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6 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 14955 27-Jul-2007 17:15
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Hi there,

First time poster - thanks for your patience and answers.

Basically, I have spent most of the day trying to find information out, doing some calls and not really getting anywhere fast, and I think it has alot to dowith the fact I am not sure about what questions to ask.

In the States is a system called Vonage, which I really liked, and got quite excited when I thought, oh we're getting digital telephone services too.

I went to a small business expo, and saw a PBX system for VOIP services and thought that I would quite like something like that being that I make alot of local and international calls.

Anyhow, I am not sure what I need to do.

What I want to do, is have a local access number that my clients can use, a tollfree number and be able to forward calls to my cellphone and those of my team free of charge.  

I would also like to have local access numbers for places in the United States and Australia, and have calls routed to my desk phone, or my cell phone if necessary.

Can anyone shed some light on what I need ??

Thank you soo much!!
Cheers
K

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  Reply # 80037 27-Jul-2007 17:42
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Hi Rollypop and welcome to Geekzone Smile 

rollypop: What I want to do, is have a local access number that my clients can use, a tollfree number

These first two are easy and cheap.

rollypop: and be able to forward calls to my cellphone and those of my team free of charge.

This is where things start to get expensive.  The best deal I know of to forward calls to your cellphone is offered by WorldxChange Communications via their VFX VoIP service.  You can forward incoming calls to your cellphone for 27c + GST per minute.

Not exactly free is it?  And the costs start to add up when you have several members in your team.

This is because NZ has a cosy mobile duopoly who have been happily maintaining an inflated scale of mobile phone charges for years.

Compare this with Western Samoa where I have spent some time this month:

*  Prepaid Calling Rate is NZ 24c incl. VAGST per minute with no contract whatsover (compared with 49c incl. GST here)

*  Contract calling rates are around 11c incl. VAGST per minute (compared with around 20c incl. GST here)

*  Sending Text Messages is free (compared with 20c per SMS here)

Samoa is by our standards a poor country, yet they have two GSM networks which are true competitors:

*  Digicel which is privately owned and has island-wide coverage
*  SamoaTel which is government-owned and has patchy coverage

Sorry for going Off-Topic there but it illustrates how much we are being ripped off for Mobile Phone charges in this country.

rollypop: I would also like to have local access numbers for places in the United States and Australia, and have calls routed to my desk phone, or my cell phone if necessary.

Using SkypeIn numbers in the various countries would be the best way to achieve this.  Costs are around 10 Euros per year for SkypeIn numbers in most countries last time I looked.  Forwarding SkypeIn calls to your mobile is more expensive than WorldxChange, but forwarding to NZ landlines is either free or a minimal untimed charge, AFAIK.

I hope that is of some help.  If you need further details, I can point you to the various web sites.

Cheers,
Grant.



6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 80038 27-Jul-2007 17:47
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That is great stuff!! Thanks Grant.  I wasn't aware of the Skype-in numbers so this is fantastic news!!

One thing I noticed, with alot of the VOIP service providers here in NZ that provide the SIPS service for the trunk (don't really know what I'm saying here) is that their calling rates to say USA are not capped like with Telecom for example.


Yes, I know we are getting ripped off here in NZ for mobile calls.  I lived in States for years, and it was an adjustment getting used to the fact, cell calls were local calls, and free!!

Regarding forwarding, I could use a PBX system and tie into a freedom plan and effectively get my calls forwarded for free under this plan yes ?

 
 
 
 




6 posts

Wannabe Geek


Reply # 80039 27-Jul-2007 17:49
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That is great stuff!! Thanks Grant.  I wasn't aware of the Skype-in numbers so this is fantastic news!!

One thing I noticed, with alot of the VOIP service providers here in NZ that provide the SIPS service for the trunk (don't really know what I'm saying here) is that their calling rates to say USA are not capped like with Telecom for example.


Yes, I know we are getting ripped off here in NZ for mobile calls.  I lived in States for years, and it was an adjustment getting used to the fact, cell calls were local calls, and free!!

Regarding forwarding, I could use a PBX system and tie into a freedom plan and effectively get my calls forwarded for free under this plan yes ?

Post Edit:  PS, thanks for the welcome, I am feeling very geekish! Wink

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  Reply # 80042 27-Jul-2007 17:53
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rollypop: Regarding forwarding, I could use a PBX system and tie into a freedom plan and effectively get my calls forwarded for free under this plan yes ?

YES, you could.  In fact that's a great idea which would accomodate each member of your team.

To do this, you would need a Telecom Landline and each team member would need a Telecom Mobile.  Then you pay $10 per mobile per month to have the Telecom Freedom allowing unlimited calls from your landline to and from each of those mobiles.

The only drawback is that you have just one landline.  If it is busy with one team member, nobody else can make or receive a free call.  I guess you could have 2 or more landlines, each with the $10 Freedom option for each team member.  But that is going to get really expensive quite quickly.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 80043 27-Jul-2007 17:57
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Yes, I see what you're saying - too bad telecom, or any other provider doesn't do those virtual numbers anymore.

Is there a way around this ?  Or will there be any "changes" in the future that might loosen this up a bit ?

Also, and sorry to bombard you with questions - but do you have any recommendations for PBX suppliers, or systems ?


Thanks so much, I've had more help here than waiting for callbacks from "suppliers".

Cheers

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  Reply # 80045 27-Jul-2007 18:11
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rollypop: Also, and sorry to bombard you with questions - but do you have any recommendations for PBX suppliers, or systems ?

