Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Gone Native?

Aswath Rao - Aswath Weblog


A few days back a new VoIP client, called Gizmo, was released claiming to be a Skype killer. This is closely associated with SIPPhone, which had earlier released another client called GAIM, an integrated IM and VoIP client.

First a summary of what one can do with Gizmo. It gives a nice UI to use the SIPPhone system. The first notable feature is the way it supports the voice mail. The system collects voice mail and then forwards to a specified email. This is in contrast to Skype, which hosts the messages. The second feature of note is the ability to record the conversation. Their website indicates that they have a partnership with Golbal IP Sound. Even though it is not stated on the nature of partnership, the consensus seems to be that Gizmo uses their wideband codec.
Then there are the standard set of features like call-logs and buddy lists. It also offers the ability to make and receive calls from PSTN. But the surprising thing is there is a price difference between Gizmo and SIPPhone – prices to some destinations are higher and others are lower. At least to India the charge is almost the same as what AT&T charges for PSTN customers. Given Skype’s difficulty with DTMF tones on a PSTN call, it will be interesting to know how Gizmo fares.
It is interesting to compare Gizmo to pulverCommunicator. Both are SIP based and both have plans to distribute to others with the ability to brand it. But pC has texting capability that is missing from Gizmo. Call-me link feature of pC is not widely discussed, but I hope Gizmo adds in a future release. pC does not support a wideband codec. But it can be unlocked and used with any other SIP based service. As far as I can determine Gizmo is locked to use only SIPPhone. This is from the company that sued Vonage for locking their ATAs. Have they gone native? In the same vein, I wish they supported Speex, an open source and loyalty free codec. (By the way I hope pC supports a wideband codec in the near future.)

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