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This Voice Internetworking tutorial provides information about this rapidly emerging technology, and

explains how to set up both analog and digital voice calls over networks. In modules 1 through 4 in the
asic Voice over I! tutorial, you will learn to configure and troubleshoot Voice over I! "VoI!# calls
using the $isco %&4' router and the $isco ()*%'' access router in a virtual simulated network.
Today, private branch exchanges "!+s# ( !+ is a small telephone switch owned by a company or
organi,ation. -ithout a !+, a company would need to lease one telephone line for every employee
who has a telephone. -ith a !+, the company only needs to lease as many lines from the telephone
company as the maximum number of employees that will be making outside calls at one time. This is
usually around 1'. of the number of extensions.
( telephone switching system must perform the following functions/
0ecogni,e a re1uest for service.
2otify the station of an incoming call.
3etect on4hook or off4hook status.
!rovide status information to the originator of the call, such as when the called telephone goes
off hook, or the network is busy.
5stablish a connection6really 7ust a path across the network from one endpoint to another.
)witches also act as concentrators because the number of telephones in use is usually greater than the
number of simultaneous calls that can be made. 8or example, a company may have &'' telephone sets
connected to a !+, but may have only 1* trunks connecting the !+ to the central office "$9#
( $9 switch might service a few hundred lines or as many as 1'',''' lines.
$9 versus !+
( !+ is like a miniature $9 switching system designed for a business or a private institution.
(lthough a !+ and a $9 are closely related, there are differences between them.
( !+ is intended for private operation within a company. ( $9 is intended for public service.
( !+ usually has some type of arrangement to greet outside callers and connect them to
internal extensions.
:ost !+s do not maintain the high level of service protection that must be maintained in a
$9. (ssurance features such as processor redundancy "in the event of processor failure# and
battery backup power, which are standard in a $9, may not be a part of a !+.
$9s re1uire a seven4digit local telephone number, while !+s can be more flexible and create
dialing plans to best serve their users "%, 4 *, or & digit extensions#.
( !+ can restrict individual stations or groups of stations from certain features and services,
such as access to outside lines. ( $9 usually has no interest in restricting usage because these
features and services are billed to the customer. $9s normally provide unlimited access to every
member on the network.
The key components of a telecommunications network are loops, lines, trunks, and !+ trunks.
( loop is literally the physical pair of wires that connects a telephone directly to a $9<s switch or a
!+. It consists of a two4 or four4wire pair that is twisted to minimi,e the electromagnetic radiation
created by the current flowing through the wire. -hen a phone handset is off hook, the current flow is
detected by a current detector in the $9. -hen a phone is on hook, the loop is open and no current
flows. =ou may have also heard the term local loop> a local loop is the connection between your house
and the phone company.
Loops, Lines, and Trunks
( line is a communications path between a customer<s telephone and a telephone switch, such as a !+
or a $9 switch. (lthough a line is typically based on a physical loop, it is not necessarily a physical
connection. ( line could be a logical connection, such as a channel on a multiplex system. ( leased line
is a dedicated line reserved by a carrier for the private use of a leasing customer. ( tie line is a private
leased line that directly links two telephones or two !+s.
-hereas a line connects the telephone with the switch, a trunk is a shared communications channel that
connects switches and has the capacity to carry a phone call. ( trunk is assigned to connections on a
call4by4call basis. 9ver time, the trunk is shared by all the users who call between this pair of switches
$ommon types of trunks are as follows/
!rivate trunk line6a line connecting a !+s to another !+
$9 trunk6a direct connection between a $9 and a !+ or another $9
8oreign 5xchange trunk6a trunk interface used to directly connect a remote phone to a !+
via 8+)?8+9 interfaces
3irect Inward 3ial?3irect 9utward 3ial "3I3?393# trunk6a one4way trunk allowing a user to
dial into a !+ "3I3# or the $9 "393# without operator intervention
!+s and !+ Trunks
In a business using a !+, every employee<s telephone line is connected to the !+. -hen an
employee picks up the receiver and dials the outside access code "typically @#, the !+ connects the
employee to an outside line6the !ublic )witched Telephone 2etwork, or !)T2. !+s combine with
trunks between them.
( !+ trunk is a shared communications path specifically between the customer<s switch and the edge
of the !)T2. In the A.)., the typical switch is called a !+> outside the A.)., it is called a !rivate
(utomatic ranch 5xchange, or !(+. ( !+ trunk might be made up of copper pairs out to the !+
or it might be a multiplex system. !+ trunks use out4of4band signaling as opposed to in4band
Transmission media has made great improvement from copper wire to optical fiber and wireless
transmission. The basic transmission media are/ twisted4pair cable, coaxial cable, radio fre1uencies,
and fiber.
