Newb question

After researching my options I am going with analog phone lines instead of voip as the business is in its infancy stages with about 4 people in the office full time.

My question is if you have 1 phone line and you are talking to someone what will happened when someone else calls. Will they hear a busy signal or can asterisk put the second caller into queue? And if yes how many people can be in queue? Thanks

they will hear a busy signal. With VoIP the call will go through as most VoIP carriers allow at least two concurrant channels.

So is my best solution to have two phone lines? Is it possible for asterisk to grab the call waiting and put the caller into queue on the second line? Or will someone need to call the second number?

I wish i could have 2 lines with one number. Is this possible?

To get “one” number with two lines that way, you will have to have them set up a hunt group through your provider. It will always look at the state of the first line and if it’s busy, it will roll over to the next.

Ahh so the hunt group is set up through the provider. Thanks

Now is a hunt group only for inbound or does it work outbound as well? What I mean is if someone is using one of the two lines in the hunt group can i pick up the phone and dial out on the second line? Will asterisk find the second open line in the hunt group and allow for me to dial out on it?

my understanding with voip is that you can have one DID phone number with multiple channels (usually starts with 2 for basic service, but you can buy more). So you could have two people calling you at the same time with just one phone number.

You can then set up a call queue so that you talk with one person, while the other person listens to music on hold. After you hang up, the phone rings again.

You can have multiple DID’s if your customers in some other area don’t want to dial long distance. You just set up another DID for that location.

If you have POTS- say two lines (111.1111 and 222.2222). You advertise 111.1111 as the number for your biz.
Put these two lines in a hunt group

caller dials 111.1111. line1 rings, is answered, etc. second caller dials 111.1111. line2 rings, is answered. third caller dials 111.1111, gets busy signal.

You dial out. call goes out on line1. You dial out again. call goes out on line2, AND CALLER ID SHOWS UP AS 222-2222 unless you can get the phone co to change this (less likely).

With POTS, each line can have one and only one audio channel. Call waiting service is next to USELESS with asterisk because connecting the 2nd caller disconnects the 1st one.

Hunt groups are for incoming. Asterisk does the same thing though using zaptel groups, pick a free line and use it.

VoIP (assuming standard provider type, allowing two channels).

In/Out works the same: first caller calls, goes through. second caller calls, goes through. third caller calls, gets voip provider voicemail.

2nd outgoing call will show correct caller id.

Thus with either setup you can have up to 2 calls going at once. However with VoIP, it costs a lot less, the 2nd outgoing call has correct CID, and the 3rd caller gets voicemail for no extra charge (telco charges $10/mo+ for this service usually).

And on either setup you can have a call queue (callers wait on hold with MOH to get a rep), but each caller on hold uses a line/channel. Keep this in mind.

Is it really cheaper for a 4 phone operation? Techs at talco and voip companies have been specifying to me that unless you have a t1 you should stay away from voip. They say that voip is fine over aDSL with basic service but once you want to handle more than two channels you are throwing dice. Now a remedy is sDSL but its gosh darn expensive. Good up speeds at about 1 - 1.5 mbs run around $100-$50 shy of a T1 line. Now maybe downtown chicago is expensive then other areas and so I guess i am unfortunate.

With aDSL I can have 3mbs down and 512 up for 39.99 per month. Add in probably $60 for 2 POTS. Now if I go with SDSL it runs me $150 - $200 for 768 kbs down and up. Now 768 up has been advised to me that it is the least that i should play with for my setup and the basics that I want to accomplish with Asterisk. Also I need to factor in voip monthly charges.

If I am looking at all the angles correctly and please correct me if i am wrong it is best for me to have 2 analog lines running with Asterisk and aDSL for my internet usage. Also have sip phones wired into my network.

no reason why ADSL won’t work if you allow for enough bandwidth. You also ARE GOING TO NEED qos control on your WAN (dsl/etc) link, but that applies no matter what you have.

highest quality codec (g.711 ulaw) uses about 80kbit/sec/channel when you include overhead. Lowest bandwidth codec (g.729) uses about 15k including overhead. Budget accordingly. 3mb down 512 up will do fine if you have good qos control and your dsl provider doesn’t suck.

Altho if you’re getting a T1 then you might consider getting phone service thru that too… you can split them between voice and data and * can use PRI.

Also on the pots you can get CFOB call forward on busy
and forward to a all you eat inbound did froma voip provider
and get outbound calling from them as well

  • will allow you setup the system to use the pots 1 st. then go to the outbound voip

with CFOB and provider who allows more than one call ( is 4 I think) you can have the second call answered or let go to voicemail