Skype phone for Nica?

I checked, via the search box, for info on Skype. did not seem to be much info there. has anyone used this service there in Nica? I have the free Skype plan (computer to computer only) here in TX. and it seems to work well. I would like to get the pro version if it seems to work well there. hopefully some of you are using it there. my user name on there is pdqwayne also. if anyone would like to test it you are very welcome to call me. thanks, pdqwayne

http://www.skype.com/ it is very easy to download and use.

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Skype. thanks jimmyc

you did cut to the chase on how to use Skype. I have now talked with two Nicaliving folks there in Nicaragua. Roger, (not sure if I should use your last name here) was very informative. and the call was very clear. as was his web cam. and all for free! thanks to all the other replies to my questions. 19 more days and I will be there! pdqwayne

is there a primer.....

is there a primer on this subject? i would like to learn and know nothing about voip/skype/vonnage. i would like to call voip to a cell phone in nicaragua, any suggestions on learning the basics?

Primer--Part 1

The staring point is that to get good rates, you need the connection between VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) to be on the called end, not the calling end.

Thus, to call Nicaragua from the US cheaply, you need to have the connection on the Nicaragua end. Skype, Vonage, VoiceEclipse, ... don't have that. So, that is my $1000 solution I talked about.

Lacking that, you just need to go to the web site of the various providers (http://www.skype.com, http://www.vonage.com, http://www.voiceeclipse.com, ...) and see what sort of "dial-out" rates they offer to Nicaraguan numbers. Probably not particularly cheap and cell phones are likely to be more expensive than fijo.

thank you....

and bummer dude. it would be nice to call over the internet to nica and be relayed to a nica phone, thus making it local.

if you have a friend in Nicaragua with ...

  1. a PC thats always turned on
  2. always connected to the internet (NOT dialup)
  3. PC has a voice modem (not all modems have voice)
  4. ability / desire to pick up your cell phone call tab

and if you can tolerate some serious limitations then you can Skype from the US to any phone in Nicaragua fairly easily. But keep the codes secret or you will be out an arm and a leg in seconds flat!

Limitations: When your friend is on the phone, has powered off the PC, falta de luz, has disconnected the modem wires, the line is occupied by another user, it will not work.

Cost: virtually nothing. Plug the phone and the phone line into the voice modem card on the back of the PC. Download the ShareWare "Skype Forwarder". Follow the installation instructions.

Quality: Let me know, never tried it. Don't have a voice modem. Don't have a need of the service.

How it works: Forwarder logs you on to Skype. Now the big server in the US knows that this PC is JIM_NL and when someone in the world Skypes to JIM_NL their call is routed to the PC in your friends home.
When Skype on your friends PC sees an incoming Skype call, it immediately passes it to Forwarder. Forwarder validates the callers identity with a PIN then allows the caller to hit an extension number example 1000. Forwarder knows that extension 1000 is sent to the modem and that 505 663 4125 is to be dialed. Tony's cell phone rings and your friend NOT YOU gets a bill for 2.77 cordobas a minute and you receive NO BILL WHATEVER.

What goes wrong: Forwarder is not set up correctly and / or you let slip your PIN and your friend NOT YOU gets a bill for hundreds of dollars from Enitel.

What else?: You generously let Mike, Mick, Dave and Anne have the PIN. You can never get on because they chat all the darned time.

Time to get all this working: 20 minutes start to finish.

Time to make a call: 20 seconds.

Go for it. Let me know how it works out.

Tony X Robins, Jinotega

the friend.....

i am most in need of talking to only has a cell phone.

i will get my bill in a month for the call from the states to nicaraga. i do not know what kinda cost that is, calling from the states (a landline) to a cell phone in nica. we'll see.

Vonage instead of SKYPE

Has anybody played with VONAGE? http://www.vonage.com/ It is VOIP, but appears to have some neat features that SKYPE doesn't offer, such as having an actual phone number and can be connected to a wireless router so you can have an actual phone and don't have to be joined at the hip to the computer.

Also, the problem of having the software installed on the Internet Cafe computer can be avoided by this cute little gizmo

http://www.vonage.com/device.php?type=VPHONE&refer_id=OLNSR070401003W1&p...

that plugs into the USB port and contains all the program and other info. Once unplugged there is no data left on the computer.

I expect to be looking into this as an option for Nicaragua.

