Tag Archives: voip

What’s the new deal for ip calling?

http://www.telbo.com
http://www.nonoh.net
http://www.voipraider.com
http://www.jumblo.com
http://www.voipzoom.com
http://www.12voip.com
http://www.smartvoip.com

All includes free calls to China. Telbo includes a $1/m plan for North America.

Note:
**xxx reserves the right after a certain amount of calls to start charging the default rate. FREE CALLS are available for users with Freedays.

If you want to a home phone that can make and receive calls, follow these steps.

1.you can get a voip phone or adapter. For adapter, Linksys PAP2 is recommended. If you are using an adapter, you need a regular phone to connect to the adapter.

Note: voip phones and adapters are connected to router/internet using network cable directly, not connected to computer using USB cable or phone line.

2. Get a nonoh.net account for 10EUR/4mon.

3. Set up the nonoh account on the ip phone or adapter.

4.Get a free US phone number (DID) at ipKall.com. New York area code is not available at ipKall. Choose one you like. SIP Phone number is your nonoh user name. SIP Proxy is sip.nonoh.net.

Basically, now you have a home phone with that you can receive calls and make calls, even to China.

5. (optional) Get a local phone number from google.com/voice. Forward the number to your ipKall number.

If you just need a home phone that can receive calls, in step 2 above, get an account from Gizmo5.com. Then get a google voice account that can be forwarded to your gizmo account. With gizmo, you can make toll-free calls.

Asterisk: Streaming source for Music On Hold

I didn’t install voicemail, sounds etc. I have no mp3 files on my asterisk.

Jan 1 00:44:48 NOTICE[1254]: res_musiconhold.c:507 monmp3thread: Request to schedule in the past?!?!
Jan 1 00:44:48 WARNING[1254]: res_musiconhold.c:336 spawn_mp3: /var/lib/asterisk/mohmp3 is not a valid directory
Jan 1 00:44:48 WARNING[1254]: res_musiconhold.c:488 monmp3thread: Unable to spawn mp3player

Source link at voip-info.org.

Shoutcast Music On Hold

You can have asterisk use a streaming source for on-hold music.

Make a directory and put a 0 size file ending in .mp3.
I called my directory: /var/lib/asterisk/mohmp3-empty

in musiconhold.conf, add a line such as:
default => mp3:/var/lib/asterisk/mohmp3-empty,http://www.waixwave.com:8000/

Alternative method —

The initial method seems to not work in 1.2 & +. You can use the method below, doing a custom application and calling mpg123, and specifying your shoutcast source.

default
mode=custom
dir=/var/lib/asterisk/mohmp3-empty
application=/usr/local/bin/mpg123 -q -r 8000 -f 8192 -s –mono http://213.186.41.160:8000/

PCCall.com

A new york based company called pccall.com offers a plan called “Lucky 7″, with which people could calls 7 countries with monthly fee $7.

The 7 countries are

  • US
  • Canada
  • UK (ex/mobiles)
  • China
  • Singapore
  • Spain (ex/mobiles)
  • Sweden (ex/mobiles)
  • As explained here: https://www.pccall.com/lucky7.asp, “monthly Fee of $7 for your first full calendar month”, which sounds tricky.

    It seems people have to call from computers. There’s no sip proxy introduced so that people could call from sip device or asterisk.

    Check out with the company if you are interested. Welcome to comment on it if you get any experience.

    MagicJack, skype killer?

    It seems magicjack is a rising star in the hot voip market.

    What did they get?

    1. Calling is convenient. Connect a regular phone to the magicjack, plug the magicjack into a USB port, and make calls. That’s it.

    2. Cost is low: Each magicJack costs $39.95 plus shipping and handling. This gives you one year of calling to the USA and Canada. You can purchase an additional year’s service for $19.95

     

    What’s the differece from USB phone?

    USB phone + installed softphone = Regular phone + magicjack.

    Basically, they put everything pre-installed in the magicjack. So this is no-brainer totally. Even grandma can do it.

    MagicJack’s success tells us that in the voip market, if you could do a little bit more than others, you could succeed. If you check the various voip solutions partially listed in this post: http://blog.nyworldphone.com/2008/03/06/various-voip-solutions/, you would see how to make voip calls, what’s our voip future are really up to our imagination. There’s still a lot of space that we can imagine.

