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Media Gateway Control and Softswitch Architecture (MGCP) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Media Gateway Control and Softswitch Architecture (MGCP). Lecture 6. Media Gateway Control Protocol. MGCP separates the functions of call control and media translation into two separate devices: The voice gateway handles media translation. A call agent handles call control. Why MGCP.

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Media gateway control protocol
Media Gateway Control Protocol

  • MGCP separates the functions of call control and media translation into two separate devices:

  • The voice gateway handles media translation.

  • A call agent handles call control.

Why mgcp

  • MGCP was created for a centralized architecture, where most of the configuration and call-control intelligence resides on a call agent, such as Cisco Call Manager.

  • The traditional role of an MGCP gateway is media translation.

  • PSTN connections, such as Foreign Exchange Office (FXO), Foreign Exchange Station (FXS), and PRI (ISDN) lines, typically terminate in the gateway.

Mgcp translates
MGCP Translates

  • The gateway translates between the PSTN and the IP network. MGCP gateways are sometimes divided into two categories:

  • Residential gateways— Interfaces between analogue (RJ11) ports and the Voice over IP (VoIP) network

  • Trunking gateways— Interfaces between PSTN trunks such as DS0s or PRIs and the VoIP network

Mgcp operation
MGCP Operation

  • To understand MGCP, you must understand the concepts of;

  • Endpoints

  • Connections

  • Events

  • Signals


  • An endpoint can be either the source or the destination for a media stream.

  • Some examples are an analog or digital line, or a virtual endpoint such as DSP resources used by a conference bridge.

  • One gateway can support multiple endpoints.

  • Endpoint names have two components—a local identifier, and a gateway identifier.

Endpoint examples
Endpoint Examples

  • DS0 channel: A digital channel operating at 64 Kbps. Such a channel will typically be multiplexed within a larger transmission facility such as a DS1 (1.544 Mbps) or E1 (2.048 Mbps).

  • Analogue line: Typically, an endpoint that interfaces to a standard telephone line and provides service to a traditional telephone. In most cases, the media to be received on the analog line will be an analog voice stream.


  • A connection is the relationship established between a given endpoint and an RTP/IP session.

  • For example, a DS0 endpoint.

  • If the DS0 is idle, then no connection is associated with the endpoint and no resources are allocated to the endpoint on the IP side of the gateway.


  • MGCP is able to detect changes in the line

  • These are known as events

  • Examples of these would be;

  • Off-hook

  • Dialled digits

  • Ringing tone etc


  • In the MGCP model, the gateways focus on the audio signal translation function, while the Call Agent handles the call signalling and call processing functions.

  • As a consequence, the Call Agent implements the "signalling" layers of the H.323 standard, and presents itself as an "H.323 Gatekeeper" or as one or more "H.323 Endpoints" to the H.323 systems

Configure mgcp
Configure MGCP

  • To configure an MGCP gateway, you simply identify the Cisco Unified Communications Manager server associated with the gateway and identify the gateway to the call agent.

  • The MGCP gateway handles the translation between voice signals and the packet network and interacts with the Cisco Unified Communications Manager server.

  • The server performs signal and call processing.


#Router(config)# mgcp

  • Enables the MGCP protocol.

    #Router(config)# mgcp call-agent mgcp 0.1

  • Specifies the primary Cisco Unified Communications Manager server's IP address or domain name, and the port gateway service type and version number

Commands ctd
Commands ctd..

#Router(config)# mgcp dtmf-relay voip codec all mode cisco

  • Selects the codec type and the dual tone multifrequency (DTMF) relay services.

    #Router(config)# ccm-manager mgcp

  • Enables the MGCP gateway to support Cisco Unified Communications Manager.


  • MGCP (defined under RFC 2705 ) is a master/slave protocol that allows a call control device (such as Cisco CallManager) to take control of a specific port on a gateway.

  • This has the advantage of centralized gateway administration and provides for largely scalable IP Telephony solutions.

  • MGCP was also known as H248 protocol.