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Old 03-09-2019, 08:22 PM   #1
Curious.George
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Default Cisco VoIP phones: proprietary software?

I'm researching a VoIP deployment. We get LOTS of discarded Cisco VoIP phones. Can these be repurposed to work with FOSS VoIP solutions (e.g., Asterisk)? Or, do they require "Cisco's own" solution to VoIP?

[I'd hate to settle for grandstream kit...]
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:58 PM   #2
retiredcaps
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Default Re: Cisco VoIP phones: proprietary software?

It might be possible depending on the handset to work with a SIP server. Some examples ..

https://wiki.freepbx.org/display/FOP/Cisco

https://www.voip-info.org/asterisk-phone-cisco-79xx/

Some potential issues off the top of my head.

1) The client code on the Cisco handset may have vulnerabilities that cannot be patched without a Cisco support contract.

2) Some of the Cisco handsets may be end of life and end of support which means no software patches or vulnerability fixes.

3) You may not get all the features of the Cisco phone working.

There could be other issues, but at least you have a starting point.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:58 PM   #3
Curious.George
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Default Re: Cisco VoIP phones: proprietary software?

Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredcaps View Post
It might be possible depending on the handset to work with a SIP server. Some examples ..

https://wiki.freepbx.org/display/FOP/Cisco

https://www.voip-info.org/asterisk-phone-cisco-79xx/
Thanks, I've found some other write-ups, as well. I'll see if I can reconcile all of them to form a consistent dialog.

Quote:
Some potential issues off the top of my head.

1) The client code on the Cisco handset may have vulnerabilities that cannot be patched without a Cisco support contract.
Access to the PSTN will be via an FXO so the only real exposure is to hostile "internal actors". I think you can also DL most firmware even with Cisco's "basic" access (w/o paid support)

Quote:
2) Some of the Cisco handsets may be end of life and end of support which means no software patches or vulnerability fixes.
Yeah, that's always a problem. Should be a law mandating any EoL'd devices have to PUBLISH their source code (so customers can maintain it). THAT would put an end to the EoL practice in a heartbeat! :>

Quote:
3) You may not get all the features of the Cisco phone working.
We're mainly looking at it as an alternative to having to run CAT1 to all the places that will already be serviced with CAT5. I don't want to have to add a PC-hosted communication service as folks are more comfortable with phones as appliances.

Quote:
There could be other issues, but at least you have a starting point.
Thanks! I'll have to do a quick inventory and see which handsets we have lying around (or if the latest batch has already been scrapped).
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