How to test your own VOIP provider

Whilst 3CX includes a good number of supported VoIP providers, it is impossible for us to template all the VoIP providers out there and to test them.  If you have a VoIP provider you would like to use with 3CX that is not included, you can perform your own tests to see if the VoIP provider can be used with 3CX. This article explains the tests that you need to perform to be sure that you can use the VoIP provider with 3CX. If the tests are succesfull, you can send the completed test back to the 3CX Support Team for templating and it will be included as a Community Tested VoIP provider

VOIP Provider Information

As a first step collect the basic information of the VoIP provider and its supported features

  • VoIP Provider name:
  • Telephone number assigned:
  • Authentication ID:
  • Authentication Password:
  • SIP Server/Registrar + port:
  • Outbound proxy + port:
  • Registration Time:
  • Max Simultaneous call:
  • Supported codecs:
  • DID number support:

Inbound Tests

  1. Has the account registered and re-registered fine without any errors or unusual logging in the Server Status?
    YES / NO
  2. After having left the account idle for 24 hours are you able to make an inbound and outbound call through it?
    YES / NO

  3. When making an inbound call, terminate this as soon as the INVITE appears in the Server status. Does the VOIP provider line indicator in the Line Status revert to Green?
    YES / NO
  4. When answering an inbound call in do you have clear and audible two way audio?
    YES / NO
  5. Does the caller CID appear when receiving an inbound call?
    YES / NO
  6. When performing a Hold / Resume of an inbound call can you hear Music on hold and retrieve the call successfully?
    YES / NO
  7. Perform an attended transfer of the inbound call. Do you have a successful call transfer?
    YES / NO
  8. Perform a blind transfer of the inbound call. Do you have a successful call transfer?
    YES / NO
  9. With the provider account set to ring at a Digital Receptionist can you hear the DR announcement?
    YES / NO
  10. While listening to the DR announcement, enter an extension number. Are you successfully connected to the desired extension?
    YES / NO
  11. Make multiple inbound calls to the account. Can you successfully establish the maximum simultaneous calls allowed by the provider?
    YES / NO
  12. Make a call to the DID number/s provided. Are the calls routed as expected?
    YES / NO

  13. Please paste an INVITE of one of the incoming calls below.

Outbound tests

  1. When making an outbound call, terminate this as soon as the INVITE appears in the Server status. Does the VOIP provider line indicator in the Line Status revert to Green?
    YES / NO
  2. When answering an outbound call in do you have clear and audible two way audio?
    YES / NO
  3. Does you CID for the line appear on the receiving end when making an outbound call?
    YES / NO
  4. When performing a Hold / Resume of an outbound call can you hear Music on hold and retrieve the call successfully?
    YES / NO
  5. Perform an attended transfer of the outbound call. Do you have a successful call transfer?
    YES / NO
  6. Perform a blind transfer of the outbound call. Do you have a successful call transfer?
    YES / NO
  7. Make an outbound call to a Digital Receptionist. Can you hear the DR announcement?
    YES / NO
  8. While listening to the DR announcement, enter an extension number. Are you successfully connected to the desired extension?
    YES / NO
  9. Make multiple outbound calls from the account. Can you successfully establish the maximum simultaneous calls allowed by the provider?
    YES / NO
  10. Set an extension to display a specific DID number for outbound calls. Does this appear correctly on the receiving end?
    YES / NO
  11. Please paste an INVITE of one of the outgoing calls below.

 

Helper Notes

What are the general testing aspects that need to be covered during the testing of a VOIP Provider?

There are 3 main areas that need to be seen to;

  1. The stability of the registration of the VOIP Provider line or trunk.
  2. The correct functionality of inbound calls from a response and quality aspect.
  3. Correct and timely delivery of outbound calls and relative audio quality.

What registration based testing needs to be performed?

It is important to ensure the VOIP Provider remains registered at all times so as to ensure inbound and outbound call availability. If the provider requires a re-registration time of 600 seconds it is important to ensure that calls and accepted (in and out) , as well as ongoing calls are kept (not dropped) on and around the re-/registration time even when idle for a good amount of  time.

 

As registration and re-/registration take place, it is possible for large providers to handle the re-/registration by various servers. By leaving the provider registered and idle for 24 hours or so will ensure that the connection allows for long term stability of registration and provider viability.

