The first VoIP provider that I’m going to present is Smartcall. The choice was not made totally random as this provider was also the first that introduced me to the world of VoIP back in Romania.
Bellow is a small questionnaire with some basic things that I think each provider should have:
|Sound quality||Ok, I never had any problems with the connection.|
|The prices||Are great, if you have your friends in Romtelecom. They will charge you between 0.01 E – 0.02 E in the Romtelecom network and with 0.025 E for other landlines. The list of all connection prices can be found here: http://www.smartcall.ro/tarife/tarife%20conectare%20directa%20-%2010-july-2007.pdf|
|Are the phone calls in the provider’s network free?||Yes!|
|Does it have a Voice mail?||Yes! *
It is advertised but I did not see the option on the configuration platform
|Does it have a cost control service?||Yes!|
|Does it have a STUN service?||Yes!|
|Can you buy the credit On-Line?||Yes!|
The good stuff:
And also that they have a STUN server! Yes, believe it or not, this is not a common thing on the VoIP providers in Romania.
Another good aspect of this service is the strong documentation and trouble shooting guide.
What they also advertise on the site, but I did not have the time to test, is the option of Video Calls between two users with the adequate equipment (Software / Hardware) and the “conference call service” – if you will ever need to use it.
In the modern parts of the world the telephone provider can give you a “conference call service”. This is basically a unique telephone number that you have to call and digit the conference session number to enter and talk with the other participants – a bit like the old IRC. That’s a nice thing if you want to drop Skype…
You can also choose your SIP telephone number from any county in Romania: 021 569 abcd – for Bucharest and 03ab56xyzw – for the rest of the counties.
If you want to check the whole list of services provided by Smartcall you can click here: http://www.smartcall.ro/document.php?doc=26
If you don’t want your PC to run all the time in order to receive the calls, the provider gives you the option to buy a “Smarbox” a VoIP adapter to normal telephone.
The bad stuff:
SC NEW COM TELECOMUNICATII SA the company behind the service has the bad habitude to recycle the telephone numbers. This is great if you want to change the number every year but if you want to have a stable number to tell it to all your relatives let’s say that this would be an impediment for you.
Also the site is quite old (as in the last entry made in 30-11-2008) and it's structure is strange.
The administration interface:
Is based on PortaBilling100 and does not offer basic things like let’s say the password change of the VoIP account (this is the account that is used by the program/device to log in into their servers and use your credit!) or set the email where the answer machine will send all the messages… The best description is supplied directly by the menu: “Account info”… in read only! You can also view the call history, but not all, only the calls you made!
The customer support:
I, personally, never had a problem with the service, but one of my friends, once he made an account, had a problem with the login and the support guy that answered his call didn’t seem to know something about the VoIP technology.
The detailed page is here: http://www.smartcall.ro/document.php?doc=61
The trouble shooting pdf: http://www.smartcall.ro/resources/docs/problemeconfigurare.pdf
The login page: http://www.smartcall.ro/document.php?doc=58
The registration page: http://www.smartcall.ro/document.php?doc=60
Overall I’m giving to this provider 6.5 out of 10 especially for the read only VoIP account password and for the number rotation.
Due to the site disclaimer, I will not provide screenshots of this service. However you can find plenty of screenshots on the web just by searching “PortaBilling100 interface”. Here is a link to one of the official resources just as an example: http://www.portaone.com/resources/MVTS/index.html
Copyright (c) 2010 Mihai Radoveanu. All Rights Reserved.Note: Copying this article to your website is strictly NOT allowed.