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Are gatekeepers really necessary?

  • This topic has 68 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 18 years ago by Harris.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 69 total)
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  • #21393

    A friend had a program “Ring Central” preinstalled from the factory on his aptiva computer which a tech accidentally deleted. He claims it allowed him to make pc-to-phone calls around the world and talk free for hours. Unfortunately the company discontinued that program.

    I get conflicting information from the telco’s and ITSP’s who say we need them so the digitized voice data-stream can “hop-off” from the internet onto the pots line where the call is received. But they don’t charge very much or seem they have anyone else to pay besides themselves. All I need is a few thousand dollars worth of hardware and software and I can be an ITSP too. So their arguements seem self-serving, like toll-keepers on a highway that existed before them.

    Bottom line: I need software that will let me make free international pc-to-phone calls on my 100mghz, 30 mb ram, 56K win98 IBM PC. Please reply to my personal email and many thanks to the idealistic coder who responds.

    wilson boyrie

    VOIP 101:Gatekeeper is a device (hardware or a PC plus software)that let a PC or a VOIP device find the called device/PC.
    On the most basic form a gatekeeper have the I.P. addreses of the devices that are on line, and when a new device logs in and “ask” for a particular device, the gatekeeper inform the calling device of what is the I.P. of the called device. The originator then calls the receiving one by its I.P. address.
    Gateway:Under control from a gatekeeper, this device lets you hop-off the data world into the old PSTN services.Act as a bridge from data to voice.
    There are many free softphone on the Web. One of the most common ones is netmeeting.That will allow to call anyone with neetmeeting or similar programs,PC to PC.
    To call PSTN lines you need to use a gateway or pay per minutes charges to someone like Net2phone or similar company.
    About geting a gateway or gatekeeper. There are some units out there bellow $1000.00 dollars.
    A small two ports gateway could be found for about $400.00 and a combo gateway/gatekeeper with four ports/lines goes for about $800.00
    A basic ATA (two telephone lines to ethernet adapter) could be around $200.00. (Cisco ATA 186)
    Good luck!!!!


    I run a small company under 20 people. I have just moved our admin
    into another building, so the 2 offices are about 1 km apart. Between the 2 buildings a
    10 Mb wireless link has been installed. Both offices have seperate PABX.
    I have been looking into VoIP to connect the two PABXs. All I need is a hardware
    solution to connect to an analogue port on one PABX to a spare POST line-in
    on the other PABX. Both PABX are a Plesstel animal.
    I was looking at the Cisco ATA 186 untill I discovered that I need a gateway
    to go with it (and am getting no answers from Cisco in Australia!!). I have also
    been looking at the Innomedia offerings.
    Can anyone please help me in finding a small affordable solution, which would have a
    tiny overhead i.e. 1 to 5 single phone calls an hour.


    Wilson Boyrie

    Matt, I read on one of this boards that is not necesary to have a gatekeeper to talk from one ATA to another. If all what you want is call from one office to the other “point to point” you could call from one ATA to the other by “dialing ” the I.P. address of the other device.Is something like pick-up the phone and dial * plus the I.P. of the remote unit and close with #. If it is your internal network you may pick up a easy I.P. number to remember.

    On brands and features, I has been using Quintum for about a month now and VERY HAPPY with it. I have a two ports unit at my home,a four ports at my office across town and a two ports in South America where my family is. All that for less than $2k.

    If you need help, give a e-mail at
    Good luck down under!


    Hi Matt
    You can easily go with Innomedia. I have deployed Innomedia in almost same situation and its going well…Any information you required about this you can comtact me . My email is

    Good luck



    Anyway you can interface with the Quintum A200 to keep track of the accounting? I know it works but can’t get the CDRs out of it.

    wilson boyrie

    Jeff: Never tried to get CDR s out of any of them. There is a call record on one of the screens on the machine, but never tried to get it out.

    Really do not know about it. If I have some spare time this week I will try on the one on my desk and share the info. To be honest I have not even tried the CD that came with the unit. I only read the little two pages that is the quick guide and I was talking to the gatekeeper in few minutes.

    Best regards to all.


    Has anyone tried to configure two Cisco ATA 186’s to do what Matt has described?

    I ordered them thinking that I could do what he is looking to do but after reading the docs I am not so sure…

    I didn’t want to start playing around with them in case I need to return them…


    Yes I got the 186’s working and I am not quite sure how!! All I have working is one port rings the other port, set up as
    SIP nothing fancy. Dial *1# and the other phone rings. I have not worked out how to ring across from port 1 to port 2.
    And I am also working on a Vocal gateway so maybe netmeeting could call in as well. I just connected the phone
    ports as PSTN lines into the pabx at each end and it worked.

    Jason If you do play with them you can reset them to default before you send them back. But I do admit it did take me a
    while to sort out what they doing.



    Matt, how can be ATA 186 settings set to default?


    Sankar Subbiah


    Did you able to obtain information about how to make a pc-to-phone calls? If so, could you please share the info.? I am not interested in pay-per-min charges. But I am planning to spend about 1k-2k to create VoIP network for my personal use ( to call my family members ).

    wilson, Can you please explain a bit more about how to call PSTN line?



    Hi All,

    In regards to the PBX connection use the Quintum Gateway that has both the PSTN port, PBX port and IP port. Getting CDR information can be extracted through a RADIUS Billing server, unfortunately today teh Quintum A200 does not support this IVR feature.



    Hi Matt –

    I want to do exactly what you’ve done. Would you mind sharing the settings on each ATA 186?




    Yes sure Jorge. Have a look here
    I made a screen capture of the “dev” page of each unit.




    Has anybody used the ATA with Dynamic IP address ? Has anybody been succesful at configuring the ATAs with dynamic ip addreses ?

    What is the configuration needed to make 2 ATAs work ?



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