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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at? (Updated)

    I've been testing out Google Voice + GrooveIP (and Talkatone and sipdroid) to see if I can use TMobile's $30/month data-only plan. I'm concerned that I won't be able to make calls when I'm on a slow data connection. Here's my tests/findings so far:

    TEST 1: VOIP over Wifi

    Seems to work well. People said they can hear everything I say (and they sound great) but that it's just slightly muffled. Good enough quality that if it was always like this, it's worth the huge savings (but my wifi's very fast). Edit: I've talked to many more people on this and they all hated it. They said I sounded like I was talking through a tin can (and they all thought the other apps were even worse).

    TEST 2: VOIP over Hotspot from Sprint Nexus S using 3G

    This worked and failed both. The download speed was fast enough (350kbps) that I was able to hear the answering machine I called perfectly. The message played very well. But I was unable to leave a message as the upload speed was too slow (varies between 76kbps and 125kbps). On the answering machine, all you hear is some muffled beeps and scratches.

    TEST 3: Talkatone over wifi

    It works but the sound is awful. There's a lot of feedback and the voice is unclear as though in an echoing room and talking through a fan. (Done over a 25mbps wifi connection)

    TEST 4: Talkatone over Hotspot from Sprint Nexus S using 3G

    It worked but not well at all. My voice comes across on the answering machine with slight skipping, and at a slower speed than I actually spoke, and it's very scratchy, but you can (with concentrating) understand it.

    TEST 5: SipDroid + PBXes over wifi

    Worked OK (not great), but just like with the others when I called someone they told me it sounded muffled and not the best quality. They sounded a little far away (versus GrooveIP, they were 100% clear to me). On the answering machine it was not that clear. Over wifi, GrooveIP is the best quality.

    Test 6: SipDroid + PBXes over Hotspot from Sprint Nexus S using 3G

    Did not work at first (I could hear the answering machine but it can't get my voice). All I got were clicking noises on the answering machine like penguins. So I forced it to use the speex codec and it finally worked over hotspot! It wasn't very good quality but it was pretty close to Sipdroid over wifi quality.

    Test 7: Skype over Wifi

    This was easily the winner. The call quality was as good as most home VOIP services. The person i called had really disliked all the previous apps' quality but said this one sounded great. (Skype gives you one free call to a phone per device - not per account, uninstalling won't fix it - so I wasn't able to test it over hotspot. I'll see if I can find another device to try it on)

    Obviously, using my Sprint Nexus S as a wifi hotspot is quite a bottleneck, but I know sometimes there will be slow data speeds on TMobile. So I have two questions:

    1. What upload speed minimums are typically seen on TMobile?
    2. What is the minimum data speed that Google Voice VOIP can work on?


    Connection Speeds for the Tests
    • Wifi Down: 23-25mbps
    • Wifi Up: 3-5mbps
    • 3G Hotspot Down: 300-450kbps
    • 3G Hotspot Up: 76-125kbps

    *All speeds tested from Nexus 4 phone*
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  2. Thread Author  Thread Author    #2  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Just added my talkatone and sipdroid tests.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    I haven't run all that many speed tests yet, but I can share these three.

    Using the SPEEDTEST.NET app on the T-Mobile $30/month plan:

    Download 10,462 Upload 1,685
    Download 16,536 Upload 1,750
    Download 9,172 Upload 555

    The last one was inside my home where I had one to two bars showing. The middle one was outside my home where I had 5 bars. The first is outside my work location (about 20 miles from home) where I also had 5 bars.

    [edit]
    I corrected the middle entry above; the numbers I had previously posted related to a Wi-Fi connection, not cellular
    [end edit]
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  4. #4  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Its all about using the efficient audio codec. G729 or speex are good for 3g VoIP.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    A question I have is how data intensive is VOIP? T-mobile can start throttling speeds after 5GB which is about 3 GB more than I typically use without any VOIP.
  6. #6  
    jsutton667's Avatar

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    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    How do you change/install audio codecs such as speex? New to this entire VoIP idea, tried Groove IP and it was TERRIBLE, but would be willing to try harder if it works well.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    I think the thread title is a little misleading since Google Voice by itself is NOT a VOIP app. It can be paired with VOIP apps.
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  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by N4Newbie View Post
    I haven't run all that many speed tests yet, but I can share these three.

