FreePBX for a Hotel Solution

Hello everyone again, I wanted to also ask you guys about an ATA for a hotel environment.


That would totally depend on the wiring infrastructure of your hotel. If you have single pairs to the room. then channel banks at the wiring closet is likely the most efficient and economic. So “how many pairs to each room? How long is the run to the wiring closet? do you provide wired or wifi to your the guests?”

I have done a few of these types of implementations. I have used both channel banks and 1-2 port ata’s.

I think they both have their pros and cons. The one think I like about the 1 - 2 port ata’s is that when there is an issue it’s limited to 1 - 2 rooms and not the whole hotel.

In these situations I recommend Grandstream or obihai.

Only obihai when there is any faxing involved.

If you are considering channel bank solution make sure to check eBay, I have found some amazing bargains.

Even better than Channel Banks - Check E-Bay for Adtran 924e’s - We have a hotel in Santa Fe on 4 of them (about 90 rooms) and they work fantastic - about the only thing I don’t like about then is they run hot - if you have then in a rack, you need to leave 1U between them and have a fan blowing across them - you don’t have to have crazy Cooling, just an ordinary fan works great - they are cheap and solid - I can send you a copy of the doc I did for Configuring them if you have never used them.

WAY better than channel banks, and you don’t need a PRI Interface to them - so cheaper to boot!


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Maybe you miss the point, in a legacy situation you might have 1,2 or 4 pairs to each room, likely just 1 pair, pulling cable is extremely expensive, so you have to work with “what you have”, 1 pair can support a channel bank, two pairs can do a network, even if only cat 3 or less (look at the specs) but you will need “wall warts”, ideally 4 pairs and you can do POE and again cat 3 will mostly work pragmatically. Wall warts and ATA’s are generally unsustainable unless you train your room maids to plug them back in. There are even WIFI duplex outlets than can to a certain extent support ethernet over powerline, bridges.

BUT Mostly a hotel guest needs to call the front desk or the local Pizza joint, This is pragmatic, so do the channel bank thing and integrate it with the existing PBX. Provide WIFI otherwise

We placed the ata’s back in the wiring closet not the hotel rooms themselves.

That’s great but a channel bank would be 24 times more efficient, no?

Show us your picture of your wiring closet.

Hey Greg, that would be great!

MOD NOTE: Removed personal information

Sent - let me know if you didn’t get it.

It would if it wasn’t for the fact that FXS systems at hotels never use more that 16 lines on a 66 Block. 90% of my business is in the Hotel industry and this is a standard deployment. The FXS cards in 99% of these PBX systems only support 16 channels. So when you have a hotel with like 76 rooms you generally have four or five 66 blocks for the rooms. I have to use 16 port FXS gateways for this and generally ones that support 50-Pin (Amphenol) connections to connect the gateways to the FXS cards. Now that is for the rooms to the IP-PBX.

In cases where I am just giving them SIP trunks to their FXS system and that’s it, I still use 4 Port to 8 Port FXS gateways because four to six POTS lines are about the average for most small hotels.

Honestly, if anyone thinks that guests are using their room phone to order take out or make other calls then that person is out of touch with what is going on at Hotels with telecommunications. I’m in the process of setting up three new hotels that are new construction and everything will be IP / PoE for the room phones but the main objective for those phones: To flash messages and updates to the guest, to be able to do internal calls (front desk, room service) with features and other non-voice interactions with the ability to make local/long distance calls low on the list because no one is really using the phones for that anymore.

It is rare for a hotel to actually worry about “call rating” rooms or even charging them overall for the use. In some cases it is “Do you plan on using your room phone for outside calls? No? OK.” and then outside calls aren’t even activated for the room.

Yeah, that is what we are finding also - The demand for Hospitality IP Services is HUGE and they are constantly looking for ways to monetize the guests stay - Plug-In Ethernet, streaming on demand, all of it - the actual phone is considered a throw-away as far as monetizing goes - but if you can turn it into a Terminal…now you are talking!

Do you guys happen to know what could be a pricing scheme for a cloud PBX for a hotel? For example a cloud PBX extension is usually around $20/extension for an office environment. What could be a pricing scheme for a few IP phone extensions for an office area and around 65 guest room analog phones?

Honestly, I would never do the actual guest PBX in the cloud. The moment the hotel has an Internet issue, it renders all the phones in the hotel unusable. Not only will they not be able to make outbound calls but they won’t even be able to call the front desk, room service, etc or have features like wake up calls working.


Hey Greg,

Do you need to get a license for the Adtran to work?

Nope, they are completely unlocked - Do upgrade the firmware though - PM me if you need instructions on how to do it - and you will need to register the device with Adtran to get Firmware.

Hey Greg!

I just received an Adtran TA924.
I used your guide to configure it. Thanks a lot for the guide by the way!
I created one extension in the FreePBX and registered it on the Adtran on FXS port 1 and I am using my buttset to test.
So far I can call the IP phones from my Buttset, however, I cannot call the buttset from any of the IP phones. It’s not ringing, even if the buttset is set to Ring.
Do you know what the problem could be? It looks like outbound calls are working but not the inbound.

Upload a capture at the cli of you making an outbound call - That will tell us what is wrong.

Would it be possible to get the guide from you as well? I am trying to use an adtran 924 with pri connected. I think i have most of the adtran stuff correct but not 100% sure. I am also trying to figure out how to configure the freepbx end to interface to it. It would be really appreciated. Thanks!

Ok - For anyone that wants it, here it is.Configuring an Adtran 900.pdf.tgz (1.6 MB)

It’s actually just a PDF - Remove the .tgz - I had to do that to upload it to the forum.