[newbie] What is required for VoIP?

I am a student of computer science and I would like to experiment with VoIP at my university.
To be specific, I’d like to set up some sort of my own gateway.

Here is what I was hoping for:

I take a regular linux box plus some software (gateway) and hook it up to our LAN and also to our ISDN/POTS.
Somewhere within the LAN there will be IP phones and/or PCs with headsets and a VoIP Software.
Once a user initiates a call, it is handled by our own gateway which routes it into the ISDN/POTS.
Since this ISDN/POTS has some phone numbers, the gateway should be able to handle incoming calls, too.
If such an incoming call is registered, our gateway should be able to route this call to the associated IP phone or PC (which should then do some signalling job)

Okay. Now here is my question:
I am supposed to come up with a list of what material we need.
So I’d like to know from your experience
-what software I need for the gateway
-what software I need on the IP Client computers (PC workstations)
-what hardware IP phones we should consider buying
-what network interfaces or ISDN cards we should use for the gateway
-what other equipment we will need
-what else is there to know and consider?

Thank you so much for your greatly appreciated help!


as a student you’ll be used to doing some research. as a student of computer science you’ll be familiar with looking at web pages. knock yourself out !


Yes, I am used to research and I have looked at a LOT of web pages, believe me!

But you see, there is a multitude of different approaches out there and I am hoping to get some input from your EXPERIENCE - I am not trying to make you do my work.

I know that there are many software and hardware products out there - but what will actually work together? Which constellations will do what I want? Where are the problems in real life? That and more are questions that can only be answered through experience. And experience related input is what I am seeking here.


what software I need for the gateway ?

This one is easy, Asterisk

Read AteriskTFOT.pdf - first you should find it in the Web of cource, or you could buy it.

and the wiki is built by people recording their experiences for the good of all mankind … and even students.

if you want experience, and your OP would indicate this to be true, then you need to get your hands dirty. read the wiki, do an install, play with it. you’ll learn more than me telling you what to do.

edit: heck, even my sig gives you a starting point !!