4g Small Business Router - VOIP etc

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by mose72, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. mose72

    mose72
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    Hi All

    I have my own business, we have two offices. One is in Glasgow and one in Sunderland. Neither as yet have a hardwired bb connection. In both I am using an ee 4g Alcatel Y800 router which is working pretty well for our internet needs.

    As a cost reduction measure (to reduce the mobile bills as we don't have land lines) I have been considering VoIP and getting into a bit of a pickle with the options. This seems to be challenging as I the Alcatel routers don't have internet connections etc.

    I do have a spare PC (low spec) which could handle the routing etc but there appears to be a plethora of hardware out there. I am not sure whether to get a new embedded sim router (eg D-Link DWR-921 Wireless-N 4G LTE Router w/ Embedded SIM (150Mbps or http://www.3grouterstore.co.uk/3G/2N_Speedroute_4G_Router.html) or just connect the computer via the wifi and use a dect system (UniData WPU-7800 Wireless Wifi VoIP Phone: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    I need two phones in Glasgow and four in Newcastle. We don't have any land line numbers at present either, so that using a VoIP number isn't an issue either.

    Finally, or perhaps round the wrong way, i need to look at the software to facilitate this too. Any suggestions gratefully received.

    I hope this makes sense, if not I would be happy to clarify any points.
     
  2. charles_b

    charles_b
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    I suppose the question is what limitations do you want. For Home use, I use a Gigaset N300IP system, which allows you to have 6 handsets, and supports 3 simultaneous calls (1 landline + 2 VOIP). It doesn't take a genius to configure it, you can use any VOIP provider (you can define upto 6 different accounts), but also has it's own Gigaset VOIP service which is free between Gigaset devices. It also has call routing capability which allows you to take advantage of different VOIP providers call tariffs (so I have routing rules which automatically use a particular VOIP service for international or for calling mobiles)

    Plugs into your existing router via an RJ45 socket - It's not wireless - costs around £50 plus handsets which are approx £30 each.

    Alternatively, I also have a Cisco SPA2100 which has 2 lines for connecting wired (or DECT) BT phones to, and can also be setup to use with multiple account. This has been superseded by other products (was about 6 years ago I set this up). I think the new model is an SPA3102. But you'd need multiple ones to support your requirements

    There are other options as well - you could setup an ASTERIX Server at both sites and have that manage the VOIP connections, but then you'd probably need dedicated IP Phones to run this.

    Personally, I like the Gigaset, the Cisco was very clunky to setup and manage (might be better admin in the newer one admittedly).
     
  3. mickevh

    mickevh
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    You opening statements are somewhat contradictory - you say your Alcatel routers avail Internet connection on one paragraph then say they don't in the next. Could you clarify which it is...?

    Are you looking to use VOIP for entirely closed circuit usage (within/between the offices) or for external rest-of-the-world connection also..?

    It might be simplest to just use Skype, possibly with some dedicated "Skype" type handsets (if such things still exist - didn't Tesco used to sell them...?)
     
  4. charles_b

    charles_b
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  5. mose72

    mose72
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    Cheers for the speedy response both.

    @charles, the routers do not have any ethernet capability, hence the query about changing the router to an embedded SIM system. The unit is as attached.

    @mickevh I was unclear, the routers have internet connectivity, but no ethernet connectivity. Their communications are via wifi or (possibly) USB.

    In answer to your second question the requirement is both for the office and the rest of the world. I have considered skype but im not convinced that it gives the complete package that I am looking for.
     

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  6. charles_b

    charles_b
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    Skype handsets were USB connected - each user needed a computer to attach it to. But in today's modern Skype world (!) there is an app to do just that. Skype-Skype would be fine for site-site calling.

    The only downside is that Skypeout is expensive (unlike other VOIP Providers)
     
  7. charles_b

    charles_b
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    Actually - you could use a bridge to connect equipment that is ethernet only wirelessly - I just did this with a £12 router for my sister to connect her Talktalk TV box to her router. as she had no powerline possibility

    Here: TP-LINK TL-WR702N N150 Wireless Cable Router Deals | Pcworld

    Was cheaper a month or so ago. but you configure it to be a 'client' that connects wirelessly to your alcatel and it plugs in via ethernet to another device (like the gigaset or cisco gateway) This makes the device look like it has a 'wired' connection, but it is in fact wireless
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  8. mickevh

    mickevh
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    Speaking of service providers - have you considered approaching your incumbent and seeing if they can do anything for you...?
     
