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What is ENUM? ENUM Syntax

What is ENUM? ENUM Syntax

ENUM (Telephone Number Mapping, E.164 Number to URI Mapping) is an addressing protocol that converts telephone numbers to URI format (name@domain). This allows you to access a SIP, H.323 or other Internet phone user by dialing a phone number.

The ENUM function aims to ensure that users can be accessed anywhere in the world with the same number, best quality and the cheapest way. ENUM maps a phone number to an Internet address in the DNS system. Thus, a user with an ENUM number can broadcast the DNS record to which the call will be routed. Even different routes can be defined for different types of calls (fax, video, etc.).

It is possible to obtain an ENUM record as if it were a domain name. Nowadays, you can obtain this registration free of charge through many registration services and VoIP service providers.

ENUM Syntax

ENUM allows normal phone (E.164) numbers to be displayed as DNS names ending in e164.arpa. A number can be decoded for one or more predefined services.

For example, a telephone number + 90-312-555-1234 will be displayed as 4.3.2.1.5.5.5.2.1.3.0.9.e164.arpa after issuing rules defined in RFC 3761 and below:

  1. All characters except digits are removed. (“+90-312-555-1234” becomes “903125551234″)
  2. A period (“.”) Is placed between each number. (“9.0.3.1.2.5.5.5.1.2.3.4”)
  3. The order of the numbers is reversed. (“4.3.2.1.5.5.5.2.1.3.0.9”)
  4. .e164.arpa is added to the end of the array. (“4.3.2.1.5.5.5.2.1.3.0.9.arp a”)

To respond to this syntax, the DNS server must have a record that looks like this:

$ ORIGIN 4.3.2.1.5.5.5.2.1.3.0.9.barley.
   NAPTR 10 100 "u" "E2U + sip" "! ^. * $! Sip: fatih.erikci@fatiherikci.com!" .
   NAPTR 10 101 & quot; u & quot; & quot; E2U + h323 & quot; .
   NAPTR 10 102 "u" "E2U + msg" "! ^. * $! Mailto: fatih.erikci@fatiherikci.com!" .

In this record you see three different routing sequences for the address 4.3.2.1.5.5.5.2.1.3.0.9. The first is SIP, the second is H.323 and the third is the SMTP response. Device selects which service to communicate by using these records.

How It Works?

The operating principle of ENUM is similar to the DNS queries we use on the Internet. DNS NAPTR resource records are used in queries.

ENUM Query and Call
ENUM Query and Call
  1. The phone calls an E.164 number (+90-312-555-1234)
  2. Gateway translates it (4.3.2.1.5.5.5.2.1.3.0.9.e164.arpa) and asks the DNS server.
  3. The DNS server responds to this query with a URI (sip: fatih.erikci@fatiherikci.com).
  4. The gateway sends the call to the SIP server as a SIP URI call.
  5. The SIP server rings the IP phone registered with the URI.
Cisco 730 Series Headset

Cisco 730 Series Headset

Cisco has also introduced 700 series headsets as well as new Webex series collaboration products at 2019 Partner Summit.

As you may know, Cisco has introduced many products and technologies in the field of unified communications and collaboration, and has entered the phone headset market with its 500 series headsets last year. This year at Partner Summit Cisco introduced the 700 series, which targets mobile workers segment.

Cisco Headset 730 Specifications

The 700 series is a series of headsets aimed primarily traveling mobile workers and 730 is the first model of the series. Especially in crowded environments, the noise canceling mechanisms ensure clear communication for both the headset and the called party. Below you will find detailed features of the Cisco 730 headsets:

  • Connectivity via Bluetooth 5.0, USB-A and 3.5mm
  • Premium Codec Support (SBC, AAC, aptX, aptXHD)
  • Active Background Noise Cancellation with 4 Microphones
  • Clear Voice Transmission with 2 Electret Condenser Microphone
  • Intelligent Sensor Technology (Mute on Earphone)
  • Boom-less Microphone
  • On-Ear Controls
  • Voice Activated AI
  • Cisco Headset App for Customized Experience (App Store & Google Play)
  • Automatic Firmware Upgrades

