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Is it worth the wait for mobile VoIP?

Discussion in 'Windows' started by MHernandez, Oct 1, 2010.

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  1. MHernandez

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    Hi,

    I've been struggling with getting mobile devices to access a VoIP system for quite some time.
    I tried Asterix and 3CX and, although some may argue favourably about Asterix openness, the strength, ease of use and stability of 3CX is hard to beat. Definitely worth the money.

    However, in my case I really question the usability of a VoIP system if one cannot extend it to the mobile devices used by the modern taskforce (either sales, technical support or road warrior executives).
    We know a lot of people today depend more and more on their mobile devices.
    Take my case for example: I am a small entrepreneur, a Business Intelligence consultant with a small company in the UK providing consultancy services all over Europe.
    I am sick of paying outrageously high mobile bills due to roaming on every country I visit.
    When I go on assignments, I may stay anywhere from 3 to 6 months in a foreign country; not enough to justify a local post-paid account for a mobile and, frankly, this way I would end up with a phone number (and its corresponding bills) on every country I visit.
    Just not workable. Let alone expecting people to guess where I might be that week and try reaching me randomly on the many phone numbers associated with my contact details... Can you imagine my business card? (or bible)... - Certainly a great recepy for LOST BUSINESS!!!
    Mobile operators claim they are truly global business, right? With presence is some over 150 countries worldwide... but down to earth, at the end of the day they are no more than a big franchise operated by local businesses everywhere and I must add with a myriad of different policies and prices.

    So, what I wanted to do was to set-up a VoIP server (which I did with 3CX) and have a client installed on my mobile, so I can just get a pre-paid data only SIM card on every country I visit.
    This way, I only pay for what I really use, since I may be in one country for a few months and only returning several months later for eventual support or additional business... Why should I pay a monthly contract tied in a 12 month period (at least) if I won’t be there during all that time?

    Now, this really makes me mad. It is said that operators try to block SIP connections because they feel threatened by VoIP and fear losing revenue...

    This is just the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

    In my country of residence (and I believe all of yours as well) there are a lot of packages available which will make it just nonsense to go through the hassle of setting-up a VoIP infrastructure just to try saving some bucks. Ranging from lots of minutes to virtually unlimited plans, prices go from $25 to $50 USD/month including ever increasing data volumes.

    Adding to that, if ANY mobile telephone operator (not including the VoIP/SIP oriented ones, which do offer lower realistic rates for roaming free connections - they just miss the last-mile ;) ) would build their business plan based on roaming revenues, or even considering it a basic component of revenue, this company should really be out of business. Roaming is just not part of their main revenue strategy.
    So why do mobile operators charge so much for roaming if I can find the same operator in, say, over 150 countries?

    Now, to the point of this topic, I’ve been struggling with setting up a VoIP client on my Windows Mobile 6.5 professional, up to the point of being able to login and register to the 3CX system, but I am facing a lot of stupid and time consuming issues (I've been working on it for severall months now), like no sound, phone freezing, etc...

    So when I learned from the 3CX webpage that a new 3CX client would be available for the iPhone, I rushed to my conventional mobile shop to get a new device on a business plan with unlimited internet minutes....

    AND... I was REALLY SURPRISED to learn that I can now have an unlimited business plan which allows me to make unlimited calls to almost any European country, the US and Canada, all of it covering landline or mobile numbers (cool, so I can call my family too) and I can even add a bundle of Internet minutes to use in other European countries on the same plan... For less than £ 60.00/month.

    Did I mentioned that during the last 3 months I have been paying over €300.00 on my roaming bills (PER MONTH, EVERY MONTH)?

    Now, is it worth waiting any longer for this iPhone app to be released? - or any other mobile VoIP client?
    I might even keep my HTC Windows Mobile phone (which is great) and not be iPhonized just to get VoIP.

    It was inferred in the 3CX website that the client would be available by the end of September in the AppStore... Well, today is Oct 1st and I cannot find the App...

    Anybody knows where can I find it?

    If it’s not available really really soon, it may be doomed to be just another nice thingy that we just may not need...
     
  2. TotallyVoIP

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    The iPhone app is in beta test, and it is pretty good. I'm upgrading tonight to teh latest beta, and they hope to have it in App store within 4weeks, it should go to apple very soon and then it will be in the store. Best look in the dedicated iphone forum for more info.

