Cisco Access Server Portware

Release Notes for Cisco MICA Portware Version on Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Servers

  • Viewing Options

  • PDF (186.3 KB)
  • Feedback
Release Notes for Cisco MICA Portware Version on Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Servers with PIAFS (T1) Support for Cisco IOS Release 12.2(2)XA and 12.2(2)XB

Table Of Contents

Release Notes for Cisco MICA Portware Version on Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Servers with PIAFS (T1) Support for Cisco IOS Release 12.2(2)XA and 12.2(2)XB

PIAFS Overview

PIAFS-Specific Cisco MICA Portware Features

Module Firmware

Cisco IOS Software and Cisco MICA Portware

Compatibility Requirements

Supported Platforms


Known Problems with Cisco MICA Version



Downloading Portware Modem Code

SPE Download Tasks

Modem-Pool Download Tasks

Related Links

Obtaining Documentation

World Wide Web

Documentation CD-ROM

Ordering Documentation

Documentation Feedback

Obtaining Technical Assistance

Technical Assistance Center

Contacting TAC by Using the Cisco TAC Website

Contacting TAC by Telephone

Release Notes for Cisco MICA Portware Version on Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Servers with PIAFS (T1) Support for Cisco IOS Release 12.2(2)XA and 12.2(2)XB

August 24, 2002

These release notes describe Cisco MICA Portware Version for use with Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(2)XA and 12.2(2)XBon Cisco AS5300 universal access servers for T1. Version provides support for the Personal Handyphone System (PHS) Internet Access Forum Standard (PIAFS). PIAFS is an error-correcting link layer protocol used in Japan over PHS digital cellular networks. This release adds PIAFS 2.1 functionality, which provides an incremental improvement over PIAFS 2.0 functionality.

Note Version 8.2.x.x does not support modem modulations (for example, V.90), V.110, or fax.
If non-PIAFS features are desired, other portware images, such as
Cisco MICA Portware Version can be loaded onto other Hex Modem Modules (HMMs) or Double Density Modem Modules (DMMs) in your Cisco AS5x00 universal access server. See the Restrictions section for more information.

These release notes describe the following topics:

PIAFS Overview

PIAFS-Specific Cisco MICA Portware Features

Compatibility Requirements


Known Problems with Cisco MICA Version

Downloading Portware Modem Code

Related Links

Obtaining Documentation

Obtaining Technical Assistance

PIAFS Overview

The PHS PIAFS protocol specifies a transmission system that uses the PHS 64,000 bps/32,000 bps unrestricted digital bearer, which allows dynamic data rate change between 32 and 64 kbps during a call. The PIAFS protocol allows for these dynamic data rate changes.

The PIAFS terminal adapter (TA) module works like a modem or a V.110 module by using the same call-setup Q.931 message, but differs by its use of the 32k and 64k user rate and the ability to support ISDN bearer channel capability and Calling Party Subaddress.

PIAFS provides data connectivity between a client computer and remote access server (RAS) using the PHS digital cellular telephone system. Figure 1 shows a typical PIAFS RAS configuration.

Figure 1 PIAFS Configuration

With the PIAFS protocol, a call is initiated from the client computer/Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) through a TA, which is typically connected to the computer using a PCMCIA slot, serial interface, or USB interface. The TA contains PIAFS functionality and is either connected (or integrated) with a PHS handset for wireless communications, or connected directly to the telco network using an ISDN BRI line. For wireless operation, the PHS base station allocates either a 32 or 64 kbps user rate channel for the connection with the client TA. The client and RAS perform PIAFS synchronization and feature negotiation to set up an error correcting communication channel with optional V.42bis data compression.

PHS manages the user channel capacity based on the aggregate bandwidth used at the local base station to maximize the number of supported users. In return, the channel capacity for each user is reduced. PIAFS 2.1 allows the user rate to change during a call as base station use changes.

In previous PIAFS versions, the data rate was established at call setup and remained fixed during the call. The dynamic user rate change capability introduced in PIAFS 2.1 uses radio frequency (RF) channel capacity more efficiently and reduces the occurrence of call denial in heavily utilized cells.

