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VoIP experience over 4G, having cut the phone line
After using Three's mobile broadband for a while, I decided to port my landline over to VoIP back around February 2018.  At the time, I had a 5Mb DSL connection (3.9Mbps on speed tests).  As the DSL service was practically useless for working from home (due to the 0.4Mbps uplink) and we were mainly using Three for several months, I decided to finally disconnect the landline.  While the package I was on was reasonably priced for a landline package (€45/month for anytime calls and DSL), the additional €30/month for Three brought my total cost to €75/month.  Additional calls (to USA) often added a further €10 to the phone bill.

Before moving to VoIP, I obviously wanted to make sure there was going to be no issue with voice quality.  I had a spare Linksys PAP2T adapter from using Blueface several years ago.  As Blueface no longer does home phone packages, I decided to order a single line on Goldfish.  While they mainly target the business market also, it was very straight forward to order a number.  As they mainly deal with business customers where voice quality is obviously critical, it meant that any sound quality issue would very unlikely be at their end.

I configured the PAP2T adapter with my Goldfish account settings, plugged a spare DECT phone into it and tried making a few test calls.  Even during peak time, the call quality was as good as the landline and had no issue with incoming calls either.  After trying the service for a few weeks, I decided I'll stay with Goldfish and ported my landline phone number over. 

My previous provider was Digiweb.  I decided to keep the Fritz Box and reconfigured it for Goldfish to use in place of the PAP2T.  This had the advantage of being able to use its features.  I connected its WAN port to the Huawei B525, set it up as a cable router and have most of our Wi-Fi devices connected to it.  After I ported the landline over, I had to contact Digiweb to cancel the DSL service as it became a DSL-only package after I ported the landline away.  With some landline package providers such as Eir, porting the landline automatically disconnects any DSL service also.

After two years using VoIP, the only main issue I ran into is that when the Internet is down (4G mast down or power cut), so to is the VoIP.  I also had the occasional issue where an erratic Internet connection (e.g. Three network issue) would cause voice break-ups, but this is to be expected.  On the other hand, we found VoIP no less reliable than the old landline.  With the old landline, we had days where the line was very crackly or where calls couldn't get through in or out. 

As the Fritz Box functions as a DECT base unit, it provides a few nice features most home phone lines lack, such as simultaneous call handling.  For example, if someone is on the phone and another call comes in, the rest of the phones will ring and someone else can answer.  Similarly, someone could pick up another phone to call out also.  This multiple call handling likely depends on the VoIP provider, however, I can confirm this works with Goldfish.  

While Goldfish does not do cheap call bundles like most discount VoIP providers do, paying by the minute is not as expensive as it may seem.  We use the landline just as much as before and our average bill from Goldfish is around €10 to €15, inclusive of the €6.15 monthly fee.  Adding on Three broadband brings our total to around €40 to €45 a month.  An evening time landline call is 1c+VAT/min, so even a 30 minute call is only 37c.  30 minutes of evening calls every day of the month would only add up to €11.  We also saved on calling the USA as those are 1.2c+VAT/month.  Mobile calls are expensive (10c+VAT/min), however, a cheap workaround here is to call from a mobile instead. 

Whenever fibre reaches our area, I intend keeping the VoIP service, the main reason being that I can use any router.  For example, Vodafone does not provide VoIP settings to let one use anther router or VoIP device with their phone service.  However, if the phone service is with another VoIP provider, all that's needed to use another router is the Internet settings, usually just configuring the VLAN ID to 10 on the new router.
Hi Sean, trying to set up Linksys PAP2T adapter but can't get it going. Pressing 110 will get it to read out the IP address and I put in settings from Goldfish. When ring number it goes to voicemail after 1 ring and phone doesn't ring. Should there be a dial tone? There isn't.
That seems like there's something not right with the configuration.  Once it's configured, there should be a dial tone when you pick up the phone.  The phone needs to be plugged into the socket #1.

I previously used a PAP2T with Goldfish, but had no luck finding my unit to check how I configured mine.  However, from checking Goldfish's help section, they have a page showing which fields to fill out on the PAP2T:


Update: I found my PAP2T and the configuration. For Step #2 above, after you bring up the PAP2T web interface, click 'Admin Login' on the right, then click "(switch to advanced view)" in the middle to show all the fields. My PAP2T interface shows 'Line 1' instead of 'Ext 1'.

Once you fill out the fields for the rest of the steps above, I suggest putting the following in the "Dial Plan" field. Replace '076' with your area code and replace the digit '9' after the '>' with the first digit of your local phone #, unless it also starts with a '9'.

What this does is automatically add the area code when dialling a local # and also connects local and 18xx numbers the moment you finish dialling.

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