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VOIP via 4G via builtin Huawei Router features = delay when speaking?

johnf

Regular Member
So I recently ditched the landline for a 4G router (Huawei B525s) on the Vodafone network. This has a feature where you can plug a normal landline phone into it, enter your VOIP details into the router and off you go. I'm using Sipgate.

I have a couple of problems with this. The phone calls themselves are very clear, but there is a lag which means one person hears a pause and starts talking, and the other person continues talking, they then both hear the other person talking and both stop. Would you call this latency?

Hoping to get some experience from other people. Is what I have described typical of using VOIP? Or is it because I am doing it va 4g? Or is it because the router just isn't very good at doing this?

The other problem I have, is sometimes someone will call me, my phone never rings, they get the ring tone. Next thing i get an e-mail saying I had a missed call (great feature).

This I think is a problem with the router, because if I go into the VOIP settings and change something it starts to work normally.

So my thoughts are. Would I be better off with a normal VOIP phone that is plugged into a network port and connecting to sipgate in its own way rather than the router doing that?

Or is what I have described (especially the latency) just typical of VOIP?

Thanks for any help!
 

Verita

Regular Member
Another one of those 4G 'herding cats' mysteries. Sipgate (Basic) works fine over 3G and 4G on my B311 with Three network, but I'm using Grandstream desk phones. I also live close to a Three mast, with 100% signal.

1) Sipgate recommend disabling 'SIP ALG' settings in routers as a first step.

2) Others have reported that using VOIP directly on Huawei router phone sockets causes the router to switch to 3G for the 'voice' data, then back to 4G. This happens quite quickly but might be a source of lag. My older Huawei router did this, don't know about the current ones.

My Grandstreams are plugged into Powerline (Homeplug) ethernet adaptors so they can go anywhere in the house. Haven't noticed any lag over these.

I'm not expert enough to diagnose further. :)

Grandstreams:

If you want to try a Grandstream, Amazon have a good returns policy , the two SIP account GXP-1625 works perfectly for me, as does the cheaper GXP-1610 (One SIP account, no backlit display.) The phones also have a second 100 Ethernet port for a second device if you're short of ports.

Phones should be booted after the router has started to get a DHCP IP address. The phone screen will show this, you can then log in and set up the account details.

Voicemail:

Despite Sipgate saying Message Waiting Indicator (MWI - voicemail light on the Grandstreams) doesn't work on Sipgate Basic accounts, it does work on my two lines if enabled in the phones.

This makes the Sipgate Voicemail useful as it flashes a light on the phones if there's a message waiting. Also the phones give a pulsing dial-tone if there's a waiting voicemail.

The delay before routing to voicemail can be changed in the Sipgate settings at their site.

Phones:

 

Verita

Regular Member
PS: If anyone wants screen shots for setting up Grandstreams on Sipgate, let me know. I have both the 1610 and 1625 phones.
 

johnf

Regular Member
Thanks for the detailed post. I think I will have to follow your advice and get a proper voip phone.

Re your point 2. It definitely does this if an incoming (or outgoing) call comes in on the sim's phone number.

Usually I'm using remote desktop as part of the call, so I know its not swapping between 3g/4g while in a voip call or it would drop the connection.
 

Verita

Regular Member
^^ There's some discussion on 'another' broadband forum about 4G VOIP and dropping to 3G during a call. Some say their Huawei router doesn't do it, others, that it does:

"B525 is not officially supported by Three for VoLTE [Voice Over LTE/4G], so has to drop from 4G to 3G to make & receive calls"

(I note you're on Vodafone.)

As you've found, using the 'phone socket' on my older Huaweis dropped the connection down to 3G. Using the Grandstream phones over Ethernet the connection stays at 4G as it's a SIP connection.

Some of the 4G users on here get free SIM minutes, these only work with a 'landline' phone plugged into the Huawei's phone socket, of course, and a consequential drop down to 3G unless VoLTE is supported.

