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Cannot create or configure a subscriber without the creation of a Microsoft Exchange mailbox in Cisco Unity

Core Issue

This is Working As Designed (WAD).

A Cisco Unity subscriber is defined by a Microsoft Exchange mailbox and although access to the mailbox can be restricted, a subscriber cannot be created without the creation of a mailbox.


The only way to create a Cisco Unity subscriber without a Microsoft Exchange mailbox is to have the subscriber named an "Internet subscriber". An Internet subscriber does not have a mailbox to log into and access voicemail.

Internet subscribers are Cisco Unity subscribers who do not have mailboxes on the local Microsoft Exchange network. Instead, messages for Internet subscribers are sent to an e-mail address that is specified when the Internet subscriber account is created in the Cisco Unity administrator. The creation of Internet subscriber accounts is the best solution when the recipients at the other location do not use Cisco Unity.

When the recipients at the remote location use Cisco Unity, Internet subscriber accounts can be set up instead of using blind addressing in these circumstances:

  • When the recipients at the other location must be included on public or private distribution lists that are created on the local Cisco Unity server.
  • When there are only a few subscribers on a remote Cisco Unity server who must receive messages from the subscribers at your location. If they are set up as Internet subscribers, the addressing limitations encountered by subscribers with blind addressing are avoided.
  • When outside callers must be able to call the local Cisco Unity server to leave a message for a subscriber associated with another Cisco Unity server. The Internet subscriber setup provides a way for outside callers to avoid long distance charges when leaving a message for a remote subscriber.

Note: If the Microsoft Exchange server goes down, by default the mail for a subscriber is sent to a folder on the Cisco Unity server called "UnityMTA". Users are able to retrieve only those e-mails saved in the UnityMTA folder.

For related information, refer to Understanding How Exchange 2000 Storage Limits Work with Cisco Unity (Versions 4.0, 3.1, and 3.0 with Microsoft Exchange.

Problem Type

Voicemail problems

Voicemail Problems

Voicemail behavior problems

Voicemail system or feature

Voicemail System


Failure Type

Cannot be configured correctly

Cannot create, add, assign, calculate, modify, update, record, delete, eliminate,hide, remove, purge, save or extend

Unity Version

Unity version earlier than 3.1(2)

Unity version 3.1(2) or later

Unity 2.x

Unity 4.x

Unity General Features

Unity subscriber

Subscriber mailboxes

Voicemail, Conference, CRS/IPCC, Autoattendant and TTS/ASR Functions


Mail Packages

Microsoft Exchange
Version history
Revision #:
1 of 1
Last update:
‎06-22-2009 04:40 PM
Updated by:
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