Trying to understand

I’m trying to understand the FreePBX.

Must someone have a VOIP provider that you connect the FreePBX to?

Can someone just create a FreePBX server and have a functioning phone system that can make and receive calls?

If you must have a VOIP provider, who? Do any of them “resell” voip from a few main VOIP companies?

For example, a Ford Dealer sells “FORD”… it doesn’t make Ford and sell it.

Or are all of the VOIP just selling their own service?

FreePBX is a PABX, which ultimately will require you to connect to a provider (most often this is via SIP) that allows you connectivity to the PSTN. There are many to choose from: Bandwidth, Intelliquent, Skyetel, Vitelity, Flowroute, etc.

PBXAct is Sangoma’s paid FreePBX option, which they also offer SIP trunking services with.

I talked to bandwidth and they only sell to “partners”… not you and me.

They said to talk with RingCentral, DialPad or AirCall

If you just want to call from one extension to another in-house, you do not need an external provider.

If you want to make calls to the outside world you must have a trunk provided by a provider. I use which is very economical and reliable

FreePBX doesn’t require you to use VoIP; it can also use analogue or ISDN.

Do you mean make and receive calls from the PSTN? Someone has to be paid to provide access to the PSTN. It can however make calls to local extensions and over private networks without that.

(Technically, it can receive calls from suitably configure VoIP systems without using the PSTN, but, for security reasons, people normally block that. Asterisk can make direct VoIP calls, but I don’t believe FreePBX really supports that, and, in the real world, they would be blocked by the recipient’s security measures.)

So, although in principle it can create a functioning system that can make and receive calls, that isn’t useful in the real world, if you want to go outside your own organisation, and you can’t use the PSTN without someone paying.

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