Advice for a new VoIP Setup

Discussion in 'VOIP' started by, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Dear all,

    I am new to the VoIP bandwagon and am extremely confused by the options
    available in the VoIP market. I have a few fundamental questions about
    the working and installation of a full fledged VoIP solution.

    The Environment:
    We are a small-mid sized business with about 100 employees.
    We are relocating our office in about a year to a newly constructed
    The new building will have a new network infrastructure built from
    scratch. Plans are still being discussed and any customizations can be
    We would be having a separate server room, a gigabit ethernet backbone,
    WiFi connectivity, T3 line and rest of the works.

    Every employee should have a IP hard-phone in his/her desk
    Soft Phone options should also be present for remote users (hardly 10 -
    15 of them)


    1) How exactly does VoIP work? Do I provide the connection between my
    VoIP network and the local exchange? Or, Do I just route the voice
    traffic to a VoIP provider through my T3 line and pay somebody to take
    care of the connection from IP to PSTN?

    2) Who are the most common vendors and what solutions do they offer
    which could match my requirements?

    3) What would be the cost ( a ballpark figure) ?

    4) What hardware would I be required to buy?

    5) What level of technical expertise is required from the compay?

    Thanks in advance,

    , Jun 30, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. Miguel Cruz Guest

    Either one, as you prefer. Or a mix of both.

    Miguel Cruz, Jun 30, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. Mitel Lurker Guest

    Excellent time to be considering a VOIP system! Plan on individual VOIP
    telephones, depending on vendor, model, features and quality, to cost in
    the ballpark of $100 to $500 apiece. Multiply that by 100 phones, assuming
    1 for each employee, and you can get some idea where this is headed. The
    main controller, again depending on vendor, features and quality, will
    command another $5000 to $30,000.

    Upstream connectivity to the PSTN is something I don't personally think I
    would trust to just anyone. We're talking about your *business* here, so
    I'd tend to lean toward one of the majors, i.e., one of the regional Bell
    operating companies or MCI or Sprint.
    A perfect time to do VOIP!
    Plan on establishing at least 2 VLANS and put your phone system on a
    separate VLAN with 802.1p/q QOS (Quality Of Service) and priority VLAN
    tagging. When choosing your Etherswitches, make sure they provide VLAN
    support and Power-Over-Ethernet (POE) to run the phones. All VOIP phones
    require power, hence all 4 pairs of the Cat-5/6 Ethernet cable will be

    When cabling, plan on separate cabling for any printers. You can run your
    Office PC off the 2-port switch built into the VOIP phone, but they do not
    recommend connecting printers (or hubs) to these ports.
    If the employees need "display" phones, i.e., callerID + multiple line
    capabilities, multiple line keys, speedcall buttons, etc., then we've
    eliminated most of the low-end phones.
    Yes, normally - especially if you're concerned about dependability
    You could do this too, tho I wouldn't - at least not yet. I don't think
    this service is yet mature enough to trust my business phones to it.
    My personal recommendation would be a MITEL SX200_ICP "Premier Bundle".
    Great feature set, IMO.
    Probably in the ballpark of $50,000. The phones themselves will be your
    single biggest expense. I'd guess a Mitel SX200-ICP Premier equipped with
    100 IP user licenses, 100 voice mail licenses would go somewhere in the
    ballpark of $18~20,000 plus the phones. Figure $100 apiece for low-end,
    non-display (Superset 5207) single line phones, $200 apiece for a display
    model (Superset 5215) with 7 line buttons and $300 apiece for their high
    end, 14-line model (Superset 5220) (and these are just wild guesses).
    You'll want at least the mid-priced phone for its ability to allow
    connecting a PC to the back of the phone, thus allowing for only 1
    Ethernet cable to each office or workstation.
    Actually nothing. Mitel has leasing plans available that make good
    business sense, plus the lease cost is tax-deductible.
    You'll want to go with a major brand with an established nationwide
    network of VARs and dealers. This means systems from one of the big 5, in
    alphabetical order; AVAYA, CISCO, MITEL, NEC, NORTEL. You certainly can
    also purchase a cheapie from any one of a half-dozen other manufacturers,
    tho I sure wouldn't if the success of my business depended upon the
    reliability/dependability of the phone system.

