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  #16  
Old 07-27-2009, 10:23 AM
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My parent's home in B'lore has Vonage for three years and the voice quality is great.

500 minutes of outgoing calls and unlimited incoming. Since I initiate almost 90% of calls they never go over limit. I pay $23 total, i.e. with tax. I took the adaptor to India when I visited them. My parents have a broadband connection with unlimited data. I think it is AirTel and I think they pay Rs. 500 or Rs. 1,000 per month. Since the phone adaptor is connected directly to the modem, they never have to fire up the PC.

My brother-in-law has sent his parents (my in-laws) lingo. He pays $9. It seems to be good too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bec View Post
Thanks Saket, we seriously want to consider vonage or teleblend. vonage looks more tried & trusted. pc based stuff is the last option (yes, heard of magic jack but its pc based_.

what do the folks in india need to do exactly with the adapters? a pointer/some info will help.
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  #17  
Old 07-27-2009, 12:58 PM
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Ok, to clarify you will not be paying 18c per minute to call to India, unless you call an Indian number. (then use pingo.com).

If you buy and intall a voip phone like vonage/t-mobile@home or any other in India then that particular phone will have a US number, infact you can opick a number that is local to you. That way it will be unlimited calling to any us number for both of you as long as you call the voip number.

vonage costs $14.99 +
t-mobile $10
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  #18  
Old 07-27-2009, 01:04 PM
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You can try allvoi also .I have been using it for 6 months now and service is excellent.They offer you 1300 free minutes every month to india($30) apart from unlimited local calling.
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  #19  
Old 07-27-2009, 01:43 PM
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Default Phone Service

Quote:
Originally Posted by bec View Post
My father-in-law passed away recently.
My wife and I want to keep in touch with mother-in-law on a daily basis, by calling from CA to Pune and Mumbai.

Although my mother-in-law has a good PC with a BSNL broadband connection, its almost impossible for her to use the keyboard and the mouse as she is not computer savvy although she can manage to click/push in a few buttons.

Some questions?

- Has anyone used direct access, always-on internet broadband service in Pune and Mumbai? Can you please share your experience.

- For frequent international calling (twice a day) both ways (from US-India and India-US) what would be recommended? Has anyone tried out voip like vonage? Any info on tha?

- Is it possible to pay utility bills (MSEB and BSNL bills) online? My wife has savings accounts with HDFC bank and they seem to offer this service but we don't know anyone who has used such facilities in India.

- If my mother-in-law flies from Mumbai every year to visit us in CA, what is the best preferred airlines for a frequent flier like her?

- Are there any other communication options or is there anything we can do to help out and ease things out in cases such as these?

Please share your info, it would be a great help for our family.
Sorry for your loss.

For the phone service, you could also try Ooma (ooma: Free home phone service. Call anywhere in the US with no monthly fees.). Some of my friends have been using it for a while and I recently got it. So far so good. You basically pay about $200 for the equipment and that is it, all calls within the US are free and no monthly bills. You will need to buy another adapter and send it to India with a local CA number. Although international rates to India are not the best, but then you can use Reliance or Google Voice for that purpose.

Good luck in your efforts.
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  #20  
Old 07-27-2009, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bec View Post
Thanks Saket, we seriously want to consider vonage or teleblend. vonage looks more tried & trusted. pc based stuff is the last option (yes, heard of magic jack but its pc based_.

what do the folks in india need to do exactly with the adapters? a pointer/some info will help.
Hi man......
You do not need any vonage international plan if you put a vonage adapter at your mother in laws residence. Its going to be flat 25 bucks a month for unlimited calling.Also she can call any number in US including your cell phones and land lines.

Well folks in india need a good cable or dsl connection. Just plug the adapter(which is also like a router) to your cable or dsl modem. The setup is quite simple and available on the vonage website.
Basically instead of connecting your internet modem to the desktop or router(if any) you plug your PC, a phone and your internet modem all to the vonage adapter and follow the simple steps mentioned in the manual on your PC to setup the IP address. Sometimes it gets configured automatically.
I would suggest if you are planning to go the vonage route get one in the US here and try it out. Next time when you go to India take it with you and set it up there.
I had directly mailed the adapters to India and my folks had to pay duty for the same since they are electronic items.