PIAFS-Specific Cisco MICA Portware Features

Table 1 contains information about Cisco MICA portware releases for PIAFS.

Table 1 Feature Content by Modem Version 

Portware Version
Cisco IOS Software
Feature Content

12.2(2)XA, 12.2(2)XB

Maintenance release. Support for PIAFS version 2.1.


Maintenance release. Improvements made to existing PIAFS feature.


Initial release. Personal Handyphone (PHS) Internet Access Forum Standard (PIAFS)

The following PIAFS 2.1 features are supported on the Cisco AS5300 platform with Cisco MICA Version

In-band negotiation and synchronization of variable-speed Type 2 data transmission. This allows variable Type 2 devices such as Cisco MICA modems to connect with Type 1 and Type 2 initiating devices. A PIAFS 2.1 connection can be with two Type 2 devices, two Type 1 devices, or a Type 1 and a Type 2 device. Operational Cisco MICA is always Type 2, but it can communicate with Type 1 and Type 2 devices as well as with systems running PIAFS 1.x and 2.0.

A Type 2 device cannot directly sense traffic channels (TCH). The TCH is the number of 32k channels bound to a call. If the Type 2 device loses synchronization, the device assumes that the speed has changed, so the device periodically switches its I.460 (1988 ITU-T standard) intermediate rate adaptation function on and off while it is out of synchronization until it achieves synchronization or fails to resynchronize. An originating Type 2 device switches every 1.6 to 1.8 seconds; a receiving Type 2 device switches every 200 milliseconds. A Type 2 device is notified of speed changes from within the PIAFS protocol.

A Type 1 device directly senses the number of 32k RF channels bound to a call. It can either sense the total number of channels that are currently bound (TCH) or issue an early warning of TCH change (a preliminary signal, or PS). If a Type 1 device senses a TCH speed change, it switches directly to the new speed, turning its I.460 intermediate rate adaptation on or off as necessary. If a PS change is sensed, the device sends a protocol message before switching its I.460 logic. Both the originating and the receiving device can be Type 1, depending on whether each device can sense TCH or PS.

Fixed user rate negotiation with PIAFS 2.0 and 1.x clients.

Note Some TAs support both PIAFS 2.0 and 2.1 protocols, but the negotiation message that is sent to the initiated server unit indicates a preference for 2.0. Cisco MICA might create a 2.0 connection rather than a 2.1 connection. This is a normal Cisco MICA occurrence. A non-RF connected client should have 64k available and would not benefit from the features of PIAFS 2.1.

Real-time statistics for negotiated parameters and speed changes.

Mixed Cisco MICA (PIAFS and modem/fax/data) images on a DFC. A Cisco AS5300 universal access server running Cisco IOS Release 12.2.(2)XA or 12.2(2)XB supports both PIAFS 2.1 and modem calls together, on different SPEs in a multiple SPE configuration. See the Restrictions section for more information.

AT commands (modemcaps)—PIAFS is controlled by entering the MSC=&F&D2 modemcap. Enter the no flush-at-activation command in the line configuration if Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) is desired.

S34 S-register—The S34 S-register interfaces with new PHS or TA devices in the field by selectively inhibiting or enabling parts of the PIAFS 2.1 protocol. This S-register allows the use of non-standard values.

For more information about S-registers and AT commands, refer to the
AT Command Set and Register Summary for MICA Six-Port Modules with PIAFS.

For information about configuring PIAFS Version 2.1, refer to the
PIAFS Wireless Data Protocol for Cisco MICA Modems, Version 2.1 feature module.

Module Firmware

The Cisco MICA module firmware is composed of two software components: Digital Signalling Processor (DSP) firmware (also called the signal processor, or SP) and the module controller (CP) firmware. The fundamental Cisco MICA processing block is composed of a single CP and three SPs, and supports six ports or channels. The CP is an I.960 family reduced instruction set computing (RISC) processor, and the SP is a C53 family DSP. Both the SP and the CP firmware can either both be PIAFS, or both be modem.

