GSM Gateways

A GSM Gateway (or GSM Dialler) is a device that attaches to your PABX phone system, and allows your phone system to interface with a mobile network, thus allowing you to route certain call types over a mobile network instead of the PSTN. The advantage of this is that calls made on a mobile plan are sometimes cheaper than the same call types from a fixed line, and that mobile plans often include useful allowances for certain call types.

Most mobile business plans include a fleet component, whereby users will get discounted or free calls to other services on the same mobile account. Using a GSM Gateway, when an employee at their desk calls a staff member on their mobile, the phone system will be programmed to recognise the number being called, and route the call via the GSM Gateway accordingly, resulting in a free call.

The other advantage lies with unlimited, infinite or capped mobile plans. For example, a $45 Vodafone Infinite plan allows a mobile user to make as many calls to fixed lines and mobiles as they want within a month. Attaching one of these plans to the GSM Gateway confers the same benefit to your fixed lines. The savings are potentially extravagant, although I must point out that most unlimited type plans include a Fair Use provision, and the use of GSM Gateways violates the letter or the spirit of such policies. Having said that, telcos are in most cases unlikely to detect anything untoward, within reasonable limits. It is more likely that your fixed line carrier will notice a significant drop in traffic, as, say, all of the calls to mobiles suddenly vanish from their network.

Another thing to be aware of, is that your GSM Gateway will need a SIM slot for each concurrent user, much like you do with fixed lines. If the number of users attempting to use the Gateway exceeds the limit - the number of mobile SIMs in the unit - then the phone system will simply spill over to the standard fixed lines and call rates.

Prices for GSM Gateways depend on the number of concurrent SIMs the device can use. The more SIMs, the more the unit costs. Gateways with only a single SIM slot start form around $500, while deluxe units with 8 or 16 slots can run up to $10,000. Clearly, a prospective user would have to be quite certain they will recoup that upfront expense from subsequent savings in call costs.