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ImNewHere18

Calling the U.S.

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I've read a lot of posts on this topic while performing a search, but it seems a lot of the topics are a bit aged. Wanting to see what the latest and greatest solutions are for calling back to the U.S. from Thailand would be? Seems to me a VOIP solution makes the most sense. 

 

I do a lot of teleconferences each month, and would probably need somewhere around 1,200 -  1,500  minutes monthly talk time, and obviously as good/stable as possible. 

 

Browsing the web, I ran across Teppy from Tep Wireless, but I've read mixed reviews on Amazon for the device, so I was initially discounting it. However, I did read they now have a calling plan, where inbound calls from the U.S. are free, and outbound is 1 cent per minute, and they claim (Claim being the keyword) that their new plan uses much less data than Skype, and other VOIP solutions, so you get a clearer and more stable call... Anyone have insight? Or another recommendation? 

 

Heck, I could just go mainstream and do vonage as well. Just need something that performs at least fairly well even if I'm stuck with a mediocre connection from time to time. 

 

I'd also looked at Google-Fi, and I might pick that up at some point as well. Not for my primary, but a back-up. Ultimately I'd want to make calls from my laptop when possible, and use the softphone app on my cell as backup when out and about. Thanks again. This forum is filled with great suggestions. :) 

 

 

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I think you know about  Skype, Viber,  Line,    What'sApp and other excellent calling apps.

 

 

You are free to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, watcharacters said:

 

Right. I've used Skype - And the problem is the phone call quality has been atrocious, and drops every few minutes. Can't have that for these calls, so looking for something more reliable. Same with Line. Very, very low voice quality every time I've tested it. For regular calls? Sure, I'm happy to use. But for the other calls, I need something very stable. Not opposed to paying for quality.  :)   I've never used Viner, have you found that to be more stable than Skype or Line? 

 

33 minutes ago, watcharacters said:

 

 

 

I think you know about  Skype, Viber,  Line,    What'sApp and other excellent calling apps.

 

 

You are free to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Do you have a reliable, fixed broadband connection?

 

Do you initiate the calls?

 

Do you require a 10 digit number in order to receive calls?

 

Do you need to make/receive all calls from your home? Or do you need the option to make/receive calls on a mobile phone?

 

More details will help define solution(s).

 

Personally, I have a reliable fixed broadband connection (AIS fiber), and I have two Google Voice numbers associated with a Obihai OBi200 VoIP ATA. This device can support up to four (4) VoIP numbers (some/any/all Google Voice). In-bound and outbound calls to/from the U.S. are free. I can make/receive free calls on my mobile (using mobile data or WiFi) with Google Voice. I use Talkatone (mobile all) - also free - as a third option, mostly for SMS, on my mobile.

 

 

Edited by mtls2005

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I've done most of them, Skype, Hangouts, Vonage.
When I was working I found a Vonage adapter with an old school wireless phone, gave the closest to a 'real' phone connection with the least problems, but it costs the most.

Since I retired and my phone calls are just recreational, I'm more prepared to put up with the vagaries and problems with both Hangouts & Skype since they cost so much less.

So my recommendation:

If this is for work, get a Vonage adapter

If this is just friends and family, just put the Skype and/or Hangouts app on your phone and laptop

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13 minutes ago, GinBoy2 said:

I'll grab one right away and begin testing. The cost doesn't bother me so long as it delivers a quality call. Thanks for the suggestion! 

 

 

I've done most of them, Skype, Hangouts, Vonage.
When I was working I found a Vonage adapter with an old school wireless phone, gave the closest to a 'real' phone connection with the least problems, but it costs the most.

Since I retired and my phone calls are just recreational, I'm more prepared to put up with the vagaries and problems with both Hangouts & Skype since they cost so much less.

So my recommendation:

If this is for work, get a Vonage adapter

If this is just friends and family, just put the Skype and/or Hangouts app on your phone and laptop
 

 

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I have Skype with my own dedicated number and regularly make and receive calls on my IPhone with perfect sound quality (both thru home WiFi and 4G cell)

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Is Magic Jack still a thing?  I never used one, but I know folks who used to, and swore by it.

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I doubt you will beat Skype overall.

 

Quote

...and they claim (Claim being the keyword) that their new plan uses much less data than Skype, and other VOIP solutions, so you get a clearer and more stable call...

 

Less data means less quality not more.

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Hey guys, I really appreciate all the suggestions and am exploring most of them. 

 

Just a heads up I went ahead and purchased Jive for a business grade VOIP. I made the decision because I really wanted a DID line, plus voicemail, call-record and the ability to transfer to calls as I began looking into the features more. That, plus the fact they gave me my first 2 months free to test it out and they ported my existing # for me for 2 bucks. So the jury is out, I'll let you all know if the service pans out or not. 

 

I will also test out a few other solutions recommended here to use as a back-up. If experience has taught me anything, it's that things can and will fail. So when/if this solution fails for whatever reason, I'll have a backup or two on my phone and computer to put to the test. I like redundancy! Haha - I placed a call to Vonage as well, and waiting to chat with them there about their quote. At Jive I'm paying 29.95/mos for unlimited calls to U.S. - I make the first calls this week while still in the U.S. to try it out. 

 

However, I don't expect that to be a true test until I'm overseas. I'll try Tep+ app as well while I'm at my layover in Bejiing. Will keep you all posted in case anyone else can benefit from the tests. :)

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I'll be faced with this soon as well.

Has anyone used Facetime? My Japanese friends in California swear by it.

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If you are still in the U.S. I would definitely register for a Google Voice number - this is done easier when in the U.S. requiring an OTP sent to a mobile.

 

Also porting numbers before leaving the U.S. is a smart thing to do. But GV may require a mobile number for a port in, so for a fixed line it may be a 2-step process? I might also maintain a pre-paid mobile number - I use T-Mobile, which has a $3/month plan - which can be used on return trips, for voicemail and in a pinch, for OTP SMSes (int'l roaming works here).

 

I'd also recommend getting a non-proprietary VoIP ATA - as I said I use the Obihai OBi200, which has one physical port but supports up to four VoIP lines. It was $40.

 

Your minutes per month projection, along with other feature requirements, point to a business solution. Google Voice may have some daily limits, although I've been using it for ~ 75 minutes per day over the past few weeks without issue.

 

I have a magicJack adapter - which is proprietary - but haven't used it in ages as I prefer GV. I think I signed up for five years at $99, so $20 per year. magicJack may have some daily usage limits.

 

Apps like facetime, whatsapp, viber etc are non-starters as these do not, AFAIK, over PSTN gateway options. These work well but you cannot call a 10 digit number, nor can a 10-digit subscriber call you. SKYPE (In/number, plus unlimited minutes) might work, I think some ATA's might work with Skype, I think they resell a Cisco ATA? Skype does have a $2.99/month plan, plus the Skype number monthly fee. They do have fair-use terms. https://www.skype.com/en/legal/fair-usage/

 

The most important aspect is to make sure you get a reliable fixed broadband connection here in Thailand.

 

$30/ month seems reasonable given the feature set JIVE offers, especially if your business/income depends on it.

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ImNewHere18... How much do you estimate your Jive will end up costing you for a year of service?...

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3 hours ago, sfokevin said:

ImNewHere18... How much do you estimate your Jive will end up costing you for a year of service?...

With taxes, 480 USD/year.  Since I call U.S. only, I will have no minutes charges to worry about. 

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BANGKOK 27 May 2018 02:50
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