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Why are my Voip phones freezing?

Posted on 2008-10-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
For the last two months, my VOIP phones have been freezing. Our carrier has been having a lot of difficulty in resolving the issue.  We have addressed issues with the cable and configuration of the router and switches.  Every morning I have to make several rounds on hour phones to make sure they are not frozen. If I find one, I will have to power-reboot them.  
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Question by:cruzs
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by:ccns
ID: 22684087
what is the software you are using for the voip phones?
would it not be an issue with the voip server/software? if you have addressed other network issues.
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by:cruzs
ID: 22684131
We are using LG Nortel phones.  We are using Covad as the T1 provider. For the last two months, phones have been freezing at different times during the day.  It takes a warm boot to clear the error. Sometimes we would get dropped calls.  The software I think is proprietary to Covad. It is called the "Dashboard".  Could some bad NIC or hardware other than the phone be causing this?
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by:grblades
ID: 22685610
I assume these phones get their power over the ethernet interface.
Due to power being supplied over the normally unused pairs in the cable it is possible that a bad cable or wiring can cause problems but since it is effecting lots of your phones I dont think this can be the issue.

Maybe a problem with the switch that supplies the power. You can buy POE injectors which sit between the cable and the phone. You could get a few of these and try them on the phones to see if it stops them rebooting.
Personally I would suspect its a bug in the phone software.
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by:cruzs
ID: 22688135
Covad said that it is due to latency. I need to get a tool or software that will tell me where the bottleneck is coming from.  Is there one specific to VOIP?
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by:grblades
ID: 22688246
Latency wont cause a phone to crash. It will add a delay to the audio which in turn could possibly cause additional issues such as call quality or echo but never a crash.

There are some voip based tools but I dont know of any free ones. You can use MTR (WinMTR under windows) which sends lots of ping requests to each router on the path to the destination. You need to run it for about 1000 pings to get a meaningfull answer but even then due to some ISPs setting ICMP (ping) to low priority it may not be of use.
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Author Comment

by:cruzs
ID: 22688380
Thanks for your comment.  I am just reiterating what Covad told me that the reason why our phones are freezing is due to the delay or latency.  Our phones are basically not able to communicate in a timely manner with the Covad server and is therefore being ignored.  I have just re-cabled the switch per their instruction and I had one phone that just froze.  Please let me know if our other hardware like PCs, servers or firewall might be causing this.  Thanks.
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by:grblades
ID: 22688529
It sounds like they either have no clue of the cause or they know what it is and trying to fix it while trying to keep you busy.
The packet delay over a local network is going to be well under 100 times less than you normally get over the internet so I cant see it being a problem if latency is the issue.

I would run winmtr on one of your pc's and test it against their server to see what the latency is.

Are you phones getting power over the ethernet interface or do they have a separate power supply?
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Author Comment

by:cruzs
ID: 22688571
You are right.  We've been on a trial and error these past two months.

The phones have their own power supply.  Can you point me a link to winmtr so I would know how to run it?

Thanks.
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by:grblades
ID: 22688652
http://winmtr.sourceforge.net/

All you need to know is an IP address or internet name of their server. You may have to ask them for it unless you can see the phones configuration and pick the server address from that.
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Accepted Solution

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cruzs earned 0 total points
ID: 23389619
They gave us Cisco phones and that fixed the problem. (for now)
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Author Comment

by:cruzs
ID: 23389635
I don't know  how long it will take LG to fix the problem.
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