I don't believe you will find good margins with the setup you are
specifying. Additionally, you can forget about fax working, which is an
absolute requirement for businesses.
If anyone on this list wants to do VoIP over wireless, figure out how to
do fax before committing to the business. From experience I can tell you
that it cost us an enormous amount of money to get fax working with
Matt Larsen - Lists wrote:
After a year and a half of watching, jumping in and learning about
VOIP, I think I have come up with a way to implement it with a
relatively low budget setup. Here is my very general outline of how
to deliver VOIP on a shoestring:
1) Asterisk server with AMP (Asterisk Management Portal): This is a
great soho phone system, but on the right machine it appears that it
can also be used as a production VOIP server. The key is that it uses
MySQL databases for the extension and trunk configurations. Another
necessity - G.729 codec licensing. G.729, GSM and ilbc codecs work
great on wireless - even garden variety wifi. AMP has a nice
web-based interface for maintenance and a decent website for checking
voice mail and account usage.
2) Freeside billing server - Freeside can be modified to submit the
necessary variables for voip service to an AMP box. That means that
the billing for the VOIP can be done with the same server that is
doing ISP billing, and it can also handle
provisioning/deprovisioning. I don't have this quite sorted out yet,
but am getting close.
3) An ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) that has a built in router and
supports the codecs listed above (G729, GSM, ilbc). My preferred one
at the moment is the Grandstream HandyTone 488. It is $75 to $80.
This unit includes one VOIP line, a router with dhcp and nat, an FXO
port (which means that it can route calls through a regular phone
line) and a PSTN pass through port. If the customer has an existing
phone line, 911 calls can be set up to go right to their regular
phone. I have tested out the Sipura and Linksys adapters and they
work as well, but the Grandstream has more features for a lower price.
4) A GOOD ITSP (Internet Telephone Service Provider). An ITSP is
where you can get your numbers and long distance termination. Right
now, I am very happy with Teliax for my numbers and inbound
termination, and Voipjet for outbound termination. Voipjet is a
little cheaper, so when everything averages out, minutes cost about
1.5cents each. If there is a lot of local traffic, you can also get a
few local lines and place the calls through those lines instead of
using the ITSP. Teliax has a wide selection of local numbers,
better than just about anyone else, and their support and network
performance is top-notch. I'm not using a large volume of minutes
yet, but I think there may be some interest in putting together a plan
for WISPA members to band together for volume discounts.
5) Find the right balance of pricing and features - I"m looking at
$24.95/month for residential with a $50 setup fee - but we maintain
ownership of the ATA unit. If a 1000minute soft cap is put on the
residential accounts, you can figure $15 maximum for the minutes used
- with $5 (approx cost) for the inbound number that leaves a $5/month
profit. If the user only uses 500 minutes, then that is a
$12.50/month profit. That is where a few local lines might come in
handy to provide a non-ITSP route to the PSTN that is fixed and
doesn't have per minute charges. That would increase the profit
margin. Businesses should be under a different plan completely.
We are getting demand from some strange places for VOIP. Several
small towns in my service area have monthly phone rates of $90-$100
per line for local phone service. We are finding that the phone
service is more valuable to them than the Internet and they could care
less about having a local number. A VOIP phone with a toll-free
number is just fine for them, and even with the Internet service they
can cut their phone bill in half. That is a little nuts.
I welcome any comments from others who are working on the same thing.
I'm sure there are some guys out there who are going to have some
ideas on ways to improve this, so please speak up if you have some ideas.
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