Alan S. Wicks Kennewick, WA

Vonage works as well

I had Vonage until I ran into the need a fax line as well issue. That made Voice Eclipse a better choice for me.

The other issue I was told about is that Vonage could die. There is some big patent infringement suit in process. If they lose, they are dead.

Vonage is not standards-compliant. They claim better quality with less bandwidth or whatever. I am not that sure that it is really better but that is the patented part.

cheap phone rates...

My wife is consistently calling Nicaragua. We've used skype a few times. Its like 21 cents a minute. Phone cards are cheaper but they are a real hassle. You gotta punch the 800 number then the pin number --then house number. I don't like them.

Anybody know of some thing like skype--- but cheaper?

The solution costs about $1000

That is, a general purpose solution that could be shared by lots of people. Not something I need but maybe some NL members want to organize it. We did this for a business in Costa Rica and it worked great.

Here are the pieces:

  • Someone in Nicaragua with a phone line and broadband connection
  • Some sort of US-based VoIP service. I use VoiceEclipse. There are lots of others
  • A bridge box to connect between two phone lines. We used a Talk Switch. There are others but I was very happy with that one.

The bridge box connects between the two phone lines--that is, the local Nicaraguan one and the once supplied by the VoIP adapter. It also has has password protection, voice prompts and such.

To call Nicaraguga, you call the US VoIP number. It activates the bridge box in Nicaragua which asks you for access information. (You can program the box such that "extensions" dial-out to Nicaraguan numbers. Or, you can enter password information and just get access to the Nicaraguan phone line and dial out.

This can also work in the other direction. That is, you call the Nicaraguan number, the bridge box answers, you enter access info and it dials out on the VoIP line.

This sounds a bit complicated to use but, for most use it isn't. You just program it with extensions for the numbers you commonly call. Thus, your mother in Nicaragua might be extension 100, your uncle extension 101, ... So, to call them you call the US number and when you get the "enter extension" voice prompt, just enter the three digits and the bridge box deals with the rest.

$1,000 ???? Not even close, Phil.

The mythical story of the SkypeNic first year.

Connect up an AU-600 to my USB port in the cyber cafe, plug the phone line in the other side and we are in business. Cathy gets on Skype in Miami, calls NLX (her nickname to my service) which patches her through to my cyber in Jinotega. The AU-600 picks up and prompts her for her PIN and one of her personal quickdial numbers. Cathy plugs in PIN 12344 and quickdial 79 and is talking to the phone (not the PC) in el Gato Negro in SJDS.

So far so good, NLX+12344+79 = El Gato Negro. 10 characters, just like long distance in the states.

Cathy chats for 30 minutes but Jim has been trying for 29 minutes to get a connection and finding my one and only line is busy. I need more lines.

Get more lines. Now Jim, Cathy, John can all connect at the same time but its poor quality. My office needs more bandwidth, I order a T1 and a more powerful server and a couple more Enitel lines and a few more AU-600's

I want a reliable service so I get a large diesel backup generator. I have internet service through 3 different suppliers in case one fails, a fail-safe fall-back server. I'm in for $30,000 us dollars capital investment.

Thats what it will take to operate a first class, reliable, quality, convenient service.

Math / Business case:

100 calls a day, 10 minutes a call, 300 days a year at 20 US cents a minute = $60,000 income first year. By far the largest running expense is the Enitel phone bill (300,000 minutes at **3 cordobas a minute = 900,000 cordobas or $45,000 US dollars.)

**For this business case I assumed the majority of calls would go to cell phone users; probably not a bad guess since thats the pattern I see from my phone service from the office right now. (I charge 5 cordobas a minute - 30 US cents, to call any phone in Nicaragua)

By now you should be seeing that nobody but nobody is going to operate a cheap internet phone service into Nicaragua. The local call rates from Enitel kill the business case stone dead.

p.s. Lingo has a 'plan' and a monthly subscription. It is nowhere near as good a deal as it looks on the surface. It can't be. Do the math.

Tony X Robins, Jinotega

Read Again

I did not propose a "business". I offered an idea that some NL members might was to get together on and do. It works, it does not have to involve any computers and, yes, is limited to one call at a time.

In Costa Rica, four of us used it. We needed to make "occasional" calls. I never ran into the system being busy. It solved our need. If yours is similar, it can solve yours as well.

May I suggest humble pie?

