Questions about VoIP devices and services are regularly submitted to VoIPSupply.com through a technical support ticket or via the “Ask The Expert” tab on our product pages.

We respond to these requests directly but more often than not, this Q & A would be helpful for lots of other folks.

Below are your VoIP questions answered – Real questions from real people  just like you.

Cisco SPA303G
Cisco SPA303G 3-Line VoIP Phone

Q: I am a solo attorney. I have a support person who answers the phone for me. Does this phone have an intercom type feature that allows her to “buzz” me and let me know who’s calling?

A:  Yes, the SPA303G does have the intercom feature that you’re looking for.

This feature is called paging and it works like this:

Your IP phone can automatically answer pages from other Cisco IP phones in the office, if your phone administrator has enabled this feature. When your phone is paged, the phone emits a series of beeps, and two-way audio is established between your phone and the phone that called you. You do not have to accept the page.

For more information, go to Page 62 of the Cisco SPA303G User Guide.

Download Video Conferencing Guide Here
Download Video Conferencing Guide Here

Q:  Our facility in Texas needs to deliver digital instructions to a group of people via video conferencing system. The group has a common school house with electricity but no Internet.  They have wifi phone service however most do not have phones.  Most families do not have computers or power at home. How can we communicate and teach them remotely?  What solutions will we need at our facility and at the remote end?

A:  Sounds like you’re in quite the pickle there. There is a solution though, and one that applies to many things in life:

Keep It Simple!

Since the common school house has electricity and WiFi service just use something like mobile Google Hangouts which offers free video calls for face-to-face connections on a tablet, laptop, or even a cell phone on both ends of the connection. No need for a fancy video conferencing system here.

AT&T Syn248 Analog Gateway Phone System
AT&T Syn248 Analog Gateway Phone System

Q:  We are seeking to buy a system that supports VOIP gateways as our phones will run on high speed internet.  Will this system [AT&T Syn248 Analog Gateway Phone System] work for us?  If not, is there another to which you might direct us?

A:  Yes, the AT&T system you’ve mentioned is a great entry-level small business phone system to get started with when switching over to VoIP.

The Syn248 can also be stacked with another Syn248 to add additional phone lines if you ever need to expand.

Just remember that the Syn248 analog gateway needs a AT&T Syn248 Desk Phone to operate because it’s a proprietary gateway that only works with the AT&T Syn248 Small Business Phone System. Configure your own AT&T system here:

AT&T Syn248 Phone System Builder
AT&T Syn248 Phone System Builder

Stay Tuned

Check back next time  for more VoIP Q & A.

Thanks for your questions!

ciscoears

Cisco’s Application Extension Platform, “AXP” for short, is an “open source” network application develipment, integration and hosting platform. AXP is available as a service module on the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) which includes the Cisco 1800, 2800 and 3800 Series Routers amongst others. Cisco’s AXP Dev platform reinforces their “Network as a Platform” concept and encourages collaborative partnerships with the goal of accelerating innovation. Continue reading

To all Cisco CP-7940G/60G owners thinking about upgrading to Cisco’s new SIP Version 12.0 firmware….please pay attention and avoid a migraine!

Being that I run a Cisco CP-7940G on my desk with SIP protocol (under Smartnet Maintenance Contract), I received a notification in my email inbox sometime last week from Cisco telling me that the latest version of SIP protocol firmware for my CP-7940G was available for download from my CCO login on www.cisco.com.

Always wanting keep my phone up-to-date, I pointed my browser to the Cisco website and downloaded the latest version of SIP Firmware.  Once downloaded, I was quickly frustrated to find that I could not get my Cisco CP-7940G phone to take the new firmware, Continue reading

Cisco is set to release the Cisco SPA8800 IP telephony gateway, featuring 4 ports of FXS and FXO connectivity. The Cisco SPA8800 is an affordable IP telephony gateway solution that is ideal for small business environments that have VoIP service and also require a connection to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). It can be used with existing analog telephones and teleconferencing equipment, enabling small business customers to protect and extend their investments.

The Cisco SPA8800 features four onboard RJ11 FXS ports for connecting converting analog endpoints such as phone or fax machines to IP. In addition, the Cisco SPA8800 has four onboard RJ11 FXO ports for integrating up to 4 traditional, analog POTS lines with a SIP based IP PBX, such as Asterisk. In addition, the Cisco SPA8800 features a convenient amphenol connector interface on the back of the gateway which allows you to easily connect the unit to a telco punch-down block or mini RJ11 patch panel.

Please visit the VoIP Insider in coming weeks for more in-depth coverage of the Cisco SPA8800. The Cisco SPA8800 is currently available for purchase at VoIPSupply.com

Cisco IP Phones are amongst the most popular desktop IP phones out there. By default, Cisco ship their phones from the factory pre-loaded with their proprietary SCCP protocol firmware (also commonly referred to as “skinny”).

If you are running Asterisk, Trixbox, Switchvox or any other standards-based SIP platform or hosted service, you’ll need to migrate your Cisco phone(s) from their native SCCP (skinny) load to SIP in order to use them. While this is not a particularly difficult procedure, it can be frustrating for those who have never attempted the process.

For the purposes of this exercise, we’re using a Cisco CP-7960G. The process may be slightly different depending upon the specific model of Cisco IP phone you are working with.

Cisco 7940/7960 IP phones can support either the Skinny Call Control Protocol (SCCP), Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), or the Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), but not more than one simultaneously. This is possible because they load different firmware versions on bootup. This functionality is transparent to the end user, and you enable it through changes to the basic text−based configuration files that the phones download from a Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) server.

First, a few prerequisites:

A – You’ll need a CCO login for Cisco.com in order to obtain the latest SIP firmware. The easiest way to obtain a CCO login is to purchase a Smartnet maintenance contract for your Cisco IP phone from an authorized Cisco reseller. Once you have a registered Smartnet, you can obtain CCO login credentials and access the firmware downloads section of Cisco’s website. Expect to pay $8-$15 for a Smartnet contract.

B – You should have a comfort level with basic networking concepts and TFTP setup/administration. Continue reading

The long awaited Cisco SPA525G phone is now in stock and shipping at VoIPSupply.com!

The Cisco SPA525G is compatible with popular SIP based platforms including Asterisk and Trixbox, and is also supported on Cisco’s UC520.

We’ve lowered our price to $299.95, this phone has everything:

    • Support for up to 5 Lines
    • Dual Ethernet with 802.3af PoE Support
    • High Resolution Color LCD Display
    • Integrated WiFi 802.11X Connectivity
    • USB 2.0 host port for connecting a USB memory device to play MP3 music files
    • AUX port (to attach a SPA932 attendant console)
    • Bluetooth capability for headset support
    • 2.5mm stereo earphone jack for wired headset
    • Kensington security slot support
    • Integrated web/XML applications (Weather, News, Sports, etc)