Choosing a VoIP vendor: A buyer's guide
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
Editor's note: This article is part of a buying guide on voice over IP (VoIP). The feature articles in this series describe the evolution of VoIP, its use cases and the important criteria to consider when buying a VoIP service. The series also compares the top VoIP products in the marketplace. This article gives an overview of Mitel VoIP products.
The most popular offering in the Mitel VoIP lineup is the Mitel 3300 series of controllers, initially introduced to the global market in 2001. Since then, Mitel has continuously revised and expanded its functionality by introducing new features to ensure it does not fall behind in the ever-expanding IP PBX market.
The Mitel 3300 controllers are IP PBXs that combine full IP services -- such as SIP trunking, IP phone support, IP network and application integration -- as well as legacy connection support, including analog and ISDN/PRI. The controllers satisfy pretty much any type of environment and connectivity requirements.
Mitel currently offers five models: the 3300 CX II, 3300 CXi II, 3300 MXe III Standard, 3300 MXe III Expanded and the 3300 AX. All Mitel VoIP models offer clustering capabilities, allowing up to 999 controllers in a cluster by utilizing Mitel's synchronization technology.
Mitel 3300 CX II and CXi II
The Mitel 3300 CX II and 3300 CXi II offer similar capabilities, supporting up to 150 phone devices depending on the hardware configuration, 2,000 SIP trunks, 16 voicemail ports and a generous 750 mailboxes. They also support up to eight 5550 IP consoles, which is a PC-based attendant console and administration application.
Both Mitel VoIP models provide a maximum of two embedded T1/E1 digital trunk modules, two embedded BRI modules, and a maximum of eight embedded BRI interfaces, making them adequate to cover most business communication environments. For organizations relying heavily on SIP, the 3300 CX II and CXi II can support up to 64 G.729a compression channels.
The 3300 CXi II integrates a network switch (layer 2), router and firewall, making it ideal for deployments where there is no existing switch or router infrastructure. The Ethernet-WAN port provides all router and firewall functionality required to connect the business to the Internet -- a suitable configuration for small offices.
Integrated voicemail and auto-attendant functionalities are supported by both the 3300 CX II and CXi II models. Advanced auto-attendant functionality is available through the Mitel contact center solution.
Mitel 3300 MXe III Standard and Expanded
The Mitel 3300 MXe III Standard and Expanded models offer increased capacity and expandability, making them ideal for continuously expanding small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises.
The Mitel 3300 MXe III Standard supports a maximum of 350 phone devices, of which up to 300 can be IP/digital phones, making the system an ideal candidate for SMBs. Alternatively, all 350 devices can be analog phones. An increased capacity of 16 5550 IP consoles are supported by the 3300 MXe III Standard model.
The 3300 MXe III Expanded supports a maximum of 1,500 phone devices, of which up to 1,400 can be IP/digital. Alternatively, all 1,500 can be analog phones. The exact figures depend on the type of IP/digital phones. Up to 24 5500 IP consoles are supported by the 3300 MXe III Expanded model.
In order for the 3300 MXe III Standard and Expanded systems to reach their maximum capacity of analog/digital phones, the Mitel SX-200 Bay Cabinet must be used. The SX-200 provides the necessary interfaces for the analog/digital phones, and in turn connects to the Mitel 3300 MXe Controller. Multiple SX-200 Bay Cabinets can be used, depending on the system's configuration and business requirements.
Both the Standard and Expanded models have 20 voicemail ports that can be expanded to a maximum of 30, if needed. With a maximum of only 750 mailboxes, companies might be left a bit short if considering the 3300 MXe III Expanded model, mainly because it supports up to 1,500 phones.
Examining the connectivity side, the 3300 MXe III Standard supports a maximum of three embedded T1/E1 digital trunk modules, a maximum of three embedded BRI modules, 12 embedded BRI interfaces and 2,000 SIP trunks. The 3300 MXe III Expanded marginally extends connectivity options by supporting a maximum of four embedded T1/E1 digital trunk modules, three embedded BRI modules, 12 embedded BRI interfaces and 2,000 SIP trunks.
The Mitel 3300 MXe III Standard and Expanded models can support up to 128 and 192 G.729a compression channels, respectively, saving valuable bandwidth during SIP calls. These numbers also depend on the configuration of DSP modules installed on the systems.
Mitel 3300 AX
The Mitel 3300 AX model is ideal for high-density analog requirements, making it suitable for the hospitality industry. It supports up to a maximum of 400 phone devices, of which 125 can be IP/digital phones and 288 can be analog phones, while businesses can connect up to eight 5550 IP consoles to the system.
The 3300 AX supports 750 mailboxes with 20 standard voicemail ports that cannot be expanded. The 3300 AX supports one embedded T1/E1 digital trunk module, one embedded BRI module, up to four embedded BRI interfaces, 2,000 SIP trunks and 128 G.729a compression channels.
All Mitel VoIP products covered here are easily managed via a Web browser.
Mitel IP phones
Mitel offers an impressive range of IP phones and softphones, designed to cover every working environment.
The executive IP phones offer a high-resolution color touch display, 48 programmable multifunction keys, superior sound quality and a number of useful built-in features, such as support for cordless (DECT) and Bluetooth accessories, and support for various Mitel VoIP and unified communications applications.
Mitel VoIP products and services are available through Mitel or authorized partners. Mitel can help design and deploy any solution.
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