Many questions


#1

Scope
I am also very new to VoIP and stuff. Company has entrusted me to seek for a cheaper/free solution(s) to call overseas fixed land lines and even cell phone lines.

Overview
We have a total of 6 sales persons making alot of trunk calls to every part of asia and europe, fixed land lines and cell phones.

I do have a P4 2.8Ghz, 1GB DDRam, 80GB HDD, built-in 6 channel sound card(realtek chipset), running Fedora Core 3 which is the router for our internet and intranet(surfing the net and for emails). It is connected to a DSL modem and of cos a dedicated fixed land line. This ASDL line is a 1500/384kbps.

Enquiries
1)Is it possible to dial trunk calls to fixed line/cell phone? If yes, what hardware(s) do i need? Will there be any cost to place this type of calls?
2)Can I use back the dedicated fixed line for this setup?
3)What other type(s) of hardware do i need to get for the sales persons?
4)Will the above hardware configuration suitable for this purpose?

Thanks and please expect more questions from me.


#2

I believe the people you are calling over seas either need to have a VoIP server of their own, or be on a VoIP server provider of some sort in order for you to save any money on long distance.

As far as cell phones go, you would probably have to call your local asterisk server, and then be patched thru over seas. So in actuallity, the cellphone users would be talking to the server, which would in turn be talking to the people in asia.


#3

first, welcome to asterisk :smile: I assume by ‘trunk calls’ you mean long distance.

you want a few things (here is what they are called)

VoIP termination (outgoing calls). You want to use an internet telephony service provider (ITSP) to get cheap/free calls overseas using your Internet connection.

Direct Inward System Access (DISA), aka remote cell phone access. If you can get a call into Asterisk, either with an ITSP or an analog interface card, you are 99% of the way there. You set this feature up in the dialplan (extensions.conf)

Your hardware is fine. Asterisk uses very little CPU power unless you are either encoding to a low-bitrate codec (like G.729 or iLBC). Your system can easily support ~10 channels of telephony if it’s doing nothing but routing.

It is possible to use Asterisk to terminate calls to PSTN numbers (landlines/cellphones/etc). You won’t need any extra hardware to do this, if you do it with an ITSP. You will need an ITSP to do this, or use your current landline. Sadly, it’s usually not free. There are a number of ITSPs in the USA that offer unlimited calling to the USA and Canada for a flat monthly fee, there may be one like that where you live. There is a very large series of lists here: voip-info.org/wiki-VOIP+Service+Providers . Since you are using Asterisk, you will need either one from the B2B list or one from the other lists that supports BYOD (bring your own device, becuase you want to use Asterisk instead of their phone adapter).

For your sales people- you can setup (very cheaply) a DID (phone number) from an ITSP that will feed straight into Asterisk. The advantage of this is that more than one person can use it at a time.
If you want to connect * to your existing landline, you will want a Digium TDM400 series card with at least one FXO (red) module such as the TDM01B bundle.

Aside from interface boards for POTS/PRI/ISDN lines, you don’t need to purchase any additional hardware.
All of the features Asterisk offers are programmed in software, so if you want to change your system’s behavior, you can do it by editing the Asterisk configuration files instead of having to buy PBX feature modules.

also I suggest you try the book Asterisk: The Future of Telephony. It is available from O’Rilley or you can download it for free under the Creative Commons license from asteriskdocs.org . It provides a solid introduction to Asterisk’s capabilities and how to utilize them.

Hope that helps!


#4

Yes. What you are looking for is an internet telephony solution. There’s a list of some ITSPs (internet telephony service providers) here:

voipcharges.com/distribution … ountry.php

With Asterisk, you can have any number of accounts with as many ITSPs as you like in as many different countries as you like.

At the bare minimum, you don’t need any hardware at all - except a headset. However, that would mean you had to connect the headset to a computer and make calls using a software phone (“softphone”) (there are plenty available free).

Yes, but it is often cheaper than making calls through your landline telephone service provider.

I don’t understand what you mean by this

voip-info.org/wiki/index.php?page=VOIP+Phones

[quote]4)Will the above hardware configuration suitable for this purpose?
[/quote]
That depends entirely on how big the operation is. For a small office with only a few simultaneous calls, it should do the job - depending on what else is running on the server, of course.

Read this book - and buy it, to support the author and publisher and ensure there’s a next edition!

voip-info.org/wiki/view/Aste … +Telephony