In this guide we explain Jabber and XMPP, the new JMP.chat phone service, how to get your own phone number, and the various ways of using the service. We've partnered with JMP to provide a privacy-focused phone service that complements our de-googled devices. Customers who have purchased a digital device get their first month of service for free. Visit the JMP on-boarding page for more details.
Table of Contents
- Why JMP.chat?
- The Jabber Network
- What is a Jabber ID?
- Get a Jabber ID
- Choose a Data Plan
- Install Cheogram App
- Sign In to Cheogram with your Jabber ID
- Register a Phone Number with JMP
- Use Cheogram for Texts and Calls
- Encrypted Communication
- Dialer Integration
- Manage Your JMP Account
- Manage Your Jabber Account
- Other Jabber clients
In the mobile communication arena, those of us advocating open source, decentralized hardware and software know we've gained ground with de-googled operating systems and apps. One weak point continues to be the mobile network provider and the SIM card. So who is doing anything about it? Until discovering JMP, we would have said "no one". Read their plan, browse their wiki and you'll see an innovative project based on a proven open standard, XMPP, that actually has a shot at being the privacy guy's answer to the whole telephone network conundrum.
The Jabber Network
The Jabber network is powered by an open protocol called XMPP. It is a decentralized network, which means no one owns or controls the whole thing. It is a federated network which means many servers connected together, and anyone can run a Jabber service. Messages to other Jabber users can be end-to-end encrypted by enabling OMEMO for the conversation. Addresses are called Jabber IDs or JIDs and look similar to email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is a Jabber ID?
A Jabber ID is your singular identity on the Jabber network. Think of it like an email address. As with email, you need an account with a service provider. There are several ways to sign up for service.
- Sign up for our private service - Customers of digitalprivacy.shop can sign up to get a free Jabber ID.
- Use a public provider - There are thousands of servers across the internet each with unique attributes that may be appealing for signup. See provider lists at list.jabber.at, 404.city, and providers.xmpp.net.
- Host your own server - for those seeking absolute control of your data, install server software on a home server or VPS.
- Get a snikket Instance - Upon request, JMP will deploy your own hosted server called Snikket when you register for phone service.
Get a Jabber ID
Customers who have purchased a digital device from us are invited to sign up with our Jabber service hosted at digitalprivacy.chat. Advantages include:
- Server location is outside of the 14 Eyes Alliance
- No logs; your data is your data
- Software updates are strictly maintained for security purposes
- Not open to public signup; for private use by digitalprivacy.shop community
- Manage your account online - change password or profile, export your data
- Request account deletion anytime
- First month of JMP phone service is free
- Technical support when you need a real person
TIP: If you are a digitalprivacy.shop customer and need a Jabber ID, sign up here.
Choose a Data Plan
The JMP phone number works like any Voice over IP (VoIP) service - it requires an internet connection or mobile data plan to work. Depending on how you want to use your JMP phone number will guide your decision for a data plan.
JMP Data-only SIM - This is separate from the JMP phone service. If you're seeking maximum privacy while using a SIM card, we recommend the JMP data-only SIM. Features include:
- No personal information required to sign up
- Location Privacy - IP address does not match actual location
- Pre-pay, Pay-as-you-go; No contract; Top-up anytime; Data never expires
- Pay with Bitcoin, Monero, credit card
- LTE Data-only SIM or eSIM option
- USA and Canada networks supported - Rogers, Bell, Telus, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Union Telecom
- Pre-loaded with 1GB of data; billled 5GB at a time thereafter
WARNING: International roaming is not currently supported on the JMP data-only SIM
TIP: To get a JMP data-only SIM, request one using your Jabber ID from JMP.chat.
Other ways to use your JMP phone number
- Alongside your traditional wireless carrier – simply use your existing data plan
- Purchase a data-only plan from a carrier of your choice – in the USA, we recommend Tello for T-Mobile network and US Mobile if you need Verizon network
- Without a SIM card – use the JMP phone number on any device while connected to the internet over Wi-Fi or Ethernet
Install Cheogram App
The Cheogram app is how you communicate with others by voice calls and text messages. It's also how you manage your JMP phone service account. Before you register for JMP service, let's install the Cheogram app.