Phil,

its not often I disagree with you but this is one of those times. Here are your words "We did this for a business in Costa Rica and it worked great."

Your "read again" comment caused me to read your post again (as instructed SIR!) only to find I was right and you were wrong.

Tony X Robins, somewhat huffed, in Jinotega

Wrong again

First, the suggestion was an idea for NL members to "get together and do". Not for anyone to create a business. As for what we did in Costa Rica, we had a business there that was offering services to a customer in the US. At times, that customer needed to call us or we needed to call them. So, we set up this system.

It was not a business to offer phone connectivity. (Actually, it was web hosting.) It was something our business used so it would have what it needed internally. The reason we needed it was that our servers were not located where the offices (all home offices) were located. So, the phone line was where the servers lived.

At some point I may need to do the same thing here. I have the US "phone lines" (VoIP) but, right now, all of us work in the office where we have the connectivity.

you and I are so much alike

Neither of us is ever wrong. :-)

Tony X Robins, Jinotega

calling into Nicaragua

Skype and other similar software relies on a computer server that converts from the internet to the regular phone system. For Skype, that machine is in the USA so all Skype calls into USA are cheap. (free internet from the callers cyber cafe to the server machine then a local US call)

To have a cheap Skype-like method of calling into Nicaragua would require a server machine in Nicaragua. Such a machine does not exist.

I offered to Skype to organize, set up and manage a server in Nicaragua but they were not interested - I just received a standard US big corporation brush-off, go-away, stop-bothering-us, "We will consider it for a future blah de blah" letter.

To have a cheap phone conversation today between the US and Nicaragua more or less means ...

  • Someone in Nicaraguan originates the call
  • They have a SkypeOut account
  • They go into a Skype-equipped cyber cafe
  • They want to make the call

Technically easy: Getting a Skype out account. Telling the Nicaraguan the user and password. Finding a Skype equipped cyber cafe. Telling them how to use Skype.

Harder - much harder: Motivating them to make the call. Preventing them using your Skype credit to call everyone they know all over the world.

One day, a solution will arrive. One day. But it will not be from Skype or Movistar or Enitel/Claro.

Tony X Robins, Jinotega

P2P skype

As usual you are all making this much more complicated than need be. (unless your serious about the 100% failsafe solution which is probable near impossible in our environment)

If the Person abroad has a good internet connection and Skype and the person in Nica has a good internet connection and Skype they can talk for free for as long as they like.

If one of the people doesn’t have a good internet connection or even a computer but does have a phone(such as my Grandma)but the other person dose they can talk for a quoted 20c per minute (in my experience calling oz less than 2c per minute). Or the person without the computer can go to a cyber cafe and we are back to free. of course If neither of them has a computer they can both go to a cyber cafe. But most people we know stateside or in Europe or wherever do have a computer no? it is the 21st century outside of Nica after all.

I think its pretty dam good and not half as complicated as y'all are making it sound with skype out, plug your whatever in the back of the computer, set the pin blah blah.

my bad

Oh I see, when I and others have been saying 21c per minuet to call a land line from skype we where confusing $0.021 for 21c when it is of course 2.1c

so i can....

call via skype to a nicaragua phone #? if so, what do i need to do? thanks,

Yes

What do you need to do to call a Nica phone with skype?... download skype!

It's all intuitive and I thought self explanatory but I can see how you would think it could be complicated by some of the other posts.

Put credit on your account, click on the call phone tab, select Nica from the country drop down menu, put the number in the number field, press the green call button with the pic of a phone on it, adjust the volume on your comp, make sure your microphone is turned on and brush your teeth daily to avoid tooth decay.

you forgot to mention floss....

thanks! "make sure your microphone is turned on" do i go to the computer store and buy a microphone that plugs into the laptop? how much do calls cost this way? thanks again

call cost...

I don't know bro but maybe I should have mentioned skype is a very small application and takes hardly any time to download so stop worying and give it a go.

No you don't need a a microphone, when you have skype your laptop screen automatically starts receiving sound if you have a piece of magic gum in your mouth when you speak.

i think....

i answered one of my questions, from the skype website, "€0.078 (€ 0.09 incl. VAT)"

depends on motivation of the person in Nicaragua

Skype to Skype depends on the two people to coordinate activities. Thats why the Germans love it and the Nicaraguans don't use it. Structured and precise vs. easy going manana.

