Finarea S.A. is a Swiss company based in Lugano. They operate discount phone services in the form of conventional PSTN call-by-call in different European markets as well as Hongkong.
Betamax GmbH has taken over the VoIP services of finarea at the end of 2005. The actual relationship to Finarea SA is not clear.
Dellmont Sarl based in Luxembourg (3A, Val Sainte Croix L-1371 Luxembourg) seems to manage some brands from the begin of 2010, while others remain with Betamax.
List of current known Betamax clones (april 6th, 2011):
DID support for BETAMAX services
Most of the services provided from the above sites allow indirect DID support by linking a DID number from a DID provider of your choice by means of a SIP URI link. As an example consider having an account with VoipDisount.com. Then your incoming SIP URI is username@sip.VoipDiscount.com. IPtel.org provides free SIP accounts that can be reached from the PSTN network by SipBroker.com. In the settings menu of the IPtel account the user can configure the service to forward all calls received to a SIP URI of his choice (My Account/Forward/unconditional call forwarding target: username@sip.VoipDiscount.com in this case). A caller can dial one of the SipBroker shared numbers and then select the desired SIP network, in this case IPtel.org by dialing *478 followed by the user number of the IPtel account. The call is redirected from IPtel via the SIP URI to the VoipDiscount registrered SIP device thus providing a way for receiving incoming calls from the PSTN.
An alternative to receiving calls to one of the above BETAMAX services is to use the ENUM service provided by the e164.org site. Create an account at e164.org and configure your real PSTN telephone number with the SIP URI of the BETAMAX service that you are using (Phone Numbers/Add/... and select Protocol/SIP://username@sip.VoipDiscount.com). A caller can use one of the SipBroker.com shared numbers and then dial the real telephone number configured in e164.org (e.g. 1-604-484-5289 for a number in the US) to reach the VoipDiscount user at his SIP registered device.
Betamax clones rates lists
These websites do show the rates of the various Betamax brands which are available on the internet.
There are several lists available on the internet, but be careful, only a few are up to date and do show the current rates.
- http://techjunk.nl (updated 4x per day) (website inoperative Aug 2012)
- http://iologue.com (updated 3x per day)
- http://backsla.sh/betamax (updated 1x per day)
- http://progx.ch/ (updated 1x per day)
New version of fincheck 25th of June 2008. See below:
Calls to US free phone numbers are charged for. Always check carefully with the sites which destinations are free (within the limitations mentioned above) and which are not. For a quick, possibly automated check from a shell prompt, run (maybe as a cron job) this "listfreedest" script:
#!/bin/sh case _"$1" in _) echo "usage: $(basename $0) finarea_service" echo " (e.g.: \"$(basename $0) voipdiscount.com\" )" exit 1 ;; *) lynx -dump http://www.$1/en/calling-rates.html \ | sed -n "s/[[:space:]]*\([^)]\+[)]\).*[Ff][Rr][Ee][Ee].*[Ff][Rr][Ee][Ee].*/ \1/p" ;; esac
See VoIPBuster's page for another rate checking script.
Caller ID with AsteriskSome Finarea offerings provide the ability to set your outgoing Caller ID. To do this you need the Windows application supplied by that provider (voipcheap.com, smslisto.com etc). You can enter up to five numbers as your own. In the settings these numbers are listed with a Register button next to them. If you press the Register button, the application will display a code number. Then Finarea will ring the number you specified. If you answer and dial in the code given, the number is registered as yours and can be used for Caller ID. Outbound CLID doesn't always work as it depends on the route taken for the call.
To use the number with Asterisk, use something like the following in sip.conf. The first five lines are the important ones for Caller ID:
[smslisto.com] username=your_user_name_here secret=your_password_here fromuser=0044....... <--your registered number goes here authuser=your_user_name_here type=friend qualify=yes nat=yes insecure=very host=sip.smslisto.com fromdomain=smslisto.com dtmfmode=rfc2833 disallow=all allow=ulaw&alaw
On Linksys/Sipura hardware, this is achieved by filling in the 'user ID' field with the registered CLID number (eg 0044...). 'Use auth ID' is set to 'yes' and the 'auth ID' field is your SMSListo/etc Betamax username. 'Password' is your Betamax password.
