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Big VoIP Project

 
 
John McKenzie
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      07-12-2007

I have a somewhat ambitious project and I wanted to solicit the newsgroup
for general comments, advice, etc. Possibly this will inspire new
directions for me as well. Please remember that vague "you can't/do not
bother" comments without reasons as to why can already be written by me.

My workplace has communication problems. Our radios do not work and all
efforts to address the problem so far have failed. It looks like our
problems are being escalated to regulators as it may be related to crowded
radio usage. Also, phone communication is needed by many employees who are
only issued radios. Cell phone equipment investment would be fine, but
paying monthly bills for more than a dozen new phones from now until the
end of time is not.


So here is our situiation:

-Normal two-way radios are not working for us and there
may be spectrum issues.

-Direct person to person mobile communication is needed, and the ability
to make phone calls would be a great bonus.

-Cannot induce fees other than what we are currently paying (Internet/PSTN
phone lines, etc).



We could buy another new radio repeater, have experts review the building
for the forth time and buy all new radios again. So far though, this has
yet to work so we are reluctant to do it again. Anyone with a laptop seems
to be able to get on the wireless network though...

So wireless VoIP came to mind. We could even set-up a software PBX system
to enhance it if need be. I work at an airport, and the local phone
company provides a free WiFi network in the terminal. Buying some WiFI
handsets came to mind as a way to address our problems. This has issues
though.

I doubt the WiFi hotspot extends to the ramp (the area between the
terminal and the runway) or every part of the terminal building for that
matter, the phone company could start charging without notice or cut us
off altogether arbitraily. So for the long term, we would like to know if
deploying our own wireless VoIP system could be done.


Several options occured to me. They all have problems, and most of them
are just ideas and not something I would really know how to implement.
(Hovever, I would love the chance to learn and the challenge to do it.)


Buying a million WiFi routers to cover the needed areas is one idea. This
would require much work and would be very expensive. The range for WiFi is
such that the number of needed access points discourages me.

Now, I know this is pretty wild, but how about entering the wacky world
of WiMAX? There are some WiMAX enabled handsets we could import, and new
one are supposedly coming next year. What I like about WiMAX is that the
range and power is such that a single base station should be able to cover
the whole airport/aerodome. I have absolutely no idea how much a WiMAX
base station costs and if one can even acquire equipment that does less
than cover an entire city neighbourhood. We spend thousands and thousands
on normal two-way radio infrastructure, but not tens of thousands and I do
not know where a WiMAX base station lies in that range. However, knowing
we have through coverage _everywhere_ we need it, and being able to
accomplish this with a single device is super appealing.

A private cell phone network would be cool. Buying cheap, regular GSM
handsets has great appeal. Hooking an IP-PBX into this so calls to the
PSTN could be made would make for a great all round system. I heard of
picocells and femtocells, however, I have yet to figure out if something
inbetween a full cell tower and a picocell exists. As I understand it (and
this may be wrong) pico/femtocells are more home/single floor of small
office building scale. A real cell tower is a million dollars more than we
have to spend and 50 times too much. A picocell is no where near enough in
terms of range. Pico/femto cells sound WiFi like in their range. I used to
work for a cell phone company. If a private cell phone system is possible,
it would be very appealing. However, it has to cover an entire airport.



So general advice, ideas, information, etc that may be applicable to this
situiation would be appreciaed. Who knows, perhaps one of your posts will
inspire me to a totally different idea that will save the day.

Thanks, all.
 
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carcarx@hotmail.com
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-13-2007
Check with Halifax members of the Radio Amateurs of Canada for
suggestions. Being south of the border I'm
not familiar with Canadian government regulations and frequency
allocations.

"Hams", as they're called, quite often patch wireless voice
communications to the wired network,
so they'd be familiar with equipment that might meet your
requirements.

See

http://www.rac.ca/cdn_clubs/region_atlantic.htm

On Jul 11, 8:47 pm, John McKenzie <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> So general advice, ideas, information, etc that may be applicable to this
> situiation would be appreciaed. Who knows, perhaps one of your posts will
> inspire me to a totally different idea that will save the day.
>
> Thanks, all.



