Don’t be deceived by this phones heavy duty proprietary look, this phone can be used on any analog line, whether it’s on a PBX, key system, centrex or pots line.
This Nortel phone was introduced along with the heavy featured M8000 and M9000 small business terminals in 1993 to replace the Unity line of phones.
This phone has a slimmed down design of the M2000 Aries II phones, It’s a perfect analog companion for a retail store that has digital multi line phones but want low cost analog phones that mimic the digital phones at areas such as the checkouts. Back in the early 90s when digital phones were so expensive, many Meridian 1 PBX administrators chose to use analog extensions and these phones for areas on the floor or at the checkouts. Now that digital phones have come down in cost and are available in single line configuration, it’s not such a big money saver to install analog.
Back to the phone, it has 6 programmable feature keys, perfect for page, park, etc autodial buttons. The save button must be used while the handset is off hook and when pressed it gives a little space age beep and then you enter the code into the buttons. As you dial the code, an electronic tone associated with each button press assures you that you are entering the code properly, then when you press save the space age two chime tone announces again to let you know the feature is saved. All of this done in analog line power, pretty high tech!
The phone also had a orange RLS button, link (switchook flash) button, redial button and red hold button.
Interesting enough the, as opposed to a digital release silent signal on digital or IP phones, the analog RLS button hangs up the line by signaling a double click to confuse the central office so that it’s not interpreted as a switchook flash. You can tell when the RLS button is pressed on the PA system of a retail store, You’ll hear a double click over the speakers. This double click pauses the line long enough for the user to hang up. If you continue off hook, you’ll hear the line come back online. Filenes Basement, a defunct eastern USA off price retail fashion store used these phones for their analog sets.
The link button, on the other hand, gives a single click and cannot be used to end a page, as the line will instantly bounce back on the Hangup will be heard.
The phones styling is sleek and sophisticated. It’s a good choice for a single line powered analog extension. In fact the phone is still manufactured today by Aastra Telecom and actually now Aastra is owned by Mitel. So I guess you could call this phone a Nortel Networks Aastra Mitel telephone.