A upcoming trip has had me exploring cost effective ways to make traditional phone calls from my mobile device over a Wi-Fi connection. My trip’s location will be where there is little or no CDMA cell phone coverage and if there is any coverage, Sprint’s rates are fairly expensive. And since my primary phone is a HTC Evo we need an alternative.
Since most hotels have Wi-Fi or you can usually find a fairly cost effective internet café. The quest for the ability to call any US landline or mobile phone from my mobile device when there is Wi-Fi available has begun.
An alternative is needed since Google voice simply re-routes your calls using GV still uses minutes on a mobile phone as well as requires phone service from your carrier. (Calling from GV redirects the call their phone number and then routes the call from GV to the person you are calling…)
I have found no direct SIP provider that offers free calling to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), but was able to find a SIP provider that allows free incoming calls… Enter GV Call Back, SipDroid, and SipGate and Google Voice… with those combined you have Free SIP calling anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. Not to mention inbound calling from anyone who has your Google voice number.
Here is the basics:
Using an Android application called Google Voice Call Back you can initiate over an internet connection a Google voice call. Google Voice then calls you back on your SIP line which then alerts your phone. Once you answer the SIP call on your mobile device, Google Calls the person you want to talk to, and you are connected via your device on Wi-Fi to someone on their telephone (mobile or Landline).
Here’s how you set it up:
- Download and install Google Voice Call Back
- Download and install SIPDroid
- Setup a Free Sipgate One Account with SipGate (60 Free outbound minutes and unlimited incoming calls, but you won’t be using any of the outbound calling minutes so it really doesn’t matter)
- Acquire a “local” US number from SIPGate by entering your zip code. It doesn’t matter if this number isn’t a local number for you since you won’t be calling this number nor with anyone else.
- Login to your Google voice account and go to Voice Settings.
- Add an additional number and enter your newly acquired SipGate telephone number. (you will be prompted to verify your new Google voice number, but a few more steps need completed first)
- Back at your SipGate Dashboard, go to settings and then Click on “Voicemail, Call Forwarding &Hunting” and delete the forwarding settings.
(this will allow for the Google voice call to ring your phone without SipGate voicemail picking up the call before you do on your mobile device)
- Go to “Phone” in the settings of your SipGate Account, Mouse over your IP Phone and select “Sip Credentials”
- Note the registry, SIP-ID and SIP-Password as you need those in the next steps.
- Launch SipDroid on your phone and press menu and Go to settings
- Select the first “SIP Account” (Line 1)
- Enter your SIP-ID as the Authorization Username and enter your SIP-Password as the Password.
- Select server or proxy and change from pbxes.org to sipgate.com (leave all other settings as the defaults)
- Scroll down and select which networks SipDroid can use.
- Launch the GV Call Back application and Set “When to use call back” to either use for all calls or ask for every call.
- Enter your Google Voice username and password.
- Set the Callback number to your sipgate number.
- Select phone type as mobile. Apply Settings.
- You have now configured GV Call Back, SipDroid, and SipGate and Google Voice.
- Launch SipDroid and wait for the Yellow indicator to turn Green in the Status Bar. After the indicator turns green you are able to answer SIPDroid Calls.
- Go Back to the Google Voice Settings page and initiate the test call to validate your SIPGate Number. Your Android Device should begin ringing. Hit the keypad button and enter the code on the dial pad.
- Once your number has been validated, you are ready to make Calls. With the Google Voice Call back application enabled, and SIPDroid running, go to the phone dial pad and make a call. GV Call back will indicate it is making a connection
- A few seconds later you will notice the Green handset in the status bar and then the following screen will display. The first number is your SIPGate Number from which you are receiving the inbound call, the second number is the caller ID of your Google Voice number. (in the case that someone is calling your Google voice number, this line will display the caller ID of the person calling your Google Voice Number.)
- During the call you will see a screen similar to the incoming call (with the addition of the dial pad icon to enter any touch tones during the call)
- Once the call is ended the following screen will display and you can resume normal usage of the device.