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  CommServ > Faculty And Staff > Support > Cortelco MWI Phone FAQ

Cortelco MWI Phone Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the benefit of the Cortelco MWI telephone?

In addition to supporting Caller ID (requires UCSB Feature Package 3000), this telephone has a unique feature which allows it to work in conjunction with UCSB's voice mail system, providing a visual Message Waiting Indicator (MWI) in addition to the standard stutter dial tone MWI. A bright red light in the upper right corner of the phone turns on and blinks when stutter dial tone is present on your phone line.

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How does the telephone know when to turn on the MWI light?

The phone has software which enables it to listen briefly to the phone line to determine whether or not stutter dial tone is present. If it detects stutter dial tone, it will turn on the light. To make this feature work correctly, program Item 2 on page 4 of your phone's Instruction Manual Setup Guide as follows: Item 2, enter "1."

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How does the telephone know when to turn off the MWI light?

Each time you use the telephone to place a call, about 30 to 40 seconds after you hang up, the telephone will “listen” to the line to determine if there is any stutter dial tone. If there is no stutter dial tone and the light is on, the light will be turned off.

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If I am not in my office and not picking up my telephone, how does the telephone know whether or not I have a message?

The second method used by the telephone to trigger the message waiting test is the ringing of the telephone. About four minutes after the telephone rings without being picked up, the telephone will perform the stutter dial tone test. It waits for four minutes on the assumption that the duration of the message being taken by voice mail will be three minutes or less, and it allows the telephone system a minute to turn on stutter dial tone.

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The MWI light goes on continuously when I pick up the phone. Does this mean I have a message waiting?

No. The MWI displays a continuous red light when the phone is off the hook or the speakerphone is turned on.. When you hang up the handset or turn off the speakerphone, the light goes out.

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A while after I hang up the phone, the MWI light blinks once. What does this mean?

This simply means that the MWI is doing its job. About 30 seconds after you've completed a call, you'll see the light go on again for a moment while it checks the dial tone.

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Is the MWI 100% reliable?

There are a few circumstances where the MWI display may not match your message waiting status. If a co-worker transfers a voice message directly to your mailbox, the telephone won't be rung, so it won't test for messages waiting until the next time it rings or the next time the telephone is picked up. Thus it is conceivable that a co-worker could forward you a message Friday afternoon after you have left for the day, and on Monday morning when you arrive at your desk, the light would not be lit. If your telephone began ringing and you answered several calls in succession, the telephone would not be able to perform its test until you left it undisturbed for 30 seconds. Then it would listen for stutter dial tone and turn on the light. When you saw the light and listened to the message, you might conclude that something went wrong because the message was three days old, but it would just be these particular circumstances.

Another exception can occur when you retrieve your messages from off campus instead of from your campus telephone. If someone leaves a message at your number, the telephone will detect stutter dial tone about four minutes later and turn on the flashing red light. Subsequently, if you retrieve that message from home, the voice mail system will turn off stutter dial tone. If nothing further triggers the telephone to do a test, the light will still be on when you return to your office. If you pick up the telephone to call 8800 and notice no stutter dial tone, you may call 8800 to confirm you have no messages, or hang up. Either event will prompt the telephone to check for messages, and the light will then go out shortly thereafter.

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When I'm setting up my phone, do I have to do anything with the Message Waiting switch referred to on page 2 of the Instruction Manual?

No. Leave the switch set to OFF.

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What LDS code should I enter when I program my telephone?

During initial telephone setup (see your phone's Instruction Manual, page 4) you will be asked to enter the Long Distance Service (LDS) code. Use the default value of "1." This sets the number that will be prefixed to 10-digit long-distance numbers when you use the 11-digit option with the Caller ID Callback feature.

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How do I program the Voice Mail button?

The oval button labeled "Voice Mail" with the picture of the envelope on it can be programmed as a one-touch speed call to retrieve messages. Once programmed, it will call 8800, pause for 6 seconds, and enter your password for you. However, it will only do this if the red light is flashing. It the red light is dark, nothing happens when you push the button. So you cannot use the button to access the voice mail system to change your greeting unless you already have a message waiting.

To program the Voice Mail button, set Items 9 through 11 on page 4 of your phone's Instruction Manual as follows.

  • Item 9: Enter "8800."
  • Item 10: Enter "2."
  • Item 11: Enter your current voice mail password.

NOTE ON SECURITY: If you use the Voice Mail button, the telephone will remember your voice mail password, and will display it to anyone who cycles through the Menu button on your telephone until they reach Item 11 above. For greater security, you may want to program a Memory Dial button with 8800 for quick access to your voice mailbox, and dial in your password by hand.

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Do I have to enter a "9" before off-campus numbers that I program into my Memory Dial buttons?

For convenience, you should enter "9" + the 7-digit number when programming local off-campus numbers into Memory Dial, or "9" + "1" + the area code + the 7-digit number when programming long-distance numbers into Memory Dial.

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Does the telephone work with Caller ID?

Yes, the phone will display caller information if you have had Communications Services install Caller ID on your line. For details on Caller ID, see pages 10-15 of your Instruction Manual.

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Do I have to dial "9" when using Caller ID Callback?

Yes, if the number you are calling back is an off-campus number. If you only want to return a call that came from on campus, you would use the Review button to scroll through your received calls until you found the 4-digit extension you wanted, then simply press the "Dial" button to have the telephone ring that number for you. But if the number you want to call back is an off-campus number, you would need to pick up the handset or turn on the speakerphone and dial "9" first, then use the Review button (and if necessary, the Option button) to display the desired 7- to 11-digit callback number, followed by the Dial button to complete the call.

For further information on Caller ID Callback and the Option button, see pages 12-14 of your phone's Instruction Manual.

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Does the telephone require batteries?

No, the telephone plugs in to a standard electrical outlet.




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Last modified: 10/2/2013