First steps into VOIP - gudiance requested

Discussion in 'UK VOIP' started by Jeremy, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. Jeremy

    Jeremy Guest


    We are moving offices.

    When we first looked at SIP phones for the new office (will be using a
    hosted Asterisk platform) it looked like we would have wired handsets
    and that these would require PoE (power over ethernet) and that we'd
    therefore have to have a PoE switch as well.

    I now understand that PoE isn't essential and can use a dedicated power
    supply for each phone.

    Happy to have 2 wired desk phones (with speakers) for the meeting rooms.

    Have 12 staff with potential need to utilise phones. In our current
    office we have 2 PSTNs and 2 DECT sets - so 2 inbound phone numbers.
    We use a 3rd party to receive calls and call line1 or line2 depending
    upon which is in use; if both busy then they take a messaage and email

    So looking to step up from this, do away with the 3rd party handling
    inbound calls. Use the platform to route calls to mobiles etc as
    required when away from office.

    3 teams: admin/marketing, support, development

    Need a couple of handsets per group minimum and it sounds like it's the
    base station of a cordless SIP phone that gets an IP address with any
    slave handsets having the same address (i.e. not being individually
    adrdessable) . If I wanted 3 groups I guess I could buy 3 base stations
    each with 1 or 2 extra handsets - all (associated with the base station
    being called) would ring together so is quite convenient for a group.

    I don't really know much about this at all and would appreciate any
    comments on the above and suggestions for alternatives. Saving money is
    good but isn't the ultimate driver.

    Thanks for any advice & guidance & comments.

    Jeremy, Feb 7, 2014
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  2. Jeremy

    Graham. Guest

    Hi Jeremy,
    Looks like you want a mainly cordless solution for the office.
    Cordless SIP phones are by and large WiFi phones so do not have a
    dedicated base station, they just connect to your normal access point

    I am of the opinion that DECT is more robust than WiFi for speech, so
    I would be inclined to use one or more analogue telephone adapters
    "ATAs" in conjunction with normal DECT base stations and handsets

    For example a PAP2
    each supports two independent extensions so that's only £9 plus the
    cost of your chosen DECT set per extension, which will probably be
    cheaper than even a basic wired Ethernet VoIP phone.
    Graham., Feb 7, 2014
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  3. Jeremy

    Graham. Guest

    It just occurred to me that by cordless SIP phone you may mean
    something like the Siemens Gigaset A580 IP, which does indeed have a
    base station that will log into your hosted Asterisk.

    That's a good solution.
    Graham., Feb 7, 2014
  4. Jeremy

    Graham J Guest


    Wired phones using PoE do offer advantages.

    The wiring is tidier - only a single patch cable from the phone to a

    The PoE switch - and internet router - can both be run from a UPS so you
    can maintain phone service during power failures. You could also run
    DECT base-stations from the same UPS - though the physical layout of
    your building might mitigate against this.

    Structured wiring helps - worth getting it installed properly before you
    move in to the new building.

    I've used Voipfone for their virtual PBX service - generally pleased.

    An absolutely essential requirement is that your internet connection is
    100% reliable, and you have confidence in your ISP to get repairs
    completed quickly if a fault arises. So don't use a domestic grade ISP.
    I suggests A&A (or possibly Zen).
    Graham J, Feb 8, 2014
  5. Jeremy

    tony sayer Guest

    You can do that but its not a bad idea as if the power goes off it will
    be far simpler to put a decent sized UPS in the equipment rack where the
    Asterix box might go, and power that from the UPS and the POE switch as
    well least that way you retain connectivity. Power up the ADSL router as
    well of course.

    Only suggest you try it and see!, there might be a problem with
    overlapping channels on the SIP phones but the same could be said for
    DECT phones ...

    You can in general have most any analogue device i.e. non VoIP fone
    connected to a VoIP system via devices called ATA's analogue phone
    adapters they interface between a VoIP system and an analogue phone such
    devices as the CISCO SPA 112 are good for that, that one is Two line
    needs a bit of practice setting up tho;!...

    You might then be able to use more cordless phones as they are likely to
    be using differing frequencies, beware of cordless 2.4 Ghz phones
    clashing with the office wi-fi etc..

