No, the SPA302 is not Compatible with the UC300 or UC500 (SBCS)

Update 1/9/2014: Last summer Cisco published an End-of-Life announcement for the UC320W and UC500-series products. We DO NOT recommend these products for new installs as SMARTNet is only available on them until January of 2017. Deploy with caution!

I know, I know – it’s featured on the Cisco SMB products homepage (seen below), it’s clearly listed as a 300-series SPA phone right next to the SPA301 and SPA303, but… unlike its siblings the “Cisco SPA302 Multi-Line DECT Handset” will not work with either the UC320W or the Cisco Smart Business Communications System (“SBCS”).  There are determined engineers out there who have duct-taped together a working integration but a) it’s a quite tedious and b) it’s not supported by Cisco TAC so I can’t recommend forcing the SPA302 into a solution using the Cisco small business phone systems.

Cisco SPA302 Shown on Cisco Small Business Homepage

http://www.cisco.com/go/smb

Why won’t it work?

Cisco SPA302D Wireless Phone

Cisco SPA302D Wireless Phone

The SPA302 doesn’t use the same type of wireless network as laptops and smartphones.  It uses a protocol called “DECT,” which is like a modern version of the 900MHz cordless phones that have been available since the mid-1990s.  Without the ability to communicate with other IP-enabled devices such as the Cisco UC300 or UC500 series small business phone systems, it can’t be configured by or used with them.

 

Alternatives to the SPA302

If you’re looking for a wireless phone to work with the UC320W your best option at the time of this writing, unfortunately, is to use a regular analog cordless phone attached to the FXS port on the UC320W chassis. If your company needs additional FXS ports you can add a Cisco SPA8800 Analog Telephone Adaptor (“ATA”) the environment and it will provide you with four more FXO ports and four more FXS ports.

If you need a wireless phone for the Cisco SBCS then go for either the Cisco 7925 or Cisco 7926 wireless IP phones.  The only difference between the two is the 7926 has a two-dimensional barcode scanner, while the 7925 does not.  The only downside to the 7900 series wireless IP phones is they are a little pricey for the SMB market.  I think the last 7925 “kit” (phone, battery, charger, and Cisco SMARTNet) I sold came out to around $600.

If you were wanting the SPA302 to work with a Cisco phone system I hate to have been the bearer of bad news but hopefully you found this article before ordering any hardware.  Honestly, I wish Cisco had called this device the “SPA402″ to avoid the compatibility confusion but it is what it is.

Either way, thanks for taking the time to read this post.  If you still need help figuring out what phone will work best for your environment feel free to contact me.  I’ll probably write a more in-depth review of the SPA302 and SPA232 in the near future so click the “Like” button on the right to see when that comes out.  Just out of curiosity, have you found any stand-out cordless phones to use with a UC300 or UC500?  If so please let me and your fellow engineers know in the comments below!

15 comments

  1. Thanks! This just saved me a lot of headache…

    • Jeremy, I’m glad to hear it. It took me quite a bit of searching and forum scrubbing to confirm that the SPA302 isn’t compatible with the Cisco small business phone systems so I’m happy I was able to spare another engineer the same frustration.

  2. The UC320W is an all-around amazing device. Its so unfortunate that is not compatible with third-party phones.
    Do you know of any similar devices that are as good as the 320?

    • Dov, we really only deploy Cisco Unified Communications products here but I have heard some good things about Shoretel VoIP PBXs too. From what I’ve gathered they’re usually more expensive than a similarly-sized Cisco phone system but for less than 25 users you’ll get features the UC320W doesn’t provide, like genuine call center functionality. Also, I think Shoretel supports third-party (SIP) phones, which the UC320W will now. If you’re open to cloud-based solutions there’s always the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution or RingCentral (which we actually use internally).

      Hopefully that helps but let me know if there are any other questions I can answer for you.

      Phil

  3. Hey guys good information

  4. I wish I would have read this before I bought my UC320. . I had to figure all of this out on my own and by calling Cisco “Support”.

    My question is other than using my dedicated FAX port, is there a way to get a cordless to work with the 320?

    You mentioned the Cisco 7925 or Cisco 7926. . .these are expensive however, it solves the problem of me adding additional phones. Will they actually work?