Twisted4!air $abling
Twisted4pair cabling consists of two insulated wires twisted together in a regular spiral pattern. The
wires can be shielded twisted4pair ")T!# or unshielded twisted4pair "AT!#. In 2orth (merica BB4, B44,
or B&4gauge twisted4pair cable is commonly used for telephony and is the typical medium used to carry
analog signals from the user to the edge of the network.
Integrated )ervices 3igital 2etwork "I)32# is a communication protocol offered by telephone
companies that permits telephone networks to carry data, voice, and other traffic. oth I)32 and
digital subscriber line "3);# can carry digital signals at a higher rate across the same twisted4pair
cabling. 3); includes a variety of technologies being used to get higher digital bandwidth out to the
customer<s premises. I)32 uses two twisted pairs to carry a 1444kilobit signal over the wires from the
user to the network.
In a case where twisted pair is used network4to4network, between switches for example, the twisted
pair would be carrying a T1 or 51 carrier signal.
T1 is a B44channel digital system that carries data at 1.*44 :bps through the telephone
switching network. T1 is used in 2orth (merica and Capan.
51 is a %'4channel digital system that carries data at the rate of B.'4D :bps. 51 is used in
5urope, (ustralia, and ;atin (merica.
$oaxial $able
$oaxial cable, often referred to as Ecoax,E is made up of a hollow outer cylindrical conductor that
surrounds a single inner wire conductor. Two types of coax cable are currently in use6*'4ohm for
digital signaling and F*4ohm for analog and high4speed4digital signaling. It is currently rare to find
coax used for telephony, but use of coax for user4to4network connections is becoming more common.
$oax is occasionally used inside the network over short distances at the higher rate digital transport
systems6T%, T4, and 5%.
T% transmits data via the telephone switching network at the rate of 44.F%& :bps. T% and T4
are used primarily in the A.).
5% is a digital transmission system used predominantly in 5urope, (ustralia, and ;atin (merica.
5% carries data at a rate of %4.%&D :bps.
0adio 8re1uencies
The use of cellular services6which use radio waves6for network access is increasing in popularity,
both for analog cellular services and digital !ersonal $ellular )ervice "!$)#. 0adio is also increasingly
popular for the wireless local loop. 0adio lets you avoid installing wiring in the ground to provide the
service. Inside the network, radio is usually used with microwave technology such as ;ocal :icrowave
3istribution )ystem ";:3)# and :ultipoint :icrowave 3istribution )ystem "::3)# to carry higher4
rate digital systems on a line4to4site basis between points.
The transmission format for fiber in 2orth (merica is typically )ynchronous 9ptical 2etwork, or
)925T. )925T was designed to run at very high speeds "up to B.* Gbps#. The backbones of most
carrier networks today are based on )925T. )ynchronous Transport )ignal level 1 ")T)41# is the basic
building block signal for )925T, with faster rates defined as )T)4n, where n is a multiple of the )T)41
rate "*1.D4 :bps#. )925T was approved as an international standard in 1@DD.
$able TV companies generally do not use )925T because they have already converted much of their
networks to fiber, at least into residential neighborhoods. To avoid digging up lawns to lay cable,
copper is still typically used for the last section into the customer<s home. $able TV companies
generally use an analog signal to remain compatible with most existing televisions.
Types and Uses of Various Transmission Media
Media User to Network Network to Network Speed
(nalog voice
T1 ? 51
3igital subscriber line "x3);#
1.*44 :pbs ?
B.'4D :bps
$able TV T%, T4
44.F%& ?
%4.%&D :bps
0adio $ellular
-;;, ;:3), and ::3)
T%, T4
44.F% :bps
%4.%&D :bps
8iber )925T
$able Television
)925T B.* Gbps
There are two fundamental types of signaling/ in-band and out-of-band. (n in4band signal is
transmitted within the fre1uency range normally used for information transmission6the same channel
that you talk over or send data over. (n out4of4band signal is communicated outside those fre1uencies
or channels normally used for information transfer. The other fre1uency or channel could be on the
same physical interface but not inside the same bandwidth being used for voice or data. 8or example,
on a fre1uency division system, the signal could be out of band because it is transmitted at a higher
fre1uency than the voice fre1uencies. 9n a time4division system, it could be out of band because it is in
a different time slot from the other fre1uencies.
etween the user and the network, in4band signaling is generally used. ut if you ever use I)32 to
place voice calls, then you<re using out4of4band signaling.
