Voice over IP

Reader question: Telecom solution for connecting callers to learn English


I have an Idea – Its called LEBTOP (Learn English By Talking On Phone).

I am looking for a telecom solution wherein , i want to connect callers to other callers. If my number say 1800 xxx xxxx gets 100 calls at a time, i wish to connect incoming calls to other callers, thus I want to make 50 pairs of connections. Some one suggested I use 4 PRI’s (to handle 120 simultaneous calls) but they said that the cost would be very high.

The idea depends on connecting callers to one another based on certain rules. Please visit www.lebtop.blogspot.in for more details. Help us find a solution.



I have given an option that you can consider. I hope others might give you a few more options in the comments section. Do not implement anything before cross-checking with people who have implemented such solutions in your area.

In India (where the reader wants to implement this solution), people who aspire to learn English may only have basic cell phones. Secondly, there are some restrictions for calls between IP (Internet) and PSTN. Calls between IP (Internet) endpoints are allowed.

If PRI lines are going to be used as the trunk lines, the recurring expenditure for the host (central administrative office) might be very high. Instead, if we can take all calls over the Internet (IP backbone), usage charges will reduce. Of course, Internet bandwidth needs to be purchased by the users, but they can use it for general Internet browsing as well, in addition to making VOIP calls.

If you can convince users to buy entry-level smart phones that have 3G/Wi-Fi support and can connect to the Internet, they can install VOIP/Soft-Phone clients and call others over the Internet. Of course, it works only between two people who have installed the software clients either on their smart phones or on their PC/laptop (headset-mic).

While it is possible for users to download Skype clients for their phone/PC and make calls to others over the Internet (using Skype), I am not sure how you can track the number of hours spoken by each user (which is required to give usage-based voice credits) if you use an online/hosted telephony application like Skype. Can it be done?

On the other hand, if you can install an entry-level server in your premises, you can download an IP PBX Software (Asterisk, Switchvox, Free PBX, etc.) or install an IP PBX hardware unit (that can support 50 concurrent calls), connect it to the Internet and route the calls through your IP PBX. This way, you can extract usage information (for each caller) and generate/automate reports, etc. to suit your application needs. Some IP PBX softwares and Soft-Clients (that installs on user’s phone/PC) are available free of cost.

I guess an Internet Leased Line needs to be in place (at the host-premises). Can broadband handle 50 concurrent calls? (Assuming the payload flows directly between the users and only the control signals goes through the IP PBX). Can a hosted PBX be a better solution? I mean, can we get detailed usage reports or access the API’s from a hosted PBX? I don’t know, someone might want to comment on this one.

You can connect PRI lines to this IP PBX using PRI Cards that plug-into the server (instead of the Internet connection mentioned above) and you can then allow your users to make calls using land-line/normal cell phone as you initially wanted. But in this case, the initial investment as well as the recurring charges will be quite high for the host (central administrative premises). Expansion (in future) will also be an issue.

If any readers are working in the IP Telephony industry, you might want to suggest your own solution/make changes to the above solution. Please contribute your views in the comments section.



  • Nikhil

    Firstly I am Thankful to the admin of ExcITingIP for creating a separate post for my question and for the detailed reply.

    You have raised some good points, which I’m hoping someone will answer.

    I really want a feasible solution to kick start my idea. In todays world of Modern Technology , I know that nothing is impossible. But at what cost do I get such a solution ?

    Someone suggested that I refrain from taking calls to the internet to cut costs. He said, “You need a complete telecome solution for it. Buy a server, lease lines and install a software”.

    I do not have much knowledge about tele-communications, so I need your valuable comments and opinions of people who know this stuff. Please contribute.


  • Nikhil

    Hi , I have another related Question,

    Is it possible to connect callers of two different numbers ?

    Say, I categorize callers as Level A, B , C .. so on..
    I give A users a number say 1111
    I give B users the number , 2222 and so on..

    Now I wish to connect all Callers of 2222 to callers of 1111.

    Is this any different from previous case and has got an better solution ?


    Is i