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Several questions re VOIP

UKenGB
Grafter
Posts: 65
Registered: 09-12-2009

Several questions re VOIP

Have been a (satisfied) PlusNet broadband customer for years and now wanting to make use of VOIP, so PlusNet seems the obvious choice. But there's a few things I'm not clear about and would really appreciate some help from those who already have the experience.
* I currently have 3 telephone numbers on a BT ISDN/2 line that will be discontinued and my plan is to port these to VOIP. Am I correct in thinking I will need 3 SIP accounts, one for each number?
I intend to install a Siemens Gigaset S685 IP (already use a Gigaset ISDN setup so again, obvious choice) and I have a pretty good idea of what's involved there. But of course there is also the possibility of Fring on mobiles, Softphones and standalone VOIP phones and I have no idea of how they will interact.
*I did read here that if you setup Softphones on 2 different PCs with the same account, both will ring on incoming calls. What if the same account is set up on the Gigaset, Fring and a VOIP phone? Will they all ring so the first to be picked up gets the call?
* How would you be able to transfer calls to a different device on the network:-
- with the same SIP account setup?
- a different SIP account.?
* What about call divert/forwarding to a different SIP account
- on the same network?
- elsewhere on the 'Net?
Hope someone can help with these questions.
13 REPLIES
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Re: Several questions re VOIP

Quote
Am I correct in thinking I will need 3 SIP accounts, one for each number?
Yes. 
Quote
What if the same account is set up on the Gigaset, Fring and a VOIP phone? Will they all ring so the first to be picked up gets the call?

As I understand it, Yes.
Quote
* How would you be able to transfer calls to a different device on the network:-
- with the same SIP account setup?
- a different SIP account.?

I'm really not sure about this but on the voip control panel there is this
Quote
Enabling hash ("#") transfer will allow you to press the hash button on your SIP device to perform a transfer, this is useful for users of ATA's and Siemens DECT devices.

Quote
* What about call divert/forwarding to a different SIP account
- on the same network?
- elsewhere on the 'Net?

I'm pretty sure you can do that either on the voip control panel or on the S685, but you would probably need to divert to the STD number associated with the sip account rather than a sip uri. Certainly on the S685 you cannot dial a sip uri, but you might be able to use peering codes on the voip control panel.
Does that help at all ?
UKenGB
Grafter
Posts: 65
Registered: 09-12-2009

Re: Several questions re VOIP

Yes, most helpful. Although if anyone else can add anything more I'm all ears:-)
Now I could do with finding a good SIP based softphone VOIP app for the Mac, iphone and WIndows Mobile.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Several questions re VOIP

Quote
Now I could do with finding a good SIP based softphone VOIP app for the Mac, iphone and WIndows Mobile.

Can't help with the Mac or IPhone I'm afraid, but I did use SjPhone on a WM5 Pda with some success...
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Re: Several questions re VOIP

Simon_M
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Several questions re VOIP

Quote from: UKenGB
Now I could do with finding a good SIP based softphone VOIP app for the Mac, iphone and WIndows Mobile.

I think there is a Mac version for most of the Counterpoint clients. Note that X-Lite is the only free one & you can only register one account on it at a time. You probably need a multi-account version in the long run, but X-Lite would be a good trial.
Moderator
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Re: Several questions re VOIP

I wrote an article for the support library on the Mac softphones here Smiley
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Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Several questions re VOIP

I see that in that article you noted the 'delay on answer' problem with X-Lite. That can be caused by the phone trying to use ICE when the server doesn't support it - and Gradwell/Plusnet don't.
Go to Account Properties | Topology & untick 'Enable ICE'.
The other solution is to click the answer button, take a slow deep breath, then say "Hello".   Cheesy    
I use a handset mostly, so I click the answer button, then pick the handset up & say hello. It's long enough for everything to connect.
That's on Windows, but I guess the same applies on the Mac - the comms technology is still the same.
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Re: Several questions re VOIP

I have a grandstream phone now, so I don't use a softphone anymore Smiley
The delay could be several seconds, which was a bit too long for my work colleagues Wink
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UKenGB
Grafter
Posts: 65
Registered: 09-12-2009

Re: Several questions re VOIP

Quote from: adiewoo
I wrote an article for the support library on the Mac softphones here Smiley

