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297 posts

Ultimate Geek

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# 16388 7-Oct-2007 15:25
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I emailed this to a user in response to an earlier forum that has been locked. Figured i would post it here for anyone else to see and comment on :)


You have a few options when it comes to getting your lines over to VoIP.

    1) Full VoIP internal & external
Use a VoIP provider like Slingshot iTalk, World Exchange, (you could even use multiple providers) etc to move your PSTN lines over to VoIP lines that connect with the provider's servers over the internet (or maybe a dedicated link). This will rely on them having lines available in your area code. It doesn't require any gateways at the exchange as such, it just requires the exchange to know to direct your numbers to their network (this is done by them when you sign up). Then you use a VoIP pbx system at your end (eg an open source one is the Asterisk system or sipX, and a multitude of commercial ones). This system will use something like SIP trunking or similar to connect to the VoIP provider and map DIDs to internal lines etc etc.


    2) VoIP internal PBX, analogue PSTN external.
Get a VoIP PBX system (eg Asterisk) in conjunction with an analogue PSTN gateway (the reverse of a VoIP ATA). The gateway connects to your normal voice lines for incoming/outgoing calls. You can also use this in a mix with VoIP lines to get cost advantages (eg use a VoIP provider for overseas tolls, local lines for local calls etc).


    3) VoIP internal PBX, ISDN external lines.
This is the setup we have just implemented at my work. We have a VoIP pbx with VoIP phones at desks etc, and have ISDN gateways with PRA connections to the exchange - we went this way because we have a bunch of lines so it would be impractical to use analogue gateways (using isdn means a 2 pair cable can carry a whole bunch of digital "lines" or channels instead of having to have a pair for each line).


    4) Multiple independent VoIP lines
This might be a cheaper option and simpler from an implementation point of view, but not so good for a business. You could sign up for a VoIP line for each of your staff, and give them VoIP phones that connect over your internet to the provider. Essentially the same as getting a phone line installed for each person, but using VoIP instead of analogue lines. Not so good when you want to have transfers, call groups, receptionists etc etc. Fine for a very small business with only a couple of people.


I'm not sure if any NZ providers do it yet, but another option could be to have a hosted VoIP PBX, where a provider hosts the PBX system, and all you do is tell them the number of extensions you want and the way you want them set up. Similar to all the options above, except the PBX system is hosted offsite, and the handsets just connect to it over the internet. Would reduce upfront cost maybe, but would require a large amount of internet bandwidth, especially if you have lots of extensions. This is kind of similar to the old telecom Centrex system where they essentially created virtual private analogue PBXs using fancy software at the exchanges.

You can use a mix of the above, and can go for cheaper DIY setups with relatively cheap gateways and a PC as your PBX, all the way up to fully managed commercial setups with redundancy and support etc. One of the things you need to watch out for is network contention & prioritisation. We have switches that use VLANs to seperate the VoIP and pc traffic and have multiple ISDN gateways for the phone lines so we don't rely on our internet connection. If you go for a Full VoIP setup you might want to consider getting a 2nd and/or dedicated internet connection, and set up your router(s) and switch(s) so that VoIP traffic gets highest priority if you can. We spent over $100k replacing all our network infrastructure to support VoIP (as well as improve the LAN) for around 200 staff spread over 3 sites + offsite reps (the system also incorporates an IVR system which increased the cost a bit). Was costly because we used enterprise class equipment from the servers to the switches, right down to the handsets and have multiple sites and multiple redundancy, but this is probably the extreme end of the expense scale for a business that size.

Just remember that while VoIP can give you a bunch of cost savings and smart features in the long run, it means that all your phone equipment now uses computers, and computers are complex machines with complex software setups that break sometimes! Analogue phones aren't very smart, but at least they are generally reliable without having to add too much redundancy!





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  # 89948 7-Oct-2007 15:31
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That's a great summary.

As for managed VoIP PBX services in NZ the only option I'm aware of is Commverge by CallPlus.




297 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 89952 7-Oct-2007 15:45
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Cheers :)
Forgot to say that these are business type solutions (unless you want to have lots of phone lines in your house!). There are lots of posts here about home VoIP solutions so not much point in my reiterating.

 
 
 
 


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  # 89953 7-Oct-2007 16:12
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A General Observations: I would pleased to be corrected or better informed

There is very little about using VOIP lines for soho or small business with a VOIP PBX

Everything talks about using an adapter, I have one, and once its configured using the info(link) worldxchange give you, nothing much else can be changed on it,

I would like to use something like 3bit's Epygi devices (or Asterisk), but no mention of how to get voip for this, or how much it costs, the chaps at 3bit said I would NOT be able to use the same account, that I have configured with my SPA3102, and were vauge on what to ask for

Like need to buy spa3102(or similar) for each line, then plug that into an analogue gateway?

There this is what I think I need

1 x Epypgi Box $1600?
1 x Epygi Analogue gateway $1200?
2 x SPA3102 $200

I could stump of for the $1600 for the switch, as I have several staff working from my house, and would be usefull to transfer calls from extension to etension and the benefits of remote phones will kick in, but cant bring my self to fork out for the Analogue gateway, it seems so  unnecessary

 





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Ultimate Geek

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  # 89957 7-Oct-2007 16:27
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Hmm I hadn't seen 3bit's gear. Looks like the have a pbx/gateway solution for PSTN analogue or ISDN lines in a single box. Just judging from their website, you'd need one of the boxes (choose whichever one has enough PSTN lines and internal IP extensions for your needs), and a IP phone for each person, and obviously a switch to connect them all together.

