Who should I use for VoIP in Canada?

Discussion in 'General' started by oshkosh, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. oshkosh

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    I need some help everyone. Here's my situation, we have 5 employees in my company, plus 4 extra extensions for conference room etc. We're ditching our Hosted PBX for asterisk. Our hosted pbx does 5 concurrent channels, and I just ordered 4 analog lines from my telco to use with my TDM410. I signed up for a phone number with CallCentric to try out VoIP and the calls are amazingly clear. With the TDM410 the calls are so staticy, but sound great to the person I'm calling. I've done tons of troubleshooting but its still not as good as the quality with Callcentric.

    The problem it seems is that Callcentric supports 1 concurrent call, and it doesn't support hunting.

    I need a VoIP provider that will basically let me have 1 main number, that will support at least 4 concurrent calls on it to match the 4 analog lines that I have. I'd prefer somewhere as well that would let me add more channels later if I found that I needed say 5 or 6.

    It's really hard to find providers that work well with Asterisk so hoping to get some suggestions. A lot seem to be US only and I need a local Toronto 416 number. Thanks!
     
  2. Centar

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    One solution would be to get your DID's from MyDivert.com
    They supply 2 channels per DID, BUT truth be known if you buy more DID's they tend to share all the channels.
    Thus if you buy 2 DID's and only use one it should have 4 channels
    This of course assumes your DID's are in the same area of the world as there seems to be 2 areas that don't share channels...
    This is what I do and it seems to work just fine.
    This kind of behavior with DID's is documented by some other providers. ie. Terrasip
     
  3. oshkosh

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    Thanks for your reply. I had an account with voip.ms before but it didn't work well on my softphone. I just tried it again and the quality was great and they give unlimited call channels per DID. The only thing is I didn't realize that VoIP for business seems to bill by the second. We do a LOT of talking and when I did my calculations it works out to something like $360 for a month where my 4 phone analog lines are only $127.50. I really liked callcentric as well but it's also per second billing for outbound calls which is too bad.
     
  4. Centar

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    You could also check out FREEPHONELINE.CA
    They are totally free for certain provinces like Ontario or unlimited for $3.50 a month for both incoming and outgoing.
    They will sell the settings to use with a PBX for $50 one time charge.
     
  5. grumpy

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    Voip.ms rates (Very good quality and service, been using for over a year)

    Toronto $0.99 per month / $0.0100 per minute

    $360.00 / .01 =36000 mins / 30 days = 1200mins a day / 4 phone lines =300 mins per line per day / 60 mins in a hour = 5 hrs per phone line per day

    this does not allow for lunch or weekends at a typical business.
    Are you running a call centre with just local calls?

    The price is only .01 a minute billed in 6 sec increments.

    THIS ONLY APPLIES TO INCOMING CALLS OUTGOING IS A DIFFERENT PRICE.

    On my 800 number it is PREMIUM is .0125
    Value is Canada .0052 US .0105

    As for freephoneline.ca they do not support business and would disconnect you for that kind of usage. (Their parent company would be more than happy to provide a solution though)

    Other then Voip.ms in Canada their is Les.net, my experience has been less then stellar though. Have not tried voicemeup.com but it looks like they bill in Canadian currency too. (I'm able to get a local number from them)
     
  6. Centar

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    Well I myself only charge 0.9 cents min in Canada
    I use Gafachi as one of my outgoing providers they are 0.035 cents per min in Canada

    Want any more of my secretes? :p
     
  7. oshkosh

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    I like voip.ms but this is a small call centre and outbound centre. Like we do direct mailings and do cold calling as well. The thing is 4 phone lines with Allstream is $127.50 and has 1000 mins of LD free, we call all over Canada. Every 2 lines is $63.75 with 500 NA long distance mins. So going to voip would have to be the same price or cheaper to make it worth it. I more liked it because it's much clearer than DAHDI but still tweaking that, spent all day trying to get my analog lines to sound as good as Voip, pain in the you know what.
     
  8. Centar

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    You could also check out Terrasip for callcenter stuff they are very cheap.
    both gafachi and terrasip would save a fortune over voip.ms and there are even cheaper providers out there you just need to have a high volume like you do...
     
  9. grumpy

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    One of us is not understanding the other, I'll take the hit for that :p

    $127.50 - $.099 for a DID which is not actually needed if there is no incoming calls.

    Leaves $125.00 for channel use. (like my math)

    125/.0052 = 24,038 mins per $125.00 value route. That is 24 times more minutes in North America with unlimited channels.

    OR

    125/.0125 =10,000 mins per $125.00 on the Premium route 10 times more mins on unlimited channels.

