Getting started with A2Billing – Part 3 Creating an access DID

Now we’ve got a trunk setup and a rate card and call plan we need a way for our potential customers to actually connect to our system! One way for them to do this is via an access phone number. To test this I’m going to use the IPKall DID we setup here in FreePBX.

This assumes that FreePBX has been setup with some a2billing custom destinations as described here – http://www.freepbx.org/forum/freepbx/installation/inbound-sip-trunk-doesnt-call-extensions. Sysadminman VOIP VPSs are preconfigured for this.

Setting the inbound access number (DID) in FreePBX

This is changing the access DID we created here

In FreePBX click on Inbound Routes on the left hand main menu

Then select “ipkall” (the DID we created here)

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Getting started with A2Billing – Part 2 Ratecards and Call Plans

After we’ve created a trunk we need to create a ratecard and assign it to a call plan. This is the main part of the billing application and also the most complicated!

Initially I’m just going to create a ratecard that allows calls Leicester in the UK. The dialling code for Leicester is 0116 so the international prefix would be 44116  (44 being for the UK)

Creating a Ratecard

First click on the RATECARD menu on the left hand side of the screen

Then give your ratecard a name. I called mine “test-rate-card”

Assign the ratecard to use the trunk we created here

And click on CONFIRM DATA

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Getting started with A2Billing – Part 1 Setting up a trunk

In this series of articles I’m going to run through how to get up your a2billing system up and running.  A2billing is an opensource billing application for Asterisk and can be used in many different ways – I’ll be documenting just some examples  🙂

Some of this setup will depend how you have your main configuration file (/etc/asterisk/a2billing.conf) configured. I will not be discussing that here. Also some of the setup may rely on FreePBX and A2billing being setup to work together.

All of this documentation was created on a sysadminman Asterisk/FreePBX/A2billing VPS. See here for details – http://sysadminman.net/uk-voip-vps.html

Setting up a trunk

We need to setup a trunk to be used for our outbound calls. Obviously you can setup more than one trunk and route calls to different destinations via different trunks.

I will be using the trunk that I configured in FreePBX here – http://sysadminman.net/blog/2009/getting-started-with-freepbx-part-1-setting-up-a-trunk-335. As the main settings for the trunk have been setup in FreePBX we can just call the trunk by it’s name in A2Billing. This trunk is with a provider called callwithus.

To setup a trunk –

Click on TRUNK on the left hand main menu

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Getting started with FreePBX – Part 6 Cheap phone calls using DISA and Callback

One of the great things about voip is that you can make international calls at local rates.  Combine that with Asterisk/FreePBX and you’ve got the ability to make cheap international phone calls using your mobile phone.

To do this we’re going to setup DISA (Direct Inward System Access). This will enable us to ring our Asterisk server, get a dial tone and then dial back out again.

Then I will show you how you can combine this with callbacks if that works out cheaper for you.

Installing the modules

First we need to install the DISA (if it’s not installed already) and Callback modules. See part 5 for more information about installing FreePBX modules.

Setting up DISA

Now we are going to configure a DISA…

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Getting started with FreePBX – Part 5 Setting up an IVR

Setting up an IVR (or auto attendant, digital receptionist) is great idea for small businesses. You can have a single external number for your customers to call but then direct the call to the right department via a simple menu.

First we need some extensions to put the calls through to, then we need to record the menu the caller will hear and finally setup the actual IVR.

Configuring the extensions

Follow the instructions in part 2 to create the extensions that you need. I have created extensions for Sales, Support and Billing

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Getting started with FreePBX – Part 3 Making external calls

This article assumes you have completed part 1 and part 2

So we have configured our trunk and our extension and now we need to tell FreePBX to use that trunk when someone dials a number. This is done by creating an Outbound Route.

The configuration below also takes in to consideration the fact that I am in the UK and that callcentric is a US company. Your setup may differ.

Creating an outbound route

First we need to click on “Outbound Routes” in the main menu on the left hand side of the screen

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Trixbox, Elastix and Asterisk videos

There are some great videos around to give you an idea about what you can do with Asterisk and FreePBX.

Here are a selection –

Kerry Garrison, the senior product manager of Trixbox gives a quick tour of the installation and setup of Trixbox 2.2. The first half of this video concentrates on installing Trixbox but if you have a Trixbox VPS the hard work is done for you. Trixbox is now on version 2.4

Trixbox features. A nice run through of some of the features in FreePBX/Trixbox.

A good (and pretty long!) explanation of what you can do with Asterisk. This doesn’t include any information about FreePBX, the web based GUI.