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.
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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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
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 ?
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.
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 ?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
Please set DTIM = 2.
Ensure you are using U-APSD.
Use 4.0 controller or later.
You can also refer to the 7921G Deployment Guide posted at:
im new to cisco ip phones, im looking for the method to change the logo in the screen of our Cisco 7906G IP phones
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.
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:
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
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
Check this link about Creating Custom Background Images for 7906/7911:
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.
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.
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?