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Standard User FTTP2
(newbie) Thu 15-Feb-18 14:53:42
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Hosted PBX + cheap SIP: how?


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Hi,

Soon moving 6 PSTNs to VOIP. And it is all rather new. So I have a specific question about

1) having a hosted PBX (e.g. with http://soho66.co.uk/7448/all/1/Multi-User-VoIP.aspx) Less hassle onsite. With 15 extensions and 10 telephone numbers (for direct call), £432 per year including unlimited land lines.

This setup means we can have 15 phones, but cost of 8.5p for mobile seems expensive. Currently we have 3.5p with 2circles.co.uk PSTN. Anyway, so I thought of combining with another SIP provider, an example £8.50 per month https://macace.net/products/hosted-voip/ for unlimited call/mobile.

So my thinking was then:

2) have VOIP phones where you can use 2 SIP accounts like Grandstream GXP-1628) and tell users if they need to call, try the MACACE line first (which is unlimited). We mainly receive calls anyway, not so often more than 2 concurrent outgoing.

Well, it seems to me a bit odd to need to combine them like this,

Questions

A) using hosted PBX, is there another (more sensible) way of making use of low cost?
B) Anyone have any ‘good’ experience with Soho66 or MacAce, or any other suggestions to use?

Thanks
Standard User MHC
(sensei) Thu 15-Feb-18 16:08:57
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Re: Hosted PBX + cheap SIP: how?


[re: FTTP2] [link to this post]
 
Have you considered using Port5060? www.port5060.net - their call charges are very good and no differentiation for mobile numbers in a lot of countries. They can host VOIP for you - you pay rental for each incoming number and extension - so you can have one number and several extensions. Give their support an email.

Have a look at the Gigaset handsets - they have their GO box or teh N300IP and N500IP base stations. They can handle up to six VOIP accounts but limited to 6 handsets however you can have more than one base.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User FTTP2
(newbie) Fri 16-Feb-18 09:03:59
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Re: Hosted PBX + cheap SIP: how?


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
@MHC,

Thanks! That is helpful. There seems to be a jungle out there about VOIP and it is difficult to find the balance rights. It seems that VOIP providers that provide hosted PBX charges all differently for:

1) charge per user (which means extension) which includes X free minutes + PBX features
example https://www.ringcentral.co.uk/office/plansandpricing...

2) charge for call charges 'only'
example https://www.voipfone.co.uk/prices_new.php

3) or a combination of above, low per user/extension charges and call charges
example http://soho66.co.uk/7448/all/1/Multi-User-VoIP.aspx

4) like 3, but with higher per user/extension charges with 'low uk charges'
https://www.port5060.net/pricing/

5) pay for only the number of outgoing lines
https://macace.net/products/hosted-voip/


It is difficult to get the balance right. For instance option 3 and 4 are similar, but if you know your calling behavior, then you can choose either low cost per extension, or low(er) calling cost.

Will need to do some more calculations... frown

Thanks again.


Note on Port 5060: Unfortunately we have 50% international calls, and I see that port5060 have some 'odd' pricings for a few countries we call (they are rather high).
https://s10.postimg.org/i4u9oq7q1/cost.png


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Standard User MHC
(sensei) Fri 16-Feb-18 09:32:08
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Re: Hosted PBX + cheap SIP: how?


[re: FTTP2] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by FTTP2:
Note on Port 5060: Unfortunately we have 50% international calls, and I see that port5060 have some 'odd' pricings for a few countries we call (they are rather high).
https://s10.postimg.org/i4u9oq7q1/cost.png


And often you will not know which are mobile and which are landline!

You could still use them for hosting and have a different provided for outgoing. Our Giogaset handsets do not immediately dial out but give the user the chance to choose IP1, IP2, IP3, PSTN ...so they can select the most appropriate.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User FTTP2
(newbie) Sat 17-Feb-18 13:15:49
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Re: Hosted PBX + cheap SIP: how?


