Is there any billing software available for the ATA 186? We have an ATA installed and will be used in an Internet cafe to make low cost international calls. We need some sort of software to allow us to bill (pre or post paid) the customers. If there is no billing software then is there a way to monitor the the numbers that are dialed and how long the call was for.
Does the cafe have an account at someone like Net2Phone or the like.. If so you can probably see the call details on their selfcare webpage.
If the calls are not to be transported on the PSTN, only IPcalls, then there is usually no additional costs to be covered. And an easy/simple timebased tarif can be used, like: 1usd pr. 30min at the phone, online or not.
I have tried this a while ago. Be very careful, the gatekeeper reports the time since setup! This means that it starts counting from the moment the phone on the other side begun to ring (roughly). This will give you anywhere between 5 to 50 additional secs, which is not what you want.
I even tried the proxy mode on the gatekeeper, but same thing happened. If anyone has a good solution for this, I will really appreciate it.
It might not be what you want,, but i'm afraid it also how your phonecompany does it.
Actually you can often save some money if you let the phone 'ring-out' on the other end instead of giving up after a few rings.
Because hanging up is a normal call clearing and waiting will give an time-out error. The latter is not allways billed.
Calls are always measured from the second they use 'a line'. Accouting info from the gateways is allways from 'connect-time' no matter if its picked up in the other end. The decision of billing is determined by disconnectcause that will tell us if the phone was answered or not.
If the network is wobbly it can be even worse as the connection can 'hang' så a number of seconds will be added in the end.
Note that all of the above is not Cisco specific, Lucent, Nuera softswitches, Clarent etc. same issues.
In order to have billing support at you ATA186 device you need some kind of aggregator junction type proxy or a Media Gateway.
Those components are robust and have billing/accounting options.
If all you intention is to billing your local customers, on real time basis, coming to make phone calls at the Internet Cafe, I will say the best/quickest and the cheapest way is to connect you ATA186 device to an ITSP network which supports SIP or H.323 which the ATA186 device supports.
Those ITSPs will provide you different billing integration and tracking.
For example deltathree, is offering various resellers program:
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