Denphone | The Voice, Video & Network Specialists



Denphone FAQ

Here are answers to some of the questions we often get asked. VoIP and telephony solutions are our speciality, but many people are new to the concepts involved so we hope that this page will help give you a better understanding of what we do. If your question isn't answered here, feel free to contact us via our contact page. We will answer your questions as soon as we can.

Denphone Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Asterisk?
What is Denphone Asterisk?
How do I get support?
How many telephones can I connect?
How stable is Asterisk?
How does it connect to the telephone network?
Can I keep my existing phone numbers?
Can I connect it to Skype?
How much does it cost to buy?


What is Asterisk?

Asterisk is an open source telephone system. We think of it as an open platform for building telephony solutions. These could be an office phone system - PBX, a call centre, an emergency message delivery system, a videophone system, a voicemail system, a unified messaging system. The range of possibilities is so wide that a list would take up this whole page.

The most popular use of Asterisk is to build a PBX on a PC, preferably a server. Asterisk runs on top of the linux operating system, and can therefore be installed on standard PC hardware. This makes it very cost effective and easy to source the hardware.

Asterisk was developed by Mr Mark Spencer as an open source project, and on-going development is sponsored by Digium. There are many contributors to the Asterisk source code stream from independent developers around the world. These are vetted by Digium before inclusion in the codebase.

What is Denphone Asterisk?

Denphone Asterisk is our preferred office PBX install. It includes the features necessary to interoperate with the Japanese phone network and to support Japanese language. It includes a GUI to facilitate setup and configuration. It has a well tested set of defined components which we know work well.

We can also install a vanilla Asterisk version if a client specifically requests it - this is done on a time and materials basis.

Denphone 500 MicroPBX

Shown here is the Denphone 500 MicroPBX. With support for 5 users it is an ideal solution for small offices. It is available from our webshop. Click here to find out more: Denphone 500 MicroPBX.

How do I get support?

We, in Denphone, have been building, installing and supporting Asterisk systems in Japan for over four years and our business is steadily growing. We will be able to provide quality support for your Asterisk system in the future.

Over one million copies of Asterisk have been downloaded, and there are many tens of thousands of systems in daily use. Globally there are hundreds of companies supporting Asterisk. In Japan the Asterisk market is growing and it is almost certain that good Asterisk support will be available in years to come.

How many telephones can I connect?

There are Asterisk systems in production with many hundreds of phones. Our largest deployment to-date in Japan is well over two hundred phones. With load balancing, there is essentially no upper limit to the size of an Asterisk system.

How stable is Asterisk?

Very stable. We have many systems in continuous daily use, ranging from a 2~3 phones to 200+ phones. A system properly built and deployed can be expected to provide many years of service. Since the main system components are standard PC parts (unlike proprietary PBX systems), replacement parts will be easily available in the future. The telephone handsets themselves use industry standard protocols, so they can be replaced with newer models in the future.

How does it connect to the telephone network?

There are many ways to connect a Denphone Asterisk system to the telephone network. The most popular ways are through NTT ISDN lines, over FLETS to IP termination providers and through PRI for larger companies. Please contact us for more information regarding the most cost effective solution for your company.

Can I keep my existing phone numbers?

Yes. A Denphone Asterisk system can be connected to the phone network in the same way that you do now. In this way, your existing phone numbers can be retained. If a hosted system is used, this is generally not possible.

Can I connect it to Skype?

Unfortunately Skype is a proprietary system, and the protocols are not published. This makes it difficult to connect Asterisk or any other phone system to Skype. There are some gateways available to route calls between Skype and Asterisk, but they are not enterprise grade. They usually use a PC to connect to Skype through an API and then route the call over SIP or some other open VoIP protocol.

How much does it cost to buy?

The delivered cost of a Denphone Asterisk system can vary from below 50,000 JPY per seat to over 100,000 JPY per seat. This is a fully installed turnkey price. Factors that affect the price include the quality of the handset chosen, the type of phone network connectivity used and the features of the PBX server.

If your question isn't answered here, feel free to contact us via our contact page. We will answer your questions as soon as we can.

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