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  #21  
Old 23.10.2006, 10:05
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

You can have two versions of Sipcall.ch - one with a number that people can call (costs) and one without a number where you can make cheap/free calls.

Do read the information on those websites
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  #22  
Old 24.10.2006, 01:08
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

I briefly read through the previous posts and I must say that I don't understand the technology, but I wanted to throw my two cents in about the Vonage phone system. I signed up on line and had the router sent to a friend in the States who then mailed it to me. As far as I know they only deal with customers (presumably) in the US. We pay a flat fee of 24.00 USD a month for unlimited calls to the US---both to land lines and cell phones. You tell Vonage where you want your phone number location...we picked St. Louis since my son was attending school there. We were then given a St. Louis area phone number and my son could call us in Switzerland as if he was making a local, free call. My friends and family across the country can call us here as if they were calling St. Louis---and if they have unliimted long distance (as most people in the States do) then their calls to us are free. Vonage has expanded to include free calls to Canada, Ireland, Italy and they are adding new countries all the time. With these other counties you can only call land lines for free, not cell phones. My daughter lives in Florence and I can call her for free from Switzerland.

Vonage uses internet access and the router plugs in to any phone. I don't use my computer to talk, but a regular, cordless phone. Maybe this can help some of the expats who miss chatting with their mates. The best thing is that they can call you, too, and they don't have to have any special equipment or sign up for anything.
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  #23  
Old 24.10.2006, 02:44
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

Quote:
You can have two versions of Sipcall.ch - one with a number that people can call (costs) and one without a number where you can make cheap/free calls.

Do read the information on those websites
I would.. if only they'd take the trouble to learn English !

Even so, I checked out their tariffs... not impressed at all.
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  #24  
Old 24.10.2006, 10:09
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

Quote:
<snipped quote about Vonage>
Deborah - did you take the discounted Vonage Linksys PAP2 device they sell too?

This makes it (the SIP gateway) super-cheap and pre-configured - very useful for an American or Canadian here (bar the power adaptor of course).

Quote:
I would.. if only they'd take the trouble to learn English !
that's the spirit
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  #25  
Old 24.10.2006, 12:52
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

[quote=Lob Rockster]Deborah - did you take the discounted Vonage Linksys PAP2 device they sell too?

This makes it (the SIP gateway) super-cheap and pre-configured - very useful for an American or Canadian here (bar the power adaptor of course).


I wish I could speak with more knowledge about this, but we do have the Linksys broadband router with two phone plug. There is a computer store a block from my house so getting the adapter was easy and not too expensive. It has saved us a lot of money calling home. The funny part is when we get a wrong number from someone in the States and they have no idea they are talking to someone in Switzerland.
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  #26  
Old 10.11.2006, 13:35
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

possibly for my own reference more than anything else.....this in theory will allow a 2-port SIP device to forward all incoming calls to its own other line.

I'm going to test this over the weekend as I am looking to go for a Swiss VoIP provider as well as a UK one...
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  #27  
Old 18.12.2006, 02:08
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Re: Anyone using [SIP]... Lob, did it work for you?

I'm curious if you found a way to make this work like you want.

I think you and I are looking for the same thing: A single-phone system that allows friends and loved ones from far away to call us cheap and for us to call them. Naturally, that system must allow us to make all our normal local calls also.

Is it possible to get VoIP from a CH-based provider and ask them to place a local number (DID) in the UK? That way the UK folks could call into that one number which is really and extension of your CH VoIP service? Is there any CH providers offering DIDs in foreign countries?

Or, are there any CH VoIP providers that will provide the CH service and allow you to to add a DID to their service (e.g. you buy/lease the DID number in the UK and configure it to work with the CH provider as a second "virtual" number on your account?

Anyway, I would be very interested to hear if you could find a solution - via hardware or software...

Thanks,

B
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  #28  
Old 18.12.2006, 10:07
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Re: Anyone using [SIP]... Lob, did it work for you?

Quote:
I'm curious if you found a way to make this work like you want.

I think you and I are looking for the same thing: A single-phone system that allows friends and loved ones from far away to call us cheap and for us to call them. Naturally, that system must allow us to make all our normal local calls also.

