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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 10:59 am    Post subject: Overseas use of VONAGE with poor bandwidth Reply with quote Back to top

I have set up a friend in Africa with a Vonage terminal. His country has limited bandwidth ISP connections to the outside world but he has a DSL connection to his ISP. He has fussed and fumed with his ISP for 3 months now and at long last, he can regularly (during the non busy hours) make phone calls to his family and friends in the USA via the Vonage connection. However, only RARELY can people in the USA make a satisfactory connection when calling from the USA to him in Africa. (When trying to call, USA callers mostly hear a single ringback tone, then a buzzsaw sound. When the phone is picked up on the Africa end, you can hear bits of "hello" but the distortion is extreme.

I am assuming this is all a bandwidth problem. However, the people at the ISP in Africa are "helpful" but they do not have a clue what to do.

Does anyone know what I need to ask them to look into? I believe that they should be able to set up a QOS priority or some such for packets handled by the Vonage/Linksys box but I am unsure exactly how to phrase my request in terms that will be meaningful to ISP folks who have never encountered this problem before. As far as I can tell, Vonage seems to use H323 protocol but telling them to open all those ports is not the way to approach it as they say they cannot do that. Maybe there is a way to code into the ISP's router the MAC address of the Linksys router and have it provide enhanced priority to packets both to and from this one MAC address??? How do ISPs handle this problem of giving higher priority to Voip traffic?.

It you have an answer, the more detail you can give me the more likely it is the folks at the African ISP will be able to understand it. While I am knowledgable about "SOHO" routers, I have no experience with the complex Cisco and other routers used by ISPs. As I say, they seem to be trying to be very helpful, but they do not know how to proceed as this is the first time they have run into a customer trying to use Voip to the USA.

Yes, I have already had Vonage set the codec bandwidth as low as it will go and that did help. Last month, my friend talked to friends and family calling from Africa on Vonage for over 1100 minutes so it IS working at least one way. His family just wants to be able to call him!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

try forwarding these ports: 5060, 5061, 53, 69, 10000-20000. what's his modem?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'm not sure about the bandwidth issues, but...

If his family has the password to his Vonage account, then they can run Click2Call on their computer, and tell his phone to call their phone. It will be routed [and billed!] as an outgoing call from Vonage, so that might work around your voice problems.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the help.. If I could have gotten the Africa ISP to set up their router to give high priority to all those packets we would have done so. these guys think if they do that it will open up their whole system to be used by Voip users. I think we could talk them into opening up for one MAC address if I knew what to tell them.

Thanks on the Click2Call option. I had not thought of that, but I would like to solve the overall problem if possible.

I know.. The overall problem would be easy to solve if this particular ISP was not trying to serve about 1000 customers with one "out of the country" T1 equivalent span which costs them $6000 a month! Unfortunately this particular place does not have any better ISPs to choose from.
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