Category Archives: SIP and Phone

Back to Google Voice

A few months ago, I ported my phone number from Google Voice to Project Fi. There were a number of reasons why I left Project Fi, and now selling my Nexus 6, but I will go into details of the various consequences that one on a very tight budget will face.

First, Project Fi was one of the cheapest providers. They were $30 + tax – discounts. This included unlimited voice, SMS, and 1GB of data. However, the fact that most of what I relied on Google Voice for was absent in Project Fi was just a catalyst.
Continue reading Back to Google Voice

Pursuit for Cheap Phone Service

Today (2015-10-07) due to a number of factors that have affected me negatively, it will seem as if it might be in my best interest to consider reducing more of my bills. The most significant bill (other than rent and Internet) will be cellular phone. As for Internet, I will be contacting my ISP to ask about a lower plan. As for cellular phone, I have 3 options. First, I can continue with my current carrier which is the cheapest of the big 4. In this case, after EIPs are paid off, I will have a $72 phone bill. Second option is to choose a cheaper provider. Most such companies are pre-paid. I could also go with a per minute provider and micro-manage my cost. The third option is to get as close to free as possible. This will be to use T-Mobile’s 200MB free data plan, and use a cellular Life Line service. There will still be some costs involved though. The first option is the easiest, and the one I would prefer. The second will be the cheapest upfront as it will just be a matter of changing the SIM card. The third will have the biggest investment, but will offer the biggest reduction of costs.

For now, T-Mobile (my current provider) will continue to have my business. At the very least, I still have to make EIP (Easy Installment Payments) on devices I already own. However, in order for me to know if a choice will work, I have to make sure there are no problems. And while everything might look good on paper, there is still practice. This post might help someone in a similar position as I.

Continue reading Pursuit for Cheap Phone Service

Google Voice Unified

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about how to use a consolidated phone number for both the home and cellular phone. And while some degree of my method has changed in the couple of years, this method has been the same, and remained my way of having a home phone, and a cellular phone – while only needing to have one telephone number. However, in May of 2014 – Google will be terminating XMPP support with Google Voice. This will mean that most of the SIP providers, and IAX systems that plugs into Google Talk will no longer work. Now, companies such as Ooma, will still work – but this is because they just allow you to disclose your Google Voice number – but will use their network to make the call. You also have to pay $10/month + the ATA for this. Their ATA is about $150 – $200 which can be a little pricey when it means you will be able to plug a standard POTS phone into the device. You can also buy their cordless phones for better function – but these are $50 per phone, and the Ooma ATA only supports 4 phones. All together, you will be spending $500 + $120 per year for your home phone which may or may not do everything you would need to do.

I would still want a more unified solution, and while my proposed method will still be somewhat costly, it will be cheaper than the Ooma Solution. Keep in mind, there are a number of SIP providers that will allow you to spoof your CID to show your Google Voice number rather than a number they give you. As with the post this is replacing – I will use a similar format. I will go into detail on what you would need, then go into the hardware, and finally the services. I will identify how emergency calls are handled, and I will go into detail of what happens. I will go into additional options, and will explain what I “will” do. I will also go into the cost of services, and allow you to determine if the value is worth the investment.

Continue reading Google Voice Unified

Phone Service by Freedom Pop

Yesterday (2013-10-01), Freedom Pop made it known that they will now offer extremely low cost phone service. There are some catches, and some information I didn’t find out as of yet, but here is the idea.

You will first purchase the Wimax enabled phone for $100 (no contract) which the phone itself is about 3 years old, so you won’t get much out of it. You can get 200 minutes/500 SMS for free, 500 minutes/unlimited SMS for $8, or unlimited voice/SMS for $11. For those looking at price only, this beats out Republic Wireless – which they will both use the Sprint Network. As for data, all plans offer 500MB per month.

Continue reading Phone Service by Freedom Pop

Cell Phones are Smart, Home Phones are Dumb, Why?

It is becoming very clear that the cellular phone are moving from basic or “feature” phones to smart phones. And there is a good reason of why. Smart Phones can do so much more, and are very productive compared to the basic phone.