  9. charles_b

    charles_b
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    Actually, I got to thinking - if you are using Mobiles.... do you all have smartphones? Are they Apple or Windows phones? If not and they are all Android, then you can actually setup VOIP on Android very easily
    either using the inbuilt VOIP client, or using a downloadable app (I've used SIPDroid and recommend that one)

    That way, you don't need any new hardware - downside... only works on Android!
     
  10. blue max

    blue max
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    For VOIP on the iphone, you can use MobileVOIP. Just grab an account at something like Voipstunt and away you go. We use it and its fine.
     
  11. mose72

    mose72
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    Thanks Guys - I have bought the TP Link dongle I'll have a bash with that first.

    @charles do you mind telling me who the providers are you have the routing options with? We do business overseas and to mobiles and are getting hammered with the costs accrued from this.
     
  12. charles_b

    charles_b
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    I use voipcheap.com (NOT voipcheap.co.uk).

    I pay £10 topup which gets me 90days of FREE calls (which is fair used at around 300 minutes a week) to their list of supported landlines, PLUS 10 Euros of credit to pay for other calls.

    But crucially, some of their rates to some countries are always free (US freephone and toll which I use a lot). I work from home for an American centric organisation, and I'm constantly on the phone for a couple of hours a day Some of the calls I take using our VPN based Microsoft Lync application, some of the calls I take on the VOIP line.

    Beware though, like a lot of voip providers they bill on a per minute basis, so a 2 minute call will cost you 2 eurocents whether it lasts 1 minute or 1min59s.

    I call Portugal mobiles a lot as well, and use voipcheap as I've not found anyone significantly cheaper at 9eurocents/min.

    I've been using them VOIPCHEAP for around 8 years and never had a problem. My father-in-law uses his account in Portugal to call UK on the SPA2100 which I setup for him.

    Full list of rates here... Nice thing it's Pay as you go, so if it doesn't work out you can try someone else

    Rates | VoipCheap - FREE CALLS to regular phones over the internet!
     
  13. charles_b

    charles_b
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    Just noticed that if you make more than 5000 minutes of calls/month, they offer a pro package, with far better rates to all countries - 4 eurocents to a Portuguese mobile is good! I don't make more than around 2500 or less per month, so no use to me.

    https://www.voippro.com/rates#letter-P
     
  14. charles_b

    charles_b
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    What you going to connect this to?
     
  15. charles_b

    charles_b
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    for less than theprice of the Unidata, you could get this Gigaset N300IP bundle with 2 handsets:
    Siemens Gigaset N300IP Base with 2 x A510h Handsets -A580IP Replacement: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    And I notice they've updated the specs... you could actually run 3 simultaneous VOIP Calls!

    "The Gigaset N300 IP is the easy-to-configure hybrid DECT IP base station that lets users enjoy calling over both a landline and the internet. Multi-line support allows registration of up to 6 different compatible Gigaset handsets to the base station and up to 4 parallel calls (1 landline + 3 VoIP) can be made at once. All VoIP calls are in HD sound thanks to exceptional HDSP?? technology. Energy-saving2 ECO DECT means that the Gigaset N300 IP is eco-conscious as well as hi-tech."

    Only question I have (never tried) is whether they can be to the same provider at the same time.
     
  16. charles_b

    charles_b
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    Can you tell I've never ever ever ever used an iwhatsit :blush:
     
  17. blue max

    blue max
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    And me a 'whateveryoneelseuses' :)
     
  18. mose72

    mose72
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    The Y800 or if it doesn't work ill use it as a charger / hotel supply thing.
     
  19. charles_b

    charles_b
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    Sorry - I meant what are you going to connect the ethernet connection to.

    As for the TPLINK, you'll need to update the firmware first and foremost, then set it up in Client mode using a PC/laptop and the ethernet cable, then set it up to connect to your Y800 WiFi access point.

    Then you can plug this into ANY other piece of Network equipment that needs to obtain an IP Address (You could even plug it into a switch if you need multiple connections.
     

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