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Thread: Does any company offer a cellular home (desk) phone plan?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Isn't an ancient Telo the type of Ooma that connects to broadband Internet?

    Ooma has a new one that uses LTE cellular, but I doubt that any of the cellular ATAs have sufficient audio quality for fax.
    You are probably right about the ATA, I may be able to test mine.

    And yes, the old Ooma has Ethernet and I now also have a third party USB WiFi stick that is compatible. On the day when I needed to fax, my old Ooma brand WiFi stick fell apart in my hands and I had to connect an old wireless bridge for a gaming system and program it to use my phone hotspot to get online because I couldn’t use the enterprise lan. I At the time there was no analog phone line for the fax machine hence the Ooma hackathon. And yeah, I could have just gone to a FedEx or UPS to fax but that would mean driving across town and spending money, plus it was kind of fun, the thrill of the challenge to get the odd bits of kit to actually do something useful together.

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    Thanks to all who have responded. A couple clarifications.

    First, we have a toll-free 888 fax number which we need to keep. Can I port a toll-free number to GV? And how do you view a fax in GV?

    Secondly, the fax machine will be located in an office near wifi, so if it is a wifi device rather than a cellular device, that is fine. The device and fax machine itself will not be moved out of the office, so portability is not an issue. Employees will sacrifice the convenience of viewing and sending faxes from their PCs, but it is not a large office, so that's not a problem.

    So with these limitations, what are my options? Thank again to all who have replied.
    My smartphone is a lot smarter than I am.

  3. #18
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    You can probably call forward the 800 number to the Google voice number.

    Using the obi device, it would connect to the fax machine as an Ata adapter(via rj11), and to your Lan for internet via rj45. I don't know if obi makes a wifi connected device. You could probably connect to wifi if you don't have wired ports via a wifi bridge.

    You send and receive faxes as usual on your fax machine.

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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relztrah View Post

    We had the Straight Talk home phone service at a house our company owns a while back, and if I recall, it was very cheap. Something like $15 bucks a month, and i just bought refill cards at Walmart.
    I use an older version of this for a emergency phone line for a customer. I would activate it as needed (about once a year). You might be able to just reactivate the old device with existing SIM or just get a new one put in it if you got one still.

    The other challenge is porting the 800 number. Typically, an outside provider hosts the 800 number because it just reverses long distance charges to you. You might have to figure who you can port it to. They can forward that to the number of your choosing. Of course, you may already do that.

    I have a Obi and Google Voice for my faxing (the very little I need to do now), too, and it works great. However, even if they offered a WiFi solution, I would worry about the latency when using it as fax. I don't think it will work well.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertabrae View Post
    You are probably right about the ATA, I may be able to test mine.

    And yes, the old Ooma has Ethernet and I now also have a third party USB WiFi stick that is compatible. On the day when I needed to fax, my old Ooma brand WiFi stick fell apart in my hands and I had to connect an old wireless bridge for a gaming system and program it to use my phone hotspot to get online because I couldn’t use the enterprise lan. I At the time there was no analog phone line for the fax machine hence the Ooma hackathon. And yeah, I could have just gone to a FedEx or UPS to fax but that would mean driving across town and spending money, plus it was kind of fun, the thrill of the challenge to get the odd bits of kit to actually do something useful together.
    Do you guys do so much faxing that using a online fax-to-email service isn't practical?

    For outgoing, I've used gotfreefax.com for years (up to a 3 page fax is free, up to 10 pages for $1.) You scan (if necessary) and upload your document as a PDF, Word doc, JPEG or text file and they fax it for you.

    Incoming is a little harder (most of the free or pay-per-use incoming fax services have disappeared, and I don't receive enough faxes to even justify the $1/month fee faxaway.com charges) but faxbetter.com apparently still has a free level of service as long as you receive at least one fax a week, and faxburner.com allows 25 free incoming pages a month, but you don't get a permanent number- you request a temporary "burner" number that works for 24 hours whenever you need to receive to a fax.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Relztrah View Post
    Thanks to all who have responded. A couple clarifications.

    First, we have a toll-free 888 fax number which we need to keep. Can I port a toll-free number to GV? And how do you view a fax in GV?

    Secondly, the fax machine will be located in an office near wifi, so if it is a wifi device rather than a cellular device, that is fine. The device and fax machine itself will not be moved out of the office, so portability is not an issue. Employees will sacrifice the convenience of viewing and sending faxes from their PCs, but it is not a large office, so that's not a problem.

    So with these limitations, what are my options? Thank again to all who have replied.
    Generally GV only accepts ports of mobile numbers. Maybe ask in the GV forum. I think the answer is no for porting a toll free number, but I am not the ultimate expert.

    The GV number on an Obi is just a phone number. The Obi, and all other ATAs, provide landline type service at the phone jack. You would use your fax device the same as if it was connected to a landline to send, receive, view faxes.

    The Obi ATA is the only one that works with GV. There is a Wifi module for the Obi 200 series. That would allow you to run it over Wifi rather than running an Ethernet cable from the Obi to your broadband Internet switch/router. I have never heard how well the Wifi module works.

    If shopping for Obi devices, ignore the model 100s. They are obsolete, no longer supported, and may not even work.

    I have used GV and an Obi for years and it works pretty well for my personal use, but I would not consider it mission-critical business-class service.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relztrah View Post
    Some time ago both Boom! and Straight Talk had a cellular device that you could put a SIM card in and plug a desk phone into for voice calls only. Now neither of them offers it .
    The reason that they no longer offer the devices, I believe, is that the ST units at least are probably not VoLTE compatible and if not, would stop working when Verizon requires this, probably in 2021.

    As far as the 800 number, have a look at Voip.ms, maybe ask them about porting your number in and what they can offer as far as fax service. Their local number portability page will check your number at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertabrae View Post
    The reason that they no longer offer the devices, I believe, is that the ST units at least are probably not VoLTE compatible and if not, would stop working when Verizon requires this, probably in 2021....
    The ZTE model Straight Talk is currently selling uses Verizon and IS VoLTE compatible. I bought and activated one a couple of month ago.

    I tried it with fax and it did not work.

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