How we tested softphones

How we conducted the Clear Choice Test of softphones.

Each softphone was installed on a pair of Dell Latitude D610 laptops, each with a 1.7 GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.

The softphone was configured with a display name, user name, password, authorization user name and an authenticating server IP address. Each softphone made multiple Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) calls between the two laptops.

A Plantronics DSP-400 USB headset and an on-board speaker and standard microphone were used to assess clarity and quality of the connection.

The softphones were connected into our SIP test bed comprising two IP PBX systems. Each softphone was used on both IP-PBXes to verify SIP interoperability. The IP-PBX systems used for this test were: Zultys MX 250 Enterprise Media Exchange, based on standard SIP VoIP call control; and Asterisk 1.2 open source IP Telephone systems, based on standard SIP and IAX call control.

The test bed was configured with two subnets simulating a headquarters and a branch location. The subnets were interconnected using Extreme Networks L2/L3 switches.

Calls were placed between the softphones as well as to a variety of SIP endpoints, including Polycom, Snom and Grandstream SIP hard phones.

Each softphone was provisioned in the respective IP-PBX, and an account was configured. The account was set up as a standard SIP device with voice mail, conferencing, call forwarding, hold, transfer, do not disturb and multiline appearances.

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