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374 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 105828 11-Jul-2012 22:25 Send private message

Hello,

At work we've currently got an aira 130 with primary rate and these days 10 channels and 20 or so local extensions. We are a standard office setup, we use the basic functions, hold, transfer calls between local extensions, we also redirect incoming calls to external numbers via our PABX, voicemail -- but that's about as complicated as it gets at the moment.

Telstraclear are offering us better pricing for the channels themselves and national call rates if we can move from primary rate to "SIP trunks". I'm a bit confused as to what our options are and hoping to benefit from people with practical experience.

1. Given SIP is just a layer 7 protocol like DNS or HTTP, if we are having to pay per "SIP channel", I assume we are just paying for a certain amount of guaranteed bandwidth on TCL's separate/dedicated IP network?

2. Is retaining the aria 130 and having it somehow accept SIP trunks instead of primary rate an option? (maybe using some intermediate device?)

The savings will be in the order of $3k a year, so new hardware is a possibility. Our existing phones already operate over a dedicated network (cat5e cabling to rj45 face plates), so potentially if we had a PoE switch, the IP devices (phones/headsets) and a PABX we could be ready to go fairly easily (configuration being the hardest part)

I like all the cool potential if having a IP based PABX onsite (e.g. using a mobile phone on wifi and routing calls over the IP PABX (e.g. using 3CX) to get better call costs), but at the end of the day working phones under all circumstances is most critical.

3. We have good quality server hardware (HP Dl380 G7's) running Hyper-V for our servers, are software based solutions ready for prime time?

And if we do use a software solution combined with TCL SIP trunks, given its IP based I assume the SIP trunks just get delivered over standard ethernet with rj45 connections that can be plugged into any server?

4. Are there any dedicated hardware PABX solutions that stand out for small to medium businesses?

Thanks

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Biddle Corp
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  Reply # 654294 12-Jul-2012 07:52 Send private message

You will probably pay per channel, ie per concurrent call. Integrating your current PBX would just require a SIP<->PRI adapter.

As for software PBX's Asterisk is the most popular solution, 3CX looks great on paper but I only know a few people who have deployed it and they've encountered numerous issues. If you look at Asterisk forget about running it in Hyper V, it's useless.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 654304 12-Jul-2012 08:44 Send private message

sbiddle: You will probably pay per channel, ie per concurrent call. Integrating your current PBX would just require a SIPPRI adapter.



Which TCL supplies at it's cost (not the customer) as part of supplying the product....




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 654328 12-Jul-2012 09:20 Send private message

Thanks, I will check with TCL. I think that staying with our current PABX and taking advantage of the cost savings is the best short term option.

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  Reply # 655238 13-Jul-2012 20:31 Send private message

Check compass out as long as you have cat5e internal structured cabling you can get a full sip pabx for a pretty good price. New phones I.e. Snom 821's "apple out" your office and move into the future we moved accros had our doubts but boy are we laughing now and have more money for beer at the end of the month

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  Reply # 656627 16-Jul-2012 19:44 Send private message

i ran a PBX with PRI interface and a SIPPRI cisco switch inbetween for a couple of years, a few years ago. all was fine. if telstraclear give you the SIPPRI kit at no cost, your current phone system does everything you need, and you get cheaper prices, then i'd say go for it. A lot easier and cheaper than deploying a whole new set of kit




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 656629 16-Jul-2012 19:50 Send private message

Regs: i ran a PBX with PRI interface and a SIPPRI cisco switch inbetween for a couple of years, a few years ago. all was fine. if telstraclear give you the SIPPRI kit at no cost, your current phone system does everything you need, and you get cheaper prices, then i'd say go for it. A lot easier and cheaper than deploying a whole new set of kit


Regs: TCL does not give the kit to any customer, it supplies the converter as part of the service but retains ownership of the gear. If the box goes faulty it's replaced under normal fault conditions (P1 fault meaning all service lost at site). It's telco kit and not really much use without the product....




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 656669 16-Jul-2012 21:00 Send private message

I think Reg was referring to the cheaper prices that TCL will give us for going with SIP instead of our existing PRI.

That's what I'm going to do anyway -- get TCL to supply the SIPPRI adapter/gateway and go with SIP utilising our existing PBX and phones for the time being. Thanks all.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 656688 16-Jul-2012 21:24 Send private message

blair003: I think Reg was referring to the cheaper prices that TCL will give us for going with SIP instead of our existing PRI.

