Beyond Extend Home - how about one device that does it all?

We already have the ability to make calls with the Amazon Echo devices but it would be nice to receive them too as with the Echo Connect. I suppose it won’t be long before there is an ATA with Alexa and a handset built in and this might be a device like the speakerphone RW mentioned more than a year ago about the time they first mentioned Relay…

The ability to make VoIP calls via alternate devices is relatively easy to implement as one doesn’t actually need a telephone number to make calls. Amazon’s Echo devices and Alexa apps use a form of Caller ID spoofing to make it look as if calls are coming from a telephone number but they’re not.

Receiving calls via the PSTN does require a telephone number and a way for alternate devices to interface. Amazon’s solution is the Echo Connect. While Amazon certainly could build Echo Connect functionality into its Echo devices, I don’t see this happening hence the existence of the Echo Connect.

ATAs and residential VoIP generally is in reality a niche market. There are currently three “major” brands of ATAs (Cisco, Grandstream and Obihai). I don’t see any of these building Alexa, Google Home or other voice assistant technology into the ATA itself. The market is simply too small.

There is no point in building a handset into an ATA. Digital IP phones already exist. Someone may or may not incorporate voice assistant technology into one, however, it’s unlikely to matter as Republic isn’t likely to support IP phones, at least, in the short to medium term if ever. Doing so would introduce significant additional expense both in terms of equipment acquisition and support.

There seems to be a healthy market for multi-handset home telephone systems like the Panasonic ones my SO and I own. It wasn’t long after the XLink adapter came out the these systems had that functionality built into them. I believe this market is strong enough to support such a system with both an ATA and Alexa built in. Moreover, it will probably come with WiFi built in.

Here, just add an ATA to this:

I’m not sure what gives you that idea. The number of households with home phones decreases drastically each year, as does the number of overall home phone devices on the market. The home phone had its heyday, that’s not now, it’s a dying space with an ever decreasing market, not the other way around.

The convenience of having wireless handsets scattered around the house. I believe this is why @rolandh bought the Panasonic system with Alexa.

Why would one add an ATA to that cordless phone system when one may simply plug it into an ATA. In fact, I just bought the AXH02 and connected it to Republic’s Extend Home ATA. So far, it’s working flawlessly.

It makes no sense to build an analog handset into an ATA when digital phones (a/k/a IP Phones) already exist. ATAs exist to allow use of analog handsets on digital networks. If one is going to the trouble of creating a new device, why do the conversion?

In part, yes. But, I fully appreciate I’m a niche market. I’ve been using various forms of DIY residential VoIP for longer than I’ve been a Republic customer. It always has been and always will be a niche market.

The home “landline” will no more return to mass market status than turntables and vinyl records will. There remains a niche market for both but that’s insufficient for the kind of new product development you envision.

@rolandh and @billg together hardly make a robust market. Heck, all Republic customers combined don’t make a robust market. The facts are that 25 years ago landline penetration was nearly 100% in the US while the last numbers published in 2018 shown that only 42% of households had a landline (or landline equivalent such as Ooma). Those same numbers show that in households of those under 35 the numbers are far worse with landlines at less that 30%. The trend has been steeply downward since 2004 and there’s no sign that’s going to stop.

I’m putting my money one Panasonic’s market research, not yours.

You have access to Panasonic’s research? They’ve essentially had the same products in the market for the last 15 years. They used to release a new handset every 6-12 months. The last major advancement was DECT 6.0 released in 2009.

And I’m not doing market research, I’m stating facts. The market is shrinking. There’s absolutely no way to argue that. Absent a landline or landline equivalent a cordless phone is a paperweight. Heck, a bunch of the beta testers had to go out and get phones for the test because they didn’t have them.

We can discuss all we want, and disagree all we want, but the numbers are the numbers.

cdc-national-health-interview-wireless-survey

There’s really no reason for this to be a debate as there’s nothing wrong with supporting a niche market. Doing so can be be quite profitable. Republic specifically and MVNOs in general serve a niche market. The mass market is with the big 4.

@billg, @louisdi is correct in that the “landline” is rapidly going the way of the dodo in terms of being a mass market product. The CDC has been studying the trend for years now. Their latest published research is linked here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/wireless201812.pdf.