I hadn't come across Zoiper before, so thanks for that. I'll try them all out once the VOIP is all set up. One thing that I find puzzling and extremely infuriating about Mac Softphones is that they all seem to try and incorporate their own Address Book/Contacts list. How can they possibly miss the fact that Mac OSX has a standard built-in Address Book so that the LAST THING you need is another entirely separate database of contacts. It's the sort of thing that immediately puts me off using a piece of software (and the fact it installs itself where you don't want it, with no choice offered).
Anyway, I am still trying to come to grips with the whole VOIP, SIP, SIP Trunks, Channels etc terminology so could do with more advice from some of you with more experience.
My plan is to port 3 numbers onto VOIP, for which I thought I needed 3 SIP accounts. Each of these would actually utilise a SIP Trunk with the capability to handle a number of simultaneous calls (often 2). However, Gradwell say:-
"You can port 3 numbers, each on a separate Single Line account. However you won't be able to link the numbers together. The Multi user system will allow you to link all numbers together as a whole system."
Am I right in thinking that their single user account is essentially a basic SIP account? In which case 3 of those with a Gigaset S685IP would indeed allow me to "link them together". So their Multi-user account seems to indicate they are offering some form of basic PBX facility - at their end and exactly what I do not want. Does this make sense? Or can you have 3 numbers on the same single SIP account? IN which case, how could the Gigaset differentiate between the incoming calls?
I realise I will ultimately need to talk to the providers, but I'd really like to get things straight in my head first, hence asking here.
puddy
Grafter
Posts: 1,571
Registered: 10-06-2007

Re: Several questions re VOIP

Unfortunately VoIP is not always reliable yet so it may be preferable to setup your VoIP accounts with different VoIP providers.  In addition Plusnet say you can setup more than 1 VoIP account as long has you put a minimal £5 top up credit on the account.
Don’t forget some Nokia mobile phones allow you to make VoIP calls i.e.  Nokia E65 N82 N95 N95-8gb N97 N97 mini and N900 some nokia phones need debranding and a sim free firmware upgrade (flash) Vodafone T-Mobile Orange take out/load their own firmware to stop you making VoIP calls but they can be upgrade yourselves or take the mobile in to a independent mobile repair shop should cost no more than £25 plus while they have the mobile get them to unlock it at the same time!  Plus with Nokia mobile I have listed allow you to setup more than 1 VoIP account.
What can you tell us what you are trying to do so we can advise you more?
Kind regards
Puddy
Puddy
UKenGB
Grafter
Posts: 65
Registered: 09-12-2009

Re: Several questions re VOIP

I want 3 traditional telephone numbers ported over to sufficient SIP trunks that will allow at least 2 simultaneous calls. I will be running a Siemens Gigaset S685 IP and hence (I think) would need a different SIP account for each number so that calls can be filtered/routed by the Gigaset to appropriate handsets or groups.
I've been running these numbers over an ISDN/2 line (with a Gigaset on the end) and I'm looking to drastically reducing the cost. I will always have the security of the main PSTN number to fall back on in case of VOIP difficulties, which with the Gigaset should be pretty seamless.
I also intend to install Siemens' HC450 door intercom which I want to call both internal (specified) handsets AND forward to an external number - which will be one of those SIP accounts (hence free forwarding) which is also set up on my mobiles (HTC Touch HD / iPhone) with Fring (or equivalent) which hence will ring when someone is at the door. However, I want to know the call is from the door, so I need to be able to identify it on the mobile as an intercom call so I really need another number that is uniquely used for that purpose.
All of which probably constitutes too much information:-)
A couple of things still to be resolved:-
How many 'channels' are carried by PlusNet's (i.e. Gradwell's) SIP trunks. IOW, how many similtaneous calls?
If 2 devices are both set up with the same SIP account, apparently they both ring and either can be answered. But what, as in my case, if one of them is the mobile and I am NOT at home? I realise that if I don't have an Internet connection then I won't get the call, but if I do? IOW, if 2 devices have the same SIP setup, but they are not currently behind the same ADSL link/router, would they both receive the call?
Why don't Mac softphones use the OSX Address Book instead of trying to re-invent the wheel - badly?
Is PlusNet's VOIP service really any worse than from anyone else?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Several questions re VOIP

Quote
but if I do? IOW, if 2 devices have the same SIP setup, but they are not currently behind the same ADSL link/router, would they both receive the call?

Yes, been there done that! As long as both devices are registered with the same SIP account then they will both ring and the first to answer will get the call and stop the other continuing to ring.
UKenGB
Grafter
Posts: 65
Registered: 09-12-2009

Re: Several questions re VOIP

Quote from: MisterW
Quote
but if I do? IOW, if 2 devices have the same SIP setup, but they are not currently behind the same ADSL link/router, would they both receive the call?

Yes, been there done that! As long as both devices are registered with the same SIP account then they will both ring and the first to answer will get the call and stop the other continuing to ring.

Brilliant, this gets better all the time.
A couple of additional questions:-
How secure are any numbers ported to a VOIP provider. I don't want to be in the situation where I part company with the VOIP provider and they won't release the numbers. Do they have the ability to refuse to allow them to be ported elsewhere?
How could I transfer a call from one device to another? If I have 3 SIP accounts (with same VOIP provider) set up on the Gigaset and also on the Mobile (with e.g. Fring) and I accept a call on one, can I transfer it to the other? So if I pick it up on the mobile, but want to transfer it to someone else on the Gigaset, presumably I just 'dial' a SIP account that would get picked up by the Gigaset and vice versa? Anyone been doing this?