ITEXPO begins in:   New Coverage :  Asterisk  |  Fax Software  |  SIP Phones  |  Small Cells

Product Reviews
May 2001


RT 201V Internet Telephony Gateway

8001 Irvine Center Dr., 3rd Fl.
Irvine, CA 92618
Tel: 949-754-3142
Fax: 949-442-7696

Price: RT201V IP Telephony Gateway basic unit: $600; RT-201V4S four-port FXS Module: $520; RT-201V4X four-port FXO Module: $550.

Editor's Choice Award

Installation: 5
Documentation: 4.75
Features: 4.25
GUI: 4
Overall: B+

Because of the lower long-distance and infrastructure expenses they offer, Internet telephony gateways are beginning to become more prevalent in small multi-branch offices or to communicate with distributors. PUREDATA's RT 201V Internet Telephony Gateway (ITG) caters to this need with an easily configurable Web interface or the use of a command line interface. With up to eight lines per unit, two slots are available, each able to contain four analog ports as either an FXS or FXO module. The gateway is H.323 compatible and supports the G.711, G.723, and G.729 compression codecs.

The first procedure that should be done is installing the FXS and/or FXO modules, which is actually kind of fun. It's almost like playing with Legos -- just unscrew the lid to one of the two slots and slip the module back so that it snaps to the aperture.
If you have an Ethernet connection and a Windows 98/2000 PC, you are actually pretty close to finishing the installation if the network settings are correct. Setting the IP address for the ITG can be done through a Web browser. By specifying a particular IP address through your network settings on your PC and then entering the ITG's default IP address as the URL on your browser, you are allowed access to the configuration interface after entering the appropriate username and password. From there, you change the ITG and gateway to the proper IP addresses. You can also configure most settings through this point and click method.

From the command line interface, the configurations can also be accomplished relatively easily. After accessing this interface through HyperTerminal, making sure that it's set for 19,200 bits per second and "none" for the flow control, you can just type "Help" to learn the commands needed for configuring the ITG. From there, the main settings could be adjusted without much difficulty.

The ITG comes with a four-page quick installation guide so that a user can set up the initial configurations. This information is accurate and helpful. Once you access the Web interface, information is given that acts as a glossary to the different settings that can be performed.

Most of the pertinent information about the RT 201V Internet Telephony Gateway can be found on PUREDATA's Web site through their eLibrary or via the CD that comes with the ITG. Simply put, this information is layered out into informative chapters with many screenshots. It admirably covers virtually anything that you would want to know about the product.

About the only minor drawback of this documentation is how to access the proper information about the ITG. The CD lists all of the products that PUREDATA offers but does it in a way that might confuse users trying to access specific information, making it a little difficult to navigate to the file needed. Likewise, while the information on the Web Site is more easily navigated, the user still needs to know the proper password to gain access to the information, which may present a slight inconvenience.

The following is a list of the major features of RT 201V Internet Telephony Gateway:

  • Compliant with ITU H.323 specifications, thereby supporting Microsoft NetMeeting, NetSpeak, WebPhone, and other VoIP software.
  • Supports G.711, G.723.1, and G.729ab voice codecs and T.38 fax relay.
  • Provides two slots for up to eight analog line connections for voice/fax over IP applications.
  • Supports both FXS interface to phone sets or fax and FXO interface to PBX or PSTN.
  • Fully compatible with TCP/IP Networks -- one 10/100 Base-TX port and one console.
  • Setup through Web browser or command line interface with speed dialing.

The best way for us to test the RT 201V Internet Telephony Gateway was to call from TMC Labs (in Connecticut) to a remote location (in this case to PUREDATA's California headquarters) -- from one ITG to the other. In this way, we could use the ITG the way it was intended to be used -- as a means to call other offices in a multi-location business or vendors by creating a toll-bypass network.

First, we had to set up the dialing plan to place that particular VoIP call. While some administrators might be more comfortable with using the command line interface for certain configurations, we felt that the Web interface would be simpler for these particular tests. We clicked "Dial Settings" and added the appropriate telephone, hunt group, and destination settings. This simply involved associating a speed dial with a hunt group ID and entering the appropriate remote destination IP address.

