Cell Phones

"one number" solution

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[OP]
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Dec 26, 2010
477 posts
112 upvotes
SW Ontario

"one number" solution

Hi,
My previous employer just disconnected my work mobile and released my phone number to me. I would like to keep this number and continue to use it. My new employer should give me a new line, however I would like to own my number. This is I would like for my calls to go out as my personal number. Same for text messages.
Google voice has this one number feature that allows you to port your number into the google voice cloud and you can use this number on your phone . Unfortunately, google does not have canadian numbers.
Does anybody know of an alternative? ringcentral seems to work this way but is very expensive.
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Dec 12, 2009
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There is no alternative like Google voice on this side of the border unfortunately.
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garce wrote: Hi,
My previous employer just disconnected my work mobile and released my phone number to me. I would like to keep this number and continue to use it. My new employer should give me a new line, however I would like to own my number. This is I would like for my calls to go out as my personal number. Same for text messages.
Google voice has this one number feature that allows you to port your number into the google voice cloud and you can use this number on your phone . Unfortunately, google does not have canadian numbers.
Does anybody know of an alternative? ringcentral seems to work this way but is very expensive.
Without doing something like voip.ms on your personal line to your business phone I'm not sure how plausible that would be. How much texting do you do these days?
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garce wrote: Hi,
My previous employer just disconnected my work mobile and released my phone number to me. I would like to keep this number and continue to use it. My new employer should give me a new line, however I would like to own my number. This is I would like for my calls to go out as my personal number. Same for text messages.
Google voice has this one number feature that allows you to port your number into the google voice cloud and you can use this number on your phone . Unfortunately, google does not have canadian numbers.
Does anybody know of an alternative? ringcentral seems to work this way but is very expensive.


I'm not a fan of Fongo Mobile, but it's a free smartphone app that you could test out and try before porting your phone number to it for $25+tax: https://support.fongo.com/hc/en-us/arti ... e-accounts

Fongo Mobile restricts me from doing what I want with a SIP service (for example, the iOS app doesn't currently allow changes to the audio codec being used on the fly, and it doesn't let me make SIP URI calls.

But Fongo Mobile is great as a free dedicated incoming fax phone number. Incoming faxes appear right in the app, once they are picked up by voicemail, which I find very convenient. Fongo doesn't advertise it, but they support T.38 fax protocol.

Obviously, if the Fongo Mobile app doesn't work well for you, don't port your number to Fongo Mobile.

Your phone number needs to be in one of these cities if you want to port to Fongo Mobile: https://support.fongo.com/hc/en-us/articles/212436086

Incoming SMS is free with Fongo Mobile. However, you will need to pay monthly fees for outgoing SMS. Fongo Mobile is otherwise free to use: https://www.fongo.com/calling/free/

Instead of relying on flaky cellular data, which also tends to be more expensive (I'd rather use my data for other things) in Canada than regular cellular airtime, I call into my Obihai ATA or have it call me back to access its services. So, it is possible to use Google Hangouts/Voice, for example, without using cellular data on any cellular phone.

Relying on wi-fi and, in particular, cellular data on smartphones is less reliable. You can read my thoughts on the subject over here: fongo-ata-49-2052386/8/#p27004856

If you've ever been on a stretch of road where you suddenly only get a weak 3G signal, having to switch to G.729a (a low bitrate, lossy audio codec, which sounds pretty badly under normal conditions anyway) to make a call is not convenient.




question-about-telephone-service-option ... #p25468891
Pianoguy wrote:FreePhoneLine and VoIP.ms provide very similar services. The pricing structure is different, and VoIP.ms has more complex inbound call routing options, but the actual VoIP is the same. VoIP.ms even uses Fibernetics (FreePhoneLine and Fongo's parent company) as one of their carriers, so some of the service is literally identical.
FWIW, Pianoguy is probably the biggest VoIP guru on RFD.

Given that Fibernetics is Fongo's parent company, "some of [VoIP.ms] is literally identical to [Fongo]" also applies.

Regardless, it's important to keep in mind that VoIP.ms uses a lot of different carriers--not just Fibernetics. So, VoIP.ms is not completely the same as Fongo.

