I am new at this. What are the ways to acquire a phone number after building the pbx server?
Which country do you need a number for? It sounds like you are looking for a DDI (Direct Dial-In), also known as DID (Direct Inward Dialling). In non-techie terms, it sounds like you’re looking for a phone number so that people can call you?! Many SIP providers provide them when you purchase a SIP trunk.
If you live in the US, have a look at SIP Station: https://sipstation.schmoozecom.com/
If you live in the UK, a good provider which provides free numbers in each city would be http://www.sipgate.co.uk/ To make calls, you’ll need to top-up - the call rates are very good and there are no monthly charges. I use them and haven’t had any problems.
Once you have your trunk, there’s loads of information on how to set it up in FreePBX. Get back to me if you get lost!
Thanks. I was looking into adding phone services as an added service to my customers. I currently have a computer company offering hardware and software services and repair as well as managed services. I am trying to decided if it is profitable or not. The server was a pretty easy build.
If you want a non-VoIP number (traditional analog line, ISDN, PRI, etc.), you’ll need to get that from a local provider in your area and buy an interface card or gateway to connect it to FreePBX. There are also various hardware solutions to connect mobile accounts.
If you just want to experiment, free numbers are available in various countries (in addition to UK as noted by ateks). Examples: http://www.callcentric.com/dids/free_phone_number
If you want lots of numbers, e.g. so each user can be reached directly, look at http://www.voxbeam.com/dids or http://www.anveodirect.com/prices/did
Don’t even think about going into the residential VoIP business. Competition is cutthroat, fraud rampant and regulatory issues a nightmare. Even business VoIP is tough. If you need to offer VoIP to your customers, sign up as a reseller with a reputable company.
What country are you in?
As Stewart1 says, it’s far too competitivee - you’ll find that the margins are very tight. For a lot of companies, it makes sense to have VoIP systems - it’s tonnes cheaper than buying a load of phone lines, channels etc. and the number of features you get with Asterisk is impressive. FreePBX is great because it provides a sensible UI for Asterisk management and best of all, it’s all open-source and you get a great support community. For the same reasons though, you end up having a LOT of people who want to sell the systems as their own and make some money supporting them.
I am in the U.S. in Alabama. You all are so helpful I just can’t believe it. What a great bunch of people. I was hoping to work with the smaller companies that don’t want a cloud solution. Maybe I am barking up the wrong tree. I thought it would bring me in some residual income.
I had a personal rant about this the other day.
- It is not about the software, anyone can download that.
- It is not about the hardware, anyone can go buy that.
The secret to being a successful VAR (click below)
ADD VALUE. YOU ARE THE PRODUCT. PROVIDE VALUE
Get training, know what you are doing, be the expert, service your customers.
Customer’s don’t need/want to pay you for things they can do them selves.
You need to make it more effective to come to you.
That is all there is to it.
You put that very well - I agree, give people a reason to choose you over anyone else! It’s all about the added value.
You’ll find it certainly helps if you have a personal relationship for the companies you work with. You’ve got nothing to lose - you can always have a play and see if you can get it to work for you. Over anything else, you’ll find that setting up a working phone system is good fun; it can be very satisfying and there’s no denying that phone costs are loads cheaper than conventional lines.