Sending calls via Internet (VOIP?)

jvice
jvice used Ask the Experts™
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I'm interested in being able to send out external calls via PHP or another programming language with a prerecorded message (media file). Exactly like PrankDial.com does (minus the pranking).

I need to know what is required to be able to initiate calls from a computer, not using any existing phone lines or phone service? Would I have to pay a gateway or is there a server I can setup, etc? There won't be many calls sent out, and they will be under 1 minute.

I want the most cost-effective way in the long-run.
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Technical Voip Support
Commented:
Look for a sip servcie provider.
You need to have access to PSTN and all the other phone services out there.
this is what a service provider should be capable of doing for you.
As for the automated calls (if you have a working sip account) check out the above mentioned
Asterisk or look for freeswitch:
www.freeswitch.org
Do  a google search for freeswitch and auto-dial to get more information.
You could setup the asterisk or freeswitch on a virtual machine.
Another solution would be to use some coding to place your calls (without the overhead of a full blown Voip-server like asterisk or freeswitch)
Check this out:
http://www.pjsip.org/

With this software you get a cmd shell to do simple call scenarios in an automated manner.
The same automated call scenarios can be programmed with SIPp:
http://sipp.sourceforge.net/
Although written with load tests in mind you can send out and control calls including prdefined voice files.

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