Follow Me using analog line only


I am newbie here. Forgive me if some of my technical terms are not correct.
I would like to ask if the following setup is possible.

  • We only have 1 landline(no VOIP/SIP setup)
  • Setup a FreePBX server with FXO card
  • When user call-in, a IVR will answer the call and ask user to enter extension
  • The extension will forward the call to a external mobile number

I guess the above is not possible since we only have one landline. And due to company policy, we cannot register a 2nd landline for the forwarding.

Alternatively, I also think another way.

  • When user call-in, a IVR will answer the call, enter extension, and ask user to hold
  • Then the server will call the external mobile number using 3-way conference

Thank you very much~!

No this is not possible on Analog line. you need 2 lines.

I wouldn’t say “not possible”. I’d say "way harder than an average user would be able to do.

The problem is getting the conference set up while the first user is on hold.

The better solution would be to send them to a “leave a message” with the explanation: “All of our outbound lines are busy right now. Please enter the extension of the person you wish to talk to and we will forward your message to their cell phone.” After that, you just send them a message using the standard Voicemail notification stuff (with headers turned on) and they can go to town.

Note that this doesn’t protect the contact’s cell phone number - in order to do that (make the call appear to be from inside your network) you will need to set up something else.

Another alternative is to use a softphone on the cell phone and have that register to the server then they are out of the office. This way, you don’t have a second “line”, you just have extensions that don’t appear inside the building. The extension can be used as a “FindMe/FollowMe” destination. The extension IS inside the network, so it does protect your employee’s private cell numbers, and it simplifies your call routing and doesn’t invoke a three-way call over your single incoming voice line.

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Thx psdk and Dave’s reply

I don’t mind to do the programming part as there is no exist module to do the conference setup.
As long as it is possible then I can go ahead and buy the fxo card.

Maybe it will be clearer if I explain the use case. We want to forward our general line to our sales team members. Most of the time they are not in the office. Most of the clients will contact the sales mobile, but rarely a few clients call the general line. The sales don’t mind if their mobile will be disclosed, and we can accept the main line will be busy tone if one of the sales is talking to the client.

You said it’s company policy not to register another landline, but does this include a VOIP “phone line?” You could get an account with Vitelity or Any of the other guys and use it for outbound only (don’t even need to buy a phone number) and it would be a few dollars a month, at most.

When you mention setting up a conference, this is a conference that your POTS line provider is making? If so, that’s all controlled by DTMF, no? You could create a recording with all of the DTMF button pushes required to setup to conference and just play it as an announcement. At least I think that would work. The only thing I don’t know is if you can simulate a hook switch with an FXO card, that’s if you need a hook switch to setup a conference.

Hi addisonb,

Thx for your suggestion. However, the location(Asia country) is in a very old industrial building and the internet connection is very very limited. So VOIP is not the option we are considering.

Sorry if the term “conference” confused you. Actually what I am referring was the “alternative” way I mentioned, the server hold the inbound, do a 3-way conference call by calling the mobile and let it connect the inbound and outbound. But I am just thinking it maybe possible and not sure.

Ah okay,
Yes, VOIP may be very difficult.

I understand, yes, that would require 2 lines, and wouldn’t technically be a conference, in FreePBX it would almost be treated as a transfer because there are only 2 parties.

However what I was mentioning was that some pots line providers in the US offer “3 way calling” where you could add a third call to a single line because the conference is done by the provider and sent down the single line to you.

You could maybe accomplish what you want if your provider offers this, creating a 3 way conference with the person calling in, the asterisk and the sales person.

Yes, this is exactly what I mean. In our country, we call it “3 way conference” and it is a very common and free service by the provider. Our landline has this “3 way” function.

So I believe it could works then. Just need the programming part. I better research more about where to start then.

Many many thx!!

First find out how you would do it if you weren’t using a PBX, if you just had a regular telephone from the electronics store, how do you do it? It is most likely by pressing buttons on the phone.

Then all you need to do is record an announcement in FreePBX with the DTMF tones in the same order, you will need one for each sales person.

I think this will work.

I see, will do the experiment. FYI, to do the “3-way” call manually, when in the call with inbound, we press the “talk” or “flash” button in the phone, dial another number, press the “talk/flash” button again.

Yes, that would be a hook flash. You’ll have to search around and see if you can do it with Asterisk.
It won’t be as simple as using a recording though. If it can do it, it’ll require custom dial plans.

From other thread:
You could script this elegantly in the dial plan and then program the extension into the speed dial. How many numbers are we talking about?

exten => _555,1,Playback(transfer)
exten => _555,2,Flash()
exten => _555,3,SendDTMF(4405551212)
exten => _555,4,Hangup()

This would call 4405551212 when you dial 555 from your phone.

From Addison:
I would do this! I would add as many of these as you have sales people. Create custom destinations for each one and then put them in your IVR.
Will require some modification to add the second hook flash.

cool~ thx!!