Questions

How to use cell phone with business VoIP?

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0 Votes
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How to use cell phone with business VoIP?

omgitzme
Does anyone have experience or knowledge of someone who uses their business' VoIP service on their own cell phone? I'm not talking about getting Skype or another app, I'm looking for ways to connect an existing business VoIP service account with a smartphone.

I've only found bits and pieces of information on each VoIP company's website - like <a href="http://www.8x8.com/BusinessSolutions/ByProduct.aspx">here</a> where 8x8 says it has "iPhone Integration" at the bottom of the chart, and <a href="http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10685/Products_Sub_Category_Home.html">here on Cisco's page</a> where they have application info for different types of phones.

There doesn't seem to be an article or resource on the web that compiles info about all the different VoIP companies and their ways to connect the service with a cellphone. Or if there is, can someone direct me to it? It would really help for comparing VoIP plans. Thanks!!
  • +
    2 Votes
    robo_dev

    First of all, consider that a typical smartphone makes three types of external connections:

    1) Voice phone call, using carrier cell phone network, using GSM (typically)
    2) Data connection, using carrier data network
    3) Data connection using WiFi (private short-range 802.11 local network)

    On any smartphone, connection #1 is only made one way...using the native built-in phone capability of the device, typically using a SIM card to identify who the user is.

    Now here is where it gets blurry:

    On an iPhone, for example, you can load the Skpe App and make calls. However, it's just an app....so it is only using connections #2 or #3. Since, typically, data traffic gets less priority on the carrier's network, the quality/reliability will not be as good. Plus the app is typically not 100% integrated into the phone, so things like dialing, ringing, and so forth can work in non-standard ways.

    The curious app on the iPhone is Google Voice. Google voice actually uses connection #1, however the way it works is that the app reaches out and dials into a Google voice server in your area. However the text and voicemail services depend totally on connection types #2 and #3...they are just data.

    Now to confuse things a bit are things like Cisco 'hybrid' voice-over-wifi solutions.

    Once a company has a wireless LAN in place, it's logical to want to have wireless handsets that can use the same network for voice.

    So instead of giving every employee a $400 Cisco WiFi phone, they just load an app so the user's smartphone can work the same way.

    Your cell phone becomes a WiFi phone extension for the company by running this app. But it's still a cell phone, and the cisco wifi stuff is separate and distinct from the GSM phone company connection.

    To further confuse things, there are devices known as GSM gateways used to save cost by forwarding landline calls to a GSM attached gateway....it's much cheaper to call from GSM to GSM versus fixed line to GSM....but I digress.

    Years ago, a company called SpectraLink introduced the first WiFi phones. They made (and still make) WiFi phones designed to work with whatever business phone system you have.

    The tricky part to all this is getting the required PBX features to work on a wireless phone connected to a company wireless LAN, and of course having a wireless LAN that has the speed and coverage to make is suitable for voice communication.

    If you have a Cisco VOIP system, then you would most likely use Cisco wifi phones (or apps), while you would need a different solution (like SpectraLink) if you have an Avaya or Nortel system.

    By the way, these work on old-fashioned PBX phone systems too, it does not have to be VOIP.

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    0 Votes
    omgitzme

    It seems like there's no simple way to connect a VoIP service with a mobile phone... for the purposes of billing the company while talking on a cell phone instead of using personal cell minutes. I thought it was easier -- thanks for clearing this up! I guess a work cell phone is the best bet. Thanks again!

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    0 Votes
    robo_dev

    Yup, no such thing as a free lunch.

    there are 'dual SIM' unlocked Cell phones which allow you to have service on two carriers. Like having two phones in one. Setup one account/sim for work, the other for personal use.

    From your original question I thought you were more interested in connecting the the company phone system.


    "Finally, a dual SIM card cell phone"
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10219559-1.html

    The premise is simple and very attractive: with slots for two SIM cards, a single phone can have two phone numbers. You can receive and make calls on both lines and the SIM cards can even be from separate carriers.

    It's a great option for anyone who wants to combine their work and personal phone and it's perfect for frequent international travelers who want a local number while retaining their U.S. number.

  • +
    2 Votes
    robo_dev

    First of all, consider that a typical smartphone makes three types of external connections:

    1) Voice phone call, using carrier cell phone network, using GSM (typically)
    2) Data connection, using carrier data network
    3) Data connection using WiFi (private short-range 802.11 local network)

    On any smartphone, connection #1 is only made one way...using the native built-in phone capability of the device, typically using a SIM card to identify who the user is.

    Now here is where it gets blurry:

    On an iPhone, for example, you can load the Skpe App and make calls. However, it's just an app....so it is only using connections #2 or #3. Since, typically, data traffic gets less priority on the carrier's network, the quality/reliability will not be as good. Plus the app is typically not 100% integrated into the phone, so things like dialing, ringing, and so forth can work in non-standard ways.

    The curious app on the iPhone is Google Voice. Google voice actually uses connection #1, however the way it works is that the app reaches out and dials into a Google voice server in your area. However the text and voicemail services depend totally on connection types #2 and #3...they are just data.

    Now to confuse things a bit are things like Cisco 'hybrid' voice-over-wifi solutions.

    Once a company has a wireless LAN in place, it's logical to want to have wireless handsets that can use the same network for voice.

    So instead of giving every employee a $400 Cisco WiFi phone, they just load an app so the user's smartphone can work the same way.

    Your cell phone becomes a WiFi phone extension for the company by running this app. But it's still a cell phone, and the cisco wifi stuff is separate and distinct from the GSM phone company connection.

    To further confuse things, there are devices known as GSM gateways used to save cost by forwarding landline calls to a GSM attached gateway....it's much cheaper to call from GSM to GSM versus fixed line to GSM....but I digress.

    Years ago, a company called SpectraLink introduced the first WiFi phones. They made (and still make) WiFi phones designed to work with whatever business phone system you have.

    The tricky part to all this is getting the required PBX features to work on a wireless phone connected to a company wireless LAN, and of course having a wireless LAN that has the speed and coverage to make is suitable for voice communication.

    If you have a Cisco VOIP system, then you would most likely use Cisco wifi phones (or apps), while you would need a different solution (like SpectraLink) if you have an Avaya or Nortel system.

    By the way, these work on old-fashioned PBX phone systems too, it does not have to be VOIP.

    +
    0 Votes
    omgitzme

    It seems like there's no simple way to connect a VoIP service with a mobile phone... for the purposes of billing the company while talking on a cell phone instead of using personal cell minutes. I thought it was easier -- thanks for clearing this up! I guess a work cell phone is the best bet. Thanks again!

    +
    0 Votes
    robo_dev

    Yup, no such thing as a free lunch.

    there are 'dual SIM' unlocked Cell phones which allow you to have service on two carriers. Like having two phones in one. Setup one account/sim for work, the other for personal use.

    From your original question I thought you were more interested in connecting the the company phone system.


    "Finally, a dual SIM card cell phone"
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10219559-1.html

    The premise is simple and very attractive: with slots for two SIM cards, a single phone can have two phone numbers. You can receive and make calls on both lines and the SIM cards can even be from separate carriers.

    It's a great option for anyone who wants to combine their work and personal phone and it's perfect for frequent international travelers who want a local number while retaining their U.S. number.