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Adding International Calling to Your Republic Phone

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A question that arises for some Republic members is, "How does one call an international number?" Republic supports calling and text messaging to U.S. and Canadian numbers only. This is Republic's word on international service. The suggestion to add international calling has been made in Republic's Think Tank. Since you're reading this, you may want to add your voice to the conversation, Voice: International Calling.

Meanwhile, there are some options for making international calls at a reasonable cost. Well known options include Google Voice, Google Hangouts, Skype and Vonage. There are also lesser known options like CircleNet and Localphone. For purposes of this article, let's focus on these lesser known service providers, paired with a free app that integrates well with the native dialer on Republic phones, CSipSimple.

Why use a lesser known provider? In a word, value.

Sadly, CircleNet has made a business decision to withdraw from the retail Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) market. I'm leaving the CSipSimple configuration guidance intact as CircleNet will continue to operate through December 2017 for existing customers. Details here.

Meanwhile, Localphone is an excellent alternative and well thought of in the VoIP community. Localphone is a relatively large U.K. based company and also operates a wholesale division Voxbeam.

I'm aware of and will be investigating additional alternatives.

CircleNet

If you have an existing CircleNet account, let's get CSipSimple set up. To do so:

  1. Install CSipSimple to your phone.
  2. From your home screen, tap CSIpSimple.
  3. Verify that Integrate with Android is checked.
  4. Adjust other settings as desired. Since you won't be receiving calls via CSipSimple (your native Republic number will receive international calls at no additional cost beyond monthly plan fees), I suggest ticking the bullet for "Only for outgoing". CSipSimple uses Internet data. By default use of Internet data is restricted to WiFi. If you wish to enable cell data, check "I'm allowed to use mobile". You may then, more conveniently, control when CSipSimple is allowed to use cell data using the tools built into the Republic Wireless app as outlined here.
  5. Tap Save.
  6. Tap Add account.
  7. Scroll to the Generic wizards heading, then tap Basic.
  8. For Account name enter anything you want. As an example, let's use CircleNet.
  9. For User enter your account number (not your login username) from CircleNet's 2nd confirmation email. Your account number looks like a normal 10-digit telephone number but is not.
  10. For Server enter outbound.circlenet.us
  11. For Password enter your password, also from CircleNet's 2nd confirmation email.
  12. Tap Save.
  13. You should see an indication that your account is registered.
  14. Exit CSipSimple.
  15. Presuming you've received word that your CircleNet account has been validated and (if needed), funded, open your phone's native dialer. At the time this article was written, CircleNet adds $2.00 free calling credit making immediate account funding unnecessary. You may be surprised how long that $2.00 lasts.
  16. Dial the international number of your choice, being certain to enter the appropriate country code, or select a relevant contact. There are no issues storing international numbers in Android's native Contacts or People app with the appropriate country code on a Republic phone.
  17. From the pop-up presented, select CircleNet or the account name you created in step 8.
  18. Your international call will dial out and be logged in your phone's native dialer like any other call. As it is being placed through a third party service, it will not be logged in your Republic call history.

The above will get CircleNet and CSipSimple up and running, however, will use your CircleNet account number as Caller ID. If you prefer that your Republic number show as Caller ID, read on.

  1. Open CSipSimple.
  2. Tap accounts (icon with a key lower left).
  3. Tap CircleNet or the name you chose for your account.
  4. Tap three dots upper right.
  5. Tap Choose wizard.
  6. Scroll to the Generic wizards heading, then tap Expert.
  7. Again, tap CircleNet or the name you chose for your account.
  8. Tap Account ID.
  9. Add your Republic number prefixed with a 1 and without dashes to the front of the string presented. Do not, otherwise, edit the text in that string.
  10. Tap OK.
  11. Tap Save.
  12. Exit CSipSimple.

Lastly, an edit to your CircleNet account settings is required. To do so:

  1. Point your web browser here.
  2. Enter your login username from CircleNet's 2nd confirmation email.
  3. Enter your login password, again, from CircleNet's 2nd confirmation email.
  4. Once signed into your CircleNet account, you'll see a menu to your left.
  5. Click Add Caller ID.
  6. Enter your Republic number prefixed with a 1 and without dashes.
  7. Click Add New Caller ID.
  8. Your international calls will now transmit your Republic number as Caller ID. Please be advised that transmission of any Caller ID on international calls is not as robust as for domestic calls. It will vary with the destination being called.

Localphone

Let's start with creating a Localphone account. To do so:

  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.

To set up CSipSimple for use with Localphone:

  1. Install CSipSimple to your phone.
  2. From your home screen, tap CSIpSimple.
  3. Verify that Integrate with Android is checked.
  4. Adjust other settings as desired. Since you won't be receiving calls via CSipSimple (your native Republic number will receive international calls at no additional cost beyond monthly plan fees), I suggest ticking the bullet for "Only for outgoing". CSipSimple uses Internet data. By default use of Internet data is restricted to WiFi. If you wish to enable cell data, check "I'm allowed to use mobile". You may then, more conveniently, control when CSipSimple is allowed to use cell data using the tools built into the Republic Wireless app as outlined here.
  5. Tap Save.
  6. Tap Add account.
  7. Scroll to the Generic wizards heading, then tap Basic.
  8. For Account name enter anything you want. As an example, let's use Localphone.
  9. For User enter your Localphone SIP ID.
  10. For Server enter localphone.com.
  11. For Password enter your Localphone SIP Password.
  12. Tap Save.
  13. You should see an indication that the account is registered.
  14. Exit CSipSimple.
  15. Presuming you've funded your Localphone account, open your phone's native dialer.
  16. Dial the international number of your choice, being certain to enter the appropriate country code, or select a relevant contact. There are no issues storing international numbers in Android's native Contacts or People app with the appropriate country code on a Republic phone.
  17. From the pop-up presented, select Localphone or the account name you created in step 8.
  18. Your international call will dial out and be logged in your phone's native dialer like any other call. As it is being placed through a third party service, it will not be logged in your Republic call history.

An additional note on Localphone. 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, CSipSimple is capable of multiple account registration with the same or separate service providers. It's possible to set up both CircleNet and Localphone accounts and use both with CSipSimple on a Republic phone.

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