- On your de-googled device, open F-Droid and tap Settings
- Tap Repositories
- Tap the plus sign "+" in the top right corner to add the Cheogram repository
- In the repository address field, enter the text https://cheogram.com/fdroid/repo
- Tap ADD
- Cheogram F-Droid Repo is now added to the list of repositories; toggle the button to the right to enable it
- Back out of Repositories and tap on Latest in the bottom menu
- Swipe down with one finger on the screen and release; the message "Updating repositories" appears
- Tap the magnifying glass icon, bottom right, and search for "Cheogram"
- Tap on Cheogram in the list then choose Install; the app will download to your device
- When asked Do you want to install this app? Check Allow Network permission, and tap Install
SUCCESS: Congratulations! The latest version of Cheogram is now installed on your device.
Sign into Cheogram with your Jabber ID
- Open Cheogram app
- At the welcome screen, select Next in the bottom right corner
- Select Next again until you see the sign-in options
- Assuming you received your Jabber ID from us, select I already have a Jabber ID
- In the fields provided enter your full Jabber ID (i.e. email@example.com) and your password
- Tap Next and remain patient while Cheogram connects to your account
Register a Phone Number with JMP
Next, you will register an account with JMP and choose your phone number.
WARNING: All numbers registered through JMP are either US or Canada-based numbers.
CAUTION: JMP does not currently provide 911, 112, 999 or other emergency services over voice or SMS.
After signing in to Cheogram for the first time with your Jabber ID, you should see Cheogram.com at the top of your screen, and be on the REGISTER tab, with the JMP button clearly visible in the middle of the display.
1. Tap on the JMP button
2. Now search for a telephone number by entering an area code or state abbreviation
3. Select the 10-digit phone number you prefer
4. When asked to accept JMP's Fair usage Policy, tap OK
Note: By continuing to the next step, you agree to JMP's Fair Usage Policy, which our carriers require us to make you aware of: You will not participate in or assist in any fraudulent usage, you acknowledge and agree that SMS messages to or from you may be blocked by carriers or other service providers for reasons known or unknown to JMP, our usage will be consistent with typical human operation, each SMS message will be initiated due to human interaction (as opposed to automated or timed messages), and you acknowledge that JMP reserves the right to take any action necessary for JMP to comply with any applicable CTIA and/or CRTC guidelines.
5. You may see the message below, followed by the question, Allow others to discover your Jabber ID based on your phone number? We recommend selecting YES
You may want to allow other users to discover your Jabber ID when all they know is your phone number. This can allow upgrading your contacts to end-to-end encryption, video calling, and other benefits of Jabber over time.
Entering Payment Information - If asked to enter payment information, it will be to top up your account balance. As long as you have a digitalprivacy.chat Jabber ID or a referral code from us, you will not be charged for the first month of service.
TIP: Large top ups receive bonus credit!
TIP: Keep your identity private by paying with cryptocurrency. If paying with Bitcoin, be patient after sending funds. It may take up to 20 minutes to get 3 blockchain confirmations. Paying with cash or money order by mail is another way to protect your identity.
Registration Confirmation - You will receive an automatic communication from the cheogram.com bot service announcing that your JMP account has been activated along with the phone number you chose.
Your JMP account has been activated as +15555551234
Status Page: https://status.jmp.chat
For support, contact +14169938000
info: Show account info
cdrs: Show call logs
transactions: show transactions
configure calls: configure calls
ogm: record voicemail greeting
credit cards: credit card settings and management
alt top up: buy account credit by bitcoin, mail, or interac e-transfer
plan settings: manage your plan, including overage limits
referral codes: refer a friend for free credit
sims: (e)SIM details
subaccount: create a new phone number linked to this balance
reset sip account: create or reset SIP account
inp: Port in your number from another carrier
change jabber id: change your jabber ID
register: register with backend
Continue configuring the Cheogram app:
- Accept the Dialler Integration question by tapping YES
- When asked to Allow Cheogram to record audio? Select While using the app
- When asked to Allow Cheogram to find, connect to, and determine the relative position of nearby devices? Select your preference of Not Allow or Allow (functionality may be limited if not allowed)
- You may see your Jabber ID in a list of Calling accounts. Toggle the button next to your account to enable it
- When asked to Download Stickers? Select your preference of YES or NO
- A message for Battery optimizations appears; select NEXT
- When asked to Let app always run in background? Select Allow
- When asked to Allow Cheogram to send you notifications? Select Allow
SUCCESS: Congratulations! You have registered your new phone number with JMP.chat
Using Cheogram to Text and Call
Cheogram integrates seamlessly with your existing contacts list (assuming you grant it permissions) to communicate over the traditional telephone network. SMS and MMS messages, including group messages are supported.
