N3 Programme. N3 Voice Services

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1 N3 Programme N3 Voice Services

2 There are now in excess of 30,000 NHS connections on N3, which provide a highquality, fully-managed IP infrastructure. The N3 network supports data applications, voice and multimedia traffic utilising Quality of Service (QoS) policies to prioritise their delivery needs. N3 has also deployed a fully resilient national NHS Internet Protocol (IP) voice switching platform with associated services. N3 now enables NHS organisations to integrate their existing voice estates, giving them access to new and cost effective communication solutions. N3 Voice Services are industry standards based and support the development of an exciting range of future multimedia services. The existing NHS voice requirements are varied and complex, generally procured and managed locally. N3 has developed a set of voice services that enable NHS organisations to deploy new converged IP voice services. The N3 Service Provider (N3SP) has upgraded the core network infrastructure including the provision of a central IP voice routing capability, and direct resilient links to the mobile operator, O2. N3 Voice Service tariffs are negotiated nationally offering cost effective pricing and allow organisations to make further savings to complement existing locally negotiated services. N3 Voice Services N3SP provide a comprehensive range of converged IP voice services. These are: N3 Local Gateway Service The N3 Local Gateway Service provides access from existing voice infrastructure to the N3 Voice Services platform. This access enables free on-net calls to other N3 voice users, centralised PSTN calls and access to mobile networks through the Blended Minutes Service. N3 Local Gateway Services are suitable for sites, using 2Mbps or higher N3 connections. This Local Gateway Service is also available for customers with IP PBXs which support the H.323 protocol and have been tested for compatibility. N3 Hosted Voice Service The N3 Hosted Voice Service removes the need for on-site voice switches and equipment, providing centrally managed IP telephony handsets and associated services. It is able to cater for future organisational change, and offers the same free on-net calls, access to PSTN and competitive fixed to mobile call tariffs as the N3 Local Gateway Service. 1

3 High level architecture H.323 To enable N3 Voice Services, the N3 core network infrastructure has been upgraded on a fully duplicated basis with no impact on the resilience of the network. The hosted platforms are located in secure service provider buildings with full uninterruptible power supplies and standby generators. The N3 Voice Service central platform is proactively managed 24x7, ensuring optimum availability and performance. This platform enables NHS organisations to access better services and tariffs than generally available at an individual site or organisational level. All N3 Voice Service central platforms are directly connected to the N3 core network with fully resilient security devices and high capacity network links. 2

4 Products overview N3 Local Gateway Service N3 Local Gateway Services provide an interface between existing TDM local PABX or IP PBXs and the N3 Voice Service central platform. This enables free on-net calls (calls to other users of N3 Voice Services) centralised PSTN calls and access to mobile networks through the Blended Minutes Service. N3 Local Gateway Services currently offer standard options for between 10 to 60 channels (incrementing in blocks of 10 channels), connecting TDM PBX to an E1 interface on an N3 router. IP PBX will be connected using the H.323 Trunking protocol. A bespoke service of up to 90 channels is available depending on customer requirements and N3 connection type; an additional router will be provided. Customers will have the option of using Least Cost Routing to configure the PBX to route PSTN calls locally or centrally using N3 to achieve the best tariffs. Standard template configuration An N3 Local Gateway Service can be ordered for the following N3 catalogue services: Existing N3 catalogue service N N Associated voice channels N , 20, 30 N , 20, 30 N , 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 N , 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 N Supported interfaces The following interfaces will be supported: Digital Private Network Signalling System No.1 (DPNSS) E1, (2.048 Mbps), G.703 interface with G.704 framing with either an RJ Ohm or twin coax 75 Ohm connection H.323 Trunking protocol over LAN/WAN DPNSS signalling functionality provides, as a minimum, the capability of sections 1-6 of BTNR188 Issue 6. Service levels The repair times for an N3 Local Gateway Service are in-line with the terms of the existing N3 Catalogue Service. Pricing Pricing for an N3 Local Gateway Service will be provided on a per engagement/request basis, to ensure the end solution and service meet specific site requirements. Benefits of N3 Voice Services The immediate benefits will vary between organisations and their particular needs, but are summarised below: Reduced call spend through free on-net calls, i.e. calls will be free of charge between subscribing N3 Voice Service customers/sites with N3 catalogue services Reduced PSTN call charges through access to mobile gateways for all N3 Voice Service customers/sites Leverages existing investment Provides the opportunity to reduce dependency on locally provided outbound PSTN/ISDN channels Provides an opportunity for local NHS organisations to review how large sites are currently integrated. For example, existing locally provided private circuits and voice VPNs could be replaced The hosted model reduces local NHS administration overheads and allows organisations to focus on local service improvements What is Voice over IP? An IP network infrastructure can carry many types of traffic. By deploying a Quality of Service (QoS) policy, the IP network can also be used to carry voice. This is achieved by converting voice traffic into data packets that can be supported and transported with an appropriate priority over the network. This consolidates voice and data services into a single cost effective infrastructure. 3

