ASK THE EXPERT - CISCO UNIFIED IP PHONES

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Jun 1st, 2007
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Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to discuss with Cisco experts Bernard Lee and Conrad Price about the entire portfolio of Cisco Unified IP Phones including the two newest models, the 24-button Cisco Unified IP Phone 7931G and the color screen Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phone 7921G. Bernard is product manager in Cisco's IP Communications Business Unit and is responsible for the full line of Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phones. He has been at Cisco for 10 years and has spent more than 22 years in the telecommunications and networking industry. Conrad is a product manager in Cisco IP Communications. He is responsible for many aspects of the phone user interface for the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7970G, 7971G, and 7931G models. Since 1998 Conrad has been involved with Cisco voice-over-IP products, ranging from IOS voice gateways to the IP phones themselves. Before undertaking product management, he held a variety of responsibilities, from TAC escalation to technical marketing.


Remember to use the rating system to let Bernard and Conrad know if you have received an adequate response.


Bernard and Conrad might not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Our moderators will post many of the unanswered questions in other discussion forums shortly after the event. This event lasts through June 15, 2007. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.

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paolo bevilacqua Fri, 06/01/2007 - 09:02
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Hello Bernard and Conrad,


Recently I've had the opportunity to see what the competition (namely Alcatel) does in regard to IP phones. I see that there are models, quite reasonably priced, featuring interesting characteristics like color display, text message capabilities (with alphanumeric keyboard), integrated bluetooth.


What is cisco doing to in the area of enhancing these aspects of the phone that are immediately and positively percevied by the user ?


Thanks and regards.




cprice Mon, 06/04/2007 - 16:50
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I acquired some Alcatel 4068 IP phones in 2004, and was very impressed with the aesthetic appeal of the phones. The keyboard is a familair feature for those Alcatel customers that use the Reflex phones. There has been very little demand outside of France for a keyboard on the phones, so Cisco has not yet built in a keyboard. We have established a portfolio of phones, the 7906, 7911, 7931, 7941, 7961, 7970, 7971, that appear to meet the needs of the broad customer base, and we intend to use these on which to develop new features. The next generation phones, under development, will have significant industrial design enhancements, taking into account current aesthetic trends.

paolo bevilacqua Wed, 06/06/2007 - 00:14
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Good to know that cisco is looking into the competition for the evolution of its phones design.


Please do no not forget color displays, bluetooth, and text messages!


Thanks!

davef1999 Mon, 06/04/2007 - 16:37
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Speakerphone quality on the 7921g


Can you share with us an assessment of the quality of the speakerphone in the handset of the 7921g? Is it a full-duplex speakerphone, or does it use "gain ducking" half duplex operation?


Is the quality comparable, better or lesser than, say, the speakerphone in the 7970G?


Observation: In a collaborative office environment the ability to 'walk' a call around is very high, and therefore the performance of the handset speakerphone should be correspondingly high.


Interestingly, high audio performance with a handset speakerphone is often easier to achieve than with a deskset speakerphone. A handset can be positioned directly in front of the person speaking, while a deskset phone (with its built in speakerphone) is often positioned at the side of a desk, resulting in a greater mouth-to-microphone distance and thus lesser performance.


The combination of high intra-office mobility with high audio speakerphone performance is a real winner. Is the 7921G the phone for this role?



berlee Tue, 06/05/2007 - 12:14
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At higher volume, the speakerphone in the handset of the 7921G tends toward half-duplex and at lower volume, it is more full-duplex.


The quality of the speakerphone is less than the 7970G.


In terms of send levels, the audio speakerphone performance is comparable to desket phone.

examples20001 Mon, 06/04/2007 - 19:41
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Is their any IP Phone survey questions which can be asked to users and managers for their input to improve the current IPT systems/phones in our network?

Any document or links?


aramos17428 Tue, 06/05/2007 - 00:42
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Hello Bernard and Conrad,


I was wondering if you can share some information concerning the Cisco 7931G like what's the procedure to toggle between calls on this phones. Do we have to create multiple DN-dual line per key.

Why the decision to use templates to get the most common use keys on other phones like 7941G (messages, Settings, etc).

What's the most important feature/s on this phone besides having 24 keys.

Is there any plans to get the phone to work with other versions of CallManager (CM 5, CM6?

