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.
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.
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 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
Now we can make calls to regular telephone number via our trunk we want to setup a DID (Direct Inward Dial) number so that we can receive calls from people dialing a regular phone number.
For this example I’m going to use a US number from IPKall who will provide a (free) US based telephone number. However, they are only able to do this due to a peculiarity in the law in certain states so I wouldn’t rely on the numbers being available in the future. Perfect for testing though!
In this series of articles I will run through how to get started once you get FreePBX setup. You will need to run through the articles in order as some of the later ones will rely on items set up in earlier articles.
For a trunk (required to make calls to the outside world) I will use callwithus. Click here for a free account.
Adding a trunk
The main FreePBX menu is down the left hand side of the screen
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.