N.B.

With the Grandstreams and other SIP phones you can put another handset anywhere in the house with a couple of PowerLine (Homeplug) ethernet adaptors. The Sipgate Basic service will ring both handsets when a call comes in.

There's also a raft of VOIP apps like 3CX for smartphones which also work well with Sipgate to save buying a dedicated SIP phone.
 

chris_h

Member
Lot's of useful information from other contributors.

I use the B525 as a "sole connection" in a rural property and struggled to get the phone connection to work properly. For what it's worth, these were the issues:

1) the RJ11 socket is wired to international/US standard. UK has its own RJ11 phone pin-out which is not the same (outer pair rather than inner pair I seem to remember - but please check). A US-BT adaptor solved that problem; a UK RJ11-BT adaptor doesn't work.

2) a lot of older UK phones require an external ringing capacitor and use a third wire to connect the bell. The easy fix is to insert a spare ADSL filter in the connection to the phone as they seem to have the required capacitor in them.

Once the connection issues were sorted I didn't have any further problems and the calls are fine.

I'm using the B525 to make standard mobile calls - the SIM card has unlimited calls and texts. I haven't tried VoIP. It seems to be the case the the 525 can't make phone calls on the 4G network (VoLTE) and it does switch to 3G if the phone is in use. That's been another source of problems for some as the router network selection settings have to allow automatic switching: if set to "4G only" the phone doesn't work.

I've got two of these routers now and am fairly pleased with them. One of them is brand-new ex-3 stock and is branded as such. Although it isn't locked to the 3 network, the set-up menu is 3's own and the VoIP settings are missing. Anyone any ideas how to get the standard set-up back?
 

johnf

Regular Member
As an update to my original post. I bought a GigaSet N300. This is so much better, it works flawlessly. No missed calls because it did not ring, no latency. It even allows use of my really old Panasonic DECT phone.
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
There are also differences between firmware on the B525, some use the phone socket as a VOIP device others as a mobile phone using the sim card. Not seen one yet that covers both.
 

cgwhite

Casual Member
Folks, I have been playing with this issue for some time now. I have a Gigaset N300 with a Gigaset handset as well as a Grandstream desk phone. They are connected via Three 4G/LTE to Voipfone. The system works seemlessly. Recently I have been having issues with Three and thought that I would try Vodafone to see if I got a better signal etc. (Which I did, I live in the middle of nowhere in Norfolk.) BUT, try as I might my VOIP system would not register with Voipfone over Vodafone. Taking it further, if I enabled a VPN in my Hauwei 618 router. (ExpressVPN using L2TP) all works fine apart from my being unable to access some sites like BBC iPlayer. I have spent hours onto Vodafone about this issue and have reverted back to Three for the time being. I am now in the process of installing a dedicated VPN Router to try that out for just some applications like VOIP. Unfortunately with the 618 you don't have the SIP ALG setting that some users have been able to disable to get VOIP to work.

BTW, Vodafone have not admitted that their network will not allow VOIP over it.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
Sounds like the CGNAT that all mobile networks employ (apart from Three on their 3internet APN) could be getting in the way of your VoIP
 

cgwhite

Casual Member
Thank you. Surely the mobile operators are going to have to sort this out. Fixed lines are going to be dead in the near future and all communication will be over fibre broadband / mobile broadband.
 

GavinAshford

ULTIMATE Member
There isn't much they can do - there aren't enough/any IP v4 addresses available not to use it. Moving to v6 might help but it's got to be pretty much end-to-end I think
 

TTJJ

ULTIMATE Member
VoIP works fine over Vodafone's CGNAT. Doesn't tend to cause any issues. On your SIP devices though you may need to enable or disable SIP STUN (whichever it was on before, switch it to the other one).

I've used SIP over Vodafone's network plenty of times - seperately I use SIP at home and it's CGNAT too. It can work it might just be finding the right switch to flick.
 
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