Thanks

Armando



cprice Tue, 06/05/2007 - 14:31
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Hi Armando,


The 7931G was developed for the key system market, common in the retail and commercial space. It was developed in conjunction with the CUCME product team, and many of the features were implemented with a key system in mind.


A single call per line/button is the intended operation, with transfer and conference taking place across lines/buttons.


We wanted to have a large number of line keys, in a small form factor, for retail environments. In this environments, people tend not be so interested in voicemail, directory, and settings, or a large display screen. There is more interest in having a simple User Interface, with a line key light up when the call comes in, and very clear options to hold, transfer, or redial a call.


The phone required some changes to CUCM, and CUCM 6.0 is the first version to support the 7931G. The recommended configuration is to set any DN to have a max-calls of two, and busy-trigger 1, to operate in a key system style of operation.

cprice Tue, 06/05/2007 - 16:34
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This is something of a loaded question.


If you are seeking questions to ask existing users of IPT, then of course I would have to offer questions that highlight the positive features of Cisco IP phones.


Do you need to see the green light on the locally attached PC NIC card illuminate ? If so, you need a Cisco Gigabit IP phone.


Do you need to use a colour touch screen QVGA display ? If so, you need a Cisco 797x IP phone.


Do you need to see lighted line keys, and have auto hold when a new call comes in ? If so, you need a Cisco 79x1 IP phone.


Do you need to have security features such as 802.1X and SRTP ? If so, you need a Cisco 79x1 IP phone.


Do you need to have call history records, that show time, line, duration and other information ? If so, you need a Cisco 79x1 IP phone.


Do you need to have a phone that will initialize using an 802.3af class, then negotiate the power down to a lower value ?

If so, you need a Cisco 79x1 IP phone.


There are a range of questions that could be asked. Is there a specific are that you would like to focus on ?

examples20001 Wed, 06/06/2007 - 21:46
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Hi,

Thank you very much for the inputs.

I am seeking questions to ask existing users of IPT, as the users are relay using the features of the phone,etc.

Also I have a small call center and want to check if the managers/users are comfortable with Phone features.

If possible some more inputs.

Hi Bernard and Conrad,


On the future road map, is it going to be possible to apply some of the phone configuration options through the CallManager Express (CME) ephones or ephone-dns?


I have a large customer that is planning on deploying several thousand sites using CME (lots of phones and routers). The customer requirements are to display the brand logo of the store and set the PC-Port to 100/Full to match the POS station.


Currently we have to manually set these options on each phone. As you can understand this process is hindering both deployment and equipment purchasing. As we are a small team we need to automate the deployment as much as possible.


Second question regarding the 7931. Why do the buttons start at 24 (top left) and flow down to 1 (bottom right)?


This is opposite to the Linksys version of the same phone.


Great work on the 7921 phone, we are very impressed with this handset and it's ablitiy to utilise 802.11A/B/G the failover between the radios is seemless.



Regards,


Mike.

thisisshanky Tue, 06/05/2007 - 04:11
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Some of the Avaya phone models today do support T9Word capability for searching user names in corporate directory. In case you do not know what T9Word is, this is available in most cell phones today. It predicts the best possible word that you are trying to type. If I am trying to search for John and I type Jo, the T9word algorithm will predict possible first names starting with Jo (Jones, John etc)...This makes it easier to search, without entering the whole name. Are there any plans to support this with Cisco phones ?

cprice Tue, 06/05/2007 - 14:24
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We are currently developing a predictive search mechanism for our newer phones, allowing it to search on both a personal directory and corporate directory. It is targeted for release around the end of this calendar year.



thisisshanky Tue, 06/05/2007 - 18:00
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Conrad,


Great to know that. Looking forward to it.

cprice Tue, 06/05/2007 - 16:14
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The 79x1 phones have a set of XML parameters that define many of the settings in the phone. Because the phones and the CUCME router have different development cycles, some of the recent XML settings are not available in the IOS parser. You can set these values, as phone "service" options, within CUCME, this page gives some guidance to these values.


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps4625/products_command_reference_chapter09186a008061137f.html#wp1123331



Many key systems start with line 1 at the bottom of the phone, and work their way up. The 7931G was built for the key system market, so we adopted that policy.


As for setting background images in bulk, we are looking at ways to pre-provisioning the phones, including a personalized background image. We do have some ideas as to who we will do this, but we don't have a committed time frame for it yet.

