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BYO VOIP Modems & Wi-Fi Routers ~ Which RSPs Allow them, and Which Don't

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modem
wi-fi
voip
rsp

#1

My Huawei router was supplied pre-programmed by TPG and handles the phone connection also.
I have a D-Link DVA-2800 which has superior WiFi but I cannot use it and keep the phone as TPG will not disclose the required VOIP settings to allow the phone to work with the D-Link. The VOIP settings in the Huawei have been locked by TPG to prevent the user from viewing. I can either keep using the Huawei, find another ISP that will let me use my own router, or just cut my nose off to spite my face.


Huawei cyber vulnerabilities
#2

Thanks for that - I also have a 2800 and regardless of what TPG provides, their arrogance just scrubbed them from my list of possibles when I am [un]lucky enough to get NBN. I would not have thought to ask about their attitude toward BYO routers w/VOIP as my first question.


#3

Do these settings not work?

https://www.tpg.com.au/support/generalsetting.php


#4

Thanks for posting that link. Inconveniently, not in my case.

I previously tried every combination of settings in that list, scoured forums and spoke to TPG support.
It turned out those were settings for a separate paid VOIP plan alongside ADSL2+ users. Even then you need to know what aphone # you were allocated and the corresponding codec setting. TPG indicated they would disclose the settings in that case.

I am on an NBN package and TPG stated they do not reveal the VOIP settings to anyone. They force you into purchasing one of their pre-programmed routers. I even spoke to a supervisor and indicated I would terminate our 12 year old relationship if I’m prevented from using my own router. Alas, no cigar.


#5

That is amazing. I found this thread also: https://community.tpg.com.au/t5/Home-Phone-Voice/Voip-Settings-for-VDSL/td-p/19566

Imagine having to work for a company like TPG an being required to peddle such nonsense to customers!!

From the link:

I understand that you wish to avoid any downtime. Your request to have the sip settings for TPG Home Phone so you can configure it on a 3rd party equipment is currently not possible as our system is not designed that way.

What rubbish. You might find this link from ‘Whingepool’ interesting :wink:

https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2531183

Looks like the details can be extracted and it will work - interesting discussion - in it, a TPG spokesclown says:

We strive to do our best to assist customers with their concern. It does not mean we will provide you what you want in this case. Our decision not to release the VoIP settings is non-negotiable.
[…]
I believe other major ISPs will also not release these settings for security reasons.

Wow. Just wow. “security reasons” - wasn’t that the excuse in the “Anthony Blunt case” ? :wink: They’ve even changed their terms and hobbled their routers in response to people trying to get the config and use other products. I wonder on what golf course that agreement was made with the ahem-ACCC-ahem :joy::rofl::joy::rofl:

No TPG for me.

Edited to add: https://community.tpg.com.au/t5/Broadband-Internet/Hidden-SIP-Settings-on-VR16000V/td-p/4692

For security reasons, the home phone component of your TPG NBN Fibre to the Node (FTTN) bundle is encrypted and it requires the use of our modem for the VOIP service to work.

Unfortunately, our modem does not support 3rd party VOIP services, as it is designed to be used for TPG VOIP services only.

… laughable …


#6

Separate to the original issue concerning use of Huawei hardware potentially being a security risk?

Is there a more general issue with the NBN and freedom or not to BYO modem or router?

I have a preliminary advice of having an HFC service available at our Town House in Jan 2019. I’ve noticed that as TPG owns iiNet our ISP it may be a broader issue per other discussions on Whirlpool.

With the NBN Co providing the modem “NBN connection box” being one limitation, are customers with other than TPG who require a phone service from their RSP also being tied to using the RSP router, no options allowed?

It appears anti competitive in many ways if there is no choice given the core functionality in any home network comes back to the router?

If so is this worthy of being a separate consumer issue? Is it too trivial a concern for the ACCC to consider?


#7

It appears Aussie provides configuration details for broadband service and the interesting bit is the statement ‘This guide is for our Netcomm branded modem, but the settings will be universal across other VoIP capable modems.’ It is not completely obvious this applies to NBN as it is not explicitly stated, and google often goes around corners to find things, although one would expect (hope?) it is for all Aussie products.

This thread would be a good repository to list those RSPs who are BYO friendly and those that are not as regards VOIP service.


#8

Commentary on how to get around TPG, iiNet VoIP limitations although it adds more equipment and needs you to retain the Huawei router. (Jan 2018)

https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2701488

As a solution It appears far from perfect 100% idiot proof, so not for the average user. Some comments re Telstra and Optus also limiting user access to VOIP credentials suggest a similar scenario if you need a home phone.

IE if you want to port your home copper line phone number to the NBN service You must use their supplied modem/router?

If correct restricting the router option for HFC it is even crazier given the NBN supplies the modem! I’ll add a note when iinet and I have finished discussing the options?


#9

@aangoveplumb, could you take this thread topic on board for inclusion in the ‘best’ NBN providers reviews and reports?

Many users would not care and be happy with whatever kit is provided, some of us want the best performing kit we can get and prefer to DIY/BYO, and regardless shops are selling products that potentially could be unusable for the purpose intended because of what appear to be arbitrary and self serving policies of some RSPs.

Cheers,


#10

Seconded! (as one who runs custom firmware in both my modem and my router(s)).


#11

Thirded!

So you can spy on the Chinese and US governments? :wink:


#12

Add a fourth!

Note, per iiNet chat line this morning, for HFC I was advised that if I want to keep my phone no, which I do, I must use their supplied modem router!

