Migration to Freepbx from Panasonic ISDN


(John Davey) #1

Hello All,

As a result of the recent BT / Openreach announcement of the end of ISDN / PSTN services, we are looking at the neccessity of migrating to an IP based PBX.
Our current setup is a mix of ISDN and PSTN (2 x ISDN2 - 4 lines total and 2 x PSTN) lines feeding into a Panasonic TDA30 (PBX) + Panasonic TVM50 (Voicemail). Extensions are a mix of approximately 20 Panasonic system phones and 4 analog endpoints. This combination has served our needs extremely well over the years, but the time has come to change…
As a test I have installed Freepbx on an old server that was hanging around, purchased a couple of Yealink T28’s, set it all up with a basic SIP account from one of the many available, and have been extremely impressed with the capabilities that are available.
I have also purchased a Digium analog card for the analog endpoints and a Sangoma digital card for the existing ISDN lines, these are installed and visible within the setup. The Sangoma card is configured as 2 x ISDN TE and 2 x ISDN NT.
Is it possible to insert the freepbx between the incoming ISDN lines and the Panasonic PBX? In other words, can freepbx be configured to pass all ISDN calls (incoming and outgoing) through to the Panasonic?
I hope that this configuration will enable the freepbx configuration to be set up almost seamlessly with the Panasonic. Ultimately the idea is to retire the Panasonic completely and when the ISDN lines are ultimately removed all calls will be over SIP.
Your advice on this would be very much appreciated, and please feel free to say if I am approaching this from the wrong direction!

Many thanks

John


#2

Depending on the status of must-haves in your Panasonic that you need to/already did configure in your FreePBX, then you might just want to bite the bullet and buy 18 more SIP phones, put one on each desk next to the existing phone, and let users try it out. After SIP-to-SIP is tested out okay, then after-hours swing the BT ISDN cable from your Panasonic to your new FreePBX digital interface card, and make that the primary route in your FreePBX GUI. Test. If it doesn’t work, move the cable back to the Panasonic. If it does, then people will just start answering their new phones.

Eventually, port some/all of your phone numbers from ISDN to SIP, and the process is complete.

Yes, that should be doable. But the FreePBX call routing will add lots of stuff to that process. To test your ISDN settings, you might find it easier to initially avoid the FreePBX routing mechanisms, with some custom dial plan in extensions_custom.conf that passes DAHDI traffic across BT <-> Panasonic. If all of your test calls inbound and outbound still work after that, then go back and start grafting on more parts of the solution in your FreePBX eg. voicemail.

But that is a more piece-by-piece approach, with trade-offs vs. doing all 20 phones in one swoop.

Welcome to the FreePBX forums! I think you’ve got lots of options moving forward on this project, and this website is one very good direction to start in :cowboy_hat_face:


(John Davey) #3

Thanks Penguinpbx, your input is very much appreciated.

Blockquote
Depending on the status of must-haves in your Panasonic that you need to/already did configure in your FreePBX, then you might just want to bite the bullet and buy 18 more SIP phones, put one on each desk next to the existing phone, and let users try it out. After SIP-to-SIP is tested out okay, then after-hours swing the BT ISDN cable from your Panasonic to your new FreePBX digital interface card, and make that the primary route in your FreePBX GUI. Test. If it doesn’t work, move the cable back to the Panasonic. If it does, then people will just start answering their new phones.
Eventually, port some/all of your phone numbers from ISDN to SIP, and the process is complete.

That is an excellent suggestion…users can play around with the functions and try things out at quiet times and we should hopefully be able to iron out any questions (probably in the “How do I do this…” vein :confused: ) Also, once SIP-to-SIP is working they can use the phones for outgoing if they want to, whilst incoming calls are still routed through the Panasonic.

Blockquote Yes, that should be doable. But the FreePBX call routing will add lots of stuff to that process. To test your ISDN settings, you might find it easier to initially avoid the FreePBX routing mechanisms, with some custom dial plan in extensions_custom.conf that passes DAHDI traffic across BT <-> Panasonic. If all of your test calls inbound and outbound still work after that, then go back and start grafting on more parts of the solution in your FreePBX eg. voicemail.
But that is a more piece-by-piece approach, with trade-offs vs. doing all 20 phones in one swoop.

Fully agree that this would be a much more piece-by-piece way of doing it, and having given it some thought, I think your suggestion of running the two systems ‘in parallel’ would be by far the better way to approach this project.

Once again, many thanks for your input…

John


(Big Joe) #4

That is pretty much how I did it a few years ago from a Panasonic system.

One word of warning, don’t be tempted to sign up to any form of SIP from BT, as they will only let you connect it to a BT maintained phone system. I had to use a SIP to ISDN gateway for 5 years until my contract expired.

BigJoe


(John Davey) #5

Thanks BigJoe,

Will bear that in mind when we come to looking for a SIP provider. The migration is moving forward fairly slowly at the moment as ISDN testing can only be done out of business hours. I am having a bit of trouble getting the ISDN trunks to work, which I guess is probably a subject for a different thread!

John


(system) closed #6

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