Thank-you for the link but it does not include setting the PCPort Speed and Duplex, only en/disabling the PCPort.


As you could imagine, each phones PCPort could have different Speed and Duplex setting, therefore setting the PCPort would need to be configured under the Ephone not under the global telephony-service.


Is there an XML parameter that could set the PCPort Speed and Duplex?


Regards.

cprice Tue, 06/12/2007 - 14:38
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alas, no, there are no XML parameters to set these values within the config file on the CUCM or the CUCME as it builds the config file.


This is one of those little features that we have wanted to implement for quite some time. But it is usually trumped by larger, foundation features.

t.schaffner Tue, 06/05/2007 - 06:45
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Hi,


After carefully and detailed testing the new 7921G Wireless Phone we are not very happy with the battery life time. We are not able to reach the Standard battery life which is up to 10 hours talk time / 80 hours standby time. In fact, the maximum battery life time for standby with the newest Firmware 1.0.3, Cisco Controller based WLAN with the latest firmware and configured according to the Cisco implementation recommendations is currently around 36 hours. This is not even 50% of the battery life time as stated in the data sheet, do we have overseen some configuration hints?


Best regards


Thomas

juan_m_12 Tue, 06/05/2007 - 10:45
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hello there,

im new to cisco ip phones, im looking for the method to change the logo in the screen of our Cisco 7906G IP phones


regards

Juan Manuel

cprice Tue, 06/05/2007 - 16:21
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I'm afraid you don't have a lot of luck here.


The 7941, 7961, 7970, 7971 IP phones use .png files as a background image, you can provide your own .png file, and use that as the background image.


The 7906, 7911, and 7931 IP phones have a pixel based display, and our screen rendering draws the pixels. As a result, there is no mechanism to change the background pixels on a 7906, 7911 or 7931 IP phone.

juan_m_12 Wed, 06/06/2007 - 09:01
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hi conrad thanks for the response,

i think i ask incorrectly my question, because i want to change the cisco logo for the company logo so i searched in cisco.com and found this link:


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/phones/ps379/products_administration_guide_chapter09186a008020c63e.html


this is a configuration to make a bitmap black & white and 88w X 57h adn converting to .logo file, but for a 7905G


can i use this information with the 7906G?


Thank you beforehand

Juan Manuel

cprice Wed, 06/06/2007 - 16:28
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Sorry Juan, but no this doesn't work.


The 7905 and 7912 had a common internal architecture. The 7960 and 7940 had another internal architecture.


The 7906, 7911, 7931, 7941, 7961, 7970 and 7971 have a fairly common internal architecture and code base, but it is different from the 7905, 7912, 7940 and 7960 IP phones

juan_m_12 Thu, 06/07/2007 - 05:37
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Thanks for the explanation Conrad, apreciated


Juan Manuel

jconi Tue, 06/05/2007 - 14:44
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Hello Guys,


Will it be possible (with the 7931) to monitor the ringing mode of the lines configured in BLF. For example, if one of my configured BLF line is ringing, I can see it on my 7931 and then eventually pickup this particular line.

Thanks

jp

cprice Tue, 06/05/2007 - 16:28
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In the first release of the 7931G, you will be able to monitor the BLF status of a shared line, but you cannot barge into the call, because the barge requires multiple calls per line and this phone is not designed to operate in that mode.


We are implementing a feature called BLF-pickup, that will allow a phone (such as the 7931) to monitor a remote line, and pickup calls alerting on that line, through the local BLF-pickup key.


We expect to have the first implementation of BLF-pickup available around the end of this calendar year.



jconi Fri, 06/08/2007 - 02:17
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Very god to know.

Will it be available for CCM or CCME?

Will the BLF blink when the supervised phone rings?

Thanks

jp

While the 7921 is a nice phone.


The 7921's are quite cumbersome to configure, it takes a while get them connected via USB, then update the firmware, then configure the WLAN details, I would estimate about 10 minutes per phone assuming there are no issues.


Unlike my colleague who has to reboot after every 7921 firmware update because it won't connect via USB again, but thats another story!


The Spectralink e340 series phone use a programming cradle to configure the WLAN details via a serial port, it takes less than 30 seconds to configure.


When you have to configure 80 x 7921?s phones using the USB connection any price benefit against the Spectralink e340 is soon lost.


