The Cisco Unified IP Phone provides voice communication over an Internet Protocol (IP) network. It functions much like a digital business telephone, allowing you to place and receive phone calls and to access features such as mute, hold, transfer, and speed dial. In addition, because the phone is connected to your data network, it offers enhanced productivity features, including access to network information and services, XML applications, and customizeable features. The phone also supports security features that include configuration file encryption, and image and digest authentication.
The Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G and 7940G (SIP) are interoperable with RFC-3261, RFC-3264, and RFC-3311.
A Cisco Unified IP Phone, like other network devices, must be configured and managed. These phones encode G.711a, G.711u, G.729a, G.729ab, and decode G.711a, G.711u, G.729, G.729a, G.729b, and G.729ab. These phones also support uncompressed wideband (16 bits, 16 kHz) audio.
CautionUsing a mobile or GSM phone, or two-way radio in close proximity to a Cisco Unified IP Phone might cause interference. For more information, refer to the manufacturer's documentation of the interfering device.
Understanding the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G and 7940G
Figure 1-1 shows the main components of the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G and Figure 1-2, shows the main components of the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7940G.
These phone models differ only in the number of available line or speed dial buttons. The Cisco Unified IP Phone 7940G has two lines, and the 7960G has six lines.
Figure 1-1 Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G
Figure 1-2 Cisco Unified IP Phone 7940G
Handset light strip
Indicates an incoming call or new voice message.
Shows phone features.
Indicates the Cisco Unified IP Phone model.
Depending on configuration, programmable buttons provide access to:
Phone lines (line buttons)
Speed-dial numbers (speed-dial buttons, including the BLF speed-dial feature)
Web-based services (for example, a Personal Address Book button)
Phone features (for example, a Privacy button)
The Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G has six programmable buttons and the 7940G has two.
Footstand adjustment button
Allows you to adjust the angle of the phone base.
Opens/closes the Directories menu. Use it to access call logs and directories.
Provides access to online Help
Opens/closes the Settings menu.
Toggles the speakerphone on or off.
Toggles the Mute feature on or off.
Toggles the headset on or off.
Controls the handset, headset, and speakerphone volume (off-hook) and the ringer volume (on-hook; adjusts contrast settings.
Opens/closes the Services menu.
Auto-dials your voice message service (varies by service).
Allows you to scroll through menus and highlight items. When the phone is on-hook, displays phone numbers from your Placed Calls log.
Allows you to dial phone numbers, enter letters, and choose menu items.
Each activates a softkey option (displayed on your touchscreen).
What Networking Protocols Are Used?
Cisco Unified IP Phones support several industry-standard and Cisco networking protocols required for voice communication. Table 1-1 provides an overview of the networking protocols that the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G and 7940G support.
Table 1-1 Supported Networking Protocols on the Cisco Unified IP Phone
Bootstrap Protocol (BootP)
BootP enables a network device such as the Cisco Unified IP Phone to discover certain startup information, such as its IP address.
If you are using BootP to assign IP addresses to the Cisco Unified IP Phone, the BOOTP Server option shows “Yes” in the network configuration settings on the phone.
Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP)
CDP is a device-discovery protocol that runs on all Cisco-manufactured equipment.
Using CDP, a device can advertise its existence to other devices and receive information about other devices in the network.
The Cisco Unified IP Phone uses CDP to communicate information such as auxiliary VLAN ID, per port power management details, and Quality of Service (QoS) configuration information with the Cisco Catalyst switch.
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
DHCP dynamically allocates and assigns an IP address to network devices.
DHCP enables you to connect an IP phone into the network and have it become operational without you needing to manually assign an IP address or configure additional required network parameters.
DHCP is enabled by default. If disabled, you must manually configure the IP address, subnet mask, gateway, and a TFTP server on each phone locally.
Cisco recommends that you use DHCP custom option 150. With this method, you configure the TFTP server IP address as the option value. For additional supported DHCP configurations, refer Cisco Unified Communications Manager System Guide.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
HTTP is the standard way of transferring information and moving documents across the Internet and the web.
Cisco Unified IP Phones running SIP support HTTP as a client protocol.
Internet Protocol (IP)
IP is a messaging protocol that addresses and sends packets across the network.
To communicate using IP, network devices must have an assigned IP address, subnet, and gateway.
IP addresses, subnets, and gateways identifications are automatically assigned if you are using the Cisco Unified IP Phone with Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). If you are not using DHCP, you must manually assign these properties to each phone locally.
Real-Time Transport (RTP)
RTP is a standard protocol for transporting real-time data, such as interactive voice and video, over data networks.
Cisco Unified IP Phones use the RTP protocol to send and receive real-time voice traffic from other phones and gateways.
Session Description Protocol (SDP)
SDP is the portion of the SIP that determines which parameters are available during a connection between two endpoints. Conferences are established using only the SDP capabilities that are supported by all endpoints in the conference.
SDP capabilities, such as codec types, DTMF detection, and comfort noise are normally configured on a global basis by the Cisco Unified Communications Manager or the Media Gateway in operation. Some SIP endpoints may allow these parameters to be configured on the endpoint itself.