-ith the telephone network, as with any large network, the numbering scheme is one of the most
important issues. 5very telephone has a uni1ue number, or address, analogous to a network address. In
2orth (merica, the 2orth (merican 2umbering !lan "2(2!# is used> it consists of a three4digit area
code, a three4digit office code, and a four4digit station code. (rea codes are assigned geographically,
office codes are assigned to specific switches, and station codes identify a specific port on that switch.
The format used is 12xx42++4++++, with 2 I B J @ and + I ' J @. -hen you place a call, before
the call can be switched to its final destination, the telephone network uses signaling to identify the
final address.
These numbering plans normally conform to the ITA4T 5.1&4 recommendations, which cover the
international dialing plan as well as many other recommendations. 8or an international calling plan,
each country is assigned a one4 to three4digit country code> each country<s dialing plan follows its
country code.
( telephone typically consists of the following components/
Kandset containing a transmitter and receiver
)witch hook, which is a lever that is depressed when the handset is resting in its cradle
Two4wire to four4wire converter to provide conversion between the four4wire handset and the
two4wire local loop
3ialer "either rotary or touch4tone#
( typical telephone does the following/
0e1uests service from the network
!erforms dialing functions
!erforms a notification function "it rings#
!rovides answer and disconnect supervision
$onverts outgoing speech to electrical signals, and vice versa
(utomatically ad7usts to the supplied power
8or a telephone call to perform these functions and complete the call, several forms of signaling must
(ccess signaling
)tation loop signaling
(ddress signaling
The purpose of signaling in a voice network is to establish a connection. =ou typically begin a phone
call by taking a phone off hook, which sends an access signal. The line is sei,ed, a path established
across the network, and on the other end, the call is acknowledged.
The following Vo3 describes how a call is made in greater detail.
C lic k H e re to L a u c h Vo D
The next section describes the call process and signaling in more detail.
(lthough various types of signaling are used in telecommunications today, this tutorial covers
only those that directly apply to $isco voice implementations. :odules 1 and B cover the most
common analog signaling techni1ues supported by the $isco %&4'6loop start, ground start, and 5L:>
digital signaling is covered later.
The following Vo3, provides a good introduction to telephone signaling. (ccess this Vo3 before
proceeding with this section.
C lic k H e re to L a u c h Vo D
(ccess )ignaling
The first type of signaling involves access signaling, which determines when a line is off hook or on
hook. -hen the handset is on its cradle, the phone is referred to as being on hook. -hen a telephone is
on hook, the two wires do not touch, so the circuit "loop# is open and no current flows. -hen the
handset is out of its cradle, it goes off hook. The wires touch, closing the loop, allowing current to flow
through the two conductors that connect the phone to the network, sending an Eoff4hookE signal to the
switch. To place a call, the phone must be off hook. To receive a call it must be on hook.
When the phone is on hook, no current flows
When the phone is off hook, current flows through
the conductors, and a signal is sent to the network.
There are two common methods of providing the basic access signal/ loop start and ground start.
Loop start. This is the most common techni1ue for access signaling in a standard !ublic
)witched Telephone 2etwork "!)T2#. :ost residential telephones are analog loop4start
telephones, based upon the concept of the subscriber loop, or local loop. The loop is an
electrical communications path consisting of two wires, one for transmitting and one for
receiving voice signals. The two4wire circuit is still referred to as the tip and ring, with the tip
being tied to the ground and the ring tied to the negative side of the battery. -hen the phone
handset is picked up "goes off hook#, this action closes the circuit, establishing a loop between
the !+ and the phone. $urrent is drawn from the battery of the !+, indicating a change in
status. This change in status signals the current detector in the !+ to provide dial tone. (n
incoming call is signaled to the handset by a standard on?off pattern, which causes the telephone
to ring.
To give you a more graphic representation of how loop start works, review the following
round start. Ground start is another access signaling method used on on trunk lines or tie
lines between !+s to indicate on4hook?off4hook status to the $9. In ground4start signaling,
one side of the two4wire trunk "typically the ring in the tip and ring configuration# is
momentarily grounded to create dial tone.
To give you a more graphic representation of how ground start works, review the following
The tip is tied to the ground! the ring
is tied to the negati"e side of the #attery.
