The PhoneBoy Blog


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VoIP over EVDO? It Depends.

Yes, it's true. Ken Camp and I mucked about with a Skype audio call over Verizon EVDO service. Funny, I wasn't presented with any EULAs or Terms of Service before sticking my card in my laptop. It may, in fact, be in there, but I can't be bound by something I wasn't given a chance to agree to. 

Anyway, we tried it, but only for a few minutes. From my point of view, the downstream was acceptable. The upstream, well that sucked, given Ken's recording of my upstream. Bandwidth issues aside, I have to believe the biggest issue is latency.

Of course, I tried this at home, where my Cingular GSM service is alright, but EDGE is a little spotty. T-Mobile service in general is nearly non-existent in my neighborhood. The downstream EVDO service was slower than the 8mb connection I'm used to on cable, but it would work in a pinch. The upstream, even for just web pages, seemed a bit slower. This makes me think "latency" or perhaps "lots of retransmits on the upstream."

I know that when Ken called me from Skype on his Treo, the call quality was much better. Of course, he called me from San Jose's Airport, which I have to believe has better service than my slightly "in the sticks" house. I suspect I will have to repeat this experiment when I go to the Bay Area in a few weeks, or at least bring my laptop to a slightly more populated place a little closer to home and give it a try.


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