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I’m using Elastix as my primary telephone PBX. Users are family and friends. 85% of the users are on remote locations. The version of Elastix that I’m using right now is Elastix 1.6-13.
Standard install of Elastix comes with A2Billing module. This was version 1.3. I have never work A2Billing, but understand the possibilities and advantages of this system. And I want to make use of those. Therefore I updated A2Billing to version 1.6.0 (Hickory).
Before I go further, I want to make clear that all functions/features of Elastix on handling internal calls must stay the same. What I mean with this, is that extensions users must be able to call each other as they are doing right now with all features at their disposal what is offering by Elastix.
A2Billing will be use in 2 different situations.
A2Billing will handle all outgoing call to external destinations. Those calls are generated by internal users. For outgoing call to external destinations I use a couple of voip providers. All providers are working good with Elastix. The voip providers are using a ‘Fair Use Policy” with their package. The limits of free minutes are known.
Per example: provider A offers every month 1000 free minutes to local destinations in The Netherlands. After the 1000 free minutes, rates are 0.017/minute. With this provider I have unlimited channels. A2Billing must be calculating/monitoring the FUP limit of this trunk, and only bill users the rate 0.017/minute when limit is reach. Important is that and email notification must be send to administrator with warning that limit is reach and calls will be bilk now.
I’m using 4 VoIP providers that have FUP, so all of them have to be setup on this way. Of course all rates are different after the free minutes.
In Elastix I have made restrictions for what kind of outgoing route users can use to make calls with custom contexts. This is very working great. Can allow or deny very simple to use various outgoing routes. But in A2Billing this will not be necessary, because users will be billed. All extension users must have postpaid costumers account. And some form of automatically authentication must be used for the extension users.
There are fees to be paid and those fees are recurring each month. This has to be setup, as well as Billing and Invoices, those processes will be done manually for now. Plus users must be able to log in to see their balance, call history etc.
In Elastix I have register 2 DID numbers. The first one is used by Elastix, when people call this number they hear an IVR and this IVR guide them to the correct person. The second DID I want to use with A2Billing. This DID will be the access number for customers that purchase a calling card. I already have a file with calling card numbers; they have to be imported into A2Billing. The people who bought a card must be able to see only their balance and call history only. Those cards will of course be prepaid with a starting balance of 2 Euro. And will have a expire date of 2 months. With these cards people will be able to call to one destination.
Other features of A2Billing will be deploy much later, so if this work can be done good and everything works well, I will offer more work. All work is done on a server that is working fine, and the server can’t be down longer than 5 minutes. A quick summary of goals; Elastix must handle all internal calls and features needed for this; A2Billing must handle outgoing calls to external destinations. Elastix will be handle the 1st DID to guide receive calls via IVR, and A2Billing will handle the 2nd DID to let customers use their prepaid calling card.