Gateways in sipXecs 4.0: Part 1

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Gateways provide the connectivity required to reach other systems. These systems can be other sipXecs PBX’s, traditional phone lines, or Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSPs).Connecting the IP phone system to the outside world is one of the most difficult tasks in making the phone system work. If the network infrastructure is configured properly for quality of service, the connection to the outside world can most likely be the source of any call quality problems.

Traditional analog Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) lines are the largest source of frustration. If you can avoid them by utilizing a digital type of service or an ITSP, by all means take that avenue. For those not so lucky, you’ll learn more about them then you ever thought you needed to. Typically, volume levels, line disconnect, and echo are the most common problems. Most gateways will have some advanced settings for dealing with these issues but they are different for every manufacturer.

Adding gateways

There are three types of gateways that can be configured to work in sipXecs; managed, unmanaged, and SIP Trunks. A managed gateway is a hardware device that connects to a traditional phone line. sipXecs knows how to generate configuration files (plug and play) for it. An unmanaged gateway is either a hardware device for which sipXecs doesn’t know how to generate configuration files, or it may be another SIP PBX. A SIP Trunk is a connection to an ITSP.

Managed gateways

At present, there are eight gateways for which sipXecs generates configuration information (ACME 1000 and AudioCodes Models MP114, MP118, Mediant 1000/2000/3000/BRI, and TP260). This is just a small cross section of gateways available in the market. If your gateway is not in this list, see the following Unmanaged gateways subsection. The following detailed information about managed gateways may prove to be useful in setting up an unmanaged gateway.

For the following example screens, we’ll utilize an AudioCodes MP114 FXO (Foreign Exchange Office) gateway. This particular gateway has four analog ports for connecting to POTS lines. Information on the gateway is available at http://www.audiocodes.com/products/mediapack-1xx. To  add the gateway, click on the Gateways menu item in the  Devices menu. As shown in the following screenshot, there are no gateways configured by default.

To add the gateway, click on the Gateways menu item in the Devices menu. As shown in the following screenshot, there are no gateways configured by default.

Gateways in sipXecs 4.0: Part 1

To add a managed gateway, click on the Add new gateway drop-down box and select the appropriate gateway. The gateway configuration page will be displayed as follows:

Gateways in sipXecs 4.0: Part 1

The following configuration information can be configured on this page (click on the Show Advanced Settings hyperlink to display all configuration items):

  • Name: A name given to the gateway (no spaces).
  • Address: The IP address of the gateway or the fully qualified hostname of the gateway (see manufacturer’s documentation for information on configuring IP address and other basic settings).
  • Port: An optional setting for UDP or TCP port if a non-standard port is used. Set to 0 to ignore this field.
  • Transport protocol : This can be manually configured to UDP or TCP to force the SIP transport protocol. If it is set to Auto, the transport is determined through a DNS query.
  • Serial Number : This is the Ethernet MAC address of the gateway.
  • Firmware Version : Certain gateways may have different configuration file information or formats depending on the version of firmware in the device. Select the version of firmware that is loaded in the gateway (see manufacturer’s documentation).
  • Location: It is possible to restrict the gateway by selecting a specific location for which it can be used. A location is represented by a group of users. A user group must be created for every location that needs to be distinguished (remember that users can be in more than one group). This setting allows routing of calls based on the location or the user from which the call originates (source routing). This is useful if users located in a branch office would like to have a gateway preference so that calls are routed through their local gateway, for example, to preserve WAN bandwidth or to use caller ID offered by an analog gateway based on the PSTN number assigned to it. Only if that gateway is not available, will call routing fall back to other gateways specified for the corresponding dialing rule.
  • Shared: If this setting is checked, this gateway can be used by any user in any location, even if a specific location is selected. This setting is checked by default so that users in an identified location still use their preferred gateway, but the gateway can also be used by other users in other locations.
  • Description : This is for documenting the system configuration. Information about the lines connected to the gateway is very useful here. With all of the configuration information entered, click on the OK button and the Gateway page will be displayed as follows with the new gateway on it. Click on the gateway name to reveal more configuration options, as shown in the following screenshot:

With all of the configuration information entered, click on the OK button and the Gateway page will be displayed as follows with the new gateway on it. Click on the gateway name to reveal more configuration options, as shown in the following screenshot:

Gateways in sipXecs 4.0: Part 1

In the following subsections, we’ll explore the managed gateway settings available.

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