    To me magic jack is not so much better than others.

    MagicJack is simple. But if you have buy others like vonage, what you need do to make a call is just connect your regular phone to the adapter, connect the adapter to the router, and make calls. Oh right, you need a router to have both of your computer and adapter “internet accessible”, and you need plug in the power supply etc. Big deal, we like las vegas but we don’t want travel?

    MagicJack is cheap. Skype is 3 bucks a month for NA unlimited and has unlimited world plan. Speaking of cheap, icall.com and some others offer free calls to US and Canada.

    MagicJack is portable. So what? If you have a laptop for MagicJack calling on travel, isn’t skype more simple? Just login and make calls. You don’t even need carry a regular phone. Grandma doesn’t know how to use skpe? Does she carry a laptop to use MagicJack? Does she know how to get the internet access on travel? Actually, I would recommend her to carry a pre-configured sip phone on travel. Connect it to internet and make calls. That’s even smaller than a laptop.

    MagicJack can be sent to another country. You can send a adapter too. For simpler, just send a link for skype without shipping fee.

    MagicJack is small. What’s the size of skype?

    MagicJack has all these features, portable, simple, cheap, small etc. Actually there’re already some dedicated skype phones, such as Linksys CIT400 Wireless IP Phone. The price is not cheap. We have to turn on our computer to use MagicJack which obvious is not a good solution for permanent household using. I would expect some sip service with similar pricing to MagicJack. I bet the pre-configured adapter would make Grandma even happier.

    Even all this, MagicJack offers another solution, a new option and it’s kind of cute(see the picture above). People love to try new things.

    — Alen

    Skype! Unlimited World Plan $9.95/month

    Unlimited World

    Unlimited calls to landlines* in 34 countries.
    No long-term contract. No connection fees.

    $9.95/month

     

    Unlimited calls to landlines* in

    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Canada (incl. cell phones)
    • China (incl. cell phones)
    • Chile
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Guam
    • Hong Kong (incl. cell phones)
    • Hungary
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Korea, Republic of
    • Luxembourg
    • Malaysia
    • Mexico (Mexico City)
    • Mexico (Guadalajara)
    • Mexico (Monterrey)
    • Netherlands
    • New Zealand
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Puerto Rico
    • Singapore (incl. cell phones)
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Taiwan
    • United Kingdom
    • United States (incl. cell phones)

     

    And there’s a special offer now – buy 3 months and only pay for 2. Ends June 1st 2008.

    Skype also offers Unlimited US & Canada for $2.95.

  • United States (incl. cell phones)
  • Canada (incl. cell phones)
  • Unlimited Mexico for $5.95 which covers

    • Mexico (Mexico City)
    • Mexico (Guadalajara)
    • Mexico (Monterrey)
    • United States (incl. cell phones)
    • Canada (incl. cell phones)

    Since betamax’s service is so bad and rates vary so much, so fast without updating website information. You might want to go for skype for international calling. But the only thing I don’t like about skype is that people have to use it with computers. People have tried to use it with asterisk. But I’m not sure how well it works.

    Mobivox: Another VOIP service to substitute betamax

    Betamax had pretty good rates for international calling. But due to a lot of problems (check more details at http://blog.nyworldphone.com/2008/02/06/betamax-voip-services/), people may want to to find another one to substitute.

    I checked around and found that mobivox(www.mobivox.com) has a free minutes policy which is similar to gizmo project. But not like gizmo, people can make calls from regular phones.

    Here is their description about the free calling policy.

    3.1 What is the offer: “Free calls between MOBIVOX users”?

    MOBIVOX offers free local and international calls from any phone to any other MOBIVOX member in over 40 destinations worldwide. If you are calling outside of these areas or calling friends and+ family who are not MOBIVOX members, …

    3.2 What destinations are included in free calling?

    Free calls between MOBIVOX members are available FROM anywhere (any country and from any phone) to:

    A) Members’ mobile phones in::
    Canada, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Thailand and United-States (including Alaska and Hawaii).

    B) Members’ landline phones in:
    Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico (Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia (Moscow and St. Petersburg), Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United-States (including Alaska and Hawaii), Turkey (Ankara and Istanbul), United Kingdom and Venezuela-Caracas.
    C) All Skype™ users on Skype™

    3.4 What does it mean if my account is inactive?

    If you have not made any type of call in the previous six months, your account will become inactive. This means that you cannot make or receive free calls on MOBIVOX. Any credits that are in your account at the time it is made inactive will be lost.