I think you will need to get quite a fancy PBX in order to accomplish what you are trying to do.  In this day and age it doesn't make sense to get a legacy type PBX, you are better off to go for a VoIP-capable one.

WorldxChange is the best VoIP provider in NZ that I know of, and they partner together with 3Bit who provide IP-based PBXs at a reasonable price.  Still around $1200 the last I heard, but that is way cheaper than buying a "solution" from Cisco, Avaya or the like.  Here are the relevant web sites:

WorldxChange's VFX service:  http://www.xnet.co.nz/vfx/

Hardware to work with VFX:  http://www.xnet.co.nz/vfx/hardware.shtml

3Bit VoIP PBX:  http://www.3bitvoice.co.nz/category/ip_pbx.aspx

Have a look and see what you think.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by:  "too bad telecom, or any other provider doesn't do those virtual numbers anymore."

They do still offer Centrex numbers if that is what you are referring to, but these get expensive, and I'm not sure how they will help in your situation.



6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 80048 27-Jul-2007 18:39
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thanks for that! the VOIP PBX system I was looking at was around 4-5K.

Good to know there are other alternatives.

Well, what I was thinking, is there a way to have a "virtual" number, I suppose like a  skype-in number for New Zealanders so I could have say 3 lines, but only pay for 1 landline, I know I'll have to pay for the freedom or Talk 0 plans, but I don't mind that so  much as paying 20 per line.

Thanks again

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  Reply # 80050 27-Jul-2007 19:16
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rollypop: Well, what I was thinking, is there a way to have a "virtual" number, I suppose like a  skype-in number for New Zealanders so I could have say 3 lines, but only pay for 1 landline, I know I'll have to pay for the freedom or Talk 0 plans, but I don't mind that so  much as paying 20 per line.

This is where it starts to get tricky...

From what you are saying, the scale of this project is well and truly outside the residential arena, it sounds more like a small or even perhaps medium-sized business.  WorldxChange have a business-grade VoIP service called DVX that provides multiple SIP trunks into a device such as the Epygi PBXs sold by 3Bit.

That is all well and good, but you are still wanting to have zero-priced calls from landlines to/from mobiles and those two scenarios don't co-exist very well.

Telecom Freedom is a Residential-grade service designed for people like tradesmen who spend much of their time out on the road.  So far as I know, it isn't available on business lines.

This is getting quite complicated and outside my areas of knowledge.  I would recommend giving the guys at 3Bit a call on Monday and enlisting their help in designing a system for you.  While I haven't personally dealt with any of them, I'm sure that WorldxChange would not have chosen them as a parter, unless 3Bit's service levels were of a good standard.

26 posts

Geek


Reply # 80101 28-Jul-2007 11:30
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Hi Rollypop and Grant17,

I'm from 3Bit and though this might be a good time to say hi! :-)

Rollypop:

* Local Numbers & Tollfree numbers are very easy to achieve with your VoIP PBX. As Grant has mentioned WorldxChange can provide NZ numbers and 0800 numbers that your customers can call from any old standard telephone - however the calls get delivered across the internet instead of the standard telephone network.

The Quadro IP PBX product can also be connected to the traditional telephone network to give you the best of both worlds. We can even configure the Quadro for "Least Cost Routing" so if a call would be cheaper using the Telecom line then it will use that line instead of the VoIP line (to numbers on your Telecom Freedom for example).


* International numbers are a bit more difficult because most VoIP providers require that you have a billing address within the region before they will provide local numbers.

However, WorldxChange has partnerships with a lot of international carriers, and Phil (Maverick on Geekzone) indicated to me that they may be offering call termination for USA numbers in the future. This would mean your US customers could ring a local number and the call is delivered across the WorldxChange network to your Quadro. I don't know any more details at this stage sorry, but can find out more on Monday.


* In regards to forwarding calls to your team members mobiles for free, we can achieve this using Vodafone Talk Zone Zero.
The Vodafone TZZ plan allows free calling to other Vodafone TZZ numbers on your account. So what we can do is put an extra Vodafone TZZ SIM card into a device called a "Cellular Trunking Unit" (the CTU box connects to the Quadro PBX) and enables your staff in the office to make calls from their desk phone to your mobile staff for free - or calls from your customers can be forwarded through the CTU to your mobile staff for free.
Also your mobile staff can ring into the office for free, and, if they are feeling really keen, they can do what we call a "Call Relay". With Call Relay turned on, the mobile user would ring into the Quadro (for free, via the TZZ) and then could dial out to another number - effectively reducing the call rates from your Mobile to WorldxChange rates.

Hope this helps.
Matt

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Geek


  Reply # 80112 28-Jul-2007 13:16
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P.S.
Geekzone has done a review of a small Quadro PBX.
Take a look at http://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?contentid=7189  

Thanks



6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 80141 28-Jul-2007 18:14
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thanks for all of that - that's great.

I think I will be ok with the US number as I have an office there anyhow, so don't see why I shouldn't be "allowed" a US number.


All of this info is very helpful!   Hopefully, when I have some experience with the system, will be able to pass on some knowledge... knowledge shared, is knowledge gained.

Thanks again guys!

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 80223 29-Jul-2007 14:55
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You could also look at other providers such as http://www.2talk.co.nz/ - they will give you local numbers in different areas around NZ without having to have a physical address there.

They also have a more relaxed device connection policy so you can connect any SIP compliant device you choose.

hads




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