Here is a table that compares the Cisco 700 series headphones to the 500 series:

700 Series500 Series
Suitable For Mobile / Office Workers Office / Call Center Workers
Primary Connection Type Bluetooth 5.0 Wired/DECT Wireless
Talking Time15+ hrs9 hrs
Concurrent Connections 2 BT + 1 USBDepends on Base Station
Wireless Coverage65+ meters90+ meters
Ear Wearing StyleBinaural OnlyMonaural & Binaural
Color OptionsCarbon Black & PlatinumBlack
Active Noise CancellingYesNo
Noise Reduction MicrophoneYesYes
RJ-9 ConnectionNoYes
Cisco 730 Headset
Cisco 730 Series Headsets Have 2 Color Options

For more information about Cisco 730 series headsets, please refer to the datasheet page.

Price

The price of the newly introduced Cisco 730 series headset has not been set yet, but considering that the list price of the 560 series wireless headphones is around $600, my guess is that the list price will be in the range of $800 – $900.

Last Words

With the 730 series headset, Cisco has provided a professional solution for both the consumer market and business purposes. Cisco 730 headset is a very useful product especially for frequent travelers.

Cisco Webex Desk Pro Review

Cisco Webex Desk Pro Review

Cisco announced Webex Desk Pro at its 2019 Partner Summit event on November 6th, 2019.

During the event, they announced the collaboration solutions as a solution that can be installed together under a single infrastructure of systems that can be installed both in the cloud and in the organization. The name of this single infrastructure that includes call, messaging, meetings, devices and call center will be called as Webex.

Webex infrastructure, which has become quite flexible in terms of integration, will also be able to work integrated with the business tools such as Microsoft, Google, Slack and Salesforce.

Cisco Webex Desk Pro
Cisco Webex Desk Pro Introduction

After the launch of the infrastructure, two products, Webex Desk Pro and Webex Panorama, were launched in the device category. (I want to explore Webex Panorama in more detail, so I am saving it for another post)

Cisco Webex Desk Pro Features

Cisco Webex Desk Pro is a personal collaboration device with a structure similar to current DX80. Of course there are new features that distinguish it from the DX80. Let’s summarize them briefly:

  • 27 ″ 4K Touch Screen
  • 71 Degree View Angle HD Camera
  • Advanced Artificial Intelligence and Analytics
  • Microphone Array with Noise Canceling Mechanism
  • Premium Sound System
  • USB-C Connection
  • Support for Web Applications
Webex Desk Pro Has a Touchscreen

Compared to previous models, Webex Desk Pro has new features like face recognition and artificial intelligence. In this way, it knows who is in front of the device and can address the person by it’s name. It can also adjust the camera according to your posture. You can blur the background of the camera image or replace it with another image. I have to add that personal assistant Webex Assistant is also in it.

The Cisco Webex Desk Pro can also be used as a docking station and a touchscreen monitor with a USB-C connection.

Cisco – Microsoft Collaboration

In addition to these innovations and products, Cisco-Microsoft cooperation was also introduced. Microsoft Teams, which initially seemed to be Webex’s competitor, will now be able to work directly with Webex rooms. (hello to those who are trying to integrate Skype for Business with CUCM in the past🙂)

Hardware as a Service (HaaS)

Cisco has also announced the option of Hardware as a Service (HaaS) as a service for IP telephony, desktop and room collaboration devices. In this service, institutions can have the equipments with long turm subscription contracts instead of buying them.

HaaS combined with Flex Plan, turns into a model that can be owned with fully operational costs, with no investment costs for enterprises, which is good news for many businesses from SMEs to large enterprises. Who wouldn’t want to own a Cisco IP phone for $5 or a Webex video conferencing system for $60 a month?

In the HaaS method, if you proceed with a 3-year membership model, at the end of 3 years you can continue the service on an annual basis or if you extend your membership for 3 more years, the devices are replaced with new ones. If the devices have become EoS at the end of 3 years, you can also replace them with new models.

For now, HaaS is only offered in the US, but many countries are considering providing this service in a short time.

