Total newbe here in the UK. Long story short our analogue phone lines have been destroyed in a lightning strike for the umpteenth time and I’ve given up hope of BT ever managing to fix it, so it’s time to look for alternatives. I have FreePBX running on linux here and have been playing around with it.
My set up is going to be very simple, just three extensions. Nice things like voicemail and music on hold I can probably figure out in time but can wait for now, I just need to get a working phone system again.
One slight issue is I need to support two different phone numbers (one starts 01546, the other starts 0345) and be able to select which number shows on the CallerID. Something like press 8 for an outside line showing the 01546 number and 9 for an outside line showing the 0345 number.
Can freepbx do this? No need to go into an in-depth explanation here - I’ll be back for more help, just a basic explanation of how it’s done or if it’s not possible.
Our 0345 number provider can give us a sip trunk and they can port our 01546 number from BT but we’re on our own with freepbx.
That should be possible through Outbound Routes. Pretty sure you attach a prefix to a pattern that you want to match. Asterisk evaluates dial patterns top to bottom so you put the most specific dial pattern at the top and the most generic at the bottom of the list and you should be set.
The caller ID you want to use is set on the Route Settings tab of the Outbound Route.
Actually, it is FreePBX that does that, and only, I think, for Outbound Routes. The simplest way of doing it with Asterisk orders by the specificity of the match.
You might want to note that we are getting close to the main no-sell date for analogue shutdown on BT, so the next lightning strike may end you up with a BT VoIP based service, anyway.
I assume your internet is already fibre based, otherwise it is going to be vulnerable to lighting strikes, too (not just FTTC, as the cabinet to customer premises hop is where it would be most vulnerable).
Your ability to present multiple numbers is likely to depend on the ITSP, and whether they are supplying you with the “DIDs” for those numbers.
As always @david55 coming in with the better, more complete answer.
Go to YoutTube and type in Crosstalk Solutions. Look for their playlist on FreeePBX and watch the entire series. The answers you seek for most things you will encounter are answered in depth there including phone provisioning, line setup, hold music, all the basic PBX functions. each chapter is short and to the point. Log into your FreePBX box and follow through and by the time you are done, you will have a fully functioning PBX.
As others have noted, this is easy do to, but IMO it doesn’t make for a good workflow. It’s error prone (if possible, you should dial the same way as on a landline or mobile) and also presents various technical problems, e.g. calls returned from device history (which won’t have the 8 or 9 in the caller ID) will fail.
If the 01546 and 0345 numbers represent, for example, different organizations, or one personal and one company, I would set up two extensions on each device. On an IP phone, each would have its own line key. On a softphone or mobile SIP app, each would have its own account. Incoming calls would be routed to the proper extension(s), so you would see (by which line key was flashing) which entity was being called and could answer appropriately. For outgoing, you’d press the desired line button and the correct caller ID would be sent. The more frequently used ‘line’ would be the default, so most of the time you wouldn’t have to select a line.
If the above is not feasible, for example you are stuck with devices that don’t support two lines or switching between them is cumbersome, I recommend setting up the more frequently used ‘line’ with no prefix and dialing a one-digit prefix to select the other. If possible, choose a digit that no local numbers begin with, so that your devices can be set up to send a call immediately after the last digit is dialed, without having to press ‘send’ or ‘call’.
In any case, make sure that dialing 999 or 112 works, in addition to 8999, 9999, 8112 and 9112.
Thanks all this is great!
I’ve been watching the youtube videos as suggested and they are making a lot of sense.
I like the idea of using two lines on the phone and will try and implement that idea too.
I am just waiting for our provider to give me the details of the trunk and I’ll order a couple of cheap phones and see how far we get.
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