Setting up your Huawei Rain LTE router to make VOIP calls in South Africa and Replace Telkom.

by Ronald Langeveld


Our Telkom copper lines was stolen once again, and we didn't have an ETA on when it will be replaced. Generally it takes them about 2 days to get the telephone and internet lines back up and running again, but this time we weren't sure if its even going to be replaced as a week went by.

To avoid getting behind on projects due, I worked from cafe's and family friends other side of town who were kind enough to let me sponge their wifi connection.


Eventually we took the plunge, cancelled our imaginary Telkom Line and signed up for Rain LTE via Afrihost.  They've been cool to deal with and upon asking them nicely on Twitter, they managed to get me connected within 5 days, as opposed to the 7-10 working days as advertised.

Boom, back online and much faster than the previous connection.

One of the things that my dad was asking, is how he can reach us now when I'm at home, considering my mobile phone is often on silent (Avoid distractions when I code) and I simply just don't hear it ringing - sorryyyy. In the past, he would just phone the landline. However due to the copper cable theft, a physical "landline" is technically a thing of the past for us now.

I started googling around for South African based VOIP/SIP providers who can provide me with a phone number. I then came across Freshphone who provides exactly what I need - for free. To make calls you can buy 'airtime', prepaid using your credit card. Incoming calls are free.

Here's how I setup my router + telephones to be able to receive and make calls, just like I would have on a normal Telkom Line. And yes, this can act as a Telkom Replacement. Apparently you can even "Port" your existing phone numbers if you'd like to. I think it's R150 or something like that.

Step 1:
Sign up for an account over at https://www.freshphone.co.za/

Step 2:
You will have to submit RICA documentation (copy of ID / Passport) - sadly it's law.

Step 3:
Verify your account and log in at https://tms.freshphone.co.za

Step 4:
Once you've logged in, you will find "Phone / SIP settings" with a Username, Password and Registration Server address. Make note of this.

Step 5:
This is where it might get a little tricky. You will now have to log into your router. The Hauwei default login is http://192.168.8.1/ and username|password should be admin, admin. Refer to the manual for further info.

Once you are in the Hauwai settings, go over to settings.

Then click on VoIP and head to SIP Server

This is where you can start entering the settings from freshphone.
You can copy the info from the image above.

Next move on to SIP Account.
Simply use the number you got from Freshphone (2787xxxxxxx) and add it as SIP account and User name. Then type in the password that's displayed on Freshphone.
If you've filled that in correctly and you're registered with Freshphone, registration status should show Registered.

Advanced SIP Settings - Just make sure PRACK signalling is enabled.

Advanced Voice Settings. DTMF mode should be SIP Information.

Make sure to click Apply everytime you change settings.

Now finally:
Physically go to your Router and plug in your Telkom telephone into the "TEL" port.

Now give yourself a call from your mobile phone by dialling the number you received from Freshphone to test whether it works or not.

If you followed the instructions carefully it should work.

I'll keep on revising this document and make it clearer over time. This is merely a draft.

Have fun!


Subscribe for updates straight to your inbox

Subscribe