Leveraging Existing Handsets With a VoIP Gateway

June 23, 2010 by Brian Hyrek

If you are reading this you have probably concluded that VoIP would be the most efficient way of communication for your business.

However you may find that the cost associated with migrating to VoIP to be more than you bargained for. Perhaps you have recently made a substantial investment in analog telephones or maybe you users like their existing analog phones and fear “losing” them.

In either case you definitely don’t want to throw away your brand new analog phones if you deploy a VoIP Phone system.

Well I’m happy to tell you that you don’t have to! All you need is an FXS VoIP gateway.

With an FXS gateway traditional analog phones can be leveraged with your new VoIP Phone system. This affords you the ability to further recoup the cost of your recently purchased analog phones or keep your users happy.

Additionally, there is another example of the use of taking advantage of leveraging existing handsets through a VoIP gateway. Certain environments, such as a hotel or factory, may have yards upon yards of analog phone wiring and switching out cabling could be darn right difficult or painstaking. In this scenario a larger FXS gateway (they scale up to 48 ports and can be used in conjunction with one another for very large scale deployments).

Now all this is great, but you might be wondering what does FXS mean and why do I need this gateway to put my analog phones over my VoIP System?

To dive into a bit of some tech jargon, FXS (Foreign Exchange Station) is a telephony interface of which supplies dial tone, battery power, and generates ringing voltage. An analog example of this telephony exchange would be a telephone jack on a wall. FXS interfaces provide service at the “station” end of a foreign exchange line. Basically, an FXS device will give an analog device (such as a telephone) dial tone.

FXS gateways can communicate with a VoIP PBX using protocols such as H.323, SIP, MGCP, or IAX and encodes/decodes the voice signal using a voice codec such as G.711, G.722, G.726, G.728, G.729, ulaw, alaw, gsm, iLBC and others.

Features of an FXS Gateway can include:

  • Compliance with multiple protocols including SIP, H.323 and MGCP
  • Support with multiple voice codecs
  • T.38 compliant (faxing)
  • Echo cancellation, Jitter Buffer, VAD and CNG
  • Web Based administration and management
  • Automatic provisioning via TFTP/HTTP
  • Call routing and least cost call routing capability

Now, if you have any other outstanding questions or uncertainties about leveraging existing handsets with a VoIP system using an FXS gateway. Please don’t fret, I can walk you through to your answers and ensure you the right VoIP solution for your needs!

1 Comment

  • david gattuso

    I am opening a new office with my old norstar 8×24 phone pbx. I would like to use a pci voip fsx/fxo card in the main server (quad core 8 gig ram). have not signed up with ma bell but will be setting up a cable modem for server. running a half doz hard phones to start and build but am interested in the soft phone possibilities. ran cat 6 and rj11 lines to each location. some are going to be on lap tops and wireless. help!!

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