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Thread: Cellphone talk plan replacement/VOIP and cell data. Some glitches in my approach

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    Cellphone talk plan replacement/VOIP and cell data. Some glitches in my approach

    Hi,
    This post is about using voip and cellphone data to replace a cellphone talk plan. This is the closest Howard forum to post my question. The way cellphone plans are structured, data only (tablet) plans are cheaper than voice+data+text plans. I have a couple of phones on data only plans, one with virgin mobile a second with Fido. There are various data only plans. I have one phone on Virgin Mobile at $20/month for 1 GB. I just got a Fido plan for $25 for 3 GB/month. I'm using two means of making and receiving calls on the cellphone.

    First is using a voip.ms account and the native Android sip dialler. The second is Google Voice using the HangOuts Dialer app. My problem is call reliability.

    In the setup with voip.ms and the native SIP app, the app seems to drop connections to voip.ms and I have tried both "Auto" and "Always" with the NAT keep alive setting. Incoming calls mostly don't ring the phone and outgoing calls don't ring or if they do connect, the calls either drop immediately or I can't hear the other end, it's a one-way call. Or it takes a long time for calls to connect, maybe 8-10 seconds during which time the person calling is asking "can you hear me, can you hear me"?

    I have better luck with Google voice, Google voice rings most of the time on incoming calls. Outgoing calls mostly work, but is still not 100% reliable. (When I'm using Google voice I disable the SIP app from answering).

    I've tried leaving the phone on wifi, cell data off and the other way, wifi off, leaving cell data on. Slightly better results with cell data only and wifi off. I think moving around drops the wifi and it connects again but the SIP app doesn't always register whereas the data connection stays connected more often.

    Anyways, in my attempt to save some money, reliability has dropped to the point the user (my family) is not too happy. Adding voice back to the plans will add about $60/month in total to our communication costs.

    Anyone else have some success using voip over cellphone data or wifi replace cellphone talk plan?

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    For reliable VoIP calls over cellular data two things are critical:
    1) set the VoIP client on the phone to use TCP not UDP (for SIP/signalling, leave UDP for RTP/media)
    2) set the POP server for your VoIP.ms DID to the same server you register to in the client

    Use a dedicated SIP/VoIP client, for Android there's Zoiper, CSipSimple, Media5-fone.

    Check settings for 3G/mobile allowed, incoming calls, always available, run in background.
    Using TCP helps a lot with battery usage. If your client allows set TCP keep-alive 1200-1500s.

    This post in the WIND forum might be helpful.

    Setting up VoIP on a data SIM is worth the effort, you can enjoy good quality, reliable calls for cheap. It works.

    --
    To prevent Doze on Android 6.0+ from interfering with inbound calls, take your VoIP apps off Battery optimization.
    If one way / no audio problems persist, see here.

    VoIP.ms does SMS.
    Last edited by pjw918; 09-08-2016 at 11:03 AM. Reason: no Doze, audio

  3. #3
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    You might also consider changing your 3GB Fido plan to the $15 tablet version. It's the same stuff but $10 cheaper.
    Bell SK+fongo:
    $85 Unlimited NA, NA text, US Roaming, 15GB

    Chatrlicity:
    $30 Unlimited NAM , $30 Unlimited Province Wide

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    Thanks pjw918 and fruvous,
    I have TCP for keep alive. I'm using the native Android dialler to make the phone as simple to use for the family member. The keep alive interval must be pre-set as I don't see a way to change the interval and I'm not sure what it is. For the voip.ms server on the phone I have the same server set as in the voip.ms user interface.

    Thanks!! for the tip re: the $15 3GB data only plan, I'm on hold with Fido right now to switch to this plan.
    Last edited by tony49122; 09-08-2016 at 01:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tony49122 View Post
    I'm using the native Android dialler to make the phone as simple to use for the family member. The keep alive interval must be pre-set as I don't see a way to change the interval and I'm not sure what it is.
    CSipSimple integrates well with the native dialer, contacts, call log. Once set up you don't have to go into the app. When you place a call using the native dialer, you'll get a popup offering CSip voip or the cell.

    Zoiper integrates, but not quite as well. You can make it exclusive for all calls (cell not offered). It has a nicer in-call screen.

