So in today’s environment, there are still many places that rely on paging systems for day to day work and public safety. A good paging system is all about the sound quality and audio quality translation between the phone system and the sound system.
Many key systems in the past provided a 2 wire audio output that would allow you to punch down a cable from the phone system to the paging amplifier. Many PBX systems did not have paging output built in, such as the Meridian 1 from Nortel or the Avaya Definity systems. Separate third paging systems were usually bought for these systems. They are manufactured by the likes of Valcom, Bogen and Gordon Kapes. They allowed you to connect the paging system to a Loop Start Trunk or PBX station extension which then was broadcasted across the paging unit to the paging amplifier.
As we move towards more IP systems that are server based, the paging outputs have disappeared and have required new equipment to broadcast pages. While the new IP equipment seems like it’s more difficult to set up, it’s actually quite easy with SIP paging devices. Instead of buying complicated paging equipment, you can buy a SNOM-PA1 and connect it as a SIP extension to your IP PBX. If you want one zone, all need is one SNOM PA1, if you want to setup 5 zones, you can buy 5 SNOM-PA1’s. Seeing that most large scale IP Paging systems are priced above $5000, 5 SNOM PA1 units would cost around $600 and would be easy to set up.
The SNOM-PA1 has and output that connects directly to an amplifier and you can broadcast over a standard paging amplifier made by Bogen, Paso, TOA, or Valcom.
Lastly, the sound quality is as clear as a microphone system in a sports arena. I’ve tested it on my UCx from E-MetroTel with Nortel M series digital phones, T series digital phones, Nortel IP Phones, Cisco SIP Phones, Avaya SIP Phones, and analog telephones that all sound crystal clear over the speakers.
I’ve also noticed that some retailers are catching onto the device. Meijer, a long standing Avaya customer has experimented with Open Source IP PBX systems with Polycom telephones and the paging quality in their stores has gone up exponentially, as observed at their Manistee, MI store a few weeks ago. I also heard an amazing SNOM-PA1 installation at a Cost Plus World Market near my home in Chicago that also sounds extremely clear on their IP PBX with Polycom telephones.
Here are some videos showing the features of the SNOM-PA1 in actual operation: