Intel links IP phones with circuit-switched PBXs

Intel Corp. this week announced a new IP voice gateway for connecting IP phones to a circuit-switched PBX phone system.

Unveiled at the Intel Communications TechSummit 2001 in Los Angeles, the PBX Digital Gateway could be used by enterprises looking for an outside-in approach to adding voice over IP to a network.

Intel's new gateway could allow a company to add IP handsets to a network instead of replacing a central PBX with an IP-based call server. The box could be used to migrate individuals or certain departments in an enterprise to voice over IP, or to allow remote workers with a dedicated WAN link to connect to a centrally located PBX over IP.

The PBX Digital Gateway is a one rack unit-sized device which can attach to PBXs such as the Avaya Inc. Definity G3, the Nortel Networks Corp. Meridian 1 and the Mitel Networks Corp. SX-200 and SX-2000. The device hooks into a PBX through eight digital phone connections, which emulate eight PBX ports. A single 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet port connects to a network switch, to which IP phones are connected.

According to Intel, the box can translate all call features and functions from supported PBXs to an H.323 IP phone. The gateway can work with standards-based H.323 IP phones, such as products from Cisco Systems Inc., Pingtel Inc. and Polycom Inc., the company adds.

The PBX Digital Gateway supports voice-over-IP compression codecs G.711, G.723.1 and G.729AB, which can provide voice traffic compression ranges from 64K bit/sec to 8K bit/sec. Codec settings and other configuration and management tasks can be done over a LAN connection via SNMP or through a Web interface.

Intel's PBX Digital Gateway was developed out of its Dialogic telecom division, which it acquired in 1999. The gateway will be sold by telecom value-added resellers and integrators in November at a base price of US$2,730.

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