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Thread: Question: voip quality over data only cellphone in USA for traveller

  1. #1
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    Question: voip quality over data only cellphone in USA for traveller

    Hi,
    Can anyone comment on how well your voip works over data only cell plans in the USA? I'm in Canada and visit the US periodically. We have several options to have a phone number in the US, the most expensive is to use our Canadian cell plan in the US at $1.50/minute. There are travel sim cards from RoamMobility and ZipSim (both subsidiaries of Otono). The other option is MVNO like AirVoice wireless but it's becoming harder to buy the SIM cards from Canada as the carriers won't ship outside of the USA and prices on eBay prices have gone up.

    I'm looking at ZipSim data only plans, 1 GB for $25USD good for 14 days on T-Mobile 4G LTE. Anyone have any experience and advice on whether going voip over such a plan would be reliable for calls? I'd use either Google Voice or the Android SIP client on cell phone to call landlines such as hotels. I'm not interested in app to app calling. I realize it will also depend on where I am in the USA, whether in urban areas or rural areas. Our trips vary between big city urban areas and other trips to the deserts of the US Southwest.

    For safety and reliability, e.g., rental car breakdown call for assistance, I'm seeking feedback from people in the USA who are making calls using voip over cell data and have dropped their cell talk plans. Is it working reliably for you and where are you using it?

  2. #2
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    The call quality of VoIP is heavily dependent on the strength of the network. Bandwidth speed is less important, while low latency is crucial. I've had no problems when pings are under 50 ms and conversely, when pings are over 150 it's problematic. I've had great experiences on Verizon's LTE network, good results on AT&T's HSPA network, and poor results on 2G.

    I used a tablet as my primary cell phone for several years. In my usage, VoIP overall delivers about 85% of celluar performance. Your overall results will vary depending on frequency of usage on WiFi, where VoIP performance can exceed celluar quality.

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    My experience is only with Hangouts in a poor to moderate signal area on EVDO 3G and LTE. It don't work. More dropouts than in inner city high school.

    I have seen posts saying it works wonderfully and it works well as long as you aren't moving. These presumably are in good signal areas.

    What service are you going to use with the SIP client? The SIP client by itself doesn't do anything.

    Good luck

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    My experience with VoIP involves SIP clients, FaceTime audio and Skype (to landlines) low latency is key, and I had good experiences with cricket, of course it all depends where you are

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Hi thanks everyone for your feedback on voip over cell data. It sounds like call reliability and call quality will be variable. When I'll need a phone is when I need it to work reliably such as car problems on the side of the road or needing to phone home if something is up. Guess I'll stick with a pre-paid voice plan and do tasks with data when I'm in the presence of wifi. Thanks everyone.

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