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Set for EuroBusiness… Cheap calls via E61, SIP, Airport Express, prepaid calling card

Well, I’m getting ready for another trip, and have set up my gadgets to make calling cheap.

  • I’ve setup my Nokia E61 to talk to my Apple Airport Express. This means that any hotel room with an Ethernet connection (most!) becomes my cheap calling system (Gizmo is my SIP provider). I chose the Airport Express because of its size and portability. As one commenter on my blog points out, it is actually easy to make this work by using an intermediary SIP trunk provider (pbxes.com).
  • For cell service, I’m abandoning my Cingular number for a United Mobile number (Lichenstein-based) which offers free incoming calls, and relatively inexpensive outgoing calls. There is a catch, calls TO my number are expensive, regardless of originating location or service (about $1.50/minute). So to preserve my family calls, Cassie will only be using the SIP setup above.

By Dave

He was born in Canada, but currently lives in Boulder, CO up in Boulder Heights.

One reply on “Set for EuroBusiness… Cheap calls via E61, SIP, Airport Express, prepaid calling card”

Well. The SIP thing was a bust. For whatever reason the NAT traversal SIP service didn’t work at all in Europe. I was thinking it was because DHCP was enabled on the Airport Express, but didn’t want to turn it off lest I be charged for two connections (2 IPs).

United Mobile was a PAIN IN THE ASS. Didn’t know that they don’t actually allow you to dial anyone. You dial, and then they call you back (you get a "Call not allowed" on the phone). Most irritanting about the United Mobile service is the following:

  • Below 10 Euros the phone interrupts you constantly with a "your balance is low" message while on the phone. Geez.
  • They don’t accept American Express online for payment (nice!), although phoning them during the "your balance is low" messages works fine.
  • ABSOLUTELY intolerable: They give you a 200,000 series number in Liechenstein. Since this is a new series, many phones in many countries cannot dial this number at all (for instance, many carriers in UK, France, Netherlands, Germany). Really stupid on their part. I suppose this will be working soon enough, but thanks for making me the guinea pig on this new number, United Mobile. When I called to complain, they had the usual stupid excuse: Must be an operator problem, it’s their fault. Well, yes, but see if I’ll recommend your service, United Mobile!

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