Hi - please forgive the intrusion is this is not an appropriate place for this question…
We have several buildings, linked by WiFi (Ubiquity bridges) on a single subnet. Currently, we have BT Broadband for … well… broadband (ADSL2+), and a single POTS line (also BT - bundled with the broadband) to a master box, on which there is a Panasonic KX DECT system - this is all to the main house. We are in “a rural situation” in the UK.
I’d like to extend the DECT (or a similar system) to the other buildings (my workshops etc.) - it has been suggested that one option might be to run FreePBX on an RPi and to use VoIP, but I’m way out of my comfort zone at this point. We need to extend the voice system as mobiles don’t work very well here (yes, there are still “dead zones” in the countryside).
Being an engineer, simple is good. The other occupants of the property are not technical, so… simple is good. They understand DECT - If there is a simple way to extend that over an IP link, that’d be great.
Before anyone suggests just using DECT repeaters, we’ve tried that - the distances are too large and there are annoying things like trees in the way…
I’d really appreciate thoughts on this - is going VoIP OTT? Is there a simpler solution? I do understand networking to a reasonable level (happy setting up Cisco switches, Ubiquity kit & firewalls etc.)
We have voip working perfectly on ubiquiti PTP antenna’s, they just need to be configured and positioned properly.
Soft phones on mobile phones connected to WiFi shouldn’t be an issue as well, again, if your WiFi is stable.
However, IMO: RPi’s does not have much power, so if you have a lot of users, I’d rather use an old computer than a Pi. Plus you cannot have commercial modules on a Pi.
Two more things to consider. 1 Since you have POTS lines, you’ll either need an Analog card or some type of gateway.
2 You might want to hire an expert to look at your setup and tell you if it’s actually going to work before investing time and resources.
If you already have Panasonic PBX you can ask your technician if the pbx supports IP dects. TDE and NS series PBX supports IP dects and SIP phones with the proper hardware.
If your wifi network is stable you can use wifi SIP phones if the existant PBX supports it.
In every way you have to ask your Panasonic technician if your pbx supports IP phones etc.
Thanks for the replies. We don’t have a PBX - just a set of DECT phones…
The WiFi links are rock solid - really like the ubiquity kit
As this is domestic, there’s only a few users - maybe 6, so load should not be an issue.
If your mobile operator and your devices support Wi-Fi calling, just provide good Wi-Fi around your property and you shouldn’t have to do anything else. For example, https://www.o2.co.uk/connectivity/wifi-and-4g-calling#main-content .
If the above is not suitable, provide more details and we may have some better ideas.
The RPi is a neat option, and can handle a surprising amount of work. It has a good support community.
The major downsides:
If you think you think you would want commercial modules from the FreePBX project, you will not have it with the Pi.
The SD card storage solution is prone to corruption. You can mitigate this by having constant SD card cloning or booting from the USB. These create compromises that may or may not be acceptable to you. My thought is that this is fun for creating a test environment for dialplan or proof of concept. If rcoksolid reliability is your goal, look at a used x86 desktop or a older NUC, they work very well and support the official distro.
Regarding the DECT approach, I thought I recalled @tonyclewis mentioning the Sangoma DECT phones were going to be or are mesh. That could be an option.
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