Is there going to be a better method of configuring these phones in the future?


berlee Wed, 06/06/2007 - 16:47
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You only need to install the USB package, set an IP on the pc once to communicate to the 7921.

USB is automatically enabled on the 7921, so no need to enable it like on the 7920.

Then browse to https://192.168.1.100, and configure the network profile params (ssid, authentication, encryption, 802.11 mode, power save, etc.).

If all phones are using the same parameters, can then even save that template to apply to future phones.

For the USB issue, we have a hotfix posted from Microsoft as well that should be applied.

j.faure Wed, 06/06/2007 - 02:03
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hello,


i'm looking for a soft allowing us to take remote control of an Ip Phone from my PC.

Each time i want to do some test with IP phone located in my lab , i've to go in my lab and just dial a number.

cprice Wed, 06/06/2007 - 16:32
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Hello there,


we have some internal testing tools that we use for simulating button presses, but we do not release these outside of Cisco.

epicsystems Thu, 06/07/2007 - 05:07
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Talk with Berbee (www.berbee.com). They have written something called 'Remote Phone Control' that can do what you are describing.


user-cisco Thu, 06/07/2007 - 04:48
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hi Bernard, Conrad


i wonder why there is no phone lock on Cisco IP phones, and the replacement to this lock is having to use extension mobility, i think this flexible and useful feature available with some other vendores/


why Cisco does not have this feature on its phones, i think it is very effective and even essential?


thanks

cprice Thu, 06/07/2007 - 15:39
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The main reason, is that it simply hasn't reached a high enough priority.


We have a pipeline of features, several years long, and something as handy as the local lock feature tends to get trumped by a core feature such as Intercom, or Programmable line keys.

judeajack Thu, 06/07/2007 - 04:59
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i am implementing a bank card device interface with my point-of-sale system in a department store. if i will implement ip telephony, and i will implement the utp cabling without any telephone wiring, how will i connect my bank card device to the bank using the dial-up phone connection?

donjohnson911 Thu, 06/07/2007 - 07:22
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Hello Conrad, Bernard


I'm curious, is there any plans to incorporate an ignore feature of some kind? I've had several users complain that there isn't a softkey to just send a caller to voice mail if they are busy or are unable to take a call. I think this would be a fantastic feature to include.


This feature would also be great to help people deal with mass paging. We have the office and a warehouse area in our setup where any employee could be located in any section, so typically we do mass paging to both the office and the warehouse. This is probably uncommon but helps describe how useful the ignore feature would be. When paging takes place at our facility the persons name the pager is looking for is said first, with our old PBX if it wasn't you, you could just ignore the page by hitting an ignore key.


If it is available could you tell me how exactly I enable such a feature? I haven't noticed any way of being able to do this without using DND.


Thanks!

Aaron Harrison Thu, 06/07/2007 - 07:46
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Hi Conrad/Bernard


Are there any plans to implement centralised control of the ability to change certain 'user' settings on the phones?


Most deployments I see, customers are happy that they can change ring tones and background images... however, as soon as half of the phones in the office are firing out saxaphone noises, 'Are you there?', and the 24 ring tone the novelty wears off and they realise they want central control.


Same with the images - customers always want to put on a corporate face, so all phones should display the same image. As soon as they realise that you have to select it manually from the keypad as you deploy each phone it goes out the window!


I know how to deploy images, and strip down the list of available ring tones - what we need is an additional drop down list on the CM phone page (or line page for ring tones) where we can either:


-Select a specific image or ring tone

-Select on 'user specified' to allow user selection

-Leave on 'Default' to inherit from the device pool settings


In a similar vein as mentioned by other posters, it would be useful to be able to set defaults for network settings, and/or voice VLAN assignments.


Thanks


Aaron

cprice Thu, 06/07/2007 - 15:49
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We're working on it. As we introduce more personalization on the phones, and we get more requests for partner branding, we are looking to have more administrator control over the phones.


We're still debating whether to have an administrator in the account, so that the admin can "push" information to the phones, or whether to have it defined as a configuration option at the time of provisioning.


We are targeting a CUCM release within the next two years to focus on phone provisioning and management.

cprice Thu, 06/07/2007 - 15:45
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If it was my deployment, I would use the UTP cabling to simulate a local loop between a VG224 gateway in the wiring closet, and the band card device at the PoS.


