I currently have a dialup isp. We use a couple of wholesale dialup service providers to provide service to our users across the nation. I would like to provide my own dialup services across the nation if the cost is justible.
Here is what I want to do:
1. Buy a remote access server (RAS) with hundreds of modems in it. The RAS will have multiple T1/PRI/T3 interface cards in it depending on which one I get.
2.Place the RAS in a Houston, TX datacenter.
3. Get voice services from a carrier that can deliever multiple T1/PRI lines (or a T3). I would want a local DID or phone number in hundredes of locations across the nation. When a number is called, it would be rerouted back to the Houston, TX PRI/T1/T3 connections WITHOUT ANY LONG DISTANCE CHARGES.
Is this possible without paying an arm and a leg for it? Can anyone give me any recommendations besides stay with a wholesale dialup provider.
I'm guessing you're planning on using a box like a Cisco AS5400 / Aastra CXV1800? The cheapest way to do this is to provide 800-number access and negotiate relentlessly to get your cost per minute down.
I guess it's technically possible that you could rent space on VoIP gateways from a company like Level(3), but the only codec that's going to support modem dialup is G.711 which is a ~90k bi-directional stream. In order to make the timing requirements work, you'd have to build your own private (non-Internet) transport so that you could provide proper QoS to ensure the integrity of the audio stream. Obviously building your own transport to the various national rate centers and providing 90k of bandwidth to carry a 28.8 - 56k stream isn't going to scale at all.
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From my research on other clients needs it seems quite possible. Probably would want to stay with a PRI type interface though. XO has been advertising MMPRIs (multi market) for quite some time which might be an option here. Sure SIP handoff would be possible from XO/L3/GBLX but I don't know how that will fair given the bandwidth/latency for dialup access. I'm not sure if it will actually work out cheaper than your current solutions but it seems like quite an interesting concept. Interested in seeing what comes out of this thread but getting late =)
Provided the information that Eric provided is accurate (I have no reason to doubt it, but I don't know sh*t about VoIP codecs), you should see that your plan really is quite flawed, primarily because you would need a ton of bandwidth per dialup account.
Each modem connected to your RAS network will use 90kb/sec bi-directional to support the VoIP traffic between yourself and your VoIP gateway provider. Above and beyond this, you will need Internet transit to support the Internet traffic for your customers data. Basically, you end up using 56kb/sec of Internet transit and 90kb/sec of private *transport* to your VoIP gateway provider. All in all, you would need two networks and 145kb/sec of traffic would be used to support a single 56k dialup connection.
The only thing that might be possible is if you get a voice T1/T3 from your telco provider and they are able to provide you with DIDs from multiple geographic regions. However, this isn't really VoIP based at all - it's voice over T1/T3 with DIDs assigned from multiple regions. But then again, from Eric statements you don't really want to be encapsulating modem calls in VoIP.
Also, while this is anecdotal, but in the past when I've traveled and didn't have access to a local dialup number via our resold wholesale dialup service, I'd use a toll free number pointed at a local dial number that was based in San Diego. If I was on the east coast, I noticed quite a bit of additional latency using the toll free number vs. using a number that was terminated near my geographical localation. I've always assumed that my long phsyical distance from the dialup number/ras equipment added extra latency because my voice traffic had to go from east coast to west coast -- of course, this adds about 60-100ms to typical data traffic, and I'd expect the same thing is happening for the voice traffic and is adversely impacting transfer rates.
Aside from all this, why spend lots of money on dialup infrastructure? Dialup is a support intensive, low MRC industry that is shrinking daily due to broadband defection. Clearly, there is still a market for dialup services, but there are not really any new customers entering the market place.
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You're in luck Since I've built and oversee a couple of our clients in our datacenter that does something similar.
First, yes its possible - you would need to order PRI (not straight t1) circuits from a teleco that offers foreign exchange service. Then that '1' pri circuit (with 23 usable channels/paths) can actualy have inbound phone numbers associated from many area codes/lata's. Each inbound call will come over the pri (voice or data won't matter) and your equipment will translate/route the call accordingly (modem call will be answered, a voip call may be forwarded on using a SIP protocol to a more robust voip gateway box). Cisco makes good equipment that can do both in the same box reading signals form the same PRI.
Now, as mentioned, dialup isn't hugely a money maker, but combined with voip the 2 can do ok. Today the 'hot thing' is no longer to waste money on those expensive pri's and foreign exchanges to route back to that pri (there are costs ranging from per-lata connection fees, to even per minute fees depending on the carrier and how they offer foreign exchanges across the country) - but instead most are focusing on using pure IP based voip services. In that scenario you use standard internet (10 mbit, 100 mbit, t1, whatever it is doesnt matter - its pure IP so it could be over a tin can and string as long as you can hold an IP packet) - and a voip carrier will send inbound (and even outbound if you like) calls for you to your voip gateway device (as simple as a linux pc, or as fancy as a cisco box) and you can then use those voice channels for whatever you like. However this method does NOT support modem's at all, technicaly speaking its possilbe up to about 9600 baud but don't even consider it. This IP to IP method of voip lets you cover the nation easier, and far less expensively in both hardware and monthly fees.
So the real question is, is the modem business worth the extra costs to do a hard circuit 'pri' style - and the short answer is probably not by today's revenue standards. The VOIP is what's hot, and the modem sadly just isn't.
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