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Just bought a Cisco 303 small business phone - but cant understand it???

(16 Posts)
bacon Thu 27-Oct-11 11:22:07

Needed a quality phone plus needed to be corded as our line is terrible. AFter reading endless BT reviews decided to go for the CISCO.

Now I hav it pluged in what do I have to do? DO I need another cable to configer from from the harddrive to the phone by downloading - but struggling with the IT side - too much for me. The instructions are too intence for me.

I contacted Cisco who said I need a partner?? why??? surely paying a compnay some stupid contract - we are a very small company and hubby go mad if I fork out on more contracts. Surely any IT geek would be able to get head or tail of this simple system as it is sold for a small business and we run it from home. NO way will I enter into a contact for a £70 phone.

Any help?

BadgersPaws Thu 27-Oct-11 12:42:50

Is this what you have?

If so I think that's an internet phone, it's not a "normal" phone that you'd connect to a "normal" phone line and make calls with.

You don't plug into into the phone line but into a network that provides IP telephony. That might be an internal corporate network or a VOIP provider out there on the internet somewhere. And that might be what Cisco meant by a "partner".

Is this what you want?

Or did you just want a normal phone? In which case you might have the wrong thing...

JeffTracy Thu 27-Oct-11 12:46:40

This is a VOIP (voice-over-IP) phone, so first of all it does not plug into a standard phone line, only to a computer network. I hope that is what you expected.

To make it work, you need to sign up to a phone service that supports it. I use and it is free to sign up and get a phone number. Perhaps you already have a VOIP service through someone else like BT?

Once you have the details of your VOIP service (which would include a username, password and address of the gateway to the service) you can enter these on the phone - I think you can either use the menus on the phone or use a browser from the computer to get to the phone's mini website.

bacon Thu 27-Oct-11 15:48:56

Yes, Badgerpaws, this is the one.

This is what I mean there are so many abbrevations that I thought a phone for a small business could be used just simply popped into the BT line.

Right, so I have to plug it into the BT broadband thing then. Then when we are away on holiday or switch the system down the phone doesnt work? In the nights we switch everything down too.

When you say VOIP service and phone number, does that include a BT number and BT broadband then? The phone is currently next to the computer so that not a problem but think Ive made a mistake here.

So what are the advantages of this then?

My problem is we are rural and our telephone line with cordless is very faint and been told I need a corded system. After reading about the BT systems and reviews I didnt want to swap it for more rubbish.

Thanks for your help so far.

bacon Thu 27-Oct-11 16:00:37

JeffTracy this looks good on spigate. I see you can use your existing number which is what we need. Our line is classed as business but wouldnt need a business package as really we may little calls but recieve a lot and need message service for definate.

Does this mean our calls are free? So am I paying just rent to BT then?

This is so confusing! Great that I get answer in plain english very helpful as I feel over whelmed with technology.

bacon Thu 27-Oct-11 16:01:13

I see you dont have to use the PC either.

JeffTracy Thu 27-Oct-11 16:37:39

The "business" packages are aimed at companies with quite a few employees, not one or two people based at home. The calls on internet phones are only free to other internet phones, when you call a mobile or landline number you have to pay (but it is cheap).

Internet phones like your Cisco one are used so that you don't have to use your PC. Otherwise you could call using the microphone and speakers on the PC and use some software that makes the call for you across the internet. Having a separate phone is much easier once it is setup.

The Sipgate service is good - the most popular and famous service is Skype, but I have not used them. They provide very similar services.

So with an internet phone, you pay rent to BT for a line so that you can have broadband. But all the calls go out across the broadband connection, not the phone line so you don't pay for normal phone calls. As I mentioned, you still have to pay someone like Sipgate for your calls to mobiles and landlines.

Your next steps are to register for a VOIP service with someone (BT, Sipgate, Skype etc). They give you some details (username/password/addresses etc_ and you tell the phone what they are. Then it should work. It is a bit techy though :-( as the phone is really more like a small computer than a normal phone.

Hope this helps.

niceguy2 Thu 27-Oct-11 16:40:28

Without meaning to be rude, your best bet is to send it back.

VOIP phones are not really user friendly enough yet for someone non-technical.

Having used various VOIP telephony systems over the years from home, sod's law dictates that when you need to hear someone or have something important to say that you have a problem.

Your best bet is to send it back and buy a normal telephone to test the line with first.

What I'd suggest is buying a corded phone from Argos first. I found the cheaper ones to be rubbish as I work from home so use them a lot. In the end I bought a BT branded phone and the quality was noticably better.

If the quality of that improves then you can take it back and swap it for a DECT cordless system. Given you are rural then DECT wireless should be clear enough and free from interference.

