Calling card platform

Hello. I’m interested in starting a calling card busines. If this is not the place for this questions please direct me to correct forum.

Base on what I found so far i would like to start with aprox 100 calls and yes, asterisk platform. My main concern is the telephony hardware I should use.

Example: I have my server, what would I need in my server to service 100 internatioanal calls. or 100 people calling internatioanal at the same time. and when I buy asterisk can I adjust it to service a prepaid calling card solution.

Any help or directions will be appreciated.


the hardware you need depends on how you’re going to connect these calls to their destination. via the PSTN and 4/5 T1 connections, or via a 'net connection. how do the users connect to you ?

voip, - I would have to get an a-z termination service and a gateway that will handle either 48 to 96 calls simul. with T1s and I was hoping to use asterisk as the billing platform. Does this answer the question? Thanks.

well if you are going to use T1s, dont use gateways- get some T1 cards. Sangoma and Digium both make good T1 cards…

if you go with VoIP that works fine too, just make sure your Internet connection can handle it and you have a good provider. Possibly open accounts with 2 or 3 providers, keep a balance on each of them and have it fail over if there is a problem.

That?s precisely where my problem leys. The hardware. Which is the best [/list]





Thats precisely where my problem leys. The hardware. Which is the best and most economical way to upgrade. A gateway will give me either 48 or 96 concurrent calls. Do you mean, I can set up t1 cards in my server instead of the gateway? And if so how many cards do I need to get 96 concurrent calls?

The customer will be calling in from a psnt to open their account or do it over the internet. Then they will have a number to call, enter pin number and make their call internationally via ?voip? with a-z voip providers I will get. I just do not want a very rinky dink operation. I want a good communication so they will call back and stay.

I also planed to buy Asterisk and use it as my billing platform. I have a good knowledge about computers just lost in telephony but, once the set up is done it is just a matter of maintenance. This is why I?m calling on you. If you know how to do it or done it before I need a hand. Thanks again.

well heres the thing
say you use PRI/T1 gateways.

That means you get
PRI -> (gateway) -> SIP -> Asterisk.

On the other hand, you can get a PRI card and stick the PRI straight into the * server,
PRI -> Asterisk
This will probably be far easier to set up than gateways. So yes, you can put T1 cards straight into your server. Digium and Sangoma both make such cards, with densities of 1-8 ports/card. Each port will take one PRI line, which can handle 23 channels. (The 24th is the control channel).
This option may also be more expensive, depending on local PRI prices. For 90 calls you will need four PRIs.

If you go VoIP, you will need to buy Internet connection sufficient for the amount of data you have. This will mean no PRIs, instead just VoIP accounts. This can work the same way- buy DIDs and pay for outgoing calls. It just transfers the call to you over the Internet instead of over a PRI. This is often much less expensive as no physical circuit is required. Also, you can use a compressed codec like gsm, iLBC or g.729 to reduce the amount of data traffic each call generates. This can also be very reliable, but the key is to get a good provider. There are many reseller providers you can get, or if you push enough traffic you may be able to negotiate directly with a large provider like XO or Level3. You can also get accounts going with several providers, and switch between them as needed…

As for which option to use-
I can say definately dont get PRI gateways. Waste of time. If you get PRIs, get PRI cards.

As for if you should get VoIP or PRI, that’s up to you. PRI will probably cost more, but this depends on where you are.
If you go VoIP, I suggest buying a hosted server somewhere. Load * on that. This is the type of leased or colocated (colo = you send them your server, they plug it in their datacenter) server that would get a real 100mbps connection to major internet backbones, highly recommend if you go VoIP (it will also be cheaper than getting that big of a connection to you)

Hope that helps!

Thanks Bruce for all the help. Yes it does help. I was thinking of going PRI but not anymore. Will an internet connection at a co-lolcation do the job?
I was told I could use an IT link with a router with a pack of ip’s .

The things is I do not know and like you said, I want a good connection for the customers. I guess this would be a question for the people at the co.

Thank you very much.

hehe my name isn’t bruce, thats just a quote i have in my sig. No idea who that is.

Yes a colo’s connection will usually do it but specifics help… ie 100mbit symmetric?

You just need a fast connection that will use a lot of bandwidth…

Co_lo is a must for this type of buisness
and no less than 2 servers (1 live and 1 backup if not two live with 1 backup) computers are cheap for this.
for billing and web site use this is a COMPLETE solution for you.

If you need GREAT hosting on in First class datacenter, FEMA used the location after Katrina Cuz they were the only place with power and INET.

I never missed a beat during or after Katrina
I had a phone in the 228 area code working when no one else (ok very few had phones which worked)

I have setup the a2billing and it is great (FREE to)
see for co lo / or they can provide a Voip only system for you…

I am also working a VMware setup of a2billing with free in network calling.

Sorry IronHelix, Thanks again though. You have been a real help and I want to thank Bubba. By the time I received your quote I had a2billing in my computer. I saw it yesterday and you are correct it looks perfect. I posted another quote because I had asterisk 1.0.9 installed on fedorea core to play with and learn but had not used it for a while and yesteday as I entered the commands it was giving permission denied error, but I want to bring it up to test the a2billing.

Thank you both for being so kind, I have to start learning the bit of linux I new all over againg, This time I get to get it going.


also you’d want to upgrade to the new version. 1.0.9 is VERY old, we are now at 1.2.12 and 1.4 is in the pipeline.

Yes, like I said I’ve had this one for a while on an old computer for testing. I’m upgrading this weekend. Thanks.