 

Is there a recommended test scenario when testing a VOIP Provider?

Testing of a VOIP provider should be done in a ‘closest to reality’ situation. This will allow proper analysis of how the provider will operate when used by the customer, irrespective of whether they are using a different VOIP Provider, a traditional PABX, a VOIP based PABX or cell phone.

To this effect, the VOIP provider account should be on a 3CX server, while tests will need to be made to and from a traditional POTS line, a cell phone as well as a separate 3CX server.

One should be as imaginative as possible when testing sources and destinations so as to cater for all (or as many as possible) of the scenarios a customer may create.

 

Does it make any difference what phones and / or gateways are used in the setup?

Since the phones or gateways are not the item being tested this does not have a direct bearing on the requirement, however it is recommended that 3CX supported phones and gateways are used so as not to introduce any unknown factors and unreliable results that could incorrectly take a bearing on the VOIP provider being tested.

 

When performing inbound tests what needs to be done?

The nature of the tests needs to be as imaginative and as randomized as possible; however the following are always good tests points to give specific attention.

  1. Make an inbound call to the provider number and terminate the call by the caller at the first ring.  This will effectively confirm if the provider sends the proper disconnect signals as the call is terminated without audio being established.
  2. Repeat the inbound test, and this time the call should be answered and clear and audible audio should be heard in both directions.
  3. The call  should be ended by the caller, to ensure that the correct disconnect signals are sent and the 3CX Line Status indicates the line as free for use (green lamp status).
  4. Repeat test (2) however this time the call should be ended by the callee. This will trigger a disconnect to the provider, making the line available for further calls.
  5. Once again perform an inbound call, however once the call is answered the callee shall put the call on hold. The caller should now hear music on hold. The callee will now resume (un-hold) the call, which should reinstate a two way audio conversation between caller and callee. This test confirms the ability or otherwise of the providers ability to handle ‘replaces’.
  6. You can test the provider capability to handle ‘re-invites’ by performing an inbound call, which the callee shall answer and then perform an attended transfer to another extension number.
  7. Test (6) should be repeated using a blind transfer.
  8. Configuring inbound ringing for the provider line to ring at a Digital Receptionist, will allow you to confirm that audio from this separate 3CX module is well handled, yet also allowing you to enter numbers (DTMF signals) on your keypad, thereby testing the way the provider handles or otherwise the DTMF keystrokes.
  9. Test (8) should be repeated for Hunt Groups, Ring Groups and Queues.
  10. While test (9) has given you results on the providers handling of DTMF, it is also ideal to set the inbound call to be directed to a Voice Mailbox.
  11. The last inbound test to a new provider would be to attempt to make multiple inbound calls to the same number. Assuming the provider has a call limit, you should ensure that you can actually reach the said limit.

When testing outbound calls, how will these vary from inbound tests?

The inbound tests performed will confirm how the provider handles inbound traffic to their network. While similar, the outbound tests will not be as vast, since, once traffic has left the provider (assuming this is correct), it is beyond their control.

The following are the tests to be made outbound from the 3CX Phone System using the VOIP provider.

 

  1. Make an outbound and end this as soon as the INVITE appears in the 3CX Server Status log. This will ensure proper disconnection, leaving the line free for use.
  2. With yet another outbound call, ensure that you get clear and audible two way audio.
  3. Repeat test (2) and the caller should end the call and ensure that the line is free and ready for use in the Line Status.
  4. Re-do the same test as (3) with the callee ending the call this time round.
  5. When making an outbound call it is important to confirm that your CID is displayed by the provider.
  6. With an outbound call in progress with two-way audio, the caller should place the call on hold and resume the call a few seconds later. This should reestablish the call and two-way audio. This procedure confirms the ‘replaces’ functionality of the provider.
  7. You can test the provider capability to handle ‘re-invites’ by performing an outbound call, which you should transfer in attended mode to another extension.
  8. Test (7) should be repeated using a blind transfer.
  9. Making an outbound call to a Digital Receptionist, will allow you to confirm that audio from is well handled, yet also allowing you to enter numbers (DTMF signals) on your keypad, thereby testing the way the provider handles or otherwise the DTMF keystrokes.
  10. The last outbound test to a new provider would be to attempt to make multiple outbound calls. Assuming the provider has a call limit, you should ensure that you can actually reach the said limit.

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