Posts in Category: Communications

Business and Telecommunication

Business requirement of telephony system, perceived from three dimensions, namely hardware, software and as a service.

Telecom sector business trends and changes happening in each generation of telephony. Analysis of next generation telecom business solutions and possible market areas for small and middle business companies.

In its life journey, telephony systems have traveled from plain old legacy systems to an era of advanced stage of Voice over IP communications supported by high-speed internet connection. Telecommunication feature requirement or demand has now moved to such a diversified stage that the business demand-supply chain keeps changing at a very fast rate. Let me to explain this.

As an example: A requirement or demand of a telephony feature like video conferencing is now no longer dependent on a particular way of implementation i.e. not only limited to hardware solution within an enterprise but have also available on mobile as an application software. It means that business solution of ‘video conferencing’ can be achieved via many dimensions like free soft-phone based, license soft-phone based, hardware based, Mobile/laptop based, or even home decor Television based.

This implies that telephony business must have dynamic business model and not sticking to particular solution. Business model must be capable to switch to alternative solutions at any moment. For big players this is not an issue of any concern, but small business players, must pick wisely what kind of telephony system they will use and what their sustainability is. They must think of moving their on-going business with telecom generations of high-speed internet and digitization.

In legacy telephony, business was oriented towards cost of each audio phone call, number of calls, and Local vs STD based calls, as this ware the core services available. Videos call at that time ware among major earning business solutions.

As a generation of telephony moves on, until 2.5 G to 3G, audio and video phone call is like default services and internet based, location based, on-demand or live streaming was on a high demand. At this stage, new business players who forecast this as an era of stating point of next generation telephony service were able to make a lot of money. Many entrepreneur and many small telecom businesses have grown up to support this demand both with hardware, software and as service.

Many software solutions and telephony applications were developed, protocols were defined and universal standards were placed. Businesses grew with software application around audio call, video call, conference, 3-way calling feature, announcement, advertisement service during telephony services. Hardware based solutions also grew in parallel and High-Definition quality were integrated with above listed telephony services. Small business which were software based have grown up and earned much, whereas big players have taken up this as a complete hardware and software solution, by building up of their own networks. Some business also grew targeting services of telephony application, whereas some targeted the support of telephony service, like Analysis and Analytical tools, testing tools etc. Legacy business was on backward compatibility support of these new telephony service.

At present telephony demand has changed a lot in its demand and implementation. From fixed hardware to mobile based app solutions. Business players have also re-shuffled and realigned themselves. Telecom operators are moving ahead to meet the demand with high speed internet solutions with legacy hardly contributing to a small percentage of profit. On other hand telecom R&D organisations / MNC have started working on next generation technology with high skilled human resources. Business players oriented towards software based adhoc service providers are also growing. Businesses are investing more on mobile based telephony solution like whatsapp, facebook, etc . A bulk of small business earning are also centralised around information on public platform and on advertisement. Telecoms are now moving towards IOT (internet of things) and wifi solutions. Hardware independent, time independent, resource independent fast and easy communication is needed with rich functions and high definition quality.

Small business players interested in telecom business must consider these changes in trends of telephony application demand and supply. Changes from fixed dialling system to mobile based automatic voice-recognition based high-speed internet service, must be analysed for any business investments. Legacy telephony in future is not going to last for couple of more years. SS7/ISDN based telephony system is going to vanish from market being replaced by high-speed and wifi solution.

Eventually telecom market is moving towards virtualization system capable fast and easy expansion of resource with change in demand, Big data and their analysis, single click software application supporting telephony functionality, hardware and location independent application and location-time applications. Those small business working on core legacy technology should try an attempt to move towards high-speed internet based telephony feature. Those small business working on hardware based legacy telephony should try an attempt to move towards digitization and integration within next generation hardware systems. Those small business working on services of legacy telephony should try an attempt to move towards adhoc or license free solution with telecom operator. Small business players interested in telecom business as a solution can work on providing mobile based soft-phone solution as a client solution. As side service they can provide VoIP data analytics, new VoIP features or Wifi solutions for middle business players. IOT – internet of thing is another major evolving in telecom sector, which small application and sensor based device communication are in trial, small and middle business sectors can also think towards this dimension of telecom solution. Telecom sector is vast and it depend so each business player’s vision and mission to work upon.

SoftPhones – first steps and installation

SoftPhones

Definition:

The technical term ‘Softphone’ is used for software applications which run on any device (mobile, laptop or desktop), and has telephone like functionality. Soft Phones are used to place VOIP calls which are generally cheaper when making international calls. Most of those applications actually run on hard phones(phones made specially for VOIP purposes) but there are planty also made for mobile and pc. The softphones work similar to any actual phone, with functionalities  like outgoing & incoming voice calls and outgoing/incoming Video calls. They are basically IP based phones, providing VoIP ( voice over IP) functionality, governing protocols such as SIP( session initiation protocol) , or H.323 or SCCP or any other similar proprietary protocol.