Last Words

Cisco, which has developed many pioneering technologies and concepts in the field of collaboration, has produced an exciting product. Webex Desk Pro, a personal collaboration and productivity product, will be available for purchase on February 2020.

What Is WebRTC?

What Is WebRTC?

We’ve been hearing the name WebRTC a lot lately. In fact, WebRTC, which has been in use since 2011, is not a new technology but is a technology that provides simultaneous media communication (audio and video). The most important feature of WebRTC, which has many advantages, is that it can work directly on many popular browsers without requiring additional software.

WebRTC stands for Web Based Real Time Communication. Multimedia applications can be designed using HTML5 and Javascript APIs.

We can define the communication format used in WebRTC as peer-to-peer. This communication is directly between peers, so you don’t need any media servers. WebRTC is free and has a BSD license, so you can develop WebRTC applications for free. (For example, you can experience a video conference virtual room with WebRTC at this link)

WebRTC Supported Browsers

Nowadays, the following browsers support WebRTC:

  • PC & MAC
    • Microsoft Edge 12+
    • Google Chrome 28+
    • Mozilla Firefox 22+
    • Safari 11+
    • Opera 18+
    • Vivaldi 1.9+
  • Android
    • Google Chrome 28+
    • Mozilla Firefox 24+
    • Opera Mobile 12+
  • iOS
    • MobileSafari / WebKit (iOS 11+)
  • Chrome OS
  • Firefox OS
  • BlackBerry 10
  • Tizen 3.0

WebRTC Components

There are 3 main components in WebRTC:

1. MediaStream API

The MediaStream API provides user access to the camera, microphone or screen using javascript.

2. RTCPeerConnection API

The RTCPeerConnection API provides NAT traversal, codec processing, mutual SDP negotiation, media transmission, and secure connection functions between peers.

3. RTCDataChannel API

The RTCDataChannel API provides the functionality of establishing bidirectional data transfer channels between peers.

Establishing Peer-to-Peer Connection

Signaling is a process that forms the connection between peers. It can be achieved by WebSocket, XMPP, SIP or any other mechanism. WebRTC technology utilizes protocols such as RTP, STUN, SIP and ICE.

WebRTC Signaling Process

Session Description Protocol (SDP)

Also known as SDP, it is a protocol used to communicate media capabilities (voice codecs, IP and port information, etc.) between peers before establishing a connection and to meet each peer at a common point.

Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE)

ICE is a framework for the NAT traversal mechanism. ICE collects all available candidates (local IP addresses, STUN return IP addresses, and transmitted IP addresses – TURN). All collected addresses are then sent to remote peers via SDP.

STUN Server

The STUN server enables peers to find public IP addresses, the types of NAT they use, and the relationship between the Internet-side port information associated with the local port information specified by NAT.

TURN Server

When STUN usage is not possible, it is used to transmit media streams over a TURN server (you may think of it as a proxy).

WebRTC is not always peer-to-peer (P2P), but in multiple communication situations (eg video conferencing), different solutions are available. Let’s take a look at these.

Multi-Point Communication Types

1. Mesh

In the mesh network, all peers send their streams separately to other connected peers directly on the network.

All Peers Communicate With Each Other in Mesh Topology

Since this structure is completely distributed, there is no need to have any media servers in the center. The disadvantage of the mesh structure is the use of high bandwidth. In a multi-video call using a mesh structure, if each user generates a 1 Mbps stream, the amount of data sent and received per user will be 4 Mbps in each direction.

2. SFU

SFU stands for Selective Forwarding Unit. An SFU receives incoming media streams from all users and then decides which users to send to.

SFU Transfers Media To All Peers Separately

In this model, each user transmits their own generated media stream to the SFU server. The SFU server can send whoever wants the stream. In this way, bandwidth is used more effectively. Similar with the mesh example above, if each user generates a 1 Mbps stream, the total outgoing data amount per user will be 1 Mbps and the total incoming data amount will be a maximum of 4 Mbps.

3. MCU

MCU stands for Multipoint Conferencing Unit. An MCU receives incoming media streams from all users, decodes them, creates a new layout, and sends it to all users as a single stream.

