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potato

join:2012-12-13
Reviews:
·Mediacom

My VoIP Service Provider Requirements - Recommendations?

I signed up for a voip.ms account last week, added $25 and grabbed an Alabama DID (I'm in Alabama). After several exchanges with support they finally told me that none of their Alabama DIDs support outgoing caller id name (CNAM entry), even if I port my existing number in (which currently supports it through ATT). Bummer! On a positive note, they did say they will refund my current balance (~$23) if I want. That's cool and very fair.

Localphone seems to have excellent reviews, but I don't think they support the features I need (see below). I thought I would look into Anveo since they seem to have pretty good reviews here also. I emailed Anveo sales to ask about CNAM entries for their DIDs in Alabama, but I have no idea how long it may take for them to get back with me.

My monthly phone usage is pretty low. On average I use less than 150 minutes for both incoming and outgoing. Every few months I talk to a few friends in other states and rack up an additional 100 or so minutes (both incoming and outgoing). My incoming and outgoing calls are about 25% business / 75% personal. I don't need international calling.

My requirements are ...

1. Outbound Caller ID Name for an Alabama number (CNAM entry)
- A lot of people won't answer their home phone if they don't see a name on caller id

2. Auto-attendant to announce that incoming calls will be recorded before the call rings me.
- I'm in a 1-party consent state, but I would like to let callers know as a courtesy
- Central call recording would be nice, but not necessary (cell and softphone can both record)

3. Inbound call filter
- reject anonymous callers, route telemarketers to 'Disconnected' notice, etc

4. Ring group to ring both my softphone (SIP) and my cell at the same time.

5. I need to be able to use my cell phone to call through the system (DISA)
- Calls from my cell would show the VoIP DID instead of my private cell number

6. More than one PoP in case of server failure
- I've read about companies having a single PoP and it going down

Based on my requirements and usage, can anyone recommend a provider? If so, which plan?

Lastly, I get about 31ms latency to atlanta.voip.ms from here. I'd like to test Anveo, but I can't seem to find a list of Anveo PoPs / IPs. Their setup guide mentions sip.anveo.com. When I ping that, I get about 55ms to that address. Is this the only location they have? Also, how much can ping latency really tell you about quality of voip service?

PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
You've clearly thought this through very carefully.

I can tell you that you are not going to find ALL of that in a single VoIP provider.

You may need 2 or even 3 companies, and/or to do some of that through your own hardware (ie some sort of PBX).

The dealkiller may be your insistence on outbound CNAM.

Heck, it may be different in Alabama, but 2/3 of my inbound calls don't have names with them because they are Verizon cellphones!

You said that Voip.MS cannot do outbound CNAM for you, if they can't then perhaps no one can.

You could try FlowRoute for outbound CNAM, but they won't have some of your other needs.

Really, what you seek is the equivalent of looking for the brains of Condie Rice, the beauty of Gisele Bundchen, the wealth of Alice Walton, the athleticism of Mia Hamm, the humour of Wanda Sykes, the spunk of Tina Fey, the writing of C. J. Cherryh, the insight of Maureen Dowd....

....all wrapped into one, and at a cheap price to boot!

PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
reply to potato
Anveo [might] come closest BTW.

But they have one US POP, one Canada POP, and one Europop.

Which really should be plenty....

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
Reviews:
·AcroVoice
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw
reply to potato
Anveo has three PoPs: sip.anveo.com, sip.de.anveo.com, and sip.ca.anveo.com.

Ping will help you to diagnose poor internet routing between you and your service provider's PoP. Look at your ping times and see if they're all around the same number. If you see a variation in ping times such as 80, 85, 90, 80, that is known as jitter and can probably be handled by the jitter buffer in your VoIP hardware. If you see 40, 60, 20, 250, 375, 250, you have severe jitter and are probably going to experience poor audio quality due to packets arriving at their destination out of order.

Since ping only measures the latency between you and your service provider's PoP, it cannot diagnose audio quality issues that are not related to your internet routing. But between you and your service provider is the place most likely for audio quality issues to arise.

As for latency, 55ms round trip is quite good, but keep in mind that there is no way to measure the latency between a service provider and their carrier. However, 55ms leaves you lots of room for additional latency introduced by normal call routing or things like cell phones.

The bottom line is that though ping is a good first step, your ear is the best test.

potato

join:2012-12-13
Reviews:
·Mediacom

1 recommendation

reply to potato
Thanks for the replies.

PX Eliezer
voip.ms meets all those except outbound CNAM registration. I think you may be right, there probably are no byod voip providers that support outbound CNAM in the US.

If this is indeed the case, then I will probably stay with voip.ms as I already have everything set up. I'll just need to explain to some people that my CID will only show city and number - learn the damn number!

Mango
Thank you for the explanation on ping and jitter. I wasn't sure how low ping should be to allow for ample headroom. It seems my ping is less than 65ms to just about everywhere in N. America (even Canada) on both voip.ms and Anveo. With 25 pings to each PoP, there wasn't much deviation from the average time to any of them either (less than 7ms in all cases).

After reading your reply I am a little less worried about PoP location now ... I thought anything over 50ms might have been an issue (online FPS mentality, I guess).

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
said by potato:

voip.ms meets all those except outbound CNAM registration. I think you may be right, there probably are no byod voip providers that support outbound CNAM in the US.

We (Future Nine) do offer it - but only in NY/CA/PA/VA/WV/DE/MD. I don't think any other BYOD providers do but I'm not sure. VOIPo does support it I think, but they lack most of the other features you're asking for. I don't like mix-and-matching, but what you can do is get a number from VOIPo, configure outgoing CNAM on it, and forward it to Voip.MS, and on the Voip.MS side set your outgoing Caller ID to the VOIPo number. That way you can get all the features, at the cost of a little extra latency and a few more bucks. Note VOIPo is located in Texas so you'd want to use Voip.MS's Texas server for this.

Edit: VOIPo is just one example - you can do this with ANY provider that'll let you set outbound CNAM and forward your calls (preferably via SIP).

PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to potato
said by potato:

voip.ms meets all those except outbound CNAM registration. I think you may be right, there probably are no byod voip providers that support outbound CNAM in the US.

Voip.MS does offer it in [some] areas, as do Vitelity, FlowRoute, and FutureNine.

But as I said, if Voip.MS can't do it in your area, then others probably can't either.

said by potato:

If this is indeed the case, then I will probably stay with voip.ms as I already have everything set up. I'll just need to explain to some people that my CID will only show city and number - learn the damn number!

Really, so many of your friends must be able to program your number into their phones or phone services, so your name will show up.

Or they should just learn the number!

said by potato:

I'll just need to explain to some people that my CID will only show city and number - learn the damn number!

If your name happens to be Montgomery, Daphne, Florence, Chelsea, Helena, Madison, Dora, Jasper, or Troy, get a number from one of those areas, use that as outbound CID.

Then when you call your friends, the city name will actually be [your] name, so they will pick up the call....

potato

join:2012-12-13
Reviews:
·Mediacom

1 recommendation

reply to potato
said by PX Eliezer7:

If your name happens to be Montgomery, Daphne, Florence, Chelsea, Helena, Madison, Dora, Jasper, or Troy, get a number from one of those areas, use that as outbound CID.

Then when you call your friends, the city name will actually be [your] name, so they will pick up the call....

LOL ... unfortunately Alabama hasn't recognized my greatness and named a town after me.

Maybe I'll run down to my county courthouse and apply for a legal name change and pick up a number from Ohatchee or Wetumpka