they will try again once the iPhone 4 is in stock."

However shipping has now commenced with orders expected to arrive tomorrow. Among the many benefits of the iPhone 4G are front and back facing cameras as well as a smooth video calling feature known as 'Facetime'. These calls are made using the latest VoIP technology to ensure smooth service and low costs.

Olympics to speed up VoIP in London

An English council is rolling out new high speed broadband in time for the 2012 Olympics in London and the connection will enable excellent Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections.

Newham council residents in East London will have access a new fibre-optic broadband service thanks to British Telecom. BT is planning to extend the package to 87% of residences in London.

High speed broadband is essential to high quality VoIP. The sound improves as more voice data can be transferred on the lines. VoIP has transformed the workplace as it allows off site and remote employees to communicate as though they were still in the office thanks to useful benefits like VoIP videoconferencing. A number of companies offer VoIP systems for business including 3CX, Avaya and Asterisk.

Duncan Ingram, BT Group London director and head of BT's 2012 team, said: "This investment means that Newham residents will be the first in London to have blanket access to both fibre and advanced copper broadband services. They will get the service well in advance of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games."

London will become the first city to host the modern Olympic games on three occasions when they take place in the summer of 2012.

VoIP phones developed for military use

When you're under enemy fire the last thing you need is your phone line going dead.

That's why the military is also using Voice over Internet Protocol technology (VoIP), so that they can have quick and reliable communication.

The telecommunications company Elektrobit has just designed the Field VoIP Phone and Desktop VoIP Phone for military use.

Smartplanet covered the military trade show in Paris where these phones were unveiled and was impressed with the technology. Not only are the VoIP phones capable of real-time updates and the streaming of maps and other data, but they have been built to withstand the rigours of military service. The Field Phone has Ethernet and SHDSL connectivity as well as an integrated speaker.

These VoIP phones operate independently or with Elektrobit hardware and can be integrated into an existing network.

With no sign of an end to the various wars being fought around the world it seems likely that VoIP will have a big part to play in the outcome.

VoIP blocked in Lebanon

An interesting Global Voices article has highlighted why we should not take Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services for granted.

The website tries to give a voice to people from around the globe, especially on matters where their freedoms are being impinged.

It is reporting on current outrage in Lebanon after the government there banned the use of VoIP. In fact VoIP has not been permitted since 2002 in Lebanon, but it is only just now that the ban is being enforced.

An angry blogger bemoaned the fact that he was unable to use the Google Gizmo5 SIP calling service because the network was blocked. His fears were confirmed by other bloggers on various forums.

They are all pointing the finger at the high earning telecommunications industry in Lebanon which would basically stand to lose a lot of revenue from VoIP, as would the Lebanese government in taxes.

So they activated equipment which blocks the use of VoIP services like Magic Jack, with Skype thought to be the next service on the list.

As Joseph Lubnan said on a forum: "Blocking VOIP is a retarded policy. At the very least [the government] should communicate the views and reasons behind this policy. The public deserves a clear explanation."

Schools learn to use VoIP to cut costs

A district of schools in America has adopted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions as a way of cutting costs and improving efficiency.

Located in Tennessee, the Memphis City Schools (MCS) organisation has employed a district-wide VoIP network to cover thirteen and a half thousand telephone and fax extensions. The high quality VoIP calls are made on a new fibre-optic broadband connection.

Only implemented two months ago, MSC has already seen considerable cost savings with bills cut in half. The organisation is also finding VoIP  invaluable in helping to establish modes of communication between the schools.

The deputy superintendent of academic technology for MCS, Irving Hamer, said: "We have created a world class IT foundation with which to launch critical instructional.

“This partnership will improve operational solutions and our professional development.”

MCS is one of the largest school districts in the United States of America, with more than one hundred thousand students and six thousand staff.

India continues struggles for VoIP

For a country that has a huge amount of mobile subscribers, some 600 Million, India is really lagging behind in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provisions. VoIP allows users to make cheap calls over the internet by using switched packet data.  
There are currently only 3.5 million VoIP users in India, while the number of subscribers is much lower at 113,000. According to an industry survey by Ovum there are only 32 VoIP Internet Service Providers in India. The main problems have been slow internet access and the lack of a VoIP infrastructure.

