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Need help using a landline phone over VoLTE on 4g router.

4Gee

Member
I have a Tenda 4G689 V2 4g router and I've tried both a Three and a Vodafone sim in it. Neither sim gives me a working "landline" when plugging my landline phone into it. The router is enabled for VoLTE but I'm unsure as to what type of phone I can plug in. I've only got a cheap, normal push button landline phone and I plugged that in using the cable supplied with the router. But for both sims all I get is a dead handset, no dial tone etc, just unconnected deadness.

Do I have to use a certain type of phone or is there some other settings or whatever I need to do.

Would appreciate some help.

TIA
 

Verita

Regular Member
The Tenda web site only gives the most basic specs for this router, and says a 'telephone' can be plugged into the phone socket for voice calls. There's no information about logging into the router to change settings, but presumably there must be a way.

With a working SIM installed try logging into the router at 192.168.1.1, or 192.168.0.1 to access the set up. ('Gateway address') . Some use 192.168.8.1

You can find the router address by right-clicking the Wifi or ethernet connection, see pic.

Some phones/routers need a reverse wire RJ11 cable, but I don't have further details.
 

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4Gee

Member
Hi Verita, thanks for the reply.

Yes, I'd already accessed the router setup page but there's no obvious "enable VoLTE" type of setting. The reverese wire RJ11 is interesting but I would have thought the RJ11 cable supplied with the router would be the right one to use. Not sure. The complete deadness of the handset when plugged in though might indicate it's a cable problem of some sort.
 

Verita

Regular Member
There's a wiki entry on the peculiarities of 'British' phone wiring and the occasional neeed for reverse cables on some handset/routers, Amazon has them if you want to try.

Certainly I needed one to connect my fax machine to a VOIP/SIP adapter, but other than that I have no further suggestions.

It would be handy with a 4G router and a SIM with unlimited voice calls though, so please update if you get the blighter to work.

For voice calls here I relented and installed a couple of Grandstream SIP phones over ethernet and powerline adaptors (with Sipgate Basic) - the advantage being you can put handsets anywhere in the house with a spare mains socket.

No more landline fees is the extra bonus. :)
 

baby_frogmella

Regular Member
OP,
If this Tenda router has VOIP/VoLTE functionality built-in, then there must be a way to configure the voice settings on the router. Otherwise the only other thing I can suggest is using a VOIP ATA adaptor such as a Grandstream HT801 to connect the bog standard phone to the router - you simply enter the VOIP line settings on the HT801 and then plug it into any spare LAN port on the router.
 

swt1963

Member
Hi, assume you mean the 4G680 as i can‘t see a reference to the 4G689 on Tenda’s website. If so I have one of these and can confirm the following...

There’s no VoIP functionality in the unit itself.

VoLTE is supposed to be implemented, but UK network support for it is generally currently often limited to certain network supplied handsets/custom firmware/tariffs. It didn’t work on either O2 or Three for me. I used PAYG sims that had both voice and data enabled.

However, fall back from 4G to 3G/2G for voice calls does work, and provided the unit is on the network, a correctly wired phone will provide a (non UK standard) dial tone when the handset is lifted, and the phone will ring (again non UK standard) if the number associated with the SIM is called. Whilst on a call, data transmission is usually slower, so simultaneous calling and streaming may not work too well.

The three PAYG SIM is ideal for testing with calls at 3p/minute, texts at 2p each (the web interface of the router allows text send/receive) and data at 1p/Mb. Obviously once proven, a PAYG SIM with a bundle or a contract SIM would be better for regular use.

Your lack of dial tone suggests that, provided the handset is known working on a landline socket, then you need an RJ11 plug to BT631A socket adaptor.

However, if you have a spare ADSL plug-in filter you can use this as a temporary makeshift adaptor. The filter has a BT style plug, sometimes on a short cable, and two sockets, one RJ11 usually labelled “DSL” “ADSL” or ”Router”
and the other, a BT style socket, labelled “Phone” or with a phone symbol.

