Phone(s) of the Day: Nortel M7208 and Nortel T7316E

“Hey would anyone like any mozzarella cheese sticks or some extreme fajitas or how about some extreme shooters?”  Welcome to TGI Fridays in Wheeling, IL.  I snapped this photo today at lunch of 2 Nortel phones from 2 different generations.

The T7316 was the first generation of this phone introduced in 2001 by Nortel Networks. The phone, along with the T7100, T7208  was released with the introduction of the Nortel Enterprise Edge 1000 IP/TDM call server, the predecessor to the BCM Business Communication Manager call server released in 2002.

T series phones were also backwards compatible with older Nortel Norstar DR1, DR3, DR5.1, CICS, and MICS systems. That means you could use this phone on an older Nortel system, even the DR1, which was released 1988. My friend Derek in Indiana has an original DR1 Norstar and has a T7316 set and SIP trunks connected through a Cisco ATA.  Pretty hi tech!

In the photo on the left is a newer phone called a T7316E that was introduced shortly after in 2003 or 2004.   The T7316e set has an extra handsfree button built into the set on the lower area of the phone below the volume bar.  The T7316 is considered the executive telephone set in the T7000 series.

The phone on the right is the M7208, which is a intermediate level set, which was originally introduced in 1988.  The phone was released in many versions until it was finally discontinued in 2003 to be replaced by the T series set. The M7208 can be observed at many drugstore and grocery store checkout counters.  This was quite possibly one of the most durable phones ever manufactured, thus it can handle the abuse of day to day use in a retail store.

Notice on the left phone, how the keystrip on the right side is missing the button labels.  That was a big problem with these T Series phones.  You’ll see all types of fixes from handwritten labels to magic marker on the phones.  A small inexpensive trick to keep that from happening is to place a strip of double stick tape behind that piece of paper and the button labels will never fall off, even if the plastic strip on top does.  Thank you to my friend Craig in Salt Lake City, who was instrumental in setting up all of the Norstar and BCM systems for the American Stores/Albertsons/Supervalu stores throughout the past 18 years, who passed this tip along to me.

Whoa! That’s a lot to handle….even with the End of Sales and discontinuation of Nortel products by Nortel, look around at the retail stores and restaurants you frequent and you are bound to see these workhorses still in action long after Avaya “discontinued” them.