Review: Grandstream's UCM6302 UC&C Platform

By Biju Oommen  |  July 06, 2021

The current pandemic has necessitated that our Unified Communication & Collaboration platforms allow for efficient, flexible, and agile business operations, while also being cost effective. We need one platform that meets various business communication needs, expediently and seamlessly delivering collaboration tools and a host of communications services. These features, services, and tools include desktop sharing, presence, mobility, voice and video calling, audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, video surveillance, facility access, intercoms etc. This platform can be on-premises or in our redundant data centers, managed locally or from the cloud to support an agile, cost-effective deployment and maintenance model. Communications platforms should easily integrate with third-party business and facility applications, improving business efficacy. Thus, the  above referenced multi-modal communication platform plays the chief role in supporting cost-effective business communications.

For our ongoing discussion, we will closely consider one such offering: the UCM6302, part of Grandstream’s UCM6300 series Unified Communication & Collaboration platform.  The UCM6300 series brings together various business communication modes on a single platform, while offering support for up to 3,000 users and 450 concurrent calls. When deployed as a part of the UCM6300 ecosystem, it morphs into a very powerful hybrid platform that offers control of an on-premises IP PBX (News - Alert) and the remote access benefits of a cloud solution.

The UCM6300 Ecosystem consists of distinct components: the UCM6300 series IP PBXs, UCM RemoteConnect, Wave app, and the Grandstream Device Management System (GDMS). UCM RemoteConnect (Beta) is a cloud automatic NAT traversal service for secure remote connections between remote users/devices and the UCM6300 series.  The Wave app for web, desktop and mobile allows remote video and voice collaboration on the UCM6300 series, enabling communication with any device, user, or SIP account on the UCM6300 series. GDMS provides a zero-touch cloud management and provisioning service for the UCM6300 and all Grandstream devices. Hence, it offers a single interface to troubleshoot , monitor, manage and provision.

The UCM 6302 (see image above),  comes equipped with the following attributes:

  • Its Telephony Operating system is based on Asterisk (News - Alert) version 16 and has a 320x240 color LCD with touch screen for Shortcut Keys and the Scroll Bar.
  • Ports/Network Interfaces include three self-adaptive Gigabit ports (switched, routed or dual mode) with PoE+; NAT Router supporting router mode and switch mode; Analog Telephone FXS Ports (2 RJ11 Ports (have lifeline capability in case of power outage); PSTN Line FXO Ports (2 RJ11 Ports (have lifeline capability in case of power outage); (see Fig. B below); and Peripheral Ports (1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 SD card interface).
Fig. B Grandstream’s UCM6302-3 Gigabit ports-2 FXS & 2 FXO ports
  • Maximum Call Capacity: Up to 200 SIP trunks, 1000 registered SIP endpoints, up to 150 concurrent G.711  calls; up to 100 concurrent SRTP (G.711) calls.
  • Voice/Fax Codecs: Opus, G.711 A-law/U-law, G.722, G722.1 G722.1C, G.723.1 5.3K/6.3K, G.726-32, G.729A/B, iLBC, GSM
  • T.38 Video Codecs: H.264, H.263, H263+, H.265, VP8.
  • Call Center: Automatic call distribution (ACD) based on agent skills/availability/workload, multiple configurable call queues, in-queue announcement.
  • Video Conference & Audio Conference: 6 Video Conference rooms and up to 30 parties with 1080p, 4 video feeds + 1 screen sharing (H.264 & Opus); 8 audio  conference with up to 150 parties (G.711).  
  • Customizable Auto Attendant & call features: Up to 5 layers of IVR (Interactive Voice Response) in multiple languages, Call Features include music on hold, call routes, call park, call forward, call transfer, call waiting, caller ID, call record, paging/intercom, voicemail to email, fax to email, voice conference, video conference, pickup group, ring group, ring simultaneously, dial by name, emergency call, call follow me, blacklist/whitelist.
  • API available for 3rd party CRM and PMS application and platform integrations.
  • Provisioning Protocol Plug-and-Play: supports mass provisioning using AES encrypted XML configuration file, auto-discovery & auto-provisioning of Grandstream IP endpoints via ZeroConfig (DHCP Option 66 multicast SIP SUBSCRIBE mDNS).
  • Advanced security protection and features, such as unique certificate and random default password to protect calls and accounts, and secure boot.
  • Works with GDMS (a centralized interface to monitor, troubleshoot, manage and provision Grandstream products before and after deployment) for cloud setup, management, and monitoring, delivering true zero-touch cloud provisioning and management.

Let us now proceed with the functional and interoperability testing of the Grandstream UCM6302. It can be managed and monitored using its built-in Web UI or the cloud-hosted GDMS.  For our functional testing, we will setup, manage, monitor the UCM6302 primarily using its built-in web UI and later onboard it to the GDMS in the cloud.

