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Question

Koodo Home Phone fails entering extension numbers

  • 14 October 2020
  • 17 replies
  • 262 views

I have  a ZTE WF23CA on the Koodo Home Phone. It mostly works but on some numbers when I tried to enter voicemail option numbers or extension numbers it gets a fast busy signal. Very consistent on the telephone numbers that fail. On numbers that fail some extension numbers work but others fail. I have tested with several different phones connected to the ZTE and all fail on the same numbers. I can call the numbers that fail on my cell phones or other landlines or Viop phones and none of the fail on the bad numbers. Koodo support after several  calls over 2 months indicate it is a hardware problem. I have tried different sims and they all fail in the ZTE unit. I took the ZTE in for repair and it came back unchanged. I took it in again and they replaced it with the same model number. The new one fails on the same extension numbers on the same phone numbers. As so many companies rely totally on voicemail systems these days I need to get this fixed. Anyone have any experience or ideas on this problem??   (Also both units also get ‘xbx type errors while dialing numbers intermittently (number cannot be completed as dialed etc). The errors come up before the number has been completely dialed.

 


17 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Also, you could try another handset. If it's not the hub and if it works on any other cellphone, it's gotta be something!

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

If the issue remains, could it be an issue with your sim card in the hub?

Userlevel 7

How long have you had the Koodo Home Phone?

Did it ever worked properly, with you current phone or other phones?

Trying another phone, as @Sophia suggested, is a logical debug step.

If it worked before but started acting up later, try the ‘power down, remove SIM, insert SIM, power up’ sequence and see if it solves some or all of the issues.

A  factory reset is more painful and should be used as a last resort.

 

Good luck! 

After further analysis I am convinced that the problem i (and very likely many others) am having is that the ZTE attempts to remove the DTMF tones from the handset and replace them with it’s own. It doesn’t do it really well (at least on the two units I have had) and sends a small portion of the first tone from the handset before sending it’s string. My tests showed me that if you dial at least one digit per second (approximately) the fragment only shows on the first digit. At about 2 seconds between digits you will get a fragment associated with most digits.

This fragment is sometimes decoded as a valid tone, causing a duplicate entry at the receiving device. My tests have shown this occurs on;

  1. Some company voicemail systems
  2. At least 1 Government of BC voice mail system
  3. And even in some cases the Koodo Network while dialing the original number, giving 8Bx, HBx and some other codes indicating call cannot be completed as dialed. 

If you are having problems like call cannot be completed as dialed or problems entering codes into a voicemail system maybe you shouldn’t always blame your fingers or the receiving voicemail system??

PS to NIM4165 my background is electronics training and some years in main frame computer system support. My goal is to convince the support people who I have dealt with that the problem is real and not to be dismissed as an annoyance. I have also enjoyed learning a lot more about how these systems work.

My greatest credential is, as a great man once said, I am not a quitter.

 

 

Yes, the home phone sim works in my mobile but the mobile sim fails in the home phone hub. As I have tried 2 different ZTE723 units, multiple sims and several handsets that get failures through the hub. This would suggest to me that there is marginal hardware or firmware problem in the ZTE or something in the network that does not handle DTMF signals from these units correctly?? All beyond me which is why I am looking for help.  Another issue briefly mentioned at the top is that the ZTE723 fails halfway through dialing a phone number intermittently. This only occurs on a very few numbers but is intermittently reproducible on those numbers. For example one of my friends number is 250-718-26….  Halfway through dialing this number I sometimes get a 3 digit code ‘x’b2 “number cannot be completed as dialed” The dialing is more reliable the faster you dial the numbers. Again it appears like these units have trouble sending DTMF tones to the network??

Userlevel 4

Hi @sys4me !

Thank you for providing all these details.

From your description, from the fact that you don't notice any improvement after you’ve  sent the hub to repairs, and from the fact that you can call those numbers using a different phone number (with a different SIM), I deduce that it could be a firmware problem.

I think there is a solution to one of the problems you mentioned:

When placing calls, a delay of 4 seconds between digits dialed will cause the call to be released, resulting in a failed outgoing call.

You can compose *983*238*XX# from the landline handset.
XX indicates the time interval which can be set during the dialing, the default value is 04, 4 seconds, you can put from 04~12 to get the different interval.

Regarding the first issue you mentioned in the opening message, I recommend contacting ZTE at 1- 866-644-3056

They could tell you if there is a possibility of an update to resolve this issue, or to check if it is a common problem, reported by other device users.

 

Thank you your response Manuela. I will initiate a call next week. In the meantime I have learned a lot about the problem. 

I hope some of you out there find this interesting;

I hooked up an oscilloscope to the output of an Iphone and called it from various sources and entered the numbers 0 to 9 on the calling phones at looked at the output image of the DTMF tones on the scope. 

I dialed from a corded phone and then a cordless phone through the ZTE723. The received DTMF tones were mostly quite similar consisting of about 20ms of tone, then a 130ms break of no tone and finally I what I believe is the desired signal which had a duration of about 130ms. It is easy to see how a DTMF receiver in a voicemail system could get confused. Indeed I suspect that would also explain why I have trouble dialing some numbers occasionally. About one in five of the tones received were just a straight 130ms tone with no break, but these correct(?) results were random.

I dialed the same iphone setup from my Rogers cell phone. The results were much different. The received DTMF tones were longer (about 450ms) and were quite consistent in length and had no breaks.

Please note with my basic equipment I cannot analyze the frequency content of the received tones but both the short 20ms and then the longer tone do appear to be composed of multiple tones.

I cannot believe that the tone pattern I saw is by design as the broken tone is not always present. I believe that this problem is likely more widespread that currently acknowledged as the bad tones only cause problems on few of the numbers I called. I think there might be many people out there who occasionally have problems getting through voicemail or pins numbers etc but blame the receiving system.