Thats bascially what I was getting at in the 2nd option where you have analogue PSTN lines connected up to a VoIP pbx via an analogue gateway - except the PBX and Gateway is all in one neat box - good thinking for SMEs looking for a shrinkwrapped solution I guess.

This doesn't suit if you want to use a VoIP provider for your external lines though. In that case you wouldn't get a gateway, you'd get an IP PBX (such as asterisk, sipX, or a commercial one) and set it up using either SIP trunking (a kind of commercial solution for multiple lines) or in the case of sipX at least (I assume the others do it to) there is a "back to back" SIP function where you can use a single SIP line (eg one provided by iTalk, World Exchange, etc) and use it just like an ordinary phone line shared between multiple extensions (except a little smarter because, depending on the provider, you can usually make multiple calls at the same time using that external line, but you can't do DDIs etc).
 
I've seen a few posts from a 3Bit guy, maybe he can correct me if i'm wrong here :)



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  # 89958 7-Oct-2007 16:31
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297 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 89960 7-Oct-2007 16:33
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Wait, i just read your post again. I misunderstood at first. I'm assuming you want to keep using the IP line. In that case forget the 3bit boxes - they're for connecting IP phones to analogue lines (eg you'd use your PSTN lines for incoming/outgoing calls).

So you want option 1 essentially - internal VoIP lines as well as external. You need an IP PBX that uses that "back to back" feature so that you can use your single VoIP for internal/external calls, and have internal extensions to transfer calls etc, and could allow remote sites to connect in if your internet connection is good enough.

Does that make sense?

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# 89962 7-Oct-2007 16:42
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mushion22: I'm assuming you want to keep using the IP line. In that case forget the 3bit boxes - they're for connecting IP phones to analogue lines (eg you'd use your PSTN lines for incoming/outgoing calls).

So you want option 1 essentially - internal VoIP lines as well as external.


But isn't this what the Epygi Quadro 2x does?




 
 
 
 




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Ultimate Geek

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  # 89963 7-Oct-2007 16:48
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Oh! My bad, looks like it does. Sorry!  I will PM Nathan from 3Bit, see if he can expand on what their website says, particularly as to whether you can choose your own provider or not.

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  # 89965 7-Oct-2007 16:51
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Hi Hamish,

There are other people apart from 3bit who deal with the Epygi Quadro gear and  with WorldxChange and other VoIP Carriers.

We have a full range of VoIP business solutions that are scaleable from 1 user to 100+ users and would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Having a IP PABX solution with a mix of ISDN or POTS and SIP trunking is not an issue at all, neither would be a total IP solution.

The Epygi Quadro range of Hardware will enable you to have an all IP based PABX or a Hybrid system if you wanted to retain some copper.

We also import the Epygi Quadro equipment into
New Zealand as well as a huge range of IP Phones, and Gateways.

Feel free to send me a PM is you are interested and I can contact you to discuss your needs further.

Cheers



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Ultimate Geek

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  # 89966 7-Oct-2007 16:57
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Oh ok. I was just going to get 3bits advice as it was from their website that I saw the info about the systems. And it's camo786 thats looking for the advice :) My needs are taken care of thanks, unless you're offering jobs in Wellington ;)

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  # 89969 7-Oct-2007 17:14
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sbiddle:

That's a great summary.

As for managed VoIP PBX services in NZ the only option I'm aware of is Commverge by CallPlus.



Watch this space.....

Wink


mushion22: where in the country are you and are you in business or residential premises?




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  # 89972 7-Oct-2007 17:20
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antoniosk:
sbiddle:

That's a great summary.

As for managed VoIP PBX services in NZ the only option I'm aware of is Commverge by CallPlus.



Watch this space.....

Wink


But the rumors have had TCL launching a managed business VoIP option for the past couple of years. Is TCL finally going to enter the VoIP market? :-)




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Ultimate Geek

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  # 89975 7-Oct-2007 17:24
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I'm in wellington, I work in the IT dept of a company that is in commercial premises, why's that?

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  # 89978 7-Oct-2007 17:41
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mushion22: I'm in wellington, I work in the IT dept of a company that is in commercial premises, why's that?


Lots of folk are in parts of the country that can only get copper services such as Frame Relay or Primary Rate lines. Access to fibre etc can still be hit/miss, or pricey.

Are your questions out of general interest, or are you looking.....?




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297 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 89980 7-Oct-2007 17:51
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Nono. I was just suggesting some options in response to an earlier forum that was locked. ( http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=43&TopicId=15408 )

You're right though, different areas will have slightly different options for connecting their lines. I suppose large enterprises would skip ISDN and use fibre interconnects etc etc. Small businesses in smaller towns might just use an analogue gateway. Principle is still similar though - Somewhere lies a PBX of some description, and that somehow gets connected to a PSTN, be it via POTS, ISDN, VoIP, fibre, Wireless, cup and string etc etc ;).

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