BlackBerry Mobile Voice System Part II:
Understanding How BlackBerry MVS Works
This article introduces IT Administrators to the basics of enterprise telecom infrastructure, with BlackBerry® Mobile Voice System (BlackBerry MVS) architecture diagrams and a Telecom Glossary for your quick reference.
How does BlackBerry MVS integrate with your telecom infrastructure?
BlackBerry Mobile Voice System (BlackBerry MVS) components include:
- BlackBerry® MVS Services
BlackBerry MVS Services are a component of BlackBerry® Enterprise Server software┼ that is designed to provide voice management and security functionality, including IT policies, call control signaling and authentication between BlackBerry® smartphones and the corporate telecom environment.
- BlackBerry® MVS Client
BlackBerry MVS Client software adds desk phone features to BlackBerry smartphones. This software is a free download and can be installed over-the-air to BlackBerry smartphone users.╬
- Ascendent® Voice Mobility Suite
Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite is third party software—provided by Ascendent Systems‡—that interfaces with heterogeneous PBXs and BlackBerry Enterprise Server to enable enterprise voice mobility.
In addition to BlackBerry smartphones, Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite also supports other cell phones, however, the capabilities of these devices limit the functionality:
- Users must use star commands rather than visual menus
- Connections cannot be authenticated through BlackBerry Enterprise Server
┼ BlackBerry Enterprise Server software version 4.1.4 or greater.
╬ BlackBerry® Device Software v4.2.1 or greater is required.
‡ Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite v4.5.
Figure 1: Figure 1 illustrates a corporate telecom architecture. A PBX (Private Branch Exchange) provides the basic communication infrastructure, similar in function to a router for the internal telecom network, and provides the basic foundation of an enterprise communication infrastructure. Components of this architecture are explained in the Telecom Glossary below.
Figure 1: Telecom Architecture
Figure 2: Connecting the Ascendent® Voice Mobility Suite to Your PBX
The Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite connects to the IP PBX using a SIP circuit, or connects to the TDM PBX using ISDN PRI. Media Gateway hardware between the PBX and the Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite converts TDM to IP.
The Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite does not need to be in the same physical location as the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Typically, the Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite is installed into the same room as the PBX, keeping your telecom infrastructure in the same physical location.
In TDM PBX environments, user capacity on a single PRI circuit between the Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite and the PBX is approximately 100 users. Additional users are accommodated by adding more PRI circuits.
In VoIP PBXs, the Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite will handle approximately 1500 users per SIP trunk. Additional Ascendent servers can be added to accommodate more users.
Customer Requirements: PBX with supporting software and hardware (i.e. ability to route calls to Ascendent; PRI cards or VoIP cards).
Click here for general requirements for BlackBerry MVS (PDF)
Figure 2: Connecting Ascendent to Your PBX
Connecting Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite to Your BlackBerry Enterprise Server
BlackBerry MVS requires BlackBerry Enterprise Server v4.1.4 software or later. Smartphone updates can be administered over the air, via a desktop manager connection, or by downloading the update directly to the smartphone. The BlackBerry MVS Client for the BlackBerry smartphone can be downloaded for free from www.blackberry.com/go/mvs. Please note that without the Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite or BlackBerry MVS Services on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, the BlackBerry MVS Client will not function.
The Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite has the built-in code for connecting to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and uses a standard Gateway Message Envelope (GME) connection.
More on BlackBerry MVS
Refer to Figures 1 and 2 above to see these terms represented in a telecom architecture diagram.
IP (Internet Protocol)
IP uses a packet switching technology instead of the point-to-point technology of TDM (Time Division Multiplexing). In a TDM scenario, callers have exclusive rights to use a physical path all the way from caller to receiver. In an IP scenario, however, data packets are disassembled, transmitted and reassembled when received.
IP PBX (Internet Protocol Private Branch eXchange)
A PBX that is based on an IP architecture. Most new PBXs support both IP and TDM architecture.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
ISDN is a basic type of telecommunications circuit. It’s the standard telecom circuit that allows for data traffic to be passed on a separate channel from the voice traffic. Data traffic here refers to relatively small amount of call data like call setup data, caller ID, caller party name, etc.
PBX (Private Branch eXchange)
A PBX is analogous to a router for the internal telecom network, and provides the basic foundation of an enterprise communication infrastructure. Common PBX manufacturers include Nortel, Avaya, Siemens and Cisco. From the PBX, users can dial within the enterprise using extension dialing, make external calls, and use central voice functions, such as call transfer, conferencing, and others.
The acronym PABX (Private Automatic Branch eXchange) is used interchangeably with PBX.
There are two types of PBXs: TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).
TDM PBX (Time Division Multiplexing PBX)
TDM PBXs are the legacy system PBXs still used in many enterprises today.
Many enterprises with a TDM PBX are in the process of switching to a VoIP PBX system. As a result, many companies operate hybrid environments running both TDM PBX and VoIP PBX systems.
VoIP PBXs use Voice over Internet Protocol to transfer voice as data packets.
PRI (Primary Rate Interface)
PRI is a type of ISDN circuit that allows for 23 voice channels plus one data path. (One data path can hold call data for 23 voice paths.)
PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network)
A PSTN is the connection point for the PBX to the outside world. When users dial “9” to make an outside call, for example, they are in essence asking the PBX for permission to use the PSTN.
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)
SIP is a standard VoIP circuit connection type. It creates a voice circuit inside the IP that carries data between the PBX and other connection point. In SIP environments, a TDM connection to the PSTN usually exists.
VoIP (Voice Over IP)
A Generic term describing any technology that allows voice traffic to be passed over an IP based network. Requires a higher quality of service than data only networks, in order to transmit voice packets from point A to point B in the correct order.