3G modems are now used as an alternative to GSM gateways that enable companies to connect VoIP networks to the GSM system. This is a budget solution that works in conjunction with the software PBX. It allows receiving/making calls via a PC or mobile phone at cheaper rates.
The fact that this equipment is used in the VoIP systems with the software PBX makes it possible to expand the channels of communication. In turn, this is provided by the simultaneous processing of multiple calls from a single device. The result is a significant reduction in voice communications costs.
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The GSM-modem as a budget solution
GSM modems are also called "whistles", and their popularity is primarily due to the low cost. They are much more affordable than the VoIP GSM gateways. The correct operation of 3G modem involves stable special-purpose software. To date, the most suitable option is the IP PBX Asterisk.
Connecting the 3G modem to Asterisk
But there are some difficulties. Asterisk does not support GSM modems with voice functions. The software can work with these devices only through special-purpose channel modules. The most popular of them are chan_datacard and chan_dongle. Before installing the channel module, make sure that your equipment is compatible with it. Chan_datacard supports only the Huawei asterisk gsm modem of following models:
- E169 / K3520;
- E160 / K3565.
Chan_dongle is compatible with the following models of Huawei:
- E169 / K3520;
Expert opinion: Is it worth using a GSM modem?
Despite the fact that 3G modems are quite effectively used instead of GSM gateways, IP-telephony experienced users still prefer the latter. GSM modems, although cheaper, cannot provide the proper performance of the VoIP-system and can be considered only as a temporary measure, particularly if you need many communication channels. In addition, the setting of GSM modems is more complex than the voip gateway setting and requires a manual connection. If you have a large company, you are better off buying a good GSM gateway.
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