Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I've been surfing the net for voip news and guess what?

Will you succumb to the software giant's move on VoIP? Will it be safe of BSOD's? Will you trust your conversations will be secure?

It's entirely up to you. They have the trial version in their site.

Good luck.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Single port, 4 port, 8 port - Just how many?

Asterisk cards come with different number of ports - and they do for a reason. There are different needs for different applications and manufacturers aim to address them. If you're a beginner, you can order a single port Asterisk card, which is configure with having 1 FXO module. Basically, you would have the functionality of receiving incoming calls, then transfer that call anywhere in your IP network. Of course, while that call is live, your line then would be busy since you only have a single FXO (a single number from your telco as well) handling that call.

A basic setup for you play around with would be a 4 port Asterisk card, with 2 FXO modules and 2 FXS modules. This kind of setup would allow you to receive 2 calls from 2 numbers coming from your telco then transferred to your 2 analog phones connected in your FXS modules, or to an unlimited number of IP or soft phones in your network. Remember that you only need X number of FXS modules for X number of analog devices you have (1:1 ratio). As for IP phones or soft phones, there is virtually no limit. Just make sure they are connected in one network with your Asterisk card.

Now if you're really into, why not order an 8-port card? It basically expands your 4 port supporting much more modules for your applications. If you have 2 lines from telco and have 6 analog phones, simply get an 8 port card, 2 FXO modules, 6 FXS modules, then you're good to go.

The kind of card you need would really depend on how many devices you would connect to your VoIP network. I hope this helps you figure out how many ports do you really need for your Asterisk implementation.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How To Get Set Up For VOIP

Now that we know what VOIP is, this could be the next question that we should ask. Depending on the set up that you want to choose, the technical requirements would vary. There are actually three ways on how to get set up.

1. With the use of an ATA or analog telephone adapter
This is very simple to use and to set up. You just plug this device to your computer or Internet then you just plug in a regular analog phone(the one you normally use at home). You need to subscribe to certain providers for this set up.

2. IP Phones
These are special phones specially made for of course, VOIP. They look like regular phones but you connect them to an Ethernet line. There are also models that use Wi-Fi which is more convenient because you can even use this when you are at a Wi-Fi zone, say a coffee bar and then you are ready to receive and make even long distance calls.

3. Computer to computer
This is the most basic way to get set up and you do not really need any special hardware. VOIP and long distance calls are free and you may or may not need to purchase the software as there are a lot of freeware you can use. You just need to have a headset with a microphone and a high speed connection for the quality to be stable.

The set-up mentioned here is the most basic and is usually for personal use. More advanced set up which you use for business requires a great deal of knowledge on Linux and asterisk technology. VOIP hardware is also required, so you would need to spend a little more than just buying a headset with a microphone.

A Quick Look at VOIP

VOIP, as we all know, is voice over internet protocol. The non-technical explanation of this is that it allows broadband internet users to make and receive phone calls through the internet or to talk via a computer to another computer across the planet. The voice quality is usually like making a regular local phone call. You may or may not need additional hardware for this setup.

The advantage of VOIP against a landline is that the amount you pay for long distance calls. Some VOIP providers give you the liberty of choosing your own phone number, which is an advantage because when you move on different parts of the world, you get to keep the same number and your family and customers won’t have a hard time contacting you.

Many multinational companies have also adapted the use of this technology for establishing contact centers in different parts of the world. A US customer can call the company’s tollfree number, and the call would be routed to somewhere in the Philippines. The US company saves money with this set-up and at the same time give jobs to millions of people around the globe.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Triple Play - The Future of VoIP, Television, and the Internet

With the emergence of broadband connections and the internet, applications for the use for this technology has expanded throughout the years. From simple intranets to the evolution of the internet, from traditional telephones to VoIP, from local video to online video and many more.

