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Linksys PAP2 Dial Plan Basics

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As with most ATAs (Analog Telephone Adapters), the Linksys PAP2 is an extremely versatile and customizable piece of VoIP equipment. In April of 2005, Cisco Systems (The parent company of Linksys) bought the privately-held VoIP company, Sipura. This resulted in the 're branding' of Sipura and integration of the Sipura product line into the Linksys family. As a result, the Linksys PAP2, shares many commonalities (though few cosmetic) with the Sipura line of ATAs and the Dial Plan basics that I'll be talking about also relate to some of the Sipura VoIP adapters (e.g., the SPA-2000 line).

I should point out that this tutorial is by no means intended as an authoritative text on Linksys/Sipura dial plans. The purpose is merely to assist you in writing a basic dial plan that will help you to customize your VoIP adapter and provide a foundation on which you can build should you wish to create more customized dial plans.

What is a Dial Plan?

A Dial Plan is a string of characters that governs the way your PAP2 processes inputs received from your telephone keypad. In North America for example, direct-dial long distance calls made from the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN - conventional land lines) are generally made in the following order:

  1. '1'
  2. 'Area Code'
  3. 'Number'

On the other hand, if you happen to reside in Australia things are a little different. To call another long-distance location within Australia, you'd dial in the following format:

  1. '0'
  2. 'Area Code'
  3. 'Number'

Now, let's for argument sake say that you live in Australia, yet your VoIP service provider is based in North America (a very real scenario given the nature of the Internet!). Even though you'd normally dial '0' + the 'Area code' and 'number' for your call to another destination within Australia, your VoIP service provider is expecting you to dial in the same fashion as you would had you been living in North America (e.g., to call a number in Australia, you'd dial '011' (the international prefix) followed by '61' (the country code for Australia) followed by the Area code and number. Herein lies the beauty of a dial plan - your PAP2 can be programmed to translate the local dialing and feature settings to which you're accustomed to the format that your VoIP service provider is expecting to terminate the call. In other words, you can craft a dial plan that will enable you to dial local numbers on your VoIP connected phone in the same fashion as you would had you been dialing from a PSTN connected telephone, regardless of who or where your VoIP Service Provider is located.

Here's an example dial plan that I use. Don't be too concerned about what all the characters mean at this point - I'll break it down shortly.


Do I need a Dial Plan?

If you've decided to use your PAP2 with a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) VoIP Service Provider, you'll likely need a customized dial plan string.

Revisiting the scenario where you reside in Australia, yet your VoIP Provider is located in North America, another good reason for a customized dial plan is the handling of calls to emergency services. In North America, emergency calls are dialed as '911' whereas in Australia, calls to the emergency services are dialed as '000'. Now, your VoIP ATA is unable to discern the gravity and subsequent routing of calls to emergency services however your PAP2 can be programmed to route 911 calls to your local emergency services operator through your dial plan string.

Where do I find my Dial Plan?

Assuming that you own a PAP2-NA (not VoIP provider specific) or have unlocked your PAP2 supplied by a VoIP Provider, you should have access to the 'Admin Login' and subsequent 'Advanced View' settings. The dial plans that you create are 'Line Specific' - i.e., each line can have a different dial plan. Firstly, navigate to the Telephone line number (Line 1 or Line 2) for which you'd like to modify the dial plan:

Towards the bottom of the page, you should see an area marked 'Dial Plan' as in the following image:

Next: What do the numbers mean?...

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