When we attempted the call, we thought that there might be firewall issues on our end. The call went through and the PUREDATA representative could hear us. However, we couldn't hear him. Yep, it was definitely a firewall issue. We had seen that problem many times before when testing other VoIP products, so we opened certain TCP and UDP ports. Unfortunately, we still had the same problem. Our firewall still must have had compatibility issues.

Not to be deterred, we took the ITG to our other office so that the gateway could sit in front of the firewall. We set the ITG up, changed the appropriate configuration settings (ITG IP address, gateway, etc.) via the command line interface and were soon ready to try again. This time, the call went without any issues occurring -- no firewall = success. Now, we were able to discern the sound quality of our VoIP calls and give it a very favorable assessment. We could hear the PUREDATA representative perfectly. Even when we had talked for a while, we only heard a slight echo. Certainly, users would be pleased with the sound quality.

To test for H.323 interoperability, we called the ITG from a Windows 98 PC, using Microsoft NetMeeting. To do this, we clicked on "Advanced Calling Options," checked the gateway setting that allowed us to use a gateway to call telephones, and entered the IP address of the ITG. After typing a viable extension, the call successfully completed, showing that the ITG was indeed compatible with H.323 applications.

When we received a second ITG with an FXO module, we set up the gateway and a dialing plan so that we could call into the FXO module through an analog Teltone simulator. From there, we dialed an extension located on the other ITG, and the call was transferred via IP. Then, the call completed at a phone that was hooked up to one of the FXS ports.

We did this same test again, but this time hooked it up to the Agilent Telegra Voice Quality Tester (VQT), which is reviewed on page 50 of this issue. In this way, we could test for delay, PSQM, PAMS, and other scores that are associated with VoIP. To make a longer story short, the average delay was ~127ms, average PSQM was ~2.77, and the average PAMS scores were ~4 for listening quality and ~4.3 for listening effort. Keep in mind that the lower the PSQM score, the better. Below 3 for VoIP calls is considered good. On the other hand, the higher the PAMS scores, the better with the highest score being a 5. Over all, the scores for PUREDATA's gateways indicate quality VoIP calls.

The RT 201V Internet Telephony Gateway really doesn't give us too much for us to harp on, but of course, we do have a few suggestions. For some reason, we could not find a way to change the default password when either accessing the Web-based GUI or telneting to the command line interface. Password changes should certainly be available as well as easily doable. We also could not edit dial plans. If we wanted to change a plan, we had to delete and then add a new, corrected dial plan.

We would also like to see some monitoring a pplication incorporated onto the Web-based GUI or command line interface so that we could see what is happening as the VoIP call is being connected. This application could also explain why a call may not have connected so would help a user troubleshoot a problem. There is a Status screen, but it doesn't actually monitor the call.

In addition, we feel that there may be some compatibility issues between the ITG and Windows 2000 that may need to be addressed. On numerous occasions, we had problems calling from NetMeeting to the FXS card in the ITG. This anomaly happened only when using a Windows 2000 client, and we tried it from many different PCs. We had no such problems when trying the same call from Windows 98 clients.

Lastly, we would like to call from a gateway to the ITG via IP and then hop off to the PSTN to make a local call. Of course, this feature may introduce some billing concerns and may increase the ITG's price but would save a company more money in the long run, making the ITG an even more attractive product.

Simply stated, PUREDATA's RT 201V Internet Telephony Gateway achieves its purpose. It allows small and multi-branched offices to make clear, quality VoIP calls that is easily configurable and is H.323 compatible. In these days where the economy is less strong, this type of product may be a blessing, saving businesses considerable expenses. With good quality to boot, the ITG is certainly a worthwhile investment. 

[ Return To The May 2001 Table Of Contents ]

Today @ TMC
Upcoming Events
ITEXPO West 2012
October 2- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
The World's Premier Managed Services and Cloud Computing Event
Click for Dates and Locations
Mobility Tech Conference & Expo
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
Cloud Communications Summit
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas