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2 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 9255 2-Sep-2006 19:46
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Hi there I am looking for a good SIP phone for use with my home VoIP service.

Initially I plan to use the phone as a stand-alone with my VoIP service and not with the likes of Asterisk / Call Manager

However I am interested in this capability in the future.

How much more hassle will be using a Cisco 7912G or 7940G phone with this setup?

If I buy the Cisco with a service contract, download & install the SIP firmware, will it be any more difficult to get going than say a Linksys SPA921 / 922 or SPA 941 / 942 ? (or any other native SIP phone for that manner?)


Many Thanks,

Andy.

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  Reply # 45212 2-Sep-2006 20:43
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The Cisco is a far more flexible phone and the 7040's can do cool stuff like XML pages on the screen. The SPA's are pretty much identical in terms of styling however the main difference is that the Cisco's are aimed at the business end of the market and are primarily a phone designed to work with Call Manager. The SPA's are a *lot* easier to configure than the Cisco's which are configured by XML files on a TFTP server so if you're running something like Asterisk PBX then configuring them is relatively easy however the SPA's are all configured by a web interface.

I've got SPA921's at home here and they are a damn good phone, the only fault is the lack of backlighting on the display but both the 922 and 942 both have this now.

 



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 45235 2-Sep-2006 22:36
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OK, so the Linksys SPA's can be statically configured via an internal web server?

While the Cisco will do a DHCP request for the address of a TFTP server?

The basic setups of Cisco 7912's & 7940's I have done with Call Manager at work certainly gave me an idea of the complexity involved with them.

So the short answer is that static configuration of a 7912 or 7940 is going to be difficult?

The Cisco phones (with no licence) is very competitive against thier Consumer division Linksys brothers however (at least on www.ascent.co.nz)



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  Reply # 45247 3-Sep-2006 08:59
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stealthdivsion: OK, so the Linksys SPA's can be statically configured via an internal web server?

While the Cisco will do a DHCP request for the address of a TFTP server?

The basic setups of Cisco 7912's & 7940's I have done with Call Manager at work certainly gave me an idea of the complexity involved with them.

So the short answer is that static configuration of a 7912 or 7940 is going to be difficult?

The Cisco phones (with no licence) is very competitive against thier Consumer division Linksys brothers however (at least on www.ascent.co.nz)




You only need a Cisco licence to use their phones with Call Manager so assuming you can get the SIP firmware (or the newer phones that have SIP firmware) there is no need for a licence.

If you're going to be using multiple phones at home then running a IP PBX is obviously the best way to go. I have TrixBox (Asterisk PBX distribution) installed at home here and while I haven't used a Cisco phone with it however lots of people do use Cisco phones with it and configuration looks pretty simple - there is a web form to enter the MAC address and SIP details which is all written to the TFTP server root directory so the phone will automatically configure itself.

As for configuring the phones manually you're obviously going to need a TFTP server and will have to manually create an XML file which should be fairly straight forward and a quick Google search shows everything you will need to know.

Ascent's pricing is very good on the phones, I'd love a couple of 7940's here myself!  Configuring the SPA's is easier but the Cisco phones are much cooler!




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  Reply # 46634 22-Sep-2006 14:24
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I would disagree with the sbiddle when he says that Cisco SIP phones are more "flexible". My experience of rollouts of SIP Cisco phones vs my domestic use of various Sipura products has clearly demonstrated that the Cisco SIP image is very inflexible. There are only a few SIP-specific options that you can tweak vs Sipura config that gives you quite a good level of control over the SIP and SDP contents and behaviour. This is really important in a heterogenous environment, SIP being a text protocol doesn't make it any more auto-magically inter-operable than H.323 was before it.

You can indeed do cool things with Cisco phones to display phone directories. However I'd prefer a logical interface that didn't change between minor software upgrades over this...and I still can't dial the phone then pickup the handset like my normal deskphone. The missed-call/last-call list is buried in menus too. Simple things like mute cutting off the RTP packets (logical, sorta, except many SBCs assume the session is broken in this case) have only recently been fixed by Cisco..

There is a new Sipura phone about to be released (see Voxilla Review for a preview). I'm not a complete Sipura/Linksys fanboy though -- give it a month or so to fix the major quirks.

Sipura phones in a corporate environment, with the management toolkit, would be far more managable than the tortorous config and loading process that Cisco phones go through. It is painful to watch a Cisco phone (SIP image) boot...let alone configure it. I'm sure the SCCP/Skinny side integation with Cisco CM is better, and even a Cisco-only SIP install would probably be fine, but they sure don't play that well with others.

YMMV.




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