Calling International Numbers with a Republic Phone

voip

#1

A question for some Republic members is, “How does one call an international number?” While Republic phones receive calls from anywhere in the world, Republic supports calling and text messaging to U.S. and Canadian numbers only. This is Republic’s word on international service.

Meanwhile, there are third party options for making international calls at a reasonable cost. Well known options include Skype, Google Voice, Google Hangouts, Rebtel and Vonage. There are also lesser known service providers like CallWithUs and Localphone. For purposes of this article, let’s focus on these lesser known service providers.

Why use a lesser known provider? In a word, value. Both CallWithUs and Localphone allow for one’s Republic number to be sent as Caller ID. To those you’re calling internationally, the call will appear to be coming from your Republic phone. If they return that call, your Republic phone’s native dialer (Phone app) will ring. Additionally, my experience with CallWithUs and Localphone is both are less expensive to call most locations than more well known alternatives.

CallWithUs is a true mom and pop operation but well known (with an outstanding reputation) to those of us familiar with the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) community. I’ve been using them for years without a hiccup.

If you prefer using a larger company, Localphone is an excellent alternative and also well thought of in the VoIP community. Localphone is a relatively large U.K. based company and also operates a wholesale division known as Voxbeam.



CallWithUs

Let’s get started by establishing an account with CallWithUs. To do so:

  1. Point your web browser of choice here.
  2. Click Sign Up (upper right).
  3. Complete CallWithUs’ sign up form, then click Confirm Data.
  4. You will receive an email confirmation from CallWithUs with needed account credentials.
  5. Use the credentials supplied in the confirmation email to sign into your CallWithUs account here.
  6. You will need to fund your account with a minimum of $5 calling credit.
  7. From the menu (left side), click VoIP Accounts.
  8. Note Username and Password.
  9. If needed, edit (click Edit under the Action heading) Caller ID to be your Republic number, then click Confirm Data.

Localphone

If you’d prefer to try Localphone, here’s how:

  1. Point your web browser of choice here.
  2. Click sign up upper right.
  3. Complete Localphone’s sign up form, then click Create a free account. Be certain to use your Republic phone number. Please note that while account creation is free, you will need to fund your account to make calls beyond the initial 5 minute test call offered.
  4. Once at your dashboard, click the Internet Phone tab.
  5. You’ll be asked to verify your Republic number. When done click Continue.
  6. Scroll the page until you see “Call from your own VoIP device”.
  7. Note SIP ID, SIP Password and Server.

Integrating Your International Service

The method for integrating your new international service varies depending on phone model. I’ve arranged for testing on as many models as possible. That said, if the phone specific guidance doesn’t work for you, please try CSipSimple.

Alcatel, Motorola, Nexus and Pixel Phones

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Tap Menu (three dots upper right).
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap Calls.
  5. Tap Calling accounts.
  6. Tap SIP accounts.
  7. Tap + upper right.
  8. Enter the information for Username, Password and Server per the table below:
Service Provider Username Password Server
CallWithUs Username Password sip.callwithus.com
Localphone SIP ID SIP Password localphone.com
  1. Tap Optional settings.
  2. Tap Display name.
  3. Type desired name, then tap OK.
  4. Tap Save (upper right).
  5. Tap back arrow (upper left).
  6. Tap Make calls with.
  7. Tap Ask first.
  8. Tap Use SIP calling.
  9. Tap For all calls. Please note this does not mean you’ll be using CallWithUs or Localphone for domestic calls.
  10. Verify Receive incoming calls is off. Please note doing so will not affect incoming calls to your Republic number.
  11. Exit Calling accounts.

When making outbound calls, you’ll be presented with a choice of whether to use Republic or the service you set up for international calling. It will look similar to this:

Samsung Phones

  1. Install Galaxy SIP Settings.
  2. Open Galaxy SIP Settings.
  3. Tap Internet Calling Accounts.
  4. Tap + upper right.
  5. Enter the information for Username, Password and Server per the table below:
Service Provider Username Password Server
CallWithUs Username Password sip.callwithus.com
Localphone SIP ID SIP Password localphone.com
  1. Tap Optional settings.
  2. Tap Display name.
  3. Type desired name, then tap OK.
  4. Tap Save (upper right).
  5. Tap back arrow (upper left).
  6. Tap Calling account.
  7. Tap Always ask.
  8. Tap Use Internet calling.
  9. Tap For all calls. Please note this does not mean you’ll be using CallWithUs or Localphone for domestic calls.
  10. Verify Receive Internet calls is off. Please note doing so will not affect incoming calls to your Republic number.
  11. Exit Calling Account Settings.

When making outbound calls, you’ll be presented with a choice of whether to use Republic or the service you set up for international calling. It will look similar to this:

Use CSipSimple

Should the above methods not work for your Republic phone, this one will:

  1. Install CSipSimple.
  2. Open CSIpSimple.
  3. Tap Menu (three dots lower right).
  4. Tap Settings.
  5. Tap Easy configuration.
  6. Toggle Integrate with Android on.
  7. Toggle Only for outgoing on.
  8. CSipSimple requires a data connection. By default, that data connection is restricted to WiFi. If you wish to allow CSipSimple to use cell data when WiFi is unavailable, toggle I’m allowed to use mobile on.
  9. Tap Save.
  10. Tap Accounts (lower left).
  11. Tap Add account.
  12. Scroll to, then tap Basic.
  13. For Account name, enter your desired choice.
  14. Enter the information for User, Server and Password per the table below:
Service Provider User Password Server
CallWithUs Username Password sip.callwithus.com
Localphone SIP ID SIP Password localphone.com
  1. Tap Save.
  2. You should see an indication that the account is registered.
  3. Exit CSipSimple.

