Dialing international numbers

Discussion in 'iOS' started by vanj, Feb 26, 2012.

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  1. vanj

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    3CX iPhone app

    My SIP provider needs the fully specified phone number with the country code.

    All my iPhone contacts with US numbers have the (xxx) xxx-xxxx format so I set the Dial Prefix to 1

    I set "Convert + to 00" to ON

    International numbers are in phone book as +xxxxxx

    So a international number gets dialed as 100xxxx which is wrong.

    Setting "Convert + to 00" to OFF causes the number to get dialed as "1+xxxx" which is still wrong.

    How is this sort of thing set up so both US and non-US numbers are dialed correctly without having to add the 1 prefix to all my contacts?

    Thanks
     
  2. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    Can you dial US (north American) numbers as +1 xxx xxx-xxxx? In this case the 1 would be considered the country code and not a long distance prefix, then it would be in the same format as all other international numbers. Of course, You would have to add a 1 to the beginning of all NA numbers, because 1 is the country code. This is normally what is done in other countries. Dialling a national number the same as an international number.

    If you were in the UK and stored your UK numbers as 442085551234, you could put a + or a 0 at the beginning, however ,if you used a zero, it would not work if you tried to place a call from France. It would work if you stored the + ,as it would replace either the 0 or 00 automatically.
     
  3. StefanW

    StefanW Head of Customer Support and Training
    Staff Member 3CX Support

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    in the next version you will be able to define yourself in which string you like to convert the + this should help to solve this issue
     
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  4. vanj

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    Stefan - I am not sure I understand how this will help with my issue. Just to be clear...a large majority of the phone numbers in my address book are U.S. numbers so I am not looking forward to changing them to add either a +1 or just 1 prefix. The "Prefix" feature in the dialer works fine for these.

    The problem, as I see it, is that the "Convert +" and "Dial Prefix" features are stepping on each other. Instead, they should be mutually exclusive. In other words, if the phone numbers starts with a "+", use the "Convert +" option and DO NOT use the Prefix.

    Your thoughts? Thanks
     
  5. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    The problem is how you are storing your numbers. If you didn't dial any international numbers, or ever travelled outside the US, then storing your numbers as a 10 digit number would be fine.

    However, you are storing international numbers with the country code, but US numbers without. If all numbers were stored in the international format (all numbers had country codes) then putting a + before any one of them, should work, anywhere.

    All numbers could be dialled following the same "rules"
     
  6. vanj

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    Not so. As I said in my original post, my SIP provider requires the fully specified phone number so it needs the "1" even before a 10-digit US number. But, as I said before, the "Prefix" for the 3CX app works just fine for this purpose.

    Yes. Somehow, I don't think this is so unreasonable. Today, I don't think anyone would store or dial a US number with the leading 1, that went out of style many years ago.

    So storing U.S. numbers with 10-digits and international numbers with +country-code+number and expecting the dialer software to do the right thing is, IMHO, not a unreasonable expection.

    I outlined a way to achieve this in my last post by simply treating the 2 switches as mutually exclusive.
     
  7. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    Actually, my mobile company (in Canada) will play a recording, letting you know that you may be dialling a call to which long distance charges apply, before your call goes through. if you don't prefix non local 10 digit numbers, numbers with a 1.
     
  8. vanj

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    Stefan - Did you see my followup post? Could you please comment? I am not sure I understand how the feature you mention would address this. Thanks.
     
  9. StefanW

    StefanW Head of Customer Support and Training
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    fixed in upcoming version, you can convert now + to any string you like
     
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  10. vanj

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    Thanks, but as stated earlier, I am not sure I understand how this addresses my issue.

     
  11. StefanW

    StefanW Head of Customer Support and Training
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    at least you can enter now for the us correctly 001 and not only 00
    if you need this been removed or mod. then use the 3cx outbound rules to strip. i do the same for numbers in my country and remove the 0049 and add a 0
     
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  12. vanj

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    OK so you are suggesting that I NOT use the Prefix feature and add a + to all numbers in my address book, including US numbers. Sorry but doing bulk-edits of my address book was exactly what I was hoping to avoid. At the risk of repeating myself, storing U.S. numbers with 10-digits and international numbers with +country-code+number and expecting the dialer software to do the right thing is, IMHO, not a unreasonable expection.

    Outbound rules - Yes, that is exactly what is needed here. Full control over re-writing numbers before dialing. Other SIP clients, notably http://code.google.com/p/csipsimple/wiki/UsingFilters have this feature. I don't see that the 3CX iPhone app has this feature, you are probably referring to the full-blown PSTN/PBX software? Are there plans to add re-writing rules to the iPhone app?

    Thanks
     
  13. Vali_3CX

    Vali_3CX Well-Known Member
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    Hi

    In 1.1.5 you will have two settings
    - expand "+" to <replacement> string (empty string allowed, thus meaning stripping the +)
    - <prefix> (which generally might be considered as an outbound rule)

    Therefore, from address book:
    - a "+xx" number will be dialed as "<prefix><plus_replacement>xx"
    - a "xx" number will be dialed as "<prefix>xx"

    Obviously, numbers are stripped by () and spaces.
    Also, since 1.1.5 supports direct sip calls, such "number" will be dialed as is, without any processing.