FUNCTIONAL TESTING

Our test setup consisted of (See Fig. C Functional & interoperability testing of Grandstream UCM6302):

  • Grandstream UCM6302 running software version 1.0.5.4
  • Grandstream WP820 Wi-Fi IP Phone (News - Alert) running software version 1.0.7.22
  • Grandstream GXV3370 IP Video Phone running software version 1.0.3.27
  • Microchip Technology PDS-408G Digital Ceiling PoE switch-software release version 1.13 
  • Grandstream GWN7630LR outdoor long-range 802.11ac Wave-2 Wi-Fi access point running software version 1.0.19.25
  • Patton Networks SmartNode SN5570 Series eSBC (Enterprise Session Border Controller) running software version 3.15.9-20061 to provide SIP registrar services and SIP demarcation from the public SIP trunk provider, while maintaining interoperability and interconnectivity
  • Grandstream GRP2614 Carrier-Grade IP Phone running software version 1.0.5.45
  • Grandstream Wave Desktop for Windows 10 software version 1.0.5.4 
  • Grandstream Wave for Android (News - Alert) software version 1.0.5.2  
  • Grandstream cloud-hosted Grandstream Device Management System (GDMS) Version 1.0.5.5
     

Fig. C Functional & interoperability testing of Grandstream’s UCM6302



The UCM6302, has three self-adaptive Gigabit ports that support PoE+, so we will power the unit by connecting an ethernet cable between the WAN port and a port on the Microchip Technology (News - Alert) PDS-408G Digital Ceiling PoE switch for network connectivity and PoE (PoE class 4). Once the unit booted up, the LCD display showed the UCM’s information and, by pressing the “Home“ button, we could now see the unit’s model name, IP address, system time, etc. Next, we used the Web UI to log in and access the UCM6302 to manage its status as well as configuration.

  • On the Web UI, the menu section, “System Status,” showed us the dashboard, system information, current active calls, and network status.
  • “Extensions/Trunks” is where we managed the extensions, trunks, and routing rules.
  • “Call Features” allowed us to manage various aspects of the UCM such as the IVR, voicemail, audio and video conference, ring groups, paging/intercom, call/queue etc.  
  • “PBX Settings” contained PBX functionality settings, such as SIP/RTP settings, interface settings, and more.
  • “System Settings” is where we managed settings related to the UCM system, such as network, time, e-mail, security etc.
  • “Maintenance” provided us access to settings and logs related to system management and maintenance, such as user management, activity logs, operation log, syslog, backup/ upgrade settings and troubleshooting tools.
  • “CDR” contained call detail records, statistics, and audio recordings of calls processed by the UCM.
  • “Value-Added Features” is where we managed settings such as Zero Config, UCM RemoteConnect, CRM/PMS integrations etc.

It is indeed a very easy and intuitive web-based menu driven configuration interface.  (See Fig. D).

 

Fig. D UCM6302 System Status-Dashboard



The system Setup Wizard proved to be very useful. It allowed us to expeditiously setup system attributes, like system password, network settings, time zone, extensions, trunks/routes, and provided a summary of the pending configuration. This allowed us to review changes before applying them. For our testing, the system was now ready with various aspects of the required basic operational configuration (see Fig. E). It indeed saved valuable time on the setup and deployment.

 

Fig. E UCM6302 Extension/Trunk-Extensions



We successfully registered the UCM6302 and placed inbound/outbound test voice calls with the ITSP’s external SIP trunk/UCaaS platform in the cloud through the on-premises Patton Networks SmartNode SN5570 Series eSBC. On our test Wi-Fi network, facilitated by Grandstream’s GWN7630LR 802.11ac Wave-2 Wi-Fi access point, we quickly established SIP registration/connectivity of Grandstream’s GXV3370 IP Video Phone, WP820 SIP Wi-Fi Phone, GRP2614 Carrier Grade IP Phone, Wave for Android (see Fig. F), and Wave Desktop for Windows 10. (see Fig. G). We were able to place internal station to station calls, external calls and join audio and video conferences on the UCM6302.

 

Fig. F Grandstream‘s Wave for Android


 

Fig. G Grandstream‘s Wave Desktop for Windows 10



Setting up the UCM6302 was very easy and we also onboarded it on to GDMS in the cloud. It was easily deployed and managed. Grandstream’s Wave for Android & Wave Desktop for Windows 10 proved to be intuitive communications tools that allowed us to stay connected, chat, share files, attend meetings via the UCM6302.  

We briefly reviewed the UCM RemoteConnect (Beta) service, offered via GDMS, which allowed us to use a  UCM Public Address to register and communicate with other devices and users without any additional settings on our network. With just a web browser using WebRTC services, we swiftly connected and started working remotely. We were able to register our UCM extension, make point-to-point calls, join meetings, share presentations, chat during conference calls, transition from a group chat to a conference call, create, schedule, manage, and join video conference calls, etc.

During our extensive functional and interoperability testing, the UCM6302 delivered multimodal communications that were simple, cost effectively, reliable, and efficient. It allowed our entire test team, agnostic of the device they used, to stay connected and be easily reachable.

Conclusion

In the realm of multi-modal communications, Grandstream’s UCM6302 is a state-of-the-art IP PBX appliance that offers users a single Unified Communication (UC) platform for converged voice, fax, video, chat, video surveillance, and much more. It offers features, security, performance, and flexibility in a very cost-effective and powerful plug-and-play package that can be easily deployed and managed leveraging cloud technology.




Edited by Erik Linask