BeroNet VoIP GSM Gateway review

Better documentation would help but the VoIP GSM Gateway is a great choice for SMEs that want to keep their legacy equipment

Price
£828
  • Multiple SIP trunk support; Good value; Totally silent; Smart call handling
  • Unclear online documentation

BeroNet's gateway appliances are designed for businesses moving to VoIP that want to keep their PSTN or ISDN equipment. The VoIP GSM Gateway on review goes further as along with four integral PSTN ports it has a pair of GSM ports allowing it to route mobile voice calls and SMS over SIP.

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The appliance employs a sturdy aluminium desktop box which acts as a heatsink, so it's completely silent. At the front are four PSTN ports with the two GSM ports grouped above and small push buttons to release the SIM card trays.

The gateway works with an existing IP PBX such as the 3CX Phone System or you can link it directly to a SIP trunk. We opted for the latter and used the basic web management console to manually add our VoIP Unlimited SIP trunk.

We provided a suitable name, the SIP outbound proxy and registrar addresses plus our SIP ID and password. A quick check on the VoIP Unlimited customer portal showed the gateway connected successfully and the appliance's status web page also showed the trunk link as green.

The PSTN and GSM ports must be placed in groups so they can be referenced in dial plans. For the PSTN ports, we initially added all four to the same group and selected the appropriate country dial tone from the drop down list.

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There are a number of other features for port groups that help control calls. For incoming calls, the channel select' option allows the appliance to sequentially or randomly pick the next available PSTN port in the group to receive them.

Dial plans determine how inbound and outbound calls using the PSTN ports or GSM cards are handled. Each one has a source and destination so for outbound calls, we chose a PSTN port group and linked it to our SIP provider.

For inbound calls, we created a second dial plan with the source and destination reversed so anyone calling the main SIP trunk number would be directed to the next available PSTN port. Destination and source parameters are powerful tools as they can match criteria such as the number being called or the incoming phone number and route them to a specific PSTN device.

With standard PSTN phones plugged into the ports, we had no problems making and receiving calls using our SIP account. For enhanced GSM services, BeroNet also provides a free Outlook SMS plugin and an SMS-to-Mail app.

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The appliance supports multiple SIP trunks and to test this we added details of our Sipgate account. We then created new port groups and dial plans where the first two PSTN ports were assigned to VoIP Unlimited and the other two to Sipgate.

Alternatively, we could use one SIP trunk for failover. From the VoIP Unlimited settings, we selected Sipgate as the failover trunk and set it to become active only if the primary trunk had gone down for so many seconds.

For call logging, the console provides a trace plus basic phone port statistics listing each dial plan along with the number of calls made and the average connected time. You can also view a list of active calls which show the call direction, the port and channel in use, the number called and the destination complete with the caller's number.

The confusing online documentation does hamper deployment but we found BeroNet's versatile VoIP GSM Gateway offers a great set of call handling features. It's reasonably priced too, making it a good choice for SMEs that want to retain investment in their existing PSTN and GSM equipment when they move to VoIP.

Verdict

The confusing online documentation does hamper deployment but we found BeroNet’s versatile VoIP GSM Gateway offers a great set of call handling features. It’s reasonably priced too, making it a good choice for SMEs that want to retain investment in their existing PSTN and GSM equipment when they move to VoIP.

Desktop appliance Gigabit LAN 4 x RJ45 PSTN ports 2 x GSM SIM slots External PSU 168 x 168 x 45mm (WDH) 4 x RJ45-RJ11 phone cables 2 x standard GSM aerials 1 x GSM aerial with 3 metre cable 2 year hardware warranty

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