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Migrate landline to digital

Storyline

Casual Member
May I ask for advice please :)

Would anyone comment on the wisdom of ceasing our BT copper landline and moving to a VOIP service ?

The background is that we currently have a fault on our landline. BT have been fairly hopeless and say the fault has been fixed when it plainly hasn't. They say the line enters the house together with an FTTP connection which has recently been laid but in actual fact it was initially installed many years ago and although close to the fibre it has it's own conduit/trunking which runs around 15m from the pavement and then under our front garden. I know this because sometime in the 1990's we were lucky as BT were able to pull two new copper wires alongside the original when they installed an ISDN connection so we could get 'fast' internet ! If I tell BT they are wrong and the line is still U/S and explain how it enters the house then pound to a penny they will want to send an engineer in which I would prefer to avoid because of C-19. They are also muttering about engineer visit costs.

As indicated, we have a fairly new FTTP connection supplied by Aquiss which has been faultless from the start and it seems an ideal opportunity to switch away from copper and use the fibre. We have also recently bought a pair of new cordless handsets from Gigaset and as I understand it they can connect to a relatively inexpensive adapter which I presume will just plug into a spare lan port on the router.

The question I have is to do with the reliability of having a new supplier hosting our landline. A pre-requisite of this move is to keep our existing number. Not only has it been in the contacts of many friends for a long time it is also one of first 5 numbers issued by our local exchange when Liverpool launched it's telephone service. I have found two potential companies who say they will port in existing landline numbers. They then each have similar ongoing costs of £1-2 pm for line rental.

The two options are:
Andrews & Arnold
Sipgate

Are both these companies equally reliable or are there any other reasons which mean that one is a better option than the other - or is there another stand out supplier ?

As is no doubt obvious I have very little knowledge of digital telephony so any other tips or advice would be most welcome.

Many thanks in advance
Paul
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
I am with Sipgate basic, incoming calls are free, I loaded up the account with £10 credit 3 years ago and still at £9.70. No issues, as soon as it ported the landline and the stupid ADSL went dead and the old number was with Sipgate. You can sign up in advance for free and get a localised number for testing, your old number when ported across is in addition so you have 2 numbers going forward. I use it with 4G router, never consider going back to a landline or BT's Digital Voice which they lock so you can't get at the settings to use on another router.
 
Last edited:

Philip.H

Casual Member
We also use Sipgate basic & have 2 lines configured on a Cisco Analogue Telephone Adaptor (existing telephone devices connect to this) our FTTP service is Virgin Media.
Having configured and tested / understood the Sipgate basic service we submitted a form to Sipgate to port the number from BT, when the porting occurs BT write with a final account and say the line has been ceased.

The BT line we ceased had poor telephone quality & hopeless ADSL - we do not miss it at all. The Sipgate basic service has been totally reliable - long may it last.
 

heinzbean

Pro Member
Storyline
Just go for it . i signed up to Sip-gate yesterday got everything working quite easily. The most enjoyable bit was telling EE i no longer required their phone and broadband . The two companies i was looking at were Sip-gate and Voipify. Voipify offer = £3.50 a month and 0.5p per landline call and 1.2p to a mobile. Voipify port your number for £15 ..
I set mine up on a Grandstream 802 connected to my existing phones.I tried to do it as cheap as possible because i didn't know how it would work out. It works great. I set mine up through a 5g router. I too didn't know anything about telephony . i had a couple of head scratching moments but it all works great now. My previous phone number i had had for 50 years i had no attachment to it. i took a new local number and will enjoy phoning everybody to give them my new phone number.
 

MWLONDON

Casual Member
I have a VoiP with A&A. I purchased the handset and number from them but their tech support is brilliant so I am sure they would be able to help port number and set up etc...
 

Barnet

Casual Member
I've been thinking about this and I was tempted by the Andrews & Arnold offer. I'm thinking about using a Gigaset N300 base station (probably the A - answerphone version).

The Gigaset N300 would probably work with your phones.

My intended migration approach would be to get phones working with the N300 using the analogue line input, then get a new SIP service going, test that works and finally port my landline to the SIP service (which I think ceases the analogue line immediately so I need to be out of contract at that point).

I have Panasonic DECT phones at the moment so it will be a bit more of an investment for me, that's one reason it is only at the "thinking" stage at the moment.
 

