Groundwire: what is it?
It’s a new App for the iPhone which allows you to make and receive calls via your VoIP account, rather than your regular iPhone telecoms provider.
What’s the advantage?
There are number of advantages:
1. if you are exceeding your iPhone monthly allowance, making calls via VoIP is significantly cheaper
2. you can provide your customers (or friends/family etc) with a single landline number to call, and receive the calls on your mobile at no charge. This is cheaper for them and provides continuity for your customers.
3. you get all the flexibility of a VoIP phone – call transfers, simultaneous multiple calls etc that you would get on a proper deskphone, but on your mobile.
What does it cost?
At the time of writing, it costs £5.99 to buy, plus it is recommended that you pay an additional £2 for the G.729 codec which provides better quality voice lines over limited bandwidth. There are no recurring charges towards Groundwire. You do need a VoIP account separately, if you are interested in setting one up please contact us for more information.
Do you recommend it?
Overall, it is a product that we would recommend for anyone who wishes to expand their VoIP capabilities. It is ideal as a portable extra to an existing office phone which you can take with you as and when to remain in contact.
We tested it on an iPhone 3 which doesn’t have multi-tasking and so would be of limited use as a ‘main’ phone as you’d be forever switching from Groundwire to whatever other Apps you use and back, but it may be more feasible to use it as a full time option on the iPhone 4.
Sound quality wise we went for the jugular and called a foreign mobile via Groundwire, using the 3G network. We also had the G.729 codec installed. If that worked OK we figured anything would – the result was excellent, there was no time lag, no echo, and the sound quality was as good as a regular call.
As far as functions go, transfering a call couldn’t be easier and there are other options such as recording a call which may be useful.
The one downside we found was setting it up to access the VoIP account – full marks for the range of configurable options, but we found that you had to go through a succession of pages to get to a particular setting, then back through the pages to test to see if it worked. We had to do this several times before getting it right – an improvement would be to either bring all the options onto one page, or have a global ‘register’ button on each page.
Where can I get a SIP account for Groundwire?
We can provide a UK or international number for people to call, with extremely low outgoing call rates. For more information please Contact us.