Total noob need help understanding PBX and VoIP


Hi u all.
I am a first year university student, and this semester I am writing a paper on a “virtuall” phone company. And no I am not asking if someone can help me cheat:-)

I am trying out my thesis that it is possible to start a small company that has
one goal and that is to sell phone services to small and medium sized companies.In the nature of this paper is that the funds of the company will be limited.[read money] For this paper I am supposed to make a buisness plan, give explanations how the needed technology works and target market for penetrating.

Not everthing is seattled yet, but will be during next week after i meet with my professor, so then I will know how limited the money will, and to what extend the thechnical stuff will need to be explaind.

First I need good reads, sort of guides to understand the PBX and how it works. Then I need to get a better understanding for VoIP. Sure I use skype as much a the next guy, but I don’t truly understand how skype works.

As far as I know allmost all comanies can make savings ie when relocating setting up their own PBX server and use VoIP rather then rely on the telecoms PBX board and services.

I have read a few good tutorials in setting up a PBX, but I still have problems understanding how it all works.

If anyone dare to start giving me pointers I will be so happy. I will continue this thread as soon as I have more solid understanding of how limitied the money is, and what other restraines my professer gives me to struggle with:-)

My first thought is buying T1 and T3 lines from telecoms, install needed HW and outsource the ongoing support and maintanance, maybe located in China or India. Might sound like a .com dream, but will this be feasable?

Just FYI many countries still have centralized govermental telecom sector with little or none competition, and those countries with less developed markets will be prime targets I think.

Edited: Added this chapter
And I will even need to give a presentation to the public[the university] as sort of an oral exam…:frowning: not good with that. So I need to gatter a rather deep understanding of this how things work to make sure I can handle any and all Q’s that might pop up from the audiance(fellow students and theachers/professors,and Q’s will come it is sort of school tradition to try to get others to stumble here)

Just for me personal sake:
Will it work to make a PBX with skype connection? And use some adaptors so clients can use the phones/headsets etc they allready have? Cause then I could set up a PBX on campus just as a learning experiance, and run lines to the others in my building. Cause I will not let them drain my skype account completly, but as a learning path it might just be ok to spend a few $ extra on skype in order to gather a better knowhow.

Found this great site.

Other sites and links will be highly appreciated, along with all other must reads as well.


OK, a PBX (Public Branch eXchange) is a private phone switch. :smiley:

In the past, an operator would plug lines into a plugboard to connect outside lines to an extension, or connect extensions together. A phone switch does this electronically, a set of rules dictate what happens when a combination of keys are pressed and the call is routed through a dialplan.

For example, dial 12345 and the phone switch interprets 12345 in its rules and directs you to extension assigned as 12345. Change the rules and dialing 12345 could connect to extension 54321.

I suggest you grab an old PC and a copy of Asterisk@home, install that CD and look at getting Asterisk running on that computer. You could setup some of the clients with SIP softphones so they can use their headsets to make calls.

Skype is proprietry and won’t talk to anything other than Skype. You can’t use Skype to talk to a SIP phone, nor through the internet to an Asterisk PBX.[/img]