(s you can see, the sei,ure of the line re1uires the cooperation of both parties to the call. ( failure
on either side stops the progress of the call. Therefore, both parties terminate service upon
disconnecting "either an open tip or ring lead#. This setup averts the disconnect supervision problem
that might occur on the loop4start circuit, when a given line can be released only by the party who
originated the phone call. 8or this reason, !+s work best on ground4start trunks.
In a normal loop4start circuit, when you pick up the handset, you hear a dial tone indicating that a
circuit is ready. 9n a ground4start circuit, however, the e1uipment at the userMs end should sense the
flow of electrical current on the EtipE lead and interpret that the !+ is ready, so a dial tone from a
!+ is not necessary, and its presence is optional. This setup allows the network to indicate off4hook
status, or sei,ure of an incoming call independent of the ringing signal.
-hen the trunk is sei,ed simultaneously from both ends, the resulting condition is known as
glare. Glare makes loop start a poor solution for high4volume trunks such as those found in a
workplace. Ground start corrects for glare by providing current detection at both ends.
8+9 and 8+) )ignaling
( foreign exchange (FX) is a term applied to a trunk that has access to a distant $9. 8+ trunk signaling
can be provided over either analog or T1 links and which utili,e either loop4start or ground4start off4
hook signaling techni1ues.
$oreign e%change Station &$%S'( )tandard residential phone lines are configured for 8+)
signaling. (n 8+) interface can be used to connect basic devices such as phones, modems, and
faxes and must provide voltage, ring generation, off4hook detection, and call progress
$oreign e%change )ffice &$%)'( 8+9 signaling is used primarily to communicate with $9
switching e1uipment or !+s. ecause an 8+9 port on a router communicates directly with
the !)T2 or a !+, it re1uires that a dialtone, ring indication, and call progress indicators be
provided to it.
The basic design of 8+) and 8+9 is simple but can cause problems, including disconnect supervision,
probably the most common one. This problem can be fixed by implementing either disconnect
supervision or using ground start.
5L: )ignaling
(nother analog signaling techni1ue, used mainly between !+s or other network4to4network
telephony switches, is known as 5L:, which stands for Eear and mouthE "or for Erec5ive and
trans:itE#. There are five 5L: signaling types, as well as two different wiring methods. $isco<s VoI!
implementation supports 5L: types I, II, III, and V, using both two4wire and four4wire
$isco %&'' series and other $isco voice4capable routers have available interfaces to support 8+),
8+9, and 5L: signaling types. The 8+) and 8+9 interfaces are explained in more detail later in this
module> 5L: interfaces and configuration are covered in the next module of this course.
)tation ;oop )ignaling
-hen the !+ receives the off4hook signal, it responds with an audible signal indicating that it is ready
for a call6the dial tone. This two4way exchange between the !+ and the telephone is known as
station loop signaling.
(ddress )ignaling
In response to the audible prompt of the dial tone, the caller can re1uest connection to another
telephone by transmitting the address "telephone number# of the re1uested telephone "sometimes
referred to as the called party identification number# to the !+. This is known as address signaling.
Telephones generally use two basic types of address signaling/ pulse and tone.
*ulse dial "rotary dialing#
0otary dial phones represent the digit being dialed by momentarily stopping the current flow
when the user turns the circular dial. 8or example, the circuit is broken three times, which
creates three pulses in the current, to dial the digit E%.E
In general, the repetition rate of the pulses must be between D and 11 pulses per second "pps#.
The percent of the time that a break state is maintained within a pulse must be approximately &1
percent of the pulse length. This setup is depicted in the following diagram.
*ulse +ialing
( complete explanation of pulse dialing is beyond the scope of this tutorial. 0efer to 5I(
standard 5I(?TI( 4 4F' for the technical details about pulse dialing.
Tone dial "dual tone multifre1uency, or 3T:8> the method used by pushbutton telephones#.
3T:8 is the most commonly used signaling system today. The keypad on a pushbutton phone
has 1B keys. 5ach key press generates both a low4fre1uency and a high4fre1uency tone "the
Dual Tone# that is specific to each individual key. The tones are then picked up and interpreted
by telephone switches. The tones were selected to easily pass through the phone network with
minimum interaction with each other and little attenuation.
The following table describes the 3T:8 tone pairs.
+TM$ Tone *airs
in -ert. &-.'
/012 -. /334 -. /566 -. /433 -.
426 -. 1 ($
661 -. GKI CP; :29 "8#
4 * & NO
780 -. !0)
780 -. Q 9!50
R "!#
8or most 3T:8 systems, there are 1B possible signaling states. "9nly the values in
columns 1J% are typically used. =ou can see that these correspond to the buttons on a standard
pushbutton telephone. The fourth column contains additional values used by the A.).