When making outbound calls, you’ll be presented with a choice of whether to use Republic (Use mobile) or the service you set up for international calling. It will look similar to this:

Additional Notes

As they are being placed through a third party service, international calls will not be logged in your Republic online call history. They will be logged on your phone and both CallWithUs and Localphone provide online call history similar to Republic.

There are no issues storing international numbers in Android’s native Contacts or People app with the appropriate country code on a Republic phone.

Localphone has its own Android app, however, that app does not integrate with the native Android Dialer on a Republic phone. If one attempts to install Localphone’s app on a phone that already has CSipSimple installed, one will receive a Google play 505 error. CSipSimple and Localphone’s app will not coexist on the same phone. Fortunately, there is nothing that Localphone’s app does that cannot be done as easily from Localphone’s mobile website.

If one is adventurous, Android’s native dialer (Phone app) and CSipSimple are capable of multiple account registration with the same or separate service providers. It’s possible to set up both CallWithUs and Localphone accounts and use both simultaneously on a Republic phone.


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#2

I am using future-nine phone service.
Setup is trivial after you charge your account (paypal)
Scan the 2d barcode to install the sip client; in the client scan another 2dbarcode to setup account details.
I have added some dialing rules so that e.g. if it sees a number starting in 01, it’s a number in paris, france and it rewrites it as 33 1 x xx xx xx xx
It works whether at home (on wifi) or on the street (does voip over cellular network)
I do not have a phone number associated with that account, so cost is really only the minutes of call; land lines in France are 0.9 c per minute i think and cell lines are 3 or 4 cents per minute.
The only drawback is that the caller ID displayed on the receiving end can be misleading (hidden or some random place)


#3

Hi @ngufra,

I also have an account with Future-Nine. I do not feature them in the blog because both CallWithUs and Localphone allow for sending one’s Republic number as Caller ID. There is no need for an additional phone number with those services either.


#4

@rolandh
Excellent information to extend the usability of RW’s phones for the community. The collaboration of @cbwahlstrom, @bocephous and @drm186 to provide confirmation on phones you didn’t have, is yet another reminder of the value of this community
Well done :southpawpoms:


#5

@rolandh
Sincere thanks for sharing your knowledge and research so clearly (not ONLY on this topic…)!

Your instructions lead me directly through getting set up with a funded CallWithUs account, easy and entertaining.

The step of “integrating” the service on my Moto G5 Plus is proving more frustrating. Following listed steps for Alcatel, Motorola, Nexus and Pixel Phones seemed to work fine - but didn’t. Even after circling back to check CallWithUs advice for SIP configuration, which seems to say that the " Auth name (or Auth ID)" should also be set to Username (marked Optional on my Moto G5 Plus settings) - the option to use my CallWithUs account instead of Republic for an outgoing call would not show up. And my VoIP account page on CallWithUs continued to show my SIP as “Not Registered”.

Looking around on my handset found that the toggle switch under the Phone app settings for Calling Accounts kept getting turned Off after every time I flipped it On.

Your further advice to install CSipSimple got me a bit further, I can now actually place a call! Only, the person I call can hear me, but I cannot hear them. And I get TWO chances to choose between calling with Republic or with my CallWithUs SIP account, one from CSipSimple, and another from (looks like) my phone, appearing like your guide examples.

The CallWithUs Troubleshooter is not actually helpful for this. AND my CallWithUs VoIP account page still shows my SIP as “Not registered” although my account there also shows I have made several calls and used up a few cents of my balance (calling from Michigan to Ohio).

Can you please provide a bit more guidance before I head to Europe next week?

More thanks!


#6

Hi @clint_s,

Thank you for the kind words!

I’ll do my best but please know I’ll be offline for a good part of the day (annoying real world things). :slightly_smiling_face:

It will seem counterintuitive but one’s phone doesn’t actually need to be registered with CallWithUs to make calls. The registration being referenced is SIP registration and SIP registration is mandatory only if one wishes to receive calls via CallWithUs (or other SIP provider). That’s a whole different conversation.

For now, I’d like to rake the integration piece out of the picture as the one-way audio you’re experiencing may be a separate issue. Would you mind trying calls via CallWithUs directly from CSipSimple bypassing the native Android Phone app? Do you still experience one-way audio on those calls? If so, would you also try on cell data or different WiFi network?


#7

Thank you again, @rolandh for the fast reply! Too much real life in my way, too. Including getting ready to jump over the Atlantic.

I did just try CSipSimple directly via cell data instead of my home WiFi, and the audio worked both ways! So I infer there may be an issue in my WiFi connection? Will look for a chance to try a different WiFi in the (later) morning.