1. Fongo Mobile is a (inferior, imo, to decent softphone apps like Groundwire) softphone app (wrapper) that relies on flaky cellular data or wi-fi (which is also less reliable than ethernet). And some Android (and Nexus 4 users, in particular) may have horrible experiences with Fongo Mobile.

2. Whether you have a strong cellular data signal matters if you're using cellular data to place and receive VoIP calls. If you're not in a strong signal area, incoming calls will drop to straight to voicemail.

Also, if you're using an Android smartphone, visit

a) https://support.fongo.com/hc/en-us/arti ... on-Android

b) https://support.fongo.com/hc/en-us/arti ... ming-Calls


3. If you're on Wi-Fi, QoS and time of day (especially on cable with respect to local node congestion) matter.

Fibernetics owns/operates Freephoneline and Fongo and is the largest privately held competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in Canada and the largest telecommunication company in the Waterloo region. FPL/Fongo generates revenue from incoming phone calls or termination fees to its network in addition to the fees paid by its customers. The more phone calls made to their network, the more money they make. Fongo and Freephonline are treated as being separate entities by Fibernetics (it costs money to port phone numbers between FPL and Fongo). So, FPL and Fongo are considered to be sister companies, despite offering similar services.

Fibernetics also operates/owns Nucleus Information Service, Worldline.ca, 1011295.com, 295.ca, Vonix, NEWT, etc.

Fibernetics has been around since 1997.



Fongo Mobile is in Ontario and uses SIP.
For jitter, ping, and traceroutes, test to 162.213.111.27

Whether you have a strong cellular data signal matters if you're using cellular data to place VoIP calls.

If you're on Wi-Fi, QoS and time of day (especially on cable with respect to local node congestion) matter.

People in the GTA (or otherwise located in southern portions of Ontario) using Fongo Mobile, Fongo Home, and Freephoneline are generally going to have better experiences than those who aren't, with those specific services. People on Rogers, Bell, Telus or their affiliated mobility providers in these areas of Ontario will generally have better experiences as well (as opposed to people, for example, in some locations, on Wind/Freedom Mobile).

Anyone using any communication service (or even when playing online games or using other online services) should understand that the longer the path to the server being used, the greater the potential exists for a problem to occur somewhere along that path. Fongo’s SIP servers are located in Ontario.

VoIP.ms has an advantage in that it has SIP servers located all over the place, and it also offers a lot more features.


Over LTE, with a strong cellular data signal, for me, local calls using Fongo Mobile, Hangouts, VoIP.ms, Anveo, Freephoneline, etc., are indistinguishable. And, really, they should be, if they're working properly (and not partnering with the cheapest carriers possible). They're using G.711u codec = Plain Old Telephone Service = POTS. All other things being equal, G.711u is G.711u is G.711u.


iPhone users tend to have less issues with Fongo Mobile.

Other potential, and in the long-run, more expensive options for you, include VoIP.ms and Anveo.
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OBi200/202 Freephonline PDF guide (version 1.60) can be found here. OBi200 info can be found here. For OBi202 info, click here.
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I do this currently with voip.ms

I post my voip.ms number publicly and have it routed to various phones that I own.
So when someone calls me, it rings my cell phone (which I don't actually know the number of), my desk phones, various soft phones, etc.

SMS is done via 3rd party app on Android or their (terrible) web interface that logs you out after 3 minutes.

MMS isn't possible.

The only downside is that if I'm mobile the only way to reflect my "true" CID is either using a softphone over LTE or dialing into my phone server and having it dial a number for me. (Think calling card)
[OP]
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Dec 26, 2010
477 posts
112 upvotes
SW Ontario
Thanks @Webslinger and @death_hawk
I have used fongo before. At least in the past, it was hit or miss. I am concerned about relying on it heavily especially when on cellular.
I also have for my home phone obi200 (thanks webslinger you helped in the past and I am SUPER happy with my setup). I went from paying ~$35/month to paying ~$30/year to cover only long distance. I have set it up with 4 VoIP providers: freephoneline for all canada for free, google voice for use numbers for free, and two VoIP for other overseas destinations. All switches automatically.
@death_hawk
How would I call into my phone server to get proper outgoing caller id?
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Aug 22, 2006
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garce wrote: @death_hawk
How would I call into my phone server to get proper outgoing caller id?
voip.ms has a feature called "DISA"
When you reach it, it gives you a dialtone.