Triple play comes in with these applications in mind. According to wikipedia:
In telecommunications, the triple play service is a marketing term for the provisioning of the two broadband services, high-speed Internet access and television, and one narrowband service, telephone, over a single broadband connection. Triple Play focuses on a combined business model rather than solving technical issues or a common standard.
There are of course implications for this type of technology. 1Gbps of bandwidth is huge..and I mean really huge! For businesses, if you have a fiber-optic backbone for your network, you may well run over 1Gbps of data in your network. Internal VoIP calls, video, and data transfer within your network are fast. If you can extend your backbone with such throughput over a larger area, so much the better. Ideally, this would be the kind of setup we would like as consumers. Company players, however, would find it rather difficult to deal with with all the negotiations and implications of the technology. From wikipedia, we read:

There are multiple and intense regulatory battles over triple play
services as incumbent telcos and incumbent cable operators attempt to
keep out new competitors -- since both industries historically have
been regulated monopolies, regulatory capture
has long been as much a core competency for them as have been prices
and terms of service. Cable providers want to compete with telcos for
local voice service, but want to discourage telcos from competing with
them for television service. Incumbent telcos want to deliver
television service but want to block competition for voice service from
cable operators. Both industries cloak their demands for favorable
regulatory treatment in claims that their positions favor the public
interests. In March 2007 cable operators scored a major victory when
the FCC overruled two state public service commissions by ruling that
incumbent local exchange carriers must connect to VoIP services [1].
Regulators in South Carolina and Nebraska had been allowing local
telcos to block Time Warner Cable from offering local phone service in
their states. In the other direction, also in March 2007 the FCC
limited the powers of municipalities and states over telcos that want
to compete with cable TV companies [2];
consumer groups expressed displeasure with this FCC ruling because they
fear telcos will only offer service to the richest neighborhoods (a
major bone of contention between telcos wanting to offer television
service and local governments is that local governments typically
impose "build-out" and community access requirements so a cable
provider is forced to wire the entire town within a specified period of
time). All three Republican members of the FCC voted for this decision,
while both Democratic members voted against it and one predicted either
Congress or the courts would overturn it.
Sad as it is, we as consumers would have to wait for their action regarding the issue.

Going back, the boom of Youtube as an online video platform may imply advancements for the implementation of VoIP video conferences.

For now, we would have to do with what VoIP presently offers, which is no doubt good already. Small and Large Scale businesses alike make use of the technology already. If you are starting up a small or home business, you may want to consider investing in a VoIP system that would work for you.

People in PBXEQ would be able to help you in finding the kind of hardware you need for you business. Simply go to their website and chat with their representatives so you would know the voip hardware you need.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

An interesting look on Asterisk Hardware

Asterisk hardware - particularly asterisk cards - have been around and options just keep on growing. Like my previous post here, we'll take a look at CTO Tom Keating of TMC Labs had to say about them:

Let's see -- you have Digium cards, Aculab cards, Dialogic cards, PIKA cards, Rhino, and Sangoma cards that all work on Asterisk-based systems. (You also have ZAPMICRO and OpenVox which are Digium-cloned cards.)

Some cards work more seamlessly and have better driver support than others. For instance, I've heard it is difficult to get Dialogic channel drivers to work on Asterisk. I recall hearing that the Dialogic driver was licensed such that it could only be used with Asterisk Business Edition. In any event, with so much hardware competition for the Asterisk platform, how does this affect Digium, the corporation behind the open source Asterisk movement? A lot of their revenue comes from their hardware business, so with so many choices will this leave Digium "high and dry"?
Tom Keating goes further:

As SmithonVoIP points out, Sangoma's stock has been going like gangbusters when he points out, "Sangoma posted their Q3 earnings today, which showed a 24% increase in revenues over the previous quarter of this year, a 68% year over year increase in sales revenues, a 69% year over year increase in net income, and a 56% year over year increase in Net earnings." Relatedly, Rich Tehrani and I were discussing Sangoma's phenomenal stock growth a few weeks ago and both of us planned on writing about it. I believe Rich has an article planned for Internet Telephony Magazine highlighting Sangoma. Obviously, Sangoma has been riding the "hockey stick curve" of Asterisk, which has been dramatically boosting Sangoma's revenue. (they sell other hardware as well)

Then you have OpenVox, a company based in China offering "Digium-cloned" hardware. They use the same hardware reference design that Digium uses. In fact, they look nearly identical. While they also suffer from the same hardware interrupt issues as Digium hardware, they're 20% cheaper - or more. OpenVox was probably the first Digium clone and I believe is the largest. Similarly, another Chinese-based company, ZAPMICRO is also offering Digium-cloned hardware.

