E.164 Dialing

For the last 6 months I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around how e.164 dialing could/should/is working connecting outside of our own networks.

Here are some of the things I’ve discovered.

  • E.164 dialing is a specific kind of H323 dialing your endpoint could do, usually in conjunction with a gatekeeper.
  • There is an educational Global Dialing Scheme in the works. You can read about it on the Internet2 website.
  • Megaconference and Megaconference Jr. use the E.164 Global Dialing Scheme dialing. This requires registering to a gatekeeper that participates in the Global Dialing Scheme (GDS). Gatekeepers can be neighbored together to join this scheme and there is a specific procedure for participating in this. Megaconference Jr. did have to allow some sites to dial the IP address instead of the GDS e.164 number because some units could not connect. It would be interesting to know more about that.
  • The United Kindgom has a service called JVCS that is using the GDS. Yesterday I did a test call with a location in the UK. They gave me their long e.164 number. It looked like the long ones used for the Megaconference dialing, so I registered with the Internet2 Commons gatekeeper to see if it would work. They were able to call my e.164 number on the Internet2 Commons gatekeeper, but I couldn’t call them the same way. We are still investigating why. They were also able to use the JVCS MCU to call me via IP address. (I’ve done a few connections now with JVCS’s MCU and the calls work great.)

Questions I Still Have

  • How do organizations get their gatekeepers registered and organized to participate in GDS? Who organizes that? Is it different for each country? What does it cost to participate? Some of the answers are here, but not enough for me to know how my 70 endpoints could participate.
  • If the vendors are pushing us towards gatekeeper registration as “best practice”, then in K12 we have to get something working so we can keep dialing each other. Is that even possible/feasible?
  • On the other hand, I’ve been thinking about this review of my projects session at NECC.

“Towards the end of the session the presenters had participants talk about implementation ideas in our respective school districts. The two people I spoke with agreed that there are a number of challenges to successful video conferences including cost, the technology and developing the programs. One person from a university said that she had never been part of a video conference yet that didn’t need a technician present to make sure it all worked, that it took time before the video conference to make sure all equipment was working prior to the event, and that often, there were interruptions in the connections. In our small group conversation, we wondered what place video conferencing may continue to play in education with the advent of lower costs communication solutions such as podcasts and web based interactive software such as Elluminate or Tegrity. Only time will tell.”

While I don’t agree totally with the tech support issues raised (I have several media specialists who are now able to do calls on their own with minimal problems), it certainly is a valid point. I’ve already blogged about how teachers can’t be expected to do this on their own.

If the technology is getting more complicated (all this weird dialing) instead of easier to use (I’m thinking specifically of K12 schools with limited tech support who want to connect to any other K12 school out there), what then???

I’m still mulling this over. Please comment if you have any thoughts on this!

In the meantime though, I’m going to keep doing creative curriculum based VCs for my schools!! I still do believe in the power of whole group based quality audio videoconferencing for communication & curriculum reasons!


About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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1 Response to E.164 Dialing

  1. S. says:

    Hi, I am not an expert and I have a question that maybe you can answer. I am looking for a router that can support both Tanberg and Polycom conferencing system. Do you know any?


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