Is it possible to get VoIP from a CH-based provider and ask them to place a local number (DID) in the UK? That way the UK folks could call into that one number which is really and extension of your CH VoIP service? Is there any CH providers offering DIDs in foreign countries?

Or, are there any CH VoIP providers that will provide the CH service and allow you to to add a DID to their service (e.g. you buy/lease the DID number in the UK and configure it to work with the CH provider as a second "virtual" number on your account?

Anyway, I would be very interested to hear if you could find a solution - via hardware or software...

Thanks,

B
When we first moved here and had the sysytem set up we were usuing SwissCom as the internet provider and I never had any problems. We now have Cable Com because it is a bit cheaper but I don't think the connection is as good. But the Vonage itself is terrific. We have three boxes. One from Cable Com, one for the wireless computer and one for the Vonage that we had sent over here from the States. These allow us to have a seperate Swiss phone, a seperate "American' phone, and a wireless laptop. With the Swiss phone we have a package that allows for local and international calls. My husband uses this to call New Zealand because the Swiss Com rates are cheaper than the Vonage rates for that country.
The Vonage "American" phone--which is its own hand held set---not connected to the computer---allows us (for a montly fee of 25.99 US) to call any US land line or cell phone for free and to call any land line in Canada, England, or Italy for free. Plus, anyone in the States who is calling that number calls us as if they are calling the US. So, if they have unlimited long distance (as most customers these days do) then they call me for free. If they don't have unlimited service, then they call us as if we are located in St. Louis. You can chose the area code you want so you could pick one that would be a local call for family or friends. Vonage also provides an automated voice mail system to keep and retrieve messages. I am thrilled and feel so fortunate to have something like this to be able to keep in touch. Now my friends don't hesitate to call me.
We also have Skype but I never use it.
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  #29  
Old 18.12.2006, 23:54
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

Hi Deborah

That is a complete set-up! Thanks for the insight.

I have (been researching) a similar idea but with a kinda techy twist.... If you have a Swiss VoIP you can lease a number in many places in the world which will ring your local Swiss number through the Swiss VoIP provider. For example, from these companies:

http://www.voxbone.com/
http://www.callcentric.com/did/
or this list of DID providers
http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/D...vice+Providers

you can get a number in your desired country. Numbers cost about Eur/$ 5 per month and up. After securing the number, you can configure it so it will call into your Swiss VoIP account. Here are some instructions:

http://www.oreillynet.com/etel/blog/...o_get_loc.html

The instructions use GizmoProject as an VoIP provider, but it applies to any VoIP provider. In the end, what you have is a Swiss VoIP that handles all outgoing calls (CH, EU and RoW) hopefully at a decent price. Tied into the Swiss number is a number back "home" (local call for the caller) that will also ring the Swiss number.

At least I think it will work, but it is all theoretical (to me) at this point...

Now I need to find a Swiss VoIP provider with great quality/service (and a decent price) that will allow me to "port in" the number from Voxbone.

tbc...

B
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  #30  
Old 30.12.2006, 21:16
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

Having browsed through this thread, I'd like to add my experiences, which seem quite different to those already mentioned. Some may find them useful.

We recently bought a new apartment, a little further away from Zürich than our previous place. In the old apartment we'd had an ISDN connection with a good number (i.e. ending in "00"), so our numbers ran 00 through 04. We'd allocated each of those individual numbers to family members and the fax so the phones rang differently depending on who the call was for.

Our new place was no longer in the 044 (Zürich) area and Swisscom told us we'd have to surrender those old numbers, known to family and friends worldwide and get a new 055 number. And if we wanted a "nice" number, it'd cost lots of money! Sigh... Time to think laterally.

I was sure that the Bacom had forced Swisscom to offer "number portability" and this proved correct. Basically you can retain your existing number but transfer it to Cablecom or any other alternative to Swisscom. Now comes the interesting bit - that includes SIP providers!

For the uninitiated SIP stands for "Session initiated protocol" and is the world open standard for Internet Telephony. Whilst we're talking standards, Skype is proprietory and not SIP compatible, so I ruled that out.

