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SIP

Looking to provide VOIP and data across three offices nationwide.  I have the networking hardware (Cisco routers, Asterix servers, etc.) and a small IT staff.  I would like to order SIP services but I would prefer to use my own gear and not "rent" the SIP provider's gear.  I want control of my own hardware.  Anyone have any experience implementing publicly provided SIP service to get VOIP for thier offices?
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mrkent
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mrkent
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4 Solutions
 
memo_tntCommented:
hi
- if your astrisk is running & you manage it well then connect all parties to it through sip extensions,,
& create a trunk to one of voip providers, & route all international calls to it.
- or install elastix on your server from www.elastix.org
it's very easy wizard,
- then do step 2 above.
 I wish this ansewers you,,
if you need more help,,it's my pleasure to help.
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memo_tntCommented:
hi
- if your astrisk is running & you manage it well then connect all parties to it through sip extensions,,
& create a trunk to one of voip providers, & route all international calls to it.
- or install elastix on your server from www.elastix.org
it's very easy wizard,
- then do step 2 above.
 I wish this ansewers you,,
if you need more help,,it's my pleasure to help.
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heim0698Commented:
I recommend Vitelity.  They have two services, unlimited calling single channel Sip trunk, or pay by the min - unlimited channel sip trunk.  I usually go with the unlimited channel - pay by the min sip trunk.  Pay as you go, works well and I have installed these in many businesses.  
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mrkentAuthor Commented:
Thank you guys have given me something to look into.  I need to also do a little self tutorial...I'm not sure what is meant by "SIP extensions".

I come from the old telepony world.  VOIP and SIP trunking is relatively new to me and I want to take advantage of them as best I can.  From what you have told me so far would we be on the right path to do the following?:
I have an office in Chicago and New York and Los Angelos.  I want to do what we used to call "toll bypass" and also Foreign Exchange (FX) calling.  For example if a customer calls a certain number at our NY office, so it's a local call,  it actually rings a number at a desk in our Chicago office.
These are some of the things I want to do with SIP ( and if possible still be able to take advantage of my inverntory of Cisco and Asterix gear).
Thanks
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kode99Commented:
If you are just looking to route calls from existing lines you don't actually need a voip provider at all.  Asterisk servers can be configured to provide the routing as needed.  This would also apply to internal calls between offices which can also be automatically routed between your servers using your existing network infrastructure.  Assuming of course your existing setup can handle some extra traffic.

So your existing Asterisk PBX and networking hardware would be able to route incoming calls to existing phone lines/trunks to any phone in any of the offices.  The reverse is also true,  if you have flat rate trunks in all your offices the systems can also automatically check a call made from any office and actually place the call on a trunk in Chicago if the number is local to the Chicago office.

You would only need a provider if you are looking to add trunks for outgoing calls and/or additional incoming phone numbers.  Some voip providers do allow free calling for 'in network calls' - calls that do not leave their network.  If not you can end up paying for time on their trunks for interoffice calling.

Shop around on voip providers and always read the fine print.  I've yet to see a 'unlimited' that really was unlimited.  Also packages vary alot in the number of voice channels you get in base plans and cost to add more if any,  features included etc. Things like how they round call times off can make a big difference depending on volumes and calling patterns.  You may be familiar with this sort of thing with current long distance billing.  Some outfits rount to the nearest minute which can add up with volume.  I think Vitelity does 6 sec increments with no minimum call time,  actually pretty decent.

Vitelity is actually pretty up front with most charges,  they do have a couple of limits in the fine print on channels and incoming DID call volumes.  Quite a few voip providers support a client with Asterisk or other SIP capable PBX's directly.

Something else you may want to check is how a provider handles call-ID.  Some providers let you set it on the fly some don't.  If you are placing calls from one office through another you may want all calls to show a common 800 number or a return call number based on who made the call etc.
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mrkentAuthor Commented:
Thanks great information.
Don't want 800 number per se.  I will want a customer in New York for example to dial a local number in his/her 646 area code, and have it ring on the desk of the service agent in Chicago...
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mrkentAuthor Commented:
...So... will I be able to do that ?   -without using 800 numbers, be able to have a client dial a "local" number in New York and have it ring on the desk of the customer service agent in Chicago.  And have another client dial a "local" number in his/her native Chicago and have that ring at the desk of our salesman in New York.  Both clients have a local number (local to them) to dial.
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heim0698Commented:
Yes you can do that, just purchase a DID number for that local area and the caller will not be charged for the local call.  
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mrkentAuthor Commented:
Thank you!
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kode99Commented:
If you are using existing lines connected to your offices Asterisk can handle the routing without purchasing any further lines/numbers.  Assuming you do not need additional numbers or lines.

So say all customer billing is handled in Chicago.  So anytime a customer calls any of your numbers and chooses to go to billing,  the call would be routed to to the Chicago office's billing division. This would be transparent to the customer except of course the accent of the person answering the call.

If you are purchasing DID's you can buy them for anywhere.  So if you have lots of customers in any given city or area you can get a 'local' number for them to use.  Voip outfits are also very fast compared to traditional phone companies,  so DID's and trunks can be activated/deactivated on the fly in many cases.
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