Asterisk Newb Looking 4 Advice On Call Center Configuration

I think I might have a small idea on how to configure my asterisk server for our call center utilizing VoIP, and wanted opinions on hardware to purchase and also to make sure my understanding of the parts I need to assemble the system is complete.

This is the call flow diagram:

  1. Call inbound over PSTN provider Nuvox Communications
  2. Nuvox takes call on PSTN and converts to VoIP call
  3. Nuvox sends the call over our digital PRI
  4. Digital PRI sends the call to our Asterisk Server which has a PRI Analog Interface Card
  5. Asterisk decides which extension to send the call to, or place call in queue.
  6. Upon finding open extension, Asterisk sends call out through Station Cards
  7. Extension rings VoIP phone which uses a standard ethernet connection to connect to the Station Card on the asterisk.

I have a couple of questions about the hardware setup:

  1. One thing that confuses me is the need for the PRI Analog Interface. If we’re operating on VoIP, and the end piece of hardware is a VoIP phone that is connected to a station card on the Asterisk server, why do I need an “analog” interface for the PRI card? If the PRI analog interface card is the wrong hardware to add to the Asterisk server, what type of card would I need?

  2. What type of wire will connect the PRI to the Asterisk server? Is it a simple ethernet connection? If not, what type of cable connects the PRI to what special card on the Asterisk server?

  3. What type of wire connects the Asterisk server to the VoIP phones? I believe it is a standard ethernet wire. If that is not the case, what type of wire would I use to connect the extension to the Asterisk server?

  4. Lastly, and most preferentially, I’d like to have computers act as their own extensions. So all I would need to do is basically transfer the call to an internal IP address on my network. The extension would be an internal IP address of the computer is what I am thinking. Operators would connect via a USB headset directly to their station which would handle the actual voice communications. Does asterisk offer any type of user interface for client computers connecting to it wishing to receive and place calls in said fashion?

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!