During 3CX training events for the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced certifications, I cover off how to provision phones locally, via STUN and using a session border controller (SBC). The key way this works is 3CX generates a configuration file for the phone with the extension details, BLF, etc. It then sends the file to the phone, which will typically reboot after it applies the settings from the file. The benefit is it simplifies deployment for phones. It also adds an extra layer of security by applying strong passwords automatically, which is critical for an IP PBX system. Because provisioning is for a single extension, it can present limitations when it comes to DECT base stations. They usually have multiple handsets and a single extension may not be suitable when each subscribed handset requires a separate extension to be assigned to it (i.e. a single base station with multiple handsets, each with a different extension). 3CX features an additional method to cater for this scenario.
3CX has a way to provision both DECT and supported FXS/FXO gateways via its management console. It involves entering the MAC address of the base station or gateway, and then explicitly assigning a separate extension to each handset, from a drop-down menu. This allows for a simple deployment much in the same way normal provisioning works. Each DECT unit operates slightly differently with some requiring a firmware upgrade before setting it up with 3CX. Occasionally entering a provisioning URL into the web UI of the device may be required. This requires the device to understand how to provision using this method. As such, phones need to undergo testing with 3CX to make sure the correct settings are being applied to the correct variable in the phone. After the phone has been tested and confirmed to work, a base .fxs.xml template is created and available within the 3CX system to set up phones correctly. As updates become available for new features they are added to the template. Currently the main phone units and gateways supported are listed on the 3CX website. New devices are added as they are tested, and have a template made available to set them up.
We’ve just had great news that there is a template available now for the latest range of Grandstream DECT units in the DP range. The current Grandstream template supports the DP750 and DP752 base stations. In house we have tested this with a DP722 handset subscribed to a base both locally and with a session border controller. We are still waiting on support for the additional units after they have completed testing. If you are interested in testing this new template, please reach out to us and copy the file into the following directories.
- Windows: C:\ProgramData\3CX\Data\Http\Templates\phones
- Debian: /var/lib/3cxpbx/Instance1/Data/Http/Templates/phones
You will find after copying the file it will automatically show within the DECT/FXS model list in your 3CX management console, no system service or machine restart required.
Provisioning DECT or FXS units is actually relatively straight forward, when you have best practice knowledge.