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  #21  
Old 10.01.2008, 12:16
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

I use VoipCheap (www.voipcheap.com), which is free to most landlines, very cheap for mobile, and no subscriptions required.

Don't be put off by their complex pricing scheme, the aspect of the site or the disbelief of the site: I'm a customer for more than 2 years now, and the quality is very good, and prices hard to beat.
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  #22  
Old 10.01.2008, 14:03
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

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I use VoipCheap (www.voipcheap.com), which is free to most landlines, very cheap for mobile, and no subscriptions required.

Don't be put off by their complex pricing scheme, the aspect of the site or the disbelief of the site: I'm a customer for more than 2 years now, and the quality is very good, and prices hard to beat.
There seem to be stacks of companies that are actually one and the same (voipcheap, voipbuster etc etc) what's the deal here? Why so many different fronts?
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  #23  
Old 10.01.2008, 14:40
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

Yap. One of the most debated questions, on what the hell is Betmax trying to do...

You can read many things on the net. I once did, but as long as I may keep paying with Paypal, I'll keep on profiting from the good rates and good service...
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  #24  
Old 10.01.2008, 14:43
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

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Yap. One of the most debated questions, on what the hell is Betmax trying to do...

You can read many things on the net. I once did, but as long as I may keep paying with Paypal, I'll keep on profiting from the good rates and good service...
Is there any difference at all which one you go through?
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  #25  
Old 10.01.2008, 14:45
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

They make a lot of twiking from one to the other, regarding which countries are covered, how many free days, mobile pricing,...
If you use their client only I know some of them are cheaper, but if you want to use SIP as I do I believe voipcheap.com is the cheaper one.
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  #26  
Old 10.01.2008, 15:15
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

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There seem to be stacks of companies that are actually one and the same (voipcheap, voipbuster etc etc) what's the deal here? Why so many different fronts?
the usual reason of course... so they can be different things to different people, and thereby maximise the returns from their investment
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  #27  
Old 12.01.2008, 14:56
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

Switzernet appears to have good value for the price, so I don't know if many people will need to look much further. But as an alternative that may fit a few people better, I can recommend Lingo. Lingo is a U.S. based voip provider & I have been a customer of theirs for about 2.5 yrs. They offer various packages from $8/mo. up, but the package that is likely to be of interest is people in CH is their "chatterbox" plan. It's more expensive than Switzernet at $21/mo. (plus $10/mo. more if you want to be assigned a CH phone number, rather than a U.S. one).

For the extra money, you get free & unlimited (as in it's included in the base price) calling to landlines in about two dozen countries including Switzerland, U.K, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Spain & a bunch of other places. Included in the base rate are about 20 calling features such as voicemail, call forwarding, selective call block, call conferencing, etc. Phone numbers are unlisted by default & for that matter, I'm not even sure if there is an option to have your number put in the directory or not. They have a decent web based management page and of course being U.S. based, everything is in English. Lingo prefers that you pay by standing order from a major credit card.

Lingo works well in Switzerland (provided that you have a decent internet connection) & I know four or five other people in CH that also use lingo. I have used it myself in CH, UK, France, US & Canada, with very good results. You can set the call quality level. On the highest setting (about 90kbps), the call quality is superb and has been reliable for me. I do not work for lingo or have any financial interest in them. They do have a referral system though, so if you do choose to sign up through a referral, lingo has been crediting $25 to each party, which shows up about 90 days after you sign up. If this feature set is of interest to anyone, you can find more details at http://www.lingo.com Lingo only allows you to use a limited number of brands and models of sip adapters though & I don't know if any of those are sold in Europe. So it could possibly be problematical to order the adapter from the U.S., because so many U.S. vendors don't like to ship internationally.

I checked one vendor (Provantage) and their website (http://www.provantage.com/d-link-systems-dvg-1402s-l~7DLNR00N.htm) lists the SIP adapter as being 'available to the U.S. and Canada only'. I gave them a quick call though & they told me over the phone that they would ship anywhere, just warning that the warranty would be voided if the destination was other than the U.S. or Canada. Lingo themselves will tell you that they are okay with you using the adapter anywhere in the world. They do ask for a U.S. mailing address when you first sign up, but it's apparently just to satisfy a FCC regulation that there is a default service address on file should you ever dial 911 (the univeral emergency number in the U.S. & Canada, akin to 999 in the UK). Lingo has never sent anything to the U.S. address that I gave them & they are well aware that I have been & am using the adapter in Canada & Switzerland.
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  #28  
Old 12.01.2008, 18:05
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

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Switzernet appears to have good value for the price, so I don't know if many people will need to look much further. But as an alternative that may fit a few people better, I can recommend Lingo. Lingo is a U.S. based voip provider & I have been a customer of theirs for about 2.5 yrs. They offer various packages from $8/mo. up, but the package that is likely to be of interest is people in CH is their "chatterbox" plan. It's more expensive than Switzernet at $21/mo. (plus $10/mo. more if you want to be assigned a CH phone number, rather than a U.S. one).

