A setup for dispatch by Voice over IP

This is an example setup for a Voice-over-IP (IP telephony) dispatch setup. The idea is to make it possible that reporters can not only report from media centers or to media centers but also from mobile phones or phone cells to virtual work places.

The setup below is the deluxe version wehere people can call from either mobile phones, phone cells or softphones located in an IMC. People who can be located anywhere in the world can take their calls.

To allow people to call from mobile phones and regular phones you need a gateway provider. This is usually a company which offers free local phone numbers and routes them to VoIP accounts. A list of providers (not all are free!) is available on VoIP-Info.org.

 ________________                                 _________________
|                |                               |                 |
| VoIP softphone | ----------------------------> |                 |              
|    in IMC      |                               |   Asterisk #1   |
|________________|                               |      (US)       |
                                                 |                 |
 ________________                                |_________________|
|                |       _________________                ^
|  mobile phone  |----> |                 |               |
|________________|      |   free local    |       ________v________
                        |    phone to     |      |                 |
 ________________       |    Internet     |----> |                 |
|                |      |     gateway     |      |   Asterisk #2   |
|  payphone in   |----> |_________________|      |      (EU)       |
|   phone cell   |                               |                 |
|________________|                               |_________________|
                                                    |  |  |  |  |
     ,----------------------------------------------'  |  |  |  |
     |             ,-----------------------------------'  |  |  |
     |             |             ,------------------------'  |  |
     |             |             |             ,-------------'  |
     v             v             v             v                v
 __________    __________    __________    __________    __________ 
|          |  |          |  |          |  |          |  |          |
| disp. #1 |  | disp. #2 |  | disp. #3 |  | disp. #4 |  | disp. #5 |
|__________|  |__________|  |__________|  |__________|  |__________|


disp. = virtual dispatch working place (i.e. softphone user)

The locations given for the Asterisk servers are just examples. The idea is to let people from as many places world-wide as possible join the disptach. Thus it may be a good idea to provide a cross-Atlantic link by means of two PBX servers (such as asterisk). By using servers on both sides, you can still do conference calls which span just one side of the big pond so your calls don't need to go all the way through.

Ideally, the VoIP softphone below would actually be connected to a mighty server which runs Asterisk #2. That would do the oversea link to Asterisk #1 and that would spread more calls to the continent it is located on.

This whole thing will only work if the required infrastructure - broadband internet access for VoIP calls and free (or cheap) telephone numbers to VoiP accounts routing providers - are available in the area the event takes place in. Another neccessary note is that none of these connections are usually encrypted and thus the whole communication must be considered as insecure as any telephone call, or even a bit worse.

-- AlsteR - 05 Jul 2005
Topic revision: r2 - 02 Oct 2005, GarconDuMonde
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