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Old 10th August 2009, 09:41   #1
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Default How to terminate ISDN E1

Soon I will be getting my first voice E1 (ISDN PRI) in the office. While I am excited, I am also worried. How to terminate it?

I have many PBXs in my office, starting from Avaya S8300, Asterisk, sipXecs, 3CX and multiple E1/IP IVRs. I will be using the incoming E1 traffic to target all most all of these PBXs/IVRs. I know how to do that, so that is not my question.

Termination question:
Should I connect the E1 directly to the existing DS1 card (MM710) on the Avaya S8300 PBX?
Should I connect it via some CSU which I am yet to buy? (In USA you have to terminate via CSU, it is the law)
Should I connect it via media gateway which I am yet to buy?

Basically I am wondering what is the accepted norm in India?

I am also getting 100 DID numbers, and all the user extensions are on Avaya. Is it required I initially terminate on Avaya? I know it is not necessary, but what is preferred?

I have T1s in US branches of my office, where I have used Adtran CSUs to terminate the T1. There we terminate it either into an IVR or an Asterisk PBX, much simpler situation than my R&D lab here.

Last edited by Samurai : 10th August 2009 at 15:55.
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Old 10th August 2009, 11:09   #2
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Just wanted to add that CSU is not my preferred way to connect since I will be still left with the question of PBX or Media Gateway. It practically doubles the cost.

I would use the CSU only if it is mandated by law.

I have thought of using Asterisk with a E1 digium board as a el-cheapo media gateway, but the reliability is a concern. My experience with IP trunking between Avaya and Asterisk is not that good. It works, but not reliable.

Do we have any telephony guys here or I am just talking to myself?
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Old 10th August 2009, 15:53   #3
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Lightbulb totally perplexed

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Do we have any telephony guys here or I am just talking to myself?
I would think so, I came into have a look and now I think I have to go see a shrink. Couldn't understand head or tail of your post. I am sure you have telephony guys here, I hope your title is attractive enough for them.
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Old 10th August 2009, 16:10   #4
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Originally Posted by kuttapan View Post
I would think so, I came into have a look and now I think I have to go see a shrink.
Actually, we do have shrinks in the forum, check the medical advice thread. I have similar reaction if I open some ICE thread by mistake.

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Couldn't understand head or tail of your post. I am sure you have telephony guys here, I hope your title is attractive enough for them.
Ok, it would take enterprise telephony guys to understand my question.

FYI, E1 is a telephony standard for digital voice communication working at 2048KHz, and it can carry 30 voice channels simulteneously. The wire is similar to common Ethernet cable with two distinct difference. First, the E1 uses STP (shielded twisted pair) instead of UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cable. Second, it uses RJ48C instead of RJ45 as in Ethernet. The jack looks identical to RJ45, but the Rx and Tx pinouts are different. Hope I didn't confuse your further.

In simple words, when I have E1 connected to my office, I can get 30 phone calls simulteneously on a single number on a single wire. Then there is DID, which may be little complicated to explain. May be later.
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Old 10th August 2009, 16:43   #5
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where I worked earlier, the our office had 500+ lines. Every user had an extention, which was a unique outside dial number.
For example.
Lets say group number was 5100
So if you extention was 345 anybody could call you by dialing 5100345
This norm I have seen in many companies.
However this does not mean you have 1000 lines.
At one time, max 500 simultaneous calls were possible.
I presume you want something like this?
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Old 10th August 2009, 16:51   #6
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Thanks Tanveer, you just explained the DID feature. The DID feature is provided with this E1, currently I have only asked for 100 numbers and will be pointed to this 30 lines.

The DID on my side will be configured on the Avaya S8300, so that is not a problem.

My question is regarding E1 termination.
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Old 10th August 2009, 16:54   #7
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I have thought of using Asterisk with a E1 digium board as a el-cheapo media gateway, but the reliability is a concern. My experience with IP trunking between Avaya and Asterisk is not that good. It works, but not reliable.
What causes reliability concerns? Asterisk or Digium card or trunking between Avaya and Asterisk.

As I understand, this PRI would be used mainly for testing between various PBX systems that you have in office and not for production usage. If this holds true, then it's better to terminate E1 PRI on a setup that allows maximum utilization of features. Terminate it on existing card in Avaya PBX and look for other solutions only if it doesn't serve your purpose.
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Old 10th August 2009, 16:59   #8
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My colleague say's that you terminate on the Avaya
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Old 10th August 2009, 17:46   #9
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Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
What causes reliability concerns? Asterisk or Digium card or trunking between Avaya and Asterisk.
There are multiple things. Avaya natively uses H.323 and Asterisk natively uses SIP. Both can talk eachother's protocol, but not with the same ease. Avaya uses inband for DTMF while Asterisk uses RTP payload (RFC2833). While you can force Asterisk to use inband for DTMF during H.323 trunking, if the endpoint is SIP it won't work. Avaya being a heavily licensed product, tries to restrict everything. Then there is the transfer issue, Avaya doesn't really support H.450 (QSIG over IP) features although they claim to support. It is going to be a maintenance nightmare.

