I've worked with some VoIP Products before, mostly Asterisk (base version, build from source) management for a small ISP doing in-network VoIP solutions for customers. My current position hasn't involved much VoIP work but we do have a Shoretel system at one of our plants.

I'm new to the Shoretel environment although its pretty similar to hardware I've run across before. We have Shoretel Connect Director running, build 21.79. There is a physical Shoretel SG90 switch installed on site and in Director there is also a Softswitch running for the internal phones.

We have an atypical situation at one of our plants. We have analog lines that feed into the Shoretel system as that is all that is availabe in that area of town. Copper in our area is notorious for going out when it rains. Its been like this for years and Verizon has failed to do anything about it. The building also has an atypical internet connection. We have a symmetrical 25Mbps connection that is relayed through a telecom tower (two individual wireless links) to another building of ours that has symmetrical 30Mbps fiber -- most of the connectivity used at the other building is LAN traffic anyways.

The wireless circuit isn't always great for VoIP, but when the copper goes out entirely for 12-36 hours its WAY better than nothing.

With minimal adjustments/fiddling during a copper outage I would like to pair in a VoIP trunk to the Shoretel system as sort of a failover circuit. We would re-route inbound calls to the main analog DIDs from the Verizon website call-forwarding application. So while I'm still working on researching the particulars I figure that part should be relatively straightforward. I would be interested in any advice folks may have on how to best set up these two trunks so they dump into the same call groups.

My general assumption after some basic research is I'd open up a SIP Port on the SG90, point it at the same analog trunk group (Or a new trunk group with the same destination as the analog one), start up a SIP user associated with that SIP port on the SG90 and point it at my VoIP Provider and that should do most of the trick.

I'm curious how I would manage to push outbound calls over the VoIP lines - again - with as little meddling as possible. Is this something that could be accomplished in the Shoretel System? If not, what would be the best alternate? Is there any scripting one could employ to at least remove as much of the manual changes as possible? Any advise or pointing me in the right direction in terms of resources would be greatly appreciated.

  • Have you considered trenching in your own fiber? How far between the two buildings? – longneck Jun 23 '17 at 13:57
  • The reason the wireless link is relayed through a telecom tower is because there's a hill in between the sites ;) 4.5 miles and crosses the train tracks twice. Doing fiber ourselves is not an option! – Sam K Jun 23 '17 at 14:00

So the short answer is this:

Shoretel has a list of pre-approved VoIP providers listed here https://www.shoretel.com/shoretel-sip. Unless you are using one of those providers you cannot simply connect a SIP trunk to the SG-90 using a virtual SIP Port. You need an SBC (Session Border Controller), somewhere at your network edge - this is a hardware device that allows you to connect to any external SIP host you want and forward that traffic to the Shoretel SG-90.

As for my second question there is no way to switch between two trunks, keeping them isolated, without some manual effort. I was unable to find any scripting or easy-to-use API that would allow one to prescript the switch over and switching back, it would need to be a multi-step process through the GUI.

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