- 10 FXO ports
- PSTN failover and local breakout facilities
- SNMP monitoring
- low-cost Sipura phone adapters for teleworkers
- Complicated to configure for DIY deployment
UK-based VegaStream specialises in VoIP gateways for enterprise customers and service providers, offering a range of products to a suit variety of applications. These can be configured to handle up to 120 lines at a time, although for our tests we used a Vega 50. This is aimed at more modest VoIP deployment in small to medium-sized organisations looking to connect remote branch offices and teleworkers to the company PBX.
Available for either analogue or ISDN digital deployment, the analogue Vega 50 we tested comes equipped with 10 FXO ports. These can be used to connect the gateway to either PSTN phone lines or, in our case, extensions from a central PBX. The two types of connection can also be mixed to support failover to the PSTN in the case of a network or power failure and local exchange breakout for remote VoIP callers.
A similar gateway can then be configured in the remote office with two FXO ports -- again, for PSTN connectivity and failover -- plus eight FXS connectors for analogue telephone and headset attachment. Alternatively, VegaStream can supply one- or two-port Sipura telephone adapters for use by smaller offices and teleworkers (these start at around £50 ex. VAT). Support for both H.323 and SIP signalling enables other vendors' products, including specialised IP phones, to be used at the remote end if preferred.
A single 10/100Mbps Ethernet interface is used to connect the gateway to the network, with a choice of management interfaces including Telnet, SNMP and the usual browser-based GUI.
As it does for most of its customers, VegaStream helped us configure the gateway -- which is just as well, as the dial planner rules used to route inbound and outbound calls can take a while to master. Depending on the protocol and hardware, the remote end can also take a while to get right, although in our case VegaStream simply configured a Sipura adapter ready to use. This, again, is how most customers would deploy the product.
The end result exactly mirrored a local PBX setup with an immediate dial tone and access to all the usual PBX facilities over our broadband Internet connection. No special user training is required and call quality was excellent, the VegaStream firmware negotiating the best codec to match the bandwidth available. On the downside only minimal documentation is supplied, but then the product is normally installed by a reseller with good backup and support services available from VegaStream and its resellers.