Monday, 18 February 2013

Configuring SPA112 With CallCentric - Quick Guide


In this article, it is my intention to walk you through the basics of how to quickly configure (relatively speaking) your shiny new SPA112 ATA for connecting directly with CallCentric.  They are a SIP-based VSP (VoIP Service Provider) that offers BYOD and DIY connectivity.  I've used CallCentric for years with good results.

With the aim of keeping this article straight forward and simple, I am starting with the ATA configured with it's factory default values;  and, I'm recommending other users do the same.

Then, I will point out only the essential settings that "must be edited" in order to connect and achieve service registration with CallCentric.

Before proceeding with the CallCentric configuration procedures, a few assumptions must be made and prerequisites met:

Assumptions and Prerequisites
  • You have created a VoIP account with CallCentric.com (free to setup - free in-network SIP calls).
  • You know how to login to the SPA112 -  I explain how:  HERE.
  • The SPA112 has not been locked-down by a VSP or previous owner.
  • Make sure the ATA is Ethernet connected to a LAN port on your NAT-Router.
  • The NAT-Router must be set to issue DHCP IP addresses to LAN connected devices.
  • By default, your NAT-Router will provide DNS lookup with the default DNS servers defined by your ISP supplied Internet Modem.  And, by default, you SPA112 will use the DNS lookup servers as referred by your NAT-Router.  This may be just fine, in general.  However, some people, including me, like to specify highly trusted and known secure DNS servers for their local networked devices.  If you set your NAT-Router to use specifically trusted and security conscious  DNS servers, then all the DHCP enabled devices on your network will also use those same DNS servers for Internet name lookup (including the SPA112).  Here are some widely suggested DNS servers you can set in your NAT-router and/or PC's and ATA's:
    -  Open DNS:                                                 208.67.222.222  and  208.67.220.220
    -  Google Public DNS:                                   8.8.8.8   and  8.8.4.4
    -   (I have personally used Google DNS for years, now.)
  • You have an analog telephone plugged into the ATA Phone-1 port.
  • You know how to perform a Factory Reset (Reset Configuration to Defaults) - I explain how:  HERE.
  • Once you know how to perform a Factory Reset, I recommend that you do so before proceeding.
  • Your SPA112 is running the latest Cisco Firmware version.  If not, I explain how to update:  HERE.   My SPA112 was using Version 1.3.1 (003) at the time of this article.
  • Your SPA112 is powered-up and ready to be configured.


Now that we have all the assumptions and prerequisites out of the way, what remains is only the non-default essentials required to successfully configure the SPA112 for service with CallCentric.  
So, lets get started.
  1. Login to the SPA112 Configuration Utility using your PC web browser.
  2. Forget about using the Quick Setup page on the SPA112.  I explain why HERE.
  3. Navigate to (click on) the Voice menu option.
  4. Click on "Line 1" menu option (left-side of navigation window pane).
We have now landed on the page where all the action is:   Voice --- Line 1

At this point, all values you see should be their Default values (assuming you performed a Factory Reset before proceeding).  This way we know we are on the "same page" (figuratively speaking) when it comes to having the same configuration settings as a starting point (no surprises).

The screen captures that follow will illustrate values circled in Red that are either " highly recommended" or must be set for service with CallCentric.

Now for the configuration details that matter:

Optional Network NAT Traversal Settings
CallCentric is now recommending that  NAT Mapping and Keep Alive be enabled for the SPA112.
  • NAT Mapping Enable:     Yes
  • NAT Keep Alive Enable:  Yes

Proxy Server and Network Registration Required Settings (non-defaults)
  • Proxy:                                callcentric.com
  • Outbound Proxy:              callcentric.com
  • Use Outbound Proxy:      Yes
  • Register Expires:             60
  • Use DNS SRV:                  Yes
  • DNS SRV Auto Prefix:     Yes

Subscriber Information Specific Settings
  • Display Name:          Typically, your Caller-ID Name (optional - not required)
  • User ID:                  1777xxxxxxx  (your 11-digit CallCentric account number)
  • Password:            SIP Password  (Same as your CallCentric web account login PW, by default) 
  • Auth ID:                  1777xxxxxxx  (same as your User ID above)
  • Use Auth ID:           Yes


CallCentric Specific Dial Plan
The dial plan configuration values as set by the SPA112 defaults are sufficient to make traditional types of phone calls.  However, the CallCentric recommended dial plan settings for dialing special vertical service codes, voicemail, or web-phone book speed dialing, suggests the following Dial Plan syntax:

(*xxx|*75xx|[49]11|0|00|1xxx[2-9]xxxxxxS0|xxxxxxxxxxxx.|**275*x.)

You can copy this dial plan from here and paste it directly into the SPA112 Dial Plan text box.



Click the Submit button to save all values entered.
The ATA will save the settings and then reboot/restart.  This may take a couple minutes.

If your SPA112 ATA has been configured correctly as outlined above, then once the ATA has finished rebooting, the Line-1 front panel LED will turn to solid GREEN.  A steady green LED for Line-1 or Line-2 indicates successful registration with your VoIP provider service on that VoIP line.  And, if you have achieved successful service registration, you will also now hear a "dial tone" on your connected analog telephone handset.  If you don't have successful registration, you won't hear a dial tone.


Test SIP Calls
If you are eager to make a couple test calls, try dialing the following SIP calls (no charges involved):
  • *123  -  access your CallCentric Voice Mail box (if enabled) 
  • 411  -  free IVR info line
  • 1777-123-4567   -   CallCentric IVR info line
  • 1777-000-0001   -   CallCentric test call  line.
  • 011-883-5100-0000-0091   -   iNum - Echo Test
  • 011-883-5100-0000-0093   -   iNum - Caller-ID Talk-back
That's it.  I have now covered the bare essentials of getting started configuring your SPA112 ATA with CallCentric.

Obviously, there are numerous additional settings for tweaking the configuration and performance of your ATA.  However, configuring the bare bones basics to get connected with CallCentric was the theme of this article.

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Notes:

Update (June 12, 2013)
I have just discovered a problem with CallCentric's previously recommended "dial plan" string that matches:
1xxx[2-9]xxxxxxS0

You may want to remove the S0 at the end of the 11-digit North American dialing string, to read as:
1xxx[2-9]xxxxxx

The dial string works just fine when dialing 11-digit North American phone numbers.  But, the problem NOW arises when dialing CallCentric in-network 14-digit Extension numbers.  Because CallCentric extension numbers (sub-accounts - recently implemented) begin with the digit 1 and append the 11-digit CallCentric number with an additional 3-digit "extension" number (for a total of 14-digits to dial), the S0 will cause the ATA or IP-Phone to "dial immediate" after it matches 11-digits (as designed).  But, this now creates a problem when dialing the CallCentric 14-digit sub-account numbers.  The solution is to just remove the S0 "send immediate" syntax from the 11-digit dial plan segment.