For the extra money, you get free & unlimited (as in it's included in the base price) calling to landlines in about two dozen countries including Switzerland, U.K, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Spain & a bunch of other places. Included in the base rate are about 20 calling features such as voicemail, call forwarding, selective call block, call conferencing, etc. Phone numbers are unlisted by default & for that matter, I'm not even sure if there is an option to have your number put in the directory or not. They have a decent web based management page and of course being U.S. based, everything is in English. Lingo prefers that you pay by standing order from a major credit card.

Lingo works well in Switzerland (provided that you have a decent internet connection) & I know four or five other people in CH that also use lingo. I have used it myself in CH, UK, France, US & Canada, with very good results. You can set the call quality level. On the highest setting (about 90kbps), the call quality is superb and has been reliable for me. I do not work for lingo or have any financial interest in them. They do have a referral system though, so if you do choose to sign up through a referral, lingo has been crediting $25 to each party, which shows up about 90 days after you sign up. If this feature set is of interest to anyone, you can find more details at http://www.lingo.com Lingo only allows you to use a limited number of brands and models of sip adapters though & I don't know if any of those are sold in Europe. So it could possibly be problematical to order the adapter from the U.S., because so many U.S. vendors don't like to ship internationally.

I checked one vendor (Provantage) and their website (http://www.provantage.com/d-link-systems-dvg-1402s-l~7DLNR00N.htm) lists the SIP adapter as being 'available to the U.S. and Canada only'. I gave them a quick call though & they told me over the phone that they would ship anywhere, just warning that the warranty would be voided if the destination was other than the U.S. or Canada. Lingo themselves will tell you that they are okay with you using the adapter anywhere in the world. They do ask for a U.S. mailing address when you first sign up, but it's apparently just to satisfy a FCC regulation that there is a default service address on file should you ever dial 911 (the univeral emergency number in the U.S. & Canada, akin to 999 in the UK). Lingo has never sent anything to the U.S. address that I gave them & they are well aware that I have been & am using the adapter in Canada & Switzerland.
So they offer the exact same service as Switzernet, but cost around 3x the price, restrict the hardware you can use to connect and you have to pretend you live in the US?

What am I missing here?
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  #29  
Old 12.01.2008, 18:22
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

I've had a snoop round and Switzernet looks the best deal by a very long way. Pity they only have 021 numbers...
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  #30  
Old 13.01.2008, 03:09
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

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So they offer the exact same service as Switzernet, but cost around 3x the price, restrict the hardware you can use to connect and you have to pretend you live in the US?

What am I missing here?
It's not the exact same service. The Switzernet plan price is very good and if it includes everything that you need, there is certainly no reason to spend more. The Lingo plan though includes free (included) calling to a much larger number of countries. So if you happen to have relatives, friends or otherwise make a lot of calls to a country that is free with Lingo (but would be chargeable with Switzernet), then your overall monthly bill could end up being a lot less with Lingo. As with all things, YMMV & do pick the provider that works best for your circumstances.

The requirement that you give a U.S. mailing address is a small annoyance, which is why I pointed it out, but you don't have to lie or pretend that you are in the U.S. You can tell them that you are in CH & they are okay with this. They just need a U.S. mailing address to satisfy a FCC regulation. There are tons of U.S. mail forwarding firms that can provide you with an address for this purpose. And will not even charge you anything for that unless you actually receive mail at that address. Switzernet is probably the easier & better choice for most. But depending on what countries you call most, Lingo will be more economical for some, like me.
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  #31  
Old 13.01.2008, 16:51
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

I've been using VoIP and SIP for about 2 years now. My installation is a FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7050 Annex A. This is an all-in-one box that's an analogue or ISDN ADSL router with firewall and NAT, a 4-port Ethernet switch and is also a SIP adapter and has WiFi. Even though my phone line is analogue I have a Siemens Gigaset SX353 isdn phone attached as well as various analogue phones around the house and all work perfectly, even a pre-war rotary dial phone (funny hearing a mechanical phone bell ringing again after all these years)! The FRITZ! box I I have is the international English version of the Swiss model, which means all menus etc. are in English. I imagine it's a lot simpler to configure than an installation of Asterix, although any SIP configuration is inherently more complex than a regular Swisscom phone! Another advantage of FRITZ! is that it's a one-box solution. There are now versions available that have 54n wireless and that act as a cordless DECT base station, so you can just buy a few Siemens Gigaset handsets to save on wiring phones.

Apart from low calling costs, the biggest benefit for me was being able to take our widely-known Swisscom Zürich numbers with us to our new apartment which is outside the Zürich phone area, instead of being forced by Swisscom to accept new numbers.