For what it’s worth, the AXH cordless phone series is manufactured by Meizhou Guo Wei Electronics (not exactly a household name) under license from Motorola not Panasonic. The single handset AXH01 is currently at #149 in “Landline Phones” on Amazon. It’s a relatively new product and compared to other cordless handsets relatively expensive, so it doesn’t surprise me it’s not flying off the shelves.

If one wants to confirm the landline’s impending doom as a mass market product, all one need to is talk to a member of the much maligned millennial generation or those coming behind them. Few will indicate a desire to own a landline phone. Some at the younger end of the spectrum might never have heard of such a thing.

Again, there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with supporting a niche market and that’s what I believe Republic is doing. Further I believe Republic has correctly concluded that doing so via a new product such as the proposed Anywhere HQ is unrealistic, hence the choice to use off the shelf hardware and position Extend Home as a value add.

Eliminate clutter. WiFi would be helpful too.; As it is now a corner of my desk has my home phone system base station, the Grandview ATA, a Cisco switch a USB/AC outlet panel and all manner of wall warts and cables. Adding these features to the Panasonic system would eliminate all but a wall wart.

Any idea what percentage of those “land lines” have been replaced with VOIP lines from ISPs? I’ve ordered mine disconnected on August 1st.

The CDC’s research covers that scenario. The percentages in the CDC’s research isn’t limited to traditional “copper” landlines. When the CDC says mobile only, it means mobile only.

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Bill, you’re missing my point. All of that may already be accomplished by using an IP Phone instead of an analog phone attached to an ATA. The challenge for Republic in supporting IP Phones is these are something most folks don’t already own and there’s a myriad (mostly aimed at the business market) out there.

In theory, Republic could allow us to use any ATA or IP Phone of our choice by making SIP credentials available. Doing so would, however, be a support nightmare.

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From the very beginning of today’s discussion I’ve had eliminating clutter on my ;mind. It is right in front of me now. I should have stated that as my reason for wanting to combine technologies into one device. I apologize for not making this clear to you and @louisdi because I can tell you have both missed my point. We have wondered off into areas I could care less about.

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You’re still missing Roland’s point. The product you want exists. In droves. IP phones are common. I have one from ShoreTel sitting on my desk. Roland explains that above:

With Alexa, an ATA, multiple wireless handsets and WiFi all built into it? I wasn’t aware of that. Does it have the same phone number your cell phone has?

Edit: I see a lot of very expensive ShoreTel IP phones on Amazon but nothing like I’ve pieced together. Did you look all the devices it take in the photo of my system? I don’t understand what your point has to do with my point.

I surrender. There’s a tremendous untapped market that no company has realized is there and only you’ve detected. Republic should immediately divert resources to build the device you’ve described in order to ensure their future success.

I’m out.

The precise device you advocate for does not exist and, in my opinion, likely never will. You are essentially asking for the Anywhere HQ, which Republic has made the decision not to build (a decision I don’t see changing). Republic has moved onto a more modest approach that for a relatively minimal investment of $50 allows for leveraging of devices many folks already own.

I’m not aware of a currently available IP Phone with Alexa (or other voice assistant) capability built-in as the Motorola AXH series does. There are IP Phones capable of running Android apps that one might use to leverage Amazon’s Alexa app. There would be no need for a built-in ATA with an IP Phone.

The dilemma is Republic doesn’t support anything other than one single ATA and, to date, has given no indication it intends to change that. Perhaps, if Extend Home turns out to be the mass market success you believe it can be that will change. I doubt this outcome is a likely one but to each their own.

I think the closest one is likely to come is combining something like the AXH series (the only analog handset with Alexa built-in I’m aware of) with Republic’s Extend Home ATA. That somewhat reduces the clutter to two boxes requiring two ethernet connections. Adding WiFi to the Extend Home ATA is unlikely to happen due to the additional expense involved. I don’t know of an ATA currently on the market with built-in WiFi.

We certainly have wasted a lot of time with a lot of unrelated material, none of which has lessened my desire to have all these devices built into a single unit. I respect your opinion that such a device will never hit the market but respectfully disagree.

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