Using Analog Phones

Hi folks,

A client wants to keep their old Inter-Tel KTS analog phones for budget reasons. Two questions:

1. How could they use these with FreePBX? 2. Would they be losing any features that they currently have with their analog PBX?


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Tech support
Asterisk Users 3.2 years ago 7 Answers

Answers ( 7 )

  1. Steven Howes
    August 20, 2012 at 03:16 am

    You'd need an ATA or an analogue card. And how well they work, depends on if they are 'true' analogue, or have extra digital pairs etc.

    You'd need to find out what features they have on their PBX, and compare this to FreePBX.


  2. Ikka Vertika
    August 20, 2012 at 03:25 am

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  3. A J
    August 20, 2012 at 04:21 am

    Via so-called Analogue Terminal Adaptors (ATAs). These are basically a SIP phone with an FXS interface instead of a handset and keypad.

    Alternatively, up to four analogue phones could be connected through something like a TDM400P fitted with four FXS modules.

    Note that ATAs are not cheap! Replacing the analogue phones with SIP phones might actually work out less expensive.

    This is very unlikely. Check the feature set to be sure.

    Asterisk is basically a telephony construction kit; so the chances are, any feature they seem to be missing can be added, either in the dialplan or with an AGI script.

  4. Steve Totaro
    August 20, 2012 at 04:52 am

    I have done a good deal installations where analog handsets, headsets, or many faxes just made sense. I have used T1 cards to connect to 24 port channel banks to provide true analog dialtone.

    I have also used SIP based channel banks with great success but never bothered messing with the fax issues.

    FreePBX should give you way more functionality than their current PBX, sometimes it just takes a little creativity and doing things differently. Always get the details of what they currently use. An admin assistant or secretary is usually the person that knows what bells and whistles everyone uses. That is the person that you really want to befriend for a smooth implementation.

    Finally, I have installed a handful of Inter Tel/Mitel PBXen along the way, and the phones I installed were infact digital and proprietary. Check the model number of the phones to see if they are truly analog, which I doubt. In that case, you can still use a FreePBX box, but you are going to have to integrate it with the Inter Tel, I usually put Asterisk in front and just timeout your ring to VM a little bit shorter on the Asterisk box than the Inter Tel.

    With phone prices what they are, and a very good Polycom (or whatever you like) SIP phone so cheap, I would seriously consider ditching the phones if you find that they are digital.

    Thanks, Steve Totaro

  5. Bryant Zimmerman
    August 20, 2012 at 11:06 am


  6. Noam Birnbaum
    August 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks to all who applied. I found out that their Inter-Tel phones are connected to an Inter-Tel Axxess box-thingamadoodle (that's a technical term). Inter-Tel was purchased by Mitel in 2009 so there's no support left. I think I'm gonna recommend they use IP phones or a different VoIP consultant

  7. Rob Townley
    August 23, 2012 at 11:17 am

    switch hub. but the device is rather expensive.

    GrandStream 8 port ATA is about $200.00 which is much less than a single new SIP phone. Much much less expensive than new. The Cisco ATA is about $400.00 but may only give 4 analog telephone ports (FXS). reasons. Two questions: analog PBX?

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