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Guidelines for voice/data/fax integration

I'm looking for a cost effective solution to setup multi-service voice/fax/data integration between three branch offices. Can you offer me advice as to the kind of equipment I need to set it up?

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Your question is very broad and can not be completely answered in the limited space available here. So let me give you some guidelines for voice/data/fax integration.

For integrating voice and data, you will need to connect your EPABX systems to your WAN routers, because you want to utilize the same WAN link for transferring your data as well as voice. If your existing EPABX supports IP, then you can connect it to your routers Ethernet port directly. But if your EPABX does not support IP, then you will need to install special interface card on your router, and configure your router for converting the voice traffic coming from the EPABX to IP traffic.

You will also need to keep in mind that voice has different needs than data traffic. Data traffic is prone to errors, while voice is adversely affected by delay. So you will need to do some special QoS configuration on your network equipments to ensure that voice traffic gets priority over normal data traffic. You may also have to reserve some bandwidth for voice traffic.

This was first published in October 2004

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