The UTP cabling is 4 pairs of CAT5/6 cables, you can break out a pair, and use it as a local loop.


I'm assuming the bank card device is a modem of some kind, and will send modem tones. These do not travel well over VoIP networks, fax is OK, voice is better, but modem tones do not work well because of the QAM signaling. I would recommend using the cabling to simply carry the tones back to a pots line, or T1 interface in the wiring closet.


I used to do this in 1998, when I was connecting analog phones to IOS routers in the lab.

I had a question just on 7921 availability.


We ordered a number of 7921's when they originally were announced and having still not received them - our reseller told us yesterday they were told the product was on New product hold - without a specific ETA.


Should we be concerned over our ability to get these phones in? We were hoping to have them available before our new facility opens at the end of June - but at this point we'd be happy just to know if we need to postpone the orders and consider another solution for the time being.


Thanks!


cprice Fri, 06/08/2007 - 14:19
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Ken,


Bernard can probably correct me if I'm wrong. But my understanding is that the 7921s are on NPH, because Cisco wants to verify the end deployment before releasing them. There have been cases where 7920 IP phones were used as the primary telephone in an environment where the wireless coverage was not reliable. I don't know the details of your order, but if it was a signicant quantity, I would expect someone in the BU to verify the nature of the deployment before releasing the order.

Ok thanks. Well, we were a 7921 beta site and in fact used these with our heaviest 7920 users and in all of our wireless areas so we're pretty confident we're aware of the coverage needs - our environment is primarily decently dense 1242's.


So far our reseller isn't getting a request for us to talk to anyone - just a NPH response on our order - it's not a huge qty I guesss - just around 10 for the moment, but we're anxious to deploy them nonetheless :-)


Thanks for the response!


Ken Johnson

Mgr. Network Services

LeTourneau University

Longview, TX

www.letu.edu

paolo bevilacqua Fri, 06/08/2007 - 15:04
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Hi Ken,


Cisco product managers can release orders on NPH based on their discretion. The usual way to mediate that is trough your Cisco AM or SE. The resellers have no word on that except to provide PO / SO number reference.

Hi Ken,


I see that you where a beta site for the 7921 phones, I was wondering if you tested call park retrieval?


With the number of handset in your environment I assume that you tested the 7921 with CallManager, is this correct?


We have deployed several 7921's with CallManager Express and we have discovered when retrieving a call from call park the phones loud speaker is activated.


We have logged a TAC case but I was wondering if you had seen the same issue?


Cheers,


Mike.

berlee Fri, 06/08/2007 - 17:39
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As for any new products, NPH is required until Manufacturing can ramp up and have a steady supply of products to ship. We have been lifting the hold on an order by order basis after ensuring that the proposed solution and partner meet the published and most current Cisco VoWLAN standards. Due to the overwhelming demand for the 7921, this process is taking longer than expected. Please ask the Cisco Account Manager to provide me with the SO# and I will get the hold lifted asap. Thanks for your patience.

amarmn1975 Sun, 06/10/2007 - 00:02
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Hi Conrad Price ,,,

How r u , I just install cisco IP telephony in my company model (7970) with callmanager 4.2, I have some question, Would u please answer it.

1- How can I call agroup with on directory no while all a group have theire own no.

2-How can I secure the keypad with password.


My Name Is Ammar Naji

E-mail: [email protected]


Please I am waiting for you nice reply


cprice Mon, 06/11/2007 - 13:55
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Hello,


I am not quite sure I understand the first question, but if the question is..


how can I call a group of phones using one number, but each phone also have their own number ?


You could configure a shared line, that exists on each phone. But each phone has its own phone number.


If this is not the question, do please let me know.


As for the local lock - we do not have a a feature natively in the phones to provide this. Extension Mobility is one way to implement this.


Local Lock is on the road map, but it has to compete with a lot of other features before it is implemented.

myriamthera Fri, 06/15/2007 - 02:11
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Hello,


I have urgent questions concerning the WiFi IP phone 7921G:


- cant it see the picture of the person using a 7985G IP videophone? (i.e., if i am using the 7985G as a video interphone at the entrance of a building, and the person inside the building is using a 7921G, can she see the person who is calling her on the video interphone 7985G?)


- it is mentioned in 7921G datasheet that it works from 0 to 40C, but what about high temperatures countries like Dubai? can it still be used? how?


Many thanks,

Best regards.

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