If you have any questions just PM me........

PS: If you are intending to use the wireless router then I would suggest you keep the vonage adapter outside of the wireless router due to firewall issues or get a wireless vonage adapter.
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  #21  
Old 07-27-2009, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimmegc View Post
Although international rates to India are not the best, but then you can use Reliance or Google Voice for that purpose.
How can you use Google Voice for it? Just curious
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  #22  
Old 07-27-2009, 01:53 PM
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Default

You may also want to see Pigeon VOIP

.:PIGEON, VoIP:.

It is run in India itself. Indian VOIP rules changed last year and it now allows VOIP within the country. This company seems to have a tie up with MTML as well.

If anyone has experience with this service they can comment.
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  #23  
Old 07-27-2009, 01:55 PM
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Smile few more options for phone service

1) you can try ooma: Free home phone service. Call anywhere in the US with no monthly fees. around 180USD, life time free no need to pay monthly bills. You can buy from Costco or from Amazon
2) other option is metropcs. if you buy metropcs mobile phone here, they have a plan with additional $5 fee unlimited international calling to 100 countries. Anytime from your mobile phone u can call india. If you are considering second mobile phone or don't mind using metropcs phone as primary one, this is the best option.

Thanks,
Veera
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  #24  
Old 07-27-2009, 01:59 PM
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Default Voip

I am using VIATALK Internet Phone Service & Broadband Phone Service by ViaTalk VoIP

It is cheap. 2 phone lines for $199 for two years. Two incoming and out going calls can make at the same time. But only one number.
I am using it here from the last 3 years. Many features.

OOMA is also an option. Only one time fee for basic service.
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...=1&topnav=&s=1

Quote:
Originally Posted by pappu View Post
How can you use Google Voice for it? Just curious
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Last edited by dealsnet; 07-27-2009 at 02:03 PM.
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  #25  
Old 07-27-2009, 02:01 PM
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Default Google Voice

Quote:
Originally Posted by pappu View Post
How can you use Google Voice for it? Just curious
I was suggesting GV for International calling from US once he decides on a basic setup.

In my case, I have Ooma and have a GV number, I call using my GV number and it rings on my Ooma or any of my pre-designated numbers.

BTW, GV's rate to India is 7c/min.
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  #26  
Old 07-27-2009, 02:10 PM
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Default Lingo

I've been using Lingo for almost 5 years now at my home in the US. I currently pay 21.95 for unlimited calling within US, Canada and Western Europe and 2.9c/min to India. My average monthly phone bill comes to $45-60, sometimes even less.

A few years ago I had put a Lingo device at my home for my mom but it was a pain since broadband service is not very steady as out here. Speeds tend to fluctuate and at times it just goes off. After 3-4 months I realized it would be better for me to call up India directly from my VOIP @ 2.9c/min than having to maintain the router there. This was about 1-2 yrs ago and maybe things have improved since.
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  #27  
Old 07-27-2009, 06:23 PM
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Default Google Voice with GIZMO5

Here is some info about Google Voice with GIZMO5.

Checked out the gizmo5 configuration page, it now has a Google Voice section where you can input your GV username and password. What this does is when you setup a VoIP application or phone with your Gizmo5 login information (make SURE you are using the 10+1 digit gizmo5 phone number to login, not the gizmo5 username), you get free outgoing calling! No more using a separate application or the web to call your gizmo5 number first with your GV #. Just pick a contact and call away. This is great news that gizmo5 and google are collaborating together. I forsee another google takeover soon (I hope).

I tested this with Siphon (iPhone app, from Cydia - free, allows calls over 3gedge) and was able to make outgoing calls right from the VoIP app - before I had to open GVMobile (separate app to call your Gizmo number first before placing the outgoing call), otherwise it would state "you have no gizmo5 outgoing credit, etc".

