Same Extension on Multiple Phones

I’m running FreePBX 13/Asterisk 13 and have the commercial endpoint manager installed/licensed. All modules updated fully.

I’m trying to register the same extension on more than one phone. The extension is configured as a PJSIP extension and does work on the first phone I associate it with. But when I go to associate the extension to a new phone that extension does not appear on the drop down list anymore.

I know the limitations of having the same extension on more than one phone and I’m good with it. I know the ability to register the same extension to more than one phone used to be possible (both with the free endpoint manager and earlier versions of the commercial endpoint manager). I have version installed on another FreePBX box and it allows me to choose the same extension multiple times for different devices.

Is this something that was removed or is there a setting someplace that I need to change in order to allow me to do this?

Thanks for the help.


Why are you wanting to use the same ext for multiple phones. Just create a ring group and add all the phone in them or use shared lines.

Edit the extension and increase the number of “Contacts”.

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That worked, lgaetz. Thanks.

And to answer the earlier question about why I wanted to do this there are several different reasons for me. The primary one is I have several employees that have office phones in different physical offices and they move back and forth. They want a single extension for all their phones and I felt this was the easiest way for me to this. I do use ring groups for a lot of other things and I felt this would add too many to manage effectively.

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That makes sense lol

Where is increasing the number of contacts done? I can’t see it on the GUI. Here’s my scenario, Client wants multiple phones to display presence or absence of group voicemails on multiple phones. I figure if I have a virtual extension defined and set up a button on each phone to register to the same extension, it’ll do what I need.

FYI, I can do this using a Grandstream UCM machine. Under extensions, there is a field for concurrent registrations. I don’t know if that’s proprietary to them or a function of asterisk. So if it’s in asterisk, where to look?

If your extension type is PJSIP it’s under the advanced tab of the extension you want to edit (Max Contacts).

Okay, but the FreePBX 13 GUI gives me the options of Custom, DAHDi, IAX2, Chan_SIP, or Virtual extensions. Is PJSIP the same as Chan_SIP?


No. Either you are using the wrong version of Asterisk, or you don’t have the pjsip driver enabled in advanced settings. You require Asterisk 13:

And the “SIP Channel Driver” in Advanced settings needs to be set to “both”.

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Okay, I’ve checked that I’m running asterisk 13.11.2. I have the channel driver set to “both”. I went into my phone config and set all the 5060s to 5160. Now my phone will not register. var/log/asterisk/full says "wrong password. Clearly I missed something here. My phones are Polycom IP650s and 450s with the latest firmware.

you can enable chan_sip or pjsip and you also have to change the port to 5160 from default port 5060 from advance setting->sip.

Did you actually create a PJSIP extension before trying to register?

I might have done it in reverse order. Doesn’t seem to make a difference in chan_sip. Does it in pjsip?

Alright. I blew out the settings on the phone and deleted the extension in the PBX. I set the pjsip port to 5065 to get it into the generally accepted range. I rebuilt the extension and applied the changes. While I was building the extension, I went to max_contacts and changed it to 2, with the intent of registering two phones to the same extension. I set the phone to register to my PBX using port 5065. It came right up. I then registered another phone and it too came up. When I called the extension, both phone rang. Making progress here. So I left a voicemail and hoped for a message waiting indication. Nothing. I disconnected the second phone and set the max_contacts to 1 and tried again. Still nothing. Any ideas on this?

Note that PJSIP extensions have extra MWI parameters under the Advanced tab. It is common to need to use ‘unsolicited’ depending on your endpoint config.

Okay. It worked! I got 5 phones to register up to a single extension and got message waiting indication that cleared only when all new messages were cleared from the mailbox. Now I just need to figure out how to get rid of the audible message tone. I could do that through the OSS Endpoint Manager (the free one), but I don;t know how to do it without.

Also, and I know this is probably not the place to ask, but does anyone know how to enable the Extended Feature Keys on the Polycom phones? Everything I’ve read suggests a statement in sip.cfg, and it is there, yet the phones will not unlock this feature.

so just to be clear (for my newbie self), you choose to edit the extension and increase the number of contacts, is that about right? rather than create a ring group


If you are using PJ-SIP as your connectivity to your phones, then one of the ways to handle this is to do just that.

If you are using Chan-SIP or one of the other interface methods, the answer could be “No” or you have to handle it the way that module handles it.

There are still times when a Ring Group or a Queue would be a better choice, but yeah, if you want five phones to have the same extension number, you can do this.

Yes. That what I did, but it is for a very specific reason. I have an apartment leasing office client that wants multiple people to handle messages left overnight on a leasing DID. During the day, the ring pattern is different. I had a voicemail blast sending messages to all the agents, and several would call the client and try to work with them, since each agent got their own voicemail in their inbox. The approach I’m doing is a separate account (meaning other than their individual extension) on each agent’s phone will register to the common extension (which is a virtual extension with a mailbox) and all would get notification of a message. When the message is listened to and deleted, the message indication will go away. This is a big step toward avoiding confusion. I know it’s not perfect since I think multiple people could potentially login that virtual mailbox and hear the same message simultaneously, but it’s a lot better than a blast.