Phone which can support 6+ conference key parties

Discussion in 'General' started by haywoodcox, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. haywoodcox

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    Hi all,

    I am looking for a SIP phone which could support six or more parties through the conferece softkey on the phone.

    I tried Cisco 79xx, Polycom IP3xx, Snom, all can only support maximum three parties from the conference key.

    It seems Shoretel and Zultys can support more conference parties? Any other recommendations?

    I understand there is Conference bridge feature in Asterisk, buy user want to bridge in the line 2 parties from the conference key when they dial to reception rather than ask user join the bridge.

    Thanks.
     
  2. DaveD

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    I use this feature a lot with snom and yealink sip phones , but I have conference room say 8000 setup in Elastix and to put people into it just hit ##8000 and will transfer the caller into 8000. You dial 8000 to join the conference
     
  3. haywoodcox

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    Thanks Dave, our user aware this solution but they do not want to dial to the conference bridge. They want a reception to transfer each incoming caller. Do you know any SIP phone can support that?

    I have a Zultys which has four line button, it maximum can conference 4 users using each line button. But my Cisco 7962 can only conference maximum 3 parties even though it has 6 buttons.
     
  4. Bob

    Bob

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    Haywoodcox,

    You will be hard pressed to find phones that will hold conferences for more than 3-4 callers. As you have correctly said, you can get 6-10 line phones, but the limitation is generally about 3-4 in the conference together.

    Part of this reason is that this function is CPU intensive, and the majority of the CPU's in the phone are not capable of handling much more, especially when this same CPU is handling AGC, VAD, Noise Cancelling, Echo Cancelling. Many of the ones that advertise that they could do it, could not manage when some of the options mentioned above came into play.

    I have not checked the models you spoke about, but some of the phones that will support such a mechanism, actually don't support it on the phone, but via the tightly integrated phone/PABX (especially some of the proprietary models), when you press the conference button on the phone, it actually initiates/transfers to the conference ability running on the PBX. So when a particular system says it can conference 10 people, generally it is happening on the PABX hardware. They are not lying, as generally (before the IP based systems and similar), most people saw the PHONE and PABX as one device and it actually is. It is only with the IP based systems, that people realised that the phone handles some functions by itself, and the PABX handles other functions etc.

    Now the only issue I have, and it may be your terminology or my understanding of your concept, but by the sounds of it, Elastix can do what you are asking.

    The conference feature on Elastix can be set so that users can directly dial into the Conference (providing you have a DID spare to allocate to the task), or the caller can call reception and they transfer (blind transfer) straight to the conference. Also naturally, if the caller is talking already to the end person, that person can also transfer them to the conference, and then call the conference themselves using the internal extension number for the conference.

    Does any of this make sense?? or can you explain further....

    Regards

    Bob
     
  5. haywoodcox

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    Thanks Bob, I understand what you mean. I will try to explain to user for this option if I could not find any available SIP phone.

    I found from Grandstream website that it can support up to 5-way conference. I am checking with the local distributor for the specification.

    http://www.grandstream.com/products/gxp ... p2020.html
     
  6. Bob

    Bob

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    Of all the clients that have asked for the conference function (meaning that they have had it on the past, believing it was on the phone, have generally been quite happy with the PBX conference function. In fact many of them believe it is easier, leading to less lost calls due to finger fumbling trying to remember a function they may use once a week, compared to transferring calls, which they do several times a day.

    Great that you found a phone. As mentioned, technically it is not impossible, but with many manufacturers know that most of their SIP phones will be teamed with IP PBX system of some sort which has the Conference function, so other than the simple three-way, most will not risk adding a function that may fail, and result in the phones being returned.

    Let us know how you go with the Grandstream gxp2020.

    Regards

    Bob
     

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