    Using the SPEEDTEST.NET app on the T-Mobile $30/month plan:

    Download 10,462 Upload 1,685
    Download 16,495 Upload 6,133
    Download 9,172 Upload 555

    The last one was inside my home where I had one to two bars showing. The middle one was outside my home where I had 5 bars. The first is outside my work location (about 20 miles from home) where I also had 5 bars.
    Thanks! I wish I could get sipdroid + pbxes working - I read it works on lower data speeds - but those speeds look good.
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xelion View Post
    A question I have is how data intensive is VOIP? T-mobile can start throttling speeds after 5GB which is about 3 GB more than I typically use without any VOIP.
    It takes about 1.2mb of data with GrooveIP (you can compress the data with sipdroid), so 2000 minutes of talking (and not using wifi) would be 2.3GB of data.
  10. Thread Author  Thread Author    #10  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Finally got Sipdroid working, so I added my tests for that. (For anyone wondering, the only way I could get it to work is to put in the wrong password when setting up PBX in sipdroid, then logging in via web browser and changing to Google Voice password in the "trunk" under settings)

    My final results:

    WIFI winner: GrooveIP
    Limited data winner: Sipdroid + PBXes (Speex 11kbit codec)

    (Limited data was done via Sprint Nexus S hotspot on 3G. Speeds ranged: 250-426kbps down, 54-125kbps up)
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  11. #11  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6tr6tr View Post
    It takes about 1.2mb of data with GrooveIP (you can compress the data with sipdroid), so 2000 minutes of talking (and not using wifi) would be 2.3GB of data.
    That's amazing. I'm probably going to test this out on the tmobile 30 dollar plan. I would never come close to that much talk time. I'm closer to the 100 minutes actually.
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xelion View Post
    That's amazing. I'm probably going to test this out on the tmobile 30 dollar plan. I would never come close to that much talk time. I'm closer to the 100 minutes actually.
    Yes, but it all depends on how much you care about how it sounds. When I used GrooveIP over wifi (a very fast 25mbps wifi), everyone I spoke with said they hated how it sounded. They said it sounded like I was talking through a tin can. They all sounded fine to me, but the outgoing sound does not come out well.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6tr6tr View Post
    Yes, but it all depends on how much you care about how it sounds. When I used GrooveIP over wifi (a very fast 25mbps wifi), everyone I spoke with said they hated how it sounded. They said it sounded like I was talking through a tin can. They all sounded fine to me, but the outgoing sound does not come out well.
    Have you tried playing around with the different sound settings? I was thinking of using Groove IP for when I transition over to a Nexus 4 with the $30 T-mobile plan. However, the call quality is also a concern. I guess that I'll have to play around with the free version on my Nexus 7 to see what kind of quality I can get out of it. I have a feeling that a lot of VOIP services won't work well over 3/4G due to the latency. However, I've heard that Skype does pretty well over 3/4G networks. Problem with Skype is that you have to pay for it, and I think there is an additional cost to get an external number that people can call.

    Thank you for posting your findings. There are a lot of people getting Nexus 4's that are looking for information on the VOIP options for the $30 T-mobile plan.
  14. #14  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by acegolfer View Post
    Its all about using the efficient audio codec. G729 or speex are good for 3g VoIP.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
    What does any of this mean and how do you use it?
    Semper Fi
    I love my LG Nexus 5!
    Take better pictures with your cell phone camera...http://www.bigshotmoms.com/
  15. #15  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    I just edited my previous post in this thread as I realized the middle of the three tests was transcribed incorrectly.

    While I am here, I will add two more tests from home last evening:

    Download 14,788 Upload 1,346
    Download 15,828 Upload 1,169
  16. #16  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicFrost View Post
    Problem with Skype is that you have to pay for it, and I think there is an additional cost to get an external number that people can call.
    The cost is very small though. $30/mo for the tmo plan, 2.99/mo call anywhere in US, and I think 2.99/mo for a phone number. Seriously better then 59/mo for 1500 minutes...
  17. #17  
    natehoy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Speed counts toward VoIP quality, but anything over about 90kbps is more than enough for all but the highest-quality codecs. Vonage, for example, uses a 90kbps codec as their highest quality, and they'll drop back to a 25 and a 12-ish-kpbs codec (or at least they used to back when they were my phone provider). But it's also true that almost all Internet connections are asymmetric (upload data pipeline is almost always a LOT smaller than the download data pipeline), meaning it's not uncommon to have problems with other people hearing you when you hear them just fine.

    The important points in VoIP, unless you're trying it over a 14.4k modem, are called "latency" and "jitter", and a lot of speed tests mention latency, but few mention jitter.

    Latency: The amount of time it takes a packet to reach its destination (as opposed to how many packets you can send per second). If your packets take a second to reach the destination, depending on the codec, the voice will either be assembled based on what is available (and with missing/interpolated data voice quality will drop off fast), or there'll be a delay.

    Jitter: How sequential are the packets (are they arriving reasonably closely to the sequence at which they were sent)? If packets 1 and 5 arrive and packets 2-4 are still enroute when the wait clock runs out, the voice is constructed as cleanly as possible using what's available. When packets 2-4 arrive, they are too old and are thrown out.

    VoIP Test and internet connection speed test, information about VoIP does both latency and jitter tests. It's a little dorky a site, and maybe someone has a better one, but my old favorite from back when I used to haunt the Vonage forums is long gone.

