Apologies for this long and rambling tale. Please bear with me...
My Panasonic DECT home phones (x4) are starting to go faulty. Also, having my house extended means that in a new room I can't get DECT reception because the signal must pass through two thick stone walls.
So I have been window shopping for replacements, looking at DECT 3 x handset sets with a DECT repeater which I could place to boost the signal into the new part of the house. I can spend as little as £135 for cheap Panasonic sets or more than double that for hopefully better quality Gigaset ones with landline and VoIP cabability.
But it all seems a bit old-fashioned. We have Android smartphones & tablets in the house. Can't I use them in some way to make & receive landline calls, I wondered? (Mobile signal inside the house is pretty useless, due to the rural location and those thick stone walls).
I don't currently have a VoIP account, but might consider it. The main reason is that I don't currently have broadband over the landline. Because of the rural location, conventional ADSL just won't work (confirmed by OpenReach engineers visiting the property). Currently my internet connection is via a 4G router connected to an antenna on the roof of the house. This works quite well, but there is a monthly data limit. So I didn't want to use that up with VoIP data, and have stuck to using the landline for calls. Maybe VoIP does not use much data and I should not worry about that. Please advise.
The broadband situation may soon change, I hope, since our green roadside cabinet has recently been "fibered-up". I am currently exploring going over to landline broadband, as soon as I can be reasonably sure I won't loose my landline number in the process. Most broadband suppliers tell me I can't port the number over to their service, and/or will have to pay extra for a new landline, which seems strange, because BT, my current landline phone provider, says there's no problem with that. I believe I have tracked this inconsistency down to incorrect address data somewhere in BT/OpenReach's systems. It seems they have two slightly different addresses for my property on some mysterious but all-important database. One address is correct in that it matches my Royal Mail address. The other address has a slight difference. Guess which one seems to have the land line details attached to it? Yes, the incorrect address does, and the correct address has no landline connection, apparently. So, I am working with BT complaints department on getting that sorted.
But I digress...
This Panasonic DECT phone would allow me to use smartphones. But to do that, you must download a Panasonic App from Google Play. Problem, is, the reviews of the app on Google play absolutely slate it! Apparently it is very buggy, drops calls, sometimes refuses to answer and runs down your smartphone's battery very quickly. So not a great option.
This Invoxia gadget also claims to create a bridge to your landline and enables you to use smartphones to make/receive landline calls. While their iPhone app sounds OK, the Android version also gets terrible reviews on Google play, with similar faults to the Panasonic app. Sigh...
I have also been investigating this Obihai 200 or 202 device. There seems to be some experience with these devices on this forum, which is why I came here for your advice. I am hoping this could be an option for me. Could I use one of the recommended and stable Ip phone apps from Google Play to make and receive landline calls using the Obihai 200/202 in combination with the ObiLINE adaptor?
If I can get broadband working over the phone line eventually, I could then consider signing up for a VoIP account with a suitable suppler as an alternative/addition to using the landline.
So please offer any advice on the ideas above, or any other approaches or hardware you think might suit my situation. Thanks in advance.