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VOIP configuration ideas needed for startup business

Posted on 2006-11-16
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I have a prospective customer that is moving to a new larger building.

They are a 5 user office that might grow to maybe 10 users over the next year or two.

What would you suggest in terms of VOIP equipment if they were to go that route?

Would they be better off with a PBX and POTS?

I want to install a T1 for internet  and M$ SBS server running Exchange .

Is a single T1 adequate for data and VOIP?

Any websites governing metrics for this welcome.

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Question by:pgm554
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by:grblades
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You can use the internet for the voip calls but you can always have problems with the occasional packet loss so it is not as reliable. You are relying on parts of the internet working which you dont have any control over. Therefore I would suggest you segment part of your T1 line for voice and get a VoIP capable PBX.

A T1 gives you 24 channels. You could therefore have 6 channels for voice and 18 for data. That will give you the ability to support 6 simultaneous phone calls and 18*64kb = 1.152mbit data connection. To do this in practive you need something like a Cisco router with two T1 interfaces and a network interface. It will then combine the data channels and route it onto the network interface and pass the voice channels onto its other T1 interface which you can then connect to a PBX.

There are many choices for the PBX. You can either go with a mainly digital one with conventional digital desk phones but also have VoIP facilities so you can connect over the internet. Or you can go for an entirely VoIP system such as Asterisk and have VoIP based desk phones.
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The 3com v3000 is a good bet easy to setup and they have bundle deals at the moment (pbx,poe switch) TI for voice and data is more than ok, but if alot of internet traffic than get ADSL as well and use the sbs server to route all outgoing internet traffic through the adsl line or proxy it from the desktop

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3com v3000 is eol ,any other suggestions?
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Why not a hosted PBX solution?  No capital investment, managed service... and a t1 is more than enough bandwidth for those users... get the right service and you can lease the phones also...
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Take a look at turnkey Asterisk based systems, for example

http://www.fonality.com/

The features and flexibility offered by Asterisk type solutions are pretty hard to beat.  Growth is a non issue,  you can use just about any hard or soft phoneset you want and as many as you want.   All the hardware is non-proprietary as well.

Here's a calculator to estimate bandwidth requirements for digital calling,  
http://www.voip-calculator.com/calculator/lipb/

The voip would likely be fine as long as the T1 was not going to be heavily utilized for data service for the business in the first place.

Keep in mind that the level of reliability that voip has may fall short of the reliability we come to expect from traditional phone service.  Voip is totally unregulated and could be some guy with a fat pipe and some servers in his basement.  So be careful in choice of providers.  I still do not recommend anybody depend on voip alone for primary business phone service.  It can be a good add-on for anybody with heavy long distance needs though.

You can also get a 'trunk' type service from voip providers for asterisk systems.  Here's an example,
http://connect.voicepulse.com/
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