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Overcoming DMS-10 deficiencies
#635061 02/04/20 02:27 AM
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Hello everyone.
I am not an installer and just an end user starting research on a solution to a problem I am dealing with in a rural area. Complete novice when it comes to phone systems and telecommunications technology.

Any advice or info would be appreciated.

I'm in a small rural area where the telecom provider uses a Nortel DMS-10 system which does not provide the features of rollover/call hunting and call forwarding. These features are not supported even when the phone line is a business line. Call waiting and call display are supported and our main line has both features.

Is there any equipment that can be purchased in order to get these features in house? A switch of some sort. A system that can convert incoming calls...etc.
At the moment we have 2 basic hard (analog) phone lines. One of the lines is our main line and has call waiting, allowing cycling of 2 people max. Anyone else calling is told the line is unavailable. Not a busy signal
Since there is no call rollover (line hunting) from our provider, the phone lines are completely separate and not interconnected at all. So if one line is unavailable there is no way currently to transfer a third call to our second line.

I want a solution with auto attendant, a queue and the ability to have a few people on queue hearing a pre recorded message or music until which time we get to them.

I don't think there is equipment that can overcome the inability of the provider but wanted to double check.

Cellphone reception has gotten much better. Can a cellular network offer these features by purchasing proper equipment?

VOIP has been a consideration, since somehow our telecom provider is giving us 50mbps download speed on old copper lines (we are adjacent to their main hub). I would prefer not to transfer the phone number and always keep the hard line. No call forwarding would seem to make it hard to add VOIP while maintaining the traditional phone line. Can VOIP or other digital technology be added and both traditional line + VOIP kept with the same phone number.

I'm just researching solutions. This seems to be a long time issue in this rural community which has been left in the past when it comes to phone lines.

Thanks in advance for any input.

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Re: Overcoming DMS-10 deficiencies
Spinarama #635064 02/04/20 04:59 AM
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In the DMS-10, many call features were disabled until the provider paid Nortel to "activate" them. However, hunting and the various call forwarding options are such common features, I'm surprised that they are not available. Who is the provider? Is it possible that they have these services, but have simply named them something else?

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Re: Overcoming DMS-10 deficiencies
Spinarama #635066 02/04/20 07:23 AM
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These are not limitations of the DMS10. As mentioned, this is likely a case of the service provider not understanding what you're asking for. If they have an on-line trouble reporting mechanism, I'd report this as a repair issue and let a central office technician respond rather than a customer service person. I had to resort to this with GTE in order to get another basic feature programmed on my residence lines years ago. The business office people didn't have a clue, but my on-line report resulted in a phone call from the CO technician at our DMS-100 and within minutes, I had what I'd been seeking for months.

Keep in mind that the DMS-10 is just a smaller version of the 100/200. Granted, there are optional modules, such as ISDN, which aren't normally required in rural environments. That's why providers don't purchase them. While it might not have the call carrying capacity of its big brothers, it maintains the standard compliment of features. If I recall correctly, there are certain feature groups that are required to be available in the United States. I can't imagine it's any different in Canada. Call forwarding and hunting are among the most basic features.


Ed Vaughn, MBSWWYPBX
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Re: Overcoming DMS-10 deficiencies
Spinarama #635069 02/04/20 12:23 PM
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Provider is Bell Canada.
Apologies I kind of titled it wrong. I keep getting the excuse that it is the DMS-10 and the age of the system from every angle, but I understand DMS-10 is great infrastructure.
The tech who came in to install the second line said the features are not available. I also called the Manager for the region, this is also the person who would sign off on line disconnects or any major work, he also said it is a really old DMS-10 infrastructure and the features are not available. It has been like this for years in this Village I was told. Apparently surrounding Towns and Villages have seen updates while this one has not. I suspect they would not have purchased updates since the 80's, though that seems baffling.

In this area even call display sometimes gets mixed up. Customer calls in who I know is at home 10KM away, the call display shows up as our next door neighbour, another business. At times we'll get calls in asking if we called them. No calls out had happened that day but the person calling was adamant their call display showed our name. So I suspect these call displays are crossing.

Would VOIP be the best solution? Cost isn't necessarily the main concern here. A steady and stable solution would be good value.

I've no time to lobby this provider - a really big provider here in Canada. They just don't care about small markets, usually the government has to legislate them into upgrades. In this case that may have happened years ago, who knows.


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Re: Overcoming DMS-10 deficiencies
Spinarama #635076 02/04/20 05:52 PM
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With what you've said, it sounds as if you're going to have to seek an alternative. While I'm not an advocate of hosted VoIP, which is what you're probably considering, it may be your only option. Yes, most any hosted IP product will offer all modern call services, certainly such as hunting and forwarding. Keep in mind that many of them won't be able to offer you "square" line appearances on each phone, meaning that you'll not likely be able to just put a call on hold and pick it up at another extension. You'll have to either transfer or park calls. It is cumbersome, but you'll get used to it. Of course, the key to satisfactory IP communications is a stable internet connection and healthy network. Most service providers will confirm this for you by doing a network assessment prior to deployment.


Ed Vaughn, MBSWWYPBX
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Re: Overcoming DMS-10 deficiencies
Spinarama #635080 02/04/20 07:41 PM
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Doesn't have to be hosted - you can install an on premise pbx that uses a SIP trunk for "dial tone" - and use digital, IP, or analog phones on site as you wish. On a system such as Avaya IP Office, we add specific buttons for Park, which are the same on every extension, all light up when a call is parked there. So you get a call for a coworker, you press Park 1, it flashes on every extension, and you holler over to your coworker to grab the call on Park 1. Not cumbersome, don't have to remember any special codes, just press the blinking button to grab the call.

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Re: Overcoming DMS-10 deficiencies
Spinarama #635088 02/04/20 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Spinarama
Provider is Bell Canada.
Apologies I kind of titled it wrong. I keep getting the excuse that it is the DMS-10 and the age of the system from every angle, but I understand DMS-10 is great infrastructure.
The tech who came in to install the second line said the features are not available. I also called the Manager for the region, this is also the person who would sign off on line disconnects or any major work, he also said it is a really old DMS-10 infrastructure and the features are not available. It has been like this for years in this Village I was told. Apparently surrounding Towns and Villages have seen updates while this one has not. I suspect they would not have purchased updates since the 80's, though that seems baffling.

In this area even call display sometimes gets mixed up. Customer calls in who I know is at home 10KM away, the call display shows up as our next door neighbour, another business. At times we'll get calls in asking if we called them. No calls out had happened that day but the person calling was adamant their call display showed our name. So I suspect these call displays are crossing.

Would VOIP be the best solution? Cost isn't necessarily the main concern here. A steady and stable solution would be good value.

I've no time to lobby this provider - a really big provider here in Canada. They just don't care about small markets, usually the government has to legislate them into upgrades. In this case that may have happened years ago, who knows.



One of my radio station clients is in a town served by a small cooperative phone company, with a DMS-10 installed in 1985 or so, and we've always had rollover/hunt group and advanced calling features.

Yeah, your ILEC sucks.I hope you don't have to depend on Bell Canada for your Internet.




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Re: Overcoming DMS-10 deficiencies
Spinarama #635206 02/07/20 09:38 PM
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What is their excuse for not being able to have a hunt group established
You can also ask if isdn line is available and you could have Nortel isdn phone on your desk
With two line appearances ...

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