Forwarding BT calls to VoipFone

#1
One of our clients would like to forward inbound BT calls to their Voipfone PBX. Up to now, they've been using BT call forwarding but it's expensive - I think we have 2 options:

1. Port the number to VoipFone
2. Use an ATA type box to forward the calls.

At the moment they are still building confidence in VoipFone so I am not going to recommend porting the number just yet. Can anyone recommend a box which can be easily and reliably used to forward inbound calls?

Thanks,
Edmund

#2
Hi Edmund...

My advice is port the number, its much more reliable. I have tried ATA's and also Asterisk with a Digium card installed and still get problems with calls hanging (thats the reason I moved to Voipfone, and I find it very reliable)... I gave up on the ATA's after only a few days as I was losing more calls than I was receiving, but saying that I have to put some blame on the pbx not responding to the ringing current from the ATA.

At present I am just contemplating what numbers I need to port to Voipfone in addition to the existing pstn numbers I already have with them and what I can ditch.... Make sure that you don't port the number your ADSL is connected to if you are fed via a BT line, otherwise you will lose your broadband connection... What bugs me is the porting fees, however I can understand it as there is actual engineering work involved....

I hope you find my comments helpful and let us all know how you go on..

Regards Dave

#3
Thanks Spireman,

The ADSL number is part of the problem - before it can be ported, we need to get BT to assign another number to the line and hope they don't reallocate the original one to someone else.

Since BT are a law unto themselves and entirely unaccountable (in my experience) I'd prefer to find a hardware solution as a first step.

Anyone doing this sucessfully at the moment?

Thanks,

#4
Hi Edmund,

In case you do decide to port.... one way to make sure you keep your hands on the number so it doesn't get re-allocated is, have the existing line renumbered and the number you have at present have that allocated to that line as a call sign number, that way you can keep it and its only a nominal payment per month. Doing it this way people ringing in on the old number will still get through....Wait for a month or two then tell BT you want to port the call sign number.... Even if your not sure what line of action to take at present, its still worth considering doing ready for when/if you do port...

Regards

Dave

#5
How many incoming lines does your client have? If it's multiple lines, I have a solution.

We're successfully using a Mediatrix 1204 PSTN->VoIP gateway. This has 4 FXO ports (ie ports that you plus an exchange line into) and connects to a VoIP PBX (like Voipfone).

We have the incoming lines set up to forward the call over VoIP to our Voipfone main account number.

It's not a cheap box (about £400 if I recall right) but once set up properly, works well.

The added bonus is that with some more work you can also get a configuration provide local outbound calls over the same PSTN lines if your link to Voipfone fails.

Let me know if you want to know more ...

#6
Thanks David,

In this case (and other cases) it's just one line which needs to be handled. We just want incoming calls to that line to be sent to VoipFone without using BT forwarding which is so expensive?

I suppose we could take an 0800 number from voipfone but of course we'd still have to pay for the incoming calls.

Any ideas for dealing with just one line?
Thanks,
Edmund

#8
The Techs at Voipfone were very helpful with this setup :

One incoming PTSN line connected to a Sipura 3000.

Two accounts at Voipfone.

The SPA registers with account_1. When a call comes in, it uses a hotline-style dialplan to call account_2, without picking up the call.

Account_2 is a vPBX with several phones registered. They all ring!!

It does not seem possible to use the ATA port on the SPA registered to account_2 and receive a call originating from the PTSN via account_1. Which is a shame, but I doubt this is Voipfone's fault.

For me the big problem is that Voipfone's Voicemail pickup-duration is not configurable, it takes far too long to answer and even though I have the paid-for version of BT's Call Minder, it's longest pickup-duration setting is still too short to allow Voipfone's Voicemail to pickup.

(I hope you guys are listening ) ;-)

Apart from this one annoyance, I find it is reliable.

HTH

Jeremy

#9
jerm wrote:
(I hope you guys are listening ) ;-)

Jeremy
Oh, we're listening - but we'd need to be the size of Microsoft to do all the stuff you guys want!

Still, we like the feedback and it does help us set our development priorities.
Regards,

Voipfone Customer Services

iNet Telecoms Ltd (Voipfone)
Sovereign House
227 Marsh Wall
London
E14 9SD
United Kingdom

Registered number: 05168033
Vat Registration Number 858850966

Telephone: 020 7043 5555
Fax: 020 7043 5556

Web: http://www.voipfone.co.uk
Blog: http://www.voipfoneblog.co.uk
Forum: http://www.voipfoneuserforum.co.uk
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/voipfone

#10
You may like to try forwarding the BT line onto VOIP line using a Grandstream HT488 ATA. I have done this quite succesfully. Just make sure polarity is maintained on the line in, as the call will hang or not pick up.

Grandstream ATAs seem quite happy on the front end of PBXs such as the latest Panasonics.

The HT488 needs two voip accounts and if the device is set up to forward calls immediately any attached phone on the second account should not ring.

There is a slight degrading in voice quality.

Hope this helps.

Phil

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