Steps:
1) Login to your gizmo5 (Gizmo5 Mobile) account page
2) enter your GV username and password
3) Go to your SIP\Voip\ATA Device or application and enter the following:
-Username: your 10+1 digit Gizmo5 number found on your Gizmo account page
-Password: enter your password
-Server: proxy01.sipphone.com
If you don't have a Voip device\router, you can just download the gizmo5 software.
4) Login to GV and add your Gizmo5 number and verify it - pick up the call when you receive it and enter the verification code

DONE - free, easy to use outgoing and incoming calls with your GV number! Everything works great, when you call out, it shows your GV #, and when ppl call your GV #, it should ring your gizmo5 account!

You can also buy an ATA addon and hook up your landline phone to it and use the same settings! Been reading forums and it seems that the Linksys PAP2 NA is the recommended ATA: PAP2 NA on eBay

If youve never heard of gizmo5, they allow unlimited incoming calls. Now this is where Google Voice steps in and the magic happens, whenever you want to call someone via GV, it requires it to call your phone, and then use GV to call out - so basically every call incoming and outgoing, is really incoming. Gizmo5 just made it 100 times easier with this integration and now no callin is required to dial out.

Old Cumbersome Method: Gizmo + Gizmo + PAP2NA + Google Voice = Free Phone Service
New Easy Method: GV + G5 + ATASIP softwareGizmo5 Software = Free Phone Service

HERE IS HOW TO SET IT UP IN A PAP2

once you have Both GV and G5
you just need to make sure you set the PAP2 with your Gizmo GIZMO PHONE NUMBER 1-747-251-XXXX (including the 1 at the beginning BUT without the Dashes so its 1747251XXXX) Not your Gizmo User NAME

Quote:
Originally Posted by gimmegc View Post
I was suggesting GV for International calling from US once he decides on a basic setup.

In my case, I have Ooma and have a GV number, I call using my GV number and it rings on my Ooma or any of my pre-designated numbers.

BTW, GV's rate to India is 7c/min.
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  #28  
Old 07-27-2009, 09:08 PM
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Default GV with Skype

Quote:
Originally Posted by dealsnet View Post
Here is some info about Google Voice with GIZMO5.

Checked out the gizmo5 configuration page, it now has a Google Voice section where you can input your GV username and password. What this does is when you setup a VoIP application or phone with your Gizmo5 login information (make SURE you are using the 10+1 digit gizmo5 phone number to login, not the gizmo5 username), you get free outgoing calling! No more using a separate application or the web to call your gizmo5 number first with your GV #. Just pick a contact and call away. This is great news that gizmo5 and google are collaborating together. I forsee another google takeover soon (I hope).
Hey Dealsnet

It is great that G5 added GV support. I will give it a roll. I have been using it with Skype (Skype+G5+GV) and it works pretty good.

Thanks for the info.
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  #29  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:43 AM
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thanks a lot to all of you , as always IV rocks! Its a fathomless well of knowledge.
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  #30  
Old 07-28-2009, 01:46 AM
bec bec is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coopheal View Post
If the information you gathered helped you please summarize it on IV wiki at http://immigrationvoice.org/wiki/ind...erseas_Options
Yes, its a great idea. I have every intention of giving back to the community, I'll do it over the weekend if not today. And I'm still going through the responses.

Its huge and honestly I am touched by the fellow immigrants inclination to help. I always thought IVians argued, bickered and fought against one another. I am wrong. There is nothing wrong with arguments provided it doesn't go against the overall spirit of the community.And yes, I'll donate as well. My skepticism is beginning to melt already....

Coming back to the point...
Sooner or later, many IVians (if not all) will have to face tricky situations such as these. IV focuses on direct immigration related issues. Rightly so.
But to me, taking care of folks back home could be a bigger issue than getting the green card. It would only be a matter of time before some of us come face to face with this (I know a couple of my own relatives who migrated to Europe and America in the seventies and eighties and ended up in similar boat).

I checked out mymanindia.com mentioned by a fellow IVian. Is there a way of getting a safe, reliable escort for the senior citizens in India? Just thinking aloud...such services could be really useful.

Last edited by bec; 07-28-2009 at 01:55 AM.
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