MWI behavior with shared lines on Cisco 7900 series phones

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Aug 14th, 2009
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We had a UC520 customer who wanted the MWI to appear on the phone whenever there is voicemail in a general delivery mailbox associated with a shared line. They were using Cisco 7931G phones at their customer site, and the envelope is difficult to see on the Cisco 7931G phones (which have a small screen). We were able to get the customer to understand that the envelope would appear and that the MWI light would appear when a message was delivered to the GDM.

Here is what the Cisco Unity Express CLI Voice Mail and Auto Attendant Administrator Guide states regarding General Delivery Mailboxes:

When a caller leaves a message in this mailbox, no MWI is turned on.

On Cisco SPA525G phones, if there is a voicemail message in a GDM associated with a shared line, both the MWI light and the envelope will appear. This behavior is different from the 7900 series phones or the behavior described in the CUE documentation, but is the behavior that some of our UC520 customers want.

On the Linksys One platform, if there was a voicemail message in a group mailbox, the MWI light would show up on the phones in the group.

This functionality really should be added to the phone loads for the Cisco 7900 series phones. The problem is not in IOS, CME, or CUE code because the SPA525G has the desired functionality. There should really be an option to choose either the old behavior (where the MWI light does not come on for messages in the GDM) or the new behavior (where the MWI light does come on for messages in the GDM). This option to control this behavior needs to be available from both CCA and CLI.

I believe that the SPA525G MWI behavior is correct, even though it is not consistent with that of the 7900 series phones or the behavior described in the CUE Administrator Guide, because Linksys One has similar MWI behavior.

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Eivind Jonassen Fri, 08/14/2009 - 10:04
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Hi John,

Good catch, and I totally agree. We use the GDM at our office, and I´ve been away for about a week, when I got back there were 7 new messages in the GDM that no one had checked because theres really no good indication exept for adding a linekey with the GDM number for montioring. This again depends on the type of 7900 series phone. THIS SHOULD BE PRIORITY 1 ( or at least a high pri ;))

This is also with the 7900 series phones with only 2 line buttons, alot of customers do not like to reserve the second button for GDM indication



Marcos Hernandez Fri, 08/14/2009 - 10:30
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Eivind, John,

Thanks for the feedback. I will forward this request to the IP phone team.


One drawback I have found with this is that the 500 series phones also appear to enable the MWI when there is a voicemail for another user. I have a site that has Monitor or Watch buttons (don't remember which), and I think the MWI light goes on on other phones. This appears to be somewhat random, and I haven't completely tested the scenario. But I have noticed that the MWI light will turn on on a phone when a voicemail is left for another user. One time this happened after a liverecord session. One user recorded the session, and afterwords, MWI lights turned on on both phones. Again, both these phones have monitor/watch buttons assigned to eachother. So i'm not sure if it was the record that did it or the button assignments.

With regards to GDM, what I have done is enabled email notification for the GDM, and sent the VMs to a distribution list. That way if the primary GDM operator is out of the office, someone else still gets an email with the VM attached.


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