Monday, 9 December 2013

SIP2SIM relaunch?

We used to offer this, but using Three, 3G only, UK only. It was canned by Three, shame. But the good news is we look like we may have a new offering.

It allows us to offer a SIM that works like a SIP device. No, it is not an app, and will work on any old GSM 2G or 3G or 4G phone, but the calls are passed each way as SIP to/from a SIP gateway/service as a registered device. This could be a mobile connected to a company or home SIP system (asterisk, freeswitch, FireBrick, whatever) or simply registered on a VoIP provider platform (including A&As VoIP).

The good news is that this is not quite the same as before. It works on O2, but will have roaming even in the UK, as well as outside the UK. Roaming in the UK is pretty unusual, but I have already used the test SIMs on vodafone and EE. It costs more, and confirming the details of costs is one of the things on which we are working now.

We think it will be around £10 for the SIM and £4/month, with normal UK calls in or out on O2 at 2p/min. Prices to be confirmed, and plus VAT. Any VoIP calls charged by VoIP provider on top of that obviously.

Texting via http posts each way, or linking to an A&A number, with normal text charges on top of something for the mobile leg which we expect around the 2p to 3p per text. To be confirmed.

Data is currently NAT, but unfiltered, and not even via a UK link! But we are working on getting this via an APN that will allow us to do L2TP like the data SIMs. No promises on that one.

Obviously it will be easy to have a simple landline number on a SIM using A&A VoIP with it, but the real killer is when you link in to a PABX. See this Facebook video for an example of what I am talking about here.

Assuming we go ahead with this we are looking at SIMs in January. I'll be working initially as a trial until we have documented the limitations of how it works exactly.

Update: Yes, I changed "will" to "may" for good reason - watch this space.
Update: This really is touch and go now - we'll see what happens.

Update: Not happening, at least for now - lets see how it goes next year.

Update: OK, watch this space. We are still working on this. Just taking longer than we expected.

Update: Very close to launching now.

16 comments:

  1. Does this mean that if you go into an area with no O2 reception that it will be able to make calls & get 3G data via Voda or EE networks?

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    1. Definitely calls, and I would expect texts, not tested data yet. But basically, that is the plan.

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  2. I should qualify what is happening here. We are still negotiating with a provider that should be able to do this, but we have some serious issues with trusting what they say when they have been caught out with apparent outright lies to us. They are working on the technical aspects to address our concerns, and what they lied about are not things that are unsurmountable, but it creates serious concerns for us. If we can rescue this, or find alternatives, we hope to offer a service soon. Sorry for getting hopes up unnecessarily here. I am using this myself, and finding it invaluable, so it makes sense to try and offer as a service. But some lines are hard to cross and come back from. I may try and progress a limited number of trial customers on this, so do let me know if you want to test this.

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    1. I'd love to be included in any trial - my handset data usage is pretty low (I have a very nice deal on mobile data from Three for my iPad, so I'd tend to tether to that if there's no WiFi nearby), so A&A mobile data prices would be OK for me there. The ability to roam across O2-Voda-EE would be appealing too, since up here in Scotland each network has irritating gaps in coverage where the others often still have a signal available.

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    2. Affordable UK roaming would be brilliant. And I like the idea of reasonable call charges with no monthly bundle. The big providers really annoy me with their unjustifiable fees on things like 08xx and international calls.

      It would be nice to have 07xxx numbers so that incoming calls didn't cost anything.

      Have you considered offering this as pre-pay? Most pre-pay tariffs are poor value, but if you could offer a sensible pre-pay tariff, that would be great. Having had a pay-monthly phone stolen without my knowledge a while back, I'm planning to move to pre-pay when I can, as it eliminates the risk of "bill shock". My bill shock was hundreds, but it could so easily have been thousands.

      I believe Manx Telecom offer something like this as a wholesale product: http://www.manxtelecom.com/business/international-wholesale/strongest-signal-mobile.aspx

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    3. I'd be up for giving it a try - I missed out on the original SIP2SIM deal last time around. Since then I signed up with AA SIP for my landline and it's makes life so much easier having all calls in one place. In particular I make calls to Sudan which are extortionate on most mobile carriers (£1/minute is common) and whether they work is extremely variable (AA is no worse or better than other VOIP companies in this regard). So having a tariff where It Just Works (mostly) across my extremely unconventional usage is very attractive.

      Clueless user tm16@a if you want to get in touch

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    4. "The big providers really annoy me with their unjustifiable fees on things like 08xx"

      Me too - though Ofcom have finally got round to putting a fix for that in place for 0800/0808 (effective mid-2015), and reformed the ripoff-number charges for 084/087 numbers to a much more sensible "standard call charge plus 10p" format. A shame they chickened out of actually making it "standard charge" (going for a much weaker "more or less standard charge but make it up as they go along"), but still an improvement.

      I'm js103@a in case anyone were thinking of bolting a trial sim to my Clueless a/c!

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    5. I miss my SIP2SIM and would be happy to help test.. u16@a

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  3. My problem with the previous sims was the cost for data. I don't use the phone enough to worry about calls or texts terribly but I have 3GB of data on my £10/mo contract (inc vat) and I regularly use between 1 and 2GB. What are the current indication on cost for data?

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    1. FWIW, if you could ever offer 1GB blocks of data for roughly £10 each (or a per MB price equating to ~ £15/GB) I'd definitely go for it. But £24.57 (plus the SIM rental) is harder to justify - and I don't use nearly as much data as some people. The UK roaming sounds *amazing* though, if it ever happened.

      BTW, as you're an iPhone user, have you ever tried to obtain the spec for Visual Voicemail - any chance A&A would ever have the capability of supporting that? (seeing as O2 - but not their MVNOs - and Orange are the only two that do currently)

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    2. I seem to recall it's just an IMAP service - then the carrier settings file would say "the visual voicemail server is toneless.aa.net.uk" or whatever. It's getting a carrier settings file signed by Apple which seems to be the tricky bit for companies like Giffgaff: for reasons they only obfuscate about, Apple couldn't/wouldn't sign a settings file for them, despite being part of O2 who have had signed settings files longer than anyone else in the UK. (My suspicion is that it's because Giffgaff's SIMs aren't distinguishable from O2's on that level, which is why "O2 locked" handsets accept Giffgaff SIMs as well; if so, this company's SIMs may fare better in that respect.)

      At the moment, I have 10 Gb for £7.50 a month from Three for my iPad, so even £15/Gb would be hard to swallow, but between some tethering and using WiFi hotspots when available I could keep mobile handset usage down to affordable levels if A&A voice SIMs return.

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  4. Is this the same SIM that BT Redcare alarm systems use for always on GPRS connectivity?

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    1. No probs, made me think of them as a Telefonica O2 Ireland supplied sim is used for BT Redcare Secure GSM units.
      They have the very same (what I thought was pretty unique) UK roaming.
      Any chance of a beta test for the new service?
      Cheers! Jay

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  5. Just to add to this record =). Apparently a new version of the 'new' aaisp sip2sim voice service, much more promising, is on the way, with page:-
    http://www.sip2sim.co.uk/

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