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Getting VoIPed in Ireland

I got set up for VoIP yesterday. It was surprisingly painless. I ordered a little box and a month’s subscription from Blueface, which costs me 69.99 + 9.99 per month. I plugged one side of the little box (the Linksys PAP2 into a network socket (I use eircom broadband, the low-end package), and plugged a regular phone into the other end. Everything was ready-configured and it works great. I get 5 hours of free calls a month to landlines for my money. What I really like is that this extra ‘line’ gives me an extra phone number to use for business purposes. Also, I can see the cost of the calls, as I make them.

The support at Blueface is good too. Kate from support actually came around to my house with the VoIP box. They’re also seeing if they can sort out a dialling plan for me, so that I can do Enum dialling. Technologically-speaking, Blueface appears to be based on Asterisk, which is no bad thing.

(Enum is basically about being able to make VoIP to VoIP calls using regular phone numbers. This means that you can use the phone as usual, but without incurring any charges whatsoever. You can make this sort of call at the moment, but you have to dial all sorts of weird prefixes. Very confusing.)

The other neat feature is that Blueface has a web interface that lets me see details of the calls I make and what they cost, as I make them. It gives me a real sense of comfort and control.

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  1. Hi Antoin,

    Blueface rocks. Their support is really good. I have had very good help from Aaron Clausman (who mailed me one Friday evening @ about 9PM, telling me there had been a little issue with credit and he had processed it manually!).

    Yes Blueface do operate Asterisk. (Found that in one evening)

    I did a little test of blueface a few months ago, I had it operating across WiFi to a Eircom DSL line, and I have to say it worked perfectly.

    Still one gripe tho’ I have to pay for line rental from Irkem. If SMART Telecom were able to provide me with DSL, I would be moved in seconds.

    Did Blueface provide the Linksys ATA or did you purchase it yourself?

    I would like to hear how it goes in the future, normal usage as I would like to drop my voice calls completely.


  2. Hi Bernard,

    Blueface sold me the Linksys ATA (and pre-configured it before they sent it out).

    I’ve tried voip from customers’ premises. One problem is that if the line is contended, there can be issues. Then you have to think about prioritizing the VoIP traffic on the ADSL link. This would be easy enough on BSD or Linux, but it’s tricky on those handy little gateways eircom give you …

  3. A friend of mine has Blueface and I was able to call him for free using The Gizmo Project. This is a competitor to Skype and works in much the same way except it supports SIP. Once I had my friend’s SIP number, which was quite similar to his 076 number, I simply type in *353 followed by the SIP number and we could talk. The quality I heard was very good but he reported that my voice was very poor. This could be a limitation of my microphone or it could be because of poor interconnect between the VOIP networks.

  4. Well, it was quite likely your microphone, or else your upstream internet connection. The problem is that your upstream (when you talk) is much smaller than your downstream.

    There is no interconnect as such between the voip networks. When you make a voip-to-voip call the two ends talk directly to each other over the Internet, they don’t go via the VoIP provider. The role of the VoIP provider in this case is basically to act as a ‘matchmaker’ to connect the IP numbers at the two ends of the call together.

  5. i got a voip phone from ngtelecom since last year for just €300 for one year and i can call almost anywhere in the world and is working fine i think is a good thing to try this voip phone i also use the one from blueface last year and is good also.