JeffTracy Thu 27-Oct-11 16:43:51

Oh - and to answer a couple of other questions - if you switch off the the BT box (the router) the phone will not work. Switching off the PC will not affect it. The advantages are that internet phone calls are cheaper than normal and to other internet phones they are free (even to other countries).

BadgersPaws Thu 27-Oct-11 16:44:04

"Right, so I have to plug it into the BT broadband thing then."


"Then when we are away on holiday or switch the system down the phone doesnt work?"

Yes again, the same when you're on holiday. However... The VOIP provider will "know" when your phone is off and they therefore could, in theory, provide an answer phone service. It looks like sipgate do this, but I don't really know enough about their service to comment in any detail. You'd have to check their web site or speak to them.

"When you say VOIP service and phone number, does that include a BT number and BT broadband then?"

No... By that what was meant that a company like sipgate would give you some details that you would enter into your phone. I'd expect it to be an address (sip an account name and a password. You might be able to enter those details straight into the phone. Or with your phone plugged into your BT router at the same time as your computer you would go to some special web page and enter the details.

"So what are the advantages of this then?"

In theory it can be free, you can have multiple phone lines working off the same broadband connection and it can work even when your phone is turned off. You could even move the phone around and still be reached on the same phone number, or you might be able to get at your calls when your away somewhere using a computer or another phone. So it's a bit like a mobile phone, it doesn't "have" to be plugged into one place in order to work.

But given your situation I can't help but wonder if a normal phone and answer phone would have been simpler.

"My problem is we are rural and our telephone line with cordless is very faint and been told I need a corded system."

I hope your broadband is good enough then... If not the calls might cut out or sound awful...

"Does this mean our calls are free?"

Have a look at the call rates page on their web site...

Calls to other sipgate and VOIP numbers are free.

However there are charges for calling "normal" UK phone numbers. At a quick glance they seem cheaper than BT day rates and bit more expensive than their out of hours rates. But again have a look, you might be on some different BT contract.

JeffTracy Thu 27-Oct-11 16:47:22

Sipgate do have a free answer service - you get an email when someone leaves you a message and it has a sound file attached to the email so you can listen to the message from any computer that has speakers/headphones.

NetworkGuy Fri 28-Oct-11 12:12:31

Possibly worth mentioning that Skype is not generally compatible with the various SIP-based services, and a VoIP phone is unlikely to work with Skype.

It does seem you may have the wrong type of phone, but if your line is "terrible" it may be worth checking the basics for the phone line you have, such as being sure that every device plugged in has a working filter (unplug the lot, plug in the router and one corded phone, then get the dial tone and press a single digit (as that will make the 'dial tone' go away) and you can hear whether, as you plug extra phones in, suddenly you get noises afterwards, and may find one item (eg Sky Box) is source of noise on the phone line (if it has no filter, perhaps).

Would suggest you do not turn your router off every night. The on/off action will do the router no good and the exchange may make your connection slower than it could be because it sees the "on off" situation as if you have a fault on your line. Millions of households and firms leave the router on all night, and while I appreciate it uses some energy, as far as your internet connection is concerned it is generally going to be better if left on permanently.

NetworkGuy Fri 28-Oct-11 12:18:11

bacon - if you do decide to switch to use a firm like SipGate (and I have positive views about them, though am no longer using the Cardiff number they allowed me to use), and most of your incoming calls are via the Cisco phone, then you could (when any BT contract period allows) switch the line to some other firm.

I've switched to a firm charging under 8 pounds a month and make outgoing calls via (charge is 5p per call to UK landlines, whether it is 5, 50 or 250 minutes... 5p connection and 0p/minute). It may be a touch more awkward to switch a business line but there are plenty of firms and if you are making few outgoing calls compared with incoming then switching may save you at least 100 quid a year compared with some BT line rents for business. Check website for info on switching (eg to Primus, or combining internet and phone line rental, eg using PlusNet).

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Poledesign Thu 26-Jan-17 13:29:28

We have a managed service for our IP telephony.

The Cisco VoIP phone I have has allowed me to run a successful online business whilst bringing up our two boys. When I am not in the office the calls divert to my mobile so I have a choice whether to answer them or not. If the caller has called from a mobile I can even text back. I can honestly say that I could not run my business without this system. Its what all small businesses should use if they want to be competitive. I find customers are so demanding and they do expect either instant callbacks or reply by email. The phone is provided and you just plug in to your broadband and what's great is you have totally flexibility over your numbers. Even if you already use a BT landline number they can match that. I have a 0131 number and a 0345 number and they both come to the same place. Also when I am on holiday I still need to run the business but do it all from my I{ad using the Voicemail to Email. I have been using this system since it first came out years ago and still wonder why some of my Suppliers are using the traditional BT landline and they don't even realise that it is engaged most of the time which is really bad for business.

The Company I use is and I have a Cisco phone 7945.

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