FreePBX - a voice telephone solution
It was not long ago that telecommunications, both voice and data, as well as software, were all proprietary products and services. These were controlled by the few companies that created the technologies and another select few who used the products to provide services. Inevitably, this domination of the market meant that costs were high.
Why use VoIP?
In the bad old days you were tied to one telecoms provider and you tolerated, (often with gritted teeth), the prices that were charged. Later, alternative suppliers came to market and offered lower rates but with the inconvenience of accessing their networks via dialled prefixes. At least you then had the choice of who you wanted to “buy” your telephone call from.
VoIP is entirely different as calls are placed over a high-speed internet connection, (like broadband), to any one of a number of your preferred VoIP suppliers. The PBX system automatically routes calls to the cheapest of them according to the type of number dialled. One supplier might be cheaper for international calls, another cheaper for domestic calls and another one still for mobile telephone calls. If call tariffs are adversely changed then the routing instructions in the PBX can be modified to ensure that telephone calls are always routed on a least-cost basis. Competition amongst VoIP providers continues to push down the cost of telephone calls and prices are always very favourable when compared to traditional suppliers.
Asterisk® open source and FreePBX
The telecoms market has really been shaken up now that Voice over IP has hit the streets with its disruptive transition of voice from the old, circuit-switched networks to new IP-based networks. To say that the telecoms market was ripe for an open source solution would be an immeasurable understatement. Asterisk is that open source solution and it has been successfully deployed in many thousands of organisations with varying number of users and vastly diverse requirements.
Asterisk® is an open source, converged telephony platform, designed primarily to run on the Linux operating system. Asterisk combines over a hundred years of telephony knowledge into a robust suite of tightly integrated telecommunications applications. The power of Asterisk lies in its customisable nature, complemented by unmatched standards compliance. No other PBX can be deployed in so many creative ways. Applications such as voicemail, hosted conferencing, call queuing and agents, music on hold and call parking are all standard features of the software. Moreover, Asterisk can integrate with other business technologies in ways that closed, proprietary PBXs are simply unable to do. Asterisk can also talk to anything from a 1960s-era pulse-dial telephone to the latest wireless VoIP devices. Asterisk is complemented by FreePBX, which is a web-based configuration and management interface that allows for easier setup and day-to-day running of the system.
VoIP/GSM – why not mix it ?
Asterisk/FreePBX can interface with other business technologies in ways that closed, proprietary PBXs are simply unable to do. We have successfully integrated GSM gateways onto Asterisk/FreePBX systems in order to reduce the costs of calling mobile 'phones. Typically a business will have an agreed aggregate amount of inclusive minutes per month split across a number of mobile 'phones. Calls between the 'phones are free and do not eat into the monthly minute allowance. If one of the SIM cards is installed in a GSM gateway and all calls to mobile numbers are routed via that gateway then calls to colleagues will be free. Calls to mobile 'phones outside of the business will be made at the very preferential rates within the monthly call allowance thereby significantly reducing the costs of all GSM calls.
Hubbard Computer Services have installed and continue to support FreePBX for a number of clients. Please contact us if you want to join the revolution!
Due to a lack of development and support, Trixbox CE is now considered a legacy system and we are happy to hear from anybody wanting to migrate to FreePBX.
Asterisk is a trademark of Digium Inc.
FreePBX is a trademark of Bandwidth.com
Trixbox is a trademark of Fonality Inc.