Home > Asterisk, VoIP > Linksys SPA-901: Solid, simple IP phone

Linksys SPA-901: Solid, simple IP phone

SPA-901Yesterday I tested a Linksys SPA-901 IP phone with Asterisk. It has a solidity to it that reminds me of old ma-bell type phones (It could be used as a weapon like in Casino). The exterior of the phone is pretty spartan, not even an LCD display at all. It is fully functioning, though, with a large bright message light that works perfectly with my asterisk system. Importantly: it sounds as good as any phone I’ve used – that means better than 99% of them. It uses the g.711u codec by default but does include many other codecs including g.729. It also supports call waiting with asterisk and has an intuitive status light that indicates a call on hold.

My only complaint is the lack of documentation for provisioning. If I were to deploy a bunch of these for a client, I would want to use a tftp or ftp server for configuration. The data sheet on this says that is an option, but I could not find any examples or instructions anywhere. Granted the internal web server configuration is a snap and the thing boots up very quickly, so it is not a show stopper, for now anyway.

To quickly get to the web page in configure it, make sure you have DHCP working on your network. Then plug in the ethernet cable, and power it up. After a a few seconds it will be booted up. The status indicator light should not be flashing. If it is double-flashing red, there is a problem with the network or cable (from experience with a bad cable).

Pick up the handset and type in ****, then 110. A robot will tell you the phone’s IP address. You can then put that address in your web browser and configure it. You can easily dial in the SIP settings, change the ring tone and volume, codec, etc. Surpringly you can view a call history with callerid in a nicer format than any little LCD display.

Overall I’d have to say I’m very impressed with it.

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Categories: Asterisk, VoIP
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