Super newbie question

Hello. Absolute newbie here.
I have a small company which wish to record their incoming calls and redirect them to proper employee.
I have a Landline and a GSM number ( SIM card ).
I have installed FreePBX which is having Asterisk inside, yet i am failing to understand what hardware i need to connect the Landline and the GSM number to the PC I have installed.
Thank You and advance guys !

In most of the developed world, copper pairs are being replaced by VoIP based services.

In most of the world GSM is no longer used for mobile phones

For the landline, you should investigate porting the number to VoIP and also look to see if your provider is moving to VoIP, and if so, whether they will give you the login details.

The second option, for copper pairs is an FXO SIP gateway device.

For the mobile, you would want a SIP to mobile air interface device. Whilst this might be described as GSM, you should ensure that it actually does 4 and 5G and the frequency bands used locally.

Sangoma do PCI cards for direct connection to analogue lines, but they may be too expensive for your purposes. There is a driver for HuaWei “GSM” dongles, but it is not supported by anyone.

Note that you will not be able to receive DTMF over mobile phone networks.

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Well… I am sorry for my not correct using of the terminology.
So - generally my landline operator shall provide me with VoIP device to which I shall connect the Asterisk based computer trough the network ?

No. Typically the landline operator provides you with a VoIP phone,or analogue telephone adaptor, and then replaces the analogue connection with a VoIP one. If they are prepared to provide you with the technical details, you can replace the VoIP phone or the ATA with a SIP based PABX.

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To be honest this is beyond my current knowledge.
So - basically as i understand - once i register for VoIP they will provide me some sort of user name and password ?
Can I use VoIP directly trough the internet connection i have, without need of some landline ?

You need to do your own research on what is available in your country.
Typically, in the UK, when digital switchover happens, they will give you a phone or ATA with the authentication details built in. You may be able to get those details to put into your SIP PABX, but they might refuse. Again in the UK, you can buy a SIP service from a third party, and, in most cases transfer your number to them.

I’m hazy as to what happens if you telephony supplier is not your broadband supplier.

What you can actually do depends on commercial and regulatory factors, which will vary between countries.

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I see… :expressionless: Quite a vague topic probably.

This may add to your confusion: Where do I find the VOIP access details for new BT Digital voice | ISPreview UK Forum

In most cases you use something separate from your VoIP provider, eg. a VoIP phone, or an ATA.

If you’re using the modem from the ISP they often assign the voice traffic a special channel (Naming varies based on technology, but see it as a VLAN), which get special treatment to ensure voice traffic is prioritiSed correctly, and to avoid the VoIP nightmare NAT can be.

If you’re not using your ISP’s VoIP service, your VoIP traffic is routed over the normal internet connection where it competes with everything else. Most ATA’s and VoIP phones will assign QoS parameters to the traffic, but I have no idea how many ISP’s actually respects QoS parameters from their customers.

But as VoIP traffic using alaw or µlaw takes about 128 kbit in each direction, for most broadband users, it’s a non-issue. If you run intensive downloading or streaming sessions and don’t have the bandwidth to spare, it can become a problem, but in my experience, as long as whatever devices are involved in the VoIP call are cabled to the network, it just works, once you’ve overcome eventual NAT issues. (Which Asterisk seems to do a pretty good job at, out of the box.)

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Go pure SIP with no additional hardware on the server.

Nearly 20 years ago, I realized that I was paying $40/month for residential PSTN telephone service while VoIP service would cost $1.50/month to rent a DID and around a $0.015/minute for ‘air time.’

I had a couple of years experience with Asterisk in a production environment and figured it was time to ‘eat my own dog food’ and save some money.

I installed Asterisk on some old underpowered (200 mHz AMD ‘Geode’ processor IIRC) PC, and picked up a ‘lot of 4’ used Polycom SoundPoint IP 501 SIP phones off Ebay for under $100.

After a couple of months I ported my landline DID to my VoIP provider (iax.cc → sixtel ->… ->vitelity → inteliquent → sinch ->???) for $20, discontinued my landline service, and never looked back.

I still use the Polycom as my ‘daily driver.’

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You are saying how the sophisticated user responds, but the real implication is that you are saying you lose the telephone service.