During resynchronization, the PIAFS 2.1 protocol specifies when a station should switch its send and receive speed. At these speed switch times, the SP switches by sending empty pad bits while the CP requests by sending empty pad bits. At 64k, the SP passes all bits between the line and the CP. At 32k, the SP adds 50 percent pad bits on transmission, and removes them on reception. At 32k, the SP must also detect the alignment of these pad bits to determine which bits should be removed. This intermediate rate adaption is described in the ITU-T I.460 recommendation.

When the SP has switched, it confirms the new speed to the CP. When the CP resynchronizes to a different speed, it informs the Cisco IOS software that a speed change occurred, by issuing Cisco MICA state changes. At the same time, it counts the number of actual speed changes in a statistics counter that Cisco IOS software can request.

The SP firmware is bundled with the CP firmware image, which is downloaded on system reboot (or during a user initiated download). A dial feature card (DFC) can contain either an HMM (a single Cisco MICA processing block), or a DMM containing two processing blocks (supporting 12 ports or channels per module).

The CP is responsible for implementing the data link level of the PIAFS protocol and interfacing with the host (feature card and Cisco IOS software).

The following features are required to implement PIAFS 2.1:

In-band negotiation for variable-speed Type 2.

Implementation of the transmission speed switching negotiation protocol (PIAFS 2.1 protocol), including timeouts.

Notification and coordination with SP for resynchronization (SP is responsible for I.460 intermediate rate synchronization and rate conversion). The CP performs PIAFS frame synchronization.

Transmission change rate for intermediate rate conversion and synchronization after call setup and upon notification from the CP.

Additional speedshift statistics.

Cisco IOS Plus images for use with Cisco IOS Release 12.2(2)XA and 12.2(2)XB. See the Restrictions section for more information.

Cisco IOS Software and Cisco MICA Portware

Cisco IOS software allows different Cisco MICA portware images to be loaded onto a DFC (restricted to a signal processing element (SPE) boundary, an HMM, or DMM). Cisco MICA PIAFS support resides in a PIAFS-only image. Cisco IOS supports mixed PIAFS and standard Cisco MICA modem configurations including the following:





Cisco MICA continues to support earlier protocol versions and works with older PHSs and TAs.

Compatibility Requirements

Cisco MICA Portware Version is supported with Cisco IOS Software Releases 12.1(2a)XH, 12.1(3)T, 12.1(5)T, 12.2(2)XA, and 12.2(2)XB. PIAFS Version 2.0 continues to be supported.

Supported Platforms

Cisco MICA Portware Version is supported on the following platforms:

Cisco AS5300 universal access servers

For complete Cisco IOS software/Cisco MICA portware compatibility information, see the
Cisco AS5x00 and Cisco 3600 Cisco MICA 6-Port and 12-Port Modem Module Portware/Cisco IOS Software Compatibility Matrixes

Note For Cisco IOS software release compatibility information, refer to the Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Servers Release Notes.

Note Contact your account representative for a list of modems tested with Cisco MICA portware.


Cisco MICA Portware Version 8.2.x.x supports the PIAFS protocol on T1 PRI ISDN only and does not support modem modulations (for example, V.90), V.110, or fax. Similarly, standard (non-PIAFS) Cisco MICA portware versions cannot support the PIAFS protocol.

The following additional restrictions apply to this release:

PIAFS Version 2.1 with Cisco IOS Release 12.2(2)XA or 12.2(2)XB requires Cisco IOS Plus images. The following Cisco IOS Plus images are supported with this feature:

Desktop Plus

Desktop Voice Plus

Enterprise Plus

Enterprise Plus IPSEC 56

Enterprise Voice Plus

IP Plus

IP Plus IPSEC 56

IP/Voice Plus

PIAFS and non-PIAFS functionality cannot be mixed on the same SPE. Each SPE can only support one version of Cisco MICA portware at a time. You can reconfigure Cisco MICA SPEs to be either modem or PIAFS. The portware determines SPE functionality.

