One of the best-known non-profit organizations on earth, the Red Cross provides emergency assistance,
disaster relief, and disaster preparation education in over 190 countries through 17 million volunteers. In Tonga, a remote country made up of over 170 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, the Red Cross is vital to the
safety, health, and protection of its citizens and visitors.
The Tonga Red Cross needed a modern phone system that would give them the features and capacity to
handle more calls in a quick and efficient manner while providing better services to those in need. Being
a remote island, Tonga lacks access to SIP trunks and relied on analog services. However, modern VoIP
platforms, like Grandstream’s UCM series, allow for internal VoIP networks to be built and connected to the
outside world through PSTN trunks. This would allow the Red Cross to greatly increase call handling, routing
and capacity by routing analog lines through an internal VoIP network.
Serverworks, a communications installer in New Zealand, built a new voice solution for the Tonga Red Cross
using Grandstream’s UCM6208 IP PBX. This on-premise IP PBX was integrated with Grandstream IP phones
throughout their offices to build an internal VoIP network while being integrated with analog trunks. Analog
calls come into the UCM6208, and the device is able to route those calls through the VoIP network while
extending powerful VoIP features including IVRs, auto-attendants, caller ID and multi-language support.
“It was a big leap forward for the Tongan Red Cross Society as they suddenly had these “smart IP phones” on
their desks and all this call functionality they didn’t previously have. It was a massive departure from the broken
key-phone system they were used to and it was very easy to train them on using the Grandstream phones. They
now comfortably pass calls around, handle call overflows and leverage the data that the UCM produces and call
restriction features to manage their call costs. They even have an IVR that gives callers the option to listen in Tongan
or English. This experience has given us huge confidence to deploy the UCM series around other Pacific Islands
where PSTN is the only option currently.”
- Kraig Winters, ServerWorks