So now I had to find a SIP supplier and get some SIP phones. The second proved easy (for a tecchie!) I bought a FRITZ!Fon WLAN 7050 ADSL box. This wondrous device is basically an ADSL router, but with a lot of clever tricks. The best of these is the ability to connect any mix of your existing old phones, analogue or ADSL and make them SIP phones! So I could re-use my (expensive) Swisscom ISDN phone and my Siemens Gigaset ISDN cordless phones as well as my antique rotary dial phones and didn't have to buy new. Amazingly it even allows you to use ISDN phones on an ANALOGUE phone line, and still have all the nice ISDN features. It's configured using its own internal web server from an attached PC and has Ethernet, USB and Wireless (54 gig) connection possibilities. The version I bought here in Switzerland even has an English language web interface - important because it's quite a complex beast! Take care (ask me!) if you buy one - there are many different FRITZ! models and the ones sold in Germany don't work in Switzerland due to different standards!

I needed a new ADSL connection anyway and was not happy with my current supplier, so chose a new one that seemed to know something about SIP telephony. A complicated sequence of events then took place as follows.

I first ordered a simple analogue phone connection at the new address, received the number, and didn't give it out to anyone except my new ADSL supplier, from whom I ordered a fast ADSL link. One obviously needs a phone line to have ADSL unless you go with Cablecom, who I would not recommend.

On the day of the move, I called Swisscom and had them divert all calls to the new number, so that when the phone was disconnected in the old place, my temporarily connected analogue at least rang and we missed no calls. Obviously the cost of the diversion fell to me, but they were only local calls. Once that was done I cancelled the old connection so that the person moving in after me could have a phone, being very careful to tell Swisscom I wished to keep the number and account active and giving them the new address for the bills.

With me so far?

I then asked my new ADSL supplier for 5 SIP accounts, giving the 5 old 044 ISDN numbers, and asking for the form that has to be completed to "port" the numbers from Swisscom. I filled in the form and was informed Swisscom needed about 2 weeks to do the paperwork and the ports are done at the end of each month. Swisscom asked me several times if I really wanted to do this (YES!) and finally accepted my defection.

I then configured my FRITZ! box with all 5 SIP account details, so that as soon as the porting was done, the box would log in with my SIP account details and I'd be up and running.

And so it happened. I've had my FRITZ! running for about 6 months now and it's been faultless. We make and receive ALL our calls over IP and have honestly forgotton we're using IP telephony - it's that good! I took one of the 5 numbers/SIP accounts and unregistered it from the FRITZ and now use it with a "softphone" running on my laptop so I can make and receive calls using one of my home numbers whilst away on business - I recently used this from Singapore - no problems.

At the risk of making this even more complicated, Swisscom recently launched a "friends and family" scheme whereby for a small fixed monthly charge all calls from one fixnet number to several mobiles are free. Great - took that, programmed the FRITZ! to dial only calls to family mobiles over the Swisscom fixed connection instead of over VoIP and the household costs dropped dramatically. SIP calls are not free but are very cheap compared to Swisscom.

Another point that may be of interest to some is that the FRITZ! box can have multiple SIP accounts programmed into it, so you could theoretically have your UK number ported to SIP and continue using it in Switzerland in a similar way as I describe above. The FRITZ! can have some pretty complex rules about which outgoing number is used when you call different countries or numbers.

A peculiarity of VoIP is that can't be used to receive analogue fax. My provider neatly overcame that with a "Fax to PDF" service. My incoming faxes are now automatically converted to a PDF file and forwarded to my email account. I find this a great solution, as the few faxes I get are usually urgent and I see them quickly wherever I am. I still have my old fax hooked directly to my single Swisscom analogue line for outgoing use only.

I've deliberately not disclosed who my service/SIP provider is, because I've now become a reseller and get a tiny cut on all your VoIP bills, but I'm very willing to help anyone looking for a similar solution. Just PM me. You don't have to change your ADSL supplier either, although I find "mine" is excellent.

Please note this has NOTHING to do with Skype, which I repeat is proprietory. SIP is truly the future of telephony.

A lot of the satisfaction I've had from this is in achieving something that Swisscom said couldn't be done. My Swiss friends are quite surprised that they can still call me on my old Zürich numbers after we've moved to Schwyz!

RS
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  #31  
Old 02.01.2007, 07:32
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

Nice to see that more options are available than the standard bundled stuff. What you have accomplished is similar to what I would like to do (although the numbers that are ported to my SIP account/FRITZ/phone/whatever) will originate from other regions. Luckily with SIP, the origin and termination of the phone connections doesn't matter much.