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As I understand, this PRI would be used mainly for testing between various PBX systems that you have in office and not for production usage.
Well, this is an E1 provided by telco, we will be paying heavy service charges. I have a dozen T1/E1 available within the office for testing purposes. The purpose of this E1 is to allow customers access the demo IVRs and also as our corporate phone line. So this is a production E1.

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If this holds true, then it's better to terminate E1 PRI on a setup that allows maximum utilization of features. Terminate it on existing card in Avaya PBX and look for other solutions only if it doesn't serve your purpose.
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My colleague say's that you terminate on the Avaya
Currently this appears to be the most painfree method. An additional DS1 (MM710) will cost just above one lakh, but will ensure peace of mind.
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Old 11th August 2009, 09:02   #10
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I am not sure of India, but I have terminated E1s directly to the Dialogic cards on different devices in Middle East and Africa. Since these countries also follow EU standards, I would presume it would be the same in India.

Methinks, you would be required to use CSU/DSU' when you need to interface them to any kind of routers.

More Googling (or Binging, depending on who you are talking to) required in terms of specifics of the cards and signals you carry from your provider.
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Old 11th August 2009, 17:20   #11
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samurai, to understand your requirement , you want to setup a PBX with IVR facility built in, and to this you have an E1 terminating at your PBX from the service provider. You mentioned that from the SP the signalling is in-band so i am assuming it will be R2mf or similiar.

As far as i understand, the E1 can be directly connected to the digium/sangoma cards on your pbx. I have used the asterisk but not too extensively. The asterisk also has IVR support i guess. So if your asterisk server were to support the digium card then it should be easy to develop your IVR applications and use the pbx functionality to route calls to your extensions over VOIP.

As far as the CSU/DSU are concerned I dont have much info on those since i have not worked on those. i have worked on R2mf/SS7 using dialogic cards and SIU .
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Old 11th August 2009, 18:38   #12
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Rotorhead, I have multiple Dialogic IVRs as well as Asterisk PBS with digium boards.

I want to terminate the E1 into my telephony facility in the most reliable way. Once it terminates, I will sending the traffic into H.323 phones, SIP phone, analog phones, H.323 trunks, SIP trunks, E1 trunk & T1 trunks. While the phones reach the people, the trunks will be connecting to TDM & IP IVRs as well as PBXs like Asterisk, sipXecs or 3CX.

I have pretty much decided on terminating the E1 on Avaya MM710 since it is the most reliable option. Basically Avaya will be acting as the media gateway that will convert ISDN E1 into all the various H.323/SIP/T1/E1 traffic I need.

I started this thread because I was not sure whether local regulations mandate CSU as the NTE. In 2001 when I developed my first digital IVR, I terminated the T1 directly into the Dialogic board. When the visiting Verizon technician saw it, he made an issue and asked me to connect via CSU. Since nobody brought it up, looks like this is not a requirement in India.
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Old 6th September 2009, 11:00   #13
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I think the best would be to terminate to an asterisk box with digium card. We have that setup. and using the Avaya definity as just a channel bank .
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Old 8th September 2009, 09:36   #14
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I think the best would be to terminate to an asterisk box with digium card. We have that setup. and using the Avaya definity as just a channel bank .
I have already mentioned why I can't use the Asterisk/Digium combo in post #9. I don't trust the IP trunking between Avaya and Asterisk.

Anyway, the E1 was deployed last Friday. The fiber is coming right into the building and then the E1 ISDN PRI is given out on RJ48C, which I have terminated into Avaya MM710 DS1 board.
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Old 27th September 2009, 09:30   #15
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Saw this news in today's New Indian Express.

Country cousin approach hampering rural BPO ops

I can understand the trouble faced by the BPO here. I too didn't have any option of getting E1 PRI for 3 years in this village near Manipal. The only local vendor with the wired connectivity to offer E1 was BSNL, and I was not going to have my business lifeline at the mercy of BSNL. Finally a private vendor took the initiative to get E1 right into my rural office via fiber.

I got my current E1 through Tata Indicom and so far I have only seen very professional approach to everything. While BSNL is refusing to put even a basic 4 E1 capacity modem in the above BPO, Tata has already upgraded the initially installed E1 modem to a high capacity MUX by their own initiative.
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