    I hope I explained OK and you can figure out if these settings meet your demands. Further changes are not taken into consideration for this release.

    Regards
    vali
     
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  14. vanj

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    Unfortunately, this does not meet my needs since my address book stores US numbers as (xxx) xxx-xxxx and international numbers are +country-code xxxxxxx. So, if I set the replacement string for + to empty string, the international numbers will be dialed fine but since the dialer always uses the prefix, there is no way to get the US country code (1) prefixed to my US numbers without messing my international dialing.

    Again, as I said before, The problem, as I see it, is that the "Convert +" and "Dial Prefix" features are stepping on each other. Instead, they should be mutually exclusive. In other words, if the phone numbers starts with a "+", use the "Convert +" option and DO NOT use the Prefix. . Please consider adding this to the iPhone app dialer. Support for a full-fledged rewriting engine (with regex support) like CSipSimple, would be great too.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  15. Vali_3CX

    Vali_3CX Well-Known Member
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    To make things clear:

    the main and only purpose of the <prefix> is to provide a way to call back received EXTERNAL calls in those cases when PBX/provider requires an outbound rule to dial outside. Is not intented to be part of any filter.

    in a very similar way, the main and only purpose of the <plus_replacement> is to replace prefixing + in those cases when PBX/provider - or it's ISDN lines - does not accept "+" but 00. Again, Is not intented to be part of any filter.

    We allowed free customization for this two parameters only to provide user a greater flexibility to accomodate various PBX/providers, that's all. In rest - it's user's "responsability" how it stores phone numbers and PBX/provider's ability how it deals with them. To give you an example: I want to call back (or from address book) the 12345 - 3CXPhone should append or not the <prefix>?
     
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  16. vanj

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    Understood. But from a end-users perspective (mine), it really doesn't matter if I press "Call" from a Call History listing or via the address book integration, the point is, as you said, to provide flexibility to accommodate various PBX/providers, which is exactly what I am referring to.

    Just out of curiosity, I peeked into the address books of a few other phones and the scenario I have been using all along (10-digit US numbers without leading + or 1 and international numbers prefixed with +) is very common and, as demonstrated, the 3CX iPhone app does not facilitate calling both kinds of numbers seamlessly.

    It should append the prefix. As I said earlier, The problem, as I see it, is that the "Convert +" and "Dial Prefix" features are stepping on each other. Instead, they should be mutually exclusive. In other words, if the phone numbers starts with a "+", use the "Convert +" option and DO NOT use the Prefix.

    Conversely, If it does not start with a +, use the prefix. I think of it this way...if a phone number is prefixed with a +, it is an "advanced" user/number who knows what they are doing, leave the number alone, don't use the prefix, just convert the +. Make sense?
     
  17. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

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    One of the problems, is that you are thinking only as a North American user.

    Many mobile users in other parts of the world store all phone numbers (in their mobile) in the international format (+, country code, city code, phone number) because they make calls to other countries and from other countries to home (country) numbers. So, its a lot easier to put all numbers in the same format. That will require the + being required when calling over the mobile network and the conversion to 00 or 011 when using the same number out to 3CX. The prefix comes into play only on a call out to a PBX, such as a 9. The + could still be required, and in such a case 3CX can be set up to handle, and reformat, the +/00/011, even for a national/local call.

    Most mobiles these days, especially the smart phones, have a number of "spaces" to save numbers for each user. So, you can save numbers in a format that suits each use, both a mobile call and a call out to a PBX. I tend to store 3CX calls as a speed dial number (3 digit number) in an unused entry such as "car phone".

    I know it is is inconvenient if you already have a phone full of numbers, but if you can't convince 3CX to revise how the softphone functions, you will have to work around it.
     
  18. vanj

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    Guilty as charged! :D

    Hm, I see what you are saying. I didn't think about the prefix being used as a "dial outside line" when calling out to a PBX but I guess that is the primary use case for the feature!

    I am starting to agree.

    Thanks
     
  19. StefanW

    StefanW Head of Customer Support and Training
    Staff Member 3CX Support

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    @leejor - perfectly explained! thx once more!

    @vanj - if you use multiple providers to make calls ans swap profiles back and forth it would be for you really the best to use our 3CX Phone System, attach all the Providers to this PBX and your phone only knows the 3CX Phone System.
    Then you have the out bound rules inside our PBX to makes rules what should happen when and we will automatically transform the number for you and send it to the right provider. It will solve alot of your questions and gives you much much more freedom!
     
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  20. vanj

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    @stefan - No, I am just a simple North American iPhone user; my carrier limits the number of monthly minutes but data is unlimited making VOIP calls using SIP clients like 3CX attractive. I have just one SIP provider.
     
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