Skype ATAs / DECT / wifi phones

Discussion in 'UK VOIP' started by Theo Markettos, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. I'm thinking about Skype ATAs - analogue phone in, ethernet out, but doing
    Skype not SIP.

    First let's get this stuff out the way:
    #include "skype_is_evil.h"
    #include "skype_isnt_voip.h"
    #include "skype_eats_your_network_for_breakfast.h"
    #include "sip_is_the_one_true_voip_solution.h"
    #include "skype_is_a_ripoff_compared_to_betamax.h"

    Right, that feels better. Now, anyone have any experience with these?
    Ideally I'd consider a joint Skype/SIP ATA, but there don't seem to be any.

    The choice of Skype is because I want is something I can configure and
    forget: tell someone to plug it in their network (which will be behind NAT
    or possibly double-NAT) and not have to wrestle with firewall configuration,
    STUN etc. I won't have any access (even remote) to the box when deployed.
    I'd be using SkypeOut, or maybe SIPtoSIS and a SIP gateway I run.

    There appears to be Skype ATA hardware out there, but it's not too
    widespread. The advantage of the ATA is it's easy to transport, and the
    phone can be cheaply replaced if it goes wrong. And if there are
    DECT signal problems, you just extend the ethernet or the phone cables.

    The other option is a Skype DECT or wifi handset... possible, but I might
    want an ethernet-connected basestation rather than wifi. There's multiple
    wifi networks available, but that's something I can't test in advance and I
    don't know about coverage. Can Skype handsets be configured for more than
    one network at once so they can roam between networks (not during calls
    obviously)?

    Once you get into Skype DECT phones, it seems like some are just USB audio
    cards with a DECT interface, which is not an option.

    Anyone any experiences?

    Thanks
    Theo
    Theo Markettos, Oct 14, 2010
    #1
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  2. Theo Markettos

    SimonB Guest

    Theo Markettos <> wrote:

    > I'm thinking about Skype ATAs - analogue phone in, ethernet out, but doing
    > Skype not SIP.

    [snip]
    > The other option is a Skype DECT or wifi handset... possible, but I might
    > want an ethernet-connected basestation rather than wifi. There's multiple
    > wifi networks available, but that's something I can't test in advance and I
    > don't know about coverage. Can Skype handsets be configured for more than
    > one network at once so they can roam between networks (not during calls
    > obviously)?
    >
    > Anyone any experiences?


    Used this Skype DECT for a couple of years now:
    http://www.bargainstock.co.uk/Product.asp?pid=1893
    Amazon do them new. Once they're set up they are very little fuss.
    My main complaint is the tiny character size on the keys -- that could
    have been much better done.
    --
    Simon
    SimonB, Oct 14, 2010
    #2
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  3. Theo Markettos <> wrote:
    > I suppose another option is a wifi mobile with a Skype app. Anyone suggest
    > one that might be cheap SIM-free (eg secondhand)?


    Something else that it might be handy to do is internet SMS (ie not using a
    local mobile network). Do any of the Skype phones do this? Or are there
    SMS apps that integrate tightly with a mobile (so it looks like sending a
    regular SMS)?

    Theo
    Theo Markettos, Oct 15, 2010
    #3
  4. Theo Markettos

    SimonB Guest

    Theo Markettos <> wrote:

    > SimonB <> wrote:
    > > Used this Skype DECT for a couple of years now:
    > > http://www.bargainstock.co.uk/Product.asp?pid=1893
    > > Amazon do them new. Once they're set up they are very little fuss.
    > > My main complaint is the tiny character size on the keys -- that could
    > > have been much better done.

    >
    > Thanks, that looks useful. A review says it doesn't have a web interface...
    > does that mean you have to configure it with the keypad?

    Assuming you've set up an account via browser, there's liitle you need
    to key in to the phone to get it to sync. Account management can be done
    via the web. Notification of phone firmware updates is delivered to the
    phone.

    > Presumably you can
    > use a conventional DECT range extender on it?

    No experience of these.
    --
    Simon
    SimonB, Oct 15, 2010
    #4
  5. Graham. <> wrote:
    > Ah, in that case the 3 Skypephone S2 may well interest you. The preloaded
    > Skype client does not work through your local LAN, it works through the 3
    > network so you can use it out and about.
    > You need no credit whatsoever to make and receive Skype to Skype calls, my
    > son (who never buys credit) had been using his for over a year with few
    > problems.


    This isn't for .uk, so the Three Skype offering isn't an option. I did
    consider the S2 (as a cheap 3G phone) but wasn't sure if there's a 'normal'
    Skype client for BREW. Fring/Nimbuzz/iSkoot might be possible options if
    there are BREW clients... but I want to keep things on wifi wherever
    possible for cost reasons (there are no sensible GSM data tariffs).

    > I have set up a SIPtoSYS gateway here at home so he can make PSTN calls at
    > VoIP rates - that I pay for :-(


    I know, SIPtoSIS was part of my plan for world domination :)

    Another idea is a cheap Android phone... T-Mobile Pulse Mini or something.
    Will cope with multiple wifi networks with no problem, can run various
    softphone apps, and will fall back to 3G when out of range. Only trouble is
    the battery life sucks, and the problem of fixing it remotely (harder than
    port-forwarding a web config interface). Don't suppose there's any
    Blackberry-style remote admin support for Android? An SSH server is one
    option, but I don't know how much of the settings can be tweaked via SSH.

    Theo
    Theo Markettos, Oct 15, 2010
    #5
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