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VoIP solution using pots

Posted on 2008-10-06
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My company (small, 10 employs) is wanting to switch from our current really old PBX.

We'd like some sort of bridge from the POTS that run from the phone company to a voip system. We currently have 2 lines that make use of the same phone number. I'm not phone guru, so not how this is configured.

A couple of our goals are:
Spend less than $2000 for hardware (10 phones).
Support for caller id, call waiting, hold music, automated attendant, and other usual features.
Multi-line pots support. (2-3 lines).
Easy / minimal maintenance. We have a lot of tech-savvy people (niche software company), but no dedicated systems admin to spend time with it.
Ability to place a phone at another physical location via VPN or the like. Perhaps softphones or use of the VoIP software on many smart cell phones.



What would be a few good systems to consider?
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Question by:modsiw
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Expert Comment

by:kukno
ID: 22653444
Hi,

you should look at a VoIP "appliance", probaly based on Asterisk.

http://www.digium.com/en/products/appliance/
http://www.3com.com/voip/

Many others out there...

Regards
Kurt
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by:kukno
ID: 22653493
please consider, that you will have to buy new phones as well! Moving a "VoIP phone" to another location (through a VPN) is no problem at all. Actually that's one of the key advantages (besides cost) of VoIP.
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Author Comment

by:modsiw
ID: 22653793
I'm currently looking at: http://www.digium.com/en/products/appliance/

It looks like this thing is designed to double as a router. I would prefer to keep our current router / network setup intact and attach the phone devices to it..

Is it possible to use these on the same subnet & router as the rest of our network?
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Expert Comment

by:denisdsr20
ID: 22659898
The best way to reuse your Pots and turn them to VOIP device is to use ATA boxes (check ATA at grandstream or even Cisco), in this way whatever SIP/VOIP solution you choose you will be able to connect these POTS to a VOIP PBX without any hardware on the PBX.

Hope this Help

Denis / SR20
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Expert Comment

by:aleghart
ID: 22662341
There is a free version of Switchvox (now owned by digium).

The free version is software only, you provide the hardware.  You can use FXO/FXS cards, which are a little pricey.  Or, consider using Linksys SPA2102, which can handle two POTS connections and connection to your VoIP provider (the Switchvox PBX).

With the Switchvox PBX you can connect Polycom, Grandstream, Aastra, or most any other type of SIP standard phone.  Soft phones like X-Lite work fine too.  Great for remote connections on laptops.
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Author Comment

by:modsiw
ID: 22662434
I think we aren't communicating what I'm wanting to do very well. Probably my fault.

I want to run 2-3 standard POTS PTSN lines from the local phone company into our office. Once they are in, I want switch them over to a digital solution using our existing LAN and Internet connection to spread service from those POTS lines to physical phones.


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Expert Comment

by:aleghart
ID: 22664125
I thought that's what I was describing.
Use a bridge from POTS to VoIP (SIP).
Those talk to the PBX.
The PBX talks to other phones.
The phones can be SIP or tradtional with a SIP bridge.

This would let you use a traditional $10 single-line phone.
It is plugged into a bridge which speaks SIP to the PBX.
You can just leave it as a dumb phone.  The SIP adapter would be treated as an extension to the SIP PBX.
SIP-PBX-diagram.jpg
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Accepted Solution

by:
efg-uae earned 2000 total points
ID: 22828719
Hi
Just buy a HP or DELL Machine.
Install Asterisk Server on it. and out a Digium Analog Card for Pots line or Attach Link Sys SPA2102 with 2 FXO ports.
this will help you attach as much IP Phones over the Network. best and cheap solution for IP Phones are Polycom.
You can have IVR in Asterisk Server. it a complete PABX.
You can have Call Waiting. Call conference, Music on hold. Voice Mail and every thing which you can think about a PABX. later no if your business expands out a Digium Analog or Digital card into machine and extends the pots or digital lines.
 
 
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Expert Comment

by:ChopperCentury
ID: 22852322
The new ISR's from Cisco come equiped with Call Manager Express. You can get these for a good price. I know folks praise the cheap/free stuff, but best bet is to go with reliable/servicable.
Router: http://cisco.com/cisco/web/solutions/small_business/products/routers_switches/2800_series_isr/index.html
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