A single SPE (6 Cisco MICA modem sessions with an HMM, or 12 Cisco MICA modem sessions with a DMM) can support only one of the following:

PIAFS 2.1 calls with Portware Version


Modem modulations using standard (non-PIAFS) Cisco MICA modem portware releases (for example, Version

PIAFS 2.1 is supported only over a T1 interface with ISDN switch-type set to primary-ntt.

Known Problems with Cisco MICA Version

This section describes known problems with Cisco MICA Portware Version that are associated with the PIAFS feature. If a workaround is not provided, a solution is being developed.


CSCdt93924—PIAFS 2.1 needs to implement Extended FI.

For information about Cisco IOS software bugs and features for Cisco IOS release 12.2(2)XA, refer to the following documents:

Release Notes for Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Servers for Cisco IOS Release 12.2 XA

Release Notes for Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Servers for Cisco IOS Release 12.2 XB

Caveats for Cisco IOS Release 12.2.

Note If you have an account with, you can use Bug Navigator II to find caveats of any severity for any release. To reach Bug Navigator II, log into and click Service and Support: Technical Assistance Center: Select & Download Software: Jump to a software resource: Software Bug Toolkit/Bug Watcher. Another option is to go to


The following caveats apply to this release:

Register S29 is a read-only register. Attempts to write to this register using an AT command result in an error message, and the remainder of the AT command line is ignored. This could impair Cisco IOS software from applying modemcaps to the modem. (This condition also existed in Cisco MICA version To avoid this problem, Cisco recommends that the S29 register not be set.

Index 38 of the link information parameters (error correction frames received bad/aborted) actually registers the number of frames retransmitted by the PIAFS protocol due to errors or flow control.

Downloading Portware Modem Code

Cisco supports portware configuration using service processing element (SPE) configuration commands and modem-pool commands. The spe command allows portware to be downloaded to the SPE. The spe command is available for use with Cisco IOS Software Release 12.0(4)XI1 and higher.

SPE Download Tasks

To download modem firmware using the spe command, enter the spe command, one configuration command per line.

Step 1 Enter the spe command and subcommands, one configuration command per line:

Router# configure terminal
Router(config)# spe <slot>/<spe_begin> <slot>/<spe_end>
Router(config-spe)# firmware location system:/ucode/mica_port_firmware
Router(config-spe)# ^Z

For example, the following display shows a Cisco AS5300 SPE download to all modems in Slot 1 (that is, all modems on a feature card containing ten 6-port modem modules). The modem code resides in the Flash memory, and the modem code filename is mica-modem-portware.

Router(config)# spe 1/0 1/9
Router(config-spe)# firmware location flash:mica-modem-portware.

Step 2 Copy the configuration from NVRAM into running RAM:

Router# copy running-config startup-config

When download occurs and the modems become available, the modem shows the SPE firmware upgrade option defined (default: busyout). The spe command generates NVRAM modem download and configuration file entries.

Note If the configuration is not saved as described above, download of the portware specified with the spe command does not occur after the next reboot.

For detailed information about the spe command, go to the following link:

Modem-Pool Download Tasks

To download modem firmware using FTP if you are using Cisco IOS Software Release 12.0(5)T or earlier releases, use the Cisco Software Center link provided at the following URL:

For Cisco AS5300 universal access servers:

Related Links

For further information about Cisco MICA portware and Cisco IOS software, see the following related sources:

PIAFS Wireless Data Protocol Version 2.1 for Cisco MICA Modems

Cisco IOS Release 12.2 master indexes

AT Command Set and Register Summary for MICA 6-Port Modules

SPE and Firmware Download Enhancements

Cisco AS5300 universal access servers MICA release notes index page

Compatibility Matrix - Cisco MICA 6-Port and 12-Port Module Portware for Cisco AS5x00 Universal Access Servers

Cisco IOS 12.2 release notes for Cisco AS5300 universal access servers

Cisco AS5300 access servers, Appendix A, "Managing Modems," and Appendix B, "Rom Monitor," in the Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Server Software Configuration Guide

Modem Management Commands

Cisco IOS Dial Services Command Reference for Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2

Cisco IOS Dial Technologies Configuration Guide, Release 12.2

Quick Start Guide, Cisco AS5300 Universal Access Server Install and Configure

V.90 and RFC-2217 dialout support for fax/data

Note The Cisco DialOut Utility (CDU) is no longer supported. Refer to the
Sample NAS Configurations for Cisco DialOut Utility document for information about RFC-2217 reverse TELNET support.

