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Seeking 1st-hand experience with VOIP

  1. Dec 2, 2005 #1

    EnumaElish

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    I am thinking of switching over to VOIP but I have unanswered questions.

    What exactly does "transfer of phone number" mean?

    VOIP needs broadband to work. Currently I am buying DSL from the local landline operator (LLO). So my broadband operator is my current telephone provider, and my broadband account is the same as my telephone account with them.

    If my phone number is transferred from the local landline operator to the VOIP operator, how can I keep my DSL account with the local landline operator so I can continue receiving the DSL service?

    Schematically:

    DSL ---> EnumaElish home phone (belongs to the current operator)

    |
    |
    V

    VOIP ---> EnumaElish home phone (belongs to the VOIP operator)

    I have the option of not having my phone number transferred. How would that work? Would it be like having a "virtual number" that works just like a real number? Except I get to keep my current (real) number?

    Also, has anyone had any problems with overseas calls using VOIP that they don't mind sharing?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2005 #2

    dduardo

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    Is the DSL and landline phone a package? If it isn't a package then I don't see any problem cancelling the phone service and switching to voip. I have VOIP and it works very well, but I haven't tried calling internationally. Voip is no different than regular phone service. The only difference is thatiInstead of a telephone cord to your phone you have an ethernet cord that plugs into your voip phone or into a digital to analog convert to your existing phone. Everything else about the system works the same. There are no "virtual numbers." A phone number is a phone number.
     
  4. Dec 2, 2005 #3

    EnumaElish

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    Even if it isn't a package, doesn't my DSL account have my phone number "written over it" by the local operator? Are you suggesting that the local operator assign me a new local number (for DSL only) so I can transfer the existing local number to VOIP?

    If you don't mind answering, did you transfer your real phone number over to VOIP, or got a virtual one?
     
  5. Dec 2, 2005 #4

    dduardo

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    Are you getting IP address confused with phone number?

    This is how voip works:

    1) Your DSL provider assigns you an IP address. You must have a static IP.
    2) Your VOIP provider assigns you a phone number. Since your transferring the phone number you get the one you have now. Your current landline phone company is out of the picture. There is no such thing as a virtual number. A phone number is a phone number.
    3)When someone calls you at your number the voip provider takes the call and converts the voice into digital bits and sends it over the internet to your IP address.
    4) Your voip enabled phone rings.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2005
  6. Dec 8, 2005 #5
    telephone numbers and IP address are both forms of addressing. If I was to call you this is what would happen (imagine I am also using VoIP for my local loop):

    I would dial your number on my VoIP phone the PBX I have here would sends the Voice encapsulated in IP towards my teleco provider, via what we call an IP trunk. (The lower lever protocols are irrelevant for this example). My teleco provider would then send my voice across the PSTN (Public switched telephone network) towards your local teleco office. (it will know where your number is because telephone numbers are hierarchical like IP addresses) Your local office will look to see how/where your phone number is registered, since you are on VoIP there would be a mapping between the "last mile" technology and telephone number, seeing that you have VoIP your teleco provider would then encapsulate the Voice back into IP and send down the "last mile" via your ADSL and to your VoIP phone. Your VoIP phone is registered with your local teleco's phone switch, and here is where the mapping between your telephone number and phone is
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2005
  7. Dec 8, 2005 #6
    just don't go with vontage. they have problems with getting their E-911 service up and running. Leo Laporte has nothing but praise for Packet8. He says that their service is clearer and has less trouble with routers.
     
  8. Dec 10, 2005 #7
    E-911? its not that important is it?
     
  9. Dec 10, 2005 #8

    Evo

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    It's extremely important if you have an emergency. VOIP companies like Vonage do not have real 911 service. When you use Vonage, you are no longer connected to the 911 network. Vonage "fakes" the 911 call in this way. "To activate 911 Dialing, you'll just have to fill out a short form during the sign up process that tells us your street address. If you are an existing customer, you can activate 911 Dialing from the features section in your web account.

    With Vonage's 911 Dialing feature, we use the address you provide to determine the nearest emergency response center and then send your 911 calls to a general number at that center. When the center receives your call, the operator will not have your address and may not have your phone number on hand, so you must provide that information in order to get help. Some local emergency response centers may not have live operators 24 hours a day. If Vonage learns that this is the case, we will send your call to a national emergency calling center instead and a trained agent will contact an emergency center near you to dispatch help."

    http://www.vonage.com/features.php?feature=911&lid=footer_911

    This is incredible, when you dial 911 from a Vonage phone line, Vonage looks to see if your information is in their system and then dials a regular non-emergency phone number at a local sheriff's office or other law enforcement center, it does NOT connect you with the 911 operator. The problem is that the numbers that Vonage was connecting people to were non-emergency lines and people were getting receordings that the offices were closed.

    There have been a number of lawsuits against Vonage due to this.

    http://news.com.com/Deadly+delay+on+Vonage+911/2100-1037_3-5700493.html
     
  10. Dec 11, 2005 #9
    Hmm.. it seems that there is a grey area in definitions.. E911 as far as I understood was the technology behind, triangulating a mobile WIRELESS device, when the user dials 911 (or whatever it is in your country).. Nothing to do with call routing..

    I understand that they need to have applicable call routing and digit fixing to enable a VoIP user to get routed to the correct 911 call center for thier geographic region.. But I didnt see any need to be triangulated using the same technology as they do with a Mobile phone...
     
  11. Dec 11, 2005 #10

    Evo

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    It's not only for triangulation with cell towers. There is also a VOIP flavor, at least in the US.

    "The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Board of Directors has formally approved the NENA Interim VoIP Architecture for Enhanced 9-1-1 Services (known in short as i2). The standard is an interim solution enabling VoIP telecommunications service providers to deliver full E9-1-1 service through the current E9-1-1 infrastructure. It is the first of a two part major E9-1-1 system re-design effort surrounding IP that was started in 2003."

    http://www.nena9-1-1.org/
     
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