VOIP/SIP over 3g/4g revisited

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices & Gadgets' started by wirednuts, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. wirednuts

    wirednuts Diamond Member

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    Anyone who has been following knows there has been a lot of discussion about using voip on cellular networks. I have been using it with TMo's 4g monthly plan.

    Now, for me, grooveIP was an OK solution. The call quality could be pretty poor at times though, and it wouldn't always stay connected to the network (annoying because you would miss incoming calls). Most of the time it would sound pretty damn good, but it just seemed when I needed it most it simply wasnt good enough.

    Then i tried the PBXes.org solution with SipDroid. That was better, however again the call quality left much to be desired, and the call lag at times would force me and the other party to talk over eachother constantly. I thought I could train myself to work around this, but that was a pipe dream.

    Recently, talkatone was getting me by. The sound quality was actually fairly decent... it wasnt too hard to understand conversations... but the dreaded call lag was just unbearable. Fed up, I finally decided I probably have to pay a little money to have a good solution.

    Enter Skype. Got a new online number, and tied it to my gv account. I had been a skype user for years as a house line, and it was always great. So I figured since I remembered liking it so much I would try it again but this time on my cellphone. Results? amazing. really!

    $90/yr for unlimited service, or $60 for the number and 2 cents a min for calls. In other words, it adds $7 a month to my cell bill... but it does give me another option in case my cellphone gets lost or unavailable. What's so great about it? Landline call quality on 4g. No joke. You hear a little crackling here and there as the connection fades and whatnot, but its nothing like what happens to the free sip solutions. Call lag? non existent. At least you don't notice it.... And so far, it stays connected and there has been no issues. And of course, it has tried and true video calling built in.

    I still want to setup a raspberry pi with asterisk and run a pay-for-sip trunk on it, just to see how it compares... but so far Skype absolutely destroys anything else Ive tried. I talk to people over cell networks now and they dont even know it. It really does sound like a landline! It really is better then my actual cellular calls. And of course, its even better when Im on wifi. I think I understand now why MS wanted to buy Skype- they clearly have some of the best VOIP technology out there.

    Anyone else been playing around like I have? thoughts?
     
    #1 wirednuts, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  2. Gooberlx2

    Gooberlx2 Lifer

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    Interesting...

    $30 Tmo Prepaid + $7.5 = $37.50 for unlimited voice, text and 5GB data. Even cheaper than Straight Talk with a higher official data cap (ST's confusing and/or inconsistent data cap enforcement notwithstanding). Not bad if you don't often roam outside the data network. And you still have the 100 mins from Tmo in that case.

    So, I'm guessing you have to dial-out and receive calls via the skype app? Or does it somehow integrate with the native dialer? What's it do to your battery life? How's 3g performance? How much data does it chew up?
     
    #2 Gooberlx2, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  3. wirednuts

    wirednuts Diamond Member

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    the data it uses is negligible. in the last 3 months, i have used less then 1gb of data each month. i used to avg 2gb a month, but that was streaming music all day at work every day.

    not sure about skype performance on 3g. im eager to try it, however i usually get 4g everywhere in town and if i dont, its just 2g. im not sure if skype works on 2g... ill post back soon with that.

    battery life is on par with any voip app. it reduces your normal life about 30% it seems. its noticeable, but after awhile it isnt because you get used to it. plus, i still get a day and a half on a charge so whatever (htc sensation).

    no integrated dialer that i can find. i really want that.. but at the same time its really no big deal to just use the skype app. its the same thing with grooveip or talkatone... you can opt to use the native dialer, but in real world use there just isnt that much difference so its hard to worry about it. whats weird is i thought skype did integrate with android... or at least it used to (maybe since ms bought them out they removed android integration?). who knows, but at least the app seems to be working great anyway. i just replace my stock dialer icon with the skype one... like i said its really no different as far as use goes. it just looks different.
     
  4. wirednuts

    wirednuts Diamond Member

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    also, its hard to consider my cell bill as $37 a month, because if i dont pay or pay late and my service gets interrupted i can still make calls over wifi. at the very worst, just find a mcdonalds and make the call. and since i pay skype by the year, its always working. and, skype can be run easily on any of my devices at home. its just too easy... like i said i still want to try asterisk with a paid sip trunk, but i wont get video calling and i wont get any calls at all if my home internet goes down. so im starting to think that skype is just the best case scenario when all things considered.

    plus, if you pay skype by the minute, its just $60 a year for the number and 2 cents a min. if you only use a couple hundred minutes a month, youre looking at $3 or so...


    edit!! this is interesting. skype USED to integrate into android, and when you click to call someone in the stock dialer, android would ask you if you wanted to call via native phone or skype (just like all the other voip apps).

    it doesnt do that anymore after one of the recent updates.

    more weird? it wont auto-login at startup either. meaning everytime your phone dies you must launch skype yourself. what does this retardation of skype on android mean? is google actively pushing skype away? in my eyes, it works FAR too good for this treatment. and also, look at the reviews and you would think skype is the worst app on android. something is ary here...
     
    #4 wirednuts, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  5. dagamer34

    dagamer34 Platinum Member

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    I wouldn't jump so quickly to the conspiracy theories...
     
  6. wirednuts

    wirednuts Diamond Member

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    ok, maybe youre right. i installed skype on my droid x2 and it integrates just fine. trying again on my sensation, but it might just be a htc sense ui problem.

    also, ive realized there is little reason to buy the skype online number. you can save $60 a year if you just use talkatone for incoming calls. its a bit more crude, as all incoming calls you take will be lower quality... but thats the only catch. otherwise, you make all calls with skype still for $30 a year unlimited, and the sound quality is excellent. and, if someone calls you with skype then you WILL get incoming calls with skype of course, and i have noticed when you have a direct skype-skype connection there is almost zero delay. to the tune of 300ms or so. i have both phones right in my hand and they almost sound like walkie talkies.