FreePBX vs A2Billing

When you start looking at control panels for Asterisk it can be difficult to decide what you should be using – FreePBX or A2Billing.

While they are both web GUIs for setting up Asterisk, they are used for different things and which one to choose depends on your needs.

Here is a brief description of both to help you decide –

FreePBX

  • Used for setting up extensions and trunks for inbound and outbound calls
  • Includes lots of features of a traditional PBX – voicemail, IVRs, ring groups, queues etc.
  • Includes Call Detail Records (CDR) that logs all calls, their destination and duration

A2Billing

  • Used for billing for calls
  • Can be used to charge for calling card, sip user or regular outbound calls
  • The heart of A2Billing are the rate cards that include the per minute cost for all destinations allowed to be called
  • Least cost routing with multiple rate cards with the cheapest route being chosen
  • Admin and customer interfaces

So FreePBX is used to setup Asterisk with the features of a ‘traditional’ PBX and A2Billing focuses on billing for different types of calls.

It is also possible to combine the two and use A2Billing to account for outbound calls for extensions setup within FreePBX.

A2Billing is more complicated to setup than FreePBX. While it’s possible to setup an extension and trunk in FreePBX and start making calls very quickly there is quite a learning curve with A2Billing. Managing rate cards which hold all destinations and their cost can be quite complex.

All VPS templates offered by SysAdminMan include FreePBX – SysAdminMan, Trixbox, Elastix and PBX-in-a-flash

The following two templates include A2Billing – SysAdminMan and Elastix