Updated: Something New on Cisco 4000 T1/E1 NIMs

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Cisco updated its Network Interface Modules on Cisco 4000 series routers, which makes us come to the CiscoFourth-Generation 1-, 2-, 4-, and 8-Port T1/E1 Multiflex Trunk Voice and WAN Network Interface Modules (NIMs) that support data and voice applications on the Cisco 4000 Integrated Services Routers.

These cards combine WAN-interface-card (WIC), voice-interface-card (VIC), ISDN Primary Rate Interface (PRI), dial-access integration, and channelized-data (CE1T1) functions to provide superior flexibility, versatility, and investment protection through their many uses. Customers who choose to integrate data and voice in multiple steps preserve their investment in a T1/E1 WAN interface.

Note: These NIMs are not supported with Cisco 2900 and 3900 Integrated Services Routers.

Cisco 4000 T1/E1 NIMs

Cisco 4000 T1,E1 NIMs

Table1 lists the available cards and compares their features.

Table1. Cisco T1/E1 NIM Types and Feature Comparison

Part Number Number of Ports Clear-Channel Data MFT Packet Voice Unstructured E1 (G.703) Support Channelized Data
NIM-1MFT-T1/E1 1 Yes Yes No No
NIM-2MFT-T1/E1 2 Yes Yes No No
NIM-4MFT-T1/E1 4 Yes Yes No No
NIM-8MFT-T1/E1 8 Yes Yes No No
NIM-1CE1T1-PRI 1 Yes Yes Yes Yes
NIM-2CE1T1-PRI 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes
NIM-8CE1T1-PRI 8 Yes Yes Yes Yes

You can insert the Cisco T1/E1 NIMs into the NIM slot on the supported Cisco 4000 Integrated Services Routers (ISRs). In addition to the features listed in Table 1, these modules support both T1 and E1, providing additional flexibility for supporting T1, fractional T1, E1, and fractional E1 for both voice and WAN applications simultaneously. All modules include the drop-and-insert multiplexing capability, which eliminates costly external third-party channel service units/data service units (CSUs/DSUs) and drop-and-insert multiplexers.

The fourth-generation Cisco T1/E1 NIMs add improvements over the Cisco Second- and Third-Generation T1/E1 Multiflex Trunk Voice and WAN Interface Cards (MFT VWIC2s and VWIC3s, respectively). The fourth-generation T1/E1 modules enable each port to be clocked from an independent clock source for data applications. Voice applications can now be clocked independently from data applications, with all ports for voice applications clocked from a single source.

The T1/E1 modules contain an onboard Cisco Packet Voice Digital Signal Processor Module 4 (PVDM4) slot, which requires a fourth-generation PVDM4 module. A PVDM4 on the T1/E1 module is necessary for the voice features. The PVDM4 also provides for echo cancellation of up to 128-ms echo-tail length for demanding network conditions. Refer to Table 2 for all configuration options offered with the modules.

These fourth-generation modules also provide increased port density per chassis compared to the Cisco Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2) platform.

Key Features

  • Basic T1/E1 data: The MFT versions act as WICs, supporting T1, fractional T1, E1, and fractional E1. To simplify remote management, these modules integrate a fully managed DSU/CSU for T1 deployments and a fully managed DSU for E1 deployments.
  • E1/G.703 data: In addition to the basic T1/E1 data support, the CE1T1 versions also support structured G.703 with G.704 framing and unstructured E1 (G.703) applications.
  • T1/E1 packet voice: All the modules support packet voice applications by providing T1, fractional T1, E1, and fractional E1 connections to private branch exchanges (PBXs) and central offices, thereby enabling new services and reducing voice and fax toll charges. An additional onboard PVDM4 is required. Also, each NIM has its own PVDM4, so each module can be connected to a different service provider with no single clock domain restriction.
  • Mixed data and packet voice: All the modules can simultaneously support both data and voice, reducing the complexity and number of network components and facilitating a graceful migration to bandwidth-efficient packet voice.
  • Mixed data and packet voice with drop and insert: You can deploy all the modules as T1/E1 drop-and-insert multiplexers with integrated DSUs/CSUs, reducing the complexity of the network and the cost of the central-office ports by efficiently combining time-division multiplexing (TDM) voice (PBX), IP voice, and data on the same trunks.


Packet Voice Solutions: PBX and Central-Office Connectivity

The modules supply PBX and public-switched-telephone-network (PSTN) connectivity for the Cisco 4000 with the onboard NIM slots. The ISRs support H.323, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), and Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP)based voice over IP (VoIP).

Multiplexed Data and Voice Solutions: T1/E1 Drop-and-Insert Multiplexer with Integrated DSU/CSU

The Cisco fourth-generation T1/E1 modules simplify branch-office connectivity by consolidating the functions of a router, a fully managed drop-and-insert multiplexer, and a fully managed DSU/CSU into a single box. Typically a drop-and-insert multiplexer is used for channelized (that is, TDM) integration of data and voice onto a single T1, fractional T1, E1, or fractional E1 connection to the central office. Sharing a line can significantly reduce costs over those of two separate physical lines to the central office. Although the normal use is for data and voice sharing of a T1 or E1 service, you can also use the drop-and-insert capability for voice and data, or data and data sharing of the service. Moreover, the integrated drop-and-insert capability enhances system availability by allowing the Cisco IOS Software to be reloaded while maintaining TDM switching. 56/64K Digital Data Service (DDS) function is not supported by T1/E1 NIMs.

