VoIP Gateway

A VoIP gateway sometimes referred as media gateway, one of the devices that converts real-time telephone and fax calls via an Internet network. Advanced and bigger than VoIP phone adapters / ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter).

There are many types of VoIP gateways and come in wide variety ranges as we will see below. The main two features they were built-in are:

  • LAN (Local Area Network) interface 
  • FXS (Foreign Exchange Station) port, the port/s where you connect telephone handsets and traditional PBX 
  • FXO (Foreign Exchange Office) is the port where you plug the PSTN line from your phone company 

and...

  • a gateway that comes with both FXS/FXO ports

Two Types of VoIP Gateway

There are two types of gateway:

1. Analog - basic devices that come anywhere from 4 up to 22 FXS ports meaning you can connect telephones, faxes and PBX depending on how many ports the gateway has available. These types of gateways are usually used in call-shop, Internet cafe, small companies.

Examples of Analog VoIP gateways...

 4 FXS port manufactured by Welltech 

Welltech 2504 WellGate 2504 FXS Port Gateway

8 FXS Port by Quintum Tenor

Quintum Tenor A400-A800

Here's a diagram of how it looks like when deployed in your network...

Wellgate 2504 4 FXS diagram

2. Digital - advanced gateway that takes in multi-channel lines such as ISDN, E1/BRI and T1, usually used for big operation by large companies, VoIP providers and carriers.

Example of digital gateway...

Quintum-Tenor-DX-Series


Who is it for?

  • Callshop and Internet cafe owners
  • SOHO (Small office/Home office)
  • Medium and large sized enterprises
  • Calling card and VoIP providers


Benefits

  • you don't require a computer except for some situations like in a callshop
  • allows call-shop or Internet cafe owners to add value added services such as cheap International calls 
  • top voice quality can be achieved especially if you allocate separate bandwidth for your gateway
  • does not take big space


Disadvantages

  • is not easy to configure by yourself
  • may encounter bad voice quality if you share the Internet with other types of services such as games in an internet cafe. To solve this you need to allocate separate Internet access or allocate enough bandwidth see VoIP speed test to check and find out how much speed one line requires

That's all about it for now. 


You may be interested in the following related topics:

VoIP Phone Adapter

IP Phone 


Further reading:

Gateway (Wikipedia)

Learn About VoIP Gateways (3CX)

Gateway (Asterisks.org)



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