    On a related note I would personally avoid the CISCO phone system, mainly
    because I've seen it, used it amd hated it. CISCO's IP phone system (Call
    Manager) is based upon a cluster of Microsoft Windows-based servers, with
    all of the usual security problems, patches and reboots associated
    therewith. System administration (routine adds, moves & changes, even
    simple user name changes) are cumbersome. True, Cisco also has a smaller
    "Call Manager Express" which they claim will handle "up to" 100 lines, but
    with your stated needs you'd be maxed-out on capacity the day you
    installed it. Cisco would be a good choice for your DATA network but I
    think you'll see best bang for your buck with a MITEL phone system.

    Your softphone requirements also would be a good fit for a MITEL system.
    Either or both their YA-PRO and/or TELEWORKER systems will address this
    need. MITEL also has some WI-FI phones. Just beware that VOIP over WI-FI
    can quickly flood the WI-FI bandwidth once you start getting a few calls
    in progress. I'd plan my WI-FI system with the intent of having no more
    than 6~8 concurrent wireless phone users per access point.
    Mitel Lurker, Jul 1, 2005
  4. Guest

    You can also go in for Asterisk IPPBX. It has more features but require
    tech skill and support to operate.

    appan kh
    , Jul 1, 2005
  5. Kyler Laird Guest

    I like the latter. From what I've seen it just doesn't make sense to
    mess with PSTN interconnects. However I've not found VoIP providers
    who support encryption. That means your conversations are naked over
    the link to your VoIP provider. (With the amount of US gov't tapping
    that happens maybe it doesn't matter.)
    I usually start here.
    I've been looking at VoIP providers again recently. I've found prices
    in the $0.013/minute range, $0.029-0.039/minute for toll-free incoming.
    Lines are $2-5/month.
    You *could* get away with just dropping SIP phones on your network and
    having them connect directly to your VoIP provider. You'll probably
    want something local though. There are businesses that specialize in
    such systems. I run some Asterisk boxes but not for situations like

    Kyler Laird, Jul 1, 2005
  6. John Nelson Guest

    You'll certainly want that. It can be provided by a third party vendor,
    or you can bring in suitable PSTN lines (probably a PRI, in your case)
    and install your own gateway. Most IP PBX's have this capability.

    I would recommend the latter approach, unless you can arrange for a
    dedicated IP connection between you and the vendor's gateway. Once your
    traffic hits the public Internet, it is at the mercy of network
    conditions there, which can lead to voice quality issues. This is rare,
    but it's something to think about.
    All of the major PBX vendors offer IP functionality now, though they are
    extremely proud of it, and charge accordingly. Asterisk is a very viable
    option and you should give it serious consideration.
    Excluding the cost of suitable LAN hardware (more on that below)...

    Mainstream VOIP PBX's, licenses, phones, POE switches, etc. will
    probably run between $40,000 - $100,000 for that environment.

    I don't believe that you can get an IP telephone that's suitable for the
    business environment for under $150, but that's a judgement call. Using
    that standard, and selecting Asterisk (and a suitable server on which to
    run it) you could easily have what you need for under $20,000.

    No matter which route you go, you'll need LAN hardware that supports
    QoS. You'll probably want POE switches that are compatible with the
    phones you plan to use, but that's not a necessity, just very nice to

    And of course your actual telephony hardware.
    That depends entirely on the system you decide on. If you roll your own
    with Linux and Asterisk, you will definitely need moderate Linux admin
    skills and a working knowledge of Asterisk (which doesn't come easily).

    On the other hand, there are "canned" versions of Asterisk that install
    the entire OS and software from a CD, something any Windows admin can
    do. From there, it's merely a matter of learning the functionality of
    the vendor's system and admin tools.
    John Nelson, Jul 1, 2005
  7. Bytemaster Guest

    Since others have answered question one, I woul like to add my two
    cents into a couple of other items here.

    I would strongly look at a Shortel system. They are not the biggest,
    but are one of the longest players in the VOIP PBX market and have
    basically the easiest to use, easiet to administer, and most
    distributed system in the commercial market.

