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What can voip do for me?

I'm looking at changing up the phone system at our location.
We would be looking at getting 10 phones(users) up and running. So here are my questions.

As of now we have 2 verizon phone lines coming into an at&t spirit system(which can take in about 6 phone lines, and allow about 12 users to use all 6 of them) However, this is not simutaneously. If someone is using line 1 and 2. The other users are out of luck.

Will voip fix this. Can I have one line coming in from verizon and use some type of voip gateway to make simultaneous outgoing calls?

We recently got Verizon's 20 up/ 20 down service. So an actual voip service is definately an option. With a service like vonage can I order service get a voip adapter and run it into some type of switch that will allow me to hook up multiple ip phones and make simultaneous outgoing calls.
Consider in the solution, extremely low budget. And I like cisco ip phones.
As you can tell I dont know about setting up ip phone systems, but that is my goal an inexpensive IP Phone system that will allow my users to make simultaneous out going calls, and I need calls from one line (555-5555) to go to one specific users and then calls on (555-5556) to go to another specific user. And then they can be transferred wherever. Thank you so much.
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Reid PalmeiraTelecom EngineerCommented:
as far as the two lines coming into the system, there are voip solutions for the problem of having both lines busy but its going to be the same regardless of whether or not it's voip. you probably need to buy more lines for the key system you have.

as far as going low budgt, cisco phones are pretty much the opposite of that and if you want more of the useful features, you'll need to go wth a Cisco Call Manager setup which is certainly not low budget.

There are some alternatives, Linksys phones and an Asterisk based PBX like Trixbox or FreePBX would give you a robust, relatively low cost solution,

but I have to ask, is there something other than call capacity that's wrong with your current phone system? Setting up VoIP for a single office of less than a dozen people, especially if you've got limited experience with the practical implementation (phone programming, switch and router QOS configuration, SIP/MGCP/H.323 troubleshooting) can be a pretty serious undertaking to go through and following the old time-cost-quality triangle, you can have it cheap and working well but it's going to be a pretty big undertaking.

if you do want to go the route of voip phones, here's a couple of things to consider

1. poe? many IP phones are capable of getting power over ethernet, this means you don't have to use external AC power adapters on the phones, but it does mean you need to have cat5e cabling and the switches in your network need to be able to provide POE

2. QOS. some PBX's will take a direct PSTN connection (pri/bri, individual B1 lines, etc.) but if you're using a voip provider that runs over the Internet expect problems with call quality and probably with faxing/modems and other analog-type calls. there's no real qos across internet based voip providers and even compressed calls can be problematic.  even if your ISP is your voip provider and can gaurantee qos, you still need to implement qos on your LAN, this might mean splitting your voice and LAN data onto different VLAN's, or it may just mean tagging the voice RTP and signalling packets with different quality of service values such as IP Precedence, DSCP or TOSBIT, depends on the overall network as you design it and what your service provider will support for QOS.
zboxAuthor Commented:
Hey, thanks for the feedback.
I guess it really would be a pretty major undertaking. As far as the QOS goes I was planning to kind of hit the learning curve pretty quick. Also, once I have my stuff together and am able to logically get across what exactly it is that I'm trying to I have guys that can come in and help a little. But no free consulting. :-(
I also want to be educated so that I can come up with the best solution. And yea its not necessary now. But we're thinking expansion. And the location is a church and we have other churches. So the network could get pretty massive. And of course eventually we would have to switch to a more expensive more robust system.
One more question  As far as the Lynksis phones  and Asterisk pbx thinkg you were talking about goes. What is kind of a layout of what the setup would be.  Like for internet Its Outside Fiber to Inside Modem To router to switch to computers. What is the Layout for the type of setups you mentioned.
Reid PalmeiraTelecom EngineerCommented:
As far as the network layout goes you usually have something like

ISP<----fiber----><---media converter (modem)----><--(WAN)-your router--(LAN)-><---switch--->

then from the switch it feeds to the IP PBX via ethernet and to the IP phones. High level diagram http://www.hostedphoneservice.co.uk/images/pc-voip_network-2.gif

As far as the Linksys stuff goes, you might want to take a look at some of the Linksys One product lines, they're kind of designed around the small/medium sized market.

for overall voip architecture there's lots of example network diagrams and stuff on the web. take a look at http://www.nact.com/documents/VoIP%20Tutorial.PDF for example. it's a good overall look at architecture and how you might setup a system. Individual vendors will differ on the implementation and featrues and network architecture but high level it's a good start, then google around for something like "voip network setup example" and you can find some white papers, diagrams, etc.
zboxAuthor Commented:
I'm looking into some of this information you gave me. Very good intel, I appreciate it. Please give me a lil bit longer and i'll get back with this question. Thanks EE!

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