VoIP Solution for Branches, Plus satellite delay

Hello everyone,

We are looking to deploy a VoIP solution between two branches, and I have the following questions:

1. One of the branches is conencted through a satellite connection, ping time is around 1000 ms (yeah, a LOT!), so is there ANY way to enhance the quality or decrease the delay to a better number ? I heared about having a QoS with the provider, but does it really work ? Any other ideas ?

2. We want to have a setup that uses Cisco IP Phones between the two branches, in the following setup:

Branch A : Has one or two extension
Branch B : Has two or more extensions, plus it shoulod have a VoIP gateway to terminate calls that are sent to it to the landline network..

The setup should enable Branch A and Branch B to communicate over a VPN connection, and if branch A wants to dial a number that is local to branch B, he can do it through the VoIP gateway ..

Now the big quesiton is : What is the proposed solutions/ideas for such a setup ?

If I want to go with Cisco IP Phones, would I need CallManager ? How much would the phones cost, and the CallManager software ?

Are there any other cheaper (or ones that can be configured statically without needing a dedicated server ..etc) ?

And does Cisco provide lets say a 1 or 2-port VoIP termination gateway to be used with their CallManager ?

Basically I need your opinion guys on the best setup and equipments to be used to achive the end result !

Thanks in advance ..

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Hi Sansa,
Well you've got a lot of work on your hands :-)

Point 1
1000ms ping times will mean that VoIP will NOT work.
Anything above 300ms is going to make conversations very difficult.  Imagine using a very poor handsfree phone where you're not sure if the other person's talking or not.

Another thing to take into account is jitter (what order the packets arrive in) and packet loss (how many packets don't actually make it).
Packet loss of 1% is bearable, but above that you'll start to have problems.
Go to http://www.testmyvoip.com and run the test there - it'll give you an indication about what's going on with your circuit.

QoS will fix the problem IF the provider can guarantee suitable responses.
I've heard of people using satellite connections, but no experience myself.  Take a look at http://www.voip-info.org/tiki-index.php?page=VOIP%20over%20Satellite

It would also be worth looking at http://www.voip-calculator.com/
It'll give you an indication of the number of channels (calls) you can handle with your current setup - or what you'll need to implement to handle a certain volume/type of calls

As for other suggestions, don't use satellite :-)  Do you have any other comms options?

Where to start :-)
Cisco IP phones are fantastic, but very pricy.  You don't HAVE to use Cisco CallManager - you could use them with a SIP image to use a SIP service instead.
SIP is essentially a call setup/call control protocol which in this case would take the place of the Cisco "skinny" SCCP protocol.
I can't really advise on CCM - I suggest that you speak to an authorised reseller who will be able to advise you further on this.

There are several other IP phones available, with a variety of features (and prices!).  Most of these use the SIP protocol, but many will use H.323.
You can configure these phones to work entirely on their own (including the Cisco ones, if you use the SIP image) - however you lose a lot of the benefits.

Routing VoIP through a VPN is perfectly possible - in fact it's generally the best way of getting connectivity.  However, take into account the additional latency that this will add to your communications.

In your environment I suggest that you set up an IP PBX of some description in branch B, that is connected to your external lines.  You can then use IP hardphones for your end users at both sites.
Take a look at http://www.voip-info.org/tiki-index.php?page=VOIP+Phones for a list of IP phones and http://www.voip-info.org/tiki-index.php?page=VOIP+sites for a list of useful websites.
In fact, the Wiki at http://www.voip-info.org in general is your friend :-)

You could consider implementing the free Asterisk PBX system.  This is Linux based and will do everything that you need.  You can get some info at http://www.asterisk.org - depending on your Linux skills and confidence, you might want to contact an Asterisk system vendor - http://www.voip-info.org/tiki-index.php?page=Asterisk+system+vendors
These will give you complete "pre-packaged" solutions.

You could also use an "ATA" gateway at Site A that will allow incoming/outgoing telco calls at this locaiton.  This would be connected to the main PBX system, and you can therefore use a fairly basic "least-cost-routing" so that calls go out through the "local" lines.

Sorry for posting so many links, but there's a great deal for you to look at :-)

Does that help get you started?

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You can use Cisco's Call Manager Express.  It is meant for solutions under 120 phones.  It is a less expensive and simpler system than Call Manager.  Call Manager runs on Windows 2000, where as Callmanager Express runs on the router itself.  It integrates with Unity voice mail, most DTMF Analog voice mails systems and works really well with Cisco's Unity Express.

scampgb is correct on the ping times.  When you factor in VPN it gets worse, because the VPN introduces overhead, delay, and complexity.  You should look at getting a leased line or a t1 with MPLS which is basically like QOS from the provider.  It does work.  Leased line would be your best.  Then you will set up your own QOS.  For a site as small as you are talking about you can use the autoqos feature and it should work like a charm.

If you want voice mail you should go with the Cisco 2811, if you don't need voice mail then you can use a less expensive 1700 or 1800 series router.  If you get a switch with inline power then you don't have to have the phone plugged into a power source.  They get the power from the phone itself.

If you require a centralized system where the main office controls the phone, then you have to go with call manager and gateways.  At least from Cisco.  I cant speak to any other phone system

If these are branch offices, then what is the main PBX being used at main site? Depending upon your PBX, you can obtain a VoIP gateway that may intergrate directly to your system. Intel (Dialogic) currently has a gateway that supports SIP/H.323 and allows to operate over 60 traditional digital PBX phones, including Nortel, Meridian, Avaya, NEC, Mitel. You could then use your in-house PBX to support the call routing, also the remote branches would be actual extenstions off the main PBX. The digital ports from your main pbx plug into the gateway, then you can have either a SIP based phone as Cisco , Polycomm at the remote sites. You could also use another gateway at the remote site and use the same digital phones you use at the main site, making this even simplier to deploy.

Then you have the issue of local lines for local calls, this can be accomplished using dial plans within the SIP gateway enviroment. Based on number dialed, the call is routed either to the main site or to local gateway with the local lines attached. Intel also supports this type of configuration. Also, Quintum has a new series of gateways at affordable prices.

In regards to the satellite, the assumption is that you had to use this service based upon lack of other solutions. There has been an increasing number of Wireless broadband providers all over the country. Basically the same equipment companies use for wireless data in a building; the Wireless Broadband providers use to set up in a local geographical area (25 miles or less). The good news is that they are usually cheaper than satellite, offer up to 11MB connections at speeds of less than <40ms. Which is great for doing VoIP over, even over a VPN.

To find a provider, go to www.google.com, type a search with the following:

              onelasvegas wireless <your state> i.e.   onelasvegas wireless NJ

Scroll down the list and you should find all the companies that provide this type of service in the area.

Let me know your type of PBX at HQ and I can find a solid solution thats afordable and easy to manage.

Kindest regards


Have you been able to move your project forward? Do you have any additional questions?

Kindest regards

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