Asterisk handling a small business

Tod Hansmann at
Tue Apr 8 09:37:36 MDT 2014

I second Chris' sentiments.  I'll also suggest looking at a hosted solution
like which is like 25/month per handset for as much calling as
needs be and a ton of features including IVR creation.  If one does go the
route of self-hosting, please do FreeSwitch instead of Asterisk.  It's far
more flexible and performant for when he wants to change it later, and if
this becomes a major point of his business it can be fleshed out quite a
bit to power the business without incurring a lot of cruft and code modules
all over the place that become hard to maintain.  That's why FreeSwitch
exists, because Asterisk is architected pretty bad for long-term.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

-Tod Hansmann

On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 8:48 AM, Chris Wood <chris at> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 5:14 AM, Dan Egli <ddavidegli at> wrote:
> >
> > Someone I talk to on a regular basis is getting ready to open his own
> > company. The expected size of the company would be about 10-15 people
> once
> > he finishes hiring, with more to follow in a year or two (he hopes). What
> > he wants is to have all his phone calls and what not handled by Asterisk
> > using IP based phones (obviously). I've talked with him a lot about this,
> > but the points I could not remember dealt primarily with how the phone
> > company would handle things.
> >
> > Supposing that you wish to have the possibility of half of these people
> > (we'll say seven) placing calls or receiving calls at the same time.
> Under
> > standard phone setups (POTS) that would require seven incoming lines. Is
> > that going to be the case if all he buys is a DID number and internet
> > service? I.e. does he have to tell the phone company to sell him multiple
> > DID numbers in a roll down sequence? Or is simply having the phone call
> > come to the system sufficient and then Asterisk handles it from there? I
> > admit I have not looked at Asterisk myself (I'd love to, but I've got a
> few
> > other things I really need to accomplish  before I start studying a
> > VoIP/PBS setup in detail) so I don't know the answers. I tend to think
> that
> > it's likely that he'd need multiple DID numbers and the roll down, even
> > though it's all IP based, because it's likely the phone company that's
> > going to generate the busy signal, and if they only have one DID number
> on
> > file for you, then when a second person tries to call they're just going
> to
> > get a busy signal (or voice mail if you have that service). But I
> honestly
> > don't know for sure. I'm sure he'd also need to purchase one extra DID
> > number, not in the roll down sequence, that he can configure to
> > specifically be for the fax machine whose duties I'm sure Asterisk won't
> be
> > able to assume (forward to the fax, sure, but actually answer as a fax
> and
> > send/receive transmissions? Some how I doubt it.)
> Generally speaking, you purchase/subscribe to SIP trunks to handle
> calls.  The number of concurrent calls you want to handle is the
> number of trunks you need.  The DID is based on the number of phone
> numbers you want to have -- they will run across those trunks.  You
> can have more DIDs than you have trunks.  You can have one DID and
> multiple trunks (everybody has extensions instead of their own phone
> number).
> Companies typically charge you for DIDs and then charge you for
> trunks.  The DID charges vary a lot and can be more expensive than
> they should be.
> For DID and trunks, at my last company we used:
> Fax can be obnoxious with VOIP.  I would recommend getting a copper
> line from the local telco.  Maybe somebody on the list has the magic
> sauce to make fax easy on voip.
> > So, what exactly do I tell him to ask the TeleCo for? He's going to be in
> > southern Utah most likely (i.e. St. George area) so it's likely going to
> be
> > Qwest or AT&T, unless you can get phone/DID service from someone like
> > McCloud USA, which I honestly don't know. He plans this to be a heavy IP
> > business, so I don't think Comcast would be such a good idea, with the
> > monthly bandwidth caps they like to place on downloads and uploads (has
> > anyone heard of Comcast offering more than 1 mbit upload speeds?), not to
> > mention their 250 GB/Mo download limit.
> Those limits on Comcast are for residential use.  Your friend will
> want a business grade internet account.  Which company supplies the
> SIP service can be independent of the company providing the internet
> service.  I would get the most reliable ISP he can get in his area and
> then do the VOIP separate if the ISP isn't competitive.
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