One question, why do you advise against Cablecom (despite the family and friends mobile phone deal)? Is it the variable bandwidth issue with cable systems in general or something more specific to this provider?

Thanks!

bnc
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  #32  
Old 02.01.2007, 09:13
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

Quote:
<snip>
One question, why do you advise against Cablecom (despite the family and friends mobile phone deal)? Is it the variable bandwidth issue with cable systems in general or something more specific to this provider?
For me the shortcoming with Cablecom's digital phone service is that it is not up 100% of the time. It is the same as its cable internet service, which has improved greatly, but still drops out. I would not like to have all my phone eggs in a basket that was not always there...
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  #33  
Old 02.01.2007, 20:37
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

I have to say I spent nearly 4 months working in the US last year and my wife and I looked at all the providers , digital network ( sorry cable com no way ) swiss comm also didn´t stand up to inspection.

In the end we used the open public Tcomm hotspots in starbucks in the US and SKYPE .

I also have a swisscom wifi network card which had no problem finding me a network all over the US but has almost no chance in Germany.

Home has broadband from tele2 , wireless router for the family , 5 wired ports to the office , recording studio , workshop and the guest accomodation.

I have also installed a music/media server on the network and use the wifi stand alone radio from terratec ..

However back to phones , i had bills of 900 swiss in the month for the same work period in 05 and in 06 I was at like 200..... thakyou skype and I got to see the kids on the web cam too brilliant
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  #34  
Old 04.01.2007, 12:06
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

Quote:
... One question, why do you advise against Cablecom (despite the family and friends mobile phone deal)? Is it the variable bandwidth issue with cable systems in general or something more specific to this provider?

Thanks!

bnc
Hi, because I've heard from so many people about Cablecom's legendarily bad service. By definition all systems have variable bandwidth because the "last mile" connection, be it ADSL or DSL over a TV cable have contention, that is the connection bandwidth is shared by many subscribers. So what you get depends on how active your neighbours are.

And Swisscom have a "friends and family" deal as well. I use it and we save a fortune. Basically all calls between home and our two mobiles are free against a small monthly fixed charge, so I've programmed my VoIP box to route only these calls via Swisscom.

RS
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  #35  
Old 04.01.2007, 12:26
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

to balance the complaints, I've had 4 outages in 6 years of cablecom internet and 3 outages in 3 years of digital phone. But I don't need to complain about good service now, do I?
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  #36  
Old 04.01.2007, 13:29
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

Hi there, having only recently registered and introduced myself I have to say I'm struggling!!!I have been reading englishforum.ch website for a couple of months now and I am about to commit on the TV, internet and Landline front so maybe if I can work the phone technology out I can save money and gain benefits like a U.K. telephone no!!

I have read this thread and coming from a totally non technical background I have absolutely no idea about what you are doing but the outcome I think would really benefit me. I work from home but all my calls are international. I was going to buy a wireless Skype phone but now I am not sure...
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  #37  
Old 04.01.2007, 13:30
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

Gardan - from where would most of your calls come?
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  #38  
Old 04.01.2007, 13:37
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

Hi, most of my calls come from the U.K. although I do call Liechtenstein a fair bit and deal to a lesser extent with other parts of Europe
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  #39  
Old 04.01.2007, 13:46
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

With SIP-based phones, you can turn off your computer and they still work.
With Skype ones, most need the computer on (but I do think there are some 802.11 models on the market).....

Outbound calls will be quite cheap - your inbound market is where you will "benefit" from provisioning a local number so they don't pay an arm and a leg.

So from my experience, I've got a SIPGate.co.uk account and a Linksys PAP2 working nicely. I do have some other steps I'd like to take so that I can junk my phone here and have two VoIP numbers running into my house loop but that's a little way off (so SWMBO tells me )
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Old 04.01.2007, 13:55
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Re: Anyone using [SIP] VoIP systems?

Thanks Lob Rockster!! I have just made a massive leap in understanding... I think what you are saying will benefit me... I will have a good look into it. One thing though and it may seem a bit dumb but can I receive faxes? I work with some quite traditional professions so things often have to be done by fax...
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