What are VoIP Gateways and why do I need them?
Without connecting your Phone System you will only be able to make phone calls between extensions phones connected to your phone system. To be able to make calls to the outside world you need some kind of connectivity. Depending on your business situation you have the following choices to interconnect your phone system to the outside world. Below you can find more information about each different Solution.
VoIP trunks (SIP)
SIP Trunks are the most common Solution for new phone systems to be connected nowadays. VoIP Gateways are included with any IP PBX Solution on the market. This way is not only the cheapest and most flexible available it’s also the best in most cases. Session Internet Protocol (SIP)
PRI Gateways (E1)
PRI or E1 Gateways are often deployed by bigger companies and commonly found with existing setups. The key advantage for E1 lines is that calls are not routed via Internet. This setup is extremely stable and allows making and receiving phone calls even if you experience Internet problems. This setup is recommended for a) companies that already deploy PRI/E1 lines in their existing setup. Furthermore this setup is recommended for Government related bodies like Police, FireGuards, Army or Hospitals, Banks etc. due to their extremely high reliably. If your business is extremely dependent on highest reliability this is the way to go. PRI lines always have 30 channels that allow making 30 concurrent calls. Usually you can attach between 30 and 100 phone numbers to one E1 trunk. If your organization needs more that 100 phone number you would need to apply for a second E1 line.
PSTN Gateways (FXO) (POTS)
PSTN lines are everywhere. Almost any company has a fixed line phone number. If your business has been in operation for years and your phone number has been published everywhere you don’t want to cut these. This is especially True for companies like delivery services that have a very high exposure of their business phone number on marketing materials, delivery trucks etc. You want to make sure that you can keep your existing phone numbers when migrating to VoIP. Companies that can’t effort to loose their existing phone numbers.
Mobile Gateways (GSM / 3G / 4G)
Mobile Gateways are convenient to deploy in remote areas that are leaking Internet and Telephony connections. Mobile Gateways also make business sense for companies that deploy a sales force using basic mobile phones. Many mobile providers offer corporate packages that allow for free calls between its employees. With a mobile Gateway connected to your phone system your business can take advantage of the “free” calls between staff in the office and their sales force out at the customer. Often mobile gateways are also deployed for call termination purposes of ITSP’s.
BRI Gateways (ISDN)
BRI is the small brother of PRI. BRI lines offer the same advantage of PRI lines. PRI lines come with 3 concurrent channels and allow connecting up to 10? Phone numbers. This service is designed for smaller offices that want to profit from the same reliability as PRI lines offer. BRI ports can be found in some FRITZ!Box models for example.
FAX Gateways allow you to connect a FAX machine to your phone system in the cloud. These setups are rare but possible.
Telephone Gateways (FXS)
Telephone Gateways or FXS Gateways are merely a way to connect analog Telephones to your digital phone system and not a way to connect to the outside world. FXO Gateways are commonly deployed when upgrading a phone system from analog to a VoIP Solution where replacing analog phone lines is not an option without major renovation or construction work taking place to pull new cables. A common scenario is existing Hotels and Resorts.