Analog Cross-Connect Solution

You can cross-connect the TDM DS-0 channels with analog voice ports to create an analog cross-connect solution.

Table2. Cisco T1/E1 Module Capacity Comparison

Configuration Description MFT Modules

NIM-1MFT-T1/E1, NIM-2MFT-T1/E1, NIM‑4MFT-T1/E1, and NIM-8MFT-T1/E1

Channelized Modules


Data Only
Serial data (channel-group*) 2 per port 24 per port
E1 unframed G.703 Not supported Supported
Voice Only
Voice channel associated signaling (CAS) (ds0-group**) 24 per port (T1)

31 per port (E1)

1 per timeslot

24 per port (T1)

31 per port (E1)

1 per timeslot

Voice and Data
PRI (pri-group***) 1 per port 1 per port
Drop and insert


24 per port (T1)

31 per port (E1)

1 per timeslot

24 per port (T1)

31 per port (E1)

1 per timeslot

* channel-group refers to bonding of one or more time slots into a single High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC)-framed serial connection for IP data traffic connectivity. This connection is used for HDLC, Frame Relay, and Multilink PPP (MLPPP) serial WAN connections.
** ds0-group refers to bonding of one or more time slots into a single TDM voice connection using CAS such as ear and mouth (E&M), foreign exchange station (FXS), or foreign exchange office (FXO). This connection is used for TDM PBX or PSTN connections and typically is deployed only on T1.
*** pri-group refers to bonding of two or more time slots into a single TDM connection using ISDN signaling. This connection is typically used for TDM PBX or PSTN voice connections on T1 and E1, and also for data WAN connections on E1. Each call on the PRI is individually indicated as being a voice or data call with the ISDN bearer capability delivered with the call. Signaling is done on the D-channel, which is always channel 24 on a T1 and channel 31 on an E1.
**** tdm-group refers to cross-connecting one or more time slots from one TDM interface to another. This connection is used to groom channels from different access points onto a combined T1 or E1 uplink. Because the router merely cross-connects and does not interpret or route the traffic from the ingress interface to the egress interface, the traffic type (voice and data) is transparent to the router.

Cisco IOS XE Software Release Requirements

The modules are supported on the Cisco 4000 and require Cisco IOS XE Software Release 3.9.

The DSP farm services (conferencing & transcoding) on the modules are supported only on Release 3.11 and above.

Data applications require the IP Base technology package, which is included by default. Voice applications require a minimum of the UC technology package, which is optional.

Data Features

NIM data features follow:

  • T1/E1 or fractional T1/E1 network interface
  • n x 64 kbps or n x 56 kbps, nonchannelized data rates (T1: n = 1 to 24, E1: n = 1 to 31)
  • Standards-based, including ANSI T1.403 and AT&T Publication 62411
  • Non-Facility Associated Signaling (NFAS) on one single module is supported. NFAS across multiple NIM modules is not supported.

NIM data features do not include Dial on Demand Routing (DDR).

Network Interface Specifications

Tables3 and 4 give T1 and E1 network interface specifications, respectively.

Table3. T1 Network Interface Specifications

T1 Network Interface
Transmit bit rate 1.544 Mbps ±50 bps/32 ppm
Receive bit rate 1.544 Mbps ±50 bps/32 ppm
Line code Alternate mark inversion (AMI) and binary 8-zero substitution (B8ZS)
AMI ones density Enforced for n x 56-kbps channels
Framing format D4 (Super Frame [SF]) and Extended Super Frame (ESF)
Output level (line build-out [LBO]) 0, -7.5 or -15 dB
Input level +1 dB0 down to -24 dB0
Data-terminal-equipment (DTE) interface (WIC mode) Fractional service
DTE interface (VIC mode) G.704 or structured
Data-communications-equipment (DCE) interface G.704 or structured

Table4. E1 Network Interface Specifications

E1 Network Interface 
Transmit bit rate 2.048 Mbps ±100 bps/50 ppm
Receive bit rate 2.048 Mbps ±100 bps/50 ppm
Data rate 1.984 Mbps (framed mode) per E1 port
Clocking Internal and loop (recovered from network)
E1 national bits Fixed (nonconfigurable)
Encoding High-density bipolar three (HDB3)
DTE interface (WIC mode) Fractional service
DTE interface (VIC mode) G.704 or structured
DCE interface G.704 or structured

Table5. Module Specifications

Features Specifications
Dimensions (H x W x D) 1.25 x 3.50 x 7.24 in. (3.18 x 8.89 x 18.39 cm)
Environmental ●  Operating temperature: 0 to 50°C (32 to 122°F)

●  Storage temperature: -20 to +65°C (-4 to 148°F)

●  Relative humidity: 10 to 85% noncondensing operating; 5 to 95% noncondensing, nonoperating

T1 Compliance (partial list) ●  TIA-968-A

●  CS-03

●  Jate

●  ANSI T1.403

E1 Compliance (partial list) ●  TBR4, TBR12, and TBR13

●  ITU-T G.703, G.704, G.823, and I.431

●  S016 (Australia)

…More about the Network Management Features, Regulatory Compliance, Ordering Information, etc. you can read the full data sheet from https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/routers/4000-series-integrated-services-routers-isr/data_sheet_c78-728308.html

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