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Yes, I think I have found a middle way. Perhaps combining Port 5060 with VOIP stunt. In our case, we mainly call UK numbers. And we have 1 or 2 phones that are used for 'international' calls. I would then get a Grandstream phone with 2 SIP accounts, and have line 1 for port 5060 and line 2 for VOIP stunt. I guess in that way we can safely assume the usual calls are made with port 5060, and when international calls need to be made, they could use the second line.

I did a few more comparisons. In this overviewyou can see that often VOIP stunt offers a much better deal, when port 5060 is rather expensive. I think they offset each other very well. Port5060 is either cheapest (out of these compared) or most expensive.

Also, I can see that soho66 is neither expensive or cheap, so they really have an average pricing.
Standard User trolleybus
(experienced) Sat 17-Feb-18 16:54:13
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Re: Hosted PBX + cheap SIP: how?


[re: FTTP2] [link to this post]
 
This thread contains the statement: "There seems to be a jungle out there about VOIP". Very, very true and for business use you have to be savvy enough to distinguish between the good, bad and truly awful. You first task is to draw up a specification of what you want from VoIP as some features you may desire are not available from all hosted VoIP providers.

To state the obvious, VoIP uses the internet so if your initial thoughts are for 6 “seats”, all with DDIs and perhaps each one in use at the same time, then the voice quality may suffer with an internet connection sub 25Mbps. You may even need to use a separate ISP for VoIP purposes if your data traffic is particularly heavy.

Next a UPS is a must which on a practical level means your phones must support PoE. A further must is a basic corded phone connected to a POTS line for emergency use in the event of power failure. Consider an appropriate care level plan for this line, but at least at level 2. If everything is mission critical for you, then it has to be level 6.

Moving on how do you want to handle calls on your main number? Perhaps all phones will ring at the same time or will you need an auto attendant to route calls to groups of DDIs?

Outgoing calls might be restricted to having a CLIP of the DDI number whereas a CLIP of the main number is often desirable.

Some hosted VoIP providers insist on you using their own hardware and router which is often locked down so much that DIY changes are almost impossible. Would you be comfortable with that?

There is no substitute for a dedicated VoIP desktop phone to take full advantage of ALL the features that VoIP offers. The snom D375 (with the latest firmware) is to be highly recommended but if wireless phone are desired then phones from the Gigaset’s IP range should be considered. Don’t overlook the D800 which could be just the ticket for you.

Porting your numbers in to a VoIP provider is frequently chargeable and sometimes at outrageous rates. There may even be an exit rate from your existing provider especially if you are still in contract.

Watch out for the contract period you are entering into; it could be as long as five years.

Some hosted VoIP providers provide Wizards to set up your chosen hardware to work with their service, but those Wizards tend to lock down the phones configuration so you can only make a very limited number of changes.

Extension bells may be required and a cheap and cheerful solution is using an ATA with a bell although the use of Algo units is the more professional way to go.

Call plans are generally available but are often tied to per seat whereas the available minutes might be best suited across all seats. Interesting enough, it could be that PAYG may actually work out cheaper.

The 999 service is generally not available from a VoIP phone. However it is known to be available from Voipfone through a registration process.

Call recording may not be on your wish list, but I find it invaluable.

Don’t assume VoIP to VoIP calls (with the same provider) are free. Check that this is indeed available.

BLF, assuming your hardware supports it, is a must. Having LDAP is great, but a rare animal to find. Basically it allows you to have a central database of names against telephone numbers which will be read on any snom phone a name against a number and with the snom D375 a graphic as well. This same information also populates the call log with the name of the caller. The central database overrides duplicate entries in the personal telephone directory.

Almost certainly you will desire call pickup, easy enough to configure with a function key on a snom phone but a nightmare with other hardware
.
My own phone hooks into five hosted VoIP providers and my BLF indicates the service the incoming call is using. I have ‘out of area’ numbers something which a selected provider may not allow you to have. Interestingly conference calls across providers are possible but not call transfer.