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
SIP is the Internet Engineering task Force (IETF) standard for multimedia conferencing over IP. SIP is an ASCII-based, application-layer control protocol (defined in RFC 3261) that can be used to establish, maintain, and terminate calls between two or more endpoints.
Like other VoIP protocols, SIP is designed to address the functions of signaling and session management within a packet telephony network. Signaling allows call information to be carried across network boundaries. Session management provides the ability to control the attributes of an end-to-end call.
Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP)
SCCP includes a messaging set that allows communications between call control servers and endpoint clients such as IP Phones. SCCP is proprietary to Cisco Systems.
Cisco Unified IP Phones use SCCP for call control. You can configure the Cisco Unified IP Phone to use either SCCP or Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
TCP is a connection-oriented transport protocol.
Cisco Unified IP Phones use TCP to connect to Cisco Unified Communications Manager and to access XML services.
Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP)
TFTP allows you to transfer files over the network.
On the Cisco Unified IP Phone, TFTP enables you to obtain a configuration file specific to the phone type.
TFTP requires a TFTP server in your network, which can be automatically identified from the DHCP server. If you want a phone to use a TFTP server other than the one specified by the DHCP server, you must manually assign the IP address of the TFTP server using the Network Configuration menu on the phone.=
User Datagram Protocol (UDP)
UDP is a connectionless messaging protocol for delivery of data packets.
Cisco Unified IP Phones transmit and receive RTP streams, which utilize UDP.
What Features are Supported on the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G and 7940G?
The Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G and 7940G function much like digital business phones, allowing you to place and receive telephone calls. In addition to traditional telephony features, the Cisco Unified IP Phone includes features that enable you to administer and monitor the phone as a network device.
Cisco Unified IP Phones provide traditional telephony functionality, such as call forwarding and transferring, redialing, speed dialing, and voice messaging system access. Cisco Unified IP phones also provide a variety of other features. For an overview of the telephony features that the Cisco Unified IP Phone supports and for tips on configuring them, see the “Telephony Features Available for the Cisco Unified IP Phone” section.
As with other network devices, you must configure Cisco Unified IP Phones to prepare them to access Cisco Unified Communications Manager and the rest of the IP network. By using DHCP, you have fewer settings to configure on a phone, but if your network requires it, you can manually configure an IP address, TFTP server, and subnet mask. For instructions on configuring the network settings on the Cisco Unified IP Phones, see Chapter4, “Configuring Settings on the Cisco Unified IP Phone”
The Cisco Unified IP Phone can interact with other services and devices on your IP network to provide enhanced functionality. For example, you can integrate the Cisco Unified IP Phones with the corporate Lightweight Directory Access Protocol 3 (LDAP3) standard directory to enable users to search for co-worker contact information directly from their IP phones. You can also use XML to enable users to access information such as weather, stocks, quote of the day, and other web-based information. For information about configuring such services, see the “Configuring Corporate and Personal Directories” section and the “Setting Up Services” section.
You can modify additional settings for the Cisco Unified IP Phone from the Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration application. Use this web-based application to set up phone registration criteria and calling search spaces, to configure corporate directories and services, and to modify phone button templates, among other tasks. See the “Telephony Features Available for the Cisco Unified IP Phone” section and refer to the Cisco Unified Communications Manager documentation for additional information.
For more information about the Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration application, refer to Cisco Unified Communications Manager documentation, including Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration Guide. You can also use the context-sensitive help available within the application for guidance.
You can access the complete Cisco Unified Communications Manager documentation suite at this location:
If you are a system administrator, you are likely the primary source of information for Cisco Unified IP Phone users in your network or company. To ensure that you distribute the most current feature and procedural information, familiarize yourself with Cisco Unified IP Phone documentation. Make sure to visit the Cisco Unified IP Phone web site:
From this site, you can view access various user guides.
In addition to providing documentation, it is important to inform users of available Cisco Unified IP Phone features—including those specific to your company or network—and of how to access and customize those features, if appropriate.
Understanding Security Features for Cisco Unified IP Phones
Implementing security in the Cisco Unified Communications Manager system prevents identity theft of the phone and Cisco Unified Communications Manager server, prevents data tampering, and prevents call signaling and media stream tampering.
To alleviate these threats, the Cisco Unified IP telephony network establishes and maintains authenticated and encrypted communication streams between a phone and the server, digitally signs files before they are transferred to a phone, and encrypts media streams and call signaling between Cisco Unified IP phones.
Table 1-2 shows where you can find additional information about security in this and other documents.
Table 1-2 Cisco Unified IP Phone and Cisco Unified Communications Manager Security Topics
Detailed explanation of security, including set up, configuration, and troubleshooting information for Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Cisco Unified IP Phones
Refer to Cisco Unified Communications Manager Security Guide
Security features supported on the Cisco Unified IP Phone
Table 1-3 provides an overview of the security features that the Cisco Unified IP Phones support. For more information about these features and about Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Cisco Unified IP Phone security, refer to Cisco Unified Communications Manager Security Guide.