You'd buy a DID from voip.ms
Set it up so all calls get routed to your cell (or whatever) via Call forwarding.
Setup a DISA. It's easy. Everything is guided.
There's another feature in the portal called "CallerID Filtering"
You'd set up filter in there to include your cell phone number with the destination of the DISA.

So when anyone but you calls your number, the call gets forwarded to your cell.
But when you call yourself, the system makes note that it's you and instead forwards you to your DISA which gives you a dialtone.
This allows you to place an outgoing call to any number you like.


EDIT: If you have free incoming calls, you could rig a "callback" instead of a DISA.
The process is the same but instead of a dialtone you get a busy signal. In a few seconds you get an incoming call and then a dial tone.
The DISA is easier to "script" in terms of pauses and dialing via contact list though.
It's still complicated because it's now your contact has a phone number of:

15551234567,,1234,,15557654321

because you have to dial yourself, wait for a pin input, then dial the number.
You also have to have 2 entries in your phone book. One with the disaster that's above and another with their real phone number of 15557654321


EDIT: It's less relevant now that everyone has a cellphone and a battery charger, but back in the day of pay phones, I had a toll free number set up with a DISA.
When I didn't have a phone with me or it was dead, I'd use a payphone, dial my toll free number, enter in my password, then make a free call.
[OP]
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Dec 26, 2010
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SW Ontario
death_hawk wrote: voip.ms has a feature called "DISA"
When you reach it, it gives you a dialtone.

You'd buy a DID from voip.ms
Set it up so all calls get routed to your cell (or whatever) via Call forwarding.
Setup a DISA. It's easy. Everything is guided.
There's another feature in the portal called "CallerID Filtering"
You'd set up filter in there to include your cell phone number with the destination of the DISA.

So when anyone but you calls your number, the call gets forwarded to your cell.
But when you call yourself, the system makes note that it's you and instead forwards you to your DISA which gives you a dialtone.
This allows you to place an outgoing call to any number you like.


EDIT: If you have free incoming calls, you could rig a "callback" instead of a DISA.
The process is the same but instead of a dialtone you get a busy signal. In a few seconds you get an incoming call and then a dial tone.
The DISA is easier to "script" in terms of pauses and dialing via contact list though.
It's still complicated because it's now your contact has a phone number of:

15551234567,,1234,,15557654321

because you have to dial yourself, wait for a pin input, then dial the number.
You also have to have 2 entries in your phone book. One with the disaster that's above and another with their real phone number of 15557654321
@death_hawk If I use my android phone, wouldn't one of these prefixer apps circumvent having to enter funny sequences when making calls?
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ixer&hl=en
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Aug 22, 2006
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Oh neat. I didn't even know that existed.
I'll test it out.
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FWIW, Obihai ATAs also have an Auto Attendant (AA) that allow you to dial into it and access all of your outbound VoIP services that way as well. And the Auto Attendant can also call you back.
https://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=66.0

I use AA all the time to avoid having to deal with VoIP services using cellular data.
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I used to run all my own services at home, but I quickly realized that the more I keep on the PSTN network the better.
The way I see it is your home is the weakest link. If you set up at voip.ms the call never leaves the PSTN network and the upstream provider which minimizes network latency.
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death_hawk wrote: I used to run all my own services at home, but I quickly realized that the more I keep on the PSTN network the better.
The way I see it is your home is the weakest link.
I would strongly suggest using cellular data for VoIP services is the weakest link.
If you set up at voip.ms the call never leaves the PSTN network and the upstream provider which minimizes network latency.
Fair enough. I use VoIP.ms as well with iNUM. And you can set that up with DISA as well. You don't specifically need to pay for a DID.
http://www.inum.net/what-is-inum-2/loca ... s-numbers/

It really doesn't matter where the incoming phone number is ported to in terms of incoming calls. Practically anything will work. Fongo Mobile can forward calls just as effectively as VoIP.ms or anything else--except that Fongo Mobile's voicemail system will pickup the incoming call after 12 rings if no one else does. In fact, Fongo Mobile still forwards calls even when your cellphone is turned off.

