Tiernan's Comms Closet

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Fixing CID (Caller ID) on incoming calls with 3CX

In a previous post i talked about going all in on VoIP in the house. Its been nearly a year now, and other than some minor issues related to the VoIP Server being turned off accidentally, or a screw up on my end, all is going well. But, one thing i did notice was related to incoming calls and caller Id, specifically on my SIP2SIM card. Essentially, the country code was wrong: for example: Incoming calls from the Virgin Media trunk just show as local numbers (for Dublin, for example, it would so 01xxxxxxx). Using the CID reformatting feature in 3CX, I managed to change this.

All calls that come in starting with 0 are “fixed” and changed to +353 without the 0. When the call comes in though the SIP2SIM card, it does no longer show as a call from the UK, but now shows as a call in Ireland, or where it is coming from, so all the contact details show correctly! Happy days!

Finally going all in on VoIP

After many years, I am finally trying to move to a proper VoIP system for the house. This post will explain what I am using, how I am setting it up, and some other details you might (or might not) find useful.

First, backstory. I have been interested in VoIP for many years. The first post I wrote about Ito this site was here back in 2012, but I had posted about it on my other site back in 2008. It got my attention years ago as a way of saving money on calls, but in recent times, that has changed a little, mainly because most providers gives you calls for free (my mobile and land lines both come with unlimited calls and with my mobile, I can make them anywhere in Europe). The new reason I am interesting in VoIP is consolidation: I currently have 3 mobile phone numbers, at least 1 landline dedicated to me in the house, plus a work landline. I want to be able to pick up any phone and make a call, and it show as coming from my main number. Or a call comes in and i can pick it up from any of my phones… And that is what i am trying to do here… I (will) have some of it working, but some parts are still missing…

The parts I have (or will have) working are as follows:

  • my land line number in the house is being ported to Virgin Media’s VoIP service. So, thats not stuck in an analog world any more!
  • The house phone now has a VoIP adapter allowing the standard analog phone make VoIP Calls

  • There is a company in the Netherlands called ZeroPlex who have a VoIP over GSM service. Essentially, the SIM they give is connected to your own SIP trunk. You can set it up to allow all calls to go though your SIP trunk, only incoming or only out going. I found their contact though Reddit but they may be able to help if you drop them an email.
  • All VoIP traffic in the house is routed though 3CX.

  • I have a couple of SIP trunks hooked up to 3CX: Virgin Media, Zeroplex (they redirect the NL number is sent over this, and i can make calls though this trunk too), Twilio, which i use for transient numbers, and Sip Discount which offers really cheap calls.
  • Phone wise, i use a Ubiquiti UVP-Executive desk phone, the SIM card, and the 3CX client on mobile (Either iPhone or Android).

So, all in, Im about 50% of the way there… As of the time of this post, the SIM is still in the mail and the phone numbers are not ported to Virgin Media… yet… Tomorrow they should be, and over the next few days there will be some tweaking to get it working correctly… I will probably have some updates over the coming week…

Mobile Phone as a Service

After my post about the Raspberry Pi acting as a VoIP server, and being able to add a 3G Dongle and allowing it to act as a Mobile Phone gateway, it got me thinking… Why not have something that allows you to rent a mobile phone number in a country, send and recieve text messages, phone calls, etc, all from anywhere in the world? Thats where Mobile Phone as a Service comes in…

The theory behing MPaaS is quite simple: A SIM Card for a mobile phone is placed in a USB Dongle, plugged into a VoIP server (Asterisk box, probably a Raspberry Pi) and shared with the user who requests it.

Its only a theory at the moment… Any interest?

Raspberry Pi as an Asterisk Box

The Raspberry Pi is a pretty amazing peice of kit for its price and size. And now, you can make it even more amazing by using it as a VoIP server for your house!

Check out Raspberry Asterisk for downloads, documentation, etc, on how to setup a Raspberry Pi and Asterisk. I have a couple Pi’s in the house, and plan on setting this up in the next few days. Keep your eyes on the site… more posts coming!

Also, as an added bonus: You can now use a 3G/HSDPA modem to make and recieve calls using Asterisk and your Pi! Carrier Connect has details of how they setup a couple of Raspberry Pi devices in Germany and Cambodia and anyone ringing from Germany got redirected to Cambodia, with no noticable issue. Very cool stuff! Have to try this!

Double Bonous: Chan-Dongle (the software that you use to make and recieve calls with GSM) also allows the device to accept SMS messages!

More VoIP Stuff

As part of my ongoing plan to upgrade the house to VoIP, and as a follow up to my first VoIP stuff post, here are some more things i have found…

  • I have added SipDiscount and SipGate for making and recieving calls.
  • SipDiscount allows me to set pretty much any number as my Caller ID, as long as i “own” that number (they either text or call you with a code, and you enter it on their site). They also allow me to make cheap calls to Irish Mobiles (check their rates here)
  • SipGate gave me a incoming UK phone number. Its an 0845 number, which I dont know what that means… but it was free, so its all good. Not sure if i can recieve text messages on it though…
  • I have a Blueface account, which gives me an Irish 076 VoIP number. 076 is the standard VoIP number here in Ireland…
  • I have a IpKall number, which is based in Washington State. You need to recieve a call on this line at least once every 30 days to keep it active.
  • My Google Voice accepts calls and forwards them to my IpKall number, which then rings my BlueFace SIP account (since i know they will be up all the time, by my home server may be offline since i am only testing) which, if a SIP device is connected, will forward it again… if i am offline, or no sip devices are active, that call is redirected to voice mail…

Its all very complicated at the moment, but the plan will be that any incoming calls should go directly to the machine in house, which will ring the desk phone and any other SIP clients. Any incoming PSTN calls will also do the same. Outgoing calls will depend on the dialing plan, which i still need to figure out, but the theory goes as follows:

  • Irish landline calls at certin times should go though the PSTN (since we get some free calls with our line). Other times they should go though SipDiscount or BlueFace.
  • if the PSTN is busy, fall over to one of the other providers…
  • Irish Mobile calls should go though SipDiscount and then fall back to land line, or if i ever get the BlueTooth setup working, SipDiscount, then bluetooth, then landline…
  • International calls should be sent though SipDiscount or Blueface, whichever is cheaper…

Its going to be an interesting setup… 🙂

VOIP Stuff

I have been very interested in VOIP stuff for the last while now, and finally started looking at implementing it in the house. Here are some links which may be useful. I will do a full post soon.

The main VOIP hardware I use is:

I also use the 3CX software on both my iPhone and Android.