    They are almost always chosen (over 85% of the time) for implementation
    when they are seriously looked at in your list of products.

    The ease of management, and the ease at which your users can use the
    advanced features make it the best choice most of the time.

    I used to work with it in is version 1 and 2 variations, and have been
    with another company that recently implemented it, and I absolutely
    love the product. You get a lot of extra reliability and redundancy
    without all of the extra expense.
    Figure approx $1000 per user including implimentation and first year's
    maintanance. It seems to average arround there, but can be less or
    more depending on requirements.
    For shoretel, just the phones, a W2K or Win2003 server for voice mail,
    and the appropriate quantity of switches. 1 switch can handle up to 24
    analog lines, or 120 IP phones, but come in smaller capacities as well.
    You don't have to have a switch at each office, but it increases the
    reliability should your wan links go down.
    For this system, very little. It is very easy to set up (can be set up
    on a table using a laptop), and all of the administation and
    configuration is web based. You will want an expert at getting data
    prioritization initially, but you should get that with any VOIP install
    just to avoid problems. Once the wan is configured, though, most shops
    do all of their system administration, including ACD, Voice Mail, and
    adds/moves/changes in-house.

    BTW, I have no ties to the company, just a big fan of their product.
    Bytemaster, Jul 21, 2005
  8. ubifone Guest

    Dear Friend,
    Hi, my name is Sam and I'm an IT consultant.
    I'm convinced that is the best solution.
    Either you become a Retailer Customer or open your mind and go for an

    Please do feel FREE to contact me on for further
    questios you may have.

    Kind Regards,



    Article posted with Newsgroup Archiv
    no-spam read and post WWW interface to your favorite newsgroup -
    comp.dcom.voice-over-ip - 4876 messages and counting
    ubifone, Jul 29, 2005
  9. Miguel Cruz Guest

    Does "open your mind" equate to "lower your personal standards and become a
    spammer" in some parlance I'm not familiar with?

    Miguel Cruz, Jul 30, 2005
  10. Ivor Jones Guest

    Don't feed the troll..!

    Ivor Jones, Jul 30, 2005
  11. He might not have realized that folks were on to him.

    Why is it every ethically-challenged business thinks they can spam
    discussion groups and have people politely wade through the trash?

    Wolfgang S. Rupprecht, Jul 30, 2005
  12. dry_aquaman Guest

    I'm a technician that has been installing / servicing Mitel system
    since 86. SX2000 (E stream - 0k, that just impresses me.)

    Although you could get a 200ICP for less, I'd recommend the 3300 i
    only for the beauty of the administrator interface. IMHO, less of
    learning curve than the 200ICP but has more power.

    I frequently work with customers to train them to make their ow
    changes and would far rather train them on the 3300. The help fil
    system is excellent. If you'd rather be self maintaining, I'
    recommend the 3300.

    Then with Mitel, (either system) you also get the ability to have Y
    Pro which is software that can do some amazing things with your des
    phone or can act as a softphone for your PC/laptop.

    With an add on product mitel calls the "teleworker" you can take
    deskphone home to run off of your broadband internet. Bear in min
    that the quality of the phone call is dependant on your broadban
    provider (no matter what phone system you choose, Avaya, Nortel, Cisco
    etc) we've had some very good luck with it. We have one installatio
    that has a 3300 with a Teleworker server that has 50+ phones at thei
    main office and 10 remote offices with 5 to 10 phones each all runnin
    off of the main office PBX through SBC's public internet service.
    Works quite well. I believe that it's also quite possible to ru
    remote phones through the public internet without having to purchas
    the teleworker solution. You'd have to do a couple of things to set u
    the network and activate the jitter buffer on the phone but if you jus
    wanted to try a remote phone without the cost, it should work jus

    I've also installed Cisco Call Manager and worked on some othe
    non-Mitel products, but the Mitel 3300 is hands down my favorite.

    Dry Aquaman

    BTW: I just got to play with the new 5235 phone just this morning.
    Great Phone! Be sure to check this one out
    dry_aquaman, Aug 2, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.