Chris Dent <(E-Mail Removed)> typed, for some strange,
: Hi Group.
: I am a first-time poster and joined the group a couple of weeks ago,
: primarily because I am keen to gain a good 'executive' understanding
: of the technologies of the modern telecoms market.
: Can anyone please explain how VoIP interracts with the fixed-line
: telephone network? I mean, do VoIP providers need a presence at an
: exchange? How does the call get from the PSTN to the internet and
: vice versa? If I have a geographic number with a VoIP provider do
: people get local rate calls to me from the same area code? If so, do
: I have to pay?
As others have said, the VoIP provider will get their phone numbers
"wholesale" from one of the main suppliers such as Magrathea. They then
either give these away in the hope you'll make loads of phone calls or
more often will charge you a monthly rental.
For a free number in any area code of your choice, try www.sipgate.co.uk.
They have come in for a lot of stick over the years about call quality
amongst other things but over the last year or so have been very reliable
and for a taster to see if you like VoIP you could do worse. Once you've
set up an account you can call free to any other Sipgate user and also
freephone numbers, but to call normal chargeable numbers you'll need to
add credit much in the same way you'd do so with a PAYG mobile.
You can also download a pre-configured softphone (X-Lite) that works with
your soundcard, or preferably you can get an ATA (Analogue Telephone
Adaptor) that plugs into your existing router via an Ethernet connection.
Later, if you decide you want to make more use of VoIP, you could get a
router with built in VoIP ports, such as the AVM Fritz!Box.