The snom m3 SIP wireless (DECT) phone is one of my favorite VoIP phones. I’ve been testing and reviewing it for a few months but haven’t had time to write up the review until now. First, let me point out that the problem with IP-PBXs is they typically give you a desk phone or a softphone with no real mobility options to walk around, which is critical in some vertical markets, such as retail and manufacturing. Even sales professionals want the flexibility to take calls while roaming the office. In the past, I have used analog telephony adapters to connect my cordless phone to my SIP-based IP-PBX, but the cordless phone lacks multiple lines, call transfer, call conference, call waiting, or even a message waiting indication (MWI).
This exactly mirrors my experience, from the initial statement of the snom being a favorite, right to the expression of frustration with using ATAs and traditional cordless phones. I’ll have more to say about that shortly.
It took some effort to get the little phones from ABPTech, one of snom’s US distributors. I was fortunate enough to get two back in February from the initial shipment. These have now been through three firmware upgrades (described here, here and here) and are working well.
I expect to purchase the snom DECT repeater shortly, as well as a third handset.
Today I took a few minutes to load the beta of v1.19 into my snom m3 SIP/DECT system. Happily, the phone loaded the firmware without issue and seems to be running well. I found the menu setting where it provides for uploading the contact list from a csv file. However, not knowing exactly what that csv file should look like I’ve sent an email to Tim at snom for guidance. This certainly looks promising.
Another thing that I see in snom’s wiki is that the phone has comprehensive support for provisioning from a central file server over http or tftp. Further, the configuration files can be encrypted for enhanced security. This is a very nice move. It takes the m3 into the same realm as SIP phones from enterprise vendors.
This past Sunday I just happened to see that snom had released firmware v1.16 for the m3 SIP/DECT phone. I took some time to have the phone update itself from snom’s provisioning server. The process appeared to stall for quite some time and I was forced to attend to other matters. When I returned I found that both handsets had eventually been updated successfully, although it did take longer than I would have expected.
I contacted snom to inquire about the v1.17 release which is rumored to have the uploadable contact list feature that I seek. They tell me that it is presently in beta, and offered directions on where to point my phone to load the beta version. I think I’ll try this next later in the week when I’m back in my office.
If that feature proves out usable then I’ll be ordering one of their DECT range extenders to fill in some coverage gaps in the forward portion of the house, and perhaps finally decomissioning the ages old Panasonic KX-TG4000 KSU.
One reader indicates that they think the process of changing the active VOIP account on a snom m3 is troublesome. Here’s a short video I did some time ago documenting the keystroke sequence using my snom m3.
The phone supports up to 8 separate registations. This means that it can take incomming calls from eight separate sources. However, when making outgoing calls it only uses one of the accounts. You can set which one that is by default for each handset.
In my experience this is not a problem, as I make all outgoing calls through one account anyway. But by allowing multiple registrations I can take calls from auxillary services like Free World Dialup, IPKALL, IdeaSIP, etc.
Full-featured business-class cordless IP phone system
• Easy setup
• Very good call quality
• Good cordless range
• Excellent battery life
• Multiple simultaneous SIP registrations
• Contact list not remote provisioned
• No use of SIP URIs
• No dedicated function keys
• No support for G.722
• Weak speakerphone
I have worked from a home office for over ten years. Just over two years ago, I transitioned both my home and office to a completely VoIP-based phone system. My goal was to improve my ability to stay connected while reducing my monthly operating costs. I carefully selected high quality, business-class SIP desk phones with a variety of features to make running a small office easier.
If you’ve been hanging around these parts a while you’ll already know that I’ve had the snom m3 SIP DECT phone system installed since mid-January. I got lucky and bought one of the first units delivered to snom’s US distributor in Dallas.
Then a few months later, and after hearing rave reviews from a few people abroad, I imported a Siemens S685IP SIP DECT phone system from the UK. So now we have two SIP DECT systems on the property.