newbie: voice modules

As a newbie with a 2600 router I'm finding it difficult to understand what voice modules are all about and whether there's any advantage to having one. I've done some trawling on google, found a few pages but they were hard to understand and haven't yet found a page that explains it in simple beginner terms. I know a bit about voip from skype and msn etc, is the cisco module the same kind of thing? Thanks for any pointers.

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The voice-modules for the 2600 (ie. NM-1V and NM-2V are the most popular, but there are others, higher density ones) basicly give the router a DSP to encode voice over IP packets to a voice port. If you had a VOIP environment (particularly a Cisco VOIP environment), and needed a FXS or FXO port somewhere that a 2600 router was, you could use that router as a voice gateway to get it as part of your VOIP environment.

Ie. An enterprise running CallManager for VOIP, has a branch office, and they tie in a POTS line out there for E911 service, or a FAX machine off their 2600 that is already doing T1 service for the branch. Pretty easy to get going with the right hardware, like an NM-1V and VIC-FXO card.

For dealing with something like Skype, it doesn't do anything for you, Skype handles the voice to IP on your PC, and the router just passes the traffic on for you same as any other data.

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Doug McIntyre

ok thanks for your response Doug, it's a little clearer now but I'm still foggy on how it's used in the real world. So say I have a VIC-FXO card in my router. To use it what do I plug in to the VIC-FXO card? a handset? a telephone switchboard? some other device? I can see how maybe a company with two or more cisco routers might be able to have their own private multichannel phone system that uses a single broadband line and is independent of the normal telephone system, is that right?. Thanks for any further pointers.

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