Which VoIP hosting provider to use? Tough call this one but for business use recommendations made might not be your best match. Your own research is necessary for you want and should be hung upon trying to find the cheapest as that will certainly be a disaster.

I hope you find this helpful otherwise hit the delete button.

Edited by trolleybus (Sat 17-Feb-18 16:57:12)

Standard User JWDawson
(newbie) Sun 18-Feb-18 12:38:27
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Re: Hosted PBX + cheap SIP: how?


[re: FTTP2] [link to this post]
 
We have been using Gradwell at a School where I work for several now years now. We have always found their prices reasonable and the service good. You may get better rates for particular countries elsewhere, but their rates are generally more consistent. In particular they have a flat rate of 1.5p for most 'popular' countries (landlines).

https://www.gradwell.com/calls/plans-pricing/
Standard User radiodan
(newbie) Mon 19-Feb-18 01:25:15
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Re: Hosted PBX + cheap SIP: how?


[re: FTTP2] [link to this post]
 
All good advice here.

However, I really would not rule out an on-site hosted PBX. If the internet fails you can have the PBX automatically route calls through a backup POTS line, as well as continuing to allow inter-phone calling.

I never like solely relying on the cloud for anything; however that is just me! wink

Don't under estimate the demands it can put on your ISP connection and proper QoS deployment on your router and associated switchgear etc is *vital*. It really would be a sensible plan to dedicate a stable ADSL/VDSL circuit just for VoIP use (perhaps with auto failover to your main ISP connection in the event of failure).

Good luck - VoIP can be a minefield... But fun!

Dan

Zen business broadband + line rental ADSL 15/1 (ish) on Draytek 2860.
Zen residential broadband + line rental ADSL 1.8/0.7 (ish) on Draytek 2860.
3 WISP broadband 20/10 also on Draytek 2860 (via Huawei modem) operating in load-balance/fallover mode with Zen.
Standard User FTTP2
(newbie) Mon 19-Feb-18 10:11:28
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Re: Hosted PBX + cheap SIP: how?


[re: radiodan] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by radiodan:
However, I really would not rule out an on-site hosted PBX. If the internet fails you can have the PBX automatically route calls through a backup POTS line, as well as continuing to allow inter-phone calling.

I never like solely relying on the cloud for anything; however that is just me! wink


It is so tempting to also include a PBX and forget about all the costs per seat/user/extension (with a hosted PBX). I can understand the benefits when people are not at 1 site, working in different locations. In our case, it seems a bit more tricky to make a decision, since they are all on 1 site. It is a charity with often 'only' volunteers helping, and they dont usually last more than a year.

So, it is a choice whether to have an on-site PBX with potential maintenance issues (.e.g the classical report: it is not working) or just choose to skip it and let the provider handle it. The plus site, if an user here wants to tweak somethings they can rely on the VOIP provider to help them with the settings through their web portal. The disadvantages you just named. Since it is not really mission critical (a charity that sometimes needs to answer calls, but majority is for people placing calls to follow up on office stuff), I suggest them to avoid the hassle hosting anything . This also makes it easier if they want to add another extensions in the future.

Regarding the QoS. Well, the reason why we move to VOIP is also because we will be getting FTTP. Currently on an ADSL 2/0.5 (yes... 2 Mpbs). So we will move to a 150/30 or 300/50. We have a separate VLAN for voice, and will indeed make sure this VLAN gets the highest priority. Again, we thought about having another FTTP from another provider (redundancy again), but we will see how 'reliable' this service is. Luckily it is not a 'business' where every day/hour matters.

Thanks again for all your responses. I most probably will consider Port5060.net for the hosted PBX. They indeed have very low UK (mobile) rates.
Standard User MHC
(sensei) Mon 19-Feb-18 11:30:54
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Re: Hosted PBX + cheap SIP: how?


[re: FTTP2] [link to this post]
 
Also check the porting costs for taking numbers to the VOIP provider.

Most charge £15, 20, 25 per number. port5060 will charge just one fee if there are several numbers to come from one source and account.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
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