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Broadband ISP Andrews and Arnold Prep New UK SIP2SIM Service

Monday, Apr 29th, 2024 (8:59 am) - Score 2,880
eSim-on-a-Smartphone

Over a month has passed since ISP Andrews & Arnold (AAISP) announced the closure of their long-running and “somewhat nicheSIP2SIM (mobile voice) service (here), which is due to take effect tomorrow night. But it now seems like the provider is preparing to launch a replacement solution with the help of ONSIM.

The current SIP2SIM product – supported by O2’s (VMO2) underlying mobile network – is essentially a special SIM card that you can put in an ordinary dumb mobile phone, and it makes that device appear as if it is a SIP extension (SIP phone) on a phone system of your choice.

NOTE: Most people are familiar with the term VoIP (Voice-over-Internet-Protocol), but you’ll also hear providers mention SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), which is essentially a common protocol for enabling a VoIP service.

The good news is that A&A are working with ONSIM to launch a similar SIP2SIM solution for the small number of customers that might need something like this. But at present it’s still somewhat of a work-in-progress (beta) and one that will inevitably cost more than the provider’s original product (although data charges should be lower). On the other hand, it does retain a lot of SIP2SIM’s key features (more on that later).

A&A Statement

We understand how much of a problem it is for customers losing the previous service, and have been working hard on this new service. We hope to fully launch shortly, but we are taking on customers early. If you wish to have an eSIM now, please email trial@aa.net.uk with the number you would like to associate with the eSIM. This needs to be an existing A&A number on your account, but does not actually have to be an 07 number.

We can also do one without a number if you wish, email your control pages login (username@a). The eSIM will be free to get, but normal ongoing charges apply: £10.00 +VAT/month and any call/SMS charges if linked through your A&A VoIP account (which is the default). No data packages yet, but ideal as a second SIM / number on a phone. If it does not work for you, we’ll refund the monthly charges, but obviously we want feedback on the whole process (just email the trial address). Thanks.

Just to be clear, once launched a physical SIM card option will also be available at £5 +vat, while an eSIM will cost £1 +vat post-trial. Further details on preliminary package pricing can be found here. But at present A&A are still working to set up some key bits and pieces, such as data usage packages on SIMs, more APIs in to ONSIM (for the ordering system), better documentation and more information on roaming outside the EU and US.

Key Features of New SIP2SIM

➤ Uses 4G/5G VoLTE, which is important with 3G being turned off. Can normally fall back to 2G if necessary and fallback of UK carriers (EE and O2).

➤ Higher basic monthly price before data allowances. No minimum term as before.

➤ Same SIP2SIM logic – for calls we register to your SIP server and allow calls each way. This could be some external provider, but check terms for sharing login details with us, and they do need to follow the SIP specification. For texts we allow you to send SMS to handset via an HTTP post, and send SMS to you from handset via an HTTP post.

➤ Same A&A linking for voice and SMS to/from a mobile/other number if you prefer, with our usual call/text charges with us as your SIP/SMS provider. We have actually made the linking simpler, e.g. defaults for calls/texts when not configured otherwise. Of course this includes our features like call recording.

➤ Unlike previous services, no airtime charge! So no cost for the text/calls to/from the handset, just the back end call/text charges from your SIP/SMS provider. This is great for treating an actual mobile phone as an internal extension on your SIP PABX.

➤ A separate data package, with various usage levels (normal NAT mobile data) but at much more sensible prices!

➤ Allows eSIM as well as physical SIMs, so faster ordering for eSIM with real time activation (on payment with order). An eSIM is ideal for second line working on a modern phone, so home and work numbers on the same phone. This is also an ideal way to test out the new service.

➤ Allows EU and US roaming at no extra cost! and still no airtime charges.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
10 Responses
  1. Avatar photo anon says:

    It’s very good. Excellent service, and the roaming is a nice touch.
    The only problem is, it says on their website that it’s free for trial users.
    And then they charged me.

    1. Avatar photo Neil says:

      Were you charged for eSIM activation, or the service fee? The website says “The eSIM will be free to get, but normal ongoing charges apply: £10.00 +VAT/month and any call/SMS charges if linked through your A&A VoIP account”.

    2. Avatar photo Dialup says:

      The email was clear the eSim was free, monthly fees applied.

    3. Avatar photo Anon says:

      what email ?
      I’ve been on the trial and I joined by asking one of the staff on social media.
      I’ve seen no email. They had on their website a text which said it would be free for trial participants. I’ve been charged the pro-rata’d £10+VAT. Now I don’t mind this, because I’m happy to trial it. But, it’s not what they claimed. And to be honest “published” information only existed about a day ago. And before that it was still giving details about the old SIP2SIM contract.

      I’m just saying that it said on their website that it would be £10+VAT but “free for trialists”.
      I’m not going to argue the point, i’m sure someone else on the trial can confirm this too. ZERO emails were sent to me about the trial. None.

    4. Avatar photo RevK says:

      I appreciate that for the first few SIMs I did not make this clear.

      I think the web site (and, now, activation email) make it clear what is on offer.

      But contact me again on social media and I’ll sort a credit of first month anyway.

      Sorry for any misunderstanding.

  2. Avatar photo Neil says:

    This is the first time that I’ve used an eSIM with my phone, and I was pleased with just how easy it was to both set up the eSIM, and also connect it to my own PBX (just like “old” SIP2SIM). The revised data pricing is attractive enough for me to have it there as a backup option on my phone, to hopefully give me mobile data if I’m out of coverage on my main network / don’t have Wi-Fi.

  3. Avatar photo iworkinside says:

    Also prepping Unlimited according to the rumour mill 🙂

    1. Avatar photo Ben says:

      A&A? Unlimited? I think snow in August is more likely…

  4. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    Closing a niche unheard of service down. Many people screaming, “why I would have wanted that”. Then shortly bringing it back is a brilliant advertising strategy by A&A

    1. Avatar photo RevK says:

      Sadly the previous carrier pulled the plug on it at short notice, it was not marketing, honest!

      I’m just glad we have managed to get something working.

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