      3.6 What’s the “fair-use” policy?
    The fair use policy allows us to offer free calling to our users. The continuation of the free calling depends on the cooperation of the MOBIVOX community.

    For calls placed through a local access number, users are entitled to receive 250 minutes of free calls per week (Monday-Sunday UTC (GMT).

    For Web and SMS Call Backs, users who have added a minimum of $5 of credit to their account, will receive 250 free minutes of Web and SMS Call Back per week. For users who have never added credit to their account, Web and SMS Call Backs will be limited to a lifetime total of 250 free minutes per phone number. Once 250 minutes of free calling using either SMS Call Back or Web Call Back is reached, users will be charged at the standard rate to complete this call. To ensure you receive 250 free minutes per week of Web and SMS Call Backs, please make a minimum deposit of $5 to your account.

    3.7 How do I know that a call will be free?

    No Surprises! We will tell you if a call is free before connecting your call.

    Make sure:

    • You have made at least one MOBIVOX call
    • Your friend or family member’s phone number is registered in their profile
      • Your friend has made at least one MOBIVOX call
      • You are calling one of our free destinations. See here.
      • You did not cross the free call limit of 250 minutes. You can always consult your Call History.

    Check more details here: http://www.mobivox.com/help/FAQ?go=3#q3-7.

    They have different ways to initiate calls. If you want to learn more about different calling methods for voip, here is a simple explanation/guide: http://blog.nyworldphone.com/2008/03/06/various-voip-solutions/.

    I’ll try it and post my experience later. First thing I’m concerned is the voice quality. Another thing about the “free” thing is the tricky policy about “active users” which is like gizmo project. We’ll see how it works.

    Various Voip Solutions

    Voip stands for voice over internet protocol. Basically it means talk through internet.

    Calling Services

    Many different voip calling services are available using different protocols. With the traditional IM softwares like msn, yahoo, qq etc, people have been able to do voice and even video chat for a while. Now all different IMs tend to converge as one universal. Jabber is one way that is trying to make it. Skpe is another unique one which is one the most popular voip services over the world. And there are a lot of other sip voip services which each provides a sip proxy for configuration. All sip services are pretty universal. They can communicate with each other pretty easily provided people are allowed to by the company meaning they each have a open server.

    Calling Solutions

    1. PC to PC

    I believe all softphones with different services and many IM softwares can do pc to pc talk, even with video. People have been using msn, yahoo messengers etc to talk for a while.

    Companies tried to make people feel like using traditional phones, and thus made some USB phones. The phones are connected to computers through USB cable. To make a call, we have to have computers on(Of course with internet access). Different USB phones support one or multiple different services. And it can be used for skyple, and/or msn/yahoo, and/or sip services. Basically, the phone just act as a dialpad.

    2. PC to Phone

    Some IMs were trying to make calls to regular phones. With AIM, people can make calls to phones with various calling plans. And we have seen dialpads with windows live messenger, google talk. Using skype, of course we can call phones with calling credits. For sip services, there are some universal softphones, such as popular ones like x-lite/eyebeam (www.counterpath.com), sjlabs(www.sjlabs.com) etc. Some companies only allow people to use their own specific softphones. A lot of companies allow people to set up the service on universal voip softphones. Some IM/Jabber services provide bridging services through their gateway so people can use sip accounts to make calls through their IM/Jabber accounts, such as Talkonaut, Gtalk2Voip etc.

    3. Phone-to-PC

    You may think why phone-to-pc. What’s the value of it? If we can call from phone to phone, why calling pc? Doesn’t it make any sense?

    Now, here are two scenarios.

    You are in US and your friend is in Paris. You can’t find a cheap voip to make calls. And you can’t stay in front a computer to chat/talk with your friend. You want to use phone. What do you do? Buy the expensive voip service or calling card? Sure if you don’t care spending money. Here we are talking about saving money. Sometimes, your phone is the only thing you can use, then how?

    You are somewhere and want to make international calls. But you have no internet. You can’t find a call back service either. Now what can you do?

    Phone-to-PC may be your solution. It’s not available everywhere. You need check. Sipbroker(sipbroker.com) can help us to make free phone-to-pc calls. So just check if there’s local access number in your area.

