SIP Phones and Voice In The Cloud

Snom m3  Yesterday evening, I got a SNOM M3 phone that I had ordered from Amazon. I unpacked it and charged the phone. While it was charging, I pointed my web browser to onsip.com and set up a 30 day free trial account. It took me about five minutes to set up an account, one user, and get a phone number. I then took down the sip configuration data from the onsip account I had set up.

I went back to the M3 which was still charging, and plugged the base station into my home network. The phone gave me its IP address on my home network. I then pointed my web browser to that IP address and entered the sip configuration data into my phone's configuration. And then I rebooted the phone's base station.

That whole process took about ten minutes, maybe less. I then picked up the M3, dialed a number, and made a phone call.

I realize that voice over IP (VOIP) has been around for over a decade. I invested in a VOIP company in 1997 so this is not new technology. 

But there is something really powerful when voice moves into the cloud. In about five minutes, I was able to provision myself a phone number in the cloud that had dialtone. And then make a phone call.

I chose to use the M3 phone, but I could have chosen any number of SIP phones. Here are four pages of SIP phones you can buy on Amazon.

I then walked down the street to our new apartment. I plugged the base station into our internet network in our new apartment, picked up the M3, and made a call.

Contrast this to the experience of getting a phone line provisioned from Verizon or any other traditional phone company. That requires talking to someone, getting a tech to come out and provision the line, and then running wires around the house or office.

It has taken VOIP at least a decade to get here. We needed it to get into the cloud, and we needed get a wide selection of high quality sip phones. But we are here now. You can provision a phone line from the cloud in five minutes, you can connect any number of high quality sip phones to that cloud-based phone number. And you can use that phone and phone number from any internet connection you want.

I am so happy to see voice and data converging and moving into the cloud. It's the way I've always wanted voice to work. I think we are going to see a lot of big changes as a result of this convergence.