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Welcome to the Cisco Networking  Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to get an update on SPA3xx and SPA5xx IP Phones and analog telephone adaptors with Patrick born. Patrick Born is a Technical Marketing Engineer for the Small Business Technology Group (SBTG). His responsibilities include SPA3xx, SPA5xx, and SPA9xx IP Phones, WIP 3xx IP Phones, and SPAxxx ATAs including the SPA2102, SPA3102, PAP2T devices.

Remember to use the rating system to let Patrick know if you have received an adequate response.

Patrick might not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Our moderators will post many of the unanswered   questions in other discussion forums shortly after the event. This  event  lasts through September 24, 2010. Visit this forum often to view  responses  to your questions and the questions of other community  members.


Hi Patrick,

What is the difference between the SPA5xxG and SPA3xx IP phones?

cscStage J Millers personalized signature

Hi j.miller_32,

There are two phones in the SPA3xx family, the SPA301 and the SPA303.

There are six phones in the SPA5xx family, the SPA501G, SPA502G, SPA504G, SPA408G, SPA509G, and SPA525G.

The SPA3xx and SPA50x phones use the same firmware image.

The SPA525G uses a separate image because it supports Bluetooth, color, WiFi, MP3, etc.

The main differences are as follows:

Backlit LCDNY
[not SPA501]
Line keys / Programmable buttons3
[0 on SPA301]
0, 4, 5, 8, 12
Power over Ethernet (PoE)N


Enhanced / Premium acousticsNY
SPA500S Expansion module supportNY
5V, 1A power adapter includedYN
10/100 Base-T switched Ethernet port for computerY
[N on SPA301]
Wideband audio (G.722)YY




Are the handsets for the SPA5xx and SPA3xx phones exactly the same or were there changes in the SPA3xx series?

Hi alleycatcomp,

The handsets on the SPA3xx phones are different to those on the SPA5xx phones.

Physically, the SPA3xx handsets are slightly smaller. They also look slightly different, very similar to the look of the SPA9xx handsets.





In regards to controlling settings for the SPA525G units in a UC500 deployment, does the 'phone service' option work yet (configured under telephony-service).  Trying to centrally controll the SPA525G-http-write option but not having too much luck in getting the setting pushed out to phones.  I've checked the xml cnf files and they all show the xml in there but what I'm wondering is if the phones are actually using that info yet.


Hi Nathan,

I'll research this and report back.





I've received a response from the UC500 team "yes the SPA phones do support UC500 Phone Services. Currently available through UC500 are, Voice View Express, Time Card View, and WebEx Phone Connect"

Does this answer your question?





The situation I have is that I have deployed a number of SPA525G phones in a UC560 deployment and wanted to go through and switch the Bass Boost feature off.  To do this I have to visit each phone, enable http writable and then go to the web page of each phone and disable bass boost.  I was trying to centrally enable the http writeable option on the phones and came across some configs that used the following commands:



service phone SPA525-http-write yes


This appears to update (after running 'create cnf-files') the default XML files for each phone type so it now includes the XML 'yes'.  If I factory reset the SPA525 and let it register on the UC system, it pulls down the new 525Default.cnf.xml file but when I check the http writeable option in the device settings, it's still set to 'No'.

Do the SPA525 Phones actually use the settings in the cnf.xml file to configure the phone or is that still in development?

This functionality may be listed under Bug ID: CSCth27727?  I found this ID reference in a document on cisco dealing with disabling the web service on the IP Phones.  I can't see any details on this bug due to confidential info apparently being included in the bug.

Hope this explains it better.

Thanks for the reply.


Thanks for the detailed information. I'll do some more research and report back.





