Asterisk/Google Voice/WLAN and Deactivated Android Phones

Please be gentle because I know this is far out.

In a nutshell I want to know if Asterisk can be used on a local LAN with wireless AP’s and old Android phones running SIPDroid over the WLAN. At best using a Google Voice phone Number to get to the Asterisk setup. At worst I’d use it simply to communicate from android phone to android phone and not leave closed ecosystem.

Background, what I know and what I think I know:

What got me started on this mindset is the ability to use Google Voice and Android devices with the sipdroid app and a free service on the internet called PBXes.org. I believe that PBXes.org uses Asterisk as their backend. I started thinking that old android devices could be purchased from EBAY and not even attempt to activate them with any cell provider, simply use them for plant floor personnel to communicate to each other and replace relatively expensive motorola walkie talkies and repeaters etc. So that is my minimum usage scenario.

What I THINK I know is that asterisk is typically used with a T1 card or something similar to make the connection to the outside world… but then it dawned on me that it SHOULD be capable of doing this using whatever mechanism is allowing PBXes.org to link to the Google Voice numbers meaning that I might not even need any expensive connection to the outside other than my high end data connection to my ISP.

Yes, you can use Asterisk for using VoIP services on Android phones running SIPDroid over the WLAN. Just be sure to use quality AP’s for the Wi-Fi network, otherwise you might have some problems with call quality…

As far as the connection to the telephony service provider goes - Asterisk does not need fixed line to connect to the PSTN, you can use a VoIP service provider for calls to and from PSTN. When you do some research you will find that there is a lot of them out there on the market :wink:

Thank you very much for the reply. Actually connecting it to the PSTN is exactly what I am trying to get around. I really want to tie it the PSTN network through each one of the phones Google Voice phone number using whatever mechanism PBXes.org is using.

I guess another way to state my question is this… Can I emulate exactly what pbxes.org is doing with Sipdroid, Google Voice and android phones with ONLY using a asterisk box and a fast internet connection at my location? No BRI cards or anything in the asterisk box and no third party services.

No.

Also, in general someone has to pay for outgoing access to the PSTN. If it is not you, you need to be sure you know the business model of the person who is doing so.

It is theoretically possible to make VoIP calls to other VoIP users without using a service provider above the IP level, but, in practice, for security reasons, and because most calls still go to or from the PSTN, most people do not have their VoIP systems deliberately open to such calls.

Asterisk has assumptions about the PSTN and the use of something in a central office role, whether SIP or circuit switched, so it probably doesn’t handle point to point SIP traffic well.

Thanks again for the information. Reading between the lines I believe you are warning me but I’m so much of a newb to this I’m not sure which you are warning me about. Google Voice or pbxes.org? (or both).

If you can without a political stink please inform me or PM me if you don’t want to post for all posterity to see.

People provide services at a loss as:

  • loss leaders;
  • to gain market research information;
  • to attract advertising;
  • etc.

I don’t know details of the particular services you are referring to, but if you appear to getting a service for free, and you don’t know why the supplier is prepared to make a loss on it, you should be very cautious. If you do understand, you need to make a judgment as to whether that purpose is reasonable.

E.g. Google mail is well known for doing statistical analyses on the contents, and possibly directing advertising to the users. Skype provide free internet telephony as a loss leader for their PSTN access services, etc.

The original reason for free local calls in the USA was to get people into the telephone habit, so that money could be made on long distance calls.