VoIP from Jaffair, Bahrain

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k4wtf
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VoIP from Jaffair, Bahrain

Postby k4wtf » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:09 am

Well folks, my buddy is in Jaffair, Kindom of Bahrain. He's one of those former spook types... Go figure.

Anyway, I give him a call the other day - not knowing he was out of country - and after I dial, I get lots of white noise and then the "buuurp buuurp" ring of an overseas telephone switch.

Low and behold, he's over there and his comms consist of a very very expensive SAT phone that is kinda reliable and a GSM cell phone that is good for 2-3mins at best before you get disconnected and is still very very expensive.

He's going to be there until at least next Jan so, I decided to hell with this cell phone/sat phone shit. It's time to do some good VoIP stuff.

I had him do a trace from his hotel/apartment to my Asterisk server. 15-hops at 250ms+/-... OK. It's *very* doable I tell him. He's not believing me. He took along a Vonage ATA-186 and it won't even register. (Go figure - Vonage sux)

I've got a bit of experience with VoIP over high-latency links from some space communications work I did for the guvment not too long ago and his RTTs weren't nearly as bad as what I've made work before.

So, it's Wed night and I manage to find the box that my old ATA-186 is in. I get it programmed up to register against my Asterisk server, plumb up a Washington, DC number for him, set his voicemail up, etc. 30mins after ending the satphone call with him, I've got an ATA-186 sitting on my table , configured and tested, ready to ship to him.

$104.00 handed to UPS on Thursday afternoon and the 2lb (yep.. That's how much it costs to send 2lbs to Bahrain via UPS) package is enroute.

Sunday afternoon, I checked the tracking and it HAD BEEN DELIVERED!

Hot Damn! I pick up my cell phone, dial the number I plumbed up for him and about 2 seconds later, I'm talking to my buddy like he was standing next to me. Absolutely ZERO detectable delay and supurb voice quality.

He said that there were a bunch of guys over there who are "forever in debt to me" for getting them a US number that their loved ones can dial that rings there and lets them talk like they're next door. The average cellphone costs in excess of $3.00/mi with SAT phones costing more. The call quality on the cell/sat phones absolutely SUCKS too.

Anyway, if your VoIP provider tells you your stuff doesn't work because of latency, etc... Tell them they're full of crap and it doesn't work because they don't know how to run a VoIP network!

It's all about knowing what the frell you're doing.

Oh... And for those who are wondering, The primary line is g729a but, I've got his second line running g711 ULAW and yes... FAX works over the link.
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