I just sent back the Telio IP phone adaptor I was so enthusiastic about when I first heard about it.

From the forums, it’s clear lots of people have really been able to simply plug it in and enjoy the free phone calls you’re supposed to, if you pay the monthly subscription. But I can’t get it to work with the DSL subscription I have, and though it seems some have managed to do it, there are still problems with its falling out. I’m not going to waste more time on it.

According to users, the Telio adaptor works great on most broadband connections. Unfortunately I have a “secure” connection. Not that I can use the secure bit – thanks to a university deal, I have a fairly fast connection for the cheapest price over at Nextgentel, but they unfortunately use VPN to ensure a secure connection. I can’t use the VPN anyway, because it’s a kind that doesn’t go well with Macs, even with fiddling, but because of this there’s a lot of fussiness about which IP will talk to the router in the DSL modem and add a Mac and a wireless basestation to that initial complication and you’re basically talking customer support’s nightmare. Especially since customer support involves two separate entities, both with extremely long waits. Actually I only waited five minutes to speak to Telio. Nextgentel generally has a 45 minute wait.

Since the IP phone adaptor is supposed to plug-and-play in less limited networks, I tried it in the States and at my mum’s – didn’t work either place.

I guess I’ll wait a few years until we don’t have to worry about stupid adaptors anymore.

Telio is a new phone company in Norway that offers IP telephony: if you have a broadband internet connection, and pay them 159 kroner a month (the same standard fixed rate as Telenor takes) they’ll set you up so your phone calls go through the internet instead of through the phone-specific network. You keep your old number. Anyone call call you. Phone calls are free (well, all calls to Norway are free and the first 100 mins of international calls). And get this: if you buy a wireless phone, I think you can even ring and receive calls for free, using your home number, from anywhere in the world where there’s wireless. If I understood that right, it’s almost too good to be true.

7 thoughts on “telio

  1. Eirik

    I doubt that it’s that simple – heck, I _hope_ it’s not that simple! Otherwise, the WLAN phone would have to come with WEP cracking software, and every Telio user would be a de facto wardriver. The operative term here, I think, is “alle steder du har WLAN aksess” – “every place where you have WLAN access”, which surely is not the same as “every place where there is a WLAN connection”. I like the idea of roaming phone numbers better – the idea that calls to your local number can reach you wherever there is a broadband connection is really useful. Though probably more useful in private homes than in hotels, which in my experience have either no broadband or very expensive broadband.

  2. Jill

    Yes, you’re right, Eirik – but last time I was in the States, for instance, I stayed with three different friends and they all (and their neighbours) had open WiFi networks, as did one of the universities I visited. I was thrilled to be able to open my computer and use iChat to have voice conversations with my friends from all these places without any hassle – and I imagine I would have been able to use a WiFi phone as well at these places. At airports I sometimes pay for WiFi access too, which would presumably work for a phone like this – so it’d be useful even now, before the world is openly WiFied 🙂 You’re right about hotels. 100 kroner a day for WiFi access is, well, I wouldn’t be likely to pay that from my own pocket, anyway.

  3. Eirik

    Well, uh, we haven’t encrypted our wifi either (and neither has any of our wifi-using neighbours), so you’ll find it easy to use iChat or your new Telio phone the next time you’re in our neck of the woods! 🙂

  4. Oscillator

    First, my mother(!) actually ordered this (just plain vanilla Telio, not with WLAN phone), she’s still waiting to receive the adapter. I’m standing by until I’ve seen it in use…

    Also, as my brother is in India for three months, calling him is far from free, and not included in the 100 minutes. It costs 75% of the Telenor price.

  5. OldFart

    Wondering if you have an update on the Telio delivery time?

  6. Jill

    Ah. Well, I received my adaptor a month ago. Tried to connect it with no luck. Apparently the complicated security setup between my ADSL provider (Nextgentel) and the University of Bergen means that the adapter needs to be assigned a specific IP number to get access to the network. Or something. It’s complicated enough just working with the ADSL modem but add my wireless base station to the mix and the customer service people gave up. So I decided perhaps the problem was simply that Telio hadn’t activated my account yet. And I left the adaptor on the shelf. It’s now dusty. And I should try and make it work again. But I *hate* those battles with technology….


  7. Thormod

    IP telefon. For godt til  vÊre sant?
    Jill skrev et innlegg om IP-telefoni. Dette kan bli en veldig god nyhet for oss med bredbÂnd. Gratis telefoni hele tiden. Alt du betaler er en abonementavgift p 159 kr. KONGE!!…

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