 

 

Userlevel 7

@sys4me  I applaud your determination and investigative debugging skills. What, may I ask, is your technical background and what is the ultimate goal of your investigation?

Userlevel 7

I tip my hat to you

 

Thank you for your replies but I believe I have tried all the suggestions. I have had the unit since July first but do not use it much for placing calls so  never noticed the problem at the end of August. It works with many more numbers than it fails with. One of the numbers it fails with is 811 which is the BC Government Services line. Entering a 1 or a 2 at the prompt gives a busy signal. (might be a rapid busy signal?)

  1. I have tried 2 telephones handsets and a cordless system tied into unit, all have failed on the exact same numbers.
  2. I have returned the unit to the Telus store twice. The first time they sent it back to ZTE(?) who did a restore to factory default reset, the second time they replaced the unit. The symptom did not change at all. 
  3. After the first incident the Telus store gave me a new Sim which had the same problem after the factory reset and  in the new unit. I also tried the sim out of my Koodo cell phone which also fails in the ZTE on the same numbers
  4. I have powered off and changed the sim etc. several times through this ordeal. 
  5. One time the unit did work for a bit was after Koodo support had done some tests and adjustments on their end of the network I could dial all the numbers with no problem, but at that time all incoming calls had the service and signal strength indicators go solid red for the duration of the call. Eventually I powered the unit off and on which cleared the red light problem but my dialing problem came back.
  6.  When I took the unit into the Telus store last time the rep was doing some tests on my unit (on battery power not plugged in). I noted that all the same red lights as above were on. The rep was not communicative at all but I gathered that he could not recreate the problem. The ZTE documentation lists the red lights as an error condition so the fact that it works without a problem in that state is interesting. Please note that the documentation does  not list a combination where the icon and bars are solid red at the same time??  If the lights were solid orange instead of red (I don’t think they were) it would indicate that the unit was detecting a UMTS network instead of a LTE network, but that is the only mention of those lights being on and not green.
  7. I have tried operating the unit on battery for extended time to see if the problem is voltage sensitive but it failed in all those tests. 
  8. I have tried driving to several different cell tower areas and at various distances to vary the signal strength but the problem does not change.

During my testing and research I found a link to a very similar problem  on Fido forums. The problem was described as ‘problems entering pins or extension numbers’ and has entries through 2015 and 2018. The problem only occurred for a few customers. The problem was on a ZTE721 not a ZTE723 but sound very similar. It was apparently fixed by a ZTE software update.

 

Userlevel 7

Seems like you have gone through a lot of effort to try and get your koodo home phone to  work.  The Fido comment “The problem only occurred for a few customers” tells me that its a known issue which may be a result of a unique combination of different causes which only affects a subset of the users. I am not a quitter but it may be time to seek an alternate solution. Good luck!

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Thank you for your replies but I believe I have tried all the suggestions. I have had the unit since July first but do not use it much for placing calls so  never noticed the problem at the end of August. It works with many more numbers than it fails with. One of the numbers it fails with is 811 which is the BC Government Services line. Entering a 1 or a 2 at the prompt gives a busy signal. (might be a rapid busy signal?)

  1. I have tried 2 telephones handsets and a cordless system tied into unit, all have failed on the exact same numbers.
  2. I have returned the unit to the Telus store twice. The first time they sent it back to ZTE(?) who did a restore to factory default reset, the second time they replaced the unit. The symptom did not change at all. 
  3. After the first incident the Telus store gave me a new Sim which had the same problem after the factory reset and  in the new unit. I also tried the sim out of my Koodo cell phone which also fails in the ZTE on the same numbers

 

If you tried the sim on your koodo cellphone and the issue still occurred for the same numbers then I would expect that is an account issue most likely.

Did you show the telus store that the issue followed the sim?  I think you will need a tech to have a closer look at your account.  Let me flag this to a rep for you

Hi Dennis, I think you misunderstood the sequence. The ZTE723 failed with 2 sims associated with my home phone account and phone number and also with the sim out of my IPhone associiated with mobile phone account and phone number. This means the problem stayed with the hardware unit not the sim.

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

My mistake, so have you tried the sim from the hub into your phone to see if it works properly?

Userlevel 7

You deserve to be awarded a PhD for the debugging of this home phone.  I suggest you look for another topic for your Post-PhD.

Hi Cristian

Thanks for your feedback. Just to clarify the dialing that fails only occurs on a very few numbers but is repeatable on those numbers. When I mention slow dialing causes the problem I am referring to probably a second between digits, no where near 4 seconds. To get reliable dialing on the bad numbers I need to use the auto dial function on my handset.

As for calling ZTE, thank you for the number but I was hoping that Telus (who sold me the unit) or Koodo (who charged the setup fee and the monthly fee) would have some interest in resolving this for me. I had Telus include the description of the problem (much like the one at the start of this file) with the last return to ZTE so they had a complete description of the problem and the numbers that fail and did  not resolve it, just reset the first one then replaced it on the second return. Please note I had to strongly insist multiple times to get Telus to include my description of the problems with the returned unit.

It seems to me that Telus, Koodo and ZTE have little interest in resolving this issue which is why I turned to this forum hoping for some assistance.

Userlevel 2

Hi there! 

I would recommend scheduling a callback at your convenience at koodo.com/chat and type in the chatbot #SocialTech. You will receive a callback from our Tech Support Team within 15 min. Hopefully, another model will become available in the market soon so that it could be replaced. Here you can find some guidelines and user manuals https://www.koodomobile.com/en/help/101-koodo-wireless-home-phone

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