Inbound calls

Hi all,

im new to the linux world and im a complete noob , and i know ive plunged myself in the deep end with what im goin to ask
but the idea is, the company i work for use a call centre for our security check calls and they really arent anything to do with us
so what id like to do is setup a “work home version” of the same thing
now i remember readin awhile back that apache was pretty good for providing this sort of thing but obviously times a change with softwares so…

the help id like is this :

What hardware would i need from my telephone port in the wall and the component(s) id need in my pc (im thinkin voice modem on an rj11 connection)
Which distro of linux would be ideal and softwares to run the recieving and dialling of landline phone calls only (Landline > pc or pc> Landline),
and if possible to assign an extension number or two
i’ll tailor a pc build round the softwares

I do not need to make internet calls

Thanks for any help


Modems shouldn’t be a problem with Linux, but I’m a bit lost as to what “exactly” you are trying to achieve?

Can you provide further info.

Ok, Mark’s right, but I’m going to make a guess anyway … :slight_smile:

The card for your PC (and I’m working from the one in front of me which is a few years old, so model numbers may have been updated) is a Digium TDM 400P. This card can handle up to 4 RJ-11 connections depending on which additional modules you buy. There are two different module types, one to handle connections from phone lines and one to handle connections from telephones.

So for example if you had two handsets and two phone lines, you would need a TDM 400P with two of each type of module. For one line and two extensions in your case, one module to handle a line and two modules to handle phones. From memory the card is sub-£100 and each module is ~£30, although again prices may have changed.

Once you have the hardware plugged in, then you need “asterisk” or an Asterisk based PABX.
We use “FreePBX”, easy to use administer and pretty much does everything.

The Asterisk system and associated hardware drivers are all standard in the Ubuntu repo’s, you will however find it a task to set it up and get it going, and you will experience some “fun” getting line noise and echo cancellation just right, especially if you try to use cheap handsets.

We ran this as a company PABX for ~ 18 months … been using an alternative solution for the last ~2.5 yrs … no competition, but it does involve VoIP.
(whereas this solution [as you indicated you didn’t want to] does not)

If you want a digital solution which works way better and is easier to set up (and is still ‘free’) - let me know … :slight_smile:

If you want ‘perfect’ local hardware, you can use a Digium TE110P, this will give perfect results, but needs an ISDN-30 input … which will set you back at least £700-£800 a month as I think the min #lines on an ISDN 30 is 6 … 's amazin what I’ve got in that cupboard … :wink:

essentially mark/Mad i want my computer to recieve my inbound telephone calls from the land line to provide a call centre service from home
(and as a perk for the company they dont have to rent out office space and the associated bills, just pay my wages)
so all these night workers who ring the current call centre every hour from 7pm til 7am to say they are ok can do so under the same umbrella,
{currently the call centre provider only calls area managers when they dont get a reply to there outbound calls to us},
as they are not entrusted with our information like phone numbers incase of an emergency i want to be able to offer a complete solution to handling shift changes, any problems that crop up can be sorted there and then and not wait til the next day for people calling in sick and getting cover guards to the empty shifts if any and making sure the ones working can be checked up by their own crews in the event of failed contact

Mad, thanks very much for the info it happily gives me a starting point, if i could have a digital solution it would probably be awesome but id suspect that if 100% of calls are done by landline it wouldnt be of much benefit, Still plz let me know your digital setup and i’ll see if it fits what im trying to acheive.

so i should have
voice modem ‘in’ pc with one fxo and two fxs (now im reading up)
asterisk software on unbuntu
recording software (to confirm calls made/received)
Mailing system
Contacts database

The way to get good call quality is to take calls via ISDN-30, which is prohibitive in terms of cost … unless you share with others (!) There are ‘gateway’ providers out there who provide a number of channels on a bank of ISDN-30’s, which you can access directly via Asterisk.

If you can imagine;

Normal Phone → Digium Card → Local Asterisk → Internet (SIP) → Gateway Provider → TE110P (or similar) → Landline(s)

This is essentially how our phones work.

Specifically we do this;

Elmeg 290 VoIP → Internet (SIP) → Hosted FreePBX instance (IAX2) → Gateway Provider → Landlines(s) or VoIP (transparently)

Calls are cheap and same price anywhere in the World (1p/min?) as they peer with other gateway providers.
(we also get a free 0845’s etc … )

can you recommend a place selling the cards, cost wise i dont really wanna go above £150,
I think best i could find is
(sorry if im not suppose to post external links )
also do i really need a handset or can i use the software to pick up and just use a headset


Well, personally I’m use these guys, indeed I’m registered with them as a reseller. (I think there’s a 10-15% discount)

Yes you need a phone, either plugged directly into the card, or you need a decent VoIP phone.
(SNOM or ElMeg @ ~ £70)

You will not be happy with the results you get from a headset.
(SNOM do a headset for their phones as an option, I have one, it’s very good …)