Thursday, 13 June 2013

Manually Configure CallCentric on the OBi100 VoIP ATA - Quick Setup



In this article, I will walk you through the basics of how to quickly (relatively speaking) configure your shiny new Obihai OBi100 ATA directly with CallCentric, a well known BYOD VoIP Service Provider (VSP) based in New York, USA.

To achieve the goal of a quick and reliable setup, I will recommend that the ATA be initially "factory reset" to it's default values (this way, we're starting on the same page, literally).  Then, I will point out only the essential settings that "must be edited" manually, in order to connect and achieve service registration with the CallCentric proxy servers.


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NOTE:
My procedures outlined here are based on the premise that your OBi100 is NOT, and will not be, linked to the OBiTalk web portal at www.obitalk.com using their "Add Device" feature.  If you "add your device" to the OBiTalk portal, the portal will takeover administration of your OBi device remotely (which is fine, if that is what you want, however my tutorials are not based on that premise).  Thus, any local administration settings you do to your OBi100, via local LAN side administration, could be over-ridden by the OBiTalk remote administration portal periodically, or upon device reboot.  Thus, to proceed with my procedures outlined here, and if your OBi100 is/was previously configured via OBiTalk portal, then I recommend you "unlink" and remove your OBi100 from OBiTalk portal (remove from "Add Device" list) first, followed by a factory reset to ensure you are starting with default configuration values and no remote administration links.

Remember, the premise of all my tutorials are to allow you to locally and manually configure your OBi100 ATA without interaction with the OBiTalk remote administration portal at www.obitalk.com.  (My goal is to show you how to DIY without any 3rd party interaction.)


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The good news is that the OBi100 ATA can be configured and making phone calls with your existing CallCentric account in less than 10 minutes.  (Once you have read and understand all the information outlined below :)

In order to proceed with the quick and easy setup procedure, a few assumptions must be made and prerequisites met:

Assumptions and Prerequisites
  • You need to know how to login to the OBi100 -  I explain how:  HERE.
  • The OBi100 has not previously been locked-down by a VSP (VoIP Service Provider).
  • The OBi100 is not linked to OBiTalk Portal via "Add Device" method on OBiTalk website.
  • Make sure the OBi100 is Ethernet connected to a LAN port on your NAT-Router.
  • Your NAT-Router must be set to issue DHCP IP addresses to LAN connected devices.
  • Your NAT-Router must not be blocking "outbound" ports 5060, 5061, 6800, 5222, 5223, 10000 to 11000, 16600 to 16998, or 19305.  (Most home routers do not usually block outbound traffic.)
  • You have an analog telephone plugged into the OBi100 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.   (This is an important step to be sure that what works for me will work for you, too.)
  • Your OBi100 is running the latest Firmware version.  Don't know?   I explain how to check/update:  HERE.
  • Your OBi100 is powered-up and ready to be configured.
  • If you like, you can test that your OBi100 is working properly by placing an ECHO TEST call to the Obihai Echo Test Server, by dialing **9-222-222-222 from your telephone that is connected to the OBi100.  (The OBi100 can magically do this without any configuration changes from factory defaults.)
  • You have previously setup a CallCentric account and have your SIP account login username and password handy.


Now that we have all the assumptions and prerequisites out of the way, what remains is only to configure the non-default essentials required to successfully login/register the OBi100 with your CallCentric account.


So, lets get started

  • Login to the OBi100 configuration utility using your PC web browser.
  • Navigate to (click on) the ITSP Profile A menu option, located in the left-hand navigation column.
  • Click on "General" menu option (located under ITSP Profile A).
  • You can set the "Name" of this ITSP profile as "CallCentric", if you like (optional).
  • Note that the Signaling Protocol, by default, will be:  SIP  (which is correct).
  • CallCentric Recommends the following Digit Map:
(*xx.|**275*x.|[3469]11|1xxxxxxxxxx|<1>[2-9]xxxxxxxxx|011xx.|xx.|(Mipd)|[^*#]@@.)

You can copy and paste this complete text string into the "Digit Map" text box in the ITSP Profile A section as a replacement for the default OBi100 digit map. (Don't forget to uncheck the "Default" check-box first.)

Note:
While you can make regular phone calls using the Default Digit Map, the recommended CallCentric digit map will enable additional dialing options such as checking Voice Mail, sending *xx vertical service commands, 411,911, and access to the SIP Broker peering network. (911 must be enabled via your CallCentric user account dashboard before it will work).

  • Once you have finished the above edits, click the Submit button at the bottom of the ITSP Profile A window.
  • When a pop-up dialog window appears, click the OK button to proceed;  otherwise Cancel to abort.

  • You will then be greeted with the Configuration Update Successful screen.

    Once you have clicked OK above, you could reboot.  However, the previous submission will be temporarily saved until we finish making more changes, and then we will Reboot.
  • Next, click on the SIP menu item, listed under ITSP Profile A.