Examples of softphones for desktop and mobile:   X-lite, zoiper, Pindo, vChat, Whatsapp , Skype.

Procedure & Functionality :

There is quite a big diversity in soft phones . Some are made to serve the masses, and they are mostly free, while others are business and enterprise oriented with license versions. Softphones can be classified as a type of IP-phone with no hardware. The software supplication of the softphone available based on the OS platform basis Linux, WINDOWs, MAC like X-lite, etc. Following are the procedure steps for setting up the softphone:

  1. Software Installation
  2. License key configuration, if any
  3. Configuration

Procedure

  • After successful installation, License key is entered to within the application of the software to make it working.
  • Few trial version of the softphone are available with limited edition i.e., once softphone installation is installed and running, it bind itself with the PC/Desktop/Laptop MAC address and this information is send to centralised server of the software.
  • This is done to avoid multiple installation of softphone on same machine.
  • Once the tenure of license expire, softphone stops working until license is renewed again.
  • Post License key configuration, desired network and dial plan related configuration is done in order to get it registered with server, which is VoIP server.
  • The IP –address of the system (PC/Desktop/Laptop) is used as the IP-address of the softphone itself.

Functionality

  • Initial configuration of the softphone after installation also involves providing the IP-address of the proxy server which will be anchoring all services of the softphone like registration and call.
  • Softphone does its registration with the VoIP network in which Softphone Address-of-record (AOR) is populated in the VoIP location server database, and now softphone ready to send or received any call.
  • Most common usage of such softphone to test the network functionality.
  • Another usage of such softphone to perform load and stress testing of the network.

On Mobile

In Public network for mobile user: softphone is generally available as a mobile application. The software applications  are uploaded to public server like PlayStore or AppStore, from where the user can download it on his mobile. Most such apps require the user to have stable internet connection to operate (with the exception of Pindo and Rebtel). In the mobile market softphones are dominated by free apps  and there is almost no paid versions.. Following are the procedure steps for setting up the softphone on mobile:

  1. Software Installation
  2. User Profile creation

Procedure

  • Softphone application is downloaded from play-store in a single click and get installed automatically on the supported version of the Mobile OS/Platform.
  • After successful installation, softphone application is brought up on the mobile by a click and user profile is created. Since such softphone is available for public use, hence the user profile creation steps generally involves linking with public social network, like twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc, and name/password, and OTP verification to authenticate user mobile number
  • Upon successful completion of the user profile, installed softphone is available to function as per designed functionality/feature.

Functionality

  • Most such softphones doesn’t require any pre-configuration of network details.
  • The Server/Network details is in build within the software downloaded and ready to use more readily

Future:

If I have to make a bet I would bet on softphones with html based user interface. They are mostly used for commercial purpose like Video-Conferencing, license based conferencing for entrepreneurs, meeting, three-way calling etc. They come with Pay-and-Use functionality, and most of them are based on SIP protocol for session creation and media streaming.

Voip for blind people – Team Talk 5

Open source Voip for visually impaired!

Team Talk 5 review

TeamTalk is VOIP conferencing system that people use to communicate using VoIP and/or video streaming. The part with video streaming puzzles me as the program has community made of mostly blind people. They can log in with a simple tt document and converse easily with their contacts. The project is open source and using open source solutions for most of its functionality.

Functionality

  • Audio and video transfer with VOIP
  • Public and private channel creation
  • Sharing of desktop aplications
  • File sharing
  • Standalone server

Installation

The TeamTalk 5 conferencing system is composed of a client and hosted server. Most users will just need to install the client application, unless of coarse they want to have their own TeamTalk 5 server.
When installing the application on Windows, the visually impaired users, should install “TeamTalk 5 Classic. It is the client with better accessibility, since the Classic version works smoother with screen readers. There is also a regular TeamTalk 5 client developed for the masses.

Open Source

TeamTalk is a freeware. The program can be found on a lot of popular software websites. Its license permits, to be run on numerous clients or servers, it can be also redistributed free of charge. A permit must be nevertheless bought by developers that want to implement or use the code in third party programs.

TeamTalk client software have been build around the GitHub project TeamTalk5. The TeamTalk server is not part of the project and is therefore not publicly available.

Availability

The TeamTalk 5 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OS X, and the most used Linux distributions – Debian, CentOS, and Raspbian. The server and client applications run on the same platforms. The only difference being that the client additionally supports the mobile platforms of iOS and Android.

Encoding

For voice encoding TeamTalk uses the open source audio and video codecs. For the audio codecs it uses Speex and OPUS. And for the video stream encoding the program is relaying on WebM video codec.