Author Topic: Going VOIP - losing the landline  (Read 23109 times)

Wowbagger

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Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #50 on: 09 May, 2022, 10:30:22 pm »
Well, it works using the dongly thing* that's plugged into the server. That is then linked to a set of 4 handsets throughout the house. If someone calls and it rings for a give time (20 seconds I think) it automatically passes to my mobile.

Even though we have our internet connection provided using a SIM, we have had no problem whatever with the "landline", which some suggested might be the case. I think clever people like Kim talked about something called "latency", but, being an ignorant luddite, I don't know what that is, and it hasn't bothered me anyway. One quirk of the system is that, because our phone is an 01702 (Southend) number, it's not connected to the exchange so if I want to phone another Southend number I still have to use the dialling code.

*I think they call it a "Buzzbox".
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Kim

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Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #51 on: 10 May, 2022, 12:26:17 am »
I think clever people like Kim talked about something called "latency", but, being an ignorant luddite, I don't know what that is, and it hasn't bothered me anyway.

Literally the time taken for a message to get from one end of the connection to another.

With a baked-bean-tin telephone, the sound travels at the speed of sound in string.  With an analogue electric telephone, the change in voltage travels down the wires at the speed of light[1].  Once you start doing things digitally, it takes a little time to convert from analogue to digital and back at each end, but not enough that it becomes a problem.

What really slows things down is when you take that digital datastream, break it into convenient chunks, stick extra data on there to say where it's supposed to go and send it out on a network[2] that operates more like a postal service than a series of tubes[3].  And then stick it back together in the right order at the other end.  Sometimes a packet might go the long way round.  Or get lost.  Or be duplicated.  Or a load of them get backed up and all arrive at once, like buses.  There are various coping strategies, mostly involving keeping a buffer of to-be-processed data at the receiving end to even out the flow.  But that means the data that arrives on time has to wait in the buffer, which adds to the total journey time.  (This applies to any kind of data, but it's only usually a problem with things that have to be responsive in real time like telephone calls, telnet/ssh sessions or video games.  If a web page takes half a second to start loading, you probably won't notice.)

For voice/video, latency becomes noticeable when it's in the few-tenths-of-a-second range, and makes a conversation seem stilted.

Historically, cellular connections have had vastly more latency[4] than wired broadband, but it seems to have greatly improved in the 4G era.  You can still get inconsistent latency if you're using the connection while moving around, due to the vagaries of hand-over from one cell to the next.

That it hasn't been a problem is a testament to the performance of the network.



[1] In copper, which is a bit slower than the speed of light in a vacuum[5].
[2] Eg. The Internet.
[3] ©2006 Ted Stevens
[4] When I first got a mobile phone that could do such things, the round trip time could be of the order of seconds.  You could type a command at a command line, and watch the characters appear one at a time a second or two later.
[5] Which can itself start to be a problem if your signal has to travel tens of thousands of miles, eg. out to a geostationary satellite and back (these days a sufficiency of undersea optical fibre means that most telecoms generally don't).

Woofage

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Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #52 on: 10 May, 2022, 10:12:02 am »
Well, it works using the dongly thing* that's plugged into the server. That is then linked to a set of 4 handsets throughout the house. If someone calls and it rings for a give time (20 seconds I think) it automatically passes to my mobile.

That's exactly like the system we have for our business (we also have to dial local numbers with the area code). Good to know, thanks :thumbsup:. VL is possibly a bit cheaper though as we don't want to spend much on a "landline" number when the only person who calls it is my mother...
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Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #53 on: 10 May, 2022, 10:16:12 am »
*I think they call it a "Buzzbox".
Never mind the Buzzbox, here's the Short Message Service!
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

rr

Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #54 on: 03 November, 2023, 02:38:04 pm »
Since 2am this morning we are a landlineless household.
Broadband is now dedicated fibre to premises from Litfibre (100 both ways for £0/month for 6 months, then £20/month for another 18 months)
"Landline" calls are brought to us via our old number, ported to Localphone as an incoming number ($25 porting fee and 99p/month (both plus VAT)) all seems to work.
We have had a Gigaset combined VoIP and landline phone for a while and we have used Localphone for outgoing calls for a long time with no issues.
I have discount links for both services if you are interested.

jiberjaber

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Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #55 on: 03 November, 2023, 04:27:53 pm »
Oddly I received a letter today from BT telling me I am being upgraded to fibre to the house for free and my PSTN will be delivered over it as a result... which is interesting as I was just about to make the jump to FTTP so now don't have to bother! 

