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To VoIP or not to VoIP

Posted on 2006-11-09
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi everyone,

I am 24 hours away from deciding on VoIP versus PBX. I like all of the features of VoIP and the configurability as well as the fact that communication technology seems to be moving in that direction. Price-wise it is about a wash either way.

I am setting up the LAN from scratch with Cat6 cables and with everything new. I will be using an Edgemark router and a Linksys SRW2024P 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch. The data connection is Time-Warner cable with a promise of 2Mbs to 5Mbs down and anywhere from 768Kbs to 1Mbs up. I had the option of using Great Works Internet solo DSL which would be about the same. I am over 15,000 feet from the CO, so I was a little concerned about that. The phones I will be purchasing are the Aastra 480i.

I am just a little gun shy, not so much because of cost of the phones, but because of the 24-month contract. I would probably go with a two-year contract with Verizon as well for the traditional phones, but I am much more familiar with traditional phones than VoIP.

I realize you can't make my decision for me. I am just looking for some advice.

Thanks.
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Question by:Bert2005
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grblades earned 400 total points
ID: 17913033
Personally I would go for a voip capable PBX and use standard E1/T1 lines out of the office for the phone calls. You get a more reliable connection that way and you dont have any issues with QOS.
That is basically what I did. We have an Asterisk server onsite and 40 GXP-2000 phones but external calls are sent over a E1 30 channel line. We have a dedicated 512K SDSL line also so that people traveling abroad can use a software voip client to connect to our PBX.

Bear in mind that if you are also going to send data over the internet connection then you will need QOS support on the router.
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by:mikeleebrla
mikeleebrla earned 100 total points
ID: 17915094
we just upgraded from 10 PBX phone systems to ONE IP phone system which will save us tons of money and the $550,000 price of the system will pay for itself in less than two years.  It is a dream. No more messing with 10 disparate phone/voicemail systems. Just one IP phone server and one voicemail server, thats it (plus the secondaries for redundancy of course). We went with  100% cisco, pricey but worth it.

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by:Bert2005
ID: 17915383
Thanks for the tips.

I think I am going to go traditional PBX for a year and then possibly switch to VoIP. There are a lot of factors including that this is a brand new office for pediatrics and has to be up and running. The porting may take 25 days, and the company who supplies the VoIP service hasn't returned my phone calls reliably. Ironically, I filled out the Letter of Authorization and nervously fed it into the fax machine, which was then "busy" for over four hours and never took the fax. When I emailed today about the fax, I was told to fax it on Monday.

This has nothing to do with technology, but I have a little problem when a service values your business so little that they can't even take a fax for three days. The head of the company told me this was a "bad time," to purchase because his wife was delivering a baby. I certainly understand that, but I need support 24/7 especially when I am starting up, and I can't worry about that.

I am going to go ahead and get the more expensive switch and justs use a Cisco PIX for my router. I guess that way when I do change over, I will just need the Edgemark and the phones, and I will be out the PBX phones, but I can always use a Cisco Router somewhere.

The other thing that bothered me about this company was that there is a new Edgemark coming out which will automtically switch your phone to the copper lines and is only about $100.00 more. But, it is coming out about two weeks after I need to be up and running. I made reference to the possibility of purchasing the old one and then switching to the newer one but got nowhere.

I spoke with a few companies who did business with them, and they were happy; but I get the feeling that if you have 50 to 500 phones, they are nice to you; but if you have only four phones, then maybe not.

Thanks for all the information. Do you think going with the $700+ switch makes sense when I probably only need a $300.00 switch? I am just hedging my bets if I switch.

Bert

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