VoIP POTS Emulation on FXO with MagicJack
MagicJack was founded by telecom veteran Dan Borislow of Tel-Save (TalkAmerica) fame. MagicJack provides VoIP service based upon a proprietary USB device which retails for $40 and includes a free year of domestic calling service. After the initial year of service, 1-year renewals are $20.
MagicJack has been shipping their device for a few months, and recently announced a promotion for SunRocket refugees, but it is unclear the number of subscribers MagicJack has.
MagicJack requires a PC, and their simple device plugs directly into a USB port. From there, you connect a traditional analog phone into the RJ11 jack on the USB device. MagicJack assigns you a DID number, and you are ready to make and receive calls. MagicJack also offers free calling features including voicemail and call waiting.
I purchased one of their devices about a week ago, and I have not gotten around to testing it, but it got me thinking. I intend to pair the MagicJack device with an Asterisk based open source PBX, running an RJ11 patch cable between their USB device and an integrated FXO (Analog POTS Line In) port on the PBX. It seems logical that you could use the MagicJack device to emulate traditional POTS service, and create a Zaptel trunk on the Asterisk PBX (Which is, in reality, a VoIP trunk).
If this works, it seems to me that it would be an inexpensive and easy way to incorporate VoIP trunks into an IP PBX for a small to midsized business customer, and could be “self-provisioned”
I’ll report back on this in a week or two with the results of my testing.