We don't use our landline though we still pay for it, it just gets the odd spam call and thats it, so I might use this oppertunity to ditch it too.  Last time I looked into FTTP and ditching the PSTN line as it had just become an option, it didn't seem much of a saving over the line rental aspect. Getting FTTP for free however probably makes it worthwhile now!
Regards,

Joergen

Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #56 on: 03 November, 2023, 05:01:19 pm »
I'm months into losing landline, phone and broadband and going all out 5g.  So far no issues. It's £20 for speeds that range from 300-700 mbs.
Only thing I've noticed was occasional buffering on iPlayer solved by rebooting

rr

Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #57 on: 04 November, 2023, 10:16:51 am »
Oddly I received a letter today from BT telling me I am being upgraded to fibre to the house for free and my PSTN will be delivered over it as a result... which is interesting as I was just about to make the jump to FTTP so now don't have to bother! 

We don't use our landline though we still pay for it, it just gets the odd spam call and thats it, so I might use this oppertunity to ditch it too.  Last time I looked into FTTP and ditching the PSTN line as it had just become an option, it didn't seem much of a saving over the line rental aspect. Getting FTTP for free however probably makes it worthwhile now!
Have look at lit, good deals on the website, even better if you deal with the local salesman.

Gattopardo

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Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #58 on: 01 December, 2023, 10:39:41 pm »
If you are with BT you will be updated to the smart hub 2, as a friend has.  Doesn't seem to be a great hub.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #59 on: 03 December, 2023, 01:22:00 am »
They've sent me a Smart Hub 2. It's still in its box.

I think we already have a Smart Hub 4 and, after we received it last year, David spent AGES fettling settings to get all his equipment to work.
I'm expecting switchover to Digital Voice imminently 'within the next 48 hours' about 36 hours ago.

If the phones work on the hub we have, can you see any reason why I should unbox the Smart Hub 2?

BT say they'll charge me £50 if I don't return the Smart Hub 4 and have provided an unpadded bag for its return. (Who puts anything fragile in the post if they want it to remain serviceable?) I'm willing to argue the toss with BT if need be and spend ages on the phone, before I return their unopened box.

I'd REALLY rather not swap hubs if I don't have to!

Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #60 on: 03 December, 2023, 09:54:30 am »
I think you have a Home hub 4, and the Smart hub 2 is more advanced, and crucially has the green DECT socket on the back, so yes, I think you’ll need to swap over to the new hub.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #61 on: 03 December, 2023, 12:15:11 pm »
There's a phone socket in the back, cunningly hidden by a sticker, which D removed, marked 'Digital Voice Only'...

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #62 on: 03 December, 2023, 12:19:25 pm »
There's a phone socket in the back, cunningly hidden by a sticker, which D removed, marked 'Digital Voice Only'...

Yebut although it may contain the necessary hardware, it won't be pre-configured with the necessary VoIP settings, which the new one will...

So you'd need to know all the SIP server settings, which you probably don't.
And it's also possible that the VoIP SIP settings are not even exposed in the config pages, so you can't enable it even if you did know the settings.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #63 on: 03 December, 2023, 01:10:48 pm »
Aaah thanks!
Why is this not explained anywhere?

I don't think they've activated Digital Voice yet & it was supposed to be last Thursday...

Kim

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Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #64 on: 03 December, 2023, 01:17:28 pm »
Aaah thanks!
Why is this not explained anywhere?

Marketing.  Which is also why they use made-up confusing terms like "Digital Voice" rather than calling it SIP.

Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #65 on: 03 December, 2023, 01:27:24 pm »
To be fair the BT page showing all their hubs is quite clear that only the Smart Hub 2 has phone capability, and the Home Hub 4 manual illustrations don’t show a socket. I suspect the manufacturer was just using common parts for different customers hence your Home Hub having the hidden socket.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #66 on: 03 December, 2023, 01:32:05 pm »
And the customer is always LAST…
David's time is not factored at all.
I've got the old hub's website up and hopefully, if we print out all the settings, D can copy them into the new hub.
D has manflu and the weather is foul, if mild here, which won't help with a smooth transition. We'll need to check/test computers etc in the outhouses.

Kim

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Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #67 on: 03 December, 2023, 01:49:41 pm »
And the customer is always LAST…
David's time is not factored at all.
I've got the old hub's website up and hopefully, if we print out all the settings, D can copy them into the new hub.
D has manflu and the weather is foul, if mild here, which won't help with a smooth transition. We'll need to check/test computers etc in the outhouses.

As a mainstream provider their priority is, understandably, providing something that Just Works out-of-the-box for a typical customer who doesn't know what WiFi means.  Technical customers who care about what IP addresses get allocated to what on their internal network are sidelined, because they're a minority who'll either cope and grumble or go elsewhere without making a dent in the bottom line.