Here's what I found out from the team. It turns out that the issue is related to a problem in 7.4.4. Here are the details:

SPA525G with 7.4.4 from factory default config in SPCP mode

  1. Add “service phone SPA525-http-write yes” and “create cnf-files” under “telephony-services”
  2. Make sure the command is in the XMLDefault525G.cnf.xml
  3. Reset the phone to factory default
  4. The phone boots and is stuck in SIP mode with Auto Detect SCCP disabled
  5. Repeating step 3 does not help. Manually enabling Auto Detect SPCP or setting the protocol to SPCP does not cause the phone to run in SPCP mode.
  6. The same result occurs if resetting the phone in step 3 instead of resetting to factory default.
  7. Remove “service phone SPA525-http-write yes” and update the cnf file then everything works normally

SPA525G with 7.4.6 from factory default config in SPCP mode

  1. Add “service phone SPA525-http-write yes” and “create cnf-files” under “telephony-services”
  2. Make sure the command is in the XMLDefault525G.cnf.xml
  3. Reset the phone to factory default
  4. The phone boots up in SPCP  mode and the “Web Server Writable” in both LCD and Web GUI are enabled
  5. Set Deep Bass to no from web GUI to cause phone reboot.
  6. Phone will boot and be functional.




John Gawf


How can you re-layout the softkeys on the SPA phones?  Can you do it as a bulk download if you have 32 phones to change.

Hi John,

In SIP-mode, it's pretty easy to deploy massive numbers of phones automatically.  Service Providers really like the SPA phones because they're very easy to provision and are highly configurable.

Modifying soft keys or any other phone parameter is trivial once you have a provisioning environment configured.

I assume you're controlling a small business given that you're asking about 32 phones.

You'll need the following:[search for free servers for your computer on the Internet.]

  1. DHCP server [must support OPTION 66 which points to the IP address and optional path on your TFTP/HTTP/HTTPS server]
  2. TFTP server [can use HTTP/HTTPS if you prefer]

Do the following to set up your provisioning environment:

  • Configure your DHCP server to point to the IP address and optional path on your TFTP/HTTP/HTTPS server
  • Configure your TFTP/HTTP/HTTPS server

Provisioned Environment:

  1. When your SPA5xx or SPA3xx phones boot, they will receive their dynamic IP address and the TFTP/HTTP/HTTPS server's IP address from the DHCP server.
  2. When a phone receives OPTION 66, it will look for a default file if an IP address is only provided, else it will request the path to a file if a path was included in the DHCP OFFER.
  3. The phone loads the file which contains your soft key configuration and is up and running in a short period of time.

To specifically answer your question:

Modify the programmable soft key configuration in the phone's configuration file. When the phone resyncs or reboots, it will retrieve the desired soft key configuration.

Here's some additional information that will help you:

Read the first two documents, cover-to-cover.

Use the Admin and Provisioning guides as reference only [Use AdobeReader's advanced search to search both books when referencing]

  1. [describes setting up provisioning for Asterisk, but the concepts will help you]
  2. [describes configuring soft keys]
  3. [SPA5xx and SPA3xx Admin guide]
  4. [SPA device Provisioning Guide]





Hi Patrick:

Slightly off topic; I apologize. I'm working in a small complex of buildings, and one building has two phone lines and DSL. I've added a wireless link between this and another building. Now I'm trying to provide phone service at the second building across the wireless network. I've used a SPA3102 and a PAP2T back to back. This works, but only supports one line, and there are two lines in the phone system. I purchased a SPA8800 to provide for two lines, and copied the configuration values from the SPA3102 to the SPA8800, changing port numbers for the second line. It almost works, but I've spent two nights fighting to make it all work. First of all, is this feasible? Is there any definite reason that it should not work? Second, are there any good debugging methods for this device in order to determine what's really going on? For example: Trying to dial out on the phone, I might get "Please check your number and dial again". Is there any way to determine what was actually dialed out on the SPA8800? If I could see this, I might be able to understand how I need to change a dial plan, but without it, I'm shooting in the dark.

Thank you very much for any help you can provide. If this is the wrong place for this, please direct me to the right place.


David Wooden

Hi David,

Sounds like a fun project. Can you provide a diagram of what you have and another diagram of what you want please?

With respect to debugging. You can enable debug and or syslog at level 3 verbosity. Here are instructions:

You can use a network sniffer [such as WireShark] between the two devices to see what the devices are sending between each other.