Broadvox IP Phone
One of the cool things about doing an FAQ page for Broadvox Direct is that as a result, they’ve given me the ability to evaluate new and existing products. One of the existing products they’ve sent me is an IP Phone they sell via their Enterprise division: The LIP-200C manufactured by LG Electronics.
This phone looks like a pretty typical office phone in that it has a number of programmable buttons and features provided by the switch, has buttons for hold, “do not disturb,” mute, transfer/conference, voicemail, and speakerphone. The phone itself is a Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP) phone versus the Sipura SPA-2000, which is a SIP device that lets you plug in your own phones. MGCP assumes the endpoint has far less intelligence and just about every feature is provided at the switch level, including the actual dialtone. A SIP endpoint provides it’s own “dial tone,” is aware of dial plans, time zones, codec choices, etc.
Where I notice this most immediately: the time stamps on my IP Phone are actually correct, being provided by the switch. The times on my Sipura are about four hours ahead, as I believe it is adjusted by the timezone config on the Sipura itself. Changes made to the IP Phone more or less happen right away since there is no “intelligence” to speak of on the endpoint — everything’s on the switch. Any changes made on the Sipura require a new config to be compiled and the device must periodically check for and load that configuration.
So far, in putting this IP Phone through it’s paces, I’ve been pretty happy with the basic features: sound quality is like a normal desk phone hooked up to a POTS line. Speakerphone is pretty good — you can even set it for half or full duplex. Most of the features I’ve been able to try work, including extension dialing between my Sipura and my IP Phone. I’ve got some provisioning issues that are the result of using a “enterprise” phone via their residential offering, which meant some manual voodoo on their part. This manifests itself in non-functional voicemail, so I can’t test the voicemail button, which I believe also serves a message waiting indicator. It also means I have to dial “9″ to make a normal POTS call too, which is not a big deal. I’ve been able to program the buttons by means of a special portal I’ve been given access to. I can even print out button templates for my phone too!
I’ve also been given access to Broadvox’s enterprise portal, which has some additional features not currently present in the residential portal. Over the next several days, I will explore some of these options.