Storyline

Casual Member
Thanks for the replies and .in particular to Barnet and his suggestion to do the migration in stages which seems sensible and is something that should have occurred to me ! When our existing cordless phones needed replacing we got the Gigaset pair specifically because they would be suitable when BT withdraws copper. I called their UK distributor to check which base station we would need and the person who took the call was really courteous and professional and knew the answer immediately. There were no 'ifs or buts' or even the slightest pressure to make a sale there and then. In our case the model we need is a N300A which I don't think offers any extra functionality over and above what the handsets do. FWIW, they have proved to be really quite impressive with an intuitive o/s that has not been in the least bit annoying or frustrating as poorly thought out consumer electronic devices can sometimes be.

I am sure both Sipgate and A&A will be reliable but on balance I feel a bit duty bound to give our tiny amount of business to a company based in Basingstoke rather than Düsseldorf ;)

Thanks again
 

Johnmcl7

Regular Member
Storyline
Just go for it . i signed up to Sip-gate yesterday got everything working quite easily. The most enjoyable bit was telling EE i no longer required their phone and broadband . The two companies i was looking at were Sip-gate and Voipify. Voipify offer = £3.50 a month and 0.5p per landline call and 1.2p to a mobile. Voipify port your number for £15 ..
I set mine up on a Grandstream 802 connected to my existing phones.I tried to do it as cheap as possible because i didn't know how it would work out. It works great. I set mine up through a 5g router. I too didn't know anything about telephony . i had a couple of head scratching moments but it all works great now. My previous phone number i had had for 50 years i had no attachment to it. i took a new local number and will enjoy phoning everybody to give them my new phone number.

Where did you buy the 802 from?

I currently have a BT line and a Cityfibre FTTP line, the voice line is rarely used but it is occasionally still useful. I currently have the BT call guardian phones which are very useful but as far as I'm aware they only need caller ID?

In which case I just need to order the Grandstream 802, test with Sipgate on it first then if happy I can get the BT number ported to them and job done? I assume once the number is with Sipgate it can be ported somewhere else?
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
Sign up for Sipgate, its free and you can select a number with your local exchange prefix. Then test out the Grandstream and your connection/router with the new number, some tweaking of settings may be needed. Once you are happy then port the old Landline to Sipgate and it will show in their settings and can be added. If you ever want to leave Sipgate the numbers can be ported to a new VoIP provider. There will be a cost for the porting.

 

heinzbean

Pro Member
johnmc17
I got the 802 from Ebay it came from a company that specializes in VOIP
a company called Net xl.. it is a two port paid about £42 i went for the grandstream because sipgate had set up info so made it really easy to set up. The only problem i had to port forward and let the grands-tream through the router.
 

Johnmcl7

Regular Member
Thanks for the information, I see they have the 801 a bit cheaper which only supports one line which would do me fine so I think I'll go for that.
 

Essex_Man

Casual Member
I would go for a Fritzbox 7530, it has two analogue phone ports plus built-in DECT basestation for up to six handsets. Also, you get dual band wifi and a lot of other features. You get one thrown in with Zen Internet or second hand on eBay from £40 onwards.

I have been using a 7270 for years and upgraded to a 7590 last year, still on ADSL2+, desperately waiting for FTTP to arrive.

You could also look at the ZTE ZXHN H298A, two phone ports and support for 5 DECT handsets. They sell on eBay for around £10, might be worth a gamble.
 

Nomader

Pro Member
Hi all,

I came across this thread while doing some research about voip. As I may be ditch my landline soon. Initially I came across vonage for home which is about £10 a month.

However from what I read about sipgate is that it’s free unless I want to take out one of the call packages? If I do not take out a call package then I don’t pay anything per month unless I use the phone to make calls right?

Also my understanding from this thread is that I get my cordless old house phone. Connect that phone to one of the devices such as grandstream ht802 and that grandstream I imagine will connect to my router via Ethernet cable or something like that? Then once I have my chosen voip provider such as sipgate active. Then I can make and receive calls as I wish via my old cordless phone with this set up? And also transfer my landline number to the voip provider? Have I read that right? Thanks in advance I am new to all of this. So sorry if my questions a bit dumb.
 