    Zoiper doesn't allow specifying TCP keep-alive interval, CSip does.
    Last edited by pjw918; 09-08-2016 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Zoiper

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    Thanks, I've tried CSipSimple and Zoiper (plus many others) before, will try CSipSimple again. Another one that I found works well for voip call quality but doesn't integrate well is GS Wave from the company that makes VOIP hardware-Grandstream.

    PS. I got the 3GB for $15 Fido data only plan now. That saves $10/month or $120 a year. Thanks fruvous.

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    This will interest iPhone users:
    http://www.imore.com/apple-ios-10-goodbye-carriers

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
    Looks promising, it'll be a great day when all means of communications are rolled together seamlessly. That's my challenge, to use voip for calls on the family's cell phone so it's indistinguishable from using the cellphone's native calling app. Wife just wants a phone and isn't interested in remembering to start yet another app to make a call.

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    Until very recently, I have had zero issues with CSipSimple remaining connected for inbound calls, configured as above.

    I've discovered losing registration (no inbound calls) happens on some Marshmallow devices but not others.
    The account may show still connected on VoIP.ms, but inbound calls get a fast busy or go to VM.

    Some detail here for those trying to resolve similar.

    I run CSipSimple on 2 Android devices, Moto G 2014 and Moto E 2nd LTE
    Moto E was a Telus prepaid, Moto G no-carrier from Staples.

    CSipSimple and battery settings (non-optimized app) are the same on both phones.
    TCP keep-alive 1200s, registration interval 600s.

    CSipSimple on the Moto G never loses registration. It runs Marshmallow 6.0, kernel 3.4.42 build MPB24.65-34

    On the Moto E it loses registration after about 2hr idle, running Marshmallow 6.0, 3.10.49, 24.65-39.
    It never lost registration before I upgraded last week from Lollipop.

    CSip use:
    Moto G (stays registered) over 12 hr idle period - Keep awake 4m 30s, radio active 59m 50s, power use 252 mAh.
    Moto E (dropped after 2h) over same 12h period - Keep awake 25s, radio active 9m 28s, power used 45 mAh.

    Marshmallow Doze apparently treats non-optimized apps differently depending on build.

    Tried swapping SIMs in case issue was related to provider NAT or protocol handling (Fido/Mobilicity), no difference.

    CSipSimple has a logging facility if you're wanting to troubleshoot (app Settings / User Interface, set log level 3 or 4).
    To view account settings in detail, set the wizard to expert.

    Play Store CSipSimple is r2457, there's a more recent r2470 (March 2015, http://nightlies.csipsimple.com/trunk)
    I'll try it but I suspect results will be the same.

    Anyone else seeing long idle periods with no loss of registration on Marshmallow, please post your version/build detail.

    --
    Doze won't break SIP registration while the phone is plugged into a charger or portable battery
    if the phone is active at all, even just sitting in your pocket, Doze doesn't kick in
    http://www.androidcentral.com/inside...hat-does-it-do
    Last edited by pjw918; 09-13-2016 at 11:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tony49122 View Post
    That's my challenge, to use voip for calls on the family's cell phone so it's indistinguishable from using the cellphone's native calling app. Wife just wants a phone and isn't interested in remembering to start yet another app to make a call.
    She doesn't have to start another app. She can place calls using the native dialer, with either CSipSimple or Zoiper. The in-call screen will look different. How/whether the app integrates with the native dialer is configurable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
    She doesn't have to start another app. She can place calls using the native dialer, with either CSipSimple or Zoiper. The in-call screen will look different. How/whether the app integrates with the native dialer is configurable.
    Thanks, will try integrating CSipSimple with the native dialler. The screen can look different but the actions of making a call have to be seemless with no decisions to be made.

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    The problem with Android Doze interfering with VoIP inbound calls (and IMAP mail clients, other messaging apps) now has a solution.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...oo.disabledoze

    Since installing Disable Doze I've again got rock-solid server registration with CSipSimple and VoIP.ms.
    Last edited by pjw918; 10-25-2016 at 10:51 PM. Reason: deleted ref. to 3GB tablet plan

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    Fido's tablet data plan promo is back, available to Jan 10.
    http://www.fido.ca/consumer/promotions

    $15 for 3GB, $10/GB overage. No tablet purchase required now.

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