    A lot of the data on this site is obsolete, but a few useful lessons remain. NateHoy's VoIP Pages The first link is a brief tutorial on the basics of VoIP. Again, a lot of the data is older (and the link to my former favorite speed test site now lands at a domain seller), but there's some decent stuff there I think.
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  18. #18  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    I don't have a N4 but I do use GV with GrooveIP daily for the pasted 3 years. Currently I use them on my HTC One V with a jetpack mifi on Verizon. It works great over 4g LTE and have never had satisfactory experiences over pre-paid 3g. Any audio issues that are being had by receivers of calls are from settings being incorrectly setup. It is hard to tune the setting unless you have a reliable person to call and give you actually accurate feedback about how it sounds. It will never be as good as a real cell phone call but it can get real close. The worse people say about mine is I sound like I am in a tunnel on a pay phone.
  19. #19  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by zedorda View Post
    Any audio issues that are being had by receivers of calls are from settings being incorrectly setup.
    So, how do you find out what the settings should be?
    Semper Fi
    I love my LG Nexus 5!
    Take better pictures with your cell phone camera...http://www.bigshotmoms.com/
  20. #20  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    A Dev (snrb_labs) for GrooveIP is very active in a thread on the Optimus V sub-forum. New VOIP option for GV - single app solution: GrooVe IP

    I played with my setting quite abit before getting it right. It is also not the same for every device so I suggest taking some time and doing a guess and check method. Have someone in another room with another phone and just keep calling them with one setting changed till you notice what that setting does with your device.
  21. Thread Author  Thread Author    #21  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by zedorda View Post
    A Dev (snrb_labs) for GrooveIP is very active in a thread on the Optimus V sub-forum. New VOIP option for GV - single app solution: GrooVe IP

    I played with my setting quite abit before getting it right. It is also not the same for every device so I suggest taking some time and doing a guess and check method. Have someone in another room with another phone and just keep calling them with one setting changed till you notice what that setting does with your device.
    I did play with the settings (there aren't a lot of them) and was able to remove echo and make myself louder, but everyone still hated the sound of it.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6tr6tr View Post
    I did play with the settings (there aren't a lot of them) and was able to remove echo and make myself louder, but everyone still hated the sound of it.
    Tell them "tough $hit" unless they want to pay you phone bill they can get over it or quit talking to you.
    Semper Fi
    I love my LG Nexus 5!
    Take better pictures with your cell phone camera...http://www.bigshotmoms.com/
  23. #23  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tacoman667 View Post
    The cost is very small though. $30/mo for the tmo plan, 2.99/mo call anywhere in US, and I think 2.99/mo for a phone number. Seriously better then 59/mo for 1500 minutes...
    I was looking into how much total it would cost to get an external number through Skype that people can call. An external number usually costs $60 a year, but if you sign up for the $2.99 a month plan it's half off. So it would be $30 + $2.99 a month. Total year cost is $65.88, and the monthly cost would only be $5.49. I'm not sure if there's any extra tax? Either way a total of ~$35 a month with the T-Mobile plan + unlimited VOIP is a pretty slick deal.

    I have played around with Groove IP on my Nexus 7, and it actually works pretty well over my WiFi when calling another cellphone. However, I haven't done too much testing yeat, and I still have to experiment with using it over 3G/4G. If Groove IP doesn't work at all over 3/4G I'll give Skype's service a try, but I'm not supper picky about call quality so I hope it works out.
  24. Thread Author  Thread Author    #24  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Quote Originally Posted by atomicfrost View Post
    I was looking into how much total it would cost to get an external number through Skype that people can call. An external number usually costs $60 a year, but if you sign up for the $2.99 a month plan it's half off. So it would be $30 + $2.99 a month. Total year cost is $65.88, and the monthly cost would only be $5.49. I'm not sure if there's any extra tax? Either way a total of ~$35 a month with the T-Mobile plan + unlimited VOIP is a pretty slick deal.

    I have played around with Groove IP on my Nexus 7, and it actually works pretty well over my WiFi when calling another cellphone. However, I haven't done too much testing yeat, and I still have to experiment with using it over 3G/4G. If Groove IP doesn't work at all over 3/4G I'll give Skype's service a try, but I'm not supper picky about call quality so I hope it works out.
    Let me know how Skype works for you. I'm going to try it soon as well. The one problem though, is it eats a lot of battery life! Idling, it'll use 10% of the battery drain!
  25. Thread Author  Thread Author    #25  

    Default Re: Anyone using Google Voice VOIP over data connection: what's lowest data speed it works at?

    Just added my test with Skype over Wifi. The call quality was the best by a long, long shot. I haven't yet tested it over the Sprint hotspot (I'm guessing it won't work, but I might be wrong), but I'll post that when I do.
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