The issue really is using a service that works with SMS well. MMS won't work with Fongo Mobile or VoIP.ms

Here is an alternative that may be cheaper in the longrun:

1. Port the phone number to Fongo Mobile for $25+tax. Forward all incoming calls to where you want. SMS will work. MMS won't. And incoming SMS shortcodes won't be received. You will need to pay monthly fees to send SMS.

Granted, I haven't tested in a situation where the forwarded phone number is running on the exact same smartphone where Fongo Mobile is running. OP can certainly test this for free before porting. I don't like Fongo Mobile enough to test this myself. If it doesn't work well, don't port. I do know it works fine where Fongo Mobile is running on a different phone than the forwarded number.

2. If you don't want to use cellular data to make an outbound call with Fongo Mobile, dial in directly to VoIP.ms (DISA) with an iNUM DID. Get a free iNUM DID. Change the outbound caller number to what you want. That way, you can still use DISA with VoIP.ms without paying monthly fees for a DID, and you're not paying for both inbound and outbound calling.


I have no latency issues with my VoIP services at home. The only issue I see is if my internet service were to drop (that happens maybe once a year or so). Then I suppose if I really wanted to make outbound calls using my FPL phone number (incoming is simple enough to forward to my smartphone), for example, I would have to rely either on cellular data (which is fine for me from home where I have a decent LTE signal), or I could use DISA with VoIP.ms. But I usually don't care and just use my smartphone's regular cellular minutes at that point. But I could see for business purposes, where someone needs access to that specific outbound caller ID number 24/7, that DISA would be useful, just in case.

Anyway, you probably won't approve, but that's another alternative off the top of my head.
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Webslinger wrote: I would strongly suggest using cellular data for VoIP services is the weakest link.
That's the thing... I don't use cellular data.
Incoming is forwarded through cell call (which in itself is unreliable, but weakest links have to exist somewhere)
Outgoing is DISA (or sometimes direct, same issues as above)

But that's only one leg of the call.

The internet going down at home would affect ALL calls whereas cell data being bad would only affect that leg of calls.


Fongo Mobile can forward calls just as effectively as VoIP.ms or anything else--except that Fongo Mobile's voicemail system will pickup the incoming call after 12 rings if no one else does. In fact, Fongo Mobile still forwards calls even when your cellphone is turned off.
I would argue this then.
I mean... it's not 100% necessary, but voip.ms has 100% call control. I can force it to ring for 300 seconds or forever (I don't remember which)
Sometimes you just don't want voicemail.
Unless you can disable Fongo's voicemail.
The issue really is using a service that works with SMS well. MMS won't work with Fongo Mobile or VoIP.ms
Question to everyone, do people actually USE MMS?
Maybe I didn't have a GF before Snapchat existed and when MMS was used so I didn't get nudes that often but I can't think of any case where I'd use it today.
2. If you don't want to use cellular data to make an outbound call with Fongo Mobile, dial in directly to VoIP.ms (DISA) with an iNUM DID. Get a free iNUM DID. Change the outbound caller number to what you want. That way, you can still use DISA with VoIP.ms without paying monthly fees for a DID, and you're not paying for both inbound and outbound calling.
Wait. You can call an inum directly on PSTN?
I have no latency issues with my VoIP services at home. The only issue I see is if my internet service were to drop (that happens maybe once a year or so). Then I suppose if I really wanted to make outbound calls using my FPL phone number (incoming is simple enough to forward to my smartphone), for example, I would have to rely either on cellular data (which is fine for me from home where I have a decent LTE signal), or I could use DISA with VoIP.ms. But I usually don't care and just use my smartphone's regular cellular minutes at that point. But I could see for business purposes, where someone needs access to that specific outbound caller ID number 24/7, that DISA would be useful, just in case.
This is me but with home use.
Lately I've been having severe ISP issues.
There's been ongoing maintenance for the last month where the internet has been down during the middle of the night.
Failover works but not everyone has failover so I'm assuming everyone in my building is suffering.

I've also had random latency issues over the years.

