[kwlug-disc] Unlimitel/ATA pricing

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Thu Mar 12 02:48:49 EDT 2009

--- On Wed, 3/11/09, john at netdirect.ca <john at netdirect.ca> wrote:

> The a-la carte $2.50 line plus minutes is all you should be
> paying. If you want you can get the more expensive line but
> all that gives is unlimited local calling. If you know your
> usage you can mathematically figue out how which is cheaper.
> There is a clause that says that if a certain % of calls
> goes to small centres a higher per minute rate is used. 

It looks like there might be some other features (e.g. Call Display,
Voicemail) with the business line too. But should I believe that the
quality of the connection between the a-la carte and the business
lines are going to be the same?

> Using atas will limit you to a single concurrent call
> through your did, unless your ata has more than one fxs port
> (asterisk with appropriate hardware can act as an ata).

Let me see if I understand.

Say I have 8 Bell Lines already going into my Nortel PBX, and that I
have the expansion capacity to add more incoming lines. Here's the

8 x Bell lines -> CICS -> Extensions -> Digital Phones

Now I get one of those Linksys SPA-2102 boxes that Lori used in his
demo. This is an ATA with two FXS ports. I order one DID from
Unlimitel. To avoid NAT problems I stick the ATA in between the cable
modem (or DSL modem) and my firewall. 

Next I hook up the two ports of the ATA to my Nortel CICS. The CICS
should now think that it has 10 incoming lines, and furthermore it
should think that all 10 lines are plain old telephone lines. Now the
diagram looks like this:

8 x Bell lines -----------------> CICS -> Extensions -> Digital Phones
Unlimitel -> Internet -> ATA ------|

>From what I have been reading in this thread, this should be all I
need, right? The ATA will do the conversion from Unlimitel's packets
to analog phone signals that the CICS can understand. 

I'm also thinking that the SPA-3102 is actually worse for me in this
setup, because it has one FXS and one FXO port, and the FXO port does
not do me any good in this setup. Furthermore I am believing that
because this ATA has two FXS ports, I can use both of them
independently with the CICS even though they share a DID. 

As far as I can tell I don't have to set up Asterisk or softphones or
anything else to make this work. And because the CICS sees the lines
from the ATA as incoming telephone lines, the only phone wiring I have
to change is to punch in the lines from the ATA to my CICS. 

Assuming I am happy with this not very open-sourcey setup, am I
understanding the situation correctly? What am I missing?

I guess the catch of this system (or VoIP in general) is that my
Internet bandwidth usage will go up, so if I don't have uncapped
internet I have to start to worry about overrunning my bandwidth
between phone usage and long e-mails to the KWLUG list. 

- Paul

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