    The beauty about voip is that it can grow with you and you have complete control, voip.ms makes it easy for you.

    Now saying all that for business, nothing beats PSTN for dependability, and I believe in your situation you could/should have both.
     
  10. oshkosh

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    Right I understand what you're saying. For the $127.50 though all local calls are of course free, all toll free calls are free, all North American calls I get 1000 mins free per month at 3 cents for each additional minute. We do equal amounts of inbound and outbound that's the thing. Our toll free numbers are free with Allstream (I have 5 all free and they all use the 1000 free mins as well, then 3 cents a min after that). So the thing is if each of the 5 employees does a total of 6 hours of calls per day (mix of in and out) then that's 30 hours a day x 5 x 4 = 600 hours per month or 36,000 mins. At the value offering that's 36,000 x 0.0052 $187.20 which isn't horrible, but gets me concerned with quality so I'd probably want the premium one which is then $450.

    And actually after writing all that I think I may have just realized the value of voip now. Right now we do around 1500 mins of LD per month the rest are local or inbound toll free, and each person is maybe on the phone for 1 hour a day maybe 2 if really busy. We're ramping up the team and want it to be much higher volume so that's where we got the 6 hours per person a day from. Being 30 hours a day and servicing all of Canada, a lot of those calls will be long distance or toll free inbound. 36,000 mins is a lot, subtract the 1000 free ones, that's 35,000 minutes per month. Even if 10,000 of them is LD that's 10,000 x 0.03 = $300 plus the $127.50 or $427.50.

    Now I have to reconsider everything lol. My only thing is with toll free voip.ms seems more expensive, like it said 3.2 cents per minute, is that on top of the 0.0052 or 0.0125 normal rate or just 3.2 flat?
     
  11. oshkosh

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    Right I understand what you're saying. For the $127.50 though all local calls are of course free, all toll free calls are free, all North American calls I get 1000 mins free per month at 3 cents for each additional minute. We do equal amounts of inbound and outbound that's the thing. Our toll free numbers are free with Allstream (I have 5 all free and they all use the 1000 free mins as well, then 3 cents a min after that). So the thing is if each of the 5 employees does a total of 6 hours of calls per day (mix of in and out) then that's 30 hours a day x 5 x 4 = 600 hours per month or 36,000 mins. At the value offering that's 36,000 x 0.0052 $187.20 which isn't horrible, but gets me concerned with quality so I'd probably want the premium one which is then $450.

    And actually after writing all that I think I may have just realized the value of voip now. Right now we do around 1500 mins of LD per month the rest are local or inbound toll free, and each person is maybe on the phone for 1 hour a day maybe 2 if really busy. We're ramping up the team and want it to be much higher volume so that's where we got the 6 hours per person a day from. Being 30 hours a day and servicing all of Canada, a lot of those calls will be long distance or toll free inbound. 36,000 mins is a lot, subtract the 1000 free ones, that's 35,000 minutes per month. Even if 10,000 of them is LD that's 10,000 x 0.03 = $300 plus the $127.50 or $427.50.

    Now I have to reconsider everything lol. My only thing is with toll free voip.ms seems more expensive, like it said 3.2 cents per minute, is that on top of the 0.0052 or 0.0125 normal rate or just 3.2 flat?
     
  12. grumpy

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    3.2 cents per minute that is all.

    as for routing I do not find a difference in quality, I use it just in case.

    I own a busy pizza shop, and would never go 100% VOIP (or voip at all at this point in time). When it comes to business that depends on the phone PSTN cannot be beat. Get yourself a good adapter card like Sangnoma or Rhino or Digium. to attach the PSTN lines to your asterisk box. Use Voip on long distance and where it makes sense and PSTN for all other calls. VOIP for inter-office communication or at home workers works well. When the agent uses the phone it can be setup so they never no if the call is digital or PSTN.

    Look at other distros with an active community and give them a try, find the distro and type of support that fits with you.

    Are you going with extensions or agents? (agents log on, ext always active)

    My suggestion is use good equipment and try it, the ip stuff internal will not go to waste no matter what.
     
  13. vinced

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    check out les.net from winnipeg.
     
  14. oshkosh

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    Thanks for the help everyone! Right now I have a Hosted PBX, it's okay but LD is all 3 cents per minute and it's $33.50 per user and doesn't have nearly the features asterisk does. I'm running Elastix 2.0 now and I have all Cisco 7960g SIP phones. I have a TDM410p card but the call quality is really bad. I finally was able to get rid of echo but only when I used MG2 echo cancellation. Oslec did nothing, and I even bought the Digium licence for theirs and it's just as bad so really frustrating. It's better now but there's static on the line, going to test today to make sure it's not the actual line itself. I was looking at voIP because when I tried it out the call quality was MUCH better than analog lines I have.