MCU Combines Media of All Peers & Sends a Single Stream to Peers

The difference of this structure from SFU is that a single combined stream will be sent to each user and the total transmission and reception amount per user will be 1 Mbps in each direction. The disadvantage of this structure, as you can imagine, is the high cost of the MCU with a high processing power in the center.

Jabra Panacast Review

Jabra Panacast Review

Video conferencing is now a method of communication used in many organizations. Many vendors release many new technology products in their hardware and software portfolio. In this article, you can find a detailed review of Jabra Panacast, a 3-camera video conferencing product.

Panacast History

Panacast adventure begins in 2007 with the idea of ​​“synchronized camera array”. Stanford-based Aurangzeb Khan and his team formed Altia Systems to develop Panacast in 2011. The first prototype of Panacast was released in 2012 and followed by Panacast 2 at the beginning of 2015. Altia Systems made such a great developments in image processing area and their products are used in more than 1600 companies. In February 2019, Altia Systems was acquired by GN Group (Jabra) for 129 million USD and Panacast is added to Jabra product line. Now we are seeing Jabra as a player in the video products also.

Jabra Panacast Specifications

Here are some of the highlights of Jabra Panacast:

  • 3 pcs. 4K Resolution 13MP Camera
  • 2 Microphones
  • USB 3.0 Plug and Play
  • Windows, MacOS and Linux Compatible
  • 180 Degree Horizontal, 54 Degree Vertical Viewing Angle
  • Live HDR
  • Smart Zoom
  • Whiteboard

The Jabra Panacast is quite small in size despite what it can do. The device measures 10cm x 7cm and weighs 100 grams, smaller and lighter than the average smartphone. The box contents are also quite simple; device, USB cable, booklet and warranty certificate.

Panoramic Image – How?

Panacast uses three 13 MP resolution 4K video cameras to produce 180-degree images.

Panacast Combines 3 Videos From Cameras to Create a Panoramic Vision

Camera images are overlapped and combined by using a special image processing algorithm which runs on XILINX Artix-7 FPGA. The final image has a resolution of 3840×1080 pixels which covers a 180 degree vision. Since all this is done in less than 5 milliseconds, the user does not feel any delays during this process.

Panacast Combines Images from Cameras Through Special Algorithm (source: panacast.com)

A similar solution has already been made with Huawei 3-screen Telepresence products. By using 3 downward facing cameras and prisms, the images were superimposed to achieve a continuous image. I have to inform you that the list price of such a system is worth 300K USD. 🙂

Camera Cluster Used in Huawei Telepresence Products

The advantage of the 180-degree image is it can fit more people on a single screen. In addition, another advantage is it provides this wide angle in smaller rooms, preventing dead spaces in the meeting room. You can see what I mean better in the image below:

No Dead Spaces in Meeting Rooms with Jabra Panacast (source: intermedia-cs.co.uk)

Intelligent Zoom

Thanks to Jabra Panacast’s PC software (Panacast Vision), the camera can achieve intelligent zoom (ePTZ). This allows the camera to zoom in (or crop the image) to accommodate the speakers in front of the camera, and transmit the image as much as the people in the meeting room. This process is done dynamically according to the person entering and leaving the room to provide an optimized image.

You can see intelligent zoom feature in more detail in the following video:

Jabra Panacaast Intelligent Zoom

Whiteboard

Another innovative feature of Panacast is the whiteboard application. After you have marked the corners of your whiteboard in your meeting room with the Panacast Vision software, you can now transmit your content on the board properly. In the following video you can find out how to do this in detail:

Jabra Panacast Whiteboard Feature Allows You to Use Whiteboard in Meeting Rooms

Compatibility with Video Conferencing Systems

Since Panacast is a plug and play camera, it is compatible with most video conferencing software. You can use this product which is approved by Microsoft Teams and with many video conferencing software such as Cisco Webex, Zoom, Hangouts, Slack.

Jabra Panacast Price

You can find Jabra Panacast around 900 USD. Although it may seem high for a webcam at first, it can be a wise choice to add video conferencing to your meeting rooms when you consider what it can provide and it’s return on investment.