One of the easiest ways to listen to new voicemails is to get Asterisk/FreePBX to e-mail them to you as an attachment. One downside of this is that if you try to listen to them on your mobile phone they will play via the speaker. This makes it tricky to listen to them discreetly!
For Android there’s a little App called Earpiece that allows you to specify that media is played through the earpiece, rather than the speaker. This is quick to switch on temporarily while listening to the voicemail. It may be hardware dependent, but it works fine on my OnePlus One.
Because VOIP works over the internet there is no real concept of “local”. However, our telephone users may be used to dialing numbers in a certain way. Maybe they dial 9 for an “outside line”, maybe they don’t have to dial the area code for “local” numbers, etc …
We can accommodate this by manipulating the number the user dials in to the format expected by our call provider. You can manipulate the number either on the “Outbound Route” or on the “Trunk”.
Which you choose depends on your setup and why you are manipulating the number. For example if your users dial “9” for an outside line it probably makes sense to remove this on the Outbound Route as whatever call provider you are using you will want to remove the 9. However, if your call provider expects the dialed number is a specific format (maybe country code + number in international format) it probably makes sense to do this on the trunk, as other call providers could be different.
In the post here we created an Outbound Route called “outbound” which sends all numbers called to our trunk unmodified. Now, above the Outbound Route called “outbound” I am going to create a new route for our local calls. These modifications could just be added to the existing “outbound” route, it’s personal preference but I think it makes it easier to see what’s happening as a separate route.
1 – Create a new route for local calls
Give the new Outbound Route a name
Next I add a dial pattern that will match any 6 digit number called that begins with a 2 or higher and add 01604 to the front of the number before sending it to the trunk. Deciding on the pattern to match can be the tricky part. Always test the system behaves as expected after creating new routes.
Configuring inbound calling can be one of the trickiest things to get working in FreePBX. Here we are going to configure the inbound number we purchased with Localphone.
One of the most important points is that you must match the inbound phone number exactly as the call provider are sending it to you. This can vary by provider so check with them what you should do. If you still can’t get it working open a support ticket and we’ll check it out.
1 – Select Connectivity / Inbound Routes from the main menu
For outbound calling we need to tell FreePBX what trunk (call provider) we should use when we dial a number that’s not an extension number or a special internal number.
We need to specify 2 things at least – the number pattern to match and the trunk to send the call via. The number pattern can be anything from “all numbers” to say numbers starting with “447540”. We can use this to send different types of calls via different providers. Maybe we want to use one provider for landline calls and another for mobile calls.
1 – Select Connectivity / Outbound Routes from the main menu
A trunk is our connection to the outside world. We use it to tell FreePBX about any call providers we use for inbound and outbound calls. You can set up as many trunks as you want.
Configuring a trunk with different providers will be similar but can vary in the exact settings used. If you’re unsure how to configure FreePBX with your provider ask them for information about configuring their service for use with Asterisk (and specifically FreePBX). If you still can’t get it to work open a support ticket and we’ll check it out.
There are literally hundreds of different call providers to choose from (sometimes called ITSPs) and choosing one can seem daunting. The good news is that any provider that supports SIP should work with Asterisk.
The only difficulty is some providers don’t publish details on using their service with Asterisk. If you’re thinking of using a provider ask if they have details for using their service with Asterisk – it’s also a good opportunity to test out their support!
Here I’m going to use Localphone but the process is usually similar with other providers. You sign up for an account, deposit some pre-paid balance, configure FreePBX then start making calls. This is for outbound calls.
Creating an “extension” in FreePBX sets up the account details that we will use in our actual extension to connect to the system. Our extension could be a physical VOIP extension (like the Yealink T22P), a softphone for your computer (like Linphone) or an app for your mobile phone (like Zoiper). Whichever it is we create the extension in FreePBX the same way.
1 – Log in to FreePBX and select Applications / Extensions from the menu bar at the top