    I'm using all extensions no agents. I bought a SPA 3000 just to see if it helps eliminate static in case it's something in the system causing it. If that helps I'll probably go analog lines, but I'll have all LD calls use voip.ms.

    I tried LES.net they're absolutely horrible, their website looks like it's from the 90s. I sign up it says call their 800 number to activate, when I did it says the number is not in service, so then I tried their manitoba number and that one just kept giving a busy signal. Their site is so basic they really look unprofessional so sent them an email telling them they lost me as a customer. I'm really happy with voip.ms so far though.
     
  15. grumpy

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    I agree with you about Les.net (even though I'm a customer)

    Not familiar with cisco phones to complicated for me, I use aastra 57i. (and the script they provide) But you could connect them all to voip.ms virtual pbx and get away from your other hosted bill. As for that spa.. that was my first try at voip and I did not like it, if possible upgrade your card modules to include hardware echo. (also check the volume on the phones and try lowering it to see if that helps.
     
  16. oshkosh

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    Thanks again. Lowering the volume does help but then it's harder to hear the person is all. Going to keep playing. Just leary with upgrading to hardware echo cancellation in case it doesn't work then it's a waste. I think I've found a solution to everything so far though.

    Call Centric inbound DID plan is $8.95 a month for unlimited inbound calls, with 3 call paths. Each additional is $8.95. I think right now 3 is plenty, so I think I'll have my main number use Call Centric, that way 3 people can call us at once.

    Then my 4 analog lines I'll use as all outbound routes. That way they'll use the free LD mins included with my plan. My toll free numbers can terminate to call centric, so that way the toll free will also use my free LD mins, and anything additional will bill to my Allstream account.

    Then, I'l use callcentric or voip.ms as an outbound route 5, preferably voip.ms since it has unlimited routes. That way whether it's my 4 sales reps making calls, or them plus myself, or all of us plus a visitor or two in the office, we'll never not be able to call out. On the flip side, 3 customers can be calling in at once, which I can easily add on to later if 3 isn't enough, as it emails you and shows reports for channel congestion.

    My biggest challenge right now is just getting the analog routes to not sound bad, but until that's done I'll just use voip.ms :)
     
  17. grumpy

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    personally I think hardware echo works. (in my limited experience) as far as your solution all sounds good, but the more VOIP providers you put in the basket the safer the solution. Don't know if you checked out PBXIAF,(PBX in A Flash) but there are a lot of resellers in the forum with some great advice.(and experience) The DISTRO is not really a concern as the underlying engine is all the same.
     
  18. oshkosh

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    Thanks again. I'm going to experiment and see. The thing is when I use oslec or hpec for software echo cancellation it does really nothing it still sounds bad. Only mg2 seems to work for me but it breaks up sometimes and it also takes a good 5 seconds before it actually places a call when you hit dial, so I'll use voip.ms until I get that working.

    My issue is that with mg2 when it does work, there's no echo at all but it's just there's some static on the line, does that on all the echo cancellers I use. Do you think that a hardware echo canceller would remove the static?

    Issue is that I have a small form factor machine so I have 1 PCI slot which has my TDM400 or whatever card it is. Just found out it's a clone of a Digium card and I don't think it has the module on it to support the digium hardware echo canceller. Is there any analog cards that have it built in? Or just the official Digium TDM410 with hardware cancellation module?
     
  19. grumpy

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    Sangoma is Canadian and their cards are considered one of the best by many. Also Rhino is considered very good too.

    But I was also thinking that depending on your needs maybe an Aastra Pro 160 may fit you.

    On the other forum I suggested their is used products for sale by members (mostly US, CDN, UK)
    Such as: Deano is in Whitby area (I bought one of those last year)
    deano
    Senior Member

    Join Date: May 2008
    Posts: 135
    Aastra Linkpro 160
    Hi,

    I have 2 Aastralink Pro's I am willing to part with. Please let me know if you are interested.

    I also have a couple of 53i's and 51i's and 57iCT.

    Make me an offer.
     
  20. dicko

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    As to echo cancellation and the need for a balanced 2/4 wire hybrid, I posted a while ago

    http://www.elastix.org/component/kunena ... g=en#16610

    zap has been renamed dahdi so use dahdi_monitor etc.

    as a final tweak you should run fxotune -i (after reading the manual) this will help the FFT algorithm run by the DSP's on the FXO's to fine-tune themselves, unfortunately I don't believe it works on some hardwares that look a lot like Digium stuff, but are in fact not.

    dicko
     

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