[Gllug] Asterisk for a small office

Ryan Cartwright ryan at crimperman.org
Tue Jul 18 09:20:21 UTC 2006

Alex Singleton wrote:
> At work, we are moving into a new office in September. Basically there are
> going to be three people working there and I am considering a phone system.
> One option would be BT's Featureline, which is BT exchange organised phone
> system. The other option is Asterisk. I wonder how cheaply I could set such
> a system up. I already have a spare PC. What hardware would I need to have,
> say, two incoming analogue lines and three or four analogue handsets.

Haven't used Asterisk so can't really say too much on that. Except ( you
knew that was coming didn't you ) my understanding is that it's usually
deployed as Voice over IP, that is a couple of lines into the Asterisk
box and then VOIP handsets or sound cards on desktop PCs.

> Also, if the handsets have CallerID, does Analogue support this?

Somebody will correct me if I am wrong but it's possible to have CLID on
an analogue home phone line. I think the main thing with CLID is that
the phone company (BT?) enables CLID inbound on that line.

> And will Analog, if people call our office number, be able to ring all the
> extensions simultaneously?

We have a number of offices with five to ten people which have phone
systems. We have others with two or three people and we found a
cost-effective solution was to buy the multi-handset cordless phones.
One main base station which plugs into the phone line and two or three
satellites stations which only require mains power. All phones ring at
once and calls can be transferred between them.

You need only the one line and yes it can be analogue. Argos[1] sell 'em
for upwards of £35 for a three handset set. Downside of this is that you
cannot have individual voicemail but in our experience, three people in
one office rarely need that and usually suffice with an answerphone.

[1] http://tinyurl.com/qpva9

hope this helps.
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