    (Check access numbers here: http://www.sipbroker.com/sipbroker/action/pstnNumbers and provider codes here: http://www.sipbroker.com/sipbroker/action/providerWhitePages)

    Basically, you call your local access number and transfer to your friend’s voip account. If your friend set the account on a voip device, it becomes kind of phone-to-phone calling.

    Get a local DID of your area for your friend who’s in another country and you call the DID is another way. People can get free DID in the US. But usually, people need buy.

    4. Phone to Phone

    I believe this is the solution that people like the most. Like using softphone, for some companies people have to use the voip devices they specify. And some allow people use to their own ones which is called BYOD(Bring Your Own Device). Almost all big companies specify devices by doing which they have more control of their customers. A lot of other companies provide pretty decent pricing and people can can do BYOD. But if the company is very small, they may not spend much effort on their services. Voice quality may not be very good. And customer care could be poor.

    5. Calling Card

    This can be regarded as another phone to phone solution. The difference from phone to phone solution above is that you don’t personally need a computer or internet to use it. The company has access numbers for customers to call through. It’s called calling card method. It differs from traditional calling card by it’s technology. To customers, it works just like traditional calling card. But it can make calling easier than traditional one. Basically, customers can register their phone numbers in the company’s system. When they call the access number, they don’t need put in a very long ID+password. They may or may not need type in a short PIN number. FreeCallPlanet.com(was CallChinaForFree.com) is one of this kind.

    6. Call Back

    This is another way for phone to phone talk.

    It has various connecting methods.

    • One is web callback. Jajah is one the most popular ones of this kind. People need a computer and internet to make the connection. Basically, they put in their own number and the destination number and make the connection. Both sides will receive calls with calling side first usually.
    • Another way is SMS Callback. People send a message to the access number. Then they will receive a call from the gateway. Then they are prompted to type in the destination number to make the connection.
    • Another one is direct callback. This is the way to avoid any charge by the phone comany for dialing. People dial the access number. The call will be disconnected before it’s through. Customers are not charged. But the gateway has already received the signal. So then the customer will receive a call from the gateway to make the connection.

    Call back is comparatively more expensive because customers need pay for two connection legs. Rebtel(www.rebtel.com) is one of this kind.

    7. Mobile Voip

    Actually this not another technique out of above. But it’s a calling style which becomes or will become more and more popular. More and more companies provides specific voip softphones for mobile(Pocket PC or Smartphone), like skype. Most of sip services can already be configured on universal softphones(for mobile). Please see more in Smartphone/PDA category for such services and softphones. Some companies provide mobile access site to make web callback. Of course people can always do direct callback with mobile if available. But sometimes, the access number is from another country, I guess people will not usually call an access number directly from mobile?

    Actually, some comanies provides multiple ways of above. Who allow people configure the service on voip softphones/devices may also provide calling card and/or callback services.

    It’s worth pointing out that Asterisk/Tribox is a pretty powerful solution which could be for personal or companies. With asterisk, basically, we can have our own phone system. All features can be achieved by right settings/installations.

    8. DID

    The last but not least, DID number is another powerful tool. Some companies like freedigits provide free DID numbers. Please see more about DID numbers in DID category. If both sides are using their services, they can make voip phone to phone calls by dialing real phone numbers. And they can receive incoming calls. DID numbers can also do call forwarding to sip URI or phone numbers. People can get a DID number of another country and forward calls from that country to their phones using VOIP. With grandcentral(www.grandcentral.com now with google), people can get a free local number with a lot of features. And they can make free web callback within US and Canada.

    With DID, people can even make calls between regulars phones using voip without own internet connection. Some people may like it because they dont’ have or don’t want to use computers or internet devices.  Here’s one example to make it. You are in US. You get a free DID from freedigits. Then you buy voipbuster. You could forward your calls received on freedigits to sip:userid@voipbuster.com which can be done in your freedigits account. Then you could forward your voipbuster calls to an international number. Now if you call the US DID number, you’ll reach an international number. The thing is you need specify the forwarding number in the account. If you usually only call one family number, it is good for you. You just need set the forwarding number one time. To call any numbers, asterisk can make it. But that’s more complicated.

    In a word, there can be many different ways to use voip. You could design your own way for your convenience. It’s all up to your imagination.