    Thanks in advance,
    Brandon

    • Brandon, I hate to tell you this (please don’t shoot the messenger!) but Cisco published an End-of-Life notice for the UC320W last summer, just a couple months after I wrote this article. The UC320W is a slick little box so no one was more surprised by that announcement than me but basically Cisco won’t be selling them any more of the UC320W after the 20th of this month. Support for them will terminate in January of 2017. What really kills me is Cisco also announced the End of Life for the UC500 “Smart Business Communications System” at the same time. Formerly this was the “big brother” to the UC320W and could handle up to 124 users but now it’s gone too. The smallest phone system Cisco will be selling on January 21st is the Cisco Business Edition 6000, which handles up to 1000 users and in my opinion is overkill for many current and former UC320W and UC500 customers.

      As for your analog connectivity questions, your only bet is to plug an analog phone (cordless or otherwise) into the FXS ports on your UC320W. While the FXO (Foreign Exchange Office) ports connect to your phone lines, FXS (Foreign Exchange Station) ports are used for attaching analog stations – i.e. phones, fax machines, or modems to your UC320W.

      The Cisco 7925s and 7926s are unfortunately incompatible with the UC320W – they only work with the Cisco Smart Business Communications System (that has also been discontinued) and larger systems.

      I apologize that Cisco has put you in such a crappy position. Feel free to email me directly if you’d like to discuss this further or just call me (513-322-5997) if you’re in the US. If I don’t answer please do leave a voicemail and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

  5. I believe it may be compatible if you use it in conjunction with the SPA232D ATA which allows for an Ethernet connection to the VOIP network. You can see they sell it as a kit here:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?gclid=CKHarcnuprsCFa10QgodeisAtA&Item=N82E16833150196&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-VoIP-_-N82E16833150196&ef_id=Up4p5QAAAZxS7diX:20131211000002:s

  6. UC320 only has one FXS port. 4 FXO ports. Just want everyone to be aware, the information obtained in this blog “is to use a regular analog cordless phone attached to one of the four FXS ports on the UC320W chassis.” is incorrect. Unless you have an SPA8800 hooked up

    • Oh geez, Jeremy is right! Sorry about that guys. The UC320 has 4 FXO, 1 FXS, and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back as well as a couple audio jacks. It does NOT provide support out of the box for more than one analog connection without adding the SPA8800, which is an Analog Telephone Adaptor (“ATA”) that provide an additional 4FXS and 4FXO ports.

      Sorry for the confusion and thank you Jeremy for keeping me honest!

  7. Phil, my provider assured me the phones with the SPA232 base would work with the UC320W.

    I’m dealing with them trying to return the SPA302 phones, But in case it doesnt works, may I ask if there’s any guide or details of the working integration you were talking about?.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Benjamin, Cisco does not support the SPA302 DECT handsets for use with the SPA232D:

      * The SPA302D supports DECT for freedom; the Wireless-N Bridge fits inside other SPA 300 Phones. SPA301 and SPA303 are supported on both UC300 and UC500. SPA302D is not supported on UC320W and UC500.

      So… what you’re asking is not supported so there’s no guarantee it will work but if you already bought a SPA232D with the SPA302s then you might try configure the SPA232′s FXO port to attach to the UC320W’s FXS port but again, there’s no guarantee it’ll work. Honestly the best way to give your workers some level of mobility with the SPA phones would be to either invest in some quality Bluetooth headsets or to use the SPA phone’s Wireless-N Bridge to at least give you some more flexibility on your phones’ actual placement in relation to your network jacks.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Feel free to email or call me (513-322-5997) if you want to bounce some more ideas off me. If I don’t answer straight away feel free to leave a voicemail and I’ll call you back as soon as I can.

  8. Benjamin

    Perhaps it’s end of life because Cisco realized the obvious point — that a phone system incapable of interfacing with standard SIP phones really is a piece of junk.

    I’m sorry for everyone that is having trouble getting these to work, but you should look at the bigger picture before spending money on a brand-name. Sometimes, even Cisco sells crap.

    • Benjamin, I can’t say I disagree. Honestly I probably would have stuck with the UC560 for SMBs were it still around; however, now that it’s gone I’m leaning towards 3CX as a replacement. More to come on that soon but thanks for reading!

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