Note Most security features are available only if a certificate trust list (CTL) is installed on the phone. For more information about the CTL, refer to “Configuring the Cisco Unified CTL Client” chapter in Cisco Unified Communications Manager Security Guide.
Table 1-3 Overview of Security Features
Signed binary files (with the extension.sbn) prevent tampering with the firmware image before it is loaded on a phone. Tampering with the image causes a phone to fail the authentication process and reject the new image.
Encrypted configuration files
Lets you ensure the privacy of phone configuration files.
Additional security options, which you control from Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration:
Disabling PC port
Disabling Gratuitous ARP
Disabling PC Voice VLAN access
Disabling access to the Setting menus, or providing restricted access that allows access to the User Preferences menu and saving volume changes only
Note You can view current settings for the PC Port Disabled, GARP Enabled, and Voice VLAN enabled options by looking at the phone’s Network Configuration menu. For more information, see the “Displaying a Configuration Menu” section.
Overview of Configuring and Installing Cisco Unified IP Phones
When deploying a new IP telephony system, system administrators and network administrators must complete several initial configuration tasks to prepare the network for IP telephony service. For information and a checklist for setting up and configuring a complete Cisco Unified IP telephony network, refer to the “System Configuration Overview” chapter in Cisco Unified Communications Manager System Guide.
After you have set up the IP telephony system and configured system-wide features in Cisco Unified Communications Manager, you can add IP phones to the system.
The following topics provide an overview of procedures for adding Cisco Unified IP Phones to your network:
For general information about configuring phones in Cisco Unified Communications Manager, refer to the “Cisco Unified IP Phone” chapter in Cisco Unified Communications Manager System Guide.
Checklist for Configuring the Cisco Unified IP Phone in Cisco Unified Communications Manager
Table 1-4 provides an overview and checklist of configuration tasks for the Cisco Unified IP Phone in Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration. The list presents a suggested order to guide you through the phone configuration process. Some tasks are optional, depending on your system and user needs. For detailed procedures and information, refer to the sources in the list.
Table 1-4 Checklist for Configuring the Cisco Unified IP Phones 7960G and 7940G in Cisco Unified Communications Manager
For More Information
Gather the following information about the phone:
Physical location of the phone
Name or user ID of phone user
Partition, calling search space, and location information
Number of lines and associated directory numbers (DNs) to assign to the phone
Cisco Unified Communications Manager user to associate with the phone
Phone usage information that affects phone button template, softkey template, phone features, IP Phone services, or phone applications
Provides list of configuration requirements for setting up phones.
Identifies preliminary configuration that you need to perform before configuring individual phones, such as phone button templates or softkey templates.
Refer to Cisco Unified Communications Manager System Guide, “Cisco Unified IP Phone” chapter.
Add and configure the phone by completing the required fields in the Phone Configuration window. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) next to the field name; for example, MAC address and device pool.
Adds the device with its default settings to the Cisco Unified Communications Manager database.
Refer to Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration Guide, “Cisco Unified IP Phone Configuration” chapter.
For information about Product Specific Configuration fields, refer to “?” Button Help in the Phone Configuration window.
Add and configure directory numbers (lines) on the phone by completing the required fields in the Directory Number Configuration window. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) next to the field name; for example, directory number and presence group.
Adds primary and secondary directory numbers and features associated with directory numbers to the phone.
Refer to the Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration Guide, Directory Number Configuration chapter, “Creating a Cisco Unity Voice Mailbox” section.
Assigns users a common list of roles and permissions that apply to all users in a user group. Administrators can manage user groups, roles, and permissions to control the level of access (and, therefore, the level of security) for system users.
Refer to Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration Guide:
“End User Configuration” chapter, “End User Configuration Settings” section.
“User Group Configuration” chapter, “Adding Users to a User Group” section.
Associate a user with a phone (optional).
Provides users with control over their phone such as forwarding calls or adding speed-dial numbers or services.
Note Some phones, such as those in conference rooms, do not have an associated user.
Refer to Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration Guide, “End User Configuration” chapter, “Associating Devices to a User” section.
Installing Cisco Unified IP Phones
After you have added the phones to the Cisco Unified Communications Manager database, you can complete the phone installation. You (or the phone users) can install the phone at the users’s location. The Cisco Unified IP Phone Installation Guide that ships in the box with each phone provides directions for connecting the phone handset, cables, and other accessories.
Note Before you install a phone, even if it is new, upgrade the phone to the current firmware image. For information about upgrading, refer to the Readme file for your phone, which is located at:
After the phone is connected to the network, the phone startup process begins and the phone registers with Cisco Unified Communications Manager. To finish installing the phone, configure the network settings on the phone depending on whether you enable or disable DHCP service.
If you used auto-registration, you need to update the specific configuration information for the phone such as associating the phone with a user, changing the button table, or directory number.
Checklist for Installing the Cisco Unified IP Phone
Table 1-5 provides an overview and checklist of installation tasks for the Cisco Unified IP Phone. The list presents a suggested order to guide you through the phone installation. Some tasks are optional, depending on your system and user needs. For detailed procedures and information, refer to the sources in the list.
Table 1-5 Checklist for Installing the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G and 7940G