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Issues with Sipgate phone service

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,550
Thanks: 791
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Issues with Sipgate phone service

I have a Grandstream GXP1400 which I use with a Sipgate service (switched to this when Plusnet stopped doing VoIP). The phone is connected directly to my TG582. I suspect the problems are something to do with my fibre broadband connection as nothing else has changed.

Over the last month or so I've started experiencing two problems with this:

  1. Sometimes the incoming call quality is so awful I can't make out anything they are saying we have to drop the call and try again. If we try one or two times it will go back to it's usual crystal clear quality. I've asked and nobody ever has trouble hearing me.
  2. People ringing me sometimes have issues getting through - it just fails to connect. They'll try two or three times. When I've been instant messaged by them to say they can't get through I check I have a dial tone and can make calls it's fine. If they then try again it rings immediately (I've tested this using my home phone line).

Both of these problems have only started recently.

Early August my connection started being capped by Plusnet to 55/10 - I don't think the issues pre-dated that - could it be something to do with that?

Also, as I'm on a fixed IP I have no way of knowing if I've been moved across to the new network. If someone from Plusnet could tell me if I have and if so when that would help.

I'm really not sure how I'm going to track down what is causing the problems - anyone any ideas?

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
15 REPLIES
bikeman
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 18-09-2016

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

I've tried loads of voip providers over the years, including sipgate, and every single one of them has proved to be woefully unreliable for incoming calls. Outgoing is not so bad but incoming calls, forget it, you will be blissfully unaware that callers can't get hold of you. I don't think Plusnet is responsible at all. Ask sipnet what they actually do to get priority of their voip packets across the big bad internet - nothing I suspect.

As an ex-telecom engineer I can tell you that voip only really works within a private network on a dedicated vlan. Voip services that vie for priority across the internet are a dead loss.

In these days of practically zero cost pstn calls I can't see a case for suffering with voip anymore. 

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,550
Thanks: 791
Fixes: 9
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

OK, let me expand on my initial post.

Over the last month or so I've started experiencing two problems

I've been using Sipgate very happily since Plusnet stopped providing VoIP around July last year.

Not using VoIP would as a minimum require me to have a second line which would require the installation fee and monthly rental - VoIP is a very significantly cheaper option and normally works well.

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,366
Thanks: 490
Fixes: 45
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

Over the last month or so I've started experiencing two problems with this:

  1. Sometimes the incoming call quality is so awful I can't make out anything they are saying we have to drop the call and try again. If we try one or two times it will go back to it's usual crystal clear quality. I've asked and nobody ever has trouble hearing me.
  2. People ringing me sometimes have issues getting through - it just fails to connect. They'll try two or three times. When I've been instant messaged by them to say they can't get through I check I have a dial tone and can make calls it's fine. If they then try again it rings immediately (I've tested this using my home phone line).

If you've been moved to the new network then that could explain both. 1 is usually down to latency/packet loss , have you tried a voip jitter test when you get the problems. With 2 IIRC Sipgate don't have an outbound proxy so I assume you've either got some port forwarding or NAT keep-alive timer to enable the incomining call. If it's the latter then I guess it's possible that dropped packets may cause loss of the NAT session. Making a call would re-establish it.

 

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,366
Thanks: 490
Fixes: 45
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

As an ex-telecom engineer I can tell you that voip only really works within a private network on a dedicated vlan. Voip services that vie for priority across the internet are a dead loss.

In these days of practically zero cost pstn calls I can't see a case for suffering with voip anymore. 

I beg to differ! . Voip using a normal internet connection can provide a perfectly acceptable service. I've migrated our office from ISDN to voip in the last year and there's no perceptable difference in call quality. We had 3 ISDN lines and 20 DID numbers, and our basic costs have dropped from some £400/month ( including pbx leasing ) to about £40 ( and that includes an additional FTTC connection which gives us additional internet resilience ) . Ok , so the first 2 months saving went on equipment but now it's pure savings. As for call costs, I'm not sure where you're getting your figures !!, our monthly call charges have gone from £40 to about £4. Our voip calls to UK landlines are 0.5/min with no setup charge , PN's are currently 19p setup and 12p/min !!!

bikeman
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 18-09-2016

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

I am sure you are pleased with your voip service: and probably blissfully ignorant of all the inbound calls you are missing. That the o/p is posting here is testament that they have just become aware of problems.

Bottom line is sipgate (and the like) do nothing to prioriitise their traffic and you'll get short shrift from your broadband provider if you have quality problems.

These days you don't have to look very hard to get rock bottom call rates: bundled mobile minutes and dial around services like 18185 are comparable to that offered by voip providers.

 

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,550
Thanks: 791
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service


bikeman wrote:

I am sure you are pleased with your voip service: and probably blissfully ignorant of all the inbound calls you are missing. That the o/p is posting here is testament that they have just become aware of problems.

That is not the case here either. Only a very limited number of people know my VoIP phone number and people who have been ringing me with no issue for months (the same people who contacted me on the Plusnet supplied Gradwell VoIP) have recently had trouble getting through (the same people who contacted me with no issue on the Plusnet supplied Gradwell VoIP).


 

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,366
Thanks: 490
Fixes: 45
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

I am sure you are pleased with your voip service: and probably blissfully ignorant of all the inbound calls you are missing.

Not true, in the case of inbound call failure our voip provider automatically diverts to a backup landline. It's never rung once, apart from when we test it by taking our voip server down!.

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,550
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

Mine should divert to a VoIP voice mailbox - it doesn't when the issue occurs, the caller is left with a dead line. If I unplug or power off the phone it works as expected and instantly diverts. That indicates to me some sort of network issue with the phone and the server getting out of sync.

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,366
Thanks: 490
Fixes: 45
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

Mine should divert to a VoIP voice mailbox - it doesn't when the issue occurs, the caller is left with a dead line

Ok, that sounds like the SIP connection has been established but that the RTP connection hasn't been setup. Can you get any logs from the phone ?

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,550
Thanks: 791
Fixes: 9
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

I've been looking in to that - the phone can send logs to a syslog server and my NAS box does provide that service. Just waiting for it to happen again.

Is the RTP connection set up when the phone registers or for each individual call?

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,550
Thanks: 791
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

BTW I've just had it confirmed that I'm not on the new network yet.

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,366
Thanks: 490
Fixes: 45
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

Is the RTP connection set up when the phone registers or for each individual call?

For each call. It's not so much a connection ( cos it's all UDP ) as a negotiation of which port number to use.

BTW I've just had it confirmed that I'm not on the new network yet.

That's that theory out of the window then...

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,550
Thanks: 791
Fixes: 9
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

It still leaves the change from 80 capped to 40 downstream with uncapped 20 upstream to 80 capped to 55 downstream with 20 capped to 10 upstream as a possible reason. Time wise I think it coincides.

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,366
Thanks: 490
Fixes: 45
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Issues with Sipgate phone service

I seem to recall a thread asking how PN were capping the upstream , did we ever get an answer ?