- Open Cheogram app
- Select the conversation bubble icon in the bottom right corner; your contacts list appears
- Search for a contact and tap the contact name; a chat window opens
- To send a text, tap in the space labeled Send message and start typing your message; tap the arrow to send
- To place a call, select the phone icon in the top right and select Audio call
TIP: For more detail on sending text messages, including short codes see JMP's FAQ page.
When you receive calls and texts, a notification from Cheogram will appear. For voice calls, tap Accept or Decline. For text messages tap the notification bubble or open the Cheogram app to view messages.
NOTE: Transport Layer Security (TLS) is the cryptographic protocol that provides secure communication for data being send from your device to the JMP server.
CAUTION: Once voice call or text message data is bridged to the telephone network, it is not secure. Wireless network providers have access to this data.
The only way to experience true end-to-end encrypted communication is by messaging or calling another contact with their Jabber ID using OMEMO encryption. This is the recommended method of communication. Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to sign up for a Jabber ID and use a Jabber client. Then you know your conversations are private.
TIP:Once your friends and family sign up, add their Jabber IDs to their contact information on your device. De-googled Android phones have a Jabber-specific field in the Contacts app.
When you set up Cheogram for the first time, it asks you to give permission for dialer integration:
Cheogram Android is able to integrate with your system's dialer app to allow dialing calls via your configured gateway cheogram.com. Enabling this integration will require granting microphone permission to the app. Would you like to enable it now?
As long as you answered, YES, then dialer integration will be enabled.
On older versions of Cheogram, you may have to call someone with your JMP number first. Then you can integrate it with your native dialer app.
Manual Instructions for Dialer Integration: To manually enable or verify dialer integration, follow these steps:
- Make sure cheogram.com is added as a contact in the Cheogram app and shows status ONLINE. You may have to confirm this when adding by pressing the 'Add Anyways' button.
- Open your native dialer app
- Click on the 3 dots in the top right corner of the screen
- Select Settings
- Select Calling accounts
- Enable your Jabber ID account to make calls
- Select Make & receive calls and select your Jabber ID or Ask first
WARNING: The Make & receive calls setting may be reset after restarting the device. The fix for this bug is included in the Android 14 upgrade.
Manage Your JMP Account
In the Cheogram app, tap the cheogram.com contact, then COMMANDS. Here you can accomplish any account management task. The full list of commands are below.
Show Account info
Show Call Logs
Record Voicemail Greeting
Credit Card Settings and Management
Buy Account Credit by Bitcoin, Mail, or Interac e-Transfer
Manage your plan, including overage limits
Refer a friend for free credit
Create a new phone number linked to this balance
Create or Reset SIP Account
Port in your number from another carrier
Change your Jabber ID
Register with backend
NEED HELP? You can chat with JMP support directly from within the Cheogram app. Simply tap the round conversation bubble icon at bottom right, enter the support number, +firstname.lastname@example.org, and ask a question. You will get a response within 8 hours.
TIP: Another way to ask questions and enjoy discussion with the JMP team is to join the official discussion group at email@example.com
Manage Your Jabber Account
If you want to make changes to your Jabber account, go to https://digitalprivacy.chat/ in a web browser.
- Log in with your Jabber ID and password
- Select Edit profile to change your display name, avatar, or profile visibility
- Select Change password to change your password
- Select Manage your data to export all data associated with your account
Other Jabber/XMPP Clients
When it comes to communicating with friends and family, you are not limited to the Cheogram app. in fact, you are not limited to a smartphone. There are Jabber clients supported on all platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, BSD, Linux, Mac, and even web browsers.
TIP: In addition to your smartphone, you can call or text anyone from a compatible Jabber client on a laptop or desktop computer equipped with a microphone and speakers!
Enjoy exploring the lists of Jabber clients. Install one on your favorite platform and give it a try.