Pheasant

ULTIMATE Member
However from what I read about sipgate is that it’s free unless I want to take out one of the call packages? If I do not take out a call package then I don’t pay anything per month unless I use the phone to make calls right?
Correct: head for Sipgate Basic. For outbound add credit / or a call package and away you go. Inbound only, strictly speaking you don't even need credit. Although I think its polite you chuck at least a fiver on the account.
Also my understanding from this thread is that I get my cordless old house phone. Connect that phone to one of the devices such as grandstream ht802 and that grandstream I imagine will connect to my router via Ethernet cable or something like that?
Yes that's called an Analog Telephone Adapter or ATA for short. You can also use:
1. VoIp capable DECT wireless base like a Gigaset N300(A) IP, for cordless handsets
2. PC/Mac based soft phone client
3. Smartphone based soft phone client - take the landline with you around the globe
4. Use a PBX like Asterisk/FreePBX - do all manner of crazy, funky stuff with a full featured PBX that runs on software (bit of a learning curve)
5. A combination of one or more of the above.
Then once I have my chosen voip provider such as sipgate active. Then I can make and receive calls as I wish via my old cordless phone with this set up? And also transfer my landline number to the voip provider? Have I read that right?
Pretty much. Porting your number costs around £30 with Sipgate one off cost. Just be mindful when porting out an existing landline to a VOIP provider, that is bundled with an existing broadband package that it will in all likelihood end up in your ceasing the entire service - landline + broadband.

So you need to careful in the order and manner in which you do this.
 

Nomader

Pro Member
Thank you for the information you have given me. That’s very useful. So I have an old cordless siemens gigaset c475 phones. It’s a duo handsets I have. I know they have an updated version that supports voip.
Attached is the photo. So the wire that goes from the base station into my telephone master socket will instead go from the base station to let’s say the grandstream ht802 (or any alternatives you can recommend)which in turn connects by wire into the router? So when I make calls on my cordless phone do I need to dial a certain number before dialing the actual number in order for the calls to be made through sipgate basic service? Also my other cordless handset I imagine will stay in its holder in the other room connected to the main power socket. I don’t need an adapter for that do I? Do different providers take different timescales for the port? Oh also I am planning to cancel my landline and my fixed broadband and looking at mobile broadband solutions for my internet. Thank you in advance
 

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Pheasant

ULTIMATE Member
So the wire that goes from the base station into my telephone master socket will instead go from the base station to let’s say the grandstream ht802 (or any alternatives you can recommend)which in turn connects by wire into the router?
Correct. If you want to keep using that base and handsets, then the connection from the master socket (or extension) will instead go to the equivalent voice port on either an ATA, as you’ve noted or the voice port on a router which supports VoIP functionality (a SIP client).

The latter could be a bundled VoIP service from your ISP - like BTs Digital Voice or if it’s your own such router (or not locked down) then you could potentially program it with service from any VoIP provider(s) of your choosing.
So when I make calls on my cordless phone do I need to dial a certain number before dialing the actual number in order for the calls to be made through sipgate basic service?
No. You shouldn’t need to do that. It will dial out the same as before. You need to use the full area code for most VoIP providers that I know of. It’s also possible on certain soft phones and ATAs, SIP bases etc to pre-programme the area code to enable local dialling without having to enter the full area code.
Also my other cordless handset I imagine will stay in its holder in the other room connected to the main power socket. I don’t need an adapter for that do I?
Correct. It will function the same as before. The other holder is typically just a charging stand.
Do different providers take different timescales for the port? Oh also I am planning to cancel my landline and my fixed broadband and looking at mobile broadband solutions for my internet.
Roughly 10 days. Perhaps slightly sooner. Make sure you have working alternative internet access before you initiate the port process.
 

Nomader

Pro Member
Correct. If you want to keep using that base and handsets, then the connection from the master socket (or extension) will instead go to the equivalent voice port on either an ATA, as you’ve noted or the voice port on a router which supports VoIP functionality (a SIP client).

The latter could be a bundled VoIP service from your ISP - like BTs Digital Voice or if it’s your own such router (or not locked down) then you could potentially program it with service from any VoIP provider(s) of your choosing.

No. You shouldn’t need to do that. It will dial out the same as before. You need to use the full area code for most VoIP providers that I know of. It’s also possible on certain soft phones and ATAs, SIP bases etc to pre-programme the area code to enable local dialling without having to enter the full area code.

Correct. It will function the same as before. The other holder is typically just a charging stand.

Roughly 10 days. Perhaps slightly sooner. Make sure you have working alternative internet access before you initiate the port process.
Thank you. That’s really helpful to know. I hear this word SIP being mentioned by you and seen it from others too. Is this something I need to know about or have for my set up? Yes I will have other internet access as in my house hold we have pretty much all networks sims being used and they have data connections.
 

Pheasant

ULTIMATE Member
Thank you. That’s really helpful to know. I hear this word SIP being mentioned by you and seen it from others too. Is this something I need to know about or have for my set up? Yes I will have other internet access as in my house hold we have pretty much all networks sims being used and they have data connections.
You don’t really need to know the ins and outs of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). It’s the enabling protocol behind the majority of telecoms related VoIP.

Think of it like the GSM standard for mobile telephony.
 
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