Obtaining Documentation

The following sections provide sources for obtaining documentation from Cisco Systems.

World Wide Web

You can access the most current Cisco documentation on the World Wide Web at the following sites:

Documentation CD-ROM

Cisco documentation and additional literature are available in a CD-ROM package, which ships with your product. The Documentation CD-ROM is updated monthly and may be more current than printed documentation. The CD-ROM package is available as a single unit or as an annual subscription.

Ordering Documentation

Cisco documentation is available in the following ways:

Registered Cisco Direct Customers can order Cisco Product documentation from the Networking Products MarketPlace:

Registered users can order the Documentation CD-ROM through the online Subscription Store:

Nonregistered users can order documentation through a local account representative by calling Cisco corporate headquarters (California, USA) at 408 526-7208 or, in North America, by calling 800 553-NETS(6387).

Documentation Feedback

If you are reading Cisco product documentation on the World Wide Web, you can submit technical comments electronically. Click Feedback in the toolbar and select Documentation. After you complete the form, click Submit to send it to Cisco.

You can e-mail your comments to

To submit your comments by mail, use the response card behind the front cover of your document, or write to the following address:

Attn Document Resource Connection
Cisco Systems, Inc.
170 West Tasman Drive
San Jose, CA 95134-9883

We appreciate your comments.

Obtaining Technical Assistance

Cisco provides as a starting point for all technical assistance. Customers and partners can obtain documentation, troubleshooting tips, and sample configurations from online tools. For registered users, additional troubleshooting tools are available from the TAC website. is the foundation of a suite of interactive, networked services that provides immediate, open access to Cisco information and resources at anytime, from anywhere in the world. This highly integrated Internet application is a powerful, easy-to-use tool for doing business with Cisco. provides a broad range of features and services to help customers and partners streamline business processes and improve productivity. Through, you can find information about Cisco and our networking solutions, services, and programs. In addition, you can resolve technical issues with online technical support, download and test software packages, and order Cisco learning materials and merchandise. Valuable online skill assessment, training, and certification programs are also available.

Customers and partners can self-register on to obtain additional personalized information and services. Registered users can order products, check on the status of an order, access technical support, and view benefits specific to their relationships with Cisco.

To access, go to the following website:

Note For PIAFS protocol support, contact Japan:

Technical Assistance Center

The Cisco TAC website is available to all customers who need technical assistance with a Cisco product or technology that is under warranty or covered by a maintenance contract.

Contacting TAC by Using the Cisco TAC Website

If you have a priority level 3 (P3) or priority level 4 (P4) problem, contact TAC by going to the TAC website:

P3 and P4 level problems are defined as follows:

P3—Your network performance is degraded. Network functionality is noticeably impaired, but most business operations continue.

P4—You need information or assistance on Cisco product capabilities, product installation, or basic product configuration.

In each of the above cases, use the Cisco TAC website to quickly find answers to your questions.

To register for, go to the following website:

If you cannot resolve your technical issue by using the TAC online resources, registered users can open a case online by using the TAC Case Open tool at the following website:

Contacting TAC by Telephone

If you have a priority level 1 (P1) or priority level 2 (P2) problem, contact TAC by telephone and immediately open a case. To obtain a directory of toll-free numbers for your country, go to the following website:

P1 and P2 level problems are defined as follows:

P1—Your production network is down, causing a critical impact to business operations if service is not restored quickly. No workaround is available.

P2—Your production network is severely degraded, affecting significant aspects of your business operations. No workaround is available.