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back to article 3CX Phone System takes on the corporate mobiles

It is hard to make phones sexy, never mind SIP phones and software. Yet increasingly my job requires me to be on the phone for hours every day to people all over the world. The local telco wants roughly the GDP of Brunei to let me do this, making SIP providers look attractive. As a result, I have investigated a company called …

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Mobile SIP Clients

I spent some time messing with SIP clients on my mobile to connect back to my Asterisk server, but a lot of the time it was more trouble than it was worth, particularly when dependent on a data connection. However, AAISP have just re-launched their SIP2SIM service, so with a sip2sim sim in my phone and it bit of configuration in Asterisk / 3CX, my mobile becomes just another extension of the phone system, but operating on the mobile network (O2 provide the network). No messing with SIP clients, it just works, even on a 2G connection.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Mobile SIP Clients

Android has one built in now, I have mine configured for sipgate and it works well.

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Re: Mobile SIP Clients

Can I assume that they have got some kind of gateway to the mobile/POTS telephone system?

Whats the cost model on using that? do you pay for the sip call, and then for the ongoing call on the mobile network?

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Re: Mobile SIP Clients

You provide the SIP service that does the gateway and the number, so either your own office SIP Server or a SIP service like Sipgate. You pay for the mobile leg of the call and then whatever your SIP call costs are. You can see the technical and pricing details at http://aaisp.net.uk/telecoms-sip2sim.html.

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Re: Mobile SIP Clients

Or, I presume, you could try using Asterisk with chan_mobile/dongle, a spare phone/dongle and some SIM pair that permits free in-network calls?

Wonder how it compares?

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Gold badge

Re: Mobile SIP Clients

I use an Asterisk server for company phone provisioning. We use Polycom phones, some desktop clients, the native Android client, etc. TL;DR comparison: 3CX is way easier to get set up and it seems to be a heck of a lot easier to use advanced features with. Call quality is about the same.

For any clients that want the ability to twiddle the knobs of their own deployment, 3CX is the easiest SIP system I've encountered yet. That makes they worth serious consideration for future rollouts, at least to me. I dislike faffing about with phones, so "easy" sells. :)

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Re: Mobile SIP Clients

that works as well. done same with 3CX but the asterisk setup work just as well just little more work

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Anonymous Coward

Is this article an 'advertisement feature'?

Tell us honestly. Is this an independent review, or were you paid (or otherwise incentivised) to write this? Just cos it looks like it might be the latter.

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K
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Re: Is this article an 'advertisement feature'?

@AC - Refer to Trevor's previous articles, I think he's documented his review process and interactions with companies who produce the products at least 2 or 3 times.

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Anonymous Coward

Skype works for me :-).

As long as the internet is fast enough. I happily made Skype to Skype and Skype to PSTN calls, from West Africa, last year, thanks to good WiFi at the office and hotel. On the other hand, I've had less success with the BT app. The quality of the connection, from end to end, matters a great deal when it comes to IP based calling.

Other options? Buy a local pre-paid SIM card, stack of credit and buy a bundle of international minutes. No corporate control freakery required!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Skype works for me :-).

I really wish you good luck buying a local SIM card in some parts of the world.

For example, in India you have to hand over

A copy of your passport details page

A copy of your Indian Visa

A passport Photo, not a copy.

Then you have to have someone who is a citizen of that state to vouch for you.

Skype even with Video seems to work fine in Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. Everything else seems to be just too much trouble.

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Unlimited Worldwide Voice calls from mobile

With tariffs giving unlimited voice calls to worldwide fixed & mobile numbers from your mobile, why does this make more sense? (Unless you're roaming?)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft indirect propaganda

I really can't see where you get a Microsoft connection from this. Just because the software server was designed to run on Windows, that, as far I know, was the point.

I think Trevor in the past has thoroughly berated Microsoft for the useless decisions they make so I am sure he is no fan.

However I have also used 3CX in the past and thought it worked really well. Simple to set up (took about 30 minutes for an internal phone system) with little cost and with great features.

If you don't want to have to spend time becoming an expert on a system and ploughing through documentation and forums, I think it one of the best I have tried.

However I hate Microsoft as much as the next man.

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There are some maddeningly small touch targets..

That's because you bought a ipad mini retina...

All the apps will have been designed for the 10" version, and since the resolution is the same, all buttons and controls will shrink with the screen. Even the non-retina mini has the same problem, difficult to read the text on the home screen for instance (even with text set to big, it doesn't adjust it). Saying this as my in-laws recently got one, and the experience is not great compared to a full size one. You'd have thought that 'easy to use' apple would have thought about that, but apparently not.

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Anonymous Coward

OH windows naysayers...

Before you all jump on the "it must be crap, it runs on Windows" bandwagon perhaps you should fire up a VM and try 3CX. We run a small MVNO and have an asterisk server running for that providing voicemail and other LCR bells and whistles... but... our office runs on 3CX. Why? It's on a Win8 VM with limited ports open and doesn't require the IT department to administer every tiny change. It simply works, and is architecturally and operationally simple. I sometimes think people on here forget that in favour of just bitching at things for the sake of it.

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MJI
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Re: OH windows naysayers...

My cousins 3CX runs on DERV

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Anonymous Coward

Article sponsored by .....3CX.

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Or of course...

you could get an engineer to set up Asterisk, Freeswitch or anything normal, was well as a VPN and get all of that cheaper, more reliably as well as more suited to your needs.

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Anonymous Coward

Is it just in the UK where a 3CX is

a popular model of what is more commonly known as a JCB? The dodgy yellow things more widely known for *destroying* phone networks rather than building them?

I spotted the 3CX softpbx on this basis a few weeks back. It then took *ages* before their 'targeted advertising' stopped mistargeting me.

Anybody think Trevor should do a review of the Big Yellow 3CX too?

http://www.jcb.co.uk/Products/Machines/Backhoe-Loaders/3CX-ECO/Benefits.aspx

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MJI
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My cousin likes them

He occasionally drives his farms JCB 3CX instead of his tractor. His favourite brand of vehicle is John Deere.

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Potential trademark case looming?

With JCB?

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