If I were a business with an SLA or a dedicated line for internet then sure.
But I figured out that residential ISPs were the weak link for the longest time so I relocated my Asterisk to the internet.
Then I figured out that the only real feature I use is a DISA with no password (because there's only one route to it and it's bound to my CID) so I dumped it and went direct with voip.ms
Anyway, you probably won't approve, but that's another alternative off the top of my head.
Alternatives are nice.
My solution works for me.
It may not work for everyone.
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death_hawk wrote:

I would argue this then.
I mean... it's not 100% necessary, but voip.ms has 100% call control. I can force it to ring for 300 seconds or forever (I don't remember which)
Sometimes you just don't want voicemail.
Unless you can disable Fongo's voicemail.
You can't disable voicemail, but you can select the number of rings before voicemail between 1 and 12.

FPL is more limiting because the max rings before voicemail is 5 with no way to disable it.

Fibernetics makes money from incoming termination fees to its network. So, they want the call to be picked up in some fashion.
That's one reason why Fongo Mobile, Freephoneline, Fongo Home phone, etc. are pretty cheap, relatively speaking.
Question to everyone, do people actually USE MMS?
Yeah, actually I do all the time.
Wait. You can call an inum directly on PSTN?
Yup
http://www.inum.net/what-is-inum-2/loca ... s-numbers/
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Webslinger wrote: Fibernetics makes money from incoming termination fees to its network. So, they want the call to be picked up in some fashion.
That's one reason why Fongo Mobile, Freephoneline, Fongo Home phone, etc. are pretty cheap, relatively speaking.
Oh durr.
That makes sense since voicemail is "picking up"
And lets face it, 12 rings is probably plenty.

Yeah, actually I do all the time.

Really? I don't think i've ever used it.


Oh damn...
that's even cooler.
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death_hawk wrote: Really? I don't think i've ever used it.
You don't send pics? When people have trouble figuring out stuff (even what to buy), they often send pics or even video to ask for help.

And then I'm in group chats with my partner and her friends (Disappointed Face), and all they do is send pics half the time. Food, events, etc. It's more for social
interaction than something work related. But sometimes it's work related too.

Oh damn...
that's even cooler
Yeah, actually, I give VoIP.ms (and other VoIP services that support iNUM) credit because, really, that's a great service, especially for people trying to contact their family members internationally. I really applaud VoIP.ms for supporting iNUM. I've had money sitting on my VoIP.ms account for years that I barely even use, but I don't mind supporting VoIP.ms for that reason alone.
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Webslinger wrote: You don't send pics? When people have trouble figuring out stuff (even what to buy), they often send pics or even video to ask for help.

And then I'm in group chats with my partner and her friends (Disappointed Face), and all they do is send pics half the time. Food, events, etc. It's more for social
interaction than something work related. But sometimes it's work related too.
I've always used other services that didn't cost money (since back in the day MMS costed quite a bit)
Nowadays there's better things too.
So yeah I've never actually used it.


Yeah, actually, I give VoIP.ms (and other VoIP services that support iNUM) credit because, really, that's a great service, especially for people trying to contact their family members internationally. I really applaud VoIP.ms for supporting iNUM. I've had money sitting on my VoIP.ms account for years that I barely even use, but I don't mind supporting VoIP.ms for that reason alone.
I think I have an inum but I've never used it because most people I know don't even voip let alone something like inum.
Maybe in a bunch of years we'll have better penetration.
But that's also what we said about IPv6 and that's STILL not going very far.
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death_hawk wrote: I think I have an inum but I've never used it because most people I know don't even voip let alone something like inum.
They can use a regular landline to dial someone's iNUM now, at least, in some areas.
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Webslinger wrote: They can use a regular landline to dial someone's iNUM now, at least, in some areas.
I had no idea until now.
But trying to get someone to do that is a bit absurd though.
Here, call this local number, then dial my number to get me just so I can save $1/month or whatever FPL costs nowadays.

It's a neat concept and hopefully it'll go somewhere but for now it's not exactly practical.
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death_hawk wrote: I had no idea until now.
But trying to get someone to do that is a bit absurd though.
Here, call this local number, then dial my number to get me just so I can save $1/month or whatever FPL costs nowadays.
I think the benefit is more for international callers, but it's easy to set up the call sequence in a contact on a smartphone.
And I think you may be forgetting that a lot of people still use calling cards and are essentially doing the same thing: they dial an access number
plus the phone number.
Last edited by Guest1284983 on Feb 6th, 2017 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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