Step 1: If the filter is already plugged into a phone socket, disconnect it and anything else plugged into it. YOU MUST NOT CONNECT THE BT PLUG TO ANYTHING whilst you are using the filter as a makeshift adaptor. It’s a good idea to put a bit of sellotape, masking tape or electrical tape around the unused BT plug to prevent inadvertent electrical contact in operation as you may get bit of a tingle, especially if the phone is ringing. Definitely keep inquisitive pets and children away from the set-up!

Step 2: Plug your landline phone into the BT socket on the filter, using the normal cable that came with the phone, and the (grey) cable from the RJ11 phone socket on the router to the RJ11 socket on the filter. Photo below shows how. Note the bit of tape around the end of the BT plug on the filter .
08522505-E15B-4B9B-9629-4F57DC2962EC.jpeg

Step 3: Turn on the router. The phone should not immediately ring or make any noise. If it does, then something is wrong. Turn everything off, disconnect it and do not continue. If the phone has a line powered display, that may come on once the router is fully started up.

Step 4: Verify that the router has connected to the network (internet light on, and at least 1 bar on the signal strength meter) Check by connecting to the router wi-fi and browsing.

Step 5: Pick up the handset, you should hear a continuous dial tone, which is higher in pitch than the normal UK landline. You can now try dialling a number. Remember that this is a mobile call so the area code must always be used. The router only supports tone dialling, so if you don‘t hear the tones when you dial, then switch the phone to tone dial, or connect a different phone.

The number you called should ring, and both ends should be able to hear each other. There may be a longer than normal delay between finishing dialling and the other end starting to ring. This is because the mobile network expects the whole number in one go (i.e. on a normal mobile handset, you enter the whole number before you press “send” ), so the router has to wait a few seconds to see if you are going to dial any more digits before it initiates the call.

Step 6: Hang up and return the call. The phone should ring with a single ring.......ring cadence, not the usual UK ring..ring......ring..ring pattern. If the phone has caller ID, this may work, but as again it’s not UK standard then some handsets won’t display it.

If all of that works, then go off to Amazon/Ebay and get a proper rj11 plug to BT socket adaptor. Get one with a ring capacitor otherwise some older phones won’t ring on an incoming call.

If not, post what does/does not work, along with a photo of how it’s wired up and I’ll try to help.
 

4Gee

Member
Hi swt1963.

Thank you so much for the detailed response. Yes, it is indeed a 4G680 V2, exactly like the one in your pic. I got it for £40 off Amazon and negotiated a £10 refund because they sent me the model V2 rather than the model V1 I had ordered. Sweet!

I never thought I'd find a use for all the old ADSL filters I have but now I do. So I wired it up exactly as you state and lo and behold I have working VoLTE, all working exactly as you described. I used a 3 sim with free 200Mb per month on it and a Vodafone sim which had loads of data on it. Both worked in the router (but the Vodafone default APN settings are wrong, they have to be changed). Sincerest thanks for that ingenious fix.

To be honest, unless there's a good reason to not use an ADSL filter for this purpose I'm going to just keep to that rather than shell out on another lead.

If you have or know of any other general info with regard to the router itself that would be welcome. As you probably know the router only comes with a quick start guide and there's no in depth info!

Thanks again.
 

swt1963

Member
Glad the fix worked! There’s no real reason to stop using the filter, as long as you are aware that there’s a few tens of volts present at the pins of the redundant BT plug. Not really dangerous though. Good going on getting it for £30. I thought I was doing well at £40!

I did look on the tendacn.com website, but apart from a couple of firmware versions and a data sheet that gives no more real info there’s nothing. I guess that it’s a case of playing around with the device to see what things do. I might try a firmware upgrade if one of those on the website is later than what is installed already

Three must have enabled their “Supervoice” VoLTE service in my area in the last couple of days, as now the three SIM doesn’t fall back to 3G for a voice call. The O2 SIM still does, and if you lock the router to only using LTE you get an “engaged” type tone if you try and dial out.

Next step for me is to change the APN for three to ’3internet’ so that I get a real IP address instead of a CGNAT one, and then try my existing VOIP setup on this router instead of the one on the landline broadband. That will give me an 01xxx... number for those that insist on having a “landline” to call in on as well as an 07xxx... number to use the unlimited minutes that tend to come with the data bundles these days.

Cheers

Steve
 
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