A Technicolor TG789. Wow! Viva La France. Designed in Europe, made in Vietnam, sold in Australia. Common product to Telstra and others no doubt.

For interest only I did ask! Apparently my Bob2, not so great modem router can’t be reused, although I have noted per the following iiNet install instructions it is fully NBN suitable including VOIP? Not that I would want to.

I now wonder if there is only a commercial motivation behind the majors locking NBN phone users to their supplied routers, because it is easier for them? Or some other network design consideration to do with the other end of the line changed from ADSL?

Per the iiNet NBN sign up page
3. Do you need a modem?
By choosing to BYO modem, you will not be able to use the included NBN™ Phone service or any included calls as NBN™ Phone requires a new, iiNet-supplied modem.

No surprises if you select this option then?
Of course per the NBN install HFC comes with a modem (the NBN branded termination box) anyway, so the TG789 is just acting as a VOIP capable router/gateway?

It would not seem so poor a situation if they at least offered a couple of alternative better choices of device!


#13

Mitigating downtime was the reason I started this exercise. My supplied Huawei is a few years old and reliability (or lack thereof) sprang to mind. I had no backup unit in case it carked it. I bought the DVA-2800 as it was given good reviews, had strong WiFi and compatibility with VOIP services. As it stands, I can use it as backup for the internet but not my home phone which has my house alarm and fire detection connected to it.

We were forced into upgrading to the NBN and signing away any previous rights to phone reliability. TPG did not disclose I could not use a BYO modem. Even when I went looking into their literature initially I needed to phone them to find this out. When I am comfortable I have found a good alternative RSP I will be jumping ship.


#14

A bit OT and I suspect @V8Snail is fully aware, but for other readers who might not be, and with the spectre of the wonderful NBN (it will be HFC) coming some day, I walked through all the what-ifs with my alarm supplier. As soon as I have NBN ready to order I need to spend about $800 to upgrade my alarm box for mobile reporting.

For anyone not atop the issues with alarms they include but are probably not limited to:
a) many RSPs VOIP do not support auto-dialer tones so even if it works once there is no commitment it will work twice.
b) if the VOIP host goes down your alarm has ‘nobody to talk to’
c) if you lose power and do not have a sufficient UPS on your modem you have no service. If your alarm battery runs 9 hours but your NBN VOIP modem only goes 0 to 20 minutes - the point is made.
d) if NBN’s equipment loses power you have no service; it is apparently not all battery backed
e) after a power loss it can take modems minutes to boot and reconnect.
f) the NBN connection to the premise is quite obvious. A ‘bad person’ can ID and rip out the NBN connection in a moment. (my PSTN copper is fully underground and only comes up underneath my house, noting a ‘bad person’ would have no way of knowing if an alarm was present excepting my sign (real or not?) or whether it used mobile or NBN reporting services. I am aware most homes have visible PSTN lines or external boxes.)
g) DIY security with cameras connected to the cloud and your mobile are fully dependent on internet service unless they have mobiles for reporting. Then we have the dodgy coverage for mobile service across the country,another layer of potential unreliability.
h) The NBN can be down for hours and even days in an area. Their ability to fix faults seems suspect, to be kind.


#15

Excellent points @TheBBG. I was actually compiling a list on that very thing to post myself but you have covered everything I have noted, and some.

I treat my alarm connection as a nice-to-have rather than an absolute necessity. As such, it is a numbers game. I look at the odds when it comes to the alarm being triggered, the phone connection being unavailable and the grid power being off (affecting the NBN side) at any one time. We have had a 6 hour power failure so I know our local NBN node had enough battery capacity to deal with at least that time.

I do have substantial battery backup for the modem, cordless phone and alarm system. My Ness alarm only contacts myself or my wife if there is an issue (using voice prompts) and the VOIP will see the alarm tones as it would any normal DTMF phone. Coded contact to an alarm monitoring company may be where the warnings are needed but I haven’t tried that system with VOIP.

Sometimes I think I would rather not know what was going on at my house if I am away and can do nothing about it at the time.


#16

From primus:

We have 2 types of NBN. Tagged accounts can only use iPrimus supplied modem while Mapped can use BYO. However, such type can’t be determined unless the NBN account is active.

Regarding VoIP, no need for configuration. We provide the basic service of simply plugging the handset to the modem to get dial tone.

This is the first I have heard of ‘tagged’ and ‘mapped’ accounts but I am apparently not the first to ask per this short whirlpool thread.

Researching mapping and tagging I found this NBN document. My head is exploding. See 3.1.2 and A.5.2 for a warmup!


#17

Excuse me while I clean up the mess my head made. . .


#18

Does the problem go away if you have FTTP or does it just change the nature of the problem?

IE you are still stuck with your ISP provided choice of router.

Not that any of us could ever need the speed of a direct fibre service? :upside_down_face:


#19

A.5.2 states FTTP supports each form of mapped as well as tagged service, so that implies it goes back to the RSP, although FTTP also has a UNI-V service option. This looks like a decent explanation.


#20

I’m with MyNetFone (MNF) on an HFC connection. MNF supply a preconfigured Huawei router which I didn’t want to use because (1) I have a better Asus router (2) using two routers in series makes networking harder and more prone to issues and (3) security concerns with Huawei.

MNF said they do not support modems they don’t supply, but they provided my login credentials. Together with other support info I found on the web relating to a different service provider, that was enough for me to configure my router correctly.

The Huawei is back in its original box gathering dust in the garage.