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Community Member

H323 phones in CM 3.3 (lifesize)


We have never used actual H323 phones before, only SCCP etc. Has anyone built these before? It looks like the phone itself will only work with a gatekeeper which we do not have, I thought I could set up an H323 phone in CM admin and then point the phone device to callmanager but the device only has settings for a gatekeeper, would callmanager act as a gatekeeper in this scenario?

We are trying to get a "lifesize" conference phone to work with callmanager via H323 without using a gatekeeper.


Re: H323 phones in CM 3.3 (lifesize)

You can setup an H323 client in CallManager so your Skinny phone can call your VC unit. Go to device, phone, add a H323 client. Configure the device name as the IP address of your VC unit. Setup all the device pool, CSS (line or phone), partition..etc. When this is complete you should be able to call the VC unit. Essentially your IP phones are calling the e164 address and the H323 client phone in CM matches the e164 then sends the h323 request to the IP in your devicename field.

On the VC unit setup the primary CM as a gateway. You don't need a gatekeeper for H323, since it's peer-to-peer. The gatekeeper is really just so you can scale and has features like CAC, Dynamic Routing, Route Plan management, etc.. Thing to remember is that the device pool is going to state your primary registered callmanager. Whatever is the primary CM for your h323 phone client is the IP you will need to put on your VC unit as a gateway address. If your CM fails your VC wont be able to call the CM phones because it's gateway is down. Again the gateway needs to be the CM that your H323 client phone is registered to (though it never shows as registered in CM).

From there you should be able to make calls, to and from. You will need to run an MTP to use features like Hold and Transfer. CCM comes with software MTPs that support g711 only. Just make sure IP Media Streaming app service is turned on one of the servers in your cluster.

Of course all this is barebone basic get it up and going. Long term if you are looking for integration, especially with video, you should look at a Gatekeeper. If you are looking at PSTN integration, then you'll need a gateway. For 1 phone though this should work for you.

Community Member

Re: H323 phones in CM 3.3 (lifesize)


I tried to get the 7960's to be able to reach the phone like you said but no go. I set up and put a directory number on the H323 client but it doesn't work.

As far as setting the primary CM as a gateway in the endpoint H323 device, do you mean as a gateway under static IP config or when you say gateway are you saying gatekeeper? The device only has a setting for a regular network gateway under static IP config and a setting for a gatekeeper which also requires a GK ID.


Re: H323 phones in CM 3.3 (lifesize)

cannot get an h323 phone to communicate with anything else without a gatekeeper. this must be configured separately and CM will not be acting as the gatekeeper.

you could set a router for example to be an h323 gatekeeper. see the following link for CM 3.3 gatekeeper configuration:

Community Member

Re: H323 phones in CM 3.3 (lifesize)

Thanks much for the information.

We're not using any video units but it sounds like that might work for this particular H323 phone, I will give this a try.

For scalability though, sounds like H323 client support for phone endpoints on CM isn't ideal. IF this phone works well, there is a possibility to install this unit in all of our conference rooms so about 200 total units but this doesn't sound like a practical way to roll out 200 H323 client phones.

We don't have any current plans to install a gatekeeper. We considered it a year or so ago but the redundancy options weren't very strong and it didn't buy us all that much at the time.

Community Member

Re: H323 phones in CM 3.3 (lifesize)

Hi gpulos,

If I was to set up a router as an H323 gatekeeper, would I have to populate all of my entire global dialplan from 6 different CM clusters into it's config in order for this 1 H323 phone to be able to dial any of our global 5 digit dials?

I guess what I'm asking is would I be able to set up a simple H323 GK without effecting my existing global dial plan such that the dial plan in the GK would only affect the H323 phones and not existing MGCP, SCCP, ICT etc.?

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