5 N3 Hosted Voice Service The N3 Hosted Voice Service enables sites to run a number of phone extensions without needing an on-site PABX or small telephone key system. It provides an IP telephony based infrastructure deployed at a customer site with all call management functions performed by the central service within the N3 core network. The ports for the handsets may be provided by the customer s current LAN infrastructure. If required LAN switches may be ordered from N3SP, to provide Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports for the connection of the handsets. It is the local organisation s responsibility to provide the cabling between the router device and the site of each new handset. Each N3 connection type has a finite capacity for voice channels. It may be necessary to upgrade the N3 Catalogue Service depending on call profiles. As a guide, the table below shows the available capacity for a number of commonly installed N3 catalogue services: Existing N3 catalogue service Available N3 Voice Channels Site handsets Local PSTN lines supported N up to BRI 1 to 4 voice channels N up to BRI 1 to 4 voice channels N up to BRI 1 to 4 voice channels N up to BRI 1 to 4 voice channels N up to BRI 1 to 4 voice channels N up to BRI 1 to 4 voice channels N Up to 40 N/A 4

6 N3 Hosted Voice Service Self Serve Self Serve enables customers to manage their HVS handsets and features without the need to order a small move or change via the N3 helpdesk. The Self Serve option is provided in 3 different variants. User Level Allows a User to make non-chargeable changes to their telephony profile. Site administrator Allows an authorised user to make changes to all the telephones on a site. Divisional Administrator Allows an authorised user to make changes to all telephones on a number of nominated sites. N3 Hosted Voice Service Business Continuity A number of options exist to increase the resilience of the Hosted Voice Service: Call Forwarding UnRegistered (CFUR) CFUR allows the customer on a per handset basis to provide an alternative contact number which can be a direct dial number (PSTN) or mobile number to which calls will be forwarded should a handset go unregistered. Secondary Data Connection For N3 Hosted Voice Services running over the Primary Data Connection of Symmetrical Catalogue Service (Primary & Secondary data links with the same bandwidth), it will be possible to order the Hosted Voice Service with a second connection to the Secondary Data link. In the event of the Primary link being lost, calls will be routed via the secondary Data Connection. Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) In the event of the Hosted Voice Service connection being lost to the N3 Network, SRST will enable the site to continue making internal calls between designated handsets, by incorporating a Local PSTN gateway it will be possible to also make and receive calls during the loss of the N3 Connection. 5

7 N3 Hosted Voice Service IP telephone handsets There are three handset options available: Cisco 7911G (Standard); Cisco 7941G (Enhanced); and the Cisco 7961G (Premium). Cisco 7911G Cisco 7941G Cisco 7961G The handset features provided can be decided by each site, and will include the following common facilities: Model 7911G 7941G 7961G Description Standard Enhanced Premium Integral LAN switch Programmable line/feature buttons Display Monochrome pixel based Greyscale pixel based (320 x 222) Greyscale pixel based (320 x 222) Interactive soft keys Handsfree x Message waiting indicator Headset port Power over Ethernet (PoE) Extension mobility* x x *A user profile must be ordered to enable this facility The ordering process includes defining the individual features for each customer s phone, including the barring for each phone installed (i.e. which categories of outbound calls are permitted or not permitted from each handset). Telephone user guides will explain the features to allow customers to exploit the business benefits of the service. 6

8 Maintaining a quality service Service standards for the N3 Hosted Voice Service will be agreed with each customer and will be dependent upon the solution provided and the overall requirements. Handsets, for example, will be provided on a post out/post back basis. Pricing Prices for the services depend on requirements and site survey. N3SP can provide estimates with a small amount of information, including projected savings based on local calling patterns. Dedicated resilient network hardware has been deployed in the N3 Core Network to connect the N3 Voice Services platform with these gateways. Call routing and the creation of call records to bill these services are provided by the core voice infrastructure. To access the N3 Fixed to Mobile Gateway Service from an N3 Local Gateway Service site, the local PABX can be programmed using Least Cost Routing, to route calls to N3 if required. N3 core services Blended Minutes The N3 Voice Services platform has gateways to the PSTN and to the O2 mobile network. The Blended Minutes Service optimises the routing of mobile calls to all mobile vendors (including Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange etc) across these gateways based on the attractive tariffs offered by N3SP, presenting cost savings to users of the Local Gateway Service and Hosted Voice Service. For more information please call the N3 Helpdesk on option 3 or see the website PHME British Telecommunications plc Registered Office: 81 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7AJ Version 10/08

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