  • Next, we will be editing the VoIP proxy server settings:

While in ITSP Profile A, SIP settings window, edit the following fields with callcentric.com as the server:
  • Proxy Server:                callcentric.com
  • Registrar Server:          callcentric.com
  • User Agent Domain:     callcentric.com
  • Outbound Proxy:           callcentric.com
When finished editing the SIP page, click the SUBMIT Button before proceeding to the next step.





After submitting Submit, you will again be greeted with the Update Successful window.
You do not need to reboot, just yet.  We will do that when finished with all our configuration changes.


  • Next, click on Voice Services menu item in the left navigation window pane.

  • Then, click on SP1 Service menu item, located directly under Voice Services menu.
  • Locate the SIP Credentials section located in the middle of the SP1 Service page.
  • In the text box labeled AuthUserName, enter your CallCentric account number.  This is your 11-digit 1777xxxxxxx account number, or 11-digit number + 3-digit Extension number (if using a sub-account:  i.e. 1777xxxxxxxxxx

  • In the text box labeled AuthPassword, enter your CallCentric SIP password.
    (Passwords are limited to a maximum of 15 characters, and not less than 6 characters.)



  • Scroll down to the bottom portion of the page.
  • If you have setup and enabled Voice Mail with your CallCentric account,  Enable Voice Mail Waiting Notification by clicking the following check-boxes:

    MWIEnable               (checked)
    X_VMWIEnable       (checked) 
    MessageWaiting
           (checked)

  • When finished editing, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Submit button.

  • Click on the OK button to proceed with submitting the changes:

  • Once again, you will be greeted with the Configuration Update Successful window screen.

  • This is the final step to complete our quick and easy OBi100 configuration settings for service with CallCentric:   Click the REBOOT button located in the window upper-right corner.



Rebooting your OBi100 only takes about 15 seconds.

That's it, we are done!


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While, there is a mind boggling array of potentially editable configuration parameters within the OBi100, we only needed to configure seven (7) essential non-default parameters to enable the ATA to make successful VoIP based phone calls via your CallCentric VoIP account.
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Obviously, there are numerous additional settings for tweaking the configuration and performance of your ATA.  But, configuring and enabling the bare bones basics was the theme of this article.   And, it's working for me.

Start Making CallCentric Voice Phone Calls
If you started with the OBi100 configuration default values, and only changed the seven values and entries described in the above bullet points, you should have a dial tone and now be able to make outbound calls with your OBi100 using CallCentric as the default VoIP provider.  Following, I provide some numbers for testing calls via CallCentric using the OBi100.

All numbers listed below are Free Calls, via CallCentric and your OBi100 ATA phone:
  • Test your OBiTalk network connection by calling OBi Echo Test server:  **9-222-222-222
  • CallCentric's Test number:   1-777-000-0001
  • Call your CallCentric Voice Mail box (if you enabled it via your CallCentric dashboard):   *123#
  • Free voice activated information service; sponsored by 24-7 Information Line:   1-777-123-4567
  • Free Directory Assistance (advertiser sponsored):    411
  • iNum network Echo Test:   011-883-5100-0000-0091#
  • SIP Broker peering network Test Announcement:    **1-**275*-0111-88888#

Notes:
  1. 1800 numbers are not free via CallCentric. You will need calling credits if using pay-per-minute service like I do.
  2. Calling to PSTN landlines and mobiles in USA/Canada requires CallCentric calling credits.
  3. With the procedures outlined in this article, you will still be able to make free OBI-to-OBi in-network    VoIP calls to other OBi ATA's.
  4. CallCentric also provides for free in-network calling between all their account holders by dialing any other 1777xxxxxxx SIP account number, or sub-account extension.
  5. If you populated your CallCentric online Phone Book with phone numbers and SIP URI's for quick dialing, the OBi100 (as configured in this article) may not correctly interpret a *75xx phone book entry unless you first dial **1, then followed by the *75xx code (and, assuming you used CallCentric's recommended Digit Map above).   i.e., dial :   **1*75xx
  6. The CallCentric recommended Digit Map settings may not be optimal for some number sequence dialings.  If you experience excessive connect delays (~10 seconds), try following your dialed number with the pound key (#) to speed things up.
  7. e911 service is available with CallCentric - but must be activated with a paid account. 


I have now covered the bare-bones essentials of "manually" configuring your OBi100 ATA with CallCentric and placing a few test calls.

Enjoy!


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UPDATE:
(Dec. 30, 2013)

This update is for the benefit of Obi110 users.

I have received a few emails from Obi110 users who have tried to follow my Obi100 procedures to configure their Obi110 devices.  They tell me they receive a " No Service Configuration Error " when making a call.  One of my insightful readers tells me that he resolved the error issue by making the following configuration changes:

" Go into Physical Devices->PHONE and change the Primary Line from PTSN to SP1 Service.


 Hopefully, this update will help other Obi110 users, too.

P.S.
I do not have or use the Obi110 myself and thus cannot provide any further information on Obi110 configuration issues.