India has been trying to regulate VoIP in the country since 2002, but progress has been slow. The Department of Telecom (DoT) in India has been the main barrier to VoIP, keeping restrictions in place about how it is used. Currently only International Long Distance (ILD) calls and IP to IP calls are permitted in India.

However the industry is eagerly waiting to see what the affect of the 3G and 4G wave will be on VoIP in India.

It is estimated that the Indian VoIP consumer market will expand rapidly to reach 6.5 million users by the year 2014.

Gmail to include VoIP capabilities

As if Gmail wasn’t all powerful enough, with its easy-to-use interface and ever growing storage capacity – now Google is testing whether they can include VoIP capabilities too.

The move was always on the cards after Google acquired Gizmo5, and it will work by allowing users to place calls from their Google Voice number.

Clicking the call button will bring up a call pad – handy access to all the stored numbers of your contacts and a credit balance. No unfortunately the service won’t be free like Skype.

There are also rumours of a desktop app in the works, which Google hasn’t confirmed yet.

Need help with VoIP?

Can’t choose which Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) product best suits your business or personal needs?

Help is at hand. VoIP Supply, which sells Voice over IP equipment and systems, has brought out a VoIP Phone Buyers Guide.

The guide is part of its “Learn More” series of educational aides to VoIP.

Garrett Smith, the Director of Marketing at VoIP Supply, said: “With VoIP hitting the mainstream there is a great consumer need for educational resources that help explain the various VoIP components so that an informed decision is made.”

The guide is supposed to be written in language that anyone can understand and comes as a free download. It has information about the information components and how to choose which VoIP phone is best suited to your needs.

VoIp supply also offers hardware accessories for Skype such as of headsets, phones, video phones and other Skype devices.

VoIP Supply backs this up with logistical services, device configuration, extended warranties, installations, and technical support.

New 3G and Wi-Fi VoIP solution released by Access

Oki Access Technologies and software technology provider Access have partnered together to design the NetFront IP-Phone, a full scale Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution.

The NetFront IP-Phone work with 3G and Wi-Fi by using air interfaces over the Android, iPhone and Windows Mobile smartphones.

The NetFront IP-Phone communicates with a variety of IP telephony servers, making it possible for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to allow smartphone users to use VoIP.

The NetFront IP-Phone is designed for commercial use and will be available from June 2010 from Access worldwide.

This VoIP solution answers a growing demand from ISPs and MVNOs for better service provision to VoIP users and a higher quality of call. It will also substantially reduce calling costs.

In-Stat, a market research firm, is predicting that the total number of worldwide mobile VoIP users will reach 288 million in the next three years with more than $35 billion of revenue generated by the service.

Oki Access and Access also plan to launch more versions of the NetFront IP-Phone in future, in order to support additional smartphone platforms and cater to this rapidly expanding industry.

VoIP Phone Released by SIP experts Snom

Snom, which develops VoIP telephones based on the IETF open standard SIP, has just released a new handheld phone.

The m9 model promises crystal-clear voice capabilities over an internet connection and has a number of new features.

A Snom spokesperson said: "The Snom m9 is ideally suited for professional and private use. This is because it combines professional business communication functions with many intuitive features. As a result the design of our new phone is highly consumer friendly.”

They added: “The device is the world’s first to support the basic functions of Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007.”

Some of the Snom m9 features are a hands-free option and a calling line identification system which displays the number, name and even an image of the individual who is calling. There is also an illuminated keypad thin-film transistor colour display.

New 3CX Phone System Beta gives smooth call transition

The 3CX Phone System v9 has given the 3CX phone system for Windows an overhaul with improved call forwarding and configuration out of the office settings.
Version 9 of the 3CX Phone System also offers network-wide 3CXphone and 3CX Assistant, as well as video support on 3CXphone and SLA functionality. Furthermore 3CX Phone System customers can now monitor remote Phone Branch Exchanges (PBX) and transfer calls between them.

Some other great features are G722 codec compatibility, the ability to specify up to five music on hold files, and a system wide black list.

Meanwhile 3CX Phone System v9 video support uses the X-lite, 3CXphone and Yealink videophones.

There is even a new inbuilt high performance web server (Abyss) which can scale to any installation size although IIS can still be used if required.

The system is currently a beta and some problems are still being ironed out including incorrect dialogue information shown on phones in queue calls.