Formatting Caller ID on Phones

I am currently capturing caller ID from my POTS line using a Sangoma B600E card, and the incoming 10 digit Caller Number and Name is getting displayed on my phones.

Is it possible to reformat the incoming caller ID as NXX-NXX-NNNN or (NXX) NXX-NNNN for better readability on the phones?

Unless your phone can do it (make / model ?), I recommend against it.

It seems easy; just send the Inbound Route to a Set CallerID app with:

CallerID Name: ${CALLERID(name)}
CallerID Number: ${CALLERID(num):0:3}-${CALLERID(num):3:3}-${CALLERID(num):6}
Destination: (wherever the Inbound Route previously went)

But there are lots of issues:

  1. Handling other formats (international calls, restricted, anonymous, etc.)
  2. Returning a call from History or Missed calls won’t work, unless you allow outbound calls with dashes
  3. Your CDRs will likely end up with numbers in both formats, making them hard to sort or read.
  4. Problems with importing and exporting contacts, white and blacklists, etc.
  5. Forwarding a call (via a SIP trunk) to e.g. your mobile and displaying the number of the original caller would require rewriting the caller ID back to a format the provider will accept.
  6. Your phone may need to use a smaller font or two lines to display the 12 characters; the result might be harder to read.

You can eliminate some of these issues with custom code that rewrites only the caller ID sent to an extension, but there are still problems with anything stored by the phone.

Thanks for your reply, Stewart. I don’t see any way to make my phone (Snom 821) do this, and I was not aware of all the issues you have raised. I’m still in the process of learning what functions are performed by the phone, and what functions are performed by freepbx. Since this is a minor issue compared with all the great things that freepbx is handling, I will not worry about this issue.

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