The FRITZ! can accept account details from multiple SIP providers and route calls to a particular provider based on dial prefixes (i.e. all calls dialled beginning 0044) and can of course be used with any SIP provider that offers local UK or other country numbers. Call quality is better than Swisscom analogue, and probably the best thing I can say is we forget most of the time we are using VoIP it jsut works!

RS
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  #32  
Old 13.01.2008, 23:36
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

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I've had a snoop round and Switzernet looks the best deal by a very long way. Pity they only have 021 numbers...
why exactly is that a pity ... whats wrong with a 021 number ??
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  #33  
Old 14.01.2008, 01:05
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

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why exactly is that a pity ... whats wrong with a 021 number ??
Nothing wrong if you live in the 021 area, which I believe is mainly Lausanne/Montreux. But if you live in the Zurich area for example, then people will think (based on your number) that you are actually located 200km away. Or your neighbour across the street might have to pay a toll to call you because you have an out area number.
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  #34  
Old 14.01.2008, 13:32
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

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Nothing wrong if you live in the 021 area, which I believe is mainly Lausanne/Montreux. But if you live in the Zurich area for example, then people will think (based on your number) that you are actually located 200km away. Or your neighbour across the street might have to pay a toll to call you because you have an out area number.
Your neighbour across the road pays either nothing, national tarrif high or national tarrif low - to call Zurich-Zurich costs the same as calling Zurich-Geneva.

And that's still cheaping than calling Zurich-USA But of course if you have rellies in the good ol' US of A then them calling you locally makes sense. Some of us need a Swiss number that is not a mobile number to make calling us inexpensive
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  #35  
Old 21.01.2008, 15:33
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

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Please use this thread to post your experience with VoIP services in Switzerland - this means basically anyone mentioned here .... and more importantly, not Skype.

I last month signed up with Switzernet and am just about to embark on testing their 9 franc per month service which offers calls to landlines CH, FR, DE, UK, landlines and mobiles USA, Singapore for free. Their full rates list is here

Initial thoughts:
  • The website is sporadically English with some French. Je n' parle pas français (ok, I do)....
  • They email me in English and/or French. And maybe German. This I don't notice as I understand those languages
  • Their T&Cs are not available in English yet - not a biggie - just note that you commit to a one-year contract after which you can quit with 60 days' notice
  • You get 10 days to evaluate - beginning from your first call
  • The number I chose for 50 francs was already gone and caused a delay in the process. I would suggest that their website backend needs to reserve the number for a reasonable time so that this does not happen
I signed up and sent them a scan of the contract about a week ago. It seems they have assigned me a number but my account still isn't active. Once they do activate it I need to send though proof of ID or I'll be limited to 50chf credit a month (that's fair enough).

Their website and emails are a mixture of English, French and German with a preference towards French (no surprise there).

I think without the recommendation I would have given up by now, not because I don't understand the languages (I'm no expert but get the gist of it) but because the communication isn't very clear, and I'm not sure when I'll be up and running.

I'd like their website to retain English as a language choice, it seem to default to French all the time.

I'll let you know what I think of the phone service as and when I'm setup.

If I only understood English and didn't know how to configure SIP devices I think this would be near impossible for me.
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  #36  
Old 25.01.2008, 12:15
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

Update:
My Switzernet credentials came through the post yesterday (seeing as they are giving my credit some respect to them for not sending it electronically)

The letter didn't really contain enough information for your average person to setup a SIP device, it only included username password and server. Seeing as the server listed is different from those listed on their support pages this might be confusing for some people.

Anyway, I'm connected, can receive calls via Geneva dial in number > Switzernet on my Siemens gigaset handset but can't make any outgoing calls.

I've just sent their support an email to see if they can help (and am secretly hoping they'll see this and respond all the quicker as a result ),
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  #37  
Old 25.01.2008, 12:26
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

I seem to have no problems, Peachy - I'll look at my config and get you a screenshot later on today if I can....it might help more than the helpline...
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  #38  
Old 25.01.2008, 12:37
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

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I seem to have no problems, Peachy - I'll look at my config and get you a screenshot later on today if I can....it might help more than the helpline...
I have just seen they have instructions for my Siemens S675 (not sure why I didn't find it before), and my config is slightly different:
http://switzernet.com/public/070723-..._UA/S675IP.php

It works fine on sipcall.ch, sipgate.co.uk and sipphone.com (ok, I'm a VoIP whore) so I'm not sure what's up.
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  #39  
Old 25.01.2008, 12:41
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

they have the servers and credentials in the letter - use them, no STUN (IIRC) and it should register and go online.

Incoming calls allow two-way conversation too?
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Old 25.01.2008, 12:50
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Re: [VoIP] Swiss VoIP services: Experience

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they have the servers and credentials in the letter - use them, no STUN (IIRC) and it should register and go online.

Incoming calls allow two-way conversation too?
Yup, I used the server listed in the letter (sip6), no STUN, incoming calls allow 2 way conversation.

I'd had a few beers when I set it up, so I'm not totally ruling out "user error"
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