Bitstreams wrote:Hi Paul,
The Horizon system is Gamma's Hosted VOIP PBX solution.
I suspected it might be Gamma's Hosted VoIP PBX solution although there are many others offering the same.
Bitstreams wrote:We have a single phone line from Plus Net which also provides FTTC broadband at a good speed 80/20. If we port the number I understand that PlusNet would simply provide an alternative line for the fibra connection so that cost would remain.
Be aware, most providers would cease a phone line upon any number assigned to it being porting out. Also any broadband connection on that line would be ceased too. So if you do decide to port out, make sure that Plus Net won't cease your line and broadband.
Bitstreams wrote:I want to be able to make/recieve 3 calls at the same time ideally and also be able to use a handset on the same number (or a new DDI number) when I work from home, without the end user knowing.
This is easily achieved, you only need one extension for every handset. Free to setup on Asterisk but chargeable on a Hosted PBX. Most VoIP providers usually charge an additional fee per extension (usually around £1 each) or assigned a certain amount of extensions to be used at sign up (the cost for these are normally included in your fixed monthly fee).
A snom D715 registered against an extension is capable of offering multiple lines allowing you deal with several calls at the same time. Heck you could place one phone in Scotland, a second phone in Wales and the third phone in England if you wanted to and once connected to a power source and an internet connection all three phones would be working as if they were in the same room. Anyone that dials your phone number would result in all three phones ringing at the same time and the caller would be none the wiser. Same if you dial out on any of the phones, the person being called would see your business number no matter which of the three phones the call was generated from.
Bitstreams wrote:At the moment we get an inclusive tariff for landline calls from plusnet but pay for mobile calls. The supplier of the Horison system is offering all UK landline and mobiles included (and the FTTC line) but the cost for 2 handsets is around £65 per month.
Any other charges on top of the £65? Is it inclusive of VAT?
£65 a month for unlimited UK landline and mobiles calls, FTTC and 2 IP phones appears to be a great deal.
Bitstreams wrote:I understand that I can build an Asterix machine but I don't get why I have to put a 4 port analog card in to connect to our phone line. Is this an alternative to porting the number and if I do it that way, how are the number of inbound/outbound calls restricted?
You don't need to build anything, you can run Asterisk off an old PC, Raspberry PI or VPS. There is no requirement to connect Asterisk to a working PSTN line and no need to purchase any analogue cards, just register a it to a SIP trunk. If you do want to make or receive calls over a PSTN line via Asterisk then obviously you need to connect your Asterisk box to that PSTN line.
An example: Let's say you were running Asterisk off an old PC in a storage cupboard...
To be able to make and receive calls via that Asterisk server over your PSTN line, simply purchase an OBi110, connect the OBi110 to the same network that your Asterisk box is using and connect the OBi110 to your PSTN line. A bit of configuration on the OBi110 and Asterisk server is required but once completed your you're able to make and receive calls via that PSTN line using Asterisk.
Call would go out like this: IP phone on desk > your local network > Asterisk > your local network > OBi110 > PSTN
PSTN lines only allow one inbound call at a time, then you get an engaged tone. There is nothing you can do to alter this! OK, you can enable call waiting and then a second caller will no longer hear the engaged tone but that's it. If you don't port your number over the only way to receive calls on your PBX would be to divert them from your PSTN line to a DID assigned to your hosted PBX. That will likely incur additional costs by Plus Net as diverted calls are not normally included in any free allowance.
All you need is a small cloud based PBX, cost is minimal. It only starts to get expensive when you're looking at inclusive mobile minutes. Hosted PBX with three extensions, 1 DID and unlimited landline calls will set you back around £15 a month. It's the inclusive mobile calls that push the costs up, do you really need that? I have to pop out, when I get some spare time later I will see if I can come up with a cheaper solution for you.