So, why are the home phones still in a dumb mode. You have some that can pair with your smart phone via Bluetooth for contacts integration, but seriously – the home phone in reality is dumb. Archos promised the Archos Smart Home Phone, and visiting the US website, you can view it. And while this home phone is outdated, it was a step forward. But unless you are willing to spend as much if not more than a cellular device, don’t expect yourself to have a smart home phone in the home anytime soon. And this is bad.

Continue reading Cell Phones are Smart, Home Phones are Dumb, Why?

Why I’m Getting an ObiHai?

ObiHai is a device manufacturer that has three ATA (Analog Telephone Adapters), and a softphone that supports Android and iOS. The devices supports GTalk, and/or SIP accounts. The 100, and 101 supports 2 accounts, but the 101 allows for PSTN switching which is good if you have the old fashion phone system as well. The 202 supports 4 SIP accounts, and while I would have wanted the 202, this was not really in my budget which I would have had to pay an extra $30.

I bought the ObiHai 100 from Amazon and signed up with the 30 day trial with Amazon Prime. Since I don’t usually have a lot of money, I don’t see me going on shopping sprees. However, I will have to look at the other benefits of Amazon Prime to see if it will be worth the $80 per year. Now, I am on the new plan with T-Mobile which offers unlimited calling, so one might ask – why would I want a house phone? There are a few reasons for this.

Continue reading Why I’m Getting an ObiHai?

Plans for a new phone

It will come a time when I will want to replace my current phone with a new phone. There are various reasons of why, but in the end, the G2x has been a regret, and I see no real possibility for LG nor T-Mobile to update the OS.

So, to avoid problems of updates and crapware that the carrier installs – I will be buying a Nexus Phone. Here is something interesting, T-Mobile will be offering the Nexus Phone, and free of the problems that the Galaxy Nexus had on Sprint, and Verizon. However, I will not be buying the Nexus phone from T-Mobile.

Continue reading Plans for a new phone

Google Voice as Home and Cell

This page will be obsolete in May of 2014. This is because XMPP support will be terminated by Google. For those that are confused about how this will affect them, XMPP is what is used to allow a phone call to be carried by GTalk which is then sent through Google Voice. An Updated Page is available.

In these tough economic times, there maybe a need to reduce costs. While most people use cell phones exclusively, this can be expensive, and could be a problem if you need to have a phone at home. This post will help you keep the costs low, and make the most of your resources. You will need the following items.

  1. 2 Android Cell Phones for the following.
    • Your Home Phone
    • Your Cellular Phone
  2. A Google Voice Number
  3. Ability to download SIP Droid
  4. A Wifi Router
  5. An Internet Service with the following minimum requirements
    • Minimum of 256kbps for voice (divide speed by number of devices)
    • Maximum of 100ms latency

Continue reading Google Voice as Home and Cell

Free Phone Service (Restrictions Apply)

In these tough economic times, people on low income are trying to find ways to make their money stretch. So, how does one do so with the phone. POTS based phone service can be as high as $30 or even more. VOIP providers are typically not much cheaper, and if you need a cell phone so doctors, or schools (if you have children) needs to reach you, this will mean even more.

Now what would one say if I can say there can be free calls if you are on low income, and not have to worry so much on counting minutes? Needless to say, restrictions apply. However, here is what you would need.

  1. A Broadband Internet Connection
  2. A Google Voice Account
  3. An ObiHai ATA with ObiTalk Service
  4. A standard POTS telephone
  5. A Safelink Wireless Phone Service
  6. A willingness to do some configurations, or treat your favorite geek to his favorite dinner.

Now, once you have all of this, you would need to put it all together. I will go into detail why you would need all of this. I will then define why you would need these things, and then I will describe how to put everything together. Continue reading Free Phone Service (Restrictions Apply)

SIP Advise All Over Again

I had a few friends ask me for advise which is not always followed. I have one friend who has a friend that lives in Canada, but has family in the Philippines. They can’t speak to each other, because rates are so expensive. I also had another friend that lives in Canada, and didn’t want to call a business in the US since it is expensive. I have provided my thoughts and advise before, but it almost seems as if it falls on deaf ears. Maybe this advise will help someone.

So, I will provide my thoughts, and advise all over again. And this will not only benefit the people in question, but any one with similar situations. In some cases, there is a cost – but I am sure this will make up for the cost in an hour or two of phone calls. In some cases, it may not even take that amount.

Continue reading SIP Advise All Over Again