If the Nicaraguan wanted to initiate the process, they could email 512-555-1234@vtext.com "Hello, Maria is at the cyber ready for skype". The US person sees the text message on their cell phone, gets to a PC and everything is sweetness and light.

...but then, Maria could have just used SkypOut and called the US person for 2 US cents a minute. Or Maria could have gone to Llamadas heladas and called for 2 cordobas a minute. Big deal, lots of cheap solutions. If Maria wants to initiate.. Thats a big IF.

The problem and excessive cost does not arise much if the Nicaraguan end initiates the process.

Whats more likely to happen is the US end wants to initiate the process. Long-lost son wants to call mom, Maria, in Nicaragua far more than Maria in Nicaragua wants to talk to the only one of her 5 kids who left home. Sorry, thats the math! She loves to hear from him but 98% of her time and energy goes to the 4 kids who stayed at home.

But the US end cannot send an email text message to a Claro phone - facility doesn't exist. There was a Claro web page where the US end could plug in a text message "hello Mom, Juan is ready to skype" - but that web page was pulled a couple weeks back.

Even so, what would Maria do when she got a text message that Juan was ready to Skype? Get on a bus or take a taxi to the cyber?

The issues don't exist for tech-savvy permanently connected people in Nicaragua. The issues surface big time when all Maria has is a cell phone. For her, and for Juan, its expense all the way.

Tony X Robins, Jinotega

ok, so what's the cheapest......

"Or Maria could have gone to Llamadas heladas and called for 2 cordobas a minute. Big deal, lots of cheap solutions."

how do i call that way for 2 cordobas per minute?

missed the point...

Maria in Nicaragua has LOTS of options for a cheap call to the US - but none of them involve her using her cell phone.

Someone in the US has ZERO options for a cheap call into a Nicaraguan cell phone. People will say "Plan X or Company Y" but it can't be done

Tony X Robins, Jinotega

sorry, i must have

done a bad job of explaining that i am trying to find a way to call nicaragua cheaply.

..and I did a bad job explaining ...

that if it involves a cell phone in Nicaragua, it can't be done.

Tony X Robins, Jinotega

You can call a Nica cell

You can call a Nica cell phone cheaply with skype from anywhere in the world.

22.5 US cents a minute is CHEAP?

Guess you are rich or something.

Tony X Robins, Jinotega

come on bro, thats less than

come on bro, thats less than it cost me to call a Movistar phone accross town with my Clarro mobile.

LINGO

wE HAVE lINGO. CALLING EUROPE AND CANADA IT'S FREE. NICARAGUA 19 CENTS A MIN.WE PAY ABOUT 20 A MONTH FOR THIS SERVICES.MOST GRINGOS HERE DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT.

internet cafes in Jinotega have it

Most have skype installed on the desktops. those that don't have yahoo messenger con voz or similar. It's up to the client to supply the userid password etc, of course. Most Nicaraguans don't know how or dont have the credit card to set up Skypeout. On average the Europeans seem more switched on than than gringos Skype wise.

We have several Llamadas Heladas offices here offering US calls for 2 cordobas a minute. Under the covers, it's an earlier version of Skype with a commercial twist. Unlike an internet cafe, you get an air conditioned privacy booth to make your call and don't have to do all that computer stuff to make the call.

Tony X Robins, Jinotega

I reckon skype is brilliant,

I reckon skype is brilliant, as good as a phone call if you have 512kps connection. I called my Gran on her home phone back in Oz and talked for 15 minutes for a grand total of 29c (lower than the price they quote themselves). And I often call mates over the net, all good and all with the free version.

It Works

I am not a skype fan--I see a lot of alternatives--but I have used it and, as long as you have the bandwidth it works fine.

As much as I tend to do everything on the computer, if I have to talk on the telephone, I separate that. VoiceEclipse is my provider of choice for that as you get two lines for $20/mo unlimited NA calls. The plus with two is that you can configure one to automatically deal with FAXes.

I got the Skype and

I like it fine. As long as we have the band width. I don't call the states much but with Skype you have no obligations, prepay for time online with as little as $10E...

Then any regular number in the US and Canada cost about 4 cents to connect and 2 cents a minute to call.....

Free if your callee has Skype installed...

There are adapters to convert the regular phone cable to USB so you can use a regular phone if you don't like the head sets