General questions about analog phones and Asterisk

We have an old analog phone switch that we want to replace. At this time we still need to use the analog lines that are in place. We have around 1000 lines on our campus. They all terminate in a central location. I am very interested in using Asterisk. We would like to roll out IP phones but that might be down the road a bit. From what I have read we can use our analog phones with Asterisk if we use Analog Channel Banks. Is this practical for 1000 lines? If so who makes equipment like that? I am pretty new to Asterisk and phone stuff in general. Any info is great.


channel banks would be my first option, but for a thousand lines you’re going to need either a lot of channel banks (usually seen in 24-48 densities) and a lot of T1 interfaces in your Asterisk box. perhaps someone else can post examples of higher density options.

what would be preferable perhaps is a SIP gateway, perpahps something like those made by Citel , the only thing spoiling that is the cost per port … up to about US$100 each.

another option might be to go for lots (and lots) of either SIP or IAX2 ATAs, like the LinkSys PAP2. a decent Asterisk installation can easily handle this many SIP/IAX2 users, but obviously you need to balance it against infrastructure costs and the TCO of such a setup.

Thanks for the reply. I will continue to look for options for a large installation like this. Any further information is greatly appreciated.