Cisco Phones

Cisco's IP telephony products offer great flexibility, a large feature set, and stand up well to every day corporate use. That being said, they're also not the cheapest in the field.

Cisco's 7960 phone site


Most Cisco IP Phones come pre-loaded with Cisco's proprietary SCCP protocol, for use with the Cisco CallManager or Cisco CallManager Express software. To gain SIP capabilities, one must have a service contract with Cisco and download/install the SIP Firmware for the phone.

Service Contract

Cisco no longer sells service contracts directly, so you have to order the service contract from a Cisco reseller. CDW and Insight are known to sell maintenance contracts for IP Phones.

If you're just looking to obtain firmware for an IP phone, and you are not located inside the United States, then the minimum should be an $8 agreement for one year (P/N CON-SNT-CP7960), chances are you don't need a three year on-site agreement for well over $100. For customers located inside the United States, it is almost 100% likely you will have to purchase the $75, catch-all service contract. By "catch-all" I mean that it includes "firmware" updates and technical support for one year on any Cisco VOIP phone. Lately, CDW has been cancelling orders for US based customers that try to order the $8 support plan after they figure out that they are not supposed to sell it.

The Cisco part number for the < $10 International contract is CON-SNT-CP7960 for the 7960, and CON-SNT-ATA186 for the ATA-186. Note: While trying to get a service contract some have been told that the part number (for either the ATA 186 or 7960) was CON-SNT-PKG1 which runs $60-80.

It will take one of the largest technology companies on the planet several days to process your request at which point you'll get a contract number via email. After registering your contract number on their service center website the technically advanced system will tell you a person will validate your contract and grant you access to the firmware files you need within 24 hours.

If you buy new (and not from a VOIP provider) you should get at least one free support call. You may be able to convince them to provide you with one free download of the firmware without a service contract.

Even if you do not purchase a separate support contract, any new Cisco phone sold through an authorized partner will come with a basic manufacturer's warranty, entitling you to technical support, and in some cases, software downloads. You will need to be registered on the website; call 1-800-553-2447 with that user ID and your phones serial number and ask to open a new case for assistance downloading software. It might not work for all software/firmware, but so long as your phone's warranty is still active, you can at least get a case opened and see what the engineer can provide you with.

If you are buying these phones from someone who is already using them and has a support contract through Cisco, be aware that you will need them to add your billing address to their support contract before Cisco will even talk to you. Cisco seems to be clamping down on the used-phone market by throwing up all of these roadblocks.

XML Programming

Some of the Cisco IP Phones come with a large screen and are capable of interfacing with data applications through a specific Cisco XML language. Application development frameworks such as the DashPhone Application Server help programmers to easily integrate these phones as data terminal devices that interface with enterprise databases and applications.

Mass Deployment

Installing many Cisco phones in a new install or just stream lining your current install? Read cisco mass deployment


There is about 3.3GB of misc Cisco firmware images and other good stuff @

See Also:

Where to buy

Created by: admin, Last modification: Thu 18 of Jan, 2018 (17:53 UTC) by chillindylan
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