    Make sure you broadband can cope with it and in the router set a
    priority for the phone traffic so that anyone gazing at porn in their
    lunch break or downloading lots of stuff doesn't cause the phones to

    Otherwise it can all work very well. If you want to go to someone like
    VoIPfone they have a PABX system £1 a month per extension no need for an
    Asterix box and the extensions can be anywhere as well if required...
    tony sayer, Feb 8, 2014
  6. Jeremy

    tony sayer Guest

    Yes works very well. There're quite helpful advising on how to set this
    all up...
    Yep!, good experiences with Zen apart from their furrign call centre in
    the occupied lands of olde Lancashire;-)...
    tony sayer, Feb 8, 2014
  7. Jeremy

    Dave Saville Guest

    Not if they are Gigaset DECT bases - they can handle concurrent calls.
    My old S450IP can do two + POTS. I think current models can do more.
    Dave Saville, Feb 8, 2014
  8. Jeremy

    ßodincus Guest

    | · : · : · : · : · : · : · Original Message · : · : ·: · : · : · : ·
    | From: Jeremy
    | Date: 07/02/14 19:27
    As a business owner (and indeed a long term VoIP service provider and
    hardware supplier with many vendor certifications) I wish you all the
    luck in the world.

    But be very aware: I've been in countless businesses (over 50 now) where
    somebody with a little experience - as you appear to have - got stuff
    together, to some expense, and for the love of God couldn't make it work.

    Only after so many days of problems, failures, loss of service and
    revenue they resorted to us, the professionals.

    In about 30% of the cases the bosses were so angry we couldn't sell the
    technology anymore, had to to buy them out of their misery and take away
    all the VoIP kit.
    Good for us, brand new stuff half price or less.

    Only Friday we went in at a big holiday resort in Highland Perthshire
    with ~ 150 phones where the internal "IT" staff made a big hash of it
    and led to a loss of about 40K with a phone-in promotion that couldn't
    be ran.

    After a week and a half of trouble, we sorted all out in 25 minutes flat.

    Your architecture has a few holes, both in the kit and in the logic. Too
    complicated to explain here.

    Moral of the story: spend you money wisely.
    ßodincus, Feb 10, 2014
  9. Jeremy

    tony sayer Guest

    We've used VoIP here for around 2 years now and all it's damaged is Bt's

    As have several others I know..
    So what was the problem then?..

    Delta taxis in Liverpool are on VoIP some 150 odd lines IIRC...
    And make sure your net feed is up to it...
    tony sayer, Feb 10, 2014
  10. Jeremy

    Jeremy Guest

    More bad than good then by the sound of it. Perhaps without explanation
    you could point me to where the kit is inappropriate.
    Jeremy, Feb 10, 2014
  11. Jeremy

    ßodincus Guest

    | · : · : · : · : · : · : · Original Message · : · : ·: · : · : · : ·
    | From: Jeremy
    | Date: 10/02/14 17:23
    Horses for courses, etc.

    - DECT hand-held devices work OK(ish) for a warehouse or a shop, and as
    secondary endpoints.

    - Transferring calls (and using any other function) is fiddly.

    - You forget them around, not in their charger cradle, and by mid
    afternoon the batteries are flat.

    - You can't have more than 6 handsets in the same area, there's a
    limited number of DECT channels.

    - The most powerful and feature rich DECT systems are the Gigaset 720,
    but they cost an arm and a leg.

    - There are cheapest Gigaset base units (300 and 510) but there's a
    limit on the number of simultaneous calls each base can handle. This has
    a bearing to your ability to make and receive calls form that base unit,
    because when you transfer calls, at one point you need three channels to
    successfully put a call on hold, call the other person, and then
    transfer it across successfully.

    - snom and Yealink have very good and great value for money desk phones
    with dual Gigabit ports, so they sit between the network port on the
    wall and the PC, saving you on additional cabling in the building.

    - POE is useful only when the comms rack is under UPS, and your kit
    stays alive when power goes.

    - When the power goes, your PCs go too. Can you work without PCs? What
    use you have for working phones when everything else grinds to a halt?

    - You want to have at least one "receptionist" desk phone with LEDs that
    show if the person somebody wants to speak to is on the phone (presence).

    - If you go for hosted, the configuration of the endpoints is very
    critical to avoid NAT/PAT problems on the router - dropped calls, one
    way audio, etc...

    - Should I mention QoS? Without proper prioritization, the VoIP traffic
    can queue in an underpowered - or overwhelmed - router. Big no-no.

    - Network Security has to be tight as a drum, last year toll fraud
    accounted for over $4.3 BILLION. >

    And this is just scratching the surface.

    As you can imagine, the user experience can easily become extremely
    poor. Tempers fray, and VoIP becomes synonym for failure, while it's not
    the technology's fault.

    VoIP straddles deeply across SO many levels of the ISO-OSI stack, from
    layer 1 to "layer 10", that you need to be quite experienced and
    multi-skilled to see the whole picture.

    If you're still keen to give it a go, can afford a bumpy road and want
    to learn your ropes, good luck and enjoy the ride.
    ßodincus, Feb 11, 2014
  12. Jeremy

    Dave Saville Guest

    You mean handset to handset? Yes.
    Dave Saville, Feb 11, 2014
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