I’ve only just realised that I’ve that I now have two international non geographic phone numbers or iNum (International codes +882/+883)connected to a couple of voip accounts that I use.Introduced in November of last year these are non geographic phone numbers that are intended to either be free or local rated to call from anywhere in the world.
It also means that you would only need the one contact number that would be classified as a local number no matter which country your caller was living in.
Obviously it’s early days and not all the telcos have integrated iNum routing into their exchanges at present so many people have to dial them via an access number.
Skype is recognising iNum but is currently applying a local PSTN number charge for calling them but Skype’s a walled garden compared to many other voip services so we should be thankful they accommodate it at all.
Fingers crossed we’ll see the use of non geographic international phone numbers increase as it could compliment or even negate the current voip setups many of us have such as having specific country DID (Direct Inward Dialing) numbers (eg: we have US, European and Australian phone numbers for people in those countries to call at their local rate rather than at international rates).
The Level One VOI 7000 is an Internet voice over IP phone I purchased a short while ago to augment an existing Linksys ATA and help bridge a small number of sip telephone accounts and DID numbers that I use.
3 Accounts On One Phone
The main attraction of the phone is that it supports the use of 3 sip account registrations, only the the first of which is used for outgoing calls making it ideal for those who wish to assign additional incoming accounts. In my case I have an overseas DID number and an additional non geographic telephone number assigned to the phone as well as my main incoming and outgoing sip account.
The phone uses the open sip protocol (so it’s not a skype compatible which is its own proprietary island) and connects to the Internet via Ethernet. This model is for Internet use only and so is not equipped with an FXO port to bridge to a conventional phone line (which I don’t have and so didn’t need).
Web Interface Problems
Sip account and additional parameters can be changed via a web interface or directly on the phone via the keypad using the LCD display. I will say that I have found the availability of the web interface to be some what flaky in that it can seemingly become unavailable and recovered only by unplugging or rebooting the phone itself. Once set-up the parameters stay in place even if the phone is unplugged from the mains for periods at a time. Maybe any future firmware revisions will deal with the variable availability of the web interface.
The phone set itself features programmable memory allocations for phone numbers (click thumbnail for larger image), hands free speaker phone operation and in call volume adjustments. Registered caller ID’s are displayed on the green back lit LCD display which can be flipped up and positioned at various angles. Handset as well as internally programmed call transfer features are available.
LAN, WAN and NAT
The phone has LAN and WAN ports and can perform its own network address translation (NAT) if needs be or both ports can be configured to be transparent allowing NAT to take place at the router level.It’s relatively straightforward to change the pre programmed default IP address to bring it in line to your own network IP addresses or to let it accept an initial address from a DHCP service on your network (such as from your existing router).
Incoming call ring tones can be one of four options, three of which are quite laid back musical tunes with the fourth being a standard US style continuous ring tone. Unlike many ATA’s there is no option to apply call plan strings or apply a standard UK style incoming call ring sound.
I’ve toggled through the four ring tone options here:
Call quality is good though maybe not quite as good as some ATA’s which provide more more detailed codec and associated settings but maybe that’s down to the supplied receiver.
For more detailed specs the data sheet PDF is available here.
Value For Money
I paid a little over £20 for the set new and am pleased with the feature set and reliability for the price I paid. If you’re looking for a voip phone solution for home office or personal use and need to accommodate more than one account or DID but don’t need to delve into the call transfer complexity of asterisk then I’m more than happy to recommend this voip solution from my own personal use experience.