However, if you have more than a few phones, or phones on a remote site, then you are going to want to manage them centrally.
It’s possible to do that with a FreePBX module called End Point Manager (EPM). You can use this with any recent version of FreePBX, for this guide I will be using PBX in a Flash. This guide is designed as a quick walkthrough of what’s possible, rather then a detailed guide looking at all of the options.
End Point Manager setup
End Point Manager is enabled in PBX-in-a-Flash by default. If it’s not on your FreePBX then it can be installed under Tools/Modules.
First you need to go to Endpoint Configuration and enable the templates for the handset types you are using. I’m going to be using a Yealink T22, so that’s what I’ve enabled –
After doing this click on the ‘Check for Updates’ button at the top of the screen. I had an issue with Yealink phones without doing this –
Next go to End Point Advanced Settings and set the IP address and timezone of your Asterisk server. We’re going to be using TFTP to configure the phones –
Now configure a SIP extension in the normal way in FreePBX. Don’t forget to use a long complex password –
Next we go to End Point Device List. This is where we tell End Point Manager the MAC address of the phone and the extension this should be configured as. The MAC address will be printed on a sticker on the phone somewhere. Enter the MAC address, choose the make/model of the handset and select what extension number this phone should be. Then click add –
It is possible to create a template for phones, to assign common settings to all handset types. I’m not going to cover that here though.
Finally in EPM I’m going to (re)build the config for the phones. This will generate the config files for the phones in /tftpboot on the server –
Enable TFTP in the firewall
On all SysAdminMan VPSs the Linux firewall does not allow TFTP connections to the server as we don’t want just anyone connecting and downloading the config for our phones! So we need to allow the external IP address of where to phones are to connect to the server. I’m going to allow the IP with the following SSH commands. I will be allowing my address 126.96.36.199 –
Configuring the phone to use the TFTP server
We have a few different options for telling the handset where to get its configuration from.
To be continued !!
When I started this post I was going to describe how easy it was to use the Yealink Redirection and Provisioning Service (RPS) to deploy a phone ‘hands free’. However, it seems that signing up for this service is not straight forward. You have to send an e-mail to their sales department. I did this but got no reply. A poke to a couple of Yealink addresses on Twitter has produced no response yet either! I’ve also heard from a customer that they didn’t manage to sign up for RPS. So if you are listening Yealink please get in touch!
So currently I have entered the IP address of the Asterisk/TFTP server in the phone manually. This is provisioning the phone from Endpoint Manager. I must say I’m pretty impressed with the phone so far. It’s pretty sturdy for the cost and the sound is great. Doing an echo test using the speaker phone produced no echo at all.
If I hear back from Yealink about RPS I will update this post. I will also do another post with a review of the phone when I’ve used it some more.
One final thought – FreePBX End Point Manager (EPM) is a great way to deploy and manage phones centrally!!