Any physical phones handle more than 50 BLFs?


We have a site that has 120+ phones. We have the reception phone (Aastra 6869i) with three sidecars and all the extensions on as BLF/Xfer, however only the first 50 or so extensions show proper status and the rest show question marks.

I learned from a previous post that this is a limitation of the hardware (phones) and was wondering if there are any phones out there that can handle 120+ BLF status’ properly. I don’t care about brand.

They really like having a physical phone. We installed FOP2 for them and they don;t like it; it is very awkward for them as they have a PC with two monitors at the desk already and the additional monitor and PC for the FOP2 is too awkward

(for reasons of their own, they can’t work with FOP2 on the PC at reception desk with the two monitors, so we had to set up a separate PC and monitor; using an extra mouse and keyboard with it confused them so we used a touch screen monitor, but working with FOP2 or anything PC-based on a touch screen sucks badly and is very awkward)

I might be able to sell them on using a softphone (not Zulu) if there can be a “virtual” side car that can show BLF status’ properly, if anyone knows of anything that might do the job.

Thoughts and ideas are appreciated.

It’s not just a phone issue but a larger asterisk issue trying to keep that many BLFs updated. Even if a phone could Asterisk would struggle and drop events from being sent when it’s busy. Your only option is some operator panel like FOP2 or iSymphony.

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While I second the opinion of using FOP2 (that’s what we use for our receptionists), I have used a Yealink T46G with 3 EXP40 side cars (for 120 BLF’s) without issue.

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I’m not sure that Tony was endorsing FOP2. ISymphony is also a workable solution and is a Sangoma partner. I’m not sure 120 phones in either is going to be particularly useful (unless you are throwing the display to a Jumbotron). :slight_smile:

We’ve seen many cases historically where systems with more than a couple of active lines will fail quickly with more than 50 BLFs at the same time. The problem is that the event queue can’t handle a lot of events coming up at the same time, so if you have more than one phone listening to all of those events (and in this case, the other 119 phones didn’t have any BLF events) you will see hints start to drop off and cause confusion. With 120 phones listening to 120 BLFs, the likelihood that this would work for more than a few seconds is pretty low.

@SilkBC Are the phones remote to the PBX or on the same network as the PBX?

Assuming that the PC is reasonably recent (Gen 6 or better), it should be capable of driving a 4k monitor at full 3840x2160 resolution. Replace the two monitors with a small (39 to 43 inch) 4k TV, giving a display area equivalent to four normal HD monitors. There should be plenty of room for FOP2, in addition to their normal work.

4k TVs are very inexpensive now, but don’t go too cheap – you need one that doesn’t do chroma compression; see . Also, one with a ‘game’ or ‘direct’ mode for low latency. Take a laptop to a local store and confirm that the set performs well as a monitor. We have nine of these sets and they are a pleasure to use, compared to multiple HD monitors.

We dedicated computers to our FOP switchboard… 27" touch-screens.

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Really? That’s exactly what our front desk does… and they absolutely love it!

Look at InputDirector. Software KVM… We used it a LOT at 911 call centers, where there could be 3, 4, even 5 PCs across anywhere from 4 to 7 monitors. One keyboard and mouse to rule them all. :slight_smile:

The phones are remote to the PBX.

There isn’t really enough space at the desk to have a 39"-43" TV.

And what type of router do you have there? This could be a NAT issue.

What size and resolution are the present monitors? One would expect a 40" TV to be about the same width as two 20" monitors (you save one bezel, but the monitors are likely somewhat angled). Mainstream HD monitors are typically 23" or 24". If the existing monitors are smaller, they may be less than full HD and you may find e.g. a 32" monitor with suitable resolution.

Here’s a sexy thing
that might work

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