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Austin, TX

[Equipment] Any IP phone smaller than a Cisco SPA 301?

My mother is traveling internationally soon. I want to get her a self-contained IP phone that I will pre-configure with service. I'm looking for something light and hopefully inexpensive, that she can plug into the back of a router and start making/receiving calls immediately.

So far the Cisco SPA 301 for ~$60 seems to be my best option. Is there anything else I should be considering? Smartphones/softphones are ruled out because she doesn't have one.


New York, NY
I have had a Cisco SPA301 for about a year. It is simple and works well for me.



1 edit
reply to triumph
I recommend getting a used older smartphone; many are less than $100. I couldn't imagine traveling without one:

Maps (ever wrestle with a paper map in wind/rain?)
Transit directions and schedules
Restaurant reviews
Learning about sights you are visiting and what is worth visiting
Skype (works in many situations where SIP is blocked)

She needs a cellphone for safety anyhow. With a local SIM, she can make and receive calls at reasonable cost, when VoIP is unavailable. If her present phone is locked to a carrier, this will save the hassle of getting it unlocked.

What countries will she be visiting? Staying how long? In a hotel or with friends? Will she be taking a laptop or tablet?


Austin, TX
reply to triumph
My mother is going to Taiwan to visit family. I tried to get her to use a smartphone before but she doesn't want to. Plus I doubt she wants to deal with setting up WiFi and data plans.

I'll probably just go ahead an order the SPA301, looks like it's only $53 on Amazon.


If you go with the IP phone, you might have to tweak a setting in the phone or her family's router to get it to work. If she won't be taking her own computer, you'll need to borrow one of theirs to make the change. Your mom could be a go-between, if there is a language barrier.

If they have a landline phone that she can use, consider a call-back service as a backup. For example, Future-Nine is $0.013/min. to Taiwan fixed and $0.01 to the US, only $0.023 total. Calling you on your Callcentric iNum is $0.0164. Or, if she'll have access to a computer and landline, she can use Callcentric click-to-call.

If she will be traveling without her family being with her, give her an unlocked cell phone to carry for safety. Calls to TW mobile are not cheap, but it's a lot better than having no communication when needed.


reply to triumph
The cheapest and most reliable type of communication these days would either a laptop or tablet. Once she gets in a wifi zone then she can easily connects to any free web services like Skype so she can easily communicates with you. She can also use Google maps for navigation. All is easy now if you are connected to the internet.

From Mazilo
Lilburn, GA
reply to triumph
I see you are in Austin, TX. And, if you wanna get an OBi110 device, you can get it from your local Fry's Electronics store on 12707 North Mopac Expressway, Austin, TX for $39.99 + sales tax until 1/10/13.
don't and stop are the ONLY two 4-letter words considered offensive to men, but not when used together.