AastraLink Pro 160 VoIP PBX Review
Aastra Telecom’s first SIP-based IP PBX
Aastra Telecom has announced that it will be releasing its first SIP-based IP PBX in early May; the AastraLink Pro 160. I recently had the option of attending a technical webinar on this product, and I have to say, I’m very pleased by its offerings in its initial deployment. The AastraLink Pro 160 is designed and targeted at applications for 25 phone system users or less, but allows for up to 9 AastraLink Pro units to be interconnected via IAX trunks to accompany remote offices, multiple locations, and larger applications with more users. The unit is strictly hardware based, and blankets Asterisk, however there is no access to the root command line interface–there’s simply no need to. The AastraLink Pro 160 is accompanied by a user-friendly Web GUI interface where all configurations such as the configuration of IP endpoints, PSTN trunks, SIP trunks, and call feature functionalities, can all be performed. The AastraLink Pro 160 is designed specifically for LAN environments, and works best with Aastra SIP-based units such as the 51i, 53i, 55i, 57i, 57i CT, and the newly released models, 9143, 9480i, 9480i CT, because the PBX has built-in auto-provisioning features that will auto-seek any of the units mentioned above on the same LAN and provision the units for inter-office voice connectivity. Simply plug the Aastra IP Phones into the LAN, and let the AastraLink Pro 160 do the rest.
AastraLink Pro 160
-Support for up to 50 extensions when SIP Trunking is facilitated.
-Expandability to link up to 9 AastraLink Pro units via IAX trunking for your remote and multiple location applications.
-No user or application license fees.
-Auto-provisioning tool that allows the system to work seamlessly with Aastra IP Phones. Simply plug the phones into the LAN, and let the AastraLink Pro 160 do the rest.
-A built-in Auto Attendant that configures on initial setup.
-Ability to support open-sourced SIP IP endpoints other than Aastra phones, with phone configuration back to the AastraLink Pro 160 appliance.
The AastraLink Pro 160 is a pure hardware-based solution, no messing around with Asterisk root configuration files, and zaptel configurations for those in-house installers. There’s simply no need to! The unit contains the following hardware specifications that are designed to facilitate all of the feature functionalities of the product:
-6 analog RJ-11 FXO connections for PSTN and POTS connectivity with G.168 echo cancellation on board.
-2 analog RJ-11 FXS Connections to directly connect a fax or analog telephone up to. A cool feature with this is that the hardware has the ability to auto-switch FXO connectivity from Port 1 FXO to Port 1 FXS device in times when the network may be down. This is most noted as PSTN failover or emergency backup services, so you still have a way to communicate with the outside world in times where your network may be down. (you can also use a VoIP gateway)
-1 LAN port for connectivity to the LAN. This is strictly a LAN device and is recommended always that your LAN is segmented for voice or data in some way to reduce possible QOS issues. The LAN connectivity is also used to facilitate SIP trunking and IAX trunking between multiple AastraLink Pro 160 appliances. In these types of instances, ensure your LAN connectivity has access to your WAN to facilitate this. Aastra recommends the user of Netgear switches, and Netgear/Linksys routers specifically supporting UPnP.
-1 WAN port, which is designed for future use.
-2 audio stereo input jacks to allow for in and out circuitry for Music on Hold (MOH) and external paging.
Look for this product to become available on Voipsupply.com in early May of this year. This is a perfect application for small to medium sized deployments, and is an in-house installer’s dream regarding setup procedures. More information on the upcoming release and more feature specifications can found here.