Buyers’ Guide to VoIP Gateways
Welcome to Handset Solutions Buyers’ Guide to the best VoIP Gateways for business of all sizes. For many businesses VoIP Gateways are an essential bit of kit, providing a link between analog devices and the IP Network. The impact of recent global events has caused an ongoing component shortage that has affected availability of some IT and technology products. Few products have been hit quite as hard as VoIP Gateways, particularly Mediatrix and Patton. These were generally speaking, available from the stock of UK distributors. Since the shortage we have been informed that these products are now only available on a manufacture to order basis. Lead-times as long as 12-months being quoted on some of their products.
We are acutely aware that if our customers have a requirement for a VoIP Gateway, the chances are they need it sooner than this. As a result Handset Solutions have partnered with the manufacturer Yeastar. Yeastar have a comprehensive range of both FXS and FXO VoIP Gateway products. They offer a range of cost effective and reliable solution for office to office voice communication.
What is the 2025 PSTN Switch-Off
BT have announced that the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) telephone network will be switched off by 2025. This will also include all ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) services. PSTN is essentially 20th Century technology, is increasingly expensive to maintain. This old technology is also out of kilter with the demands of 21st Century communications.
This switch-off will effect everyone and it’s not just telephone services that will be affected. You will need to consider all devices that currently connect to PSTN or ISDN lines. These will include not only phones and telephone systems, but also fax machines, intruder alarms, payment terminals, door entry systems and CCTV.
Whilst many businesses have already moved their core communication services over to digital, now is the time to identify other services that may still be relying on connection to the PSTN network and are using ISDN lines. Obviously one option is to upgrade these items to an IP equivalent. However, an analogue terminal adapter, or VoIP Gateway will simply convert the analogue signal to a digital one. This will enable you to carry on using your existing hardware with a digital or IP carrier. Preparing for the move to digital needn’t be complicated, or expensive.
What is a VoIP Gateway
A VoIP Gateway is a hardware device that converts traffic into packets of data to be transmitted over the internet. They provide a bridge between analogue devices and the IP network. They can transfer analogue signal into packets of data to send over an IP network. Or they can convert packets of data into an analogue signal to send to legacy devices, such as telephones.
Understanding the Difference between FXS and FXO Gateways
FXS Gateway – An FXS Gateway is used to connect analogue devices to an IP Network. Devices such as phones, fax machines, intruder alarm systems or even a PABX telephone system. These devices plug into the ports on the FXS Gateway which converts the signal to digital voice packets that can be transmitted by the VoIP provider. You simply select the FXS Gateway with the number of ports for the analogue devices that you wish to connect. Yeastar FXS Gateways are available with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24 or 32 port configurations. An FXS gateway is required to connect an FXO device for a VoIP call.
FXO Gateway – An FXO Gateway is used to connect analogue telephone lines, or a PBX extension interface to an IP network via SIP trunks. This enables you to make calls over the internet from your legacy telephones or telephone system. The advantage of that is the saving on call charges offered by routing voice calls over the VoIP network. Yeastar FXO Gateways are available in 4, 8 and 16 port versions.
So in summary, an FXS gateway is required to connect an FXO device, such as an ordinary telephone or fax machine for a VoIP call. An FXO gateway is necessary to connect analog phone lines to VoIP.
VoIP GSM Gateway
A GSM Gateway enables you to route fixed line calls over the mobile network. Whether you are using VoIP, digital or analog telephony you can convert the signal to GSM. By doing this you can make significant savings on your fixed line to mobile calls. Using a SIM card from a mobile network provider you can make outgoing, and receive incoming mobile to mobile calls on your fixed line hardware. This can be particularly useful for organisations making a large number of calls to mobile phones.
The GSM Gateway is also perfect for implementing a SMS campaign. Simply enter your content and the numbers you want to send to in the easy to use web interface and send your message to your targets in just a few clicks. Another popular application for a GSM Gateway is for when a temporary office needs to be set up quickly, for a short period of time. A GSM Gateway is also an ideal solution for a location where fixed line services are limited. Yeastar’s GSM Gateway’s have an easy to configure web interface and are available with a single port, dual port, 4, 8 and 16-ports.
BRI VoIP Gateway
A BRI VoIP Gateway enables connection of a VoIP system, such as an on premise IP PBX to your ISDN lines. These would primarily be used when an organisation with an established legacy system wants to transition part of their operation over to an IP system, and integrate it with their existing BRI ISDN network. A BRI VoIP Gateway can also be used if you want to implement a VoIP system but are under contract for ISDN lines. Yeastar TB Series BRI Gateways are available with either 2 or 4 BRI ports.
E1/T1/PRI VoIP Gateway
An E1/T1/PRI VoIP Gateway, enables the connection of a legacy PBX to a VoIP network. This enables connection of your existing system to cost effective SiP Trunks. This will give a cost saving compared to routing calls over ISDN lines. With the upcoming ISDN switch-off scheduled in the UK for 2025, we expect to see a considerable increase in customers wanting Yeastar TE Series Gateways. This will ensure they can continue to use their legacy telephone system over an IP network. The TE Series E1/T1/PRI VoIP Gateways are available with either one or two ports.