    I think my next phone will be an android, it is catching up has does not have all the issues of the iPhone (battery lasts less than 8 hours when phone is behaving OK, less than 3 if it plays up).
    However due to data costs overseas, I think using SIP/Voip generally will not reduce your costs, it may increase them. If you are stuck in an office overseas with Wifi then the cost is ZERO, but when walking down the road/on a train etc and using 3G then the data costs can be huge.

    So it depends on your usage, and how you configure the system.
    If you are in offices and on wifi, then you could configure it to forward first to your phones Voip extension and if not logged in/connected then forward to your mobile?

    Lots of permutations
     
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  3. DeWild1

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    I am sorry you had to go and buy an I phone :cry:

    Windows mobile with the built in Office mobile and the millions off applications that make business more productive have not been advertised in a "hip" way so people who know and understand will never see this.. Sucks, but it's reality.

    I have always wondered why the Windows Mobile and it flexibility and power has never caught on to all the masses as its own success.. Instead, only people who understand stuff get them while the masses swarm to whatever they are sold through creative advertising.

    Anyways, ya, a 3cx windows mobile app would be cool..

    Until then, use a mobile broadband card, a BUA-100 from ebay ($15) http://www.plantronics.com/cgi-bin/download.cgi?type=software&path=&ID=personocall_consumer_setup.exe and a JAWBONE headset and the 3cxsoftphone and a backpack and an extended battery for your laptop. 8) ...

    And for goodness sake, take back the Iphone! Tell then you want a mobile phone with a smart OS that will help you be more productive, and use http://spb.com/products/pocketplus/ if you want it to be flashy and cool.
     
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  4. DeWild1

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    Also, set up the 3cx server with windows 2003 or 2008 and then set up routing and remote access as a nat-vpn server with a basic firewall, hook it directly to the internet, open up the necessary ports, and then when you are out and about, and if they block your SIP ports, all you have to do from your laptop is dial a VPN, (I set it up as a non encrypted VPN and with compression, you can get double the speed on upload and the same speed as non vpn for DL), and once you are connected to your server, you will bypass any walls made by the broadband companies and or any wifi walls that that the Hotel may have put in place...
    If you have an exchange server on the same network as the VOIP server, you can use that too without having to worry about rdp over http..

    I can set this all up for you. I can even make a scrip to connect the VPN and change your host file if needed..
    I can also set up your 3cx server and the ports..

    I can do both remotely, all you would have to do is hook up the server directly to the internet when I am done. http://www.911PCFIX.com Pay Per Min on top, 60 should do. Or PM me.
     
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  5. MHernandez

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    Nice comments!
    Thanks for that.

    Actually I didn't get the iPhone, but went looking for just to get the 3CX client on it.
    It turned out I searched it first on 3CX forums, the iStore from my PC and asking around.
    Gladly I found out it was not yet available, but it is available for Android, so I got an android phone instead.

    Still, I was deeply disappointed to learn it doesn't support the 3CX tunnel and, as I read in one of 3CX forums, it is just not a priority for the moment. But as it seems I'm a lucky bstd (or just clever enough), I got my HTC android from the 3 (three) network in the UK, which allows you to use skype for free for life!!! And with very very good sound quality either on the headset or using a bluetooth earpiece (I'm using a Jarba).

    I got an HTC wildfire with android. Skype runs on the background and is always available, so I can make and receive calls on both, the mobile number and skype (not at the same time, though).

    For those interested, there are a few tricks... You must contact a 3 (three) branded store (not third parties) and ask them about this offer. As far as I know this is available in the UK and I can only use skype within the UK (perhaps there are options for the service or roaming in other countries).

    So don't just run to your preferred supplier to get those android phones, consult the 3 network for availability (http://www.three.com).

    Now I can walk around using skype, also configure on my 3CX, which gives me a lot of flexibility.

    I must say that the skype gateway for 3CX has some bugs still, but I at least I can connect my gigaset with external SIP providers and to my own 3CX as well, to which I am a remote extension.

    This market is really moving fast and competition is fierce while demand is always on the rise.

    We are indeed in the 21st century, the economy is global and technology is available, so it's just down to who gets there first.

    For now this is working well.

    As I said before, pretty soon the 3CX client for mobiles will just be a nice thing that we may just don't need.

    Cheers,

    Marcelo.
     
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