On Fritzbox hardware, turn on 'advanced settings', then click 'use internet number for registration'. Then put your CLID number (in 00... form) in the 'internet number' field source
Usage/credit check by scriptThe following script, both bash- and ash-compatible, checks either available credits (in eurocents) or free minutes usage for most (all?) Finarea services. It makes certain assumptions about the web interface, so it may break if such interface is changed. The last parameter is optional, and if present it represents the number of months ago to which the free minutes usage refers (1 = last month). For example:
Download it at : http://www.simong.net/finarea/
It requires curl built with SSL support, and returns a status different from zero in case of errors (including login failure).
fincheck creditcents voipstunt USERNAME PASSWORD
...prints to stdout the number of eurocents still available;
This now also works correctly with voipbusterpro.(They charge 3.9 cents per "FREE" call)
fincheck usedminutes voipstunt USERNAME PASSWORD
...prints to stdout the free minutes used so far during this month;
fincheck usedminutes voipcheap.com USERNAME PASSWORD 3
...prints to stdout the free minutes used three months ago.
TZ=CET fincheck last7daysminutes voipstunt USERNAME PASSWORD
...prints to stdout the free minutes used in the last 7 days (including the current one) using German timezone for day boundaries
TZ=CET fincheck last7daysminutes voipstunt USERNAME PASSWORD 5
...does the same, with a 5 day offset (the 7-day period from 12 to 5 days ago). The "TZ=CET" setting makes the script refer to day boundaries based on the timezone of Switzerland and Germany, on which all Finarea/Betamax services appear to base their accounting.
Send SMS (new 2 Oct 2006):
fincheck sms smslisto.com USERNAME PASSWORD "MESSAGE" DESTINATION_NUMBER [SENDER_CALLERID]
Timed SMS send (new 19th Jan 2007):
fincheck sms voipcheap.co.uk USERNAME PASSWORD "MESSAGE" DESTINATION_NUMBER SENDER_CALLERID MONTH DAY HOUR MINUTE GMT_DIFFERENCE_IN_HOURS
Make a call - connect two telephone numbers (new 2 Oct 2006):
fincheck call voipstunt USERNAME PASSWORD SOURCE_NUMBER DESTINATION_NUMBER
Source and destination numbers must be in international format ie. 00COUNTRY_CODE etc. OR +COUNTRY_CODE etc.
Added in version of 25th June 2008:
The possibility to send your account balance as a SMS
fincheck smsbalance PROVIDER USERNAME PASSWORD DESTINATION_NUMBER [SENDER_CALLERID]
PHP version:New version 1.2 18th of July 2007:
Using PHP. Caller-ID can be set on SMSes. Delayed SMSes with correct understanding of GMT.
An example script is included.
Check it out at http://www.simong.net/finarea/
2 May 2007 - Revamp of original version
An update of the original script by enzo was moved to http://www.i-t-vision.com/opensource/fincheck.txt due to the difficulty of properly escaping brackets and other special characters for inline publication...
Please note that now the provider's name must include the tld (e.g., "voipcheap" will have to be replaced by "voipcheap.com" or "voipcheap.co.uk", as appropriate).
For administrators of multiple account, there is now a "master script" (findaily) that, invoked by a cron job, calls fincheck for a list of accounts (defined inside the script: look for the lines between "(cat <<-EOF" and "EOF") and produces reports mailed to the individual account holders, plus a synthetic summary to the administrator. This is available at http://www.i-t-vision.com/opensource/findaily.txt, and a typical crontab entry for it to run every day at 8:30 am could be:
30 8 * * * /usr/local/bin/findaily|mail -s "Findaily Summary Report" email@example.com
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