 
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GeekBoy
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-18-2007

"John McKenzie" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news(E-Mail Removed) t...
>
> I have a somewhat ambitious project and I wanted to solicit the newsgroup
> for general comments, advice, etc. Possibly this will inspire new
> directions for me as well. Please remember that vague "you can't/do not
> bother" comments without reasons as to why can already be written by me.
>
> My workplace has communication problems. Our radios do not work and all
> efforts to address the problem so far have failed. It looks like our
> problems are being escalated to regulators as it may be related to crowded
> radio usage. Also, phone communication is needed by many employees who are
> only issued radios. Cell phone equipment investment would be fine, but
> paying monthly bills for more than a dozen new phones from now until the
> end of time is not.
>
>
> So here is our situiation:
>
> -Normal two-way radios are not working for us and there
> may be spectrum issues.
>


What is wrong with those cheapy radios? Now selling ones getting in the 20+
mile range for ~$80 US a pair.

more below.........


> -Direct person to person mobile communication is needed, and the ability
> to make phone calls would be a great bonus.
>
> -Cannot induce fees other than what we are currently paying (Internet/PSTN
> phone lines, etc).
>
>
>
> We could buy another new radio repeater, have experts review the building
> for the forth time and buy all new radios again. So far though, this has
> yet to work so we are reluctant to do it again. Anyone with a laptop seems
> to be able to get on the wireless network though...
>
> So wireless VoIP came to mind. We could even set-up a software PBX system
> to enhance it if need be. I work at an airport, and the local phone
> company provides a free WiFi network in the terminal. Buying some WiFI
> handsets came to mind as a way to address our problems. This has issues
> though.
>
> I doubt the WiFi hotspot extends to the ramp (the area between the
> terminal and the runway) or every part of the terminal building for that
> matter, the phone company could start charging without notice or cut us
> off altogether arbitraily. So for the long term, we would like to know if
> deploying our own wireless VoIP system could be done.
>
>
> Several options occured to me. They all have problems, and most of them
> are just ideas and not something I would really know how to implement.
> (Hovever, I would love the chance to learn and the challenge to do it.)
>
>
> Buying a million WiFi routers to cover the needed areas is one idea. This
> would require much work and would be very expensive. The range for WiFi is
> such that the number of needed access points discourages me.
>
> Now, I know this is pretty wild, but how about entering the wacky world
> of WiMAX? There are some WiMAX enabled handsets we could import, and new




You could start yor own mini cell phone network by reprogramming used cell
phones to work on the system.
The slower the speed the network is used, the more accurate distance it can
be used. I have seen some ratings in the 20 mile range for some pretty fast
speeds.




> one are supposedly coming next year. What I like about WiMAX is that the
> range and power is such that a single base station should be able to cover
> the whole airport/aerodome. I have absolutely no idea how much a WiMAX
> base station costs and if one can even acquire equipment that does less



I should be getting pricing tomorrow from a company.

End of comments


> than cover an entire city neighbourhood. We spend thousands and thousands
> on normal two-way radio infrastructure, but not tens of thousands and I do
> not know where a WiMAX base station lies in that range. However, knowing
> we have through coverage _everywhere_ we need it, and being able to
> accomplish this with a single device is super appealing.
>
> A private cell phone network would be cool. Buying cheap, regular GSM
> handsets has great appeal. Hooking an IP-PBX into this so calls to the
> PSTN could be made would make for a great all round system. I heard of
> picocells and femtocells, however, I have yet to figure out if something
> inbetween a full cell tower and a picocell exists. As I understand it (and
> this may be wrong) pico/femtocells are more home/single floor of small
> office building scale. A real cell tower is a million dollars more than we
> have to spend and 50 times too much. A picocell is no where near enough in
> terms of range. Pico/femto cells sound WiFi like in their range. I used to
> work for a cell phone company. If a private cell phone system is possible,
> it would be very appealing. However, it has to cover an entire airport.
>
>
>
> So general advice, ideas, information, etc that may be applicable to this
> situiation would be appreciaed. Who knows, perhaps one of your posts will
> inspire me to a totally different idea that will save the day.
>
> Thanks, all.



 
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