Adding to Tom's review on alternative asterisk hardware, Zapmicro is sold at nearly 40% off in PBXEQ. If this is the case and you would prefer working with Digium-similar asterisk cards, better go for Zapmicro then. Meanwhile, Sangoma is highly favored in the article and if you have the budget for it, it would be a good choice for your asterisk implementation.

You may read Tom's full article on Asterisk hardware options here, and his review on Sangoma VS Digium.

Dispelling Some Myths About VOIP

A lot has been written about VOIP. This time, let's dispel the myths.

1. VOIP is not widely used in business.

VOIP take-up is growing rapidly. Many small businesses worldwide are adapting the use of this technology. The evidence is the progression of many BPO businesses worldwide.

2. VOIP is only cheap when calling people using VOIP

The majority of people first look at VOIP services because of the cost savings that are available, but this isn’t limited to calling other VOIP users. Many services offer reduced local and national call rates, along with capped prices for domestic, fixed-to-mobile and international calls.

3. VOIP calls can only be made from in front of a computer

Although this was the case when VOIP first emerged, the development of telephone adaptors, VOIP-enabled routers and wireless VOIP handsets, now mean that users have more flexibility than fixed-line phone users and can make internet telephone calls from wherever they are – whether in the office, at home, or traveling.

4. VOIP calls are not very good quality

One of the criticisms that has been leveled at VOIP service is that it is still a relatively new technology and voice quality isn’t quite as high as on conventional fixed-line telephone services. However, paid-for-services from reputable suppliers are very much the same as fixed line and can be better than mobile reception.

5. VOIP is unreliable.

As with any new technology, in the early days VOIP services could be unreliable. However as the technology has matured, reliability has increased and is now at a level that is appropriate for business use.

6. VOIP is complicated

If you are implementing your own customized system then VOIP can be complicated, but that is only something that large organizations like corporate companies would consider. For small and medium-sized companies, there is a range of hosted options that offer easy access to the latest internet calling services without requiring extensive technical knowledge.

7. Using VOIP in a business requires a large investment

There are now a lot of hardware manufacturing companies that offer equipment at competitive prices. Asterisk cards are now being offered at a more competitive price and are as good as the first ones who developed it.

8. VOIP requires a special digital phone

There are special digital VOIP phones on the market, but believe it or not, you may also use your old analog phones to receive VOIP calls. This is possible with an analog card with an FXS module, VOIP-enabled routers and adapter boxes.

9. VOIP just gives you a cheap alternative to standard fixed-line telephones

VOIP services do offer a cost-effective way to get additional lines, but they also offer much more. Three-way calling, call forwarding, voicemail, caller ID and many more come as standard features available.

10. You can’t have a geographic number if you use a VOIP service.

VOIP services are not linked to a local exchange in the same way as traditional telephones. As a result, VOIP numbers do not have to be specific to a town or region, which gives companies the ability to choose the type of number they want to use, whether that is a geographic, VOIP, or a national number.

With this article, have we already erased some of your doubts about using VOIP? For your VOIP equipment needs, Pbxeq is the one-stop shop for all your Asterisk Cards, VOIP Hardware, IP Phones, and more. Pbxeq offers the widest choice of VOIP products at the most competitive prices in the market today.

About Pbxeq

Pbxeq provides Asterisk© compatible hardware, ready to be used with leading open source telephony projects. Visit www.pbxeq.com, we have everything you need in VOIP hardware in one shop.