One Number To Reach You (Mobile + Office)

September 29, 2008 at 12:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Prefer to have all of your calls alert you on your mobile? Prefer a single voice mailbox? Here’s a way to set up a simple, free, “One Number” service that ensures that you will see all of your calls on your mobile and get all of your voice messages on your mobile voice mail … even if people call you on your @Home number. 
Solution: Route calls to your office number also ring on your mobile.

How to: From your @Home line, set up Call Forwarding (when Busy or No Answer) to your Mobile number.

Dial *42 plus <Your 10-digit Mobile Number>

Calls to (1) your @Home number will go to your (2) Mobile, and then (3) to your Mobile Voice Mailbox. And, of course, calls to your Mobile will also go to your mobile Voice Mailbox. To cancel this Call Forwarding connection, just dial *93. With @Home, I prefer to give out my mobile number so that folks can reach me immediately and, alternatively, text me. But if anyone calls me on my wired, @Home, desk phone, I want to be sure that the call reaches me on my mobile and then goes to my Voice Mailbox. 

Suggestion: To ensure that a caller does not hear a lot of ringing (50 seconds or more, in this situation) you can select the amount of time that the call rings on your (a) @Home line and (b) your mobile before the call goes to voice mail. Just call T-Mobile Customer Care and tell them the amount of time (in 5-second increments) that you want the call to ring on each device. (Note: the default is 25 seconds of ringing on any T-Mobile line, and if I let it ring on (1) my wired @Home line and then (2) my mobile phone, then this would be 50 seconds of ringing that the caller would be subjected to before they had the opportunity to leave a message-too long to expect anyone to wait).

Ensures call delivery in case of an outage: Some folks have asked for a way to ensure that calls are delivered if the ISP is out of service, and this is a fine solution. If calls are not answered on your wired line (router down, DSL out of service, whatever), then the call will go to your cell phone.

Want More?While this is a great solution for a residence or Home Office, even more sophisticated solutions are available for an individual (Google’s Grand Central offers a very flexible and feature-rich, One Number service to simultaneously ring multiple numbers, etc.) or a business (voice mail systems, PBXs, Microsoft, and even BlackBerry have solutions).



Here’s an example of the kind of enterprise solution that delivers one number (with simultaneous ringing) and one voice mailbox:  

BlackBerry Mobile Voice System Gives You One Phone Number, One Mailbox

BlackBerry Mobile Voice System Gives You One Phone Number, One Mailbox! BlackBerry® Mobile Voice System (BlackBerry MVS) helps mobile workers reach new levels of responsiveness, by consolidating multiple phone numbers and voice mailboxes, and extending enterprise phone functions to BlackBerry® smartphones.

According to research firm Gartner, up to 75% of telephone calls go to voicemail, creating a frustrating, yet often avoidable, time-lag in communications between your mobile employees and their customers, prospects and co-workers.

With BlackBerry MVS, mobile users can give out a single phone number that will ring simultaneously at their desk phone and on their smartphone, allowing them to be more responsive to their customers and colleagues when they’re away from the office.

BlackBerry MVS lets users enjoy the productivity benefits of enterprise voice communications on their BlackBerry smartphone, in a similar fashion to how they use enterprise email on the go.

It helps users manage incoming calls by giving them the opportunity to: 1) first answer calls made to their enterprise number on their BlackBerry smartphone; or, 2) allow unanswered calls to go to a single corporate voicemail. Users spend less time managing messages as a result.


Ways to Enhance T-Mobile @Home

September 23, 2008 at 9:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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OK, so @Home is a smokin’ deal, but you can make it do even more. Here are a few improvements that I was able to make as I set up @Home in my home office:

  • Multiple phones a ringin’
    Most people have more than one phone in their apartment or home, right? Well, @Home can serve all of them (although the Install Guide and Manual do not lead you to that conclusion, and suggest that you directly connect a single phone to the router. Uh, that’s kinda limiting, don’t you think? You can connect the router to your home wiring so that you can make/receive calls from all phone in da house.
  • One or two fixed lines and telephone numbers (double your savings!)
    More than one person want to talk at the same time in your home? No problem! You can have one or two wireline connections, so that two, independent calls can come in or go out, each on different telephone numbers. If you have two, wireline numbers, you can move both to @Home and double your savings.
  • Multiple cellular phones (free) calling
    You can have more than one cell phone simultaneously using your @Home wireless service.
  • Free calls from anywhere you have Internet access
    @Home provides you with free calling when your phone is on a Wi-Fi network, not just from your Home. Get more! (as T-Mobile used to say). You can have free calls from anywhere that you can access the Internet: Starbucks, airport, hotel room in Hong Kong, … anywhere! With this technique, you will save a lot on roaming fees for voice and data.
  • Expanded range, better audio quality
    To ensure that you have lots of (free) Wi-Fi coverage, you can expand it, if you desire.
  • Conveniently Locating the Router
    To avoid placing creating an equipment pile (I didn’t want all that hot gear flashing and heating up my home office), you can move it to a convenient place.
  • Ensuring Calling Name delivery
    I like Calling Name (considered part of the “true Caller ID” that T-Mobile offers as part of @Home) and had to do so me work to ensure that it was provided.
  • Things you’ll Like and Dislike
    Here’s a summary review of @Home service, with comments on some things that you may miss, like sending/receiving a FAX.
  • How to successfully Port an existing number to @Home
    You can save a lot of cash by moving any existing wireline phone service to @Home, while keeping your existing telephone number (no one will know).

I’ll review each of these, in detail, over successive blog entries. I hope that you benefit from these ideas, as my intent here is just to share something that may be useful to as many folks as possible. Enjoy!

Want to know the Name of Callers? (on your mobile handset)

September 22, 2008 at 4:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Like to know the name of the people who are calling you? I do!
If you want this feature, your mobile operator can deliver it,
and they’d like to hear from you!

Recently, I noted that it’s possible to deliver not just the Number, but the Name of the caller, just like on your wireline service. Just like on your @Home service. It’s possible: you just have to ask for it. 

This service is already available (for over 5 years), and mobile operators have held off on delivering it. Recently, Verizon Wireless started delivering a pale version of this, providing city and state info on the caller (in addition to the number). Personally, I want to know the caller’s name, and I gladly pay for this feature on my wireline service. If you want Calling Name delivery on your mobile, tell your mobile phone company! If you ask for it, then can deliver it (that’s what we’re all in business for: satisfying the end customer).

Caller ID includes Calling Name

September 22, 2008 at 3:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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@Home delivers “True Caller ID” that includes Calling Name Display. Nice!

I had a narrow (and, apparently, aged) view of the Caller ID feature. Originally, there was a distinction between Calling Number and Calling Name display (Caller ID preceded Calling Name, and display of Name was sold as an enhancement to the display of the calling party number). (Note: Just to date me, I worked at AT&T Bell Labs when we first designed and introduced these features that utilized the new, out-of-band signaling system). Now, there appears to be no distinction and Caller ID includes Calling Name (see attached definition, from the Qwest web site). Since @Home seeks to provide you with wireline-equivalent features, it includes all of the basic features, even voice mail (see the demo here).

Now if only they would deliver Calling Name to my handset!
It’s readily available, and even starting to appear in the marketplace. (Full disclosure: the company that I work for, VeriSign , actually delivers the Calling Name service for @Home, and the same solution can be delivered to your wireless phone, too – the mobile operators are just unsure if subscribers really want it on their phone). Technically, you can receive the same quality of Caller ID (including Calling Name) that you receive on your wired phone. If you want Calling Name delivery on your mobile, tell your mobile phone company!


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