There is a situation in the UK where BT supply the copper wires over which nearly everyone who isn’t a cable TV customer gets their internet, but BT are also the ex-monopoly supplier of voice services. Up to now broadband lines have been identified by their landline phone number, although that link is being broken.

Although many consumer ISPs also resell the analogue voice capability, it is possible to have voice from BT and broadband from someone else. In that case the ISP provides the router. For BT to continue to provide voice, after switchover, they would have to provide the router, as their solution integrates the VoIP support into the router. I’m not sure how they would handle that. Maybe people like me are in a sufficient minority and BT doesn’t mind losing voice services to their ISP or third party, but I won’t be sure until the crunch date arrives, although I may well stop using BT as the voice provider, before then.

If there were a lot of people in that position, BT probably wouldn’t want to force them to get their voice service by other means, and it would be anti-competitive to force them to use BT as their ISP.

If you call the ISP, true, that’s how they would respond, but if you call a VoIP telco, they would tell you all about the options.

The situation here in Denmark, is about the same, our former monopoly owns the copper cables, while everyone else rent some sort of access to them, depending on the product they want to supply, they either get patched directly to the wire, or in case of internet service with voice from the ex-monopoly, the ex-monopoly terminates the traffic on their equipment, and sends the data traffic as ethernet to the ISP.

I believe the ISP in this case can choose between having the ex-monopoly supply the DSL equipment, or use something from an approved equipment list they supply.

So … as I understand - I can do VoIP over some other provider internet connection, but the phone number which is assigned to me shall be given by the main company ?

You get your internet from whoever makes economic sense based on your location and needs. E.g., StarLink, Spectrum, ATT, Frontier, etc.

You rent a DID from whoever offers the features you want at a price acceptable to you. E.g. Twillio, Sinch, etc.

Your internet provider may try to get you to ‘bundle’ data and voice. This is rarely (if ever) the cheapest and most flexible approach.

You can (usually) port a number you currently use to your VoIP provider for a nominal (US$18 IIRC) one time charge.

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Is there anyway to avoid the whole mess with the phone provider and just put my phone SIM into some device which to connect to Asterisk/ FreePBX and be done with all of this ?
I mean - do I need to have a VoIP provider or I can set some device which do the job done ?

The discussion about providers related to land line numbers, and was in the context of the imminent shutdown of the analogue phone network.

See my previous reply for direct access to mobile air interfaces.

That reply also covered the similar option for analogue lines.

Note that some countries may have legal restrictions on using the mobile air interface from fixed installations. The UK restrictions, if they still exist, would not impact personal use, but some countries might ban all fixed use of mobile air interfaces.

(The UK position is or was that you couldn’t resell services through them.)

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What exactly do you want to do? Where I work, we offer cellphone service, where we work with a Mobile Network Operator (MNO), who handles the radio network, when one of our customers make or receive a call, it gets sent to us as a SIP call, for processing, when we’re done we can either send it back to the MNO for delivery to the cell phone, or we can do something else, eg. terminate the call in a queue, send it out through another provider for delivery to the end destination etc.

But it does not sound like you want to be an actual telco.

SIP to GSM gateways would most likely be the easiest, but most likely most expensive, option to implement, if you want to just put a SIM card in a device, and use that for making and receiving calls. You should be aware though, that you might need to handle SMS messages somehow else, if you need to receive or send them. (Eg. has limits in your subscription, and get notifications by text)

Anything that’s play SIP, will make for the most simple setup. (Actually everything that’s purely one technologi, whatever it may be, is the easiest) But using certain cell dongles could work as well, the requirements would be as follows:

  • Must have linux drivers
  • Must support voice calls. (Not all dongles does)
  • Must be supported in Asterisk.

As I’ve never messed with it myself, I have no idea what to get in regards to equipment, but as others mentioned, the 3G networks are generally being shutdown, to reuse the frequencies for 4G and 5G, however in most places the 2G (GSM) networks are kept alive, to support older equipment like M2M solutions, security systems, and older phones not supporting 4G and 5G.

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For corded landline, you need FXO gateway. For GSM sim, you need GSM gateway

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