If you're a technical customer who want an ISP that won't fuck you around, AAISP or Zen or whatever do exist.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #68 on: 03 December, 2023, 02:11:08 pm »
There's a phone socket in the back, cunningly hidden by a sticker, which D removed, marked 'Digital Voice Only'...

Oh, and also..

BT have history of this. The original BT Openreach branded VDSL modems had two LAN ports on the back, the second of which allowed access to the config pages where you could see sync speed, error rates etc. This had a sticker over it, saying 'LAN 2 not in use'.

If you removed the sticker and tried to access the config pages, they were not there. BT had put on a custom firmware to disable this. So to see things like sync speed etc, you had to re-flash the device with the manufacturer's stock firmware, then manually re-configure it to connect to BT.

Kim

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Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #69 on: 03 December, 2023, 03:20:48 pm »
Those (HG612s) were good.  The later model with the non-overheating power supply, anyway.  You could, with a bit of fiddling, set things up so that you could access the stats and config pages via the same port as the PPPoE.

Mine's redundant now we've got FTTP, but I'm hanging onto it in case of house moves.

Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #70 on: 03 December, 2023, 03:48:48 pm »
We drop our landline on Friday and it is a gamble for us as our mobile signal can be pretty erratic at times. We are now out of contract with BT after the obligatory 2 years for getting FTTP which is fair enough all in all. So we are leaving a £65 a month landline and 150 meg deal for Sky BB only 500meg at £34 a month.

Time will tell if it's actually a good move or not.

Pete
Bees do nothing invariably.

ian

Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #71 on: 03 December, 2023, 04:03:46 pm »
I presume we need a new BT hub, not looked at the current one as it's at the back of the cupboard under the stairs where even spiders fear to tread, but it must be 10 years' old (it's just a modem, the wifi is handled elsewhere). Honestly, I'd dump the landline, but my wife seems to believe there are still people out there who might need to reach us who don't have our mobile numbers. I don't think there are.

Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #72 on: 03 December, 2023, 04:40:18 pm »
We only have FTTC (Vodafone - and that was only made available in the village a couple of years ago) although FTTP is now available from an outfit called Gigaclear. BT aren’t interested in providing the infrastructure around here (and even in the neighbouring village, population c6000 its Gigaclear and Trooli laying the fibre). I assume that when BT drops copper around here we’ll lose the FTTC and have to migrate to FTTP anyway. I’m guessing my wife will still want a landline, despite having a mobile. Having said that, as a power cut will render the “landline” useless (as it does the current cordless handsets but we have a corded backup for power cut duty) I can’t see the value, it’s just tradition. She’ll have to learn her number tho, at present she only knows the landline and it’s simple. OTOH a basic VoIP package is £3 a month. We’ll see.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Kim

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Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #73 on: 03 December, 2023, 04:46:14 pm »
Last week's long overdue server upgrade meant the enforced retirement of the TDM400 PCI card that was responsible for driving our one remaining analogue phone.  A Geemarc Screenphone which is notable for  a) being enormous  b) allowing you to make textphone calls with the aid of a PS/2 keyboard[1]  and  d) the volume going to 11.  The screen is b0rked, so we're giving it to Mrs-Barakta's-Mum who would benefit from LOUD but doesn't care about such things as Caller ID or directory functions.

Barakta now has a Snom300 (a proper, if rather old, SIP phone that can be obtained cheaply on eBay) on her desk, with one of those Sarabec inline amplifiers that - instead of amplifying - it wired to divert the earphone audio to the little mixing desk that feeds her BAHA streamer.  This appears to work surprisingly well - not least because she's no longer trying to couple the telephone's handset to her BAHA's mic without feedback.

Anyway, I can't help feeling that it's a tremendous amount of effort to go to in order to make calls to:
a) The unavoidable beaurocratic organisations that insist on telephony
b) The boomers with cruddy DECT (or worse, cellular) phones who insist on paying to use the PSTN to conduct a restricted-bandwidth audio call where a much better quality audio (and indeed video) call could be made for free over the internet using any of the dozen applications that people are now used to using for such things.

How long until voice telephony goes the way of fax?


[1] Remember those?

ian

Re: Going VOIP - losing the landline
« Reply #74 on: 03 December, 2023, 04:57:30 pm »
It does seem pointless, I have no wish to deal with anyone by phone (I'm not sure why so many organizations insist on me calling them, surely doing it asynchronously is more efficient for both me and them), I gave up recently with HMRC on account there was no wait time <40 minutes and wrote and mailed a proper letter (how much is a stamp these days!) since there seemed to be no other way to communicate with them. I say communicate, this assumes they ever respond. Ironically, the correspondence is about a cheque.