That's what I'm going to do anyway -- get TCL to supply the SIPPRI adapter/gateway and go with SIP utilising our existing PBX and phones for the time being. Thanks all.


At Compass we can deploy a PRI gateway product if you are looking at going down that path.  Send me a PM if you want more info, even just another price to keep Telstra honest. 

Cheers



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 656919 17-Jul-2012 10:59 Send private message

Thanks for the offer, but I will stick with TCL for now. The majority of our charges relate to incoming 0800 calls anyway, and we have a really good account manager which is important to us.

(also if we were to considering moving in a year or two we are in Whakatane, TCL had to come and install their own fibre to connect us to their network.. I'm not sure how this would work with other providers...?)



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  Reply # 657755 18-Jul-2012 16:03 Send private message

Ok... so we will soon move to SIP trunks by connecting our existing PBX with a SIPPRI gateway. So it will go:

TCL IP Connect/SIP Trunks <--> SIPPRI <--> PBX <--> Patch panel <--> internal phones.

I'm still not 100% on SIP the protocol vs SIP trunks, so don't laugh too hard if I am off base. My question is - can I access the SIP trunks for calls not through the PBX? For example, I want to use a softphone or smartphone with SIP client (connected over wifi to a LAN) to make calls... but I want to use the SIP trunks instead of GSM.

Can I just provide access the SIP trunks over my LAN by using a ethernet switch? ie.

TCL IP Connect/SIP Trunks <--> Switch 
- Switch Port1 <--> SIPPRI <--> PBX <--> Patch panel <--> internal phones
- Switch Port2 <--> LAN/Wifi

Assuming I am not completely off base here and my question is valid:

1. What what are my options for being able to make outgoing calls? (do I need to setup a local sofware ip box, can I use an online service?)

2. Should I be able to have incoming calls come via the TCL SIP trunks from a non-TCL service (e.g. could I direct calls from a number with 2talk to the TCL SIP trunks) or would they restrict this access?

Is there anything else I should consider?

Thanks,
Blair

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  Reply # 657922 18-Jul-2012 18:50 Send private message

TCL will setup the PRI gateway to register on their IP telephony system with a SIP trunk that has a set of DDI's or just a bunch of channels like you have now the the primary rate.
If you want to use a softphone you could get them to set up another SIP trunk that you register directly to your soft phone but you wont be able to transfer directly between the soft phone and a phone on your PABX. It would have to be an external transfer which ties up 2 channels - kind of a waste. The trunk you have registered to your phone could either be a DDI that you can give out to people or it could be customer linked to another number that is known to people but then all calls for that number will be routed through your new DDI.
Basically, if you want to have the option to use the SIP trunks for the PABX on your softphone you need an IP-PBX and not a legacy system but if you are happy with your soft phone not being on your PABX then they should be able to offer that for you.



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  Reply # 658014 18-Jul-2012 21:23 Send private message

Yeah I realise they won't be on the same PBX so no easy call transfers etc, not worried about that at this stage. I'm mainly thinking in terms of small scale testing so that we can get comfortable with the technology.

If we are getting 10 concurrent calls is that "a SIP trunk" or is that 10x SIP trunks?

My idea was to utilise the existing SIP trunk(s) that we are paying for anyway. If we have to pay extra for a second SIP trunk with e.g. 1 concurrent call (that obviously cant be used with our existing PBX) then this is an extra expense.

But I guess there is nothing stopping us from setting up a secondary local IP-PBX, signing up to e.g. 2talk and using our 10Mbit/10Mbit "BIA" internet connection for that traffic anyway right? Obviously it will mean it counts towards our traffic limit, but otherwise I wonder would we notice the different? I guess it would just depend on the quality of the SIP trunks from 2talk vs TCL?

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  Reply # 658028 18-Jul-2012 21:37 Send private message

You can think of a SIP trunk like a primary rate. It is one phone number with x amount of channels. But then if you want you can add DDI's to that sip trunk. The PABX then just looks at the DDI number and routes calls that way - just like primary/basic rate DDI number blocks work. Except with SIP you don't have to get a block of 10 DDI's and just add them as needed.
So I guess what I am saying is no you can't use the SIP trunk TCL will use to replace your PRI.
And if this is just for testing then yea just install a local asterisk instance and have a play.

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