sipgate

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sipgate

sipgate is a Voice over IP service provider based in Germany that also operates in the United Kingdom.

The service provider also previously operated in Austria and the USA.[1] However, all sipgate.com services were closed as of the 31st of October, 2013.[2] Sipgate allowed for phone numbers to be ported to another service provider and for any remaining monetary credits to be refunded.[3] On the 31st December 2013, Sipgate ceased operations in Austria citing negative regulatory restrictions imposed by RTR (the Austrian Telecommunications Regulator), which imposed rulings that a company can only supply a telephone number to a property if they also supply the associated cabling.[4]

The service offers free calls between sipgate users. In addition it offers fee-based calling packages for calls to domestic and international destinations. The service is supported by user accounts on an online portal that assigns free geographical and non-geographical phone numbers.[5] Users may use any Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) client software, SIP analog telephony adapter (ATA), or hardware SIP phones with the service. SIP phones and other associated hardware from a variety of manufacturers are available for sale at the sipgate web site.

In January 2006, Sipgate began providing their customers short message services (SMS) through their website. Users may set the originating phone number to be that of their mobile phone.

Sipgate's website offers a fax service that provides users the feature of sending faxes.[6] A user may upload a Portable Document Format (PDF) file or compose a document with an online editor application. Certain plans also include an extension for receiving fax documents. Faxes may be downloaded or emailed as a PDF file. With a suitable fax-enabled VoIP adapter faxes may also be sent from fax machines.

Until 2007, Sipgate also peered free of charge with a number of other VoIP providers, e.g., freenet iPhone, FreeWorldDialup, IAXtel. However, this service was discontinued.

Through its website, Sipgate provides a software application, entitled sipgate, that may be installed on the Apple iPhone. In September 2008, the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg (Germany) sided with a request by T-Mobile and issued an injunction preventing the download of sipgate, barring iPhone owners from placing calls over the device's Internet connection rather than over T-Mobile's cellphone network. In counter action, Sipgate won an injunction against T-Mobile to bar it from advertising unlimited Internet access via the device.[7]

On May 4, 2011 Sipgate announced that it had chosen the open-source project Yate for the core of its softswitch infrastructure.[8]

On 01.03.13 sipgate announced its entry into the German mobile market as a full MVNO, providing a mobile solution which can be integrated with their exiting sipgate 'Team' business VoIP service. SIM cards can be used as extensions in the Team web telephone system or used individually with mobile and landline numbers.[9] The service was rolled out in the first and second quarters of 2013.

US service[edit]

On June 2, 2009 Sipgate started offering service in the United States under the product names sipgate one and sipgate team.[1]

The sipgate one service is free for calls between sipgate customers and for all inbound calls. It provides one free phone number to customers, and offers additional numbers that can be associated with an account as an extra extension. Initially, the free numbers are provided from a small pool of U.S. LATAs, but will be replaced with a customer's preferred area code when these become available. TMC Labs reported that the web-based service interface provides full access to voicemail messages, call recordings, and faxes.[1] sipgate one supports setting up direct IP-to-IP calls, permitting compatible phones to use wideband voice codecs.[10]

The sipgate team service is a business-targeted subscription service at several different service tiers, primarily distinguished by the number of telephone numbers included, and the number of possible extensions, users, groups, and locations. In addition, it offers hosted virtual PBX features with voicemail, fax, and multiple auto attendants.

On or around September 12, 2013, Sipgate started notifying customers that their US operations would cease by October 31, 2013. The website stopped accepting new signups and displayed the message "Unfortunately, due to issues outside of our control we are not able to offer our services to new customers anymore." It appeared they were allowing users to port their numbers to other providers.

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