Government<s (AT9V92 network to indicate call priority.#
In the 2orth (merican phone system, the pound sign "R# is often used to end the interdigit
timeout period. !ressing the pound key allows calls to be processed faster if the digits are
immediately followed by the ERE stop4dial signal. The pound key can also be used as the first
digit in a dialing se1uence to notify the switch of a call re1uiring some kind of special
treatment, such as a data call being made over a voice line.
8or automatic dialing, the minimum digit cycle time is specified as 1'' msec. The duration of
the 3T:8 signal must be at least *' msec,and the minimum interval between digits is specified
as 4* msec. The maximum interval is % seconds.
There is another type of signaling called multifre1uency signaling ":8#, which is used primarily
on pay telephones, trunk circuits, and in some $$ITT signaling schemes. :8 is not covered in this
$all !rogress Indicators
-hile you are placing a call, you also hear a variety of audible signals that indicate the status of the call
at various points along its path6for example, the dial tone, a busy signal, a signal indicating no circuit
is available "fast busy#, and ringing of the called party<s phone. These tones are called call progress
9all *rogress :ndicators &North ;merica'
)n Time
)ff Time
3ial tone %*' S 4*' $ontinuo
The $9 is ready to receive digits.
usy signal 4D' S &B' '.* '.* The call could not be completed because
the phone at the other end was busy "off4
8ast busy 4D' S &B' '.B* '.B* The call could not be completed because
a path to the remote $9 could not be
found. (ll trunks were busy.
$ongestion 4D' S &B' '.B '.% )imilar to fast busy.
0eorder 4D' S &B' '.% '.B The transmission paths to the office or
e1uipment serving the called customer
are busy. :ay indicate a condition such
as a timed4out sender or unassigned code
44' S 4D' B.' 4.' The audible ring that the caller hears
through the receiver.
4D' S 4D' 1.' %.' )ame as above, but note the different
14'' S
B'&' S
B4*' S
'.1 '.1 Ased to cause off4hook customers to
replace the receiver on4hook on a
permanent signal call and to signal a
non4!+ off4hook line when ringing key
is operated by a switchboard operator
B'' 6 4'' $ontinuo
d at 1 K,
(lerts the calling party to hang up, check
the called number, and dial again. In
modern systems, calls to unassigned or
discontinued numbers are routed to a
machine announcement system that
verbally supplies a message. In some
older $9s, you could be routed to an
intercepting operator. 0eorder tone may
also be returned for this condition.
In countries outside 2orth (merica, the call progress tones you hear while placing a call may
sound 1uite different from the ones represented in the table. The call progress tones in this table and the
sound samples that you hear in this tutorial are based on 2orth (merican standards. The call progress
tones could be configured differently so that the fre1uencies and on and off times will vary.
-hen the !+ receives the 3T:8 digits that indicate the number to call, the !+ decides how to
route the call/ to the local telco<s $9, to an internal telephone network, or to another !+ via a tie line.
To route the call to the telco, the !+ signals to sei,e a trunk to the $9. 3epending on the facilities,
the signaling could be analog or digital. If the signaling is analog, the !+ would use either 8+94to4
8+) signaling or 5L: signaling. If the signaling is digital, one of two different methods of signaling
can be employed/ channel associated signaling, "$()6also known as robbed bit signaling# or common
channel signaling, "$$)#.
5L: is discussed in module B E(nalog Voice Internetworking with 5L:.E $() and $$) are
covered in module % of this course, Easic (nalog4to43igital Voice over I!.E
(nswer )upervision )ignaling
(ssuming the call can be established, signaling would then occur at the remote end of the network. The
$9 sei,es a line to the !+ and forwards the digits. The !+ selects the appropriate station, and
signals an alert. The call proceeds, and the switch generates ring voltage to the phone. -hen the phone
detects the voltage, it rings. The caller also hears an audible ring through the receiver> this signal is the
ringback signal that is generated by the switch.
To ensure proper call handling and voice4mail routing, answer supervision signaling is particularly
important. 8or example, if a phone is not answered after a specified number of rings, a call can be
rerouted to voice mail based upon the lack of an answer supervision signal.
The methods of signaling discussed here are not the only available methods. 8or a more detailed
discussion of signaling, including descriptions of supervision, address, call4progress, and network